Virtual graduations, drive-up graduation parties, zoom meetings and conferences… all just a few elements of the new normal for ROC. While we definitely miss meeting face to face with our community, each member of ROC has done their best to make the most of the current situation. We are however, prayerfully looking forward to an in-person kickoff to the fall semester.
Speaking of fall semester, a lot of you have been asking about how Covid-19 has impacted our plans for the ROC at Rio ministry plant. After much prayer and deliberation by the staff and board of ROC we have decided to move forward with a soft launch at Rio this fall. What does that mean? Basically, our goal for fall semester will be to introduce ourselves to the Rio campus and begin attracting and training student leaders and host a few Bible Studies. Our desire is to train up a team of leaders who will be able to help us set a solid foundation for the ministry and propel us into the future as we serve the students and faculty at Rio.
Speaking of university faculty and staff, as many of you have likely heard at this point, OU has been forced to make job cuts impacting hundreds of employees and pay cuts that impact nearly all those employed by the university. It is a difficult time for many families who depend upon the university for employment and benefits. We are asking for each of you to be lifting up all of the workers who have been impacted by the university’s current financial situation. Please join us in praying for God’s provision and support for these employees.
While Covid-19 has certainly not been without its share of challenges, it hasn’t stopped us from experiencing God’s goodness. One awesome example of this is that I recently had the honor of presiding over the wedding of one of ROC’s very own women’s ministry leaders, Cara Lawless and former ROC short-term intern Josh Mason. Believe it or not, these two met on the mission field in New Orleans in 2017 and then reconnected on the same field in the summer of 2019! I’m not saying that ROC mission trips are more successful than christianmingle.com but if you want to draw that assumption I wouldn’t argue! Hahaha. In all seriousness it was a beautiful wedding and a joyous day as we got to see two of our own join their lives together. Please also join us in praying for God’s blessing upon Josh and Cara as they begin their lives together.
If you’ve been a friend of the ministry of ROC for long at all, you are likely aware that summer is a busy time for the ministry filled with Bobcat Student Orientation, camps, and mission trips. Unfortunately, Bobcat orientation has gone completely virtual this year. I was scheduled to preach at Round Lake’s paintball camp June 7-13, which was cancelled. Several of our ROC students were scheduled to staff OVCA’s senior high week, which was also cancelled. That being said, ROC is still actively working to connect with middle and high school students. Just this week we kicked off a special series of ROC Podcasts featuring students from 5th Street Church of Christ’s Youth, discussing the topic of “worry.” We are also working on planning a special “virtual camp meeting” for students impacted by the closure of senior high week of camp.
As always, we are extremely grateful for each of you who love and support the ministry of ROC. Your provision during this difficult time has been an incredible source of encouragement to us.