July 21 Update on Masks
If we have learned anything during these past few months of living during a pandemic, it is that we must be willing to adapt! Over the past few weeks, the state of Oklahoma has experienced a considerable increase in the number COVID-19 cases and this has caused many in our congregation to once again feel uncomfortable attending worship services since we are not “requiring” masks to be worn.
Additionally, there are still many of our members who have never felt comfortable returning to our public worship services at the building out of concern for being exposed to the virus or exposing others to the virus. This entire situation is even further complicated in that a large number of our members are very comfortable with our existing policy of not requiring a mask.
As the shepherds of the congregation, please know we have struggled greatly with trying to come up with a solution which will allow everyone’s expectations to be accommodated and allow everyone to be included in their desire to worship our God with other members of the congregation.
Beginning this Sunday, we are going to make the following changes. We will continue to have our worship service in the auditorium for anyone who is comfortable either wearing a mask or not wearing one. This is the same as we have been doing for the past few months and there are no changes.
At the same time, we will have a live streamed service in the fellowship building and all those attending this service will be required to wear a mask during the entire service. It is our hope this will give those members who are concerned about being in the proximity of those not wearing a mask, an opportunity to comfortably and safely worship with their brothers and sisters once again!
We understand there are varying opinions regarding the requirement to wear masks. We are asking everyone to continue to show patience and kindness toward one another as we attempt to adapt to these difficult times. The ultimate goal the elders have is trying to create an environment where everyone has an opportunity to come to worship our God and feel comfortable and safe.
Regarding social distancing, we continue to implore everyone to maintain at least six feet of distance as you move around inside the building.
If you are experiencing ANY symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath, or have been in contact with anyone with a confirmed case of COVID-19, please remain at home.
The Elders
May 17, 2020 Update
With the announcement from our state government that churches can gather in person again, Southwest will begin having a single weekly worship service at our building starting Sunday, May 3. Due to continuing COVID-19 concerns we will operate in a different way for the time being including:
  • There will not be any Bible Classes or an attended nursery at the building. Please note our virtual Bible classes will continue on Sundays and Wednesdays for the time being. The youth will continue their Thursday evening virtual class.
  • Following our government’s guidelines, we will need to practice social distancing which will include sitting at least a row apart and spreading out in the auditorium as much as possible. Please sit with your family and keep the 6 feet between families/individuals.
  • This means no handshakes or hugs and yes, this will be challenging. Rather than visiting in the foyer after services, please clear the building as soon as the service concludes and feel free to safely visit in the parking lot.
  • It is recommended to wear a mask while at the building. 
  • Parents, have your children remain with you at all times while in the church building.
  • Our water fountains will be closed and please use restrooms only if absolutely necessary.
  • You will be provided individual communion items—no trays will be passed.
  • We will have baskets for your giving at the back of the auditorium, or you can choose to give online at www.swcocada.com/giving or by using our smartphone app.
We as Shepherds have prayerfully considered this decision and look forward to meeting in person again. Out of respect to others and for your safety, the elders ask that you not attend if you or a family member have a cough, fever, or if you’ve had a recent exposure to someone who is suspected to be COVID-19 positive. If you are a member of a high-risk group, which includes those over age 65 or with compromised immunity, we recommend that you not attend at this time if you are not comfortable doing so. We will continue to provide a video worship service online for those who will not be able to attend in person.
Worship service video will be available online, so you can participate in worship using that technology. You can access the video at the church Facebook page using this link: www.facebook.com/swcocada. Scroll down the page until you see the Sunday morning worship video. You do not have to join Facebook to watch the video. It will be streamed live at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, but the video will also remain on the page after the service ends. If you have trouble with the video, audio recordings of most sermons are available at www.swcocada.com/sermons. Another sermon source for those without access to the Internet is In Search of the Lord’s Way on FXII DT 12.3 at 7:00 am, KXII DT 12 at 7:30 am and KTEN 10.3 at 9:00 am. We are working on additional ways to make video available and will inform you as that happens.
Again, we realize this will look a little different for us but hope we can all use these challenges as an opportunity to grow in our faith. We pray for the day we can all be together again, and with an even greater love and appreciation for Christ’s church. As always please contact one of us if you need anything.
The Southwest Church of Christ Elders