Coronavirus Response

Current Status

Visit this page for updates on protocols in place at Mifflin Presbyterian Church.

Timeline of Updates

October 2021 - Service Time Update

Dear Members and Friends of Mifflin Presbyterian,

Session met Thursday evening. Session is doing the best we can as things are constantly changing. Session has approved Sunday School for all ages to be conducted in a hybrid format with both Zoom and in-person participation as choices. Session has approved beginning October 17th (the day of the Congregational Meeting at the end of worship) and continuing indefinitely, worship will begin at 10 AM and Sunday School will begin at 11:15 AM.

We’re asking everyone to bend a little – again. Some of our members need earlier worship; some need a later time; some teach; some have kids and youth in Sunday School; some have had to stay safely at home this whole darn COVID time. And it’s not over yet.

We all have one need in common – to worship: to praise God with joy, to give thanks for our blessings; and to seek God’s guidance on one tough decision after another. All are welcome.

Let’s join together in bending towards each other with our greatest need: to worship God, “encouraging one another,” (Hebrews 10:25).

From the Session, and Rev. Jon Carlisle, Moderator

September 2021 - COVID Update

The session at Mifflin has approved the following updates to our COVID protocols. Our overall goal continues to be to provide meaningful worship opportunities in a safe and caring environment. Jesus loves you and so do we.

    1. Face masks are now required at all times inside the church building.
      Exceptions are – the worship platform area during worship and staff members alone in their offices.

    2. All existing COVID protocols remain in effect.

    3. New Sunday worship schedule –
      Sept 12 – worship at 9:00 and 11:15
      Sept 19 – Oct 10 – worship at 9:00

    4. New Sunday school schedule -
      K-grade 5 – 10:15 zoom
      Jr High – 10:15 zoom and in person
      High school – 10:15 zoom and in person
      Adults – 10:15 zoom and in person

August 2021 - COVID Update

Our overall goal during these challenging times is to provide a meaningful and safe worship experience. Jesus loves you and so do we.

COVID continues to challenge us as we go about our lives. The latest CDC guidelines as well as local school requirements seem to change and evolve from day to day. Each day the TV news stories and social media seem to be telling us all sorts of conflicting opinions and directives. At Mifflin, the Worship Cornerstone has been keeping an eye on COVID issues for over 17 months and counting. At this point one thing seems to be clear: vaccines work to help us all avoid the possible serious complications associated with this virus. While there is no 100% guarantee, the raw numbers seem to tell a clear story: if possible, get vaccinated.

At this time, the Mifflin COVID protocols for Sunday worship recognize masks as optional because they do help to limit the spread of the virus. However, not everyone can wear a mask for extended periods of time. We also recognize that many of you are concerned about exposure to others in your family or friend circles and would prefer to mask. There is no doubt that this continues to be a developing and ever-changing situation. The Worship cornerstone asks everyone to make the best decision for your situation. We welcome anyone and everyone to worship who chooses to wear a mask, or not. We continue to offer multiple worship seating options, including distanced seating. If you are not feeling well, please take advantage of our Facebook livestream.

At this point with COVID, it appears that unvaccinated and immunocompromised people are at the greatest risk for serious COVID complications. Children under the age of 12 can not get vaccinated yet. A very high percentage of Mifflin members who are eligible are vaccinated. However, as school starts and Mifflin children, friends and guests come back to the church building regularly, we are sure we will need to re-evaluate the situation and consider whether everyone masking might be needed to protect the children.

July 18, 2021 - Seating Options during Worship

New hybrid seating for in-person worship starting July 18

  • Fully Open Seating on the Hallway side of the sanctuary

  • Continue Distanced Seating on the stained-glass side

  • See below for more detail

Session has approved a plan that allows more flexible seating in the sanctuary for in-person worship. It has been Mifflin leadership’s goal during this historic pandemic to adjust our protocols based on CDC and local guidelines, while balancing safety of members with effective worship experiences.

The updated seating plan for the sanctuary recognizes that not everyone is at the same place in their comfort level as it relates to group settings. Therefore, in an effort to provide everybody the opportunity to worship based on each person’s preferences, the following seating options are available for members and guests on Sunday mornings.

  1. Facebook Live continues for those who are more comfortable worshiping remotely.

  2. The Fellowship Hall has a big screen TV and lots of open space for those who want to be “at” church but may need more distance. The Fellowship Hall is also a great place for families with young children who may enjoy the extra space.

  3. The sanctuary will now offer sections of “open” seating for those who are comfortable seated in a group. These sections will be the hallway side of the main floor as well as the center and hallway side of the balcony.

  4. The sanctuary will also offer sections of “distanced” seating for those who feel more comfortable in that arrangement. These sections will be the stained glass side of the main floor as well as the stained glass side of the balcony.

  5. If you would like a specific seating section but are not clear about where to go, please ask any of the ushers, session members or church staff.

  6. As usual, face masks are optional yet recommended for those who are unvaccinated or who are immunocompromised.

Session thanks you for your patience and understanding as we all work together to offer choices that address the comfort and needs of as many attendees as reasonable while we transition out of COVID protocols.

June 20, 2021 - Worship - Next Steps

We invite everyone to join us for in-person worship Sunday morning at 10:30am. No reservations are necessary. We will keep streaming the service on Facebook Live. In our effort to balance our desire to keep everyone safe and feeling comfortable at worship while moving closer to "normal," the session approved these next steps.

Beginning on June 20:

  • Masks are optional and no longer required

  • We still encourage the non-vaccinated and immunocompromised to wear a mask

  • Singing and audibly responding is allowed

  • We will keep social distance for now so that those who are still at risk can comfortably worship


May 30, 2021 - Worship Open to All - No Reservations!!

We are starting a new phase of worship as of May 30!! With the vaccine rates up and the virus rates coming down, you will no longer need to make reservations to attend worship. Masks and social distancing will still be required for the moment.


The CDC has said vaccinated people are safe without a mask. However, we have a number of unvaccinated people and immunocompromised people whom we want to keep safe and to feel welcome. As one person put it, "universal protocols for worship should be based upon recommendations for unvaccinated folks until vaccination is only a matter of choice and not availability."


With that in mind we will still ask that you refrain from talking and singing at a level that anyone else can hear you. Our new paraphrase of Psalm-100:1 - “Make a joyful whisper to the Lord!”


We will block off every other pew and now simply have a 6-foot spacer in the middle of the pew so groups can sit at either end of the pew and remain distanced.


Please know that your session is working hard to keep us moving forward in worship and ministry in a safe way. We hope this is simply one more step in the process of getting back to normal. Remember Paul's words about love in 1 Corinthians 13, "Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful." Please be patient and kind with us and each other. We will continue to seek God's guidance.

January 2021 - Resuming "in person" Worship

We are returning to limited in-person worship to accompany our ongoing Facebook Live-streamed and on demand worship services.

Franklin County has been back to level 3 (Red) for the last several weeks so we are opening up our sign-up for in-person worship.

You will find the sign-up for 17 slots on our website beginning on Friday.

As before, those who attend will be required to wear their face mask, sit in assigned seats, and refrain from audible singing or talking.

November 19, 2020 - Pause in "in person" Worship

As of November 19th Franklin County is at Level Purple for the Coronavirus: "Public emergency, severe exposure and spread, only leave home for supplies and services." Based on this information, Mifflin Presbyterian Church will pause our "in person" worship and other church gatherings until we move back to a lower level. We are blessed that many of us can still worship together online. You can join us for the live streamed service at 10:30am or watch later at your convenience from our Facebook page. This is certainly not what we wanted, but we do know that God is always with us. We seek to keep everyone safe and model responsible behavior. We will continue to be the Body of Christ for each other as we stay in touch via phone calls, cards, prayers, texts and as we serve our community in other ways. Thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding.

October 1, 2020 - First Gathering for Worship (Inside)

Sign up today to join our worship service in the sanctuary beginning October 18. Pastor David has mailed this letter to the congregation with all of the precautions and information.

June 28, 2020 - First Gathering for Worship (Outside)

The time has come for us to gather in person! Mark your calendar for Parking Lot Praise and Prayer on Sunday, June 28 at 7:00 pm. Bring your lawn chair and join with your church family for an outdoor devotional time in our church parking lot.

We will need to maintain the 3 Ws--Wear a mask properly, watch your distance, and wash your hands. Sadly at this time we will not have any group singing - but you'll get to see and be with our church family! We will have special music, a time of prayer and a devotional/Bible Study during our half hour service.

We will have designated seating areas marked off, so please let us know if you plan to attend (you don't HAVE to sign up, but it helps with our planning). Email Courtney or call her in the church office at (614) 471-4491.

June 21, 2020 - Pastor's COVID-19 Conversation with the Mason's

    • Pastor David sat down with Doctors Kevin and Janet Mason to discuss specifics regarding COVID-19 and church gatherings

    • Short Version

    • Long Version

June 3, 2020 - Pastor's Letter to the Congregation

April 29, 2020 - New Bulletin Webpage

    • A new part of MifflinPres.org has been established to allow everyone to find our worship bulletins easier. Please go to MifflinPres.org/Bulletins to view the most recent worship bulletins.

    • Continue to view our Wednesday Evening services at 7pm and Sunday mornings at 10:30am via Facebook Live.

April 26, 2020 - Sunday Bulletin and Insert

April 22, 2020 - Wednesday Evening Prayers and Worship Service Bulletin

April 17, 2020 - Sunday Bulletin

April 15, 2020 - Wednesday Services Continuing, VBS Postponed

With much prayer, thought and discussion during this challenging time of health crisis related to COVID 19, the current (and on-going) social distancing and ‘stay at home’ efforts, and the uncertainty when we can safely host a gathering for VBS, we will be postponing VBS until a later date that we determine is SAFE for our children, children of the community, their families and our community as a whole. We cannot commit to a specific date at this point because we just don’t have enough information to make that decision right now. We do plan to host a VBS when we collectively feel it is safe to do so. Please know that our number one priority however is safety. When we feel it is safe for our church and community to host a VBS event, we expect to continue planning. Please know that we have come to this decision with a heavy heart, but one of care and concern for our community at Mifflin and community at large. We look forward to celebrating VBS at a later point with involvement that is bigger and better for all!


Kevin and Kate (VBS co-directors) and the Christian Education Cornerstone

April 1, 2020 - Contact Info and Holy Week Activities

  • Are you receiving messages from the church? We are sending out a weekly email and updating Facebook as primary means of communication. Be sure to "Like" and Follow our Facebook Page and sign up for the eMiff (the weekly email).


Holy Week Activities


    • Scavenger Hunt - April 5-12 - instructions for each day as you journey through the life of Christ. It will invite you to read and discuss scripture, as well as hunt for ways to represent your reflection upon it and take a family selfie to send into the church. Each day we will post them on Facebook. View the instructions here.



    • Maundy Thursday - April 9

      • Worship Service at 7:00pm via Facebook Live

      • Opportunity to "Wash Hands" during the service. Prepare a small bowl of water and a towel to be utilized during the service at the direction of Pastor Bubb.

      • View the bulletin here



March 27, 2020 - Sunday Worship Information

March 25, 2020 - Staff Working Remotely and Sunday School Updates

    • We are no longer keeping regular office hours at the church building. Pastor David and Courtney will continue to do what they do, but will do so remotely. Please do not hesitate to reach out to them by phone or email. We will be checking the snail mail regularly also.

    • Leah Burch has provided Sunday School materials for the 3rd-5th grade class. You can download those materials here. Those students are also invited to participate with the weekly craft Zoom call at 9:30am on Sunday mornings. Check the Church Calendar for the link.

March 20, 2020 - Sunday Worship Information

March 19, 2020 - Utilizing Zoom Meetings

About Zoom Gatherings

We will be using the online platform Zoom to gather. Zoom gatherings are fairly easy to navigate but do take some familiarity. One of the nice features about Zoom gatherings is that they can be accessed from any kind of phone, even landlines.

Connecting

To get the most out of the Zoom experience we recommend using a computer with a camera and microphone (most have them built in these days) or a smartphone.

However, if you have any difficulty with either of those methods simply call the number in the invitation. Smartphones can use the OneTouch Dialing feature and do not need the Meeting ID. Traditional phones will require punching in the Meeting ID after dialing the number.

When you first use zoom, you will be asked to download the zoom software onto your computer. While this process is automatic, you may wish to do it in advance of your first gathering simply by clicking on the link to the gathering.

Zoom also has many video tutorials that can be found here.

Tips for a Good Zoom Gathering

  1. Click the zoom link early to familiarize yourself with the controls and iron our any kinks. This link is located under the Join Zoom Meeting heading in the invitation. The host of your meeting may have set the defaults for audio to mute when you join. Your video may or may not be started automatically. You can change these settings once you've joined the meeting by hovering over the bottom left corner of your screen and adjusting the settings.

  2. If you have trouble with audio or video, you can always default to the conference call option.

  3. Take care to mute yourself when you are not speaking. This cuts down on feedback and background noise. The hosts have the power to mute and will use it from time to time when appropriate. Also, be sure to unmute yourself when you speak.

  4. Use the chat feature to ask questions. This cuts down on interruptions and helps the flow of the meeting. The chat function may also be used gather prayers, share experience, get help with trouble shooting etc…

  5. Take note of the multiple ways you can switch screen views by hovering near the upper right part of your screen. You can choose between a "brady bunch" view of many people on your screen or a "presenter" view of the active speaker filling your screen. At times, the host may share their computer screens with you. If your zoom window covers content you should be able to click and drag it out of the way.

  6. If you are alone, consider using a headset or earbuds for a better sound experience. Sometimes, the microphone on a laptop will pick up the sound coming out of the speakers and created an unpleasant echo. Using earbuds/headsets solves this problem

  7. Sit in such a way that you are not backlit. If you have a lamp or window behind you, others on the call will only see a silhouette of you.

  8. Remember that unless you turn off your video, others can always see you, even if you can’t see yourself (for example, if you are watching in presenter mode – you will only see the presenter, but others may be watching in gallery mode (aka Brady Bunch mode) and will be able to see all participants). Don’t do anything you wouldn’t do in public!

March 18, 2020 - Bulletin for March 18 Prayer Service

Join us on Facebook at 7:00 pm for Evening Prayers.

March 17, 2020 - Updated letter from Pastor David

  • Courtney and David will have normal office hours so you will be able to reach them and the rest of the other staff.

  • If you need help with groceries, medicines, or transportation please call the church office (61- 471-4491).

  • We will keep you informed about ways that we can stay connected via eMiff, MifflinPres.org and Facebook.

  • You can check GRIN4Gahanna.org to find ways to help through GRIN.

  • We are allowing the Red Cross to use our church for a Blood Drive on March 25 from 10am-4pm as blood supplies are low. You may sign up by going to redcrossblood.org.

  • Consider giving a call to your neighbors who may be alone or sending a card to some of our homebound members who are completely shut off from people. If you would like to know someone whom you can connect with, contact Kathi Bubb. We will let you know of other ways you can be of help.

March 16, 2020 - Guidance on how to view online worship

Worship will be available to view weekly at 10:30am Sunday mornings. The stream will be shown through Facebook Live. Follow these guides to view the stream.

  • With the Internet Browser of your choice, enter the address - https://www.facebook.com/MifflinPres/videos

  • On Sunday morning at 10:30am, a Live Video will appear on that page and be viewable

  • If you have any issues finding the Live Feed, email Tim Cremean and he will share it with you directly

  • After the service, the video will archive at the address above and can be viewed anytime

March 15, 2020 - Suspending all normal group activities

Decision made to suspend all normal group activities through April 5, live stream Sunday worship at 10:30 am, and have staff remain available during regular hours.

March 13, 2020 - Letter regarding Worship Service

Letter distributed to congregation regarding March 15 Worship Service