Greetings Oak Hill Church,
I am excited to be writing this update to you with the news that we will be given the opportunity to resume our in-person worship services this Sunday, June 21. It is kind of hard to believe that it was three months ago that we last met together face-to-face as the unknown and uncertainty of the coronavirus began to impact our normal rhythms and routines. Even though we have not been able to meet in-person these past weeks, the Lord has still continued to work and move in ministry within and beyond our church. I am extremely thankful for the team of staff, volunteers, and leaders within our church family that have stepped up in some amazing ways to help lead and serve us as a congregation in these past months. I am humbled and thankful to be a part of this church and this team that joyfully gives of their time, energy, and gifts to serve the Lord, love His people, and help build His Kingdom.
A special note of thanks also goes to you as our congregation for all of your grace, patience, and understanding as we have continued to navigate these times as well. This has not been a perfect process nor a flawless season, but God is greater than our imperfections and faults. His grace and power go well beyond where we are lacking. We are so grateful for the ways that you have continued to support the mission of God and the mission of Oak Hill Church both financially and with your time, presence, and encouragement in various ways.
According to the survey that we sent out a couple of weeks ago, our church leadership feels that we are at a place where we can resume coming back together in small groups for our worship services. We recognize that not everyone is at a place where they feel comfortable being in a group setting at this time and that is both understandable and appropriate. This is why we will continue to offer video recordings of our worship services on both our website and our YouTube channel.
We will be doing our best to create a space and an experience that follows appropriate guidelines and safety measures to help ensure safety and precaution as we gather in-person. Many of the steps we are taking have been adopted and a part of many of the places that we have been living and operating in for the past months (stores, businesses, churches, etc.) There is a Congregational Protections and Protocols Plan that is attached to this email which will provide further information and clarity on some of these safety measures and details. Also, please take a look at the Resuming In-Person Gatherings section that is a part of this update as well.
In his letter to the church in Ephesus, the Apostle Paul writes these words to the believers: Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:2-6 NIV)
As a body of believers, we are encouraged to live in the reality of these words as well. As we have navigated our lives through the past three months each of us have no doubt had to rely on the grace, strength, and hope found only in Christ. The reality is that our gentleness, patience, and faith have been tested in various ways over the past weeks, but these words in Ephesians 4 still ring true. Paul writes that we are one; we are unified by the Spirit of God that is alive and living inside the heart of each believer and we are called to place our hope, trust, and confidence in this “oneness” that God creates in and through His church. There is a unifying power that is at work and it is a power that brings peace.
As we look to resume our in-person worship services this Sunday, June 21 there will no doubt be a wealth of opportunity for us to live and rejoice in the power of this unity as brothers and sisters in Christ. We must also take care to notice that there will also be a wealth of opportunity for us to become divided and frustrated as well. Paul’s reminder and encouragement to us is that we would allow God’s Spirit to work in our hearts and lives to build unity. Our hope and prayer as a church is that we would each humbly and gently enter into this next phase together, as one, with an immeasurable amount of grace, patience, and love for each other as we strive to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
Connecting Lives in Grace and Truth
Resuming In-Person Gatherings
Going at Oak Hill
Media Team Volunteers
Oak Hill Spring Clean Up
Pastor Ben and the Oak Hill Elder Board