From Pastor Marty – November 24
With the increase in COVID-19 infections in our church family, we have all had to necessarily adjust things not only in our personal and family lives during this season, but also take a hard look at our corporate church gatherings for the remainder of 2020. Our personal journeys with this have been varied. I tested positive for the virus two weeks ago today and spent the first week with a fever that had me down for the count. This past week has been a slow improvement with fatigue and lung irritation. I am hoping to have my voice back enough to be preaching this coming Sunday.
While my personal situation has not been as serious as others’, I was reminded again of eternal issues… for all of us. In this Sunday’s message from I Thessalonians 5:9-11, I will point to our gospel hope as stated in The Heidelberg Catechism: “What is your only comfort in life and in death?” “That I, with body and soul, both in life and in death, am not my own, but belong to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ, who with His precious blood has fully satisfied for all my sins, and redeemed me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my Father in heaven not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, that all things must work together for my salvation. Wherefore, by His Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live unto Him.”
Please be in prayer for others who are experiencing various symptoms from very mild to more challenging. Pray for families that are making difficult holiday decisions. And pray that our hearts would be drawn to “encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” ( 1 Thessalonians 5:11)
Our hard-working church staff met yesterday to hammer out some key structural decisions in light of moving forward and at the same time to mitigate the effects of the virus for our own congregation for the remainder of 2020. Please carefully note these changes and determine what you can and need to do to be part of the church gatherings.
- We intend to meet each week at 10:30am for the main Worship Service. You can join us in the Worship Center, overflow room or online.
- Childcare will not be available this Sunday, Nov 29th during the Worship Service. Childcare will be available by reservation only beginning Dec 6th.
- We will not have on-site ABF, Youth or Children’s on Sunday mornings for the rest of the calendar year (i.e Nov 29-Dec 27). Some classes may decide to zoom or plan a small get together sometime during December. Check with your classes for details. For information about reserving a space at the church please contact email@example.com.
- The Life Adult Christmas Luncheon that was scheduled for Dec 6th has been cancelled.
- We will have our monthly Prayer Meeting on Sunday, Dec 6th from 5:00-6:00pm in the Chapel.
- We intend to have our special Christmas service, led by the choir and orchestra, on Dec 13th at 10:30am. We will not have the Christmas Brunch.
- Regarding Wednesday night activities (4Men, Women’s Bible Study, Youth, Bridge, Choir/Orchestra), each ministry leader will be communicating their particular plan to their group.
Pastor Marty Brown
Sunday 10:30am Worship Service Options
- WORSHIP CENTER: Every other row of pews will be set up for seating. Please help us by maintaining social distancing or by wearing a face mask. Masks are optional in the Worship Center.
- CHAPEL: The service will be live-streamed in the Chapel each week. This is a great option for those who prefer a smaller gathering with even more room for social distancing. Masks are optional in the Chapel.
- ROOM 106: The service will be live-streamed in Room 106 and this option is for those who prefer to be in smaller gathering in which masks are required by all who attend.
- HOME: We will, of course, continue to live-stream this service at heritageokc.org for those who choose to worship with us from their homes.
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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.