This past Sunday we installed our new session elders. Traditionally, ordained elders in the congregation are invited to the front of the church. They lay their hands on the shoulders of the new elders (or those closest to them). The pastor then blesses the new elders.
I can tell you from personal experience, it's a powerful part of the service. When I was installed, I felt weight of all those hands, and the connection the connection across the generations they represented. And I felt a spirit move through those hands and into me. I was ready to serve.
This year was different, though. For safety, we were worshipping via Zoom. What to do?
All the elders simply placed their hands close to their cameras. I don't know if the new elders experienced it, but I felt that flow of spirit once again.
Congratulation to Cameron and Ted. May the spirit guide you -- and us -- through your time on session.
- Ralph Graves
former Clerk of Session
It has been over six months since we have gathered together in worship. In those six months we have improvised, and organized new ways to worship.
I hope that you have been able to experience worship through our YouTube services. I hope that you have experienced community through phone calls and letters. I hope that your spirit has been filled by prayer meetings, devotion time, and theological discussions. I hope you have felt the spirit moving these past six months.
After much prayer and discernment, the safety team has deemed that we are at a point where it is safe to gather once again. In October OPC will have a soft reopening. This means that we will ease our way back into a time of gathering. Specifically here is what this will look like:
Oct 4: we will have another drive-thru communion service. There will be a pre-recorded worship service on the website and the Facebook page, where the word will be proclaimed and the words of institution spoken. After you have participated in that service, you are invited to come to the parking lot to receive pre-packaged communion elements between 10-11 that morning. Please wear a mask and remain in your car for this part of the service.
Oct 11: we will have an outside Blessing of the Animals service. We will gather at 11 in the playground area for this service. If you feel so called, please bring your pet, or a picture of your pet with you to be blessed. Again, please wear a mask and practice social distancing for the duration of this service.
Oct 18: Chelsea, our music director, will host an hour long organ concert in the sanctuary at 11. Please come and go as you please. This will be a contemplative service with no talking or singing. Again, please wear a mask and practice social distancing for the duration of this service. The safety team will be present to guide us in our safety procedures.
Oct 25: we will have an informal gathering for about 15 minutes starting at 11 that morning. There will be music but no singing, prayer but no speaking. Again, please wear a mask and practice social distancing for the duration of this service. The safety team will be present to guide us in our safety procedures.
For all of these Sundays, there will also be a service available on the website and the Facebook page for those who are unable to attend in person. The risk of COVID is still very present, and the safety team is doing everything in its power to keep us all safe in this time of pandemic.
I would like to thank the members of the safety team, Lynn Clements, Mike Saxton, May Saxton, Robert Kendall, Amy McClung, and Buckshot Clements, who have worked diligently for months to plan and prepare for this time.
Thank you and God bless!
- Pastor Rebekah