Oasis Life: January 2017
Happy New Year (are you still allowed to say that?), and welcome to the January 2017 edition of Oasis Life, our monthly 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 in the next month of so; it’s not meant to be a quick read like our Weekly Email Blast, but rather is something to be (hopefully!) enjoyed in a bit more time over a cup of tea or coffee. You can click here to sign up to get this Magazine emailed straight to your inbox each month.
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. So sit back and join us for a look back at what’s been going on in Oasis lately, and a look ahead at what’s to come.
A Thought from Adrian
For me the true adventure this coming year isn’t in moving or the exploits we get up to but in the fact that it is ‘together’! The adventure together reminds us that it involves each, and every one of us regardless of age and life situation. It reminds us that we are not alone and that we each add value.
My hope this coming year is twofold. Firstly that the adventures we encounter draw us closer together as a community in our support, encouragement and love for one another. Secondly that it causes us to draw others in to enjoy the closeness and connection we enjoy as a community.
I pray this year that ‘The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face towards you and give you peace.’ Numbers 6:24–26
Love and peace,
Oasis Updates: Kids Work
Trina Fernando: Looking back over 2016, we have had a great year in kids work. In Rainbows the kids have been happy, settled and really enjoyed learning to know God for themselves. There’s been playing, stories, messy crafts, playdough, dancing, singing, games and plenty of biscuits.
In OKC every week we remind the kids that it’s all about Jesus, Friends and Fun. This year that has defiantly been true. We have had the privilege of seeing kids give their lives to Jesus, be baptised in the Holy Spirit and learn to hear God speak to and through them. Along with following the church’s teaching series’, during the first half of 2016 our focus was on worship and knowing the Father’s love. From September, our focus was on Being Brave and stepping out with God. I feel this is really going to tie into the church vision for 2017 as we adventure with God. The kids are continually deepening their friendships with each other and the OKC team, and we have watched them learn to support and encourage each other. 2016 also saw the beginning of the OKC Band who, with Dave Gooding’s patient help, have encouraged some of the kids to use their musical talents to lead worship. One of the highlights of 2016 for me was “OKC Presents”, when the OKC team and kids got to lead the all age carol service.
Sadly, we ended 2016 having to say goodbye to some really faithful, amazing kids workers as they move on to serve in other areas of church life. I would particularly like to thank Sarah Smith, Michelle Thompson and Hazel Morgan for all the years you have given to serving our kids!
2017 looks set to be an exciting year too. There are many unknowns as we move on from Edgbaston but I am excited to see what God has in store for us. In May this year we will be taking the OKC kids away for the weekend (details coming soon) where we’ll have an extended time for Jesus, Friends and Fun! In July we will sadly be saying goodbye to 9 amazing kids as they move up into youth. They will be hugely missed but I’m sure will be a great asset to youth!
Oasis Updates: Youth
Jenny Chen: Youth at Oasis is full of events as usual since last October when everything resumed after the summer break. Youth Sundays followed the same series as Church on ‘Building Culture’, which was very applicable to the youth just as it was to the rest of church. The series created many great messages and questions for the youth to think about, especially on how God’s love for us does not only occur during church on a Sunday but follows us throughout our everyday life, in everything we do, think and say. The Sundays will continue to cover the same things as the main services, creating opportunities for the older and the wiser to communicate with the youth about what we have been touching on! Small groups have also been running since last October, occurring on alternative Fridays. The Small groups have allowed us to dwell further into what following Jesus means as we use resources provided by Christianity Explored which covers the Gospel of Mark. The small groups have been received very well by the youth where they have enjoyed going through the resources and participated very well. Personally, I hope that these sessions will be able to help the youth to find their own identity in Christ.
Alongside these, we also had lots of other fun! Socials have been running alongside these sessions and we’ve done socials like game nights, a bonfire night and ended the year with a very successful Christmas social which involved the youth doing various challenges in teams and ending on a great note with pizza!
In what’s to come — Sundays, Small groups and Socials will continue to run throughout the term. In addition, there are two bigger events. 1) Youth sleepover which will occur during the first week of the Easter Holidays and is an opportunity that will allow everyone to spend more time together and build their relationships with each other. 2) Newday — the big aim for the year! Something we’ll be looking at as a team and trying to make it work.
That’s about it for now! Thank you for all your love towards to youth and please continue to show even more love and encouragement towards them.
Oasis Updates: Momentum Student & 20's
Emma Knight: It’s been another great year for Oasis Momentumites with the group both growing in size and in depth of friendships. We’ve had some great additions to the group with a number of first year students and a growing community of young professionals who continue to call Oasis home. Our monthly ‘Thirst’ gatherings have been a real highlight as we hang out and get to know each other better over dinner before getting to enjoy a time of worship together and listen to a short talk. We’re currently in a series called ‘Go Long: Practising Perseverance’ in the book of Revelation. It’s been a challenging series so far but one that has reminded us of the importance of learning to put down roots now which will last us our whole lives. The talks are also structured to allow time for discussion which has really helped us to apply the message to our lives and to support one another. This fellowship has been given even more room to grow by the introduction in 2016 of 2 new small groups that meet on Sunday evenings. It’s been great to meet regularly together, pray for each other and see those prayers answered too!
Our last event of 2016 was the Christmas social where over 30 of us enjoyed Christmas Dinner together with a brilliant quiz and set of games organised by Sarah and Becky. Looking ahead to this year we are just over a month away from our annual weekend away on the 17–19th February. It’s always an amazing time where we all get to hang out and get to know both one another and God better. This year we are heading to a brand new location of the Frontier Centre in Northamptonshire but there’ll be the same opportunities for games, walks, worship, creativity and, of course, the Momentumites bake-off! The weekend away last year is something many of us often still talk about, with many amazing moments where collectively and individually people shared some really amazing contributions, so it will be really exciting to see what God wants to share with us this year.
Oasis Updates: Seasons
Jackie Medler: “Seasons” is an opportunity to look at the changes and transitions that happen for all of us — some expected and some sudden life changes — and changes that can occur at any time in our lives.
In April 2016 Seasons enjoyed an Away Day with Chris and Tina Spicer –for all of us it was truly inspirational and the challenge was to be “agents of change” and to pass on the baton to the Elisha generation within Oasis. Keep challenging us!!
We met up several times during the year and also had our first “Highlight Event” in November, spending a morning together discussing and sharing the joys and heartaches of “Parenting Adult Children”. The most repeated feed-back comment from this was that people realised they weren’t alone and that there were others who understood what they were going through — which was such an encouragement. We have also developed a very effective prayer chain that enables us to share and pray for one another especially at challenging times.
In 2017 the core of the Seasons group are going to start meeting on the basis of “Begin with Breakfast” and look at ways of sharing, caring and praying for one another more regularly, as well as enjoying some fun moments!! We will also be having another “Highlight Event” -this time focussing on “Facing a Life Change” — and will be looking at the broad principles that we need to harness whether we are leaving home for the first time, thinking of getting married, starting a family, a major career change, sudden challenges to health, retirement etc. and we hope that many others in Oasis will feel welcome to join us.
Creative Worship Encounter
Sunday 29th January: CWE is a place to come and worship in an open, creative and relaxed way. There’ll be lots of different creative expressions and strands, all united by a common desire to encounter God’s presence through worship. Come prepared with readings, poetry, art, music and more, or just turn up and enjoy! It’s on from 6:00pm-8:00pm at Edgbaston, and all are welcome. For more information on all things CWE, join the Facebook Group.
Sunday 5th February: After the second morning meeting (which runs 11:45am-1:15pm), the women of Oasis will be gathering for lunch. Food will be provided, so all you have to do is turn up and enjoy an afternoon meeting new people, connecting with friends, sharing life and hearing stories. Whether it’s your first time or your five-hundreth time at Oasis, come and join us for what promises to be a great time of community as we kick off our 2017 series of Women’s Deeper events.
Sunday 5th February: Momentum Thirst is back with more opportunities for our Students & 20’s to gather to seek God, build community and share life. We’ll be hanging out, worshipping together and continuing our focus on growing in God throughout different areas of life with our series “Go Long: Practicing Perseverance”. We start the evening with a free, cooked meal together, before a time of worship and teaching/discussion in an informal atmosphere. Join us in the Old Players Dining Room (RES Wyatt building) at Edgbaston, from 6pm-8pm.
Momentum Weekend Away
Friday 17th-Sunday 19th February: Once again, the time has come for the Annual Momentum Weekend Away! Two and a bit days of spending loads of time hanging out with God and the rest of the Oasis Students & 20's…this time at a brand new venue in Northamptonshire. We’ll still have all the usual stuff: fields, walks, creativity, sport, food, games, worship, bible and loads more! It’s always a fantastic time of hearing from God and getting to know others; not one to be missed! Sign up using the form here.
Faith: Outdated or Essential?
Wednesday 1st February: together with a number of other churches throughout Birmingham, we’re putting on an event at the ICC looking at whether faith is still relevant in a world of post-truth and alternative-facts. We’re got a fantastic speaker, Michael Ramsden from the Oxford Centre of Christian Apologetics, coming, and the shape of the evening is a light meal, followed by a talk and extended time of Q&A. Tickets are £10 and are available from Gus; just drop him a message on firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Saturday 11th March: Back for its second year, R4R is an event being run by some friends of ours at ChurchCentral where the aim is simple: run/dance/walk 5/10/15k round Cannon Hill Park, recieve sponsorship from your friends and family and in doing so, raise money that goes directly toward fighting the refugee crisis. It costs £5 per concession to run (concessions include children, students and people over 65) and £10 for adults. Find out more or sign up using their website here.
Friday 24th March: Last Sunday, Alex and Andy shared about some exciting changes coming to Impact this year, as we move to The MAC to set up a residency program for local bands. That’s all kicking off with a laidback evening of beautiful music with Birmingham’s best and brightest — featuring the incredible Boat to Row and our very own Midsummer. The performance will be followed by a DJ set in the Arena Bar, and tickets are £7 with doors opening at 8:30pm.
- Pete & Cheryl Lockhart have a friend who’s a music teacher and is offering lessons. His name is Ash, and he lives on Dad’s Lane in Stirchley. Take a look at his poster for more information.
- The charity Care for the Family is running an evening event called “It Takes Two: Building a Lasting Marriage” over in Sutton Coldfield on Tuesday 14th March. Find out more at their website here.
That’s all for this month — definitely a magazine-length entry this time around! Please do get in touch if you have anything you’d like to add in to the next edition!