To you who are dearly loved by God and called to be God’s people, grace and peace to you from God the creator and our Lord Jesus Christ! I thank God in Christ for all of you, because the news of your faithfulness is being shared and uplifting me. We serve God in spirit by proclaiming the good news of Jesus wherever we are! I am always praying for you and the days that we will be again together in person, soon! No matter when we will be together again, physically, I trust that we can mutually encourage one another, heartened by the faithfulness we see in one another. All of our faithfulness together keeps us connected as the Body of Christ, even when we are physically apart! (paraphrase of Romans 1:7-12)
I keep hearing words like unprecedented, exceptional, and unmatched to describe this time in our national and global history. While I know that this is unprecedented, exceptional, and unmatched in our lifetimes, and in the world as we know it, in the life of the church we are in good company. For a variety of reasons throughout the 2000+ year history of the church, the people of God have been separated from one another because of physical distance, yet, have remained connected and “with” one another in Spirit and in truth.
The people of God have had to worship God outside of the physical space where they most feel God’s presence, creating their own sacred spaces and altars when they could not physically be near the Temple. Have you found some sacred space at home? Whether the people of God were merely separated from the Temple by distance, or because it had been destroyed, the people of God remained committed to worshiping God from wherever they were. I trust we can continue to do this, as well. I know that we can remain committed to one another, connected to one another, and connected to God through the Body of Christ, no matter what the circumstance.
We are presently living in a historic moment as our county, state, nation, and world respond to this pandemic, and God is with us through it all. I assure you that God is with you in your homes, and God is with us as a community, because nothing, not even the coronavirus, “can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 8:38)
On March 12, 2020 the OPCC Board of Directors elected to follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control by suspending all OPCC in-person gatherings for 8-weeks. Along with many other counties, Johnson County has also issued a Stay-At-Home order, extending through April 24th. The OPCC Board of Directors will continue to follow the guidance of the CDC, Johnson County leadership, and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment in-regards to when we can gather in-person again. Should you have any questions about local or state response to COVID-19 we encourage you to utilize the resources made available by Johnson County, KS leadership, https://www.jocogov.org/coronavirus-covid-19-update or the JoCo Call Center (913) 715-5000.
In the meantime, we will continue to offer you options for worship and meditation, especially during Holy Week. Please to continue to check our website, and our Facebook page, for ways to interact. Additionally, we continue to provide resources in printed form for those who do not utilize email, or the internet, regularly.
We have delivered Holy Week packets to each of our families where you will find faithful conversations you can have each day of Holy Week, as we together worship through this holiest week of our Christian year. If you live alone, we encourage you to call a friend and work through these faithful activities together. Please also check our website and our Facebook page for daily interactions for Holy Week.
Additionally, we will continue to offer you some spiritual disciplines to attend to as we continue in this season of home-worship, together. I hope they are beneficial to your spiritual lives whenever you employ them. Whether you are utilizing the Pandemic Hope packet along with the Faith5 model for faithful conversations, or if you are utilizing the materials specific to Holy week, we pray that you find them fruitful and supportive until we meet in-person again, soon.
Thank you for continuing to regularly send in your offering either by mail, or by online giving. The ministries of OPCC (like our Food Pantry!) are more important than ever right now and YOU are making that happen with your continued support. If you have any questions about how to give during this time, please contact our Bookkeeper, Michelle Reiter by email or by phone, extension 223.
Above all, remember that we are in this together. Just as the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years not knowing when it would end, we too are wandering in the wilderness, but we know that God is with us and will lead us forward. The church building might be empty, but look what life came from an empty tomb! The church has left the building, and we are out in our world!
God’s blessings and God’s peace until we meet in-person again.
Rev. Laura Ann Phillips,
and The Leadership of Overland Park Christian Church
Remaining faithful with OPCC in this COVID-19 season
- Follow us on our website, and our Facebook page
- You DO NOT have to have a Facebook page in order to follow along, though in this time you may choose to explore this way of connecting with one another!
- Join us for these two different worship experiences each Sunday!
- Join us for a weekly time of prayer on Thursdays at 2:00pm. You can either join by praying at 2:00pm from your own home, and we trust that we are praying together in Spirit and truth – or you can also call in to join us by phone call (or Zoom) for this time of prayer.
- Check your email or call the church office for the Meeting ID.
- Groups like the Middlers Sunday School, Youth Group, Girlfriends, and Men’s Fellowship are continuing to meet virtually. Please check with your respective group leaders to learn more!
- Instructions for calling into a Zoom meeting by phone
- Call 1-888-788-0099 OR 1-877-853-5247 (either number works, and both are toll-free)
- When you call it will ask for the meeting ID, followed by the pound (#) sign.
- Type in one of the Meeting IDs for your specific gathering.
- If it asks you to enter a participant ID followed by the # - just press #. There is no participant ID, so just press # when listening to the prompts and it will put you into this phone meeting experience.