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.
“It is not enough to be non-racist, we must be antiracist.” – Angela Davis
“Racism isn’t getting worse; it’s getting filmed.” – Will Smith
George Floyd was a black man who was killed by a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, in Minneapolis on Monday 26 May, 2020. He pleaded for his life several times, saying “I can’t breathe”, and since his death, riots have ensued in Minneapolis and beyond - calling for justice and bringing race-based injustice to the fore.
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.
We are now over a month into lockdown and it’s testing us all. Some extroverts may now be wishing for some personal space, whilst introverts are starting to feel the need to party!
Clearly, whatever your circumstances, it is increasingly hard to be confined to home, even to the point of adversely affecting your wellbeing – or even your mental health.
There’s an ocean of advice being posted online about this. Some of it’s really good, but it can be hard to find amidst the noise.
Earlier today the elders reviewed and weighed the various prophetic and other contributions from the week of prayer. They said: "First of all, thank you for taking part! Secondly, as we've reviewed what came out, we see that God is reminding us to focus on him in this season. We note that our prophets, who often hear God with direction for the church, are not now hearing something about change, or a fresh focus - but simply that this is a season when God wants to draw us close!"
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?!
In our Streamed Sundays after Easter we're going to look together at the letter to Philippians. (Having got into the flow of streaming, we're also going to try a few new things, so watch out for those!)
As well as Sunday preaching, we plan to make resources available to support individuals, Communities and other groups to follow up on the teaching we will find in the letter.
For Good Friday 2020 we will publish a livestream, from around 11:30am on Friday 10th April, featuring our very own Steve Thomas!
Full details will be here: http://oxford.occ.org.uk/events/good-friday-2020
As part of the OCC Streamed Sunday on 5 April 2020, we're encouraging all of us to 'MoT' our devotional habits, those habits - of prayer, Bible reading, and much more - that facilitate our relationship with God.
We're recommending two great resources, and for those of you that have not yet manged to get hold of them, below are some of the main headings from each of those books, along with other links.
I bought this book about a year ago because it was small, unintimidating and had very large text, and therefore I thought there was a slim chance that I might actually read it!
I read about two chapters then and despite it only being a very brief skim, I picked up some gems of wisdom which I still remember and put into practice now, which is a testament to the impact of the clear, concise and practical wisdom found inside.