Dear Oak Grove Bible Fellowship,
As you are all aware, we are in a very interesting time in our nation, and our world, due to the current situation surrounding the coronovirus "pandemic" as it's been named by the WHO, known specifically as COVID-19.
In this last week, the State of California (along with many other state governments) put regulations on public gatherings and meetings, and as of Friday, our nation was officially declared to be in a "state of emergency." Though we are under the "250 person" threshold, achieving a six foot per person "social distancing" is not feasible. Many in our fellowship could be at high risk in our gatherings.
As an elder board, we have been deliberating in prayer over a proper response to this. We know first and foremost that fear has no place in the life of the believer: when we allow fear of any "thing" to dictate our lives, we put "that thing" on the throne of the universe and submit ourselves to it. This is why God tells us to fear Him alone: only He is the one ultimately sovereign over all, and the only One who can command that place. And that is a good thing! When He's at the top, His "perfect love casts out all fear" (1 Jn. 4:18), because nothing can rival Him! The essence of the first and greatest commandment is wrapped up in our response to God's love in this: loving Him in return (as we read this last week in Mark 12, Deut. 6, and Deut 11).
Yet, we are also called to be wise and discerning. And, more specifically, to love one another (as we also read this week, the 2nd greatest commandment in Mark 12). Our love for one another compels us to also take into consideration the impact of meeting together and potentially risking the health of some of our members.
With this said, we do not feel that meeting together this Sunday is prudent, and as a result we are going to put our Sunday service on hold for (at least) this week. We will see where things are in a week and keep you informed.
We know we are called to stand for Christ, to stand against fear, and to be a light in this world. Choosing to postpone services for this Sunday should not change any of this: we are still called to be salt and light, to be united in love, and to demonstrate to the world the Gospel of our Lord. This should not be seen as a victory of the enemy, but simply as an opportunity God has placed before us: fight the fear the enemy throws at us with the love, hope, trust, and peace of the Gospel...and let it shine to those around you! Yes, we love to meet together, but sometimes God changes our plans around. Seek God's heart this weekend, and do not succumb to fear: "...for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." (2 Tim. 1:7).
As an elder board, we would encourage you to first and foremost pray: there are incredible opportunities to come out of this, and we would desire everyone be in prayer seeking the Lord diligently for opportunities to share the hope of Christ in a confused and scared world. Take this time this weekend to honestly seek where God may want to use you in the midst of this.
Second, we can still meet together "in spirit" so please, do not forsake Sunday morning worship on account of this. Unite in prayer, read the Scripture for the day, and maybe even call or text a member or two; find creative ways to still unify in the Spirit we all have. But most importantly, take time to rest in fellowship with our God and Savior and renew your spirit in the Word and worship.
We will continue to keep you informed, and we will continue to trust. Till then, continue on in the faith, "till He returns or calls us home."
In the Name of our Lord Jesus,
-OGBF Elder Board
Want to join us weekly in our group Bible Study on Sunday mornings (while waiting till we can resume church)?
Navigate to the Home Church Guides page and look for the link to this Sunday!