HBC Weekly Update
A Word from Marty (March 25, 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 Word from Our Pastors & Elders (March 18, 2020)
Dear HBC Family:
We had a wonderful time of worship on campus this past Sunday in music, the Word, and communion and are grateful that we were able to worship our great God in spirit and in truth on campus. The church staff and elders have been communicating together to evaluate, discuss, and pray about the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak and our church’s appropriate response for moving forward. Our goal is to communicate as quickly as possible about the decisions we will be making in light of the rapid changes taking place on a daily basis.
We are carefully monitoring information on both the local and national level as we know you are. We realize that you are receiving reports concerning specific health guidelines and we encourage you to make the proper decisions and do everything necessary to ensure your health and that of your loved ones. Several things will guide us as we make future decisions for our weekly services. First, we will seek to make the health and well-being of our church members a top priority. Second, we will encourage every church member to take every appropriate opportunity to use this time wisely to share God’s Word and minister the gospel of hope to those around us. Third, we will humbly seek to obey God’s command to not willfully neglect the assembling of ourselves together for worship as we are able. And fourth, we will respect, graciously submit to, and quickly act on the general health guidelines handed down to us from our governing authorities during this crisis and notify you of our decisions in a timely manner.
In light of the most recent guidelines from our governing authorities we will suspend all campus activities for the week beginning this coming Sunday, March 22nd. And remember, all Wednesday activities tonight (3/18) are also cancelled. We will be closely monitoring the situation on a weekly basis and let you know when we will be meeting on campus again.
It is sad that we will not be meeting together this coming Sunday, but the good news is that we will be doing live-streaming of the 10:30am service. Jonathan will be leading the music portion of worship from the piano and I will be preaching (to an empty auditorium but to you at home) the last message in the Foundations series from the Apostles’ Creed entitled “Amen!” I am excited as I prepare and am praying that the message will be an encouragement to you. You can be part of this worship experience by going on our Facebook page Sunday mornings at 10:30. Our complete library of past sermons is available on our website.
Of course, we know that being part of worship via live-stream cannot match the rich “communion of the saints” experience that we have when we meet together and that it should never be seen as an ongoing substitute for the real thing. But in unusual circumstances such as these, it will be a good way to be connected as you know that you are joining in from a distance with others in our church family.
We also want to encourage you with several additional ways you can “redeem the time” in this season of uncertainty and make good use of it for God’s glory and for your own good (and the good of those around you.)
You will want to check out http://www.myfamilyseason.com/faith-path/(password: myhome2020). If you click on the tab marked “Family Time” you will find some rich resources for your family. (The other links have great resources as well!) This time with your children being “stuck at home” and not having their normal competing activities could be one of the greatest of God’s providences to you and your family to enable you to build memories and to drive spiritual truth into their lives. Also, check out our website, heritageokc.org news+events page for insightful articles written by our staff and others as an encouragement during this time.
We also know that you desire to be good stewards of the resources God has given to you. We believe that giving is part of worship. So, what can you do about giving your offerings when we are not meeting on the church campus? For those of you who still write checks you may mail them to the church at 14317 N. Council Rd., Oklahoma City, OK 73142. Many of you are already set up to give regularly on-line, so you won’t have to do a thing to be faithful in your giving. If you would like to know more about how to get set up for our secure on-line giving, click on https://hbcokcok.infellowship.com/UserLogin/Index?ReturnUrl=%2fOnlineGiving or call Shawn McGill at 405-720-1449 ext. 109.
Again, please pray that we would all be good stewards of this situation that God has providentially given to us. Pray for God to be merciful and end this pandemic. Pray for the health, safety, and financial well-being of our people and pray for the health and safety of our wonderful health care workers and first responders who are on the front lines for us. Pray for our missionaries throughout the world who are dealing with this and with other incredible challenges.
Please do not hesitate to contact the church office or any of our staff, elders or deacons if you need clarification or if you need help in any way. We have already had church members step forward to say they are available to help with needs in the church, so please contact us if we can help in any way.
We love you all dearly and are excited to hear your testimonies of spiritual victories won during this time of adversity.
Marty Brown, for the Pastors, Staff, Elders and Deacons