All Events Cancelled thru April 30
Our COVID-19 Response
Here in Minnesota, it’s not unheard of to cancel church due to winter weather. But we’ve never had to cancel church because of a virus, and do so for weeks in a row.
As leaders at Oakwood Church, we accept our responsibility to seek God’s wisdom first regarding how we should respond. We also recognize the wisdom of listening to experts regarding the COVID-19 virus. Jesus said we were to “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. (Matthew 22:21). Among other things, this means that there are matters in which it is good to submit to governmental authority (see Romans 13:1-7).
On Tuesday, March 17, we met to discuss our response to the crisis we face. Here’s what took place:
1) Based on the meeting size restrictions mandated by our governor, we decided to cancel all events through the end of March, 2020. At the end of the month we will re-evaluate what to do next.
2) We prayed, for wisdom for ourselves, for God’s direction for health officials attempting to curb this virus, and for you. We prayed for safety, calm, and confidence in the Lord to carry you through.
3) We determined to do everything we can to stay in touch with you. This includes:
- A weekly email / mail update.
- A recorded message on our church phone announcing our meeting status. (651.578.8478)
- A daily video update on the home page of our website (oakwoodmn.org)
- Regular phone calls from people at Oakwood to find out how you’re doing, and if you have any prayer requests or praises to share with us.
4) We decided to use the technology we have to provide an opportunity for worship and connection. This will include:
- A brief daily message on our website homepage from Pastor Sheppard called Wisdom from the Word. (see below)
- On Sunday, a recorded worship service, including music and a message from God’s Word.
- We are working to set up Zoom conferencing so you can participate online with our prayer team and in a Wednesday night Bible study.
5) We also talked about getting you involved. We are asking you to:
- Pray for our nation and our church people and leaders.
- Call, text or email each other to stay connected.
- Gather in your home Sunday morning for family worship. To prepare (if possible), download and print the sermon outline and questions. On our website, we will provide a recorded service during which we will observe communion, sing, and Pastor Sheppard will preach. There will be a downloadable brief study guide to help you discuss the message together. This can be an incredible experience for your family!
- Check our website each day for the latest updates.
- Join our Zoom group so you can pray with others and/or participate in the Sunday service and Wednesday night studies.
Above all, let’s determine that in everything we do, we will honor the Lord Jesus. Weigh carefully what you say. Don’t let anxiety overwhelm you. Show genuine compassion for those who are suffering. We are followers of the Lord of all things – let’s behave in ways that exalt Him before the world.
Pastor Sheppard and Oakwood’s Leadership Board