Greetings Oak Hill,
In times like this, it is such a gift to know that we can trust and rest in the character of God. As the world around us changes so quickly amid these unique and challenging times, it is so reassuring to know that who God is never changes; He remains the same. He is the constant amid the chaotic. He is the calm in the storm. He is the rock among shifting sand. He is the light breaking through the darkness. He is peace in troubling times. In Psalm 46, we are reminded of this reassuring perspective that we are invited to have as believers in Christ: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging…The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” (Psalm 46:1-3, 7 NIV)
No matter what is happening around us, we are invited to trust and have confidence in the unshakable promises of God. As we continue to navigate these unique and unprecedented times, we continue to lean on the certainty of God’s Word in uncertain times. Due to the nature of this coronavirus pandemic, and in collaboration with recommendations and decisions made by leaders in our government and the healthcare profession, we have had to make some decisions regarding how ministry will operate in the coming weeks. These decisions were not made lightly, nor were they based out of fear. Rather, our hope is that these decisions will aide and assist in lessening the spread and impact of this virus in our nation, our state, and our communities.
Therefore, we have decided to cancel all on-site events and activities at or connected with Oak Hill Church until March 29. After this point, we will continue to reassess our ministry activities on a week-by-week basis. Please note that this does not mean that being the Church has to stop or that ministry has halted. Rather, the nature and scope of how we do ministry will look and operate differently for a period of time. We firmly believe and trust that the Lord will use this time to continue to shape us as His church in our families and our communities. We intend to offer some unique and creative ways to continue to engage as a church family and connect lives in grace and truth.
Oak Hill Ministry Plan
All on-site events are cancelled until March 29 including:
Weekly Connecting Points
Greetings Oak Hill Church,
We know that many of you are continuing to follow the news reports surrounding the continued impact and spread of the coronavirus across our nation. We are still feeling the effects of this pandemic in various ways here in Minnesota. As the influx of updates and information continues, our desire is to continue to keep you aware and updated regarding our processing of these events as they shape our lives together as a church body.
One of our main concerns is to continue to ensure the safety and well-being of all people that are connected to our congregation. There have been some precautionary steps that we have taken to help assist in this endeavor and more may follow. We take very seriously, the responsibility of making sure that Oak Hill can be a place where we proceed with appropriate caution while trusting in the care and provision of God.
It is with this in mind that we intend to proceed with gathering for worship tomorrow (Sunday, March 15.) We will continue to monitor reports, press releases, guidelines, and recommendations from state and local government and health officials that will play into this decision, but the plan will be to meet for church at 10:30 am. Please note that the plan will be to only have a worship service on this date.
Here are some important additional details to know for Sunday, March 15:
In addition to these specifics for this Sunday, we also will be refraining from passing the offering plates during the worship service. Instead, there will be boxes available at the back of the sanctuary to drop your cash or check. You are also invited to give online.
We would also like to remind you of some of the other precautionary steps we encouraged during our last email:
We will continue to update you as we process ongoing ministry activities beyond this Sunday service. We want to continue to do our due diligence in being both good citizens of God’s Kingdom and this world that He has given us to live in. We also want to make wise decisions that are balanced by faith and best practice.
We would encourage you to keep praying. Pray for those who are being directly impacted by this virus. Pray for God’s comfort and peace to be near those who are anxious and fearful. Pray that people would find reassurance in His promises. We also encourage you to reach out in love to those around you. In uncertain times like this your neighbors, co-workers, or classmates may ask a question or be struggling with a fear in which the answer is found in the Gospel. Be encouraged to share the hope we have in Christ as His children. Finally, we invite you to trust. Trust that God is in control. Be reassured that He is big enough to handle this crisis. Rest in the promises of the Creator of the Universe and find comfort in His Word which is certain and sure of the hope that is ours through Christ.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
In Grace and Truth,
Pastor Ben and the Oak Hill Elders
Greetings Oak Hill Church Family,
As concerns about the spread of the coronavirus have grown in the past weeks—including here in Minnesota—we are planning to take certain precautions as we continue to gather for worship on Sunday mornings. It should be noted that these common health practices should not be taken out of context or used to incite panic or fear. The intent behind these precautions is solely for preventive purposes and not meant as a means to create anxiety, distrust, or division. Many of these common health practices apply for any and all times during this normal cold and flu season, not just in certain situations.
Again, we are not intending to overreact or be caught up in fear and worry in the midst of this, but we also want to be wise and appropriately cautious. Please continue to show love, care, concern, and respect for each other as we process and progress through this time. Many of these decisions are being made by a motivation of Christian love for each other.
Lastly, none of these precautions in and of themselves will completely remove any fear, worry, or anxiety that you may be experiencing. This is where we, as followers of Christ, have a different vantage point. We are invited to place our fears, doubts, and anxious thoughts confidently in the hands of an all-powerful, all-knowing God. In times of uncertainty, His promises are certain and true! Read these words from Psalm 27, John 14, and Philippians 4:
The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1 NIV)
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27 NIV)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV)
We are invited to trust in the provision and care of our Heavenly Father. We are called to be assured that nothing is too great for Him to handle or is beyond His ability to control. We are called to know His peace that is beyond what we can grasp or understand. And we are called to pray. Let us pray together that God would be near to those that are impacted by this virus. Let us pray that God would be near to each of us and protect us. Let us pray that God would give us His peace for ourselves and for our neighbors.
In Grace and Truth,
Pastor Ben and the Oak Hill Elders