A Word from Jim (April 1, 2020)
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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.
A Christian Response to Coronavirus
Read this ARTICLE by Pastor Rocky Hails.
A Word from Our Pastors & Elders (April 2, 2020)
Dear HBC Family:
I wish I could see you and speak with you face-to-face, but for now communication through media will have to suffice. It is a blessing that God has providentially raised up these platforms and the people who know how to use them to serve us for “such a time as this.” Speaking of that, be sure to go to our website today and click on the “watch here” tab to access the latest video update from Pastor Jim Jackson. Our YouTube channel is our main platform for viewing sermons and video messages from the staff.
For the time being, the pastors and elders have determined that the “Safer at Home” initiative will guide our decisions about not meeting as a large group and when to come back together as a church family. We do not know how long it will be. Does that mean we are driven by fear? No. Our leaders feel that we are honoring the Lord by being prudent. The virus is highly contagious and can be deadly when contracted, so it is out of love for our brothers and sisters and out of respect for our governing authorities that we are complying with the order. We will do our part to help mitigate and end the virus threat and then come back together as soon as possible.
That means that we will continue to use video technology, communication apps, and other forms of social media to help keep our body connected while at a distance. Some of this has been initiated by our church staff, ABF, and small group leaders, and some has been initiated by members of our congregation. Many of you have already been in communication with your ministry leaders, and if you have not, please feel free to contact them. I am reminded that the body of Christ is the body which is in communion, whether assembled together in the same location or scattered in the world.
There will come a time that we are all back together physically. I have been asked if I am concerned that our people might get used to watching our services on-line and will prefer that over coming together corporately. The true Christian will never prefer or even be satisfied with just watching a service on-line. For now, we are reduced to that by necessity. The true believer will yearn for in-person fellowship with other believers and for corporate worship. On another note, our financial giving has remained strong in spite of conventional thought that when believers can’t come together they won’t give. I am so encouraged, not just by your giving of money, but even more by your heart of spiritual maturity and faithfulness as you worship through giving.
Remember, none of this caught God off-guard. He is not in panic mode. He is ruling and reigning in all of this. We know that He is God and that He is good and that He has a plan and purpose in all of this: for you individually, for your family, for our church and for our world. If you have not had a chance to hear to my message from March 22nd, I encourage you to listen to what is, I believe, a healthy Biblically-based view on what is happening.
This coming Sunday is Palm Sunday and we will be taking a look at Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and the peoples’ responses to “the day of their visitation.”
We will observe Good Friday with a service on Friday, April 10th, at 7:00pm (I will have more to share about participating in communion from a distance) and then celebrate our risen Lord on Resurrection Sunday, April 12th at 10:30am. Again, you may participate in all services while you are at home on our church’s YouTube channel.
God bless you as continue to follow Him!
Marty Brown for the Pastors and Elders