We are excited for the possibility of reopening our Sunday services in lieu of the release of national and state recommendations regarding houses of worship. As we wade through the multitude of information, we are committed to honoring the Lord by pursuing our OCF Mission Statement and following the biblical mandate to gather together. We are also dedicated to preserving our Christian witness to both believers and non-believers, while providing the safest possible environment to worship Jesus when we are able to reconvene our worship services on-site.
After much prayer and consideration, it has become clear that the most fruitful next step for our church community is to continue our livestream service online while encouraging those among us who feel safe and comfortable to consider gathering in homes as smaller groups. These groups can be existing Small Groups, or simply your household with few additional family members or friends gathering together on Sundays for our broadcast. Those who feel at risk or uncomfortable meeting with others at this time, please continue to observe the Stay at Home recommendations and enjoy our livestream services from your home.
Our decision is based on several important factors. Practically, we have a number of technical and facility upgrades necessary before we can successfully reopen. It will take us about three weeks to complete these much-needed changes. Also, the state of CA will reevaluate their recommendations after Sunday, June 14th and we believe it’s valuable to consider these recommendations before taking the next steps towards reopening. We also feel that continuing our livestream while encouraging those who feel comfortable to meet in smaller groups comprised of the same individuals is the most loving and worshipful decision at this time.
So, for now:
For those who are high risk or feel uncomfortable meeting with others at this time, please continue to enjoy our livestream from your own home.
For those who feel safe and comfortable gathering with a few others, begin to discuss with your small groups or family and friends about the possibility of meeting together to worship the Lord.
Some important considerations for those who decide to meet in groups:
Find a position of unity in your groups as you discuss your meetings.
Consistency is key: Your groups should consist of the same individuals and the same practices (masks, distancing, hygiene, sharing of space and items, duration of gatherings).
Be specific and thorough – discuss the details and set expectations so that there is no confusion when you gather.
No shame in no shows – be an encouragement for those who do not feel safe or ready to gather.
If you are sick, tell your group and stay home.
Please let us know if you will be gathering! Email Pastor Mark to be included in small group emails containing study materials and best practices.
OCF Leadership will reevaluate our reopening strategy and provide an update the week of June 14th.
Thank you so much for your patience and faithfulness through this strange season. We are committed to making decisions based on faith and wisdom. And we are committed to loving one another well and shining the light of Jesus in the world around us.
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