You will have heard that England is going into lockdown from Thursday, 5 November, 2020. Before we can respond fully, we are waiting for the government to publish advice and legislation early this week. However, government has already made clear that places of worship will not be able to open for public worship for at least 4 weeks.
On Saturday 31 October, Oxford City will move into Tier 2 "High Alert" for coronavirus. More information from Oxford City Council, including a map of the City boundary, can be found here.
We're very excited about our new series - IDENTITY - starting this Sunday 4 October. This series was planned for the Summer 2020 term and then postponed due to COVID, so it's been in the pipeline for ages and we're delighted to finally get to it. IDENTITY will ask who God is, and how we get to be in relation to him! In other words, how our true identity as humans is found in relationship with our loving heavenly Father.
After this week's changes to COVID rules, we wanted to give you an update on how that affects OCC. The situation is evolving fairly regularly, and so you understandably may have struggled to keep up with how all the changes affect you in church stuff, as well as thinking about your home, work, social, and shopping life!
The short version is that this week's changes make little difference to how we already operate as OCC, and there are ongoing constraints, but also some opportunities.
On Sunday 26th July, we gathered for a one-off Sunday service at The King’s Centre. If you missed it, you can catch up here.
As we began our time together, Jenny Mahtani led us in a call to worship, bringing our emotions and hopes before God in worship - listen again from 6:24.
One of the things we've seen in lockdown is that good relationships withstand separation.
You might have been unable to visit an elderly relative as they struggled to cope with isolation, or missed a good friend that you've longed to spend unhurried time with? Or perhaps you are one half of a love-struck dating couple that have not been able to see each other for ages!?
Withdrawal of 'visiting privileges' has been one of the human costs of tackling this virus, and as restrictions eases in the UK, we're rushing to reconnect with relatives, friends and 'significant others'.
Coronavirus has forced us to change a great number of things, one of which is the way that we worship together as a church. So many of the things we so easily took for granted are no longer in place for us - for now, we don’t meet in a building, or worship in the same place. We can’t see each other’s faces, or catch up over coffee in a busy throng of expectation before we come together to sing and praise. We lose out on depths of relational and non-verbal communication within our church family; we lack hands-on prayer ministry during times of response… the list goes on.
This page will be updated as advice changes. Last updated 1 May 2020.
All of us are keen to follow the teaching of Jesus to love our neighbour. But how do we do that in the current pandemic, in a way that is loving and caring, and doesn't harm our neighbour, ourselves, or the wider community?
In this, OCC is not an expert! Our headline is to FOLLOW GOVERNMENT ADVICE - in what follows we're going to highlight government advice, and give you the links so you can dig deeper as you need.
In a 24-7 prayer week slot with my Community (group), we were listening to God and in the silence I could hear our old wind-up clock ticking, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick…
I remembered how the people of the whole world are always thinking about what is next, what is coming, what we will do, where we will go, where we will travel, what work we will do next, so on and so forth, endlessly.
Through this pandemic, I think God wants to put his finger on the mechanism of that clock, and stop it. Stop us, stop our constant action, and make us still. Then we asked what is next?!