Our tall white steeple and red doors call out to the community that all are welcome to come and feel the love of Christ and the love of our church family. Our worship services are on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. with adult Sunday School at 9:30 a.m. For our youth, we have #OAKZ. Our mission statements are Extending God’s Call – Empowering God’s People – Easing Human Need. We are located at 1576 Chantilly Lane, and our telephone number is 713-682-2556.
January is the start of our New Beginnings.
Bell choir practice will resume on Wednesday, January 28th, at its usual time of 5:45 pm.
Regular choir practice is still taking place from 7 to 8 on Wednesday nights.
Several years ago the session and I read a book entitled Pathway to Renewal: Practical Steps for Congregations by Daniel P. Smith and Mary K. Sellon. It is a six chapter book, and we stopped at the end of Chapter 5. We got to the end of Chapter 5 and had this as the last discussion question – How do you sense God inviting your congregation to step into a new future in spite of the challenges you face? None of us had an answer. We all agreed that something needed to be done, but we had no idea what that was.
In August 2014 the session and I decided it was time to tackle that question we could not answer several years ago. The big difference between tackling the question several years ago and last August is in August we decided that we needed to ask God to help us. We spent 40 days in prayer asking God to help us and guide us, because we were incapable of doing this on our own. As a result of our prayer time, God brought New Beginnings into our church life. We sensed God was inviting our congregation to step into a new future in spite of the challenges we face. So, for the next six months, Noelie’s Notions is going to take on the chapters of Pathway to Renewal. For the month of January we are tackling the first chapter “Congregational Renewal – What It Is and What It Requires.”
Here is an excerpt from the second paragraph. “Here’s the hard truth. If you’re a lay person in a congregation that’s experiencing decline, whether the congregation thrives is ultimately up to you and the other members. Your pastor can teach, guide, lead, support, inspire, even cajole. But in the end, congregational health is a function of how people in the congregation relate to one another, to God, and to their community.”
This is one of the things I like about New Beginnings. It gets you, the congregation, involved. Each of us has a vital part to play in Oaks’ New Beginnings. I want each of you to prayerfully consider being a house leader for our upcoming house meetings. We will need four leaders, and Lorrie Sanwald has already said that she would be a leader. So, we only need three more leaders. If you do not feel God calling you to be a house leader, that is okay. However, God is calling every one of us to participate in the six house meetings. So, start praying now for when it would be a good time for you to attend a house meeting. I will do my best to see that there is a time for everyone to meet.
Chapter One concludes with these thoughts: “What your congregation will be in the future is up to you and the other members and how you work together to create something new from the realities you face. What you do or don’t do now will make the difference. Whatever the congregation decides must be desired, claimed, and lived into. It is one thing to say that you want something; it is another to want it enough that you follow through and act on the intention.”
Something to think about and pray about.
In God’s love and joy,