Methodist church logo shows cross and red flame

Methodist churches balance worship, wellness

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult over the past year to visit anyone’s house– including God’s. But as Easter services coincide with the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19, local United Methodist Church pastors said they have been happy with how they’ve navigated the past year. “If I had known we would be doing (this) for more than a year, I would have panicked,” said the The Rev. Linda Stephan, pastor of Williamston United Methodist Church. “Even though we can’t gather, we’ve just found all sorts of creative ways to do what we do … just do it differently than we’ve ever done it before.”

The Williamston United Methodist Church pre-records its sermons and has the videos premiere at 10 a.m., the time the sermon would normally start live. Chats with members and requests for prayers all happen through Facebook’s comment section.

Ingham County approves $2.3 million for COVID-19 programs

The Ingham County Human Services Committee amended its master agreement with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services during its March 15 meeting, authorizing a $2.3 million increase in grant funding to create new COVID-19 programs.

The authorization, along with 19 other resolutions, passed by unanimous vote and without discussion as part of a consent agenda, meaning the proposals were grouped together and voted on as if they were one item.

The new funding will go toward programs for mobile testing, immunization and preparation.

Holt High School mascot logo shows ram's head graphic

Holt schools returns to in-person class, commit to student health

Along with wearing masks, students returning to the schools March 15 will have three-sided Plexiglas barriers on desks. Students are restricted to their classrooms during the beginning and end of the school day, and they won’t have access to traditional lockers. School security will help maintain social distancing and other COVID-19 protocols. Teachers will not only be working with in-person students, but will also maintain an online presence for students still at home.

How high school bands have coped with COVID-19

High school band directors in Ingham County still have vivid memories of March 13, 2020. Many programs used the day to unwind and unpack, as students had just finished performing at a festival hosted by the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association.

Then, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer prohibited large gatherings and assemblies due to COVID-19, closing schools and marking the beginning of a pandemic that is in its 11th month and counting.

Waverly schools logo

Waverly Community Schools reapprove COVID-19 plan, return to in-person classes

The Waverly Community Schools Board of Education reapproved its plan to send students back to in-person classes starting in March during its meeting Feb. 8.

According to the school’s plan, students in grades K-4 will return to in-person classes on March 1, while grades 5-12 will return to in-person classes on April 12. Students at all grade levels have the option to remain in remote, online classes for the rest of the semester.