Hello, Oak Chapel Friends,
We had a wonderful weekend of food and fellowship last week, concluding with our “Casting Our Congregational Vision” luncheon after worship. At that time I shared with the congregation several of my goals, including increasing our worship attendance to 150 before the bishop appoints me to another congregation. Yes, I realize that number represents a 100% increase in our current attendance, but I believe it is attainable if we continue to focus on our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
This Sunday the pastors in our compass group are exchanging pulpits. The Oak Chapel UMC congregation will have the pleasure of welcoming the Rev. Tami Toothman-Shoup, pastor at Sterling UMC. Her message titled “Why We Follow” is based on Matthew 4: 12 – 23. I will be preaching on that same text at the New Pittsburg United Methodist Church.
Below you will find announcements and other important information about upcoming events. Please review and mark your calendars accordingly.
April Aten is coordinating our “hospitality corner,” offering coffee and breakfast treats (donut holes, muffins, etc.) in our Narthex on Sunday mornings beginning at 9:00am. If you are willing to bring treats and/or set up on Sunday mornings, please indicate your willingness on the attendance sheet in your Sunday bulletin or call April at 330-234-1940. We appreciate your assistance in providing a welcoming environment for our visitors and church family.
Terra Aten is the main leader in our church nursery. Thank you to all who volunteered to assist her. Pam Domer mailed letters with the rotation schedule this week. This Sunday’s nursery assistants are Joanne and Kate Jolliff. Next week’s (Sunday, February 2) assistants are Mark and Patti Ritchey.
Vacation Bible School Preview and Luncheon
The dates for this year’s Vacation Bible School are July 14 – 18 from 5:30 – 8:30pm. The theme is “Jungle Safari: Where Kids Explore the Nature of God.” In conjunction with our Fellowship Luncheon after worship on Sunday, February 16, we will share a preview of the materials. Come discover how you might help with VBS this year!
Sunday School Explosion
On Sunday, February 23 we will host a Sunday School Explosion. The day will begin with a hot breakfast served in Fellowship Hall at 8:30am. Entertainment during the breakfast hour includes “Science Experiments with Pastor Robin.” There will also be games and prizes. Invite someone new to join you for breakfast and Sunday School that day. It is sure to be a blast!
District Superintendent News
As many already know, our District Superintendent, the Rev. Dr. Valerie Stultz, is retiring this June. We have appreciated her ministry and leadership on our district and wish her well in her retirement. We will have an opportunity to personally thank her for her leadership when she worships with us on Sunday, March 16.
Bishop John Hopkins intends to appoint the Rev. Edward P. Peterson to the Canal District, effective July 1. Rev. Peterson has served the Lake Brady and Middlefield United Methodist Churches. Prior to entering the ministry, he worked as an engineer for commercial heating and air conditioning companies in Cleveland and Akron.
Upcoming Sermon Series
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus calls us to a radically different way of life. For the four Sundays in February, Pastor Robin will do a lectionary-based sermon series titled Upside Down: A Different Way to Live based on these teachings found in Matthew 5.
Feb. 2: Happiness Redefined (Matthew 5: 1 – 12)
Feb. 9: You Can Change Your World (Matthew 5: 13 – 20)
Feb. 16: A Higher Standard (Matthew 5: 21 – 37)
Feb. 23: Love the Ones You Hate (Matthew 5: 38 – 48)
During Lent (beginning Ash Wednesday, March 5 and ending Easter Sunday, April 20), Pastor Robin will do a sermon series titled Journey of Stones. Begin praying about friends and neighbors you can invite to join you for these two upcoming series.
Opportunities for Ministry Next Week
Sunday, 1/26 – Sunday School at 9:30am
Worship at 10:30am
Monday, 1/27 – Prayer Shawl Ministry at 5:30pm
Staff-Parish Relations Committee at 7:00pm
Wednesday, 1/29 – Choir rehearsal at 7:30pm
Saturday, 2/1 – Weight Loss Support Group at 9:15am
It is a privilege to be your pastor and to serve among such an amazing community. I look forward to seeing you in church on Sunday!
Grace and peace,