Re-opening Plan for The Oaks Community Church
June 3, 2020
Greetings beloved Oaks family,
I am eager to convey to you the recommendations following our 2 1/2 hour Leadership Board of Elders meeting last night regarding re-opening of The Oaks. Thankfully, President Trump is strongly encouraging the re-opening of churches in all 50 states as essential for our country's ongoing health and wellbeing. Gov. Pritzker has also agreed to allow Illinois churches to re-open. Here is our plan:
1) Above all "let all you do be done in love" (I Cor 16:14): Our church family ranges in age from 1 month to 106 years! Please love, honor, and respect one another... most especially those who respond to the COVID-19 pandemic different than you. I know I am a fox-in-the-henhouse when it comes to the following verse, but it is God-breathed inspired Scripture- "Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you" (Heb 13:17).
2) Re-opening of Sunday worship: After 11 weeks of livestream worship only, it is time to "restart" our in-person worship services. We want to do this in a meaningful and safe way. To this end, we will begin having live in-person worship services on our gloriously huge parking lot beginning this Sunday, June 7 at 8:30 and 10:45! We feel this is a very safe environment which will safely accommodate much larger gatherings than indoor services. As a revival preacher and Ichthus "junkie" for many years, I love outdoor services. We have a great stage set up with sound and livestream capabilities (for all who prefer to stay home at this time). We will also be streaming audio on an FM channel for all in the parking lot.
The first section around the stage will be reserved for those who want to bring lawn chairs. We want to encourage families to worship together and for all to respect social distancing in this area.
The second section will be for those who wish to stay in their cars and have a drive-in theater type worship experience.
The outer perimeter will be for regular parking and pop-up shades if you so choose. Our elder board will help guide you to the proper parking area. From there, we will rely on "self-policing" and genuine love for one another.
DISCLAIMER: Perhaps I was a bit overzealous in my "vision" of tailgaters and grillers creating a "party" atmosphere:). I think it will be wise to start in a bit more reserved and safe mode. We will let the Lord lead us from there. The church will also be open for bathroom use. One more thing- B.Y.O.D. (bring your own doughnuts:)
3) Re-opening of Prayer Meeting: Beginning tonight (June 3), all church family is welcome to attend Prayer Meeting at 7pm in the sanctuary. We encourage the wearing of masks, but no one will be turned away. We will continue livestreaming at this time. Our livestream prayer audience has diminished over the past weeks. If this now accelerates, we may discontinue livestreaming our prayer meeting in the future.
4) Re-opening of church building for small groups, Man-in-Mirror, REVEAL, and all other small church gatherings: All of these ministries are encouraged to "restart" in-person meetings at the church as desired. Please honor and respect social distancing. We also ask that each group wipes down all high-touch furnishings, doorknobs, etc. upon leaving the building.
5) Thursday night is reserved for AA and Al-Anon: At this time, please do not schedule any Thursday evening group meetings as this is reserved for AA and Al-Anon only until further notice. Eventually we will be able to accommodate additional meetings on Thursdays but not at this time.
I think that is all for now my beloved brothers and sisters. We press on
all for His glory!