The latest news specifically for American Baptist Churches of Ohio.

What Comes Next? Meeting the Challenges of Ministry in this Pandemic

April 27, 2020

Dear Friends,

We have been so blessed and encouraged by the creative and meaningful ways that pastors and congregations have responded to the challenges of ministry through this time of pandemic and quarantine. About 85 percent of ABC Ohio congregations have shared weekly electronic worship services that have included good preaching, prayer, and music. A number of churches have developed prayer and communication groups online, by phone or by email to be sure that their church families are cared for personally and spiritually. Pastors and others have made thousands of telephone calls to check on, reassure, pray with, and stay connected to their congregations. Since Easter, many of our congregations have begun to ask the question, “What comes next?”

Our Governor has announced in the past week that he would like to see the state begin to open up SLOWLY. We believe SLOWLY is an important word as the church prepares for what comes next. As much as we want to be together, the rush to make a hasty return to our previous ways could be disastrous for our congregations. Ken Braddy, Jr., a Sunday School specialist, has developed a series of questions church leaders should answer before they begin to set a date for the church to gather again in person. We recommend that your church consider some similar questions…

Read more: What Comes Next? Meeting the Challenges of Ministry in this Pandemic

Rev. Philip Lee Kachersky Joins the Heavenly Angels

Philip Lee Kachersky, a Minister with an open heart and an open mind, spent his life in exploration of what makes us all human. He passed away on April 22, 2020 at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Youngstown, Ohio, due to complications from COVID-19. He was 62.  
 
Philip spent his life in ministry both inside and outside of his churches. He was born July 30, 1957 in Ashtabula, Ohio the son of Charles and Carole Kachersky. He was ordained as an American Baptist Minister on July 16, 1989 after receiving his degree from Eastern Baptist Theological School in Philadelphia (now Palmer Theological Seminary). He was Pastor at First Baptist Church in Girard, and later at First Baptist Church in Jefferson, Ohio. He had a Funeral Director’s license and was able to comfort so many going through the loss of a loved one. And he was a friend, confidant and sounding board to so many. 
 
He adored his wife, Erin. After marrying on February 13, 1993, they were inseparable. They traveled, watched movies, and learned to cook so many different cuisines in so many different methods, always inviting friends to share in the experience. They even took up embroidery. Together, they taught us learning is a life-long process.  
 
Philip was an intellectual living in the real world - always open to new ideas – even if those ideas were challenging to beliefs he had held throughout his life. He was always interested, always inquisitive, and he loved to debate with his friends. His interests were fabulously varied. He loved gadgets and computers and cars and all forms of expression. He was a big man who loved to talk about religion, and technology and its impact on humanity, all while carefully rolling homemade sushi with his friends. He loved to cook and swap recipes, both as a challenge to his abilities, and as an expression of gratitude for community and friendship. He was a minister in every sense of the word, constantly working to make our community better.
 
Philip is survived by his wife, Erin (née McClurkin), his mother and father of Niles, his brothers, Patrick (of Golden, Colorado) and Paul (of Hubbard, Ohio), and his nieces and nephews, Jerimiah, Natasha, Naomi, and Zackery, Michael, Christina and Charles. 
 
Philip was loved and he will be greatly missed. Please keep his family and friends in your prayers during this time as they are unable to schedule a celebration of life at this time due to the current COVID-19 crisis. They hope to have a memorial in the coming months when friends and family are again allowed to gather. 

REMC Recommended Best Practices for Pastors During the COVID-19 Crisis

The following are recommendations from the Regional Executive Ministers Council for American Baptist Pastors during this time of the COVID-19 crisis and restrictions.

Traditional pastoral ministry has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and government Stay at Home directives. It has changed dthe way we worship, fellowship and provide pastoral care. In general, there are to be no groups of ten or more people.

1. Worship services should not be held in person. Services should be held by Facebook, streaming, and video conference.

2. Memorial services should be restricted to immediate family members of ten or less people. Larger services should be planned for after social distancing restrictions have been lifted.

3. Wedding services should be restricted to immediate family members of ten or less people. Larger celebrations and/or receptions should be planned for after social distancing restrictions have been lifted.

4. Pastoral calls to those in the hospital, nursing homes, and shut-ins should be postponed until after social distancing restrictions have been lifted.

5. People in hospitals, nursing homes, and shut-ins are considered at high risk of being infected with the virus.

6. Pastoral care must take on other expressions: greeting cards, phone calls, email, texting, Face Timing, and other creative ways to be present.

7. The ministry of prayer has been become even more important.

8. RESOURCES:

Best Practices for Funerals During the COVID-19 Crisis:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jp2i6bFvSTfLbDf0nu5QWsKI3aF_toK_uN1o0yvujEA/edit 

ABC USA Resources:
www.abc-usa.org/coronavirus/ 

The CARES Act: Your Questions Answered from the MMBB

As we continue to grapple with the continuing effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the pace of change is rapid and ongoing. It can be challenging to keep up with the volume of information whether it concerns the rising number of people stricken with the disease and its rapid spread, the shifting market and investment environment, or understanding the details of the recent stimulus legislation passed by Congress and its impact on pastoral leaders, churches and faith-based organizations.

We take seriously MMBB’s fiduciary responsibility and ongoing commitment to serve our members. Therefore, we strive to ensure that the information presented about the CARES Act is accurate and reflects the clearest understanding of the specific provisions available to non-profits, clergy, churches and other religious entities. We appreciate your patience as we exercise our due diligence to examine multiple legal, financial, and legislative resources.

Read more: The CARES Act: Your Questions Answered from the MMBB

Reaching out as the Coronavirus Invades Ohio

March 26, 2020

Dear Friends,

Just a few minutes ago two students from Jane’s neighborhood knocked on her door and talked with her through her storm door. They were walking around the community, checking on neighbors, and distributing a list of neighbors’ phone numbers in case anyone needed to call for help. We’ve been delighted and surprised to see the compassion and care that is being expressed during this time of crisis in our country and the world.

Read more: Reaching out as the Coronavirus Invades Ohio