Sunday Service Open

Please take the time to read this important letter from Jon Zupke, our church chairman. As many of you know, the governor of Iowa lifted the restrictions for worship gatherings, as long as they can be done responsibly with appropriate social distancing. After reading the letter below, you may wish to refer to the Iowa Dept. of Public Health Website (https://idph.iowa.gov/) to see the guidelines and suggestions for how to meet together.

We will be recording our online service this Sunday and because of the lifted restrictions, you may join us, however, we must do this responsibly, so below are some ways we intend to do that this Sunday:

– We are required to maintain social distancing of at least 6ft while meeting. That includes adults and children who are in different families. We will have the sanctuary marked off to provide 6ft intervals.

– If you plan to attend in person, please arrive around 10:00am and wait at the front door to be ushered into the sanctuary. We will have an overflow area in the multi-purpose room if needed.

– If you plan to attend, please do not congregate inside the building except where designated by the ushers. Practically that means, please fellowship outside with appropriate social distancing.

– You will have the opportunity to give via a drop box by the door and online.

– We will have hand sanitizer available for you to use as you come in.

– Finally, if you are or might be sick please join us via our live stream.

Thank you for your patience as we try to responsibly begin coming back together!
 
 

Oakdale Covid 19 – May 1, 2020

Dear Oakdale Family

First, as Chairman of the Oakdale Church, I want to thank each of you for the patience and the grace that has been so evident in this body to each other in response to this Covid 19 pandemic.  It is so easy to take things for granted and being forced to not meet together these last few weeks shows how much we really do need each other. We miss you and we look forward to getting back together as soon as possible.

Our Governor Kim Reynolds has given Iowans a new directive beginning May 1st regarding this Covid 19 pandemic. In regards to churches, 77 counties have been given relaxed directives regarding religious services.  Cherokee and O’Brien counties are among those 77 counties. 

The directives allows churches in the 77 counties to meet together as long as those services follow guidelines for social distancing and procedures to prevent the spread of the Covid 19 virus to those who are most vulnerable. The Elders have been considering how we as a congregation can meet together and meet those guidelines. Being aware that this pandemic affects each person and each family in ways that require many different responses, we want to offer several options that meet as many individual needs as possible.

Options for Sunday Morning Services:

  • Live Streaming at home: We recommend live streaming at home for the following:
        • For those who are elderly or who have underlying conditions that put them at risk should they contract the Covid 19 virus.
        • Those who have Covid 19 like symptoms or who have had contact with anyone with Covid 19 symptoms.
        • If you do not believe your children will be able to maintain appropriate social distancing.
  • Main Sanctuary: We are going to open up attendance in the main sanctuary for those who are willing. But this will be done in a way that maintains social distancing between families. Every other row in the sanctuary will be roped off. Families (those who live in the same home) will need to sit together and 6 feet apart from other families.
  • Multi-Purpose room: Live streaming video will be provided in the multi-purpose room and tables will be set up so that families can sit at individual tables and watch the service live on video. Again, families (those who live in the same home) will need to sit together and 6 feet apart from other families.
  • Drive-in service: This can be an option for those who want to come to church but have concerns about coming into the church building at this time. Families with small children might find this an easier way to manage their family during the service.  If the main sanctuary or the multi-purpose room exceeds capacity then the drive-in service option will be required for late comers. Using this option will only be available to those who can use their cell phone data plan to live stream the service. There may be some cell phone service providers that are not available at the Oakdale parking lot.

After the service, we request that all social interaction be moved to outside the church building to make it easier to maintain social distancing. It is much harder to spread the Covid 19 virus outdoors so please try to observe this practice as much as possible.

Face masks are strongly recommended by the CDC but we are not going to require them so please be aware that there will probably be those attending that will not be wearing face masks when making your decision to attend.

Please be aware that attending Oakdale services in person will increase your risks of spreading or contracting the Covid 19 virus. We all need to do what we can to minimize those risks as much as possible. If you have concerns about contracting this virus, please do not attend. Otherwise, wash hands often, use hand sanitizer, do not shake hands, maintain social distancing, wear a face mask if you have any particular concern, and socialize outside as much as possible.

It is a bit odd saying this but we are not actually encouraging people to attend this Sunday. We want to gradually open up attendance so we can learn how to manage this crisis. If you come, please be patient as we learn together.

In all of this, please consider what Pastor Tyler shared last Sunday regarding grace and peace from Ephesians 1:1-2. Let us all practice extreme grace and peace towards each other as we meet together like this for the next few weeks. No matter if you can attend in person or online please know that each one of you matter to us and to God. God is extremely fond of each one of us and He wants a deep and personal relationship with each one of you. Jesus is knocking at your heart’s door and is asking to come in (Revelation 3:20). You can open that door by opening up the Bible and asking God to speak to you as you read His word. Please share the experience you have with God with the rest of us and with your neighbors, friends, and family during this very unique time in history.

It is early in the morning when I am writing this and I can hear the birds chirping away. Hope is like these birds chirping before the break of dawn!

Hope is what we need and hope is what we have as Christians. “On Christ the solid Rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand!”

May God’s grace and peace be with you all.

Jon Zupke


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