Oasis Life: March 2016
Keeping you up to date with everything going on in a busy month
Welcome to the March edition of ‘Oasis Life’! Inside, you’ll find details of upcoming events, ways we’re seeking to impact the city, stories from different areas of church life and community highlights. We’d love to keep developing and expanding ‘Oasis Life’ each month, so please do get in touch with email@example.com if you’d be up for writing or sharing anything! You can also click here to sign up to get this Magazine emailed straight to your inbox each month.
Welcome from Adrian
I recently read a blog post that has transformed the way I live my day to day life. The post encouraged a simple change in vocabulary. A change from ‘have to’ to ‘get to’. ‘Have to’ is all about duty and makes me a victim of my circumstances, whereas ‘get to’ reminds me of the privilege and opportunity each activity and interaction affords me. I ‘get to’ gather on a Sunday with Oasis, reminds me of the privilege of gathering with such a vibrant and diverse family of people and the opportunity it affords me with everyone. I ‘get to’ to reveal who Jesus is, encourages me to see every interaction as an adventure in the privilege of revealing who Jesus is. These are two quick examples but it has and is impacting my time with family, friends and the various activities/tasks I face. I would encourage you to give it a go make a simple change in your vocabulary and see what a difference it makes.
Love and peace,
Sunday 6th March: After a fantastic time at our Weekend Away, Momentum Thirst is back with more opportunities to gather together 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. Join us in the Old Players Dining Room (RES Wyatt building) at Edgbaston Cricket Ground, from 6pm-8pm. Doughnuts included!
Women’s Focus Groups
Friday 4th March and Wednesday 16th March: As our Women’s ministry continues to grow, we want to keep offering more opportunities to get involved. So this year, we’ll be running two termly focus groups, with opportunities to learn together and then break out into smaller groups to apply what we’ve heard and share how we’re doing with God, home and world. The morning group is on Friday 4th March, from 9:45am-11:15am, and the evening group is on Wednesday 16th March, from 7:30pm-9:30pm, both hosted in the RES Wyatt building at Edgbaston.
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?
Sunday 13th March: Get ready for our next ‘Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner?’ event — food, community, and an opportunity to connect with those you might not get an opportunity to know on a Sunday morning! The format is quite straightforward: we link up people who are able to host in their homes with those who would rather be hosted. Hosts provide a main meal, while the guests bring drinks and pudding, and the event takes place after church so that those coming to both services can be involved. If you need a lift to a host’s house, we’ll also try to pair guests up with others who can offer transport. Sign up on Sunday 6th March, or online by using this form: http://goo.gl/forms/GGafG4LNHW. We’ll contact you the week before to let you know where you’ll be headed, who will be joining you, and what to bring if you’re a guest. If you have questions, drop Charlie an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday 24th March: The night before his death, Jesus shared the last supper with his disciples and visited the garden of Gethsemane to pray, wait, and wrestle with what was about to happen. We’ll be gathering for an evening of prayer and worship, and sharing communion together, to remember that night and be reminded of what it cost Him to draw us back to God. This will be quite an open time with lots of different contributions, so please do consider creating something to share - whether through music, poetry, art or any other expression. The evening will run from 8pm-9:30pm in the RES Wyatt building at Edgbaston.
Sunday 27th March: Come and join us at Easter for an all-age family service - including the return of the Great Edgbaston Easter Egg Hunt, a shorter main meeting, and loads of fun along the way as we get to celebrate the amazing news that Jesus is alive! It gets underway at Edgbaston from 10:30am and promises to be a fantastic morning.
Saturday 16th April: Starting soon, our new Seasons Group will focus on providing a space for those who are entering a new season of life to learn together about growing into everything God has for them in the next stage. Whether that’s starting a family, adapting to life after the kids have gone to university, entering retirement, or any other moment of change, we’ll be journeying together; facilitated mainly by four or so opportunities to gather across the year. The first of these will be on 16th April, when we’re having an ‘Away Day’ at Redhill Christian Centre. For more details, or to sign up, get in touch with email@example.com.
Sunday 6th March: On the first Sunday of every month, we gather items to help resource different centres in the local area, and the next one is coming up soon! We had a fantastic response in February, as you can see from the picture opposite, when together we were able to contribute an incredible 66kg of food! It would be brilliant to be able to keep that momentum going into March as well - just add a couple of things to your weekly shop and bring them along on Sunday to help feed those who can’t feed themselves. It really does make a tremendous difference to the lives of individuals and families living nearby.
Saturday 28th May-Tuesday 21st May: Although it might seem like it’s still a way away, the Catalyst Festival will be back again before you know it! You may remember that back in November, we booked a whole load of tickets at the early-bird price, and for various reasons we now have some of those available again. So if you’re interested in joining us on a long weekend away as a church, drop firstname.lastname@example.org a message, and we may well be able to get you there for less than the currently-advertised prices.
This time, our ‘Life Stories’ section catches up with a few different events that have recently taken place in different areas of Oasis life. We love to keep sharing stories in Oasis, so please do get in touch with Rich with anything about how you’re being and revealing Oasis wherever you are.
OKC ‘Kingdom Encounter’ Morning
Trina Fernando: Last Sunday was a special morning at OKC, as we ran a range of ‘Kingdom Encounter’ activities to help the kids connect with God in creative and meaningful ways. We started off with an amazing time of worship, where it was clear that the kids ability to hear God is really growing, and then got them visiting different areas to encounter God in new ways.
The room was set up to be an exciting and engaging experience, and there were some incredibly powerful moments throughout the morning. Activities included:
- Writing their names in clay to remind them that their names are written on God’s hands.
- Looking into a mirror with jewels on it to remind them that they’re God’s treasure, and encouraging them to pray for an affirming word that God would use to describe them and write it on the mirror. Some really powerful words were brought!
- A ‘Gate of Thanksgiving’, where Kids wrote prayers of things they were thankful for.
- A world map, where the kids asked God to bring a country to mind, and then prayed and prophesied over it. There were lots of prayers for places like Syria and France, for God to break in and heal the land, and for countries in Africa. One of the kids felt a call to go to South Africa later in life, so we were able to pray into that.
- A prayer for healing area, for themselves and others, alongside communion: explaining to the kids of what it is and why it matters, and then taking it together.
- Finally, there was a place to just rest and connect with God, soaking in who He is and feeling comfortable in His presence.
Students & 20’s Weekend Away
Emma Knight: It’s always great to get away for the weekend but especially with church and especially out of the city and into the countryside. During our short stay at Cefn Lea we had the opportunity to rest, play, and get to know each other better. In the main meetings we were given space to bring our own gifts and for myself and many others this was the highlight of the weekend. Seeing people step out in faith and share what God had put on their heart whether that be in spoken word, song, art or prayer and prophecy was incredible. Everyone’s individual contributions came together in a really powerful way. We also ventured out onto the surrounding Welsh hills, ate ridiculous amounts of cake in the bake-off and saw a wide range of skills in the talent show. From Bowpitt’s rendition of Taylor Swift’s ‘I knew you were trouble’, Joel’s ‘am I allowed to actually laugh at this’ stand up act, to Tom Matthewman’s performance of ‘where is the love’ with backing dancers. All of which ended in a lyric-lacking MC battle. I came expectant and excited for the weekend away and I left overjoyed and proud to be a part of a group of young adults who so graciously and creatively show their love for Jesus.
Women’s Worship Evening
Sarah Bowen: A group of about 30 Oasis women enjoyed a great evening of worship and reflection last week, taking a ‘pause’ moment away from the business of life to meet together. After a time of worship led by Abby and Anna, we put on worship music and spent some time to listen to God and to reflect. We had set the room up with a number of displays to help encourage an encounter with the Holy Spirit. We had a pile of ‘treasure’ stones, where you could pick a stone that caught your eye and ask God to speak to you through the colours or textures of the stone and then take it home as a reminder of what God had said to you. There was opportunity to take communion at a table with two chairs so you could feel you were sitting with God. There was a ‘glory tent’ where you could lie down and be still surrounded by soft lights and cushions. Many women felt they had powerful encounters with God and really appreciated the opportunity to take time out from the business of life to spend time with Him.
A city-wide initiative encouraging prayer “for those who don’t do church”, TryPraying is a resource that takes people through seven days of learning to connect with God and see what happens in their lives as a result. It’s being sponsored by a number of churches in the city, and encourages Christians to ‘use it’ for a week to build confidence and then ‘lose it’ to a friend or family member who’s open to finding out more about God. We’ll have a number of the resources available in the build-up to Easter, so do pick one up on a Sunday.
Run 4 Refugees
Saturday 19th March: Want to get fit and help resource charities working with those affected by the refugee crisis at the same time? Run4Refugeees is exactly what you’re looking for! It’s a sponsored run event in aid of refugees, taking place in Cannon Hill Park (opposite the Cricket Ground) at 12pm, with arrival and registration from 11:30am. There are 5K, 10K and 15K routes, depending on how ambitious you’re feeling! The entrance fee is £10 for adults and £5 for concessions (students, U18s and over 60s), and the whole event is being organised by some friends of ours from ChurchCentral Birmingham.
Located near to Oasis, on Speedwell Road, Gracewell offers care and assisted living to elderly residents who might need a little more help. A number of these folks used to go to church, but are now unable to do so, and would love to still be able to connect through different individuals. If you’d be interested in exploring what that might look like (whether through meeting up to befriend, hosting smaller meetings, volunteering alongside staff, or in any other way), get in touch with email@example.com