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.
IT’S HERE!!!The anchor cross sculpted by James Phillips is now on display in our prayer garden!!
Bell choir practice:
We will meet again beginning in September
In the July/August 2015 issue of Connections (the newsletter of New Covenant Presbytery), I have an article about us, Oaks Presbyterian Church, and our fallen tree. Here is what I essentially said:
The congregation of Oaks Presbyterian Church is experiencing an impossibility becoming a possibility. Responding to Session in August 2014 to set goals, I proposed that goal-setting be done in a different way. I had just finished reading Joan Gray’s Sailboat Church and wanted Oaks to learn what it meant to sail with God. At the conclusion of Sailboat Church, Rev. Gray has a 40-day prayer journal that she introduces with, “If a church is to sail, there must be a critical mass of people who are willing to become sailors. Only God can make the changes in our life that will turn those of us who are by nature rowers into sailors. However, sailing begins with praying.” Each session member agreed to pray for 40 days.
It was during these 40 days that we received a letter from the presbytery telling us about a program called New Beginnings. Because we had been in prayer, our hearts were open to something new. Session said “Yes” to New Beginnings, and Oaks began the house meeting process in March 2015.
This was also the season of Lent. And since God had answered our prayers for our first 40 days of prayer resulting in New Beginnings, it was time to spend another 40 days in prayer based on Mark Batterson’s The Circle Maker/Draw the Circle. Part of his inspiration for these two books is Joshua and the Israelites circling the wall of Jericho, and how God gave God’s people the victory. I challenged members to meet at 7:14 each morning to walk around our church and pray. 7:14 is based on 2 Chronicles 7:14, 15 – “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place.” Several members met the daily challenge to walk and pray. Lent came and went, and then began 50 days of prayer for Eastertide.
On Friday, April 10th, the day before Oaks’ annual garage sale, a very large oak tree fell into our prayer garden missing the sanctuary roof by less than two feet. While talking about the tree with TE Jim Gill at the annual clergy retreat, he said, “You ought to have someone make something out of the tree.” Duh?? Why hadn’t I thought of that? (Just a small side note, Joan Gray was the speaker at our clergy retreat.) An internet search led to woodcarver, James Phillips of Inshore Sculpture, the artist who carved the first pieces of public sculpture at Galveston City Hall after Hurricane Ike’s storm surge killed many of Galveston’s trees.
Oaks’ prayers were not answered immediately, but they were answered in God’s time. Before work on the tree began, I had an “AHA” moment. Our fallen tree was our wall tumbling down. We at Oaks have been separated from our community by an invisible wall that we had put up, and now that wall is down. The wall came down when we were conducting a community event – the garage sale. God is good!!
In place of the fallen tree is an anchor cross based on Hebrews 6:19a – “We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul.” The author of Hebrews is drawing a comparison between what an anchor does for its ship and what hope does for our hearts. The anchor of a ship is its source of security and stability. Blustery winds, choppy waves, strong currents – they will have no effect. The ship cannot be pulled off course. Hope stabilizes our emotions, putting us on an even keel. In the midst of tumultuous emotions, hope holds us steady. Hebrews 10:23 says, “Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for God who has promised is faithful.” The Lord is our hope, and hope is our anchor. No matter how difficult circumstances may get, we can trust God, knowing that our hope is secure. Our hope is based on a God who defeated death itself.
Oaks has completed New Beginnings, and we are now in Phase Two. We have formed a Mission Possible team, consisting of Lorrie Sanwald (who serves as the team’s chairperson), Doris Fox, Susie Fuller, Craig Kramer, Lesil Gessner, Karen Hardaway, Sally Logsdon, Alice Taylor, and Pat Thomas. Under the guidance of God, this team is taking all of the suggestions made during the house meetings and discerning what bold new steps Oaks must now take. All of us are called to pray for this team and OPC.
Something to think about and pray about.
In God’s love and joy,