Brothers and Sister in Christ,
We pray that you are all staying healthy and doing well.
Though this notice has other information, the most significant items for you to know are in green below.
As has already been mentioned, the Covid-19 (novel coronavirus) situation continues to rapidly change.
As you may have heard, late Sunday night the CDC made a recommendation to avoid gatherings of over 50 people, to help prevent spread of the novel coronavirus.
As a result, we will NOT be holding regular services at Oakland Hills for the time being. Growth groups are canceled as well. We are working on arranging live streaming on the web so that you can listen to and participate in the Sunday worship service from your home. Some of you have also asked about giving your tithes and offerings during this time. We are also discussing how to address this. For now, you may send a check if you wish to the church address, 37150 West Eight Mile Road, Farmington Hills, MI 48335. Details will be forthcoming soon.
In addition, there has been recent new evidence that has shown that people who have yet to display symptoms can still spread the virus. The incubation period varies, but they have found many people who are carrying the virus and spreading to others before they have shown any symptoms. The disease still tends to be milder in younger people and children, so many may actually have the virus without realizing it. All this makes controlling the spread of the virus more difficult.
The primary route of spread still remains respiratory droplets (secretions from coughing or sneezing, etc). The disease can also be spread by touching something (the virus can stay active for several hours to days on various substances, so please disinfect your phones and other objects!) and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. It is not the direct touching of the object, but touching of your face after you touch a contaminated object, that spreads the virus. Washing your hands with warm soapy water for 20 seconds should kill the virus, so please wash regularly and often! Please also encourage all children to avoid touching their faces, and wash hands often, particularly when leaving the house for any reason. As long as you keep a good distance from others (six feet or more, since this is the distance respiratory droplets travel), and wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face, you should hopefully be safe.
Though many young people may not show significant symptoms, when symptoms do appear, the most common is fever, and then cough. If the disease progresses, you can develop shortness of breath. Please seek medical care if you have a fever or shortness of breath. The disease can be very severe in the elderly or those with chronic medical problems (diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, immunosuppression). Please be extra careful if you are in any of these categories.
We realize that this is an unprecedented time, and many in our congregation may develop new and different needs during this time. Please let us, the deacons, and one another know how we can continue to care for and support each other during this time. May God use us for His glory during this unusual time.
Above all, please remember that our hope is not in a Covid test, or a treatment, or a cure. Our hope is in the Lord, maker of heaven and earth. This pandemic may be surprising to us, but nothing surprises our Heavenly Father. Not a hair can fall from our head without His ordaining it.
I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.