The idea of belonging to a church - or any other organisation for that matter - is increasingly alien in the world today. Tim Keller tweets: "Everyone says they want community and friendship. But mention accountability or commitment to people, and they run the other way." Krish Kandiah discerns a movement "towards a more eclectic individualistic spirituality.”
Why then does OCC hold to a habit of 'formal church membership'?
Recently I came across this tweet, which could sum up pretty much all that needs saying on this topic: "Church is a Spirit-filled family, not a weekly experience."
Assistant Pastor Sanjay Mahtani puts it this way: "OCC: Community is our middle name!" And I can sometimes be heard to complain, "We don't go to church, we are the church!"
Steve Jones continues our series about God's Heart.
The meeting is lead by Jo Male and Andy O'Connell, with Alex Hills leading us in worship.
This week we will not have children's worship (5-11yrs) on-site, you can find online content here, but our youth worship (11-18yrs) is happening in person.
England is now in national lockdown. While there are difficult constraints on our social lives, schooling and work, places of worship can remain open, and people are allowed to leave home to attend.
What are we to make of this freedom to gather, while other aspects of life are severely constrained, and we are advised to 'stay at home' except for essential reasons? Is OCC right to continue with onsite services, or should we revert to online only?
From Boxing Day 2020, Oxfordshire has been in 'Tier 4' of the England Covid regulations. Tier 4 (and all other tiers) allow places of worship to 're-open', and people are allowed to leave home to attend a place of worship.
What are we to make of this freedom to gather, while other aspects of life are severely constrained, and we are advised to 'stay at home' except for essential reasons? In other words, is OCC right to continue with in-person services, as we intend to do, or should we revert to online only?
Some of you will be interested in what has been going on behind the scenes, as Christian and other faith leaders have worked with government on the question of whether and how places of worship can re-open while the Covid-19 pandemic continues.
During 'lockdown 1' (from 23 March 2020) places of worship were required to close, until 4 July, when they were allowed to re-open as the first wave waned.
We've come to the end of our Autumn 2020 series IDENTITY. Although it was unexpectedly disturbed by another lockdown, meaning we had to interact online instead of in-person, it has been a rich series.
We've explored God, and who he is - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - and who we are in relation to him.
We welcome in the New Year, including a post-sabbatical update from Steve and Bev Jones, and time to pray together.
Andy & Ruth O'Connell lead the meeting, with Alex Hills leading us in worship.
For any practical questions, including about children, youth, and Covid-secure arrangements, click on Sunday Info above.
Lois Fulton speaks to us in the final installment of our series on IDENTITY.
Andy & Ruth O'Connell lead the meeting, with Jon Silk leading us in worship.
We pray for two families as they go or return to their work overseas.
For any practical questions, including about children, youth and Covid-secure arrangements, click on Sunday Info above.