As you are likely aware, the circumstance surrounding the Coronavirus response is very fluid. We will be posting regular updates both here and on social media in an effort to keep you informed. Here’s the latest information & advice we want you to be aware of as a member or guest of our church.
State and local leaders have begun taking extraordinary action in an effort to promote the health and well-being of our community. In the light of these recent events, we have decided to support their efforts by moving all Sunday Services and other ministries ONLINE. This will remain in effect until further notice. We will be working with government authorities to re-evaluate this policy after April 1. OFA & C3 Fitness are operating under revised hours and policies. Please contact them directly if you are in need of additional information.
As good citizens of our community, we feel responsible to support local officials in their efforts to curb the spread of the Coronavirus. Our decision is not based on fear or uncertainty. On the contrary, we are taking these steps with the full knowledge that God is certainly with us. We continue to encourage you, in times of anxiety, to cast your cares upon God through prayer and spiritual disciplines. We are living in a unique season; let those in our influence find us now, more than ever, to be a people of hope!
Join us online Sunday mornings for an inspiring time together. Keep an eye on your email and social media for further updates, encouragements, and opportunities to participate with our church community online.
We choose faith over fear.
There is a lot of uncertainty out there regarding this situation and the media reports often cause more harm than good. As Christians, we are called to turn away from fear and toward faith. That’s not bravado or ignorance, that’s a choice we make every day. We do not ignore reality, but we choose to put away fear and to instead trust God for our future. That’s not always easy, but it’s an incredibly important choice we need to make!
God gives us clear direction to embrace faith in the face of fear. In fact, we would encourage you to let anxiety be the signpost that points you back to prayer. When you feel anxiety at the door, take a moment to immediately go back to God in prayer for peace and wisdom. So, while we are going to move forward with the utmost wisdom and prevention, we will choose not to fear! Instead, we will choose faith. (Phil 4:6-7)
We are speaking encouragement and hope.
Additionally, we want to strongly encourage you to speak life and encouragement to those around you. We are not ignoring facts and realities, we should all be both wise and informed, but that does not mean that we cannot bring faith, hope and love into every conversation. We are called to be a light in difficult times.
Truly, this is a time for the church to shine. We should have real and relevant conversations with others, but always with the strong anchor of our faith in full view. Practicality does not have to exclude hope. Serious situations do not need to be devoid of love and support. There are plenty of venues for cold reality, let’s be a people who bring the hope that we have into every encounter and conversation.
We are embracing facts and truth.
Do not accept or participate in the perpetuation of gossip and rumors. Insist on vetting any new information, especially that which would bring additional uncertainty and fear. Stay tuned to official reports and seek multiple sources of information before relying on any one report.
We are using wisdom.
There are government and public safety organizations issuing guidance for churches and social interactions in general. We are keeping up to date with these ‘best practices’ and will be implementing the relevant strategies to keep our communities as safe as possible. We encourage you to do the same.
We are asking you to use wisdom too.
Let’s not take any chances. Sometimes what may seem like mild symptoms in an otherwise healthy individual can represent a dangerous infection for an at-risk individual. Let’s think beyond our own safety to the safety of others in our community. As always, we encourage you to follow the instructions and guidelines of our government leaders.
We are asking you to practice safe socializing.
We know. This can seem a little awkward. We are missing lot’s of opportunities for face-to-face connection. At first we were withholding a handshake or a hug, now we’re being asked to physically limit our interactions and gathering. However, physical separation does not need to mean social isolation. Out of an abundance of caution, this needs to be our new normal, but let every missed interaction represent a phone call or digital connection that needs to be made. Let’s replace those missed opportunities with new virtual connections through phone or internet. We can still be the church, a people of faith in community, without the physical gathering of groups. Stay connected, for our sake and yours!
We are embracing hygiene 2.0.
As an extra preventative, make sure you wash your hands with soap thoroughly and often. Washing your hands is one of your best defenses against infection. If handwashing is not available, use hand sanitizer when needed to keep viruses in check. Also, keeping your hands away from your mouth, eyes, nose and face will also help keep you healthy.
At home, get out the cleaners. Take extra precautions in the coming weeks to ensure that common surfaces are as clean and safe as possible – door handles, countertops, even smartphones, remotes, and other shared spaces should be of special focus. We should be taking extra common sense measures to ensure that our environments are as safe as possible.
We are ultimately concerned for you first.
We all have questions. This is a fluid situation and we’re all a little unsure about what the future looks like for our schools, jobs, sports and other social environments too. We want you to know that we are with you in the gaps. When there is a question or concern that we have been unable to address with you directly, know that we are for you. Ultimately, we love our church, and we want everyone healthy and safe. Every decision we make and action we take is to provide the best possible care for our members and guests.