Public Gathering Suspended: Will Worship via Live Stream

Public Gathering Suspended - Blog

Oak Park Family,

Yesterday I issued a statement explaining that the Elders planned to continue with our regular Sunday schedule of Discipleship and Worship. However, I also stated that this plan would be subject to change if the governing officials determine to restrict large gatherings. About two hours after issuing that statement, Governor Holcomb released his plan to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in Indiana. Within this plan Holcomb states,

"Non-essential gatherings must be limited to no more than 250 people. This includes any event or gathering of people who are in one room or a single space at the same time, such as cafeterias, churches, stadiums, meeting and conference rooms, auditoriums and the like. This guidance applies to professional, social, community and similar other gatherings."

Therefore, in a desire to submit to our governing authorities (Rom 13:1-7) we have decided to suspend our Sunday gathering and direct everyone to participate in the Worship Service via our Online Stream at 10:30 AM. Next week the Elders will meet to further assess the situation and determine what long-term measures need to be implemented. In the meantime, we ask for your patience and prayers as this global crisis continues to unfold. We’re trying to make the wisest decisions we can that best express love for our neighbor and loyalty to our Lord.

Since we will be streaming our worship service online, I do want to encourage you with some practical ways to best foster worship within your own home:

  • On Saturday night, get your electronic devices properly set up so that you’re ready to worship on Sunday. Remember, “Sunday worship is a Saturday night decision!”
  • Tune in on time and take your seats around your TV/Screen.
  • When the service begins, participate by standing and singing. Join in the prayers. Open your Bible and listen to God’s word preached.
  • During the offering time, consider giving online.
  • Put your phone away and try to eliminate unnecessary distractions.

I know this setup is less than ideal, but praise God we have the technology to do something like this during a state of emergency.

Just a couple of more logistical items for your information:

  • The church offices will operate within their normal hours of 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Monday through Thursday.
  • Community Groups are still free to meet at your leader’s discretion.
  • Please keep in mind that the next few weeks may cause unexpected strain upon others (e.g. financial, childcare, health). Church family, this is not a time to be passive but to seek out ways to serve one another as God has enabled us. This should most naturally occur among our Community Groups but should not be limited to them.
  • If you are in need of assistance, please do not hesitate to email the staff at general@oakparkbaptist.com or call us at 812-283-9400.

Please know that your pastors are praying for you during this time of uncertainty. We desire to make ourselves available to care for all those in need. May you be strengthened by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ as you continue to entrust yourself to him.

In Christ,

Pastor Chase