It’s been too long since we’ve communicated by “official” letter from your OPCC leadership. Early in March, April and May we sent several letters, frequently, and have settled into new and alternative formats of connecting with one another. Yet, this most recent update is important, and we want to make sure everyone is kept up to date.
We will offer an outdoor, in-person Sunday evening prayer service beginning Sunday October 4 at 5:00pm in the OPCC Main Courtyard. Limited attendance and reservations required.
Johnson County continues to be in “the red zone,” many of our children continue to school from home, and scientists and health experts are still very concerned about community spread. OPCC’s addition of an in-person option does not change the danger of this virus or your own personal risk factors. Please remember this.
We realize that many will not be ready at this time to return to an in-person gathering, and we honor your decision and support you completely. OPCC will continue to offer a virtual worship option on Sunday mornings at 10:30am. This virtual worship option will be available on our website, on our Facebook page, and over the phone (dial 913-299-9002). The Sunday morning virtual worship option will continue to be our main worship experience and offer a fuller worship experience. The Sunday evening prayer service is in addition to the Sunday morning experience, with a different format and focus. Sunday evening will include communion.
When any of us begin to participate regularly in a faith community we take on a certain covenant with one another, to respect and love one another the way Christ teaches us. We celebrate this unspoken covenant with one another each and every time we share in communion. Returning to an in-person faith experience in the midst of a global pandemic means we are engaging in an expanded covenant with one another. Please read this covenant here. This covenant of behavior is designed to extend God’s compassionate care to all who are part of our community. If you plan to return to OPCC in any capacity, please read the covenant on the reverse side of this letter. By returning to our building, indoors or outdoors, you are demonstrating your agreement to each of the principals and actions outlined in this covenant.
To ensure social distancing, even outside, there will be limited attendance at the outdoor gatherings on Sunday evenings. If you are interested in attending you will be required to make a reservation each week by contacting the church office (firstname.lastname@example.org or 913.677.4646) by 3:00pm on the Friday prior to the Sunday. A new reservation is required each week. Please be considerate of one another, have grace if the reservations are full, and we will do our best to make sure everyone who wants it has a chance to experience in person.
As I’m missing you, here’s a quote that is resonating with me today:
The church is not a theological classroom. It is a conversion, confession, repentance, reconciliation, forgiveness and sanctification center, where flawed people place their faith in Christ, gather to know and love him better, and learn to love others as he designed. – Paul David Tripp
I deeply hope that you are doing well physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Six months of uncertain times is taxing and draining, to say the least. I trust we are all doing the best we can to find our way through this experience together with compassion and grace for one another; I give thanks to God for each of you and the ways you have creatively and compassionately stuck with one another, cared for your neighbors, and supported your church. We hope you too have felt supported, and God’s love.
Blessings and perseverance,
Rev. Laura Ann Phillips, and The Leadership of Overland Park Christian Church