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A Letter from the Pastor, November 1, 2020

 

 

I Sought The Lord and The Lord Delivered Me from All My Fears

 

Dear Friends,

Grace and Peace to you in the name of the Lord.

 

 

There is no doubt that these are hard times for everyone.  Here at the end of October our nation and the world continue to struggle with the impact of the Coronavirus.  Treatments and vaccines are in development and we know more about this novel virus than we did in March, yet, we still have a long way to go.

Here at the OCC, our central mission is to proclaim God’s Word to a world in need of divine inspiration and guidance.  This becomes even more essential in times of distress.  Psalm 34 reminds us that when we seek the Lord, “The Lord delivers us from all our fears.  The poor soul cries, is heard by God, and is saved from every trouble. Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.”

Because of public health guidelines, all churches have to be thoughtful about how to gather for worship services.  Here at the OCC, the Staff, the Worship Team, and the Council have been in constant conversation regarding our own approach that keeps safety and well-being a top priority while planning for our regular worship services.  Being outdoors was a huge benefit that we enjoyed for four months.

Due to the cold and wet weather, many attending our outdoor weekly worship service asked to move back inside.  To begin, we are using the “10 per 1,000 square foot rule” for attendance capacity.  Given the size of our sanctuary we place that at about 45.  We may sit 20 in the Fellowship Hall.  Masks and distancing are required just like we have done for months.  Last week, October 25th, we hosted about 35 persons indoors.

The Hall has a screen set up for a live broadcast of the service.  This week we will be experimenting with posting the service live on a Zoom Meeting.  In the weeks to come we will perfect our online live streaming as the Worship Team and Staff continue to improve our bandwidth issues with Verizon and our skills.

We do apologize for any inconveniences and ask for your kindness, patience, and prayer.  Please share your concerns with the Staff and members of the Worship Team.  Every week we are trying to improve our worship service.  In time, and with God to guide us, we will continue to provide the best worship experience that we can.

Notices from me will generally be emailed and snail mailed weekly and posted on the website.  Please be aware that circumstances might require an abrupt cancellation or change.  The church, similar to schools, hospitals and assisted living, are responding to changing events.  It feels very similar to when we have stretches of snow storms in the winter season.  Using a watchful approach, we strive to do the right thing for everyone’s safety.

The Psalm tells us that while hunger and want and suffering remains a condition in this world, when we look to the Lord, “We shall be radiant, and our faces never be ashamed.”  Caring for one another is the greatest task and gift and responsibility God has given us in the church.  We pray for God to show us the way together.

O Lord, may your love shine so brightly upon us that we clearly see the way for us to go from here to be where you want us to be as your church in this corner of your Creation in this season to come.  Amen.

Pastor Ken