LIMA — Though physical gathering for worship may not be an option, several local churches and organizations are still planning on spreading the word of God this weekend with the help of online platforms.
On Monday, the Catholic bishops of Ohio suspended all public Masses through Holy Week and Easter. Most churches have responded by trying their hands at live broadcasting of services through their website, YouTube, Facebook Live and other sites.
SS. Peter & Paul Church in Ottawa is even offering weekly drive-up confessions.
Father Mark Hoying with Kalida St. Michael Catholic Church said despite the news, he wanted to be able to reach as many people as possible because faith is almost more important now than ever.
“When everything is kind of upside down, we need something stable, and God is always with us,” he said. “I know God is always with me, and we have such a good God that when things are unstable and unsure, I know where my rock and my salvation is — this is kind of our reminder that things will be alright because of Him. … The best way we can take care of people is through prayer and spiritual closeness to God and one another.”
Like several other area churches and organizations, Hoying said this has landed him into some uncharted territory.
“It’s been different not only because I’m not a big tech person, but also I don’t like to see myself on television,” he said with a laugh. “Luckily, we’ve got some good people in the office who are more tech-savvy, and I just count on them.”
Though he knew it was inevitable, Hoying said the gathering ban has still taken a toll on the church.
“From the intellectual point of view, you kind of knew what you had to do, but from an emotional point of view, people are used to seeing that community together in church,” he explained. “It’s been a challenge for a lot of people to let go of that.”
Below is a list of some of the live broadcasts of services around the area:
• Cornerstone Church Lima Campus — Sunday service 10 a.m. at cornerstone.church.
• First United Methodist Church, Van Wert — Sunday services 8:15 and 10:45 a.m. at Facebook Live.
• Lima Community Church — Weekend services 6 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. Sunday at limacommunitychurch.com.
• Philippian Missionary Baptist Church, Lima — Sunday worship 10 a.m. at philippianlima.org.
• St. Gerard Church, Lima — Weekend Masses 5 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday at stgerardchurch.org.
• St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Landeck — Weekend Masses 4:30 p.m. Saturday and 7:30 a.m., 9:15 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Sunday, weekday Masses 8 a.m. at stjohnthebaptistchurchlandeck.com.
• St. Rose Church, Lima — Weekend Masses at 4 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday, weekday Masses at stroselimaohio.org.
• SS. Peter & Paul Church, Ottawa — Weekend Masses at 4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday, weekday Mass at spps.noacsc.org and Facebook page, and drive-up confessions in the church parking lot at 11 a.m. Saturdays.
• Temple Beth Israel-Shaare Zedek, Lima — Online streaming of national services at reformjudiasm.org.
• Trinity United Methodist Church, Lima — Sunday worship at 10:30 a.m. at limatrinityumc.org.
• Westside United Methodist Church, Lima — Sunday worship at 9:15 and 10:45 a.m. at Facebook Live.
Reach Tara Jones at 567-242-0511.