Out of an abundance of caution regarding the rapid spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), and the awareness of the average age and risk of our particular community, the OPCC Board and leadership has made the decision in a meeting last night, to suspend in-person church activities, including worship, for this week. Beginning Sunday, March 15, 2020, we will not host any in-person gatherings at church this week. The worship schedule will be decided week by week by our board and leadership.
Regardless, we do hope to see you online!
- Check out our Live-Stream worship on our Facebook Page (past services too!)
- Keep checking out the OPCC website for more up to date information and devotions!
We cannot reiterate this clearly enough, there is NO reason to panic. This temporary change in how we worship God is no reason to panic, because it’s one of the most Christian things we can do as an act of social solidarity for all of God’s children. We will sacrifice a bit of “normalcy” in our lives so that we can protect the most vulnerable among us and give our medical community the opportunity to care for those who need it.
Every year we experience a brief time in which we suspend our visitation to, and leadership of, Garden Terrace worship for similar reasons. A couple times a year, Garden Terrace will ask us to suspend that worship experience because of illness, and this is no different. In each situation, worship and church returns to normal shortly thereafter.
Hearing the advice of the CDC, and our local health department, the leadership of our denomination, and some of the health professionals in our own church, we are adjusting so that we can maintain safe boundaries for our own members. We are also concerned about how we continue as church for the community at large. To these ends, please read about each of these updates!
WORSHIP & IN-PERSON GATHERINGS
- We will transition in-person Sunday worship to entirely online beginning March 15, 2020.
- In-person visitation to nursing facilities and homebound will pause temporarily until those facilities deem it safe and appropriate.
- We will still make phone calls and send cards as best we are able!
- In-person Christian Education, OPCC Musical Groups, Youth Group and other fellowship groups like Empty Nesters, Caregivers, etc. will also take a short break from in-person gatherings. Each of these groups will also communicate with their individual members.
- Covenant Groups are being formed! These will allow elders and/or deacons to check-in on each and every one of our members in this temporary season.
- If you are not contacted about a Covenant Group by March 21, please contact the church office, by email or phone.
- Your OPCC Board, and leaders from the OPCC Elders and Deacons have agreed to weekly conference calls to check-in about what’s next, as it changes each day, week, or even hour. Each leader is dedicated to prayerful discernment about how we “be church” in this wilderness season.
Our identity as OPCC is rooted in our “serving with heart” our community, those on the margins, and the vulnerable.
- We are doing our best to make sure that we can still serve our OPCC Food Pantry and Interfaith Hospitality Network clients, even if it is in very different ways. The most vulnerable of our community are going to be hit the hardest during this season of COVID-19, and we hope to keep serving them the best we can, while keep our community safe.
- If you are able bodied, healthy, and not in a high-risk group, please consider volunteering as these updates come out. They will be shared later as we hear more from Harvesters and Johnson County IHN.
- Contact Jane F. about the Food Pantry
- Contact Barb C. about Interfaith Hospitality Network.
- Contact the church office if you need their email.s
- We are also hoping to keep our building open for weekly meeting users (like AA) whose social isolation could be equally as detrimental to their mental health. We’ve provided extra cleaning supplies for them to use, and asked them to consider alternative options if they have them.
- We have been instructed to temporarily halt our Garden Terrace worship service, until Garden Terrace deems it safe again. We will proceed at their direction
- We have postponed the youth rummage sale fundraiser. More info will be shared at a later date, once we know more. For right now, keep your donations at home if you can – find more while you’re spending some time at home :) – we would love them in the future!
GIVING TO THE CHURCH
- The first months of the year are always a tight time for the church, financially, due to lower attendance caused by winter weather, flu season, and more. Though we normally anticipate this, it will be exacerbated by COVID-19. Please remember that even when folks are unable to be present at church functions or worship, the ministries of the church continue on.
- Please consider setting up electronic payment of some kind from your account to the church account. You can set up an auto-debit plan with your banking institution or use our secure online giving system so you can give more consistently without bringing it each week/month. Online giving is also great for individual donations if you aren’t ready to put a weekly or monthly plan into place. We can also receive checks through the mail if that is your preference.
- If you have any questions about online giving or EFT transfers through your bank, contact Michelle (by email or or ext: 223) in the church office and we’ll be happy to guide you through the process!
It is actually quite Biblical to take a break: sabbath, sabbatical, year of jubilee, on the seventh day God rested.
It is Biblical to cease travel, cease buying and selling, and to stay at home singing and praying. When our bodies become still, we are more able to reach out with our hearts. When we take time to pause and consider God’s world, we can see just how much we are connected in terrifying and beautiful ways. “Being church” continues because we take time to pause and listen to the Spirit of God. This is such an opportunity, and we give thanks for God’s presence as we reach out with our hearts, our words, and all the tendrils of compassion in our world.
Rev. Laura Ann Phillips,
and The Leadership of Overland Park Christian Church