Latest Update: May 24, 2020
All Charter Oak Church worship services, small groups, classes, and events on our campuses have been cancelled or postponed. For the time being, worship services at all four campuses will be available at regular worship times with live interaction on our online platform (click 'Watch Live' for campus specific links). Worship services are also available on Roku, Campus Facebook pages, YouTube, and our website. We are evaluating all future events and will continue to update you with the latest information as we have it.
Charter Oak Church Re-Entry Strategy
Many of you have questions about how long Charter Oak Church will continue to gather and worship online, as well as when other activities will begin to happen in the days and weeks ahead. While there are many things that remain unknown, here is our best thinking and planning through a three-step process for moving our church forward. Our heart in these tough decisions is the safety and well-being of the people who call Charter Oak Church home. We have to care for each other while rooting our decisions in Scripture. We believe these steps forward outlined below are out of servanthood, not selfishness.
This is the phase we are currently in. We will continue to gather in worship and small groups online only. Our Food Pantry Distribution and Red Cross Blood Drive will continue to serve our community and follow CDC guidelines.
Westmoreland County is scheduled to open on Friday, May 15. This will allow gatherings up to 25 people while continuing to follow CDC guidelines. At some point during the yellow phase, we will:
- Offer an online Bible study on Wednesday evenings at 7pm guided by one of our campus pastors. This study will feature live chat and question & answer time after the study with that evenings host. You will be able to join the conversation and follow along here starting on May 13.
- Allow small groups to meet in homes.
- Launch the 'House Church' movement to begin to meet in homes and experience online worship together in groups not exceeding 25 (including kids and students). We recognize the beauty of the Body of Christ is gathering in community and it is one of the aspects of being the church that is missed the most. We are looking for people to open their homes to gather as a church much like they did in the Book of Acts. Learn more or register to host here.
- Begin a similar version of the house church movement for student ministry.
- Open the church office for staff to return to work with limited office hours for visitors. Anyone coming into one of our church buildings during this phase must wear a mask and practice social distancing of at least six feet.
It is unknown at this time when this will happen. We will not gather for corporate worship as a church until we can all meet safely. At some point in the green phase, weekend worship services will resume at each campus, while continuing to provide a great online worship experience as well. The elderly and immune deficient are encouraged to continue to gather online for worship as long as necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When will we be able to move from one phase to the next?
A: We are monitoring communication from the CDC and the Pennsylvania governor’s office. When our county is moved to the next stage, we will evaluate whether our church is ready for our next phase. The Pennsylvania governor’s office set Phase 2 to begin on Friday, May 15. The date for Phase 3 has not been set yet.
Q: How long will it be before we can get back to “normal”?
A: We understand the heart of this question. After experiencing the devastating effects of being quarantined, we want to go back to what we know and brings us comfort. Some people in our congregation are ready for corporate, in-person worship; while others won’t be ready until there is a vaccination. We have a large church, that represents many different stations in life. The pastors and staff are here to help you walk through this re-entry in a way that is safe, compassionate, and biblical. Please reach out to your campus pastor for help.
Q: What are the church’s plans for summer programming?
A: The student ministry summer mission trip with ASP has been cancelled. We have also made the difficult decision to cancel Vacation Bible School at Frye Farm and Crossroads this summer. In addition, Sizzlin' Saturdays and Sundays have been cancelled.
While these are uncertain times, we have great clarity of who we are in Jesus and what God is calling our church to be as Jesus followers. We are adopted sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father through faith in Jesus. The primary reason our church exists is to make disciples of Jesus who make disciples of Jesus who make disciples of Jesus.
God is still on the throne. He’s a good, good Father! Our joy is in Jesus and He is enough!
We will continue to keep you updated as we walk through these re-entry phases together.