28 March 2020
Greetings Church Family!
We’re into Day #3 of Lockdown and I hope you are all doing okay. As mentioned in previous emails, we have divided our church family into a number of different groups with a person who is designated to stay connected with you during this time to ensure that you are doing okay, and if you have any needs, we will do our best to help you out.
Tomorrow morning we are gearing up to bring you our OBC Live Streaming Service. We will begin the feed at our normal time of 10am and hopefully there will be a countdown clock so you will be able to join the feed just before 10am. Click on this link for quick access to our Live Streaming You Tube channel. Whenever we go LIVE on our channel if you want to be notified then make sure you click the “Subscribe” button when you are in YouTube and on our “Onekawa Bible Church” channel.
The format for tomorrow mornings live-stream service will be something like this:
10:00-10:15 Phil will do an intro / notices / Bible reading
10:15-10:30 Cross LIVE to Benji’s lounge for 2-3 songs
10:30-11:15 Back to Phil’s lounge for a message
11:15 Final song
At the end of the service, you might like to have a time of communion in your homes. I’m sure most of you have bread and it’s not essential that you use grape juice—any substitute would be appropriate in times like this. Many Christians around the world have celebrated communion with orange juice, or coke, or water if that’s all you have! 1 Cor. 11:17-34, Titus 3:3-7; Isaiah 53 are some key passages to keep in mind as you remember all that our Lord has done for us—as you know there are many other appropriate verses that you can turn to. It may be that during one of our Sunday mornings, we will lead communion through our live-stream feed—we’ll keep you posted.
Many of you have seen our new FaceBook page called “OBC Unite”. If you’re a FaceBook user that’s another place where we can connect. We posted a link to the website of Tim Challies, a trusted Christian blogger, who uploads lots of helpful Christian resources on a daily basis. If you haven’t already, click on the following link to visit Tim Challies Christian Blog and be encouraged by the content found there.
Grace and truth
21 March 2020
Hi church family!
It’s Phil here. I’ve just got off the phone from talking to the other elders, so this is the very latest update on our behalf.
Last Thursday night, the elders met (me via Skype!!) and we decided on all the plans and arrangements for Sunday morning that we believed were in line with the Government requirements and which we emailed you about last evening. Since then, there have been a number of new developments that have moved us to take some even greater precautions.
Therefore, we are now cancelling the Home Fellowship Groups tomorrow morning. As of today, our Prime Minister has indicated that everyone over 70 years of age and those with immune or respiratory conditions need to stay home. We now have confirmed cases in New Zealand of people who have contracted the virus who have had no obvious connection with someone returning from overseas. We also had confirmed last night that there was the possibility that some people on a cruise ship berthed in Napier last weekend may have been wandering around Napier. This means we need to be extra vigilant here in Hawkes Bay regarding our "social distancing”. During the last week or so that distance has stretched from a minimum of one metre to two metres (which is the equivalent of 4 square metres) which is very difficult to practice in a home environment. So for now, we are just encouraging the OBC church family to stay connected via the Live Stream on Sunday mornings which will still happen at the slightly later time of 10:30 tomorrow morning. Fred will be Live Streamed from his home (thanks to Sam Barley who will set it up) with some announcements, and bring us a message from God’s Word. The following Sunday we will have a more structured plan for the Live Stream that will probably include music. I am sorry for this late notice but that is the nature of the current situation. Please stay connected via phone calls, texts, etc., with each other and even touch base with others to make sure they’ve received this message. Please remember to pray for one another. There are people in our fellowship who will be hugely affected as a result of this current global situation.
We love you and look forward to that day when we will be able to gather again as one body in one location but until then let’s make sure we keep serving one another in practical ways.
I came across these helpful and encouraging words from an 18th century English Baptist Pastor.
Sovereign Ruler of the skies!
Ever gracious, ever wise!
All my times are in Thy hand,
All events at Thy command.
He that formed me in the womb,
He shall guide me to the tomb;
All my times shall ever be
Ordered by His wise decree.
Plagues and deaths around me fly,
Till He bids I cannot die:
Not a single shaft can hit
Till the God of love thinks fit.
(John Ryland, 1777)
Grace & Truth
Phil on behalf of the elders.
21 March 2020
God raises up Governments in order to help and protect the citizens in each respective country, and that includes caring for the physical health of a society. So in submission to Romans 13, we want to honour the recent decision from our government to not congregate in a gathering of more than 100 people. The purpose of this is to slow down the spread of COVID-19 which will ultimately protect those in our society who are most vulnerable to the virus. This does create some challenges for us as a church, but thanks to technology and a new plan we can still stay connected on Sunday mornings.
Therefore, this Sunday, we are providing a number of homes who will open their doors to enjoy fellowship with a smaller gathering of OBC saints who are healthy and not vulnerable to catching the virus. Each home will have a TV screen ready and connected to watch the sermon via our YouTube LIVE Stream. Please note the Live Stream won’t start until the slightly later time of 10:30am. Fred will bring us the message this week on the “Glory of God”, a message that is so important in these chaotic days. The locations are likely to change from week-to-week and we will add more homes if necessary. See the attachment below for locations for this Sunday. If you are hoping to attend one of the homes, please touch base with the contact person or leader so they can prepare for your visit. We would certainly encourage all of you to continue staying as safe as possible by washing hands, sneezing or coughing into your sleeve, not shaking hands or hugging, and maintaining a “social” or “physical” distance from each other. Common sense is the underlying factor.
All of this means, we are unable to offer a specific Kings Kids Ministry for the children, however, Benji has put together lessons, video, and information on our church website for the kids. Click here to see it. Parents, please feel free to use this material with your children and they are welcome to come along to the various homes and bring some of those worksheets with them.
We want to encourage all of you to stay connected with each other via visits, phone calls, texts, etc. Please be sure to touch base with others in the church family to make sure they are getting this update and any future updates. We will also plan to continue our various Lighthouse and age-related mid-week church ministries—your ministry leader will stay in touch with you.
We are doing our best to stay connected with everyone in the church fellowship. If you are lonely, or elderly or unable to attend any gatherings we have members of the church family who are available to pop in and see you or to help meet any of your needs. If you need technical help to make your LIVE stream work on a Sunday morning, we have a team ready to help! If you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to our church YouTube channel called “Onekawa Bible Church”. Please, don’t hesitate to let us know if you have immediate needs or concerns … if you do please email us at email@example.com or call Phil on 027-2578910 or Fred on 027 359 5005 … if they are unable to answer, please leave a message.
Now, more than ever, is the time to be practicing the “one anothers” of Scripture that we know so well … love one another, encourage one another, serve one another, etc. It’s also a great time to pray for one another, especially for those struggling to cope with all the chaos, and for those who may lose jobs, and for all the health workers who are working hard to prevent this virus overwhelming NZ as it has in other countries.
We love our church family and we will miss meeting together as a large group, but let’s remember we can still function as the local church in this new format as we stay focused on our L.I.G.H.T. purpose statement of Loving God and each other, Imparting the gospel to others, Glorifying God, putting our Hope in the future, and continuing to Teach the truth (via the Internet!).
Grace and Truth
Sunday Morning Service 10:00-11:30am
The worship service will include a time of singing, Bible reading, prayer, giving and preaching of God’s powerful Word. Most Sunday's we celebrate the Lord’s death and resurrection by taking communion together.
We are a family church with people from all stages and ages in life with an ever increasing number of kids, youth and young adults.
There is a créche available each week for the children 0-3 years old.
We also run a Sunday School during the sermon for children aged 3-12 years old. Children are taught simple yet important truths about God, Jesus Christ, the gospel and how to live a life that pleases God.
After the service we enjoy a time of fellowship and refreshments in the back of the school hall.
OBC currently meet at Taradale High School, 50 Murphy Road on a Sunday morning with the service beginning at 10am. There is plenty of parking within the school grounds and there are people ready to help direct you to a park.
We still have our OBC church building located at 16 Riverbend Road, Onekawa in Napier and ministries run there during the week. The map below shows where our church building is.
These small groups are wonderful opportunities to grow our friendships, enhance our fellowship, and dig a little deeper into the life-changing Word of God. If you are not yet connected to a group and would like more information please click on one of the leaders names below to send them an email:
Greenmeadows Lighthouse Group
021 0407 512
Onekawa Lighthouse Group
027 343 7042
Taradale Lighthouse Group
021 288 3304
Taradale Lighthouse Group
021 0298 7695
Bay View Lighthouse Group
027 502 1757
Hastings Lighthouse Group
Charles and Jared
027 4833 433, 027 600 3522
Havelock North Lighthouse Group
027 257 8910