2022 Holy Week Services

Livestreams are available on YouTube and Facebook.

palm sunday

Palm Sunday Worship Service, April 10, 2022, 10:45 a.m. (in-person and livestreamed on YouTube and Facebook).

Maundy Thursday bread and wine

Maundy Thursday, April 14, 2022, 7:00 p.m. – 7:45 p.m., in-person and livestreamed on YouTube and Facebook.

Good Friday crosses

Good Friday, April 15, 2022, 7:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., in-person and livestreamed on YouTube and Facebook.

easter sunrise

Easter Sunday Worship Services, April 17, 2022

  • 6:15 a.m. in the parking lot
  • 8:15 a.m. in the sanctuary with the choir (in-person only)
  • 10:45 a.m. in the sanctuary with the choir (in-person & via livestream on YouTube and Facebook), the nursery will be available.

Ash Wednesday March 2

Oak Grove will have two services on Ash Wednesday, March 2, 2022. [Bulletin]

12:00 noon – 12:30 p.m., in-person in the Sanctuary

6:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., livestreamed on the web/Facebook and in-person in the Sanctuary

Please wear a mask if you attend either service in person. Thank you!

Direct link to Ash Wednesday service on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OakGrovePresbyterian/videos/286395176965066

Direct link to Ash Wednesday service on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pv3s5aUrabQ

Feb 23 Reentry Team Update

As was the hope expressed in January, there has been a marked decline in infections, and the Omicron wave is subsiding. With the improvement in infection rates, the capacity for hospitals to care for people with serious illness, the efficacy of vaccinations, and the percentage of people who have been vaccinated, the following changes will be made effective immediately.

Worship:

  • In-person worship will no longer be limited based on vaccination status; anyone is welcome to worship in person.
  • There is no limit to the number of people for in-person worship, and no reservation is required.
  • Masking is required, and a KN95, N95, or both a surgical mask under a cloth mask is still highly recommended.
  • Distancing as much as possible is encouraged. Seating will be available in the hallway outside of the sanctuary and in the fellowship hall.

Small Group Gatherings:

  • Small groups gatherings may be in person.
  • Masks are required
  • No food or drink for the present time

A special note to anyone leading a group: Please remember not all members of your group may be comfortable or ready to meet in person. Before you schedule an in-person meeting, please check with your participants individually about their comfort level. If there is someone who is not yet comfortable meeting in person, please consider holding your meeting virtually or in a hybrid format (some in-person and some online). There is technology available at the church to allow for hybrid meetings. Please contact Pastor Bart or Sue Gjerset if you plan to meet in a hybrid meeting so we can make sure the equipment is available.

We anticipate that we will continue to open more broadly and with fuller participation and worship practices in April. Details are still being worked out and prepared and will be shared more broadly at the annual meeting this Sunday following worship, and in the Oak Leaves newsletter. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to anyone on the Re-Entry Team. Anne Klueh, Al Greimel, Bev Heise, Jane Propsom, Pastor Mary, and/or Pastor Bart.

Jan 26 ReEntry Team Update

Re-Entry Team Update, January 26, 2022

While there are some indications that the Omicron wave is showing signs of waning in the Twin Cities, we are still in a time of high transmission. We will continue with our current recommendations through the month of February.

As a reminder, we encourage all groups to meet virtually if possible. In-person worship will still be limited to 20 vaccinated persons (not including worship leadership and support). We will, however, be removing the need to register beforehand for worship. We ask those that plan to attend in-person sign-in when you arrive, wear a well-fitted mask (N95 or KN95 preferred), and stay home if you are sick.

Re-Entry Team Update, January 6, 2022

The January surge of Covid cases, due to the omicron variant and anticipated by medical experts, is now apparent. Cases in Hennepin county have  almost doubled in the last week, and are at the highest rate ever seen in the last 2 years. This pattern is reflective of the rest of the country. While the rate of infection is alarming, and additional protocols (outlined below) are necessary, there is also some good news as experts are learning more about the omicron variant. First and foremost, vaccines are still effective against serious illness and death. It is highly recommended, if eligible, to get vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible. The FDA & CDC on Wednesday night just approved boosters for anyone 12 years old and above and most estimates are that vaccines for those under 5 will be available by summer. Second, omicron, while extremely contagious does not appear to be as severe as previous variants. Third, while there is currently a short supply in antigen test availability, more supply will be coming soon. In addition, new antiviral pills to reduce severity of symptoms for those with Covid have been approved and are being produced at a rapid rate. Finally, there seems to be evidence that the omicron wave will not be lengthy, and many experts are hoping it peaks in 4 to 6 weeks.

While there is much good news and hope for optimism, it is also true that there are other signs to proceed with caution and to work to flatten the curve of the current spike as much as possible. As children (many of whom are not yet eligible to be vaccinated or have not yet received a vaccination) return to school there has been an increase in pediatric cases and hospitalizations. Hospitals are under immense stress and ICU’s in the area are almost full. While omicron is less severe, because many more people are getting infected, there are high numbers of hospitalizations and there is still a risk of hospitals not being able to handle the spike. In addition, there are more breakthrough infections (those fully vaccinated and/or boosted getting infected) with the omicron variant. Because of these breakthrough infections of hospital staff, the capacity for hospitals to respond to the current situation is diminished. We have also begun to see disruptions in air travel, first responders, food supply, and education because of staff shortages due to illness. 

With all of this in mind, we are implementing the following changes for the month of January:

  • In-person worship will now be limited to 20 people (not including leadership and tech support)
    • Only vaccinated individuals may attend, and it is strongly recommended that people be boosted as well
    • It is important that you reserve a spot by using the link on the website or by calling the church office
    • Masks are required, and KN95, N95, or both a surgical mask under a cloth mask are highly recommended
    • We encourage anyone who may be immune compromised or who lives with someone who is, not to attend in-person for now
  • No small group meetings should meet in person and should meet virtually
  • If it is not possible to meet virtually, we strongly recommend you postpone your meeting for the month of January.

As before, this has not been an easy choice and we are disappointed that we must continue to adapt and that the pandemic is still disrupting our lives. We believe this is the best way for us to be good neighbors and to not contribute to the spike as we seek to love one another and to support our educators, first responders, hospital and emergency workers, and the most vulnerable among us. We will reassess where we are toward the end of January and continue to keep the congregation informed of plans. Feel free to contact any member of the re-entry team if you have any questions or need further clarification. Anne Klueh, Al Greimel, Bev Heise, Jane Propsom, Pastor Mary, and Pastor Bart.

Returning to In-Person Gatherings

Beginning this Sunday, December 19, Oak Grove Presbyterian Church will move to Phase 1 of our Covid Plan, and we will once again allow for limited in-person worship. Reservations can be made each week at this link www.oakgrv.org/online-rsvp-1015/ or by calling the church office. Worship will remain at 10:15 am through, at least, January 2, 2022.

Limited seating is also available for the 10:00 pm Christmas Eve Service. Reservation can be made here: www.oakgrv.org/online-rsvp-10pm-christmas-eve/

Below are important details and protocols that we ask everyone follow if you worship in-person.

  • Limited seating is available for vaccinated persons only.
  • RSVP’s will be needed for worship. Like before, once we get a handle on in-person attendance numbers, reservations may no longer be needed.
  • Reservations can be made each week at this link www.oakgrv.org/online-rsvp-1015/ or by calling the church office.
  • Masks and social distancing are required.
  • We ask that you not stay after worship for fellowship.
  • We ask persons to stay home if they are sick or if they have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19. 
  • If within 14 days after worshipping in person at Oak Grove, you test positive for COVID-19 or learn you were exposed to a COVID-19 positive person prior to worshipping in person at Oak Grove, please contact the church office to let them know.

We remind you that we will be flexible and ready to move between phases or adapt within a phase. Particularly as we learn more about the Omicron variant and anticipate a post-Christmas surge. This will continue to not be a linear process. We thank you for your continued support and generosity of spirit as we care for one another.

2021 Advent & Christmas Activities

Christmas Services

Sunday, January 2, 2022 (10:15 am): Live-streamed Sunday Worship Service on Facebook and the website, Matthew 2:1–12, “We Three Kings” Pastor Bart preaches.Limited in-person attendance; pre-registration required.

Sunday, December 26, 2021 (10:15 am): Live-streamed Sunday Worship Service on Facebook and the website, Matthew 2:13–23, “Mary and Joseph flee with Jesus” Pastor Mary preaches. Limited in-person attendance; pre-registration required.

Friday, December 24, 2021 (4:00 pm): Family Christmas Eve Service via Zoom. This service was held via Zoom.

Friday, December 24, 2021 (10:00 pm): Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. Link to 10pm service bulletin.The service will be live-streamed with limited in-person attendance (pre-registration required). Direct link to video: https://www.facebook.com/OakGrovePresbyterian/videos/296312322291079

Longest Night Service/Experience

Tuesday, December 21, 2021: Longest Night Service/Experience

Direct link to December 21 video: https://www.facebook.com/OakGrovePresbyterian/videos/614965929838055

This time of year can be difficult for some. The grief at the loss of a loved one, the anguish of broken relationships, the insecurity of unemployment, the weariness of ill health, the pain of isolation, all these can make us feel very alone in the midst of the season. We need the space and time to acknowledge our sadness and concern; we need to know that we are not alone.

The Longest Night service/experience provides a time and space to acknowledge the mixture of feelings. There will be a variety of prayer stations in the sanctuary and Gideon Pond Hall that will offer participatory ways to connect with and express your feelings. Or you can take the opportunity to just sit in silence as music is played in the sanctuary. This experience is completed at your own pace. You may arrive any time between 7–7:30 pm to begin. The Deacons will have some cookies for folks to take home. Pastor Bart and Pastor Mary will also be available for individual private prayer.

Sunday Worship Services During Advent

  • Nov. 28: 1st Sunday of Advent Matthew 24:36–44 “Keep Awake” Pastor Bart preaches
  • Dec. 5: 2nd Sunday of Advent Communion Sunday
    Matthew 3:1–13 “Prepare the Way” Pastor Mary preaches
  • Dec. 12: 3rd Sunday of Advent
    Matthew 11:2–11 “Signs of the Kingdom” Pastor Bart preaches
  • Dec. 19: 4th Sunday of Advent Isaiah 61 Pastor Bart preaches

Christmas Joy Offering

2021 Advent Activities

heart

Love is Still the Answer booklet project. We are compiling a booklet as an opportunity for connecting with each other, and we would like you to be a part of it! We ask you to complete and turn in your entry by Friday, December 3.

2021 Xmas booklet

Alternative Christmas Market. Our alternative catalog offers many opportunities to support the work of the Presbyterian USA Mission Agency and Oak Grove’s special mission projects.

Carols, Cookies, and Care! Saturday, December 11, 2021, 10:30 a.m. in the church parking lot. We are collecting toilet paper, diapers and wipes for VEAP.  There is currently a shortage of these items at VEAP. We are putting together Agape bags for those on our streets, and we need warm socks and non-perishable snacks for the bags. You may make a bag or two and put them in your car. We will share Christmas cookies, so please bake or bring your cookies to share!  It will be helpful to put them in bags of 4 so they are “grab-and-go!” We will gather around the fire pit to sing Christmas Carols, and Supportive Housing will supply coffee and Hot Chocolate. This promises to be a morning of fellowship, fun, and giving!  We hope you will join us – thank you in advance for your generosity! Questions?  Call the church office (952-888-4621). Link to flyer for Carols, Cookies, and Care event.

Re-Entry Team Town Hall Nov. 14

Phased Re-Opening Plan, 11/14/21

UPDATE December 15: Beginning December 19, Oak Grove will have a single Sunday Worship Service at 10:15 a.m. livestreamed with limited in-person attendance. Click here for pre-registration form. We are currently in Phase 1 of our Re-Entry plan.

Oak Grove held a Town Hall Forum hosted by the Re-Entry Team on November 14 to hear from the team about where we are and where we are going. We encourage you to ask questions and share your thoughts.

Slideshow of November 14 ReEntry Team Town Hall (PDF)

Slideshow of November 14 ReEntry Team Town Hall (PPTX)

Hennepin County info page

Message from the Re-entry Team, 10/8

Re-Entry Team Message, October 8, 2021

Friends, We are not where we thought we would be right now in terms of the pandemic. We had high hopes this summer when Covid infections were heading in a positive direction and people were getting vaccinated. We communicated several things with you in July at the Town Hall on our Covid response, including:

  • This whole thing is hard. We are tired and we wish this was over. This is still true.
  • It is sometimes difficult to know what to do because not everyone approaches the pandemic in the same way, and there is no governing authority telling all PC(USA) congregations what to do.
  • The Delta variant was relatively new and was a concern.

All of the recommendations by the Re-Entry Team, and decisions made by Session have been driven by the latest medical and scientific data available, our values of inclusion and care for one another, and the greatest commandment to love God by loving our neighbor. In the last update in September, we noted it was clear we were in another wave as most of the metrics we monitor were either in “high” or “critical” categories. In addition, we expected with the start of school we would see an increase in those numbers. This has been born out and we continue to see a rise in case numbers and ICU’s in the metro area are almost at capacity. 

A recent post on social media provides a “parable” for our times. “When you’re on a plane for takeoff, the seatbelt sign is on. Once you reach about 10,000 feet the seatbelt sign goes off and the pilot tells you that you may move freely about the cabin until the descent begins. But sometimes you hit turbulence. When that happens, the seatbelt sign goes back on. The pilot did not flip-flop. The pilot did not change her mind. The pilot ran into an unexpected turbulence and recognized that it is no longer safe not to wear a seatbelt. The circumstances have changed, and now the pilot advises everyone to wear their seatbelts for their safety and the safety of others.”

It is clear we are still in a period of turbulence, and we have to continue to wear our seatbelts. We will continue with current practices. We know this is frustrating, but please be patient. Please be generous. Please look out for one another and practice extravagant kindness. We love one another by getting vaccinated if we are able, wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and sacrificing some “normal” things as we continue to care for the most vulnerable among us.

It’s time to break out the earmuffs and mittens! Many have commented how wonderful it has been to worship outdoors and we are committed to continue this practice at 9:00 am on Sundays for as long as the weather permits. We will also continue to livestream worship at 10:15 am. We recognize this impacts plans made by the Children’s Ministry team, and they will be working to adapt those plans and provide meaningful formation for our littlest ones.We will arrive at our destination if we remember we belong to God and in belonging to God, we belong to one another. We are in this together, and we will get through these challenging times together.

If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to any member of the Re-Entry Team: Bev Heise, Karen Gerdes, Al Greimel, Anne Klueh, Jane Propsom, Pastor Mary or Pastor Bart.

Message from the Re-entry Team 8/27

An Update from the Re-Entry Team (August 27, 2021)

We have continued to monitor the trends, data, and recommendations concerning COVID-19. It is clear that we are in the midst of a 4th wave of increased infections. Most indicators we monitor (case rate per 100k, positivity rate, rolling average of cases, and hospital capacity) are either in high or critical risk categories. This is a significant change from just a month ago. There is uncertainty about when this current wave may peak.

In addition, other areas of the country have seen an increase in infections once children, teachers, and staff return to school. Many schools in the Twin Cities will be returning in early September. It generally takes two to three weeks to begin to see the potential impacts of these types of events. It is also clear with the Delta variant that even persons who are vaccinated can become infected by the virus and transmit it to others. The goal of the vaccines is to prevent serious infection, hospitalization, and death, but not actual infection. We know the vaccines are highly effective and we encourage everyone who is eligible to get the vaccine if you have not already done so. It is the best way to protect yourself and your neighbors and loved ones.

Our primary concern as a re-entry team has been to balance the desire to be together while doing so safely. Knowing that there is still a significant portion of our congregation who are not yet eligible to receive the vaccine, namely our children, we have done everything we can to mitigate the spread of infection.

Given the above considerations, the Session has approved the following changes recommended by the Re-Entry Team. Beginning in September and continuing through at least October 10:

  • We will place a pause on all indoor in-person gatherings.
    • Worship at 10:15 am will be live streamed from the sanctuary, but only those leading worship will be physically in attendance
    • Funerals already scheduled in September will be limited to family only and live streamed
    • Choir and Bell Choir will pause rehearsals
    • All smaller meetings should be held online or outdoors
  • Outdoor worship will continue at 9 am (weather permitting) and masks will be required to be worn.

This was not an easy decision, but we felt it was a necessary decision to continue to care for one another. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to any member of the Re-Entry Team: Bev Heise, Karen Gerdes, Al Greimel, Anne Klueh, Jane Propsom, Pastor Mary or Pastor Bart.