Oil City Community Alliance Church
Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Pursuing Jesus Christ, building His kingdom, and proclaiming His offer of freedom, healing, and life!

News & Updates

Greetings to all our OCCA family and friends

I would like to be able to address you all in person; for those that did not get the video on the webpage here is a written copy so that we might be able to get the word out faster to everyone who is wondering what will be happening here in light of everything that is going on especially as it deals with the Covid – 19 coronavirus news. Our elders and our Christian and Missionary Alliance District leadership team, along with those at the National level, have been continuing to monitor the unfolding events and trying to learn from various perspectives in order to know how best to respond. At this time we, along with other Alliance Churches here in Western PA are being directed by our District Leadership team to follow the recommendations of the government authorities and suspend Sunday services and all public gatherings. Therefore, we as OCCA elders are suspending all public services, groups, ministries, Bible studies etc. associated with OCCA through April 8th. We will reassess at that time what the next steps will be based on the information we have and direction from our district leadership. Obviously our hope and prayer is that we will be able to press forward as normal at that time as we will be getting to celebrate Resurrection Sunday. Please understand, this was not an easy decision – in fact in 30+ years of ministry through all kinds of weather I think I have canceled services maybe twice…. but as our district leadership has said – “we recommend this dramatic step, not out of fear, but out of respect for our leaders and for the benefit of our communities”. Let me remind you of what we just talked about in last Sunday’s sermon “A Godly Response in a Time Like This”, and the challenge to walk by faith not by fear and to do that by holding onto the hope that we have in Him and passing on the peace that we have to others around us. If you have not listened to that yet, I encourage you to check on our website or find the link on Facebook.

Obviously for myself and many of you this is a sad time but it does not have to be a bad time… This is an opportunity for God to show Himself in our lives and to work all things together for good (Romans 8:28). This may be the time for God to bring revival to his people and see an awakening to new life by those around us. This is a time to not be consumed listening constantly to the news about all of this but to even take some extra time now to listen to the good news – to get into God’s word even more and to not just survive spiritually but to grow closer to God more than ever before. For some people this may be a more isolated time off from the usual but let this not be a vacation from God or His people and especially not from His mission. Let’s make the determination that this will not close us down from being a bridge and connecting with one another and those directly around us. While we may be closing the church building for now, know this -- the church still remains open and alive because WE are the church… And what better time for us to be the church both to one another and to those who are perhaps even more in need of Jesus’s love, now more than ever before.

So how can we do this if we cannot get together like we usually do? Well…we have a number of options that I want to tell you about, not only that will enable us to stay connected with one another but also to help you stay connected to God. First off, we are working on live streaming our normal service from basically an empty worship center on Sunday mornings at the usual 10:30 AM time. At this point we are only able to do that through Facebook Live, but we are also looking at other options that are a little more complicated and will require some financial investment. If you are on Facebook and connected with our public Facebook page you should get the reminder and invitation to join us. For those who are not sure how to get on Facebook and do this, we have some instructions on our website in the “News and Updates” section. Another thing we have started is a private Facebook group for OCCA Family only – let us know if you did not get an invite. This will be different from our public Facebook page in that it is just for our church family to be able to connect with one another or share personal needs, prayer requests and encouragement, as well as to post important church information that you may need to know. For those who are a little leery of Facebook, please note this private OCCA Family group will not be a place to share memes and articles or divisive discussions etc. like can happen sometimes in the general public Facebook.

We have a number of groups that have bonded together and are growing in Christ that should still stay connected with one another through this time. These include such groups as youth, young adults, Kingdom Builders, Life groups, Bible studies , prayer and a variety of ministry groups etc. This is a time to reach out and take responsibility, to check up and pray for one another. Hebrews 10:24 – 25… And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds not giving up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing but encouraging one another – all the more as you see the Day approaching… While at this time we are not able to get together in person as we would like, we can still get together and encourage one another. This can and should happen through a phone call or a little less personal even group texting. But also one of those ways is for your group as well to create your own private Facebook group to encourage one another. Also we are checking out the best way for you to be able to pick a time to meet online through a number of videoconferencing options where all those in your group at different locations can see and talk to one another. Again we will have this list on our website under the “News and Updates” tab. Here’s an exciting thing about all this… If we actually follow through and increase our caring connections with one another in times like these, it will only strengthen us to be able to make a greater impact for God when we are able to come back together.

Besides these times, we may get together virtually or online, we can also listen to the Sunday messages online. If you cannot get online let us know and we will work out other ways like CD’s and DVD’s.  But there are a number of other resources available for us to continue to press forward in our growth in Christ. One resource we have available for all of our church family is called Right Now Media which is an online library of Bible study and Christian inspirational videos from a variety of sources and for a variety of people. In fact for those families that find their children are now at home there are over 2000 educational wholesome inspiring videos. Just contact the church email, occa@occachurch.com,  for a personal invite to our Right Now Media group for access. Don’t forget about youversion.com with the Bible app that also has countless devotionals that could help focus your time with God and where you can even do devotionals together with someone else and be able to comment back and forth to one another. Also worth mentioning is during our Kingdom Builders times many of our groups are using D6 material - there is a D6 app that you can get that has a lot of information, podcasts and study guides along with things that a family can do together. We want to continue to try to resource those who according to Deuteronomy 6 are the primary pastors of your family. Please remember as we tend to isolate ourselves in our homes that there are many in our church family that are single and depending on their situation also need caring connections.

We will continue to send out special announcements through our church link system through phone calls and texts that you usually receive on Saturday nights. To increase our communication we have now included two-way texting with this church link option. If you are part of our church family and for some reason are not getting these please let us know.  You can still contact us either through the church email occa@occachurch.com or my email ptimocca@gmail.com as well as call the church phone at 676 – 1965 and leave a message either for Wendy or for myself by quickly pressing #2 when prompted to, in order to be put through to my personal voicemail and leave a message that will then also track me down wherever I might be so that I can get back with you. Obviously at any time you should feel free to call and connect with the elders of the church. There is a lot of information you can find both on our website at www.occachurch.com as well as the Church Center App that you can put on your mobile devices (you can find information about this on the website). Both of these include a bunch of information as well as a place for prayer requests and a number of links, including being able to continue our giving to God online, although you can also send a check to the church address (411 Seneca Street Oil City PA 16301) through the mail that goes directly to our secure Post Office Box. If you have not done so before, consider in addition giving to the benevolent fund to help those who may be in need especially within our church family, as the many shutdowns have affected even our own people. Our deacon and deaconesses have already met and are prepared to help people out in a variety of ways – but remember we each are the church and each one of us can do our part to help our brothers and sisters out. That’s all for now, you’ll be hearing more information in the future, remember to check out the website and hopefully things will work out so that we can all gather together online this Sunday at 10:30am for our worship service. Here’s a final word for us from Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

---- Pastor Tim
 
  
We are working on live streaming our normal service on Sunday mornings at the usual 10:30 am time. At this point we are only able to do that through Facebook live. If you are on Facebook and connected with our public Facebook pageyou should get the reminder and invitation to join us. For those who are not sure how to get on Facebook and do this, please read the instructions below.
How to access Facebook:
Go to www.facebook.com and sign up for an account.
Follow our church page https://www.facebook.com/OCCAChurch/
On our church page, in the lefthand pane, click on Live Videos
 How to Enable Live Notifications for Facebook:
Go to the Facebook page you want to receive Facebook Live notifications.
Hover over or click on the Following button.
Under Notifications click the edit button.
Under Live Videos, select All Posts for when to get notified of live videos.
 
 
Online Resources & Study Links
 Right Now Media is an online library of Bible study and Christian inspirational   videos from a variety of sources and for a variety of people. In fact for those   families that find their children are now at home there are over 2000     educational wholesome inspiring videos. Just contact the church email for a personal invite to our Right Now Media group for access. 
 
Don’t forget about youversion.com with the Bible app that also has
countless devotionals that could help focus your time with God and
where you can even do devotionals together with someone else and
be able to comment back and forth to one another. 
 

 

 During our Kingdom Builders times, many of our groups are using
 D6 material.There is a D6 app that you can get that has a lot of
 information, podcasts and study guides along with things that a
 family can do together. 

 

Check out the FREE Church Center App where you can find our church, submit prayer requests, access links to our website, calendar, social media, forms, YouVersion, and much more! You can give online, pre-check in to Kingdom Builders, and find Events & Groups information.

      

 
Videoconferencing Options for Small Groups:
Zoom
Google Hangouts
Facebook Messenger

  

CANCELLATIONS

The SEEK 2020 event, scheduled for May 1-2 at
Community Alliance Church in Butler PA, has been postponed.
 This action is taken out of compliance with government mandates and also out of   concern for those who might be vulnerable in a situation where many people are in   close proximity to one another. If you’ve registered for the event, your registration   will be refunded as soon as event coordinators are able to do so. While we are all   disappointed to not be sharing a wonderful weekend together, may we be in   prayer for those affected by this virus and see this as an opportunity to live out the   gospel in our local context.
 
     We are very sad to announce the cancellation of our District Retreat with Laura Story. The circumstances associated with the pandemic make this necessary to avoid any possible transmission of COVID-19 and to maintain compliance with the new limitations on large meetings imposed by the City of Pittsburgh.
     If you have registered for the retreat, you will receive a refund in the next few weeks. If you have reserved a hotel room, please contact them to cancel.Please pray that all the turmoil created by the pandemic will open many doors for the gospel.  May we be bold to share our certainty in Christ in these uncertain times.