May 27 Update
Greetings Oak Hill Church,
Being the sports fan that I am, my attention has been tuned into many of the talks and discussions surrounding the potential return of live sports in the weeks and months ahead. Even if you could care less about when or if the NBA or MLB will return, the reality is that we can all think of things in our lives where a void has been created due to the coronavirus pandemic.
To borrow a common sports phrase that might accurately sum up this experience that we have all been facing in the past months: “There is no playbook for that…” A playbook is pretty essential to any successful team. The playbook houses a wealth of information, strategy, and direction that gives a team a recipe for success and victory in any given match or game. Not having a playbook can lead to some very interesting and unknown outcomes. Having a playbook can bring predictability, security, and assurance.
In the days that each of us have spent navigating the changing times, this saying has kept popping into my mind. There clearly is no playbook for what we are going through and experiencing. This was unexpected. Not too many of us have ever gone through an experience like this before. Each of us as individuals, as families, and as the church have had to just do our best to react, plan, and move forward as more information is known, more directives and recommendations are passed along, and as the Lord continues to lead and guide us through this time.
With all that to be said, our team of leaders at Oak Hill has continued to seek the Lord and process what our next steps could look like in the weeks and months ahead. There has been a lot of recent movement and information given that gives us further indication of what our post-COVID world could look like as we emerge from shelter in place. One thing is obvious: Things will be different. Nearly every aspect of our lives will look differently than it did before. Whatever thoughts we might have had even two weeks ago about timelines and guidelines have probably been reshaped. The same goes for us as Oak Hill Church. We have tried to do our best to continue to balance caution and faith. Our intent is to continue to be good citizens as members of this world and of God’s Kingdom. Our desire is that we would be led by God’s best timing, ways, and procedures. While we have not been perfect in that, He is still very much guiding this process for us even when we don’t always get it right.
As we continue to pray, process, and prepare for resuming our in-person gatherings, worship services, and other various ministries, would you join us in praying about these decisions and all of the details and logistics that need to still be worked out? We all need to be bringing this before the Lord as we seek to honor Him and honor one another in these discussions. There is no time like the present for us to be unified and supportive of one another. We all need to extend a fresh dose of grace and truth to one another that is supportive, encouraging, and understanding as each of us process what this looks like for us as individuals, as families, and as a congregation. The Apostle Paul encourages us with similar words as he reminds the believers in Ephesians 4: 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.
Let this be our prayer and pursuit as we walk through this together as a group of sinful people radically changed and renewed by God’s grace. May He guide us, strengthen us, and shape us as His children.
Connecting Lives in Grace and Truth
Oak Hill Staff Update
Pastor Ben and the Oak Hill Elder Board
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