Dear Church Family,
As we continue to follow the guidelines of the medical community and our leaders, we limit the spread and effects of COVID-19 by doing our part through social distancing, hand washing and sanitizing, staying home as much as possible, and masking when it is necessary to go out for essentials. If we practice these sacrifices on behalf of others, we serve as Jesus has called us to and we will reap the benefits in our own health and well-being.
We all long for the fellowship of each other in worship and other activities that distinguish us as the Body of Christ, but for now we must continue to be united in separation until conditions favor congregating again.
Below you will find a letter from Bishop Mike McKee updating us on the current policy for congregations in our Annual Conference. Please call those that you know do not have email and share this information with them.
I will continue to broadcast a biblical message of hope and encouragement on Facebook Live at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesdays and Sundays. You will find the broadcast on the church Facebook page at Oak Grove UMC (be sure it’s the one in Aubrey). If you do not participate in Facebook, I will email a link to you to watch the video upon request. You can also access the videos on our website oakgroveunitedmethodist.org.
Please share your prayer requests privately to email@example.com or with the congregation on our website under the main menu PRAYER REQUEST. And let me know if there is any way that your church family can assist you.
May God bless you and keep you close to Him.
Pastor Don Kirsch
April 23, 2020
Greetings in the Name of the Risen Christ!
As we continue to serve and worship the Risen Christ during this Easter season, we do so in a challenging time because of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Since March 15, United Methodists have not worshiped in their churches or gathered in person for Sunday School classes or small groups. Yet, congregations continue to worship and study together online.
Many of us have learned how to use new technologies or have discovered social platforms that our friends, children and grandchildren often use. Thank you to the pastors and laity of the North Texas Conference for your leadership, creativity and faithfulness for proclaiming the Gospel online and for teaching and sharing the faith in unique ways. Amidst that, many of you are compassionately serving your neighbors.
Our clergy have risen to the challenges of pastor/preacher in the age of social distancing. They have learned new skills and consulted with each other. In many ways, they have worked harder, and I am grateful for our clergy and their witness. This has been no vacation, but there has been nothing but passion and joy in serving Christ. Thank you.
Laity and clergy alike have begun to ask questions about when we can return to our churches and worship together in person. The answer is “not yet.”
To set a date at this time would be premature because of the ever-changing spread of COVID-19. There are areas of the North Texas Conference that have very few COVID-19 cases, but the Dallas area continues to be significantly affected. It’s best to plan that congregations will not gather face-to-face through May 31. It is my hope and prayer that we will be able to re-open our churches at some point in June.
How we begin gathering together in the future will be a challenge for each church. This cannot be “let’s open the doors and pick up where we were.” That would be foolish and potentially cause more harm.
Guidelines are being formed for that time when we can see each other in person again.
In the meantime, let us continue to serve in our communities. Please include in your prayers:
- Those who have died and their families
- Persons in the medical community who seek to bring healing and their families
- Persons and their families who have lost jobs.
Thank you again for your faithfulness. I am inspired by your creativity and your resilience and know that God is able to do a good work in you.
Bishop Mike McKee