Hello, Oak Chapel Friends,
This Sunday I will begin a new sermon series titled “Upside Down: A Different Way to Live.” Make no mistake, Jesus was and is different. The things he said shocked. The way he lived surprised. The people he associated with offended the religious leaders of the day. Jesus turned the expected on its head. If the predictable was right-side up, then Jesus turned things upside down.
And he still surprises today. He calls us to a completely different way of life. It is the life we have been looking for, but it feels upside down to the world around us. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gives in rapid-fire succession an outline for how those who choose to follow him are to live and believe. It was a countercultural message then, and it is a countercultural message now. The series begins with a study of the Beatitudes, in which Jesus reverses our typical understanding of happiness, showing us the blessings that come in the midst of grief, hopelessness, and humility. My message titled “Happiness Redefined” is based on Matthew 5: 1 – 12. I hope you will join us and bring a friend.
Below you will find announcements and other important information about upcoming events. Please review and mark your calendars accordingly.
Bible Study on the Gospel of John
Pastor Jim will conduct another Bible Study, this time looking at the Gospel of John. The sessions will be one hour (6:30-7:30 PM) on Wednesday evenings: three sessions before Ash Wednesday (February 12, 19,& 26) and three sessions after Ash Wednesday (March 12, 19, 26). Session one will be an overview of John’s Gospel and how it differs from Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Session two and three will look at stories unique to John: Wedding Feast at Cana, Woman at the Well, Lazarus, etc. After the break for Ash Wednesday, session four will view John’s “I am” statements and John’s use of “signs.” Session five will focus on the Last Supper discourse and the last session on John’s after-Easter stories. The entire purpose of this study is to discover John’s view of Jesus and how it can relate to us today. The sessions will have lively discussion as well as reflections on each session reading assignment. No sign up is required, but if you need a ride, please call the church office and we will have someone pick you up! Bring a copy of the Bible and a friend!
Terra Aten is the main leader in our church nursery. Thank you to all who volunteered to assist her. This Sunday’s nursery assistants are Mark and Patti Ritchey. Next week’s (February 9) assistant is Phyllis Weaver.
There will be a blood drive at St. Peter Lutheran Church in New Pittsburg on Tuesday, February 4 from 3 – 7pm. Please give the gift of life.
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!
Compass Group Mission Trip
Our Compass Group will return to New Jersey this summer to do relief and restoration work for those affected by Superstorm Sandy. Last year, four members (Pete & Natalie Bunt and Pam & Kim Domer) and Pastor Robin participated. Pastor Robin is organizing this year’s trip and we’d love to have more folks from Oak Chapel join us. The dates are Sunday, July 27 through Saturday, August 2. The cost of the trip is approximately $350 per person. We will have some fundraisers this Spring to offset this cost. Please prayerfully consider this mission opportunity.
Opportunities for Ministry Next Week
Sunday, 2/2 – Sunday School at 9:30am
Worship at 10:30am
Monday, 2/3 – Retirees Breakfast – Milltown at 8:00am
Wednesday, 2/5 – Morning Circle – at Betty Franks at 9:30am
Choir rehearsal at 7:30pm
Saturday, 2/8 – United Methodist Men – Green Leaf at 7:30am
Weight Loss Support Group at 9:15am
Chocolate Spa – Wooster UMC at 9:30am
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,