Summit County church spreading messages of hope, prayer across the country during pandemic

Posted at 5:00 AM, Mar 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 19:07:58-04

TALLMADGE, Ohio — In times like these, we all need something to smile about, something to remind us that this is temporary and things will eventually be okay.

It’s why a church in Summit County is spreading that message of hope — one home at a time, one city at a time.

The idea came from Pastor Ken Bulgrin of the First Apostolic Church of Tallmadge.

“Originally it was basically sit down with your family because you’re going to be spending a lot of family time,” Pastor Bulgrin said.

A simple idea that is visible on many streets in the city now: Gather as a family and open the Bible. Pick your favorite scripture, write it down, and post it on your window. As colorful and as creative as you want. As big as you can get it.

“During this time of uncertainty and unsettling times in our world today, there is hope,” said church member Michelle Rentsch. “And we just decided to stand on the word of God because we know it is reliable.”

For Josh and Erin Smith, the giant sign in their front yard, created as a family with their young children, was “a way to encourage everybody to just to remind them, God’s got this and we’re not alone.”

“The biggest thing with posting this in the front window of our home — it’s really just for others driving by or walking by, maybe it’s the only positive thing they’ve seen today,” Rentsch added.

And it’s a message that’s spreading nationwide.

A map created by the church shows where #HOPEisContagious has caught on — Florida, California, Alaska and more.

“Keep praying, and stay positive and God’s gonna see us through this," Rentsch said.