October 18 Update

Fall is really here! So we're going to need to move indoors for worship services. It has been really fun and freeing to meet outside, but we do live in Oak Lawn and it's cooling down fast. We'll meet at 10am for one service inside going forwards. When you come, please plan to wear a mask and distance yourselves at least 6ft from those who don't live in your household. For more info on our protocols, please see them below. 


For families, we are going to be starting up kid's church soon, so keep your eyes open for an announcement about that.


Online service will premiere on Facebook at 10am, as well as be available on-demand on our website and on Youtube (usually available by midday Saturday). 



Below are the indoor protocols we first adopted in June. 


Before you come


1. If you are in the at-risk group (age, compromised health such as high blood pressure, obese, diabetic, respiratory issues, etc.) consult your physician about the wisdom of attending service and strongly consider following their advice. Online services will be provided going forward should you choose not to attend.


2. Choose to postpone attending if you have a temperature, abnormal respiratory issues, or feel sick.


3. Obtain a face covering (if you don’t have one contact the church office and let us know you need one – we can provide a limited number).


4. Wash hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer.

 

Once you arrive


1. Wear a face covering inside the building.


2. Refrain from hugging and hand shaking (we know you’ve missed this, but for now it’s for the best).


3. Obtain an outline from the table in the Narthex.


4. Choose a seat that will have a distance of at least 6 feet from non-family members.


5. In the initial opening phase of in person services we will not provide childcare or nursery.


6. Bring your Bible as opposed to using the pew bibles or hymnals. If you need a Bible to keep please let us know.


7. Be prepared for some changes. Singing will be reduced due to the spread of Covid-19 through droplets in the air. Singing is associated with this according to the CDC and the Illinois Health Department. We also consulted with Christian physicians who agreed this is a serious concern.


8. Maintain social distancing of 6 feet as you interact with fellow attendees.


9. An offering basket will not be passed (you may either give online, by mail, or in a box located at the rear of the sanctuary).


10. When we offer communion, single serve communion packets will be distributed.


We look forward to a time when all of this will no longer be necessary, but for now your patience and endurance in these things us appreciated. We are seeking to protect you and provide the most meaningful worship service possible under the circumstances of a world-wide pandemic. Your cooperation in observing these protocols is deeply appreciated. We look forward to seeing you soon.


May God richly bless you,



The OLBC Elders

July 26 Update

For the next few months, as weather allows, we plan to have a single outdoor service when possible, so we can all meet together and have a bit more freedom in what we do in our worship service.  Our summer weather in Oak Lawn is not always conducive to meeting outdoors, however. Please regularly check oaklawnbible.org and our Facebook page as well as our update emails for the latest info about our plans each week. When we are unable to meet outdoors, we will have two indoor services at 9am and 10:30am. We will usually post an update Wednesday or Thursday. You can find our protocols for indoor and outdoor services below. We will also continue to have services online. 

jUly 1 update

"This coming Sunday July 5th we are going to go back to an outdoor service, but with some changes. Due to the forecast we are moving the start time for service up to 9:00 AM. This will probably still mean warm temperatures (low to mid 80s), but we would suggest you dress appropriately for the heat and bring pop-ups or umbrellas for shade. I am planning on wearing shorts and a short-sleeve shirt myself.

Each choice we make as to when to meet and where to meet comes with tradeoffs. In the opinion of the staff and the Elder Board, the opportunity to all meet together in a less obstructive way outweighs the comfort of meeting indoors where there are cooler temperatures. We also believe there is an important outreach opportunity for the surrounding community. We will keep the service to about an hour, so we should be done by 10:00 AM which should be before it gets ridiculously hot.

Additionally, this is communion Sunday. Make sure you come early enough to receive your communion packet in preparation to worship together in remembrance of our Lord. Communion will be toward the beginning of the service.

Please pass this information along to any family members or friends you talk to so we can make sure the word gets out about this change.

I, the Staff, and the Elders look forward to seeing you this Sunday at 9:00 AM in the rear parking lot. If you are unable to attend, we are still offering the Online Service as well.

Love in Christ,

 

Pastor Rob Wheeler"

June 17 Update

Letter from the OLBC elders:


This coming Sunday we have decided to hold services indoors due to a chance of rain in the forecast and warm temperatures (humidity and heat). While we are thankful for changes in recommendations by Illinois that result in a loosening of restrictions by the government, we wish to keep you, the church family and friends we love as safe as possible.


The government has recommended social distancing of six feet, only a 25% capacity in the sanctuary or 100 whichever is less, and limited singing (the virus is spread through droplets in the air that are enhanced during singing.) A 25% capacity for us is roughly 75 people. Because of this, we are going to ask you to RSVP/register for the service you will attend. Follow this link to RSVP oaklawnbible.org/rsvp. You can also email or call the church office to inform us which service you plan to attend.


The following protocols were developed by the elders:


Before you come


1. If you are in the at-risk group (age, compromised health such as high blood pressure, obese, diabetic, respiratory issues, etc.) consult your physician about the wisdom of attending service and strongly consider following their advice. Online services will be provided going forward should you choose not to attend.


2. Choose to postpone attending if you have a temperature, abnormal respiratory issues, or feel sick.


3. Obtain a face covering (if you don’t have one contact the church office and let us know you need one – we can provide a limited number).


4. Choose to attend either the 9:00 or the 10:30 service. Please RSVP the service you wish to share in.


5. Wash hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer.

 

Once you arrive


1. Wear a face covering inside the building.


2. Refrain from hugging and hand shaking (we know you’ve missed this, but for now it’s for the best).


3. Obtain an outline from the table in the Narthex.


4. Choose a seat that will have a distance of at least 6 feet from non-family members.


5. In the initial opening phase of in person services we will not provide childcare or nursery.


6. Bring your Bible as opposed to using the pew bibles or hymnals. If you need a Bible to keep please let us know.


7. Be prepared for some changes. Singing will be minimal due to the spread of Covid-19 through droplets in the air. Singing is associated with this according to the CDC and the Illinois Health Department. We also consulted with Christian physicians who agreed this is a serious concern.


8. Maintain social distancing of 6 feet as you interact with fellow attendees.


9. An offering basket will not be passed (you may either give online, by mail, or in a box located at the rear of the sanctuary).


10. When we offer communion, single serve communion packets will be distributed.


11. At the close of the service we will dismiss you row by row starting from the rear of the sanctuary. Please interact outdoors rather than in the aisle or in the hallways or narthex to maintain proper social distancing.


We look forward to a time when all of this will no longer be necessary, but for now your patience and endurance in these things us appreciated. We are seeking to protect you and provide the most meaningful worship service possible under the circumstances of a world-wide pandemic. Your cooperation in observing these protocols is deeply appreciated. We look forward to seeing you soon.


May God richly bless you,


The OLBC Elders

June 4 Update

Excerpted from a letter from Pastor Rob to the OLBC family: "The last time we met for an in-person service was March 15. This Sunday, June 7, at 10:30am we are going to resume our in-person Sunday morning service, but our first service will look different. The weather forecast is for a beautiful day in the mid-70s. Because of the great forecast, and other factors, the Elder board has decided a good start for resuming our services would be to hold it outdoors on our church parking lot. This gives us more flexibility in singing, a greater opportunity for fellowship by all being able to meet together at once, and we believe it would be a good testimony to a community that has been rocked by a pandemic and now civil unrest."


Additionally, we have come up with some protocols and ways you can help us in regathering. They are as follows:


Before you come


1. If you are in the at-risk group (age, compromised health such as high blood pressure, obese, diabetic, respiratory issues, etc.) consult your physician about the wisdom of attending service and please follow their advice. Online services will be provided going forward should you choose not to attend.


2. Choose to postpone attending if you have a temperature, abnormal respiratory issues, or feel sick. If in doubt, stay home. 


3. Obtain a face covering (if you don’t have one, contact the church office and let us know you need one – we can provide a limited number). We encourage you to wear them while outdoors if you can, but we require you to wear them when you enter the building.


4. If you choose to sit in a lawn chair rather than your vehicle, please bring one from home, but maintain a distance of 6 feet from non-family members.


5. Wash hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer.


Once you arrive


1. If you have a higher profile vehicle (ie. Truck, SUV, or Van) please park toward the rear on the rear church parking lot. We will have people to assist you by directing you in where to park your vehicle.


2. Refrain from hugging and shaking hands (we know you’ve missed this, but for now it’s for the best).


3. You will receive a song sheet with the words to the songs we will sing and an outline for the sermon. Click here for an online version if you don't want the paper version. 


4. Please maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet as recommended by health authorities.


5. In the initial opening phase of in person services we will not provide childcare or nursery.


6. An offering basket will not be passed (you may either give online, by mail). There will also be a collection box near the rear entrance to the building.


7.  This Sunday we will observe communion by using single serve communion packets distributed to you by the Elders. We will explain how to use them.


8. Restrooms will be available inside the building. Please wear a face covering when entering the building and be sure to wash your hands with either soap and water or hand sanitizer.

April 25th Update

With the extension of the Illinois stay-at-home order through May 30, we will continue to refrain from in-person gatherings. We will continue to have our worship services available here on the website as well as on Youtube and Facebook. We also have online gatherings happening during the week. Please contact our church office for further information: info@oaklawnbible.org. These include a midweek prayer meeting, midweek Bible study and online gatherings for our students and Awana kids. If you are part of the OLBC family and would like to receive regular email updates from us, please email us.

April 4th Update

Here's an update on Easter celebrations as we continue to follow the guidelines put in place by our governing authorities during this coronavirus crisis that leave us unable to meet in person until further notice. Jesus is still alive! Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! 

We will stream a Good Friday service on our website, Facebook Live, and Youtube at 7pm. The service will include songs, Scripture readings and a brief message from Pastor Rob as we remember the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross so that we can be saved. 

Our Easter service will be on the website and our other channels on Easter Morning, streaming on facebook live at 10:30am. 

If you are a regular part of OLBC already, search for our Facebook group and request to join. We're trying to do some other ministry activities there, and it's also a good way to keep in touch with people we can't see in person right now. 

March 21 Update

OLBC will not be having in-person worship services until further notice. We will gather again as soon as we can. We will post a version of our worship service later today here on the website: oaklawnbible.org. At 10:30am on Sunday, we will also stream Pastor Rob's message on our Facebook page: facebook.com/oaklawnbible.


We encourage you to take the stay-at-home order that has been given in Illinois seriously. As Christians, we're supposed to submit to the governing authorities (Romans 13:1).  It is in the best interest of our neighbors and our fellow believers at OLBC that we do what we can to protect those around us from the spread of this disease. 


If you are experiencing hardship due to the need to stay at home, and there's a way we can help, let us know. (708) 857-9800 or info@oaklawnbible.org. Those who already are a part of OLBC will be our priority. 


The church office will also be closed until further notice. The staff will be in and out at times to do necessary work that must be done on site but we will mostly be working remotely. We will check messages regularly, so please leave one if you call. 


I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.

In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."

John 16:33

March 14th Update: God is still on his throne

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1 ESV


In our trying times, it is important to remember that God is still in control and He is near. We do not need to be afraid. We do want to be wise, and love our neighbors well. Earlier today, the elders of OLBC met to consider how we can meet the present challenge of this virus and the resulting effect it has had on our lives. We made the following decisions based on what we currently know:


We renewed our earlier decision that we will meet tomorrow March 15th for Worship at 10:30am as usual. Before the service, at 9:30am we will meet for prayer in the sanctuary. There will be no Sunday School for kids or adults. We do not expect our numbers to surpass the ~250 threshold for cancellation that has been recommended by the state of Illinois. We will reassess each week as this all unfolds.


Additionally, midweek ministries on Wednesday and Thursday are cancelled. Awana, Student Ministry, and Bible Studies that meet at the church building will not meet for at least the next two weeks. Use discretion if you're in a small group that does not meet at the church building. Again, we will reassess as we get more information.


PLEASE BE WISE ABOUT ATTENDING. If you are sick or have been exposed to someone with coronavirus, do not come. If you are among those regarded as at higher risk for complications by the CDC (see link here), please seriously consider staying home. (As you will see if you follow that link, that is many of the people in our church). We will attempt to record our service and post it on our sermons page(click here) later in the day on Sunday. While we believe there is no substitute for gathering together as the Body of Christ, under circumstances such as we face, sometimes wisdom says that we should temporarily avoid unneeded danger. 


FOR THOSE WHO DO ATTEND

Here are some of the things that will look different: 

Bulletins will be on the seats already. 

Offering baskets will not be passed, instead baskets will be on a table in the back of the sanctuary. 

Hand Sanitizer stations will be at each of the entrances. 


Please:

Do not shake hands or greet each other in touchy-feely ways. Find other ways to show the love that we have for each other. 

Follow CDC recommendations for hand-washing and protecting yourself. Click here for more information.

Give each other space:

  • The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  • (source: CDC.gov)

Pray for one another and for our community, state, nation and world as we face this. 


FOR THOSE WHO STAY HOME

Pray for one another and for our community, state, nation and world as we face this. 


Go to our sermons page to listen to previous sermons and to (we hope) view video of this week's service which will be posted as soon as it is ready. 


Find ways to practice Christian community in smaller settings where you can be safe. Be with other believers, just not in a large group setting. 


Continue to worship through giving as the Lord provides. The reality is that most in our church give in-person. These funds are necessary for the continuation of our ministry at OLBC. You can give online on our giving page here. Or you can mail a check to OLBC: 9435 S 54th Ave, Oak Lawn IL 60453. 


IF YOU NEED HELP

If you're part of OLBC and you need help, contact the church office (708) 857-9800 or info@oaklawnbible.org. While we do not have unlimited resources and therefore mostly must limit what we do to those who are already within our church community, we want to take the opportunity this situation gives us to serve one another and care for each other's needs. Let us know if there are needs that we can meet as a church. 


TAKE CARE OF ONE ANOTHER

Many people may face challenges because of the response to this virus. If you've watched the news, you have seen the empty shelves in stores and other ways that people may have needs. The church is not a building. It is a people. We often most faithfully live out our calling as the church in situations when the world around us is hurting and fearful. 


Check in on those who are more vulnerable in our church community, such as those who live alone or are elderly or have health issues. If you regularly attend OLBC, think about the people who often sit near you and check in with them to see how they're doing. If you want to help but don't know who to help, check in with the church office. 


Offer to help those who may need it. This is an opportunity to live out our faith in the way that the early church did in Acts 2, "giving to each other as each had need." 


Don't limit your help to other believers. Check in on your neighbors who may need assistance. 


DON'T BE AFRAID

While it is easy to be afraid in times like this, for those who trust in Jesus as Savior, we have a hope that does not fail and that is not dependent on our circumstances but is rooted in the character and actions of our sovereign and loving God. 


Psalm 46 (ESV)

To the choirmaster. Of the Sons of Korah. According to Alamoth. A Song.


1 God is our refuge and strength,

a very present help in trouble.

2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,

though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,

3 though its waters roar and foam,

though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah


4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,

the holy habitation of the Most High.

5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;

God will help her when morning dawns.

6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;

he utters his voice, the earth melts.

7 The Lord of hosts is with us;

the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah


8 Come, behold the works of the Lord,

how he has brought desolations on the earth.

9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;

he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;

he burns the chariots with fire.

10 "Be still, and know that I am God.

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth!"

11 The Lord of hosts is with us;

the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah