COVID Re-Gathering

We are not re-opening, because the church was never closed. WE ARE THE CHURCH and we will continue to BE THE CHURCH as we re-gather for public worship gatherings in person and online.

PHASE 2 HIGHLIGHTS

  • WORSHIP SERVICES – An in-person worship gathering each Sunday morning at 10:30 AM in the Fellowship Hall. Services are also streamed online at FACEBOOK (fb.com/opchurch) and oaklandpresbyterianchurch.org. Households will sit 6′ apart and facemasks are encouraged.
  • SUNDAY SCHOOL – A churchwide Sunday School class will meet in the Fellowship Hall at 9:15 AM and be available online via Google Hangouts.
  • Outdoor events utilized where possible.
  • EXTERNAL ORGANIZATIONS MEETING AT OAKLAND – Meetings are limited to 50 people with extra cleaning protocols in place.

Click below for the full Regathering Plan and all details. Remember, this Regathering Plan is subject to updates as more information unfolds.

A Message Regarding this Plan:

June 1, 2020

Dear Oakland Family,

 “How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?” (1 Thess 3:9). The last few months have been complicated, confusing, and for our generation, unprecedented. Yet, so many of you have found creative ways to use everyday moments to connect every part of every life to Jesus. You organized drive-through food drives and wrote postcards. You created family worship rhythms as you worship via Facebook. You hold to the hope that “If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord” (Rom 14:8).

            We will need all that faith AND MORE over the next several months, as we slowly begin regathering. We cannot simple recover the “normal” of six months ago. Instead, we will create “new normals,” which preserve our non-negotiable values while adapting to the needs a global pandemic creates.

            After weeks of work and hours of prayer, the Session of Oakland has adopted the following Phased Re-Gathering Plan (see reverse side) to guide for our decisions at each phase. It will likely need to be updated, but each Phase of our plan corresponds to the Phase designated by the North Carolina Governor’s Office.

            As Governor Cooper has moved NC to Phase 2, Oakland will begin hosting heavily modified worship gatherings on June 7, 2020. These 10:30AM gatherings will occur in the Fellowship Hall, AND will be streamed to Facebook for those who choose to worship with us from home. In the gathering, six feet will be maintained between all households. No bulletins, hymnals, pew Bibles, or offering plates will be used, and all doors will be propped open to minimize transfer of contagion. Additionally, face masks are recommended.

            Churchwide Sunday School will begin in the Fellowship Hall at 9:30am and be streamed online beginning June 14, 2020. Look to the Weekly Announcement emails for more details to come.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, each of us must decide whether to attend in person or online, but we MUST NOT judge or slander one another for those decisions. We MUST NOT gossip about individuals’ or other congregations’ COVID Worship choices. Instead, we urge you to “be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Eph 4:2-6).

            Truthfully, we acknowledge that there are risks attached to public gatherings. Many contagious people remain asymptomatic, and indoor gatherings increase the length and concentration of exposure, more than many other activities. We take these risks seriously and so prescribe precautions in the services.

            Lastly, we pray that COVID-19 glues us to Jesus and together. While a pandemic is “unprecedented” for our generations, it is not for our Church. The Church of Jesus Christ has survived and thrived through the bubonic plague, the Spanish Flu, Cholera, Malaria, and Small Pox. They did not neglect the medical knowledge they did have, but up til 100 years ago, they worshiped without antibiotics or vaccines. May this time strength our connection to the historic church as we learn from our ancestors. May we be united with our brothers and sisters around the world right now who have little or no access to medical care or technological connections. May we turn our eyes away from our own plight and toward those around us and God over us.

            “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Eph 3:20-21). 

Yours in Christ on behalf of the Session, Pastor Andrew Ruth