03-26-2020 Hartford School Board meets prior to governor’s deadline; Watervliet Free Methodist Churc

FEEDING THE PEOPLE… Living Water Food Pantry volunteer Irene Bush of Hartford looks over the table of food available for anyone in need to pick up for their household. The food pantry is located at Watervliet Free Methodist Church, 7734 Paw Paw Ave. and is open on Mondays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Hartford School Board meets prior to governor’s deadline

By Jon Bisnett Acting Monday, March 23 just under the wire of the latest order from the office of Governor Gretchen Whitmer, the Hartford School Board conducted a brief business session to accept bids and pay bills. Middle School Tour Earlier in the month, the board visited the Middle School for a personal tour conducted by Principal Ken Mohney to see recently installed upgrades of lockers and carpet along with presentations of Whole Child Education and Multi-Tiered Support Systems operating in the Middle School campus. Policy Board Policy updates were first on the agenda at the February Retreat for discussion and now were given their first official reading. Updates include a litany of legal mandates along with recommended updates in the areas of social media, wellness and student cell phone use. Finance Normal monthly bills were presented and approved. Business Manager Rebecca Drake noted: Payment for new baseball scoreboard, first installment to KingScott for architectural fees for Middle School/Auditorium Bathroom project, payment for overhead doors at Central Office storage garage, payment for Food Service equipment that was funded by a grant. Personnel Veteran Physical Education teacher Robyn Larsen will retire from the District effective the end of this school year, following 39 years of service. Redwood Elementary Building Secretary Teresa Babb rescinded her retirement notice to a later date, opting to continue to support the District for the time being through this difficult circumstance. Business The board approved the low bid of $57,775 from Brainard Enterprises, Inc. for the High School Locker Replacement project. All student lockers in the High School will be replaced this summer. Migala Inc. had the low bid of $85,095 for Carpet Replacement at Redwood Elementary. The project will replace all of the carpet in the old Woodside classrooms (15) that was not done due to financial constraints during the bond construction. Superintendent Report Superintendent Andy Hubbard began by making it totally clear that all Hartford Public School employees are continuing to be paid their normal paychecks during this 4-week mandated closure, which includes both salaried and hourly employees. The District is implementing additional changes to conform to the Governor’s new executive order. From Lansing – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office issued the following statement on March 23, 2020 from Press Secretary Tiffany Brown on the governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order: “Gov. Whitmer is committed to ensuring that Michigan students have access to the food they need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the governor’s executive order, K-12 school food services are considered critical infrastructure and should continue. The governor deeply appreciates the vital work that our frontline school employees are doing every day to ensure that our kids have the food they need while the order is in effect.” Hartford Public Schools has identified critical infrastructure workers that meet the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order criteria. Work hours will range from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Watervliet Free Methodist Church adapts services to combat coronavirus

Sunday Morning Worship Watervliet Free Methodist Church (WFMC) has started live video streaming of Sunday Morning Worship on Facebook with only the worship team, sound and camera person and Pastor Brian Hall in response to the state’s order to “Stay Home, Stay Safe”. They are still learning how to perfect the process, getting good internet in the sanctuary, a tripod to hold the phone/camera and making sure the sound was good. On Sunday, March 22 there were no people in church but someone printed pictures from the church directory and taped “faces” of the congregation to the pews where they normally sit. It was a great way for Pastor Brian to walk through the sanctuary and pray for each person before going live. Pastor Brian said, “This is a great time to remind people that the building is not the church… the people are the Church… we are the Body of Christ… we are HIS hands and feet, HIS love and encouragement to a hurting and confused world. And not just the pastor, but everyone calling and encouraging each other. It’s easy to call someone today and ask them about the sermon, share a Bible verse with them, share what you read in your devotions. You see that’s the Church… feeding from the LORD’S table then helping others get some too!” Drive-in Prayer WFMC is hosting “Drive-In-Prayer” Sunday afternoons from 4:00-5:00 p.m. People can drive into the parking lot, stay in their car but open the window and share a prayer request or praise. About six people will be waiting to pray or celebrate with them. Other churches are offering Drive-in Prayer too. It is yet to be determined if WFMC will be able to keep offering this with the Governor’s Executive Order 2020-21. Wednesday Night Activities The church is working to live video stream or possibly use Zoom for interactive adult Bible Study during this time. Their focus for March has been Prayer and Meditation with a hand-out for guidance with a scripture reading assigned for the study. Pastor Brian will send the handout via email or Facebook. Anyone interested can text 269-208-3845 or email pastorbrianhall@gmail.com for a copy. Kids Club & Youth Group Kid’s Club Director, Miss Cindy is mailing a package to all kids that attend the Wednesday evening program with Bible verses, coloring pages, crosswords, and many other work sheets for them to do at home. The youth group kids and parents were sent an awesome video on God’s Peace for them to watch, along with some Youth Devotions. Financial Support Like everyone’s households, expenses at the church continue. WFMC has expressed that members can mail a check, set up on-line giving with weekly, bi-weekly or monthly donation through their bank or go to www.wfmchurch.org, click the donate tab at the top of the page and give through PayPal. Any method members choose, they can specify their generous giving as “Tithe” or “Building Fund”. Family Devotio