Letter from Paul - 3/18/20

Letter from Paul - 3/18/20

Hello Lakewood Family, 

The past few days have seen many hard discussions and decisions. After much prayer and conversations with our staff, eldership, and pastors across the city of McAlester, we have decided to switch to an online only service at 10am this Sunday, March 22. This has been a difficult decision that was ultimately made for the following reasons:

1.) We want to show our love for the community - The overwhelming research and conclusion from our nations physicians suggests that limiting interaction can help to stop this virus on the front end. While our trust and faith is ultimately in God, we need to act in wisdom, and we want to do our part in this. 

2.) We want to help protect our people who are at higher risk - a large portion of our Lakewood family is of the age to be considered "high risk." Several of these are very faithful to come to church every time that our doors are open. While we love and celebrate their hearts for the church, we do not want to create a situation where people who are at a higher risk have to make difficult decision to stay home, or possibly a wrong decision to come. 

Personally, I ask for your prayers for wisdom as we walk down this path. My heart is for the church and switching to an online only service has been difficult to accept. But there have been some encouraging moments this week as well. Throughout this we have seen an opportunity for the church to love in innovative and genuine ways; To love our neighbors and to show a faith that is more than a weekly exercise. Also, I have been privileged to spend a portion of this week talking with the pastors of the churches in McAlester. We have all agreed that these decisions, while being hard, should be made as the singular body of the church in McAlester. Too often churches tend to compete with each other, and this week has been a clear reminder that we are the family of God across all properties and differences of opinion. We are the church. 

Please remember the following as we step forward:

  • You will still be able to join our services online on our YouTube page as they will be streamed each Sunday at 10am. 

  • Our doors will always remain open to individuals seeking Jesus Christ or the solitude of worship we all sometimes need.

  • We are the church whether we are in the walls of the church building or not. Please stay in contact with each other throughout this time.

  • While our services will be online only, we will not turn away anyone who comes through our doors.

  • If you attend online, don’t forget you are still able to donate online! Thank you for helping the church to be able to care for our community through your donations and tithes.

So, we invite you to join us online on our youtube channel on Sunday at 10am! We will post a link to facebook 10 minutes before service starts so that you can get set. 

We have communion kits available at the church. Please plan on stopping by at some point this week to pick your up so we can still take communion together as a church.

Our prayers are for you, please pray for us. We are available to answer any questions or concerns that you may have.

Grace and Peace, 

Paul Vanderveer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Letter from Paul - 3/13/20

Hello Lakewood family, 

 

Over the past few weeks our attention and prayers have been directed to the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). We have watched these developments with earnest prayer as to what our response as a church should be. Whether it be to disease or disaster, the church should stand ready to respond in wisdom, love, and service. While we do not want to react out of fear, we also do not want to ignore wise counsel. These days have filled many with uncertainty and fear, and we want to be a beacon where the tired can find rest and the stressed can find peace. It is with this heart that we have been taking the necessary steps to provide a safe place for those looking for hope, rest, and peace. 

Here is what we are asking you all to do:

  • If you’ve been exposed to someone who has the coronavirus or symptoms of the coronavirus, please stay home and take 14 days off from attending any church programs.

  • If you have recently traveled to a CDC Level 2 or 3 country (China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, Hong Kong, or Japan) please take 14 days off from attending any church programs.

  • If you or any family members are experiencing or have recently experienced any symptoms associated with the flu or common cold (fever, persistent cough, headache, chills or unexplained rash), we ask that you take 14 days off from attending any church programs. 

  • If you are not able to volunteer, please communicate your absence to your volunteer coordinator

  • While we want to be in the same place together, some physical distance is not a bad idea.

  • Please greet others with a wave, not physical contact

Here is what Lakewood is going to do for our safety:

 

  • We will continue to have church at our regular scheduled times and location until we hear otherwise from our state and/or federal government.

  • We as a leadership are diligently staying informed via the appropriate channels on the spread of the virus and how it is impacting the community of McAlester and the region around McAlester.

  • We are going to put extra hand sanitizer around the facility.

  • We will NOT pass the communion during service, but ask everyone to go to communion stations around the auditorium.

We will continue to keep you posted through our website, facebook page, and app as this continues to develop. We will be watching state recommendations and then will make prayerful decisions as to what our response will be.

 

In the event that we have to suspend our Sunday service, I would like to remind you of four things:

  1. You will still be able to join our services online on our YouTube page as they will be streamed each Sunday at 10am. 

  2. Should we have to suspend group worship, our doors will always remain open to individuals seeking Jesus Christ or the solitude of worship we all sometimes need.

  3. We are the church wether we are in the walls of the church building or not. It is our hope that families and small groups will still get together to watch the service and worship in homes. 

  4. If you attend online, don’t forget you are still able to donate online! Thank you for helping the church to be able to care for our community through your donations and tithes.

We do encourage you to download our App, as it will be the best way to stay up-to-date with changes as they occur. Search "Lakewoodok" in GooglePlay or in the App Store.

 

We are available to answer any questions or concerns that you may have. 

Grace and Peace, 

Paul Vanderveer

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(918) 423-2736

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