COVID-19 update (June 18)

Dear Oak Hills Family –

As you may have seen in yesterday’s news, Clackamas County has now been linked with Washington and Multnomah Counties in our Governor’s Phased Opening Plans.  This effectively restarts Phase 1 for Clackamas County, delaying Phase 2 until July 10th at the earliest.  In order to stay safe and remain in compliance we are changing our target date for an outdoor worship service from June 28th to July 12th.  Our Worship Task Force has been hard at work putting pieces in place for this service, and if the way is clear on July 12th, we will be ready to go!  Stay tuned for detailed instructions for participation.  And thanks for your flexibility – as we know, this is a time for holding plans loosely!

In His Grip,
Jeremy

(June 4)
Dear Oak Hills Family –

Pending the arrival of Phase 2 in Clackamas County, Oak Hills is planning an Outdoor Worship Celebration, tentatively scheduled for June 28 at 10:30 am.  Our hope is to allow worship participation in 3 ways:

  1. Open seating in the field, with pre-marked spacing guidelines for each family unit.
  2. Drive-in participation via radio broadcast – with worshipers parked in our lot, listening on an FM frequency while watching through the windshield.
  3. YouTube live-stream – an online option for those unable or not yet ready to gather in person. 

The worship task force is hard at work making sure we can accomplish this safely and effectively.  If all goes well, we may be able to continue worshiping outdoors through the summer months.  Stay tuned for confirmation of the date and instructions for participation.  We can’t wait to see you all, and to be together in person!  Please pray for those tasked with carrying out the logistics of this approach – it is a massive undertaking! 

Finally, a word of encouragement for these trying times: “Now unto him who, by the power at work within us, is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we might ask or even imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.  Amen.” (Eph 3:20).

In His Grace,
Jeremy

(March 18)
Dear Oak Hills Family –

As you may have expected, the time has come for us to suspend all in-person gatherings, including our Lenten Rice and Beans dinners and Sunday worship services. In compliance with new regulations about public gatherings, and in solidarity with our entire community in the effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, we will not be meeting physically on Sunday mornings until further notice.

In the meantime, I hope you will join us as we worship together online. Our Sunday worship service each week will be posted to our new YouTube channel here.  The service will be available online by Saturday afternoon, so you and your family can worship at a time of your choosing.  Song lyrics and prayers will be emailed Friday afternoon, so that you can follow along and participate in worship right where you are.  During this unusual season, we’ll be studying the book of Philippians together, learning from Paul how to remain “joyful in prison.”  I am excited to share these teachings with you!  I encourage you to read Philippians ahead of time on your own – its not long, and its deeply encouraging.

In lieu of our weekly Sunday offering, we put together an online giving option, which you can access via our website under the Give tab.  This is a totally secure, seamless way to contribute remotely, or to set up a regular automatic withdrawal. I am grateful for the faithful giving of our congregation, which allows us to provide our church staff with continued income during this time of financial uncertainty.

Here are some of the ways our elders are responding to this crisis – I share these to encourage you and to invite you to share in the unique ministry opportunity this moment represents:

  1. We have freed up $3,000 in funds from our Backpack Buddies account to make an immediate financial contribution to the Wichita family center, a resource center that serves many of the same families we normally serve through our lunch bag program. 
  2. We are delivering the Backpack Buddies food stores we currently have on hand to food banks for immediate distribution.
  3.  Our Care Team has begun a special “calling and cards” campaign to reach out to those in our congregation who are sick and/or isolated.
  4.  Our Staff and Elders have committed to calling each member of our fellowship, to check in and provide a listening ear.  Expect a call from one of us soon!

Please be aware, office hours at the church may be variable during this time.  If for any reason you need to visit the office, call ahead (503-654-4321) to make sure Sue Howard or myself is here to let you in!

As we navigate this time of isolation, Pastor Christy has pulled together some helpful online resources for spiritual growth, for both kids and adults! The message below is from her:

Hello Oak Hills Families! 
As we all hunker-down in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Oak Hills wants to provide you with resources to help you continue your family’s Christian education at home. Studying God’s word as a family is super important. This is a strange time in our lives, but we can use it to start great new habits and make deeper connections within our families. Parents, as you lead your family through devotions, your children get to watch you model Christian leadership. You are witnessing to THEM, and that witness is really powerful!  Here are some resources to help you do that: 

1. my.bible.com        

This website is FULL of amazing resources for all ages. It is completely free, but you do need to sign up. After you sign up (and confirm that you’ve joined through your email account), go to the “plans” icon in the top left corner. Next, click the green “discover” button at the top of the page. Now you will see tons of options for bible reading plans. These aren’t just lists of bible verses, they are internet-based devotionals. As you scroll down, you will see different categories of reading plan. If you scroll all the way to the bottom, you’ll see plans for youth and then plans for children. If you have both children and youth in your family, I would recommend using both resources in a group together. Some plans are designed for individual use, some for families, but you can always discuss any subject together as a group. Some of the plans under the Kids categories are:  

  • Jesus-Centered Family Devotions
  • My Place in God’s World
  • Indescribable: God and Science
  • Hope Kids

Final Note: When you sign-on to my.bible.com, you have the option to read on your own, or connect with friends online. It would be pretty cool if we found each other via the website and encouraged each other in it. I am signed-on as Christy Polk, and I will receive friend requests. Have fun with this!! 

2.  https://www.watermark.org/blog/bible-timeline

Watermark Church in Texas offers a really neat timeline that can help kids better understand the Bible as one great story of God’s plan for us. There is a timeline, a printable PDF and flash cards. I really want to do this with my kids! 

3.   https://www.creativebiblestudy.com/Bible-seeker.html

The Bible Seeker devotionals on this website are simple and sweet, though the site itself is a bit cluttered with ads. Still a nice resource, though. 

Let me leave you with a promise from Philippians, which we will be studying in the coming weeks:

“My God will fully satisfy every need of yours, according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Oak Hills Church, let’s cling to that promise!  And share it with others…

Yours in Prayer,
Jeremy