Oasis Life: Autumn 2017
Keeping you connected with news, stories and events!
September has arrived, and so has the Autumn 2017 edition of Oasis Life, our regular Magazine for those both inside and outside of Oasis! The aim of the Magazine is to provide a longer, more in depth view of everything that’s been going on at Oasis lately, and everything coming up over the next couple of months; it’s not meant to be a quick read like our Weekly Email Blast, but rather is something to be enjoyed in a bit more time so pop the kettle on and make yourself a cup of tea or coffee.
Oasis Life is organised into three sections: ‘Home’, ‘Life’ and ‘City’. Put simply, ‘Home’ is all about who we are, ‘Life’ is about what we do together, and ‘City’ is about what we do in Birmingham and Beyond.
A Thought from Adrian
We recently watched the film ‘Hidden Figures’ as family, which I highly recommend to you. The film tells the remarkable story of a small group of black American women who played a vital part in NASA putting the first Astronaut into space and landing on the moon, and is set within the context of the huge racial divisions of 1960’s America.
In watching the film, as well as the overall story being incredibly moving, I was struck by the confidence and the security of the individuals within it. In a context where they were continuously seen as second-class citizens, where no one really believed they could amount to anything, and where few sought to fight their corner, these women didn’t allow it to deter them, defeat them or define them. Rather, they sought to be all they could be and to make the greatest difference they could. They lived defined by who they knew they were rather than who others said they were.
I found this incredibly challenging as I pondered whether I live in the same way. Do I allow myself to be defined by circumstances or the views of others? Or do I allow myself to be defined by the wonder of the identity God has declared over me as one who is eternally loved and accepted as His child? I wonder if this question is not just unique to me?
My prayer for this coming term for myself and for each of you is that we would live increasing defined by our identity in God regardless of our circumstances or other’s opinions. I am convinced that as we live from this place it will have a profound effect on us and the world we come in to contact with.
Love and peace,
Our Sunday resources are back up and running again for the new term, and every week we’ll be publishing a blog with a recording of the talk from Sunday, notes, and discussion/application questions. Although designed primarily for small groups, we hope they’re helpful to everyone in applying what we hear on a Sunday throughout the week. You can find all our resources here, and can subscribe to our iTunes podcast for recordings here.
Oasis Youth at Newday
Emma Knight: It was a joy and a privilege to be part of the team that took our Youth to NewDay in the summer, and to see them encounter God in new ways and engage with the content was very exciting. It was also really encouraging just to spend time with them and see how much closer they became as a group over the week. Here are a few highlights from some of the youth themselves:
- “Meeting with God in new ways and learning how to pray”
- “Spending time together as a youth group chatting and playing games outside”
- “Encountering God in new and powerful ways”
- “Able to pray in a more open way”
- “Released from fear of Exams”
- “Exploring places and getting to know people”
- “Learning that God can speak to you in so many ways”
- “Felt emotionally refreshed and mentally at peace.”
Check out the video below for some of what we got up to!
It’s both exciting and encouraging that at this time of year, we find our community too big to all fit into the cinema for one meeting, and so Oasis is launching a second meeting in the afternoon from Sunday 17th September! As well as increasing our capacity, this is a fantastic way of opening up who we are to those who find it difficult to get to a Sunday morning. The meeting will include the same message as the morning, but with a more stripped back, acoustic style of worship and the opportunity to share communion every week. It’ll take place in the Deloitte Room at mac Birmingham, from 4pm-6pm, kicking off with refreshments.
With the Autumn Term underway again, Small Groups are back from their summer breaks and gathering once more. These are a key place for us to know others and be known ourselves, and we have groups that meet all over the city on different nights of the week to ensure that as many people as possible can find a nearby group on a suitable night. We’re also launching a couple of new groups this term, so if you’d like to find a group just drop us a message on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll link you in!
Week of Prayer
Monday 18th-Friday 22nd September: We love prayer at Oasis — it’s at the heart of everything we do — and so at different points of the year we give over an extended period of time to seeking God through prayer and worship. In this year of adventure as a community, with lots going on amongst us, it’s vital that we continue to keep prayer as a defining characteristic of who we are. Every day, we’ll be praying from 6am to midnight, with different individuals signing up for hour-long slots — you can sign up via the online form here.
We’ll also be gathering on the final night, Friday 22nd September, from 8pm-9:30pm in the Deloitte Room at mac Birmingham to worship and pray together. It’ll be a great way to press into everything God’s been speaking about throughout the week, and look ahead to the future and all we’ve got coming up this term.
Momentum is the Oasis Students & 20s community, and as the new term kicks off we’l be gathering to have lunch together every week from 24th September to 22nd October — with a variety of trips to different people’s houses and local pubs planned! We’ll gather in the Arena Bar after the morning meetings, and then head off from there, so whether you’re an Oasis regular or are visiting for the first time, it’s a great chance to hang out and get to know one another better.
Sunday 1st October: Oasis is turning 18! That’s right, we have finally reached the age of mature, sensible adulthood…officially at least! Come and join us as we celebrate together, when we’ll be gathering in the Theatre (rather than our usual venue of the cinema) at mac Birmingham from 10am for refreshments ahead of a 10:30am start, with guest speaker Andrew McNeil from Birmingham Vineyard. Later on, at the afternoon meeting from 4pm for a 4:30pm start, we’ll be sharing the story of Oasis so far and looking ahead to the future, with an opportunity for an extended time of prayer and worship.
Knowing God Course
Starting on the 1st October, we’re going to be running an 8 week course all about how God has revealed himself, and how we grow in what it is to know Him and enjoy Him in every area of life. It’ll be taking place after the second meeting, from 6pm in the Deloitte Room at the mac with coffee and cake in plentiful supply and an interactive, engaging seminar structure to help us quickly and clearly apply everything we’re looking at together. Everyone is welcome!
The all-new Birmingham International Marathon is taking place on Sunday 15th October, alongside the traditional Half Marathon, and as usual we’ll be gathering to cheer on the runners, provide encouragement, and join in with the festivities of one of the city’s biggest annual events. More details to come closer to the time on exactly when and where we’re gathering, but get it in the diary now!
Andy Gordon: Impact has been busy, not just a little busy, really busy. From recording EP’s (3–4 songs) for our residency acts (folk, to singer songwriters, to full on rock bands), to putting on weekly gigs at the mac throughout July and August — to hosting larger gigs in the Theatre at the mac every 3 months — 2017 has certainly been about making our presence known and felt in this city.
This week Paul is joined by Chris and Andy from Impact Birmingham and various other Birmingham based bands, are here to…www.mixcloud.com
On Monday just gone, Chris Taylor and I had the opportunity to pop into Brum Radio for an hour or so to chat about Impact (see the link above, from about 17 minutes). It was fun — although listening back I go from being extremely nervous with um’s and ah’s and er’s all over the place, to becoming overly confident and somewhat cocky as the interview goes on — I seemed to say ‘awesome’ and ‘cool’ way more than I would in real life. The point is that it reminded me of everything that Impact has been doing this year and the unique privilege we have had in building friendships with local musicians and singers and giving them encouragement, value and a cracking service — all because Oasis Church is dedicated to influencing this city with the values and principles of the kingdom of heaven. We have also had the joy of getting to know many of the staff at the mac, both senior management and the ‘on-the-ground-crew’ that actually make everything happen. We have been blown away by their enthusiasm for what we do and how we do it.
The Impact team has served their socks off — with special mention going to Jo Cogle, Phil Henly, Chris Taylor and Alex Dickens for pulling off incredible events that have needed a stack load of organising. So much so, that the team is somewhat tired and needing some time out — so we are pressing pause for a bit and waiting to see where the adventure will take us next. I will still be working with our current residency act (Philippa Zawe), recording and putting on some smaller gigs — but please pray for us as a team as we look to the future.
Thanks for coming with us on the journey,
Sunday 1st October: On the first Sunday of every month, we now have a dedicated area in the Arena Bar for Foodbank donations, and our next one is coming up on Birthday Sunday. What better way to celebrate the joy of being together in the city than to bless those within the city who are struggling? Look out for the box by the green ‘Connect’ Banner.
Jen Wallace: Restore, a project of Birmingham Churches Together, is hosting a number of training evenings aimed at those interested in befriending refugees or in finding out more about refugee issues. These are taking place on Thursday 5th, 12th and 19th October from 7.15pm to 9.15pm at Carrs Lane Church Centre, B4 7SX — just contact email@example.com to book a place.
Here are a few other things going on in the city that we’re not directly involved in, but might be of interest to some:
ReachAcross are hosting a practical, one day conference to help inform, inspire and equip individuals in how to engage Muslims in their local communities with the gospel. It’s taking place on 21st October, and all the details can be found here along with an online sign-up. The deadline for registration is 7 October.
Refugee Support Network
RSN are looking for volunteers to act as educational mentors for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in the Birmingham area. It would involve meeting up with a young person once a week, and helping them with their school work and with learning English. These young people, mainly boys aged 14–17, arrive in the UK without family and often speaking little English; they are placed in the care of social services. Education offers them hope for the future, and you could make a real difference in the life of a young person. For more information, check out RSN’s website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.