Oak City Church COVID-19 Update

After talking it over as a leadership team, and consulting with other church leaders in Raleigh and around the country, we have decided to postpone live services at the Oak City Church building until further notice. We will, however, be livestreaming a sermon each week. There is more information below.

We are not doing this out of fear, but out of prudence. Our country is facing a public health crisis the likes of which we have not seen before. Our public leaders and healthcare professionals have decided that ‘social distancing’ is the right way to contain the coronavirus, and we are submitting to them. The governor has specifically asked that people not gather in groups of more than 100. I also happen to agree with their decision. If you’ve seen any of the ‘flatten the curve’ graphs (if not, just google them), you’ve seen how isolation slows an epidemic and keeps it manageable for the public health system. It is not hard to imagine how quickly our hospitals could fill up given the lack of a vaccine, and all of the uncertainty about how the virus works.

I think this provides many opportunities for us as a church.

We are going to provide resources so you can worship at home:

  • I will livestream the sermon via a link on the homepage (details forthcoming, we are assessing which platform will work best). We expect you to tune in to this! It will likely be a period of weeks before we have live services. This will be our ‘gathering together to encourage one another’ and you shouldn’t miss it.
  • We are working on providing links to worship songs, likely via YouTube, that go with the message. I challenge you to gather as a family to worship. I imagine that will be uncomfortable, but beautiful.
  • We will also be passing along the children’s ministry curriculum for you to cover with your kids. This all will be a bit like ‘house church’ for a few weeks.
  • We encourage you to invite anyone who is single or lives alone to join your family in worship on Sunday mornings.

As for other Oak City Church activities:

  • We are going to recommend that you continue meeting with your homegroup. It is a much more controlled environment and well below the threshold of 100 people. Be diligent. If you or a family member have been exposed to the virus, or don’t feel well, don’t go.
  • We will not be having the Spring Cleaning Day this Saturday, March 14. We may reschedule that for a future date, or work on the individual projects in smaller groups.
  • The Student Ministry will be postponing activities while Sunday services are not being held.
  • The IF:Gathering scheduled for March 27 & 28 has been postponed. We are looking to reschedule this for a future date in the Spring.

God is in control of this. As I said, we are not responding out of fear, but prudence given the situation. I can already imagine some ways God is going to work:

  • The absence of activity may create a kind of ‘forced Sabbath’ for people that causes us to question what really matters in our lives.
  • The presence of anxiety may drive people to look to God for answers.
  • There will certainly be needs that arise in the midst of this that we as a church will have the opportunity to meet. I imagine meeting those needs will come at a cost, but will create an opportunity for God to be glorified.

Be looking for these opportunities and more. Be looking for chances to engage people in more than just ‘coronavirus conversations’, but in ‘gospel conversations.’ Pray that God’s hand would be seen in the midst of the chaos we are experiencing.

Stay safe. Be of good courage. Let us know if you need anything. And pray, a lot!

Jeff