UPDATE ON CONTINUING THE JOURNEY TO OPEN HBC, May 28, 2020
I am thrilled with reports of our worship services the past two Sundays. Everything seems to have gone smoothly and our people were grateful to be worshiping together (even while social distancing). The opportunity to pray, sing, read, and preach the Word of God will continue this coming Sunday in the same manner as the previous two. After Jim’s solid exhortations to the church the past two Sundays, I am excited to be back in the pulpit this coming Sunday and will be preaching our last message from the prophet Joel. We will be looking at the promised outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the fulfillment of that promise in Acts 2 on the day of Pentecost. How appropriate that we are doing this on Pentecost Sunday.
“When Pentecost, the fiftieth day after Passover, came, all the believers were together in one place. Suddenly, a sound like a violently blowing wind came from the sky and filled the whole house where they were staying. Tongues that looked like fire appeared to them. The tongues arranged themselves so that one came to rest on each believer” Acts 2:1-3.
Today I want to share with you several things about our continued progress in resuming more of our regular ministries. All of our planning is, of course, assuming appropriate outcomes and considering the guidelines for moving into Oklahoma’s Phase 3 directives when they are made known. It appears we will likely move to Phase 3 on June 1st.
- This coming Sunday, May 31st we will still be meeting as we have the past two Sundays, observing “social-distancing” in our Worship Center. The use of face-masks continues to be optional. We are configured to seat around 175, so if we fill the auditorium, then overflow seating will be available first in the chapel and then the Education Building.
- Our church facilities and offices will reopen fully on Monday, June 1st. ABF group leaders, small group leaders, and ministry leaders can consider using the building for meetings of 50 or fewer. Group leaders who are interested in this may contact Lance Pogue for information about scheduling group meetings by calling him at 405-773-3333 ext. 126 or by emailing him at email@example.com. We encourage your small groups to begin to meet together, both on-site and off-site at different times during the week.
- Sunday, June 7, we plan to provide childcare during the worship service, but we ask that you make a reservation for your child by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org so we may anticipate how many to plan for.
- We are also hopeful that on June 7 our 65+ population will feel more comfortable attending. Because we desire to be sensitive to everyone, we will be providing a specific overflow area in the Education Building for high-risk members where “social-distancing” seating will be arranged and face-masks will be required. If you would like to be a part of this overflow service you may enter the southwest doors to the Education Building.
- For Sunday, June 7 there will be no ABF or Sunday school meetings. There are so many factors involved with this and at this time it seems wise to begin to think in terms of stages of reconvening. Our hope is to have some classes meeting on Sunday mornings beginning mid-June.
We will do our best to keep you informed of any changes to our plans as more information becomes available and as we work through all the considerations of reopening. God bless you, and I look forward to sharing with you this coming Sunday morning!
P.S. At the writing of this letter, Council Road is still under construction, so please continue to plan on entering from the south.
Neighborhood VBS, June 22-25
We are so excited for the opportunity to share the Gospel in our very own neighborhoods. We want your Neighborhood VBS to fit your personality and whatever works best for you! We will provide the curriculum and materials needed, and you determine details. This can be simple and easy to put together! You can either plan the whole thing or jump in with another group and help.
Here’s different areas you can be a part:
Host Homes–provide your yard, invite children in your neighborhood
Teach a Bible Lesson
Contact us if you would like to serve or if you would like more information, email@example.com.
If you are not currently receiving church-wide emails from Heritage and would like to please let us know HERE. You can also stay informed thru our Facebook and Instagram by clicking the icon buttons on the top right of this page.
How Can We Help
Please let us know how we can serve you. Several within our church family are eager and ready to talk, pray, deliver groceries and medication, etc. Please don’t allow social distance to lead to spiritual isolation. We are called into a community, a family, a Body—may we be humble enough to ask for encouragement and support and may we be loving enough to eagerly meet the needs of those in our community. Contact us at HERE or by calling (405)720-1449.
How to Prepare for Online Worship
- Treat Sunday morning with the same priority you always do.
Let me encourage you to get up, have breakfast, silence your phone, grab your bible, notebook and pen. If possible set aside Sunday mornings at 10:30am to worship with us. If that time simply does not work, purpose to set aside another specific time.
- Engage in each part of the worship service.
Yes, even the singing. It may feel a bit odd at first, but crank up the volume and join in. Sing when we sing, pray when we pray, read when we read. Help your children to participate as well. When there is preaching, listen as attentively as you always do. Do not just watch…engage!
- Gather your family or household and worship together.
This is an incredible opportunity for the heads of households to gather the family, and lead out in worship. This is not “every man for himself.” Instead, this is a time for God-centered, Christ-exalting leadership. Lead your household well!
- Don’t expect it to be the same as being in person.
It’s not supposed to be. We are so grateful for the technology that enables us to worship together online, but it is not a replacement or substitute for gathering with God’s people in person. We are relational beings and technology can certainly help us connect in some ways, but the intimacy we are called to must go beyond that when at all possible. Let’s be grateful for online worship, but let’s long for the time when we can be together face-to-face.
- Worship through giving.
In the midst of apparent instability and uncertainty let me encourage you to continue to praise the Lord thru generous and cheerful giving with a desire to expand the kingdom and minister to others in need. Let us live as if we truly believe that we are simply stewards of all that we have received from the Lord. You can give online at heritageokc.org (“Giving”) or by mailing a check to the church office. If you need further assistance or if you are in a season of need, please let us know how we might serve you by emailing or calling (405)720-1449.