Hello friends and family! First off, I want to thank all of you for your continued support of me and of H2O Cincinnati and for all the prayers you've been sending up for our spring break trips. Unfortunately, due to the Coronavirus outbreak, we have chosen to cancel our spring break trips this year. In addition, some changes will be coming to H2O Cincinnati as well to adhere to the University's rules and respect them as an insitution. Below you will find the offical statement released yesterday by H2O Cincinnati regarding COVID-19, spring breaks, and the functioning of our church for the remainder of the year. Thank you for reading and if you have any questions pleae reach out to me!
Dear H2O Family,
With the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), we want to update you on some changes that will be happening in our community. We realize that coronavirus is a global problem that is impacting thousands of people. We have been praying and will continue to pray for those who are sick, those who have lost loved ones, those who are living in fear of contracting the virus, and those affected by it in any other way.
We know that there is a lot of fear concerning the virus right now, and in this time we must especially remember that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). Jesus reminds us that God knows us and cares for us, and because of this we can live lives that are not filled with fear and anxiety (Matthew 6:25-34).
While we have good reason not to worry, there is a difference between worrying and taking wise precautions. Even the Apostle Paul, who put himself in plenty of dangerous situations for the sake of the gospel, knew when it was wise to take precautions for safety (see Acts 9:22-25 and Acts 17:1-15). The state of Ohio and the University of Cincinnati have taken some serious precautions to stem the spread of coronavirus, and some of these decisions have a direct impact on the activities of our church. Here are some important changes you need to know that will be happening at H2O Cincinnati:
Unfortunately, we have come to the decision that our spring break trips must be cancelled. There are several reasons for this:
The intention of these trips is to be a blessing to the people that we serve, but there is a legitimate chance that we could actually do more harm than good in our attempts to help others if we end up facilitating the spread of the virus, which could ultimately lead to the harm or even death of those we are trying to help.
UC has pulled all funding for spring break trips, which greatly increases the price each student has to pay in order for us to go. We realize that many participants might not be able to find the extra money this close to the time of the trip.
UC is very serious about trying to contain this virus, and we don’t want to counteract their efforts. We want to respect them in their efforts and do everything we can to assist in making sure coronavirus doesn’t spread to our campus community.
All money that has been paid for spring break will be refunded.
UC is not allowing groups of 150 or more to meet on campus, so we will be cancelling our weekly Sunday service in Lindner Center room 450. However, we will still have our weekly Sunday service at our H2O City venue. This service usually meets at 9:30 a.m., but starting on 3/22/2020 the service time will be moved to 10:30 a.m. to better accommodate our students. This service takes place weekly at the Corryville Recreation Center (2823 Eden Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45219), which is only two blocks off campus.
For those who choose to remain on campus during this time, we will have volunteers posted at Turner Circle and CCM Circle from 10:00-10:10 on March 22 to show them where to go.
As of right now, the plan is for Life Groups to continue operating as normal at their regularly scheduled times and locations.
We didn’t like having to make these decisions, but after prayer and discussion we feel like they are the right ones to make. We love our spring break trips and we love having service on campus, but the public health situation right now necessitates some sacrifice on our part for the good of the community. We will continue to lift up the name of Jesus and seek not only the physical wellbeing but also the spiritual wellbeing of our church. For the next month, this will just look a little different than it usually does. If you have any questions regarding this situation, please reach out to Grant (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Cassi Rohlfer (email@example.com).
H2O Cincinnati Elders and Staff Team