Category: OVCF News

Covid Letter 12-24-2020

Dear OVCF Church family,


Trust me when I say this is not the kind of note I wanted to be sending you at Christmas time. But after talking it over with the elders it is necessary to send it.


This past Monday I was tested for Covid-19, as was Jo and Tami. Yesterday, Wednesday, we heard that all three of us tested positive. So, as of Monday, we have been in quarantine at home. We are all doing well at this point. Tami’s symptoms have been relatively minor-a cough which went away even before her test. Jo has had sinus issues and seriously thought hers was just a sinus infection. I have been the most symptomatic of us. I had some body aches I attributed to having been overheated in a building then being outside with just a suit jacket. I also noticed I was a bit more tired than usual, but I think the worst has been losing my sense of taste and smell. Not being able to smell a skunk does not bother me! 🙂 But take away my taste of all the goodies so many have brought to us for Christmas and that spells tragedy. All in all though I/we are doing okay. One person made Jo’s day yesterday by surprising her with a Diet Coke and a double cheeseburger plain. 🙂


In all seriousness, I have tried to contact anyone I may have possibly exposed previous to my test. As for the previous Sunday, I wore a mask except when I preached. Fortunately, with the threat of Covid all around us, my contact was very limited leading up to the test.


Because I tested positive that means others have to consider quarantining as well to make sure they show no symptoms. Thus, the need to be virtual this Sunday. Because Ryan, Jo & I are able to do a virtual, and all three of us are quarantining at home, we chose to be here Sunday. There will be no one else here at the building; we will all wear masks, except when I am preaching; and will wipe everything down when done.  Lord willing, we will be able to be back to our two service, in-person worship on January 3rd. My thanks to David Robertson and Jeff Carlson for taking care of the Christmas Eve service.


This certainly is not the way I wanted 2020 to end but it is what it is. We would appreciate your prayers for our health and recovery, as well as those who have it or may get it.


Pastor Bill

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Christmas Food Care Package

Thank you to everyone who donated food or funds for our Christmas food care packages!

We assembled more than 50 bags that were given to 16 families in our community!

We were also able to give families a Babb’s Supermarket gift card for groceries!  You all are amazing!





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Women’s Prayer Group

All OVCF women are invited to the women’s prayer group, Mondays at 6:45 PM in the children’s addition.  Zoom will be offered for those who cannot attend in person.

The group will not meet the first Monday of each month, due to the OVCF leader’s monthly meeting.

Please contact Adienne Robertson about participating ( (for zoom) Questions: 413-217-6125)


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Midweek Message 12/30/2020


Good morning and welcome to Midweek Message #39!  I appreciate you taking some time out of your busy day to spend a little bit of time with me. Of course, that is if you read this. If not then I guess you are missing out on one of the best part of your day…despite what Folgers says. Anyway, I am glad you are here.

First up is a reminder about our food bags. Food is coming in but names are not. To date we have received one name. In the past this has not been a problem because we offered bags to those who came in for breakfast or when we delivered food to them. But, as you know, that breakfast has gone the way of just about everything else due to ‘rona so we are short on names. So please…if you know of anyone who needs some food please let Jo know or call the church office (812.828.9840).  The information will be recorded and passed along.

Second, this a friendly reminder about the Christmas Eve service at 6:00.  It will include some singing of carols, communion and a short meditation. My reason for having one is simple: we all need a time to relax and get away and enjoy the season. We are even going to laugh a bit during the evening. It might last 45 minutes but I can promise it will be worth it.

Third, even though this may be a weird season to say we are going to celebrate Christmas, the real meaning and joy of the season is not confined by walls, doors or a virus. The last I heard the size of a person’s heart cannot be determined by outside influences.  May I suggest you get creative in your way of showing you care? Pick up your phone and text or call, or horror of horrors, send a card with a hand-written note in the mail. Of course if you do the latter you may have to have the emergency squad standing by. It might be such a shock to someone’s system to actually receive something the old-fashioned way. Here’s another suggestion: how about finding some children and send them a card and include a small gift card of $5 or so for some place to eat? I have yet to meet a child who didn’t like to receive mail and none…zero…NONE…who didn’t like a gift card to eat somewhere.  And DO. IT. LOCALLY! You are making both a child happy (and their parents), but also helping the local businesses. You will be glad you did and it will make your heart so warm you won’t need hot chocolate.

Fourth, for several Midweek Messages I thanked people for their contribution to the ministry of OVCF on Sunday morning. The teachers and helpers in the youth department. The teenagers who help lead the worship in the youth department. The two ladies who help at the check-in desk. Those who are involved in the live stream and some “techie” stuff on Sunday. We have several who each week make sure the soundboard is manned (or is that also womanned?) Thank you, Macy and Emily for joining the soundboard team! I think all these folks deserve a round of applause. Thanks to all of you for a job well-done, even when you try to silence me.

I’m not too sure about writing a MM next week. You all have enough to do during the Christmas week without me clamoring for your time. So please allow me to share some thoughts with you that I recently read. They are from a Christmas devotional called Come Let Us Adore Him by Paul David Tripp (a highly recommended one by the way). I am on my 6th time through in the last 4 years. While writing about Isaiah 9:6-7 he gave the following ideas on what every sinner desperately needs:

  1. The government would rest on the shoulders of Jesus. Everyone one of us needs freed from the bondage of self-rule. He is the bondage-breaker.
  2. Jesus would be a Wonderful Counselor to us. Sin makes us all fools. Jesus came to rescue us from ourselves.
  3. Jesus would unleash mighty power on our behalf. His power enables us to defeat our enemy. We have an Almighty God on our side!
  4. Jesus would lavish on us His fathering care. He is one Father who will not let us down, speak harshly to us, do things that would harm us, or turn his back on us.
  5. Jesus’s reign would be righteous in every way. Not righteous as in the slang of today. Gone is corruption, selfishness, and injustice.
  6. Jesus’s rule would never, ever end. His is a kingdom without end.
  7. God will make sure that what He promised would happen. Unlike so many today who don’t keep their word, God is the opposite.


What better news is that? I’d suggest putting that in some stockings and give it as a gift to yourself and to others. Have a great rest of the week and an even better Christmas week. I love you all. I am “proofing” this on Wednesday before Diana sends it. Would someone please tell me what that white stuff is that blanketed my car?


Pastor Bill

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Christmas Eve Service

Christmas Eve service

Thursday, Dec. 24 at 6 PM

We will have a time of worship, communion and a devotion.

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Masked Service

Sunday, January 3 we will offer a masked service at 1:30 PM.

If you’d like to attend this service, wearing a mask is required.

This service will be offered on the first Sunday of each month.

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Midweek Message 12/08/2020


Good morning and welcome to week #38 of the Midweek Message. I hope this finds you and those you love doing well. If my calculations are correct (it is math after all and I don’t do math well) when you get this there will be 16 days until Christmas. I’m going to get out my crystal ball and predict that Christmas will be different for most, if not all, of us this year. I mean, let’s face it. It is 2020 after all so what can we expect? I know ours will be different for sure. No trip to Ohio for us or for Janna and Braden to come here. Either Tami will have to quarantine or Janna will for her work. So I guess we go to the UPS store to have everything packed and shipped. Then let’s hope Skype or Zoom works. I have already heard of family gatherings that have been canceled. But church life continues and I have several items of interest for you.

First, this coming weekend we have been challenged by Steve and Erin Pendleton to sign up for a 24 hour prayer vigil, particularly focusing on our country. Several signed up Sunday on the physical copy. Monday Diana sent you the link to the Google Docs so you can sign up online. Steve and Erin’s desire is for us to blanket that 24 hour time period with prayer. They are asking you to sign up for a 15 minute time slot, and you can choose as many as you want. Their desire is we take that time for personal confession and repentance, and to also pray for our country and leaders and against the evil forces of the enemy. The dates are December 12-13 from 8:00 a.m. Saturday to 8:00 a.m. Sunday.

Second, because we have had to change our normal fare of fixing breakfast on Christmas morning for the community, we switched gears just a bit. We still have people in the community who are in need of food so we have decided to make bags of food available to anyone you may know. Rather than take a chance that we would have random food brought in, we have compiled a list of food items we would like to have. That list is available here at the building or you can call the church office (812.828.9840) for the list. We would like to have the food here by the 20th; assemble the bags on the 21st; and have curbside pick-up from 10-2:00 on the 22nd. As I mentioned in the last MM, we will not be announcing this to the community but we do want you to help us get the word out by giving us names of folks/families you know who may need some help this Christmas.  One of the important lessons Jesus taught was “when I was hungry you fed me.” We feel that is something we can help with this Christmas. So if you know of anyone who needs help, please give us their information (we have forms to fill out), or have them call the church office giving your name as a reference. If they are unable to pick up the food, we would ask that you deliver it if you gave us their name. If that is impossible please let me know and I will make arrangements to have it delivered. If you have any questions, please feel free to call Jo at 812.821.1897 or the church office (number previously given).  With Covid playing havoc with jobs, school and schedules, I’m sure we all know someone who could use some help.

Third, the magic number is 16!!!  That is the magic number for those who came to our first masked service this past Sunday.  There have been a number of folks who have been tuning in online to watch the live stream but have occasionally mentioned how much they miss “church.” But they feel very strongly about masks being worn and so they have chosen to not come. After talking with some of them, they were excited to consider a masked service separate from our two on Sunday morning. This past Sunday afternoon we had 16 at a 2:00 masked service. Afterwards we had a Q & A time and it was decided to have a masked service the first Sunday of every month at 1:30. Announcements. Prayer time. Communion. Sermon.  The plan is to keep it within an hour. You are more than welcome to come. Just know a mask is required. And pass the word around to others you know who would love to go to church but can’t. I promise no sheep-stealing or recruiting.

I see my space is running short so let me give you some brief information on a couple of items. I can give more detail in the next MM.

  • We are going to offer a short Christmas Eve service at 6:00. With the upset of our normal Christmas routine, I thought it would be good to offer a respite. Music. Communion. Short devotion. It should all happen in the space of about 45 minutes. Love to have you.
  • The elders of OVCF really do care about each of you. Over the next several months you will be the focus of prayer by each one of them. The directory has been divided evenly (fun fact: 9.6 families. Who is the .6?) During the month of December they will be praying for “their list” and then in January the lists will be swapped. Not only will you be prayed for specifically, you may also expect some form of correspondence (email, card, text) from them. I’m honored to work alongside men who care about more than just making decisions.


Well, my space has run short. Know you are loved.

Pastor Bill

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New Beginnings Open House

Preparations are being made to show you all around our beautiful facility! Please be assured that we are planning a safe event! Attenders will enter the Jefferson Street door, at the side of our building, and take a 1 way tour through our building that will exit the back door. Along the tour, there will be opportunities to shop our bake sale and stop at the silent auction room to bid on over 20 baskets and items that have been beautifully prepared for our fundraising event. You will receive a pen at the beginning of your tour, that you will use for the duration of yourtime with us, that you may keep and a parting thank you treat! It is our goal to allow only 3 people or groups attending together in to the building at a time in order to help promote social distancing.We look forward to seeing you there!

New Beginnings Pregnancy Resource Center




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Midweek Message 12/02/2020

Midweek message #37

Good morning and welcome to Midweek Message #37.  I find it hard to believe that I am still writing this MM. I started it in order to just keep in touch with you shortly after ‘rona hit and I saw that it was having a greater impact on you and me than I originally thought it would. And I don’t think anyone…ANYONE…ever thought it would still be playing havoc with our lives almost 10 months later. But here we are. Life has changed dramatically in so many ways and I believe I can honestly say it will never be the same. But I’m glad I serve a God who never changes. Who never moves. Who never cracks. Who never panics. Who never bites His fingernails and wonders what He is going to do next. Psalm 27:1 is still true: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

It will be December 2 when you get this and the Christmas season will be into full swing. No doubt some things will change (we anticipate spending Christmas here this year, for example). Our annual Thanksgiving meal was cancelled (wisely) but an ongoing result of the virus is the change to our Christmas plans. We didn’t do the Giving Tree, opting instead to give a monetary donation to Tri Kappa to help them purchase gifts for children in our community. (We received a really nice note of thanks from them). Every year we also offer a Christmas breakfast at the Lion’s Club. This year that has also changed. There will be NO Christmas breakfast this year. However, we can’t forget about our community. So Jo & I would like your help in reaching people in our community. We all know people/families who will be in desperate need for food. We are asking you to pick up one of the lists of canned goods and non-perishables we would like to include in bags and bring that food to the church building before the 20th. We will pack them on the 21st and then distribute them on the 22nd. It will be curbside pickup only. The exception would be if the person is unable to come then the person giving their name would be responsible for delivering it. But here’s the deal: an open invitation will NOT be given to the community. I hate to say it but every Tom, Dick and Harry will be bombarding us if we do. However, if you know someone who needs help, you can give us their name or have them call the church office (812.828.9840) and have them give us your name as a reference. We will then put together a couple bags of food for them. We anticipate “rogue” phone calls for help (as well as every other food bank in the tri-county area) so unless you give us their name or they give us your name as a reference, they will not receive any food. Sadly, we have to do this because every holiday brings out those who want to “use” the system and organizations. There are forms to fill out with name, address and number of people in the family. We will do all we can to help people the best we can. But as you can see, we definitely need your help in making it happen.  And here is some further help: if you would prefer not to shop for the food, you can give money to me, Jo or the church and we will do the shopping for you! Can’t beat that can you?

On to another subject: there was some interest shown in the “masked” service idea.  I’ve contacted those who did respond. It is not too late to give your thoughts as to whether you would like to attend one. At this point, I plan to offer one this Sunday, the 6th at 2:00. That will be the initial one and then those who attend can discuss in detail the next steps. This will at least be a starter and then we can go from there.  I can tell you the service will be simple-Communion; the sermon that I preached that morning; and a discussion time following as we try to figure this out in more detail. There will obviously be no nursery or children’s program.  And keep this in mind: anyone is invited to attend! Just remember you must wear a mask.

FYI: Steve and Erin Pendleton have a burden of praying for our country, especially at this time. And I believe we would all agree it is needed. They would like to have a 24 hour prayer vigil on December 12-13 starting at 8:00 a.m. on the 12th and running through 8:00 a.m. on the 13th. You will be asked to sign up for 15 minute time slots and you can sign up for as many as you like. You may sign up as a single, a couple or with some friends.  Erin will have a hard copy for you to sign this Sunday and Diana will include a link in the bulletin she will be sending later this week. Steve and Erin will be telling us more from the pulpit during announcement time this Sunday.  Any questions you have should be answered at that time.

The Christmas season is upon us. I know for many this will not a fun time. One of the messages of Christmas is the Love, Joy and Peace available to all. Jesus came to bring and to give all of those to us. Of all people, we who are Christ-followers have the most to be excited about. We have embraced the message of those three words and we have the privilege of sharing that message with a world that so desperately needs it. That last statement-“the world so desperately needs it”- is said every year. But I think it is safe to say it most definitely is true this year. After all 2020 has brought us, Jesus brings us something much, much better. Those three words should resound inside us. Let me challenge you to find someone whom you might know needs to hear about those three words.  In the meantime, always remember you are loved.

Pastor Bill

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Christmas Food Care Package

We have been blessed to bless! We are collecting specific, non-perishable food items to give to those in need. Lists of items are available.

* Curbside pick up will be 12/22 from 10-2 at OVCF

* Requests/referrals may be called in to the church or you may fill out a form for yourself or someone in need.

* Contact: Jo Grandi (812-821-1897) or the church office

* You may leave donations on the tables we have set up in the  auditorium & at the east entrance.




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