News, Connections and Photos from the life of the faith community at CAPC Oakland
As you may know, the Alameda County Health OfficerDr. Erica Pan joined six other Bay Area public health jurisdictions this afternoon to issue an order for all Alameda County residents to shelter in place to slow the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and preserve critical health care capacity across the region, by fighting the spread of the novel coronavirus epidemic. The shelter-in-place order will remain in effect through at least April 7.
This means that effective at midnight, Oakland and other Bay Area cities will require people to stay home except for essential needs. Necessary government functions & essential stores will remain open. Restaurants will also stay open serving food-to-go or with dramatically changed dining areas.
The County of Alameda and the city of Oakland ask that individuals avoid all gatherings except for medical purposes, to get food, or to care for a friend or relative.
This means effectively that we as a church will cancel all our programs and close our campus to the groups that use our main building and the gym to comply with the order. This includes our regular worship (already canceled) as well as our small groups both on campus (like the choir & Women’s Group) as those that meet off-campus ( the Celtic Prayer Group, ESL Ministry, & the Men’s Group).
This is quite dramatic, and coming as possibly a great shock. The intent is to flatten the curve (read more HERE)and prevent a major health crisis that could result in avoidable deaths by flooding hospitals with sick in need of critical care. This is up and into Holy Week so we will see what that means not just for the immediate but also the mid to long-term.
We are committed as a community to a God of life, a God who overcame death, fear, and destruction (symbolized in the cross) to call us, and usher us into new life as a new creation. As we know, new life isn’t without its challenges…just ask those who have become parents, or overcome a substance addiction, or who have moved to a new country. And or hope is in a God of hope who walks beside us, carries us from behind and cheers us on from up ahead as we journey through life together.
May we discover the power of the resurrected one among and beside us in this time of uncertainty, fear and opportunity.
Yes, and no. We are not going to have public gatherings, but we will continue to meet, connect and care for one another. We’ll do this in ways that we will continue rolling out today, as well as in the days to come.
CIRCLES OF LIFE: We’re launching what I’m calling Circles of Life today. These will be a circle of roughly 5 families/people tied connected together by a convener who will check in with members of that circle at least every 3 days. This is a way for us to check-in, find out about any concrete needs, pray for one another on the phone, and be intentional community in a time of encouraged distancing.
WORSHIP: We will have some worship resources and opportunities for you to use in this time of distance, to practice trust in a God who brings us together across those distances that separate us. This will include videos, musical sing-a-longs, coloring pages, and video meditations. We even already have some music online to which you can listen or sing along – at our SoundCloud Page HERE.
COMMUNITY GROUPS: We can still meet with the help of technology, specifically phones and the internet. We will put into place groups for sharing around Bible Study, a book read, and even regular prayer together using the tool of ZOOM.
THE LABYRINTH: Karl Shadley is helping to create a guided meditation that folks can use if they come to the campus garden and walk our labyrinth in this time of existential need. It’s a concrete way for us to be Church even if the doors are locked!
MISSION MATTERS: We want to endure in our commitment to feed the hungry on Friday Nights, doing so by serving the meal outside to reduce the chance for contagion in the open air (see the photo below). Some of our partnering groups are canceling their involvement in the short-term. We can creatively address the challenges we face about meeting in large groups to prepare meals – we can cook at home! If you’d be interested in helping us to care for the poor and hungry (who are the quickest to be overlooked in times of crisis) SIGN-UP HERE.
GIVING: We still face our regular bills for electricity, water, salaries, ministry expenses, and missional commitments. You can give even if we don’t gather together by sending financial gifts to the office by mail.
The best way for us to stay connected – and to connect with all of these groups, resources, and up-to-date information is through our church website at http://www.capcoakland.org.
You can also always contact Monte by email at email@example.com or cell phone at (510) 520-0746.
One of the best ways to stay atop what’s happening where we live in terms of COVID-19 is the Alameda County Public Health website at http://www.acphd.org