OUR CHRISTIAN WITNESS

OF FAITH AND COMPASSION

pandemic

"But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, 
my glory, and the lifter of my head." 
-  Psalm 3:3 -

Update: September 2021

This fall, we will transition to more in-person meetings while maintaining the same structure:

  • In-person and livestream worship will continue. What a blessing to have so many in the congregation back to worshiping in-person!
     

  • Adult Sunday Schools will be in-person right after worship on the 1st and 3rd Sundays. This Bible study will be livestreamed on our YouTube channel at 2PM (not zoomed).
     

  • Adult Men/Women's Community Groups will meet in-person right after worship on the 2nd Sunday. These meetings will not be zoomed or livestreamed.
     

  • Youth Sunday School will meet in-person right after worship on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Sundays when the adults have their own in-person meetings. We've enjoyed over a year of weekly virtual Story Time for Littles and Younger Youth Zoom, but these virtual Friday meetings for preschool-grade 5 will be discontinued as these will be replaced by in-person Sunday School.
     

  • Friday Night Youth Group will meet in-person from 7:30-9:30PM at church for a time of praise, study, and activities. This meeting will also continue to be zoomed using the same link. Friday Youth Newsletters will give more detail on our youth schedule for the fall.
     

  • Other meetings such as the Tuesday Book Reading and the Church Membership Class will not meet in-person but continue to meet virtually through zoom.
     

Update: June 2021

Praise the Lord that as infection rates have decreased overall, all COVID restrictions have been lifted. As a result, we have begun meeting indoors for in-person worship at our usual 12:30PM worship time. An indoor overflow room with a screen as well as an outdoor area adjacent to the sanctuary (shaded with a canopy) are also provided. Masks and social distancing are at the discretion of those attending, as government mandates and restrictions have been lifted. The Lord's Supper will also resume on July 4. Online worship through our YouTube channel will continue to be livestreamed. 

Most meetings will continue to be provided via zoom as the increasing Delta variant gives concern, but we also look forward to upcoming in-person gatherings such as the Youth Beach Day in July.

Update: November 2020

As Orange County has been moved  back into the purple tier for Covid response, we are consequently prevented from meeting indoors for in-person worship. Praise God that we received permission from Evangelia University (from whom we rent our facilities), that we may meet in the outdoor courtyard area for worship. Therefore, the session has decided that we will hold worship outdoors at our usual 12:30PM worship time.

 

Everyone currently coming to the 12:30PM and 2:30PM services may come to the 12:30PM service. There will no longer be a second afternoon service at 2:30PM since there are no maximum capacity restrictions with outdoor worship. Anyone who would like to begin coming out to the in-person service is welcome anytime! Visitors and newcomers are very welcome to come to our in-person service at 12:30PM!

We will also be streaming the worship service at 12:30PM on YouTube. This will be a pre-recorded service from earlier in the Lord's Day.

The worship slides will not be projected outdoors. Please use the link to the worship bulletin in the Worship Resources section on the homepage of our website for the Confession of Faith recitation, hymn lyrics, and Scripture passage. If you would like to receive our newsletter which includes all the weekly resources, please email: petersim@theophilusopc.org.

If there is a rainy forecast for a Sunday, we will have to cancel in-person worship and just stream the worship. We will update any changes to the worship service in our weekly newsletter as well as post it on Instagram, so please follow us on Instagram

Update: September 2020

We will begin to regather for physical Lord's Day worship on Sunday, September 13, 2020.

The first service at 12:30PM will continue to be live streamed on our YouTube channel.

We are also starting a new second service at 2:30PM, which will not be live streamed.

Our Regathering Committee has worked hard to develop a plan for us to safely regather to worship. The plan includes safe social distancing, sanitation procedures, and a condensed liturgy. You may see the plan here.

How is Theophilus ministering to God's people during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Out of a Christian honor to our government and love and care for our neighbor, the Session of the church decided to move the worship services online starting March 15, 2020. We will continue to live-stream the worship through YouTube Live, every Sunday at 12:30PM (PST) in addition to meeting corporately in two services with social distancing measures. In addition, we are thankful for the Session, Diaconate, Board of Trustees, Community Group facilitators, and all our church committees who are diligently laboring to minister to all of God's people at Theophilus.

 

If anyone would like to offer any suggestions to the Session, please don't hesitate to contact any of us. If anyone is in need of immediate diaconal ministry, please don't hesitate to reach out to the Session or our deacons. Click here to read about our denomination's Committee on Diaconal Ministry in response to the pandemic.

How can we stay connected during this time of social distancing? 

It's a challenge, but we are so grateful for the many ways that the Lord has provided! And so thankful for our brothers and sisters who have been working hard to help our church adapt to the digital age!

First, everyone in the church belongs to a Community Group. Community Groups have been meeting weekly through the Zoom online platform! These weekly meetings have been a time of exchanging prayer requests and praise reports, praying together, and discussing the daily devotions that the entire church is receiving. It's a wonderful time of checking in with one another and being available and spiritually accountable to one another.

We have also begun church-wide Community Group Zoom meetings to meet for prayer. This will take place first and third Sundays at 4:30PM via Zoom. 

Second, we are putting effort into growing in daily faith by providing resources in our weekly newsletters. Everyone is encouraged to keep reading Scripture daily, using the schedule provided. What a blessing that the entire church -from youngest to oldest, no matter the life stage- can take comfort in knowing that we are all being encouraged, stretched, and humbled by the same passages of the Scripture. And then we can follow up with a discussion on those same passages during the weekly Community Group meetings! In the weekly e-newsletter, there are additional resources like a student daily devotional, podcast, sermons, articles, and parent tips to engage the entire family in growing together. By making the daily Bible readings consistent for everyone in the church and by providing these resources to go deeper into those passages, we hope to help each and every person in the church to grow in daily faith and true spiritual accountability to one another.

Third, Pastor Sim is also taking some of our usual classes online through Zoom. Systematics is on Tuesdays 8pm, Younger Youth (K-5th) is on Fridays 4:30pm, and Older Youth (6th-college) is on Fridays 5pm. Membership classes are also continuing via Zoom.

Fourth, you can stay connected through our church's website and social media. Visit our blog, check out our Instagram, or listen to the many sermons and Bible studies on our website or our YouTube channel, which includes our VBS slideshow and conference recordings. But don't just "feed," think about how you can "exercise"- that is, exercise your gifts! There are so many people who might be feeling isolated or anxious. There are those who might be going through trials and challenges. And there are those who might be feeling like things are just fine but actually are in need of spiritual friendship and accountability. Reach out and create opportunities to share the good news of the gospel, even with one another!

If you are new to our church and would like to find out more about our various ministries, especially during these unusual times, please contact us and we'd love to hear from you!

Washing hands, washing feet...

Let us remember that Christian neighboring must look less like fearful self-preservation and more like servant-hood, especially towards those in need. As you wash your hands, remember we also wash feet. When we no longer are able to corporately and publicly gather, both the Session and the Diaconate will be contacting you on a regular basis to make sure your spiritual and physical needs are still being met. We also encourage all of you to keep in contact with one another via electronically or though the phone. Let us demonstrate, as a church representing Christ Himself, the tender mercies of being one family in Christ and as salt and light to this world.