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 4 HIGHLIGHTS

  • Masks are optional for all attendees.
  • Oakland strongly recommends you follow CDC Guidelines concerning masks.
  • WORSHIP SERVICES – An in-person worship gathering each Sunday morning at 10:30 AM in the SANCTUARY. Services are also streamed online at FACEBOOK (fb.com/opchurch) and oaklandpresbyterianchurch.org.
  • Nursery Care is available for infants through 2y/o
  • Children’s Church is available for children 2y/o through 1st grade.
  • Overflow seating available in the Fellowship Hall.
  • SUNDAY SCHOOL – There are currently 3 adult Sunday School Classes and one children’s class meeting in person at 9:30AM on site.

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

March 29, 2021 Update to this Plan:

Dear Oakland Family,

We pray that the trials of the last year have been revealing more of God’s grace to you than ever before. As a church, God has used this terrible pandemic to remind us of so many truths: the church is not a building, our homes are our first mission field, and our ministry must reach people where they are instead of waiting for people to come to our building. We plan to incorporate those lessons into everything we do even after the pandemic eases.

With increasing vaccination rates and updated CDC recommendations, we are excited to announce the further easing of COVID Precautions at Oakland Presbyterian Church.  Beginning immediately, Oakland will move to Regathering Phase 3.0, which means the following:

  • Masks and social distancing are still required.
  • 100 people allowed in the Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall.
  • Classroom capacity is increased to 15.
  • Nursery Operation will resume as soon as we can train, background check, and schedule volunteers to staff the Nursery and Children’s Church (approx. May 1).
  • Communion will be served with precautions on the first Sunday of the Month.
  • Ministry Teams may meet online or in-person at their discretion.
  • Worship services will still be livestreamed on Facebook, YouTube, and our website.

“We know in all things God works together for the good of those who love God and who have been called according to his purpose.” We eagerly await the stories of how God has worked good in your life during COVID, and we can’t wait to see how he uses this next season with fewer precautions and more in-person interaction.

Stay safe and trust God.

Peace be with you,

Andrew Ruth

Pastor, Oakland Presbyterian Church

August 23 Update to this Plan:

August 23, 2020

Dear Oakland Family,

            With joy, Oakland will move our socially distanced worship service back into our sanctuary beginning August 30, 2020 at 10:30AM. For those wishing to join online, the services will continue to be streamed online at oaklandpresbyterianchurch.org and fb.com/opchurch. In the Sanctuary, available seating will be clearly marked, and ushers will be on hand to seat families 6 feet apart. Overflow seating will be available in the Fellowship Hall. Masks are strongly encouraged. Hymnals will be used. Tithes and offerings can be dropped in the plate or mailed to the church Office.

Children’s Church will be available for children 2yrs-1st grade, during which single served snacks will be provided. Families with young children are welcome to use our Crying Room or Fellowship Hall as they care for children under 2 years old while still viewing the service. For those present, hearing assistance devices will be available.

            The Fellowship Connection will resume serving lemonade beginning September 13, 2020 in the Fellowship Hall after service. It will be prepared and served with all possible precautions. Participate as you are comfortable. 

Sunday School will continue online at 9:00AM and in person in the Fellowship Hall at 9:30AM.

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