COVID-19: Oklahoma Conference Response and Guidance
The leadership of the Oklahoma Conference is taking steps to protect and support employees, members, churches and schools during the Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. The Oklahoma Conference strongly believes that we have a responsibility to care for each other during this situation by limiting physical contact and supporting social distancing. We also believe that we should continue to serve as God’s messengers of hope in our communities, utilizing the technology and tools available to us to continue the mission during this turbulent time.
The goal of these temporary changes is to provide a buffer of protection to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. In addition to the steps we are taking at the Oklahoma Conference, we encourage members to follow the safety guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and healthcare professionals.
We urge our faith community to take this matter seriously as we represent Jesus Christ in our behavior, stewarding our health and homes and those of our fellow neighbors. Join us in prayer as we lift up the many families affected by this outbreak. May the Lord bring comfort, healing and restoration. May our faith be strengthened during this time as we draw nearer to Him.
This page will be regularly updated with any new recommendations or information.
Oklahoma Conference of Seventh-day Adventist - Office of Communications - 4/28/2020
Oklahoma Conference Office
In seeking to limit the potential impact of coronavirus (COVID-19), the Oklahoma Conference administration has voted the following:
All onsite Conference level events and program for the month of May and June have been either cancelled or postponed.
Summer Camp - No summer camps will take place during the month of June. We are currently studying the possibility of having a reduced program in the month of July.
Camp Meeting - The conference administration is currently reviewing camp meeting at this time. We hope to have a final decision in a couple of weeks.
Oklahoma Conference administrators and departmental directors are being asked to limit their travel as much as possible and offer virtual meetings where possible.
The Oklahoma Conference will continue to monitor the situation and will review these protocols for the Oklahoma Conference office and staff on a regular basis as new information becomes available. If you have any questions regarding cancelled events or meetings, please contact the department director.
It was voted by the Executive Education Committee to have our schools end the year as distance education centers. Each school that has graduates are to work with their local boards and parents to plan graduations that follow guidelines as set by the state of Oklahoma. We are hoping and praying that all schools will be opened for students to attend at the normal time in Augus
Oklahoma’s governor and his advisory group shared a document called “Open Up and Recover Safely". It is a three-phase approach to open Oklahoma’s economy. It basically allows churches to reopen beginning May 1. However, it comes with recommendations or conditions. The conditions are guidelines given by the medical professionals to help prevent the further spread of the virus and to protect the members of the churches.
“Places of worship can reopen for in-person meetings or worship, if they leave every other row or pew open and adhere to CDC-recommended social distancing and sanitation protocols, plus recommended guidelines from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.” (Click on the Link below to read the full report from the state)
We read into these guidelines a caution not to rush back to things as usual, but to be cautious and safe. We believe this is wise counsel and should be discussed by your board together to plan how it would work in your churches. After much consideration and prayer, we are recommending that churches hold off until May 9 to reopen their church building for services. However, we understand that all churches are different in terms of size, facility, member vulnerability, geographical location, etc. Churches should also consult with their county and city officials and implement any further guidelines and recommendations as advised by them.
Additionally, the conference administration would like to add that as your church begins to move forward with a plan to reopen your facilities, churches should develop a plan to ensure that you are operating using CDC recommended social distancing and sanitation protocols. This plan should be communicated with church leaders and church members in the best way possible. An assessment and review of your plan and its execution should be done regularly for the near future.
You will be able to continue to support church ministry through tithe and offerings by visiting AdventistGiving.org or by downloading the Adventist Giving app from the Apple or Google Play stores. Donations can also be made through mailing it to your local church or treasurer.
Oklahoma Conference Communication Department
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT COVID-19 EXPOSURE
NAD Administration Provides Guidance for Church in North America During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Oklahoma State Department of Health - Office of Communication - 3/11/2020
We strongly recommend that people do not attend events if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, which include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. And if event attendees start to experience symptoms while at an event or conference, they should leave the event and seek medical advice promptly by calling ahead to a doctor’s office.
Oklahoma’s public health officials work to provide the general public, including event organizers, with guidance intended to help prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19. The following is recommended guidance to follow at all times as the situation continues to change:
Wash hands often
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
Cover your cough or sneeze
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
We are working closely with our strong and expansive network of national, state and local partners to continue monitoring the situation. All Oklahomans are advised to take social distancing precautions such as implementing telework and avoiding large gatherings when possible.
We strive to empower Oklahomans through education and resources. To find accurate information on COVID-19, visit the Oklahoma State Department of Health website at coronavirus.health.ok.gov. For questions, please call the OSDH call center for public inquiries at 1-877-215-8336.
AdventHealth has launched a coronavirus information site for the Adventist Church with videos covering topics like prevention, symptoms, spread and some special considerations for congregations. You can find the first few episodes of the video podcast series at AdventHealth.com/Coronavirus-Resource-Hub/Church-Resources, in addition to FAQs, blogs and CDC resources. Future episodes will be posted as they learn more about the virus and we have additional updates. They will also set up a coronavirus information site for schools in the near future.
Adventist Risk Management Resources
With the continued spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 causing concern around the world, Adventist Risk Management, Inc. (ARM) is committed to providing relevant information for our clients regarding travel information, insurance coverages, and tips for preventing the spread of this serious disease.
All of these resources and more can be found on the Adventist Risk Management website at https://adventistrisk.org/covid19.
Prevention and Planning Resources: