Mid-Week Memo

Hi Five Oakers,

I have a few things I want to share with you today.

#1 - Every week you can go to 5oaks.info for a recap of our service. I'm printing it today as a one-time thing to entice you to look there in the future


Here is a recap of our public worship for the weekend of June 2/3 2012. Our songs, prayers, and scripture.

Our liturgy.

The scripture for this weekend was from Luke 14:1-11. Our liturgy was written and designed to support our main focus in that text: Humility. You’ll notice the thread woven throughout. From the verses of ‘How Great Thou Art’ that simultaneously remind us of God’s awesome wonder in creation, to the great showing of humility: Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. And in the prelude, as we sang mindful of our humble place, and our need for help.


Our prelude rings the bell, signaling the beginning of our worship together; setting the tone for our time worshipping God.

Could you take a song and make it Thine
From a crooked heart twisted up like mine
Could you open up heaven’s glory light
Shine on in bring these dead bones life.
_from ‘Give Us Rest’ by The David Crowder*Band


Calling our community to the unique activity of worship, and establish the vertical dimension of our worship – an encounter between God and us, His people.

Listen to these words from the Gospel of Matthew:
Jesus said, “come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. put my yoke upon your shoulders, learn from me for I am gentle and humble of heart. When you are yoked to me, your weary souls will find rest. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is  light.”
_from Matthew 11

Our invitation today is to come to God. Whether we are far or near, he has invited us to come and exchange our burden’s for His. Our invitation today, whether we are far or near to God, is to come. In Him our weary souls find rest, as we live surrendered to His humble love.

Take your hands and hold them closed before you in fists. As you’re ready slowly open them symbolically releasing control; surrendering to our Saviors gentle love. Let’s continue, celebrating with free hearts.

Come let us sing for joy, let us shout aloud to our King.
Come let us worship God lifting holy hands, bless His Name.
_from ‘Bless His Name’ recorded by Jeremy Riddle


God’s grace comes to us creating a relationship with us in Christ where honesty about our sin is safe and welcomed. We confess our sin not to get forgiveness, but because God has forgiven us. Confession invites us to an honest expression within the safety of God’s grace. Our confessions are an exercise and declaration of grace, not shame or condemnation.

We take time every week to confess that we are sinners. That we need God’s help. This time is not about shame or condemnation, rather it’s a time of celebration. We are not confessing to get forgiveness, we are confessing because we are forgiven; or confessing forgiveness. This moment is not about us, or how bad we are. It’s about God, and how great his grace is.

God expressed His love for the world like this: He sent His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not face everlasting destruction, but will have everlasting life. God didn’t send His son into the world to judge it; instead, He is here to rescue a world headed towards ruin._adapted from John 3
_adapted from John 3

You took our sin, You bore our shame
You rose to life you defeated the grave.
A love like this, the world has never known.
On the altar of our praise let there be no higher name, Jesus, Son of God.
You laid your perfect life, You are the sacrifice, Jesus, Son of God.
_from ‘Jesus Son of God’ by Jason Ingram, Chris Tomlin, Matt Mahr


As a moment of welcome, we reach out and give explanation of both the WHAT and WHY of what we are doing. We spend a moment greeting and saying hello to those we are worshipping with..


We hear from God’s word, and our challenged on how we could respond to it.



We respond to God through song, prayer, and directed activities (stations)

Here is a list of the directed activities (stations) we used this weekend:

  • +/- station: What in your life needs adding or subtracting to follow God better.
  • Communion: Go and remember God’s great love shown us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
  • Prayer Station: Be prayed for and receive support as you seek to know and follow God in your life.
  • Prayer Web: Take or leave a prayer request.
  • Candle Station: Light a candle and pray for the light of Christ to shine in another’s life.

Songs and Prayers:

You hear the humble when they cry, feel the wounds we have inside us.
You find the broken in us all, You welcome in the prodigal.
I want to be like You Jesus.
Teach me to be humble, teach me what is great.
Teach me to love others, teach me not to hate.
_from ‘Teach Me’ by Dan Lukas

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain – He washed it white as snow
_from ‘Jesus Paid it All’ by Kristian Stanfill

And when I think that God His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in.
That on the cross my burden gladly bearing
He bled and died to take away my sin
Then sings my soul, my Savior, God, to thee
How great Thou art.
_from ‘How Great Thou Art’ by The Digitial Age


Our benediction tells us who we are in Christ (blessing), and calls (reminds) us that we can live that out (blessed to be a blessing).

God’s great love has been shown to us through a humble Savior.
Allow yourself to live in God’s mercy.
Depend on it. Share it with those around you.
Live constantly surrendered to God and His love.
_adapted from Matthew 11 and John 3

#2 - Here are the comments from the Communication Cards. We also received a lot of prayer requests for the prayer team and Elders. Normally we receive about three times as many prayer requests as comments, in case you're wondering.

  • Nice worship set folks. Tim loved your words in the middle about confession for celebration, that Christ knows our sins and has forgiven us. Great, great message – loved the ending with the blog. I wanted to dance. [I loved sharing that story from that blog.]
  • Thank you for your words to us today. Henry, a powerful message! Thank you! 
  • Never heard a bow on an electric guitar before. What an amazing sound! Loved it! [That was pretty great. It created a great atmosphere for worship and reflection.]
  • Loved the young man who played the guitar, used a violin string and etc. 
  • Henry, you are gonna take a beating for this message but AMEN my brother. [That's a comment from Saturday night regarding the political statements. I adjusted a bit for Sunday. Saturday was a little uncensored. On Saturday I said that I cringe when hearing Christians sound so afraid and threatened by people who disagree with our convictions in the public square and want to pass laws that are opposed to our convictions. I thought that was a bit arrogant. When I'm in unguarded, private conversations, I think I can sound the same way a lot of times so I needed to include myself in it more. That's the adjustment I made.]
  • Dan is the man. Great sound – great look – meaningful worship. “How Great Thou Art” – “real worship”, “real praise”. [Oh my, did Dan hear about the new look and haircut! And I agree, he is the man.]
  • We need to have paper recycle bins. [Not quite sure why we don't. Maybe we want you to take them home and pin them up on your frig or maybe we just haven't thought about it.]
  • Good to see you leading Dan, sounded good! Nathan – wow! Beautiful! What a gift for God you have!
  • Good, good, good information for my upcoming week – Henry. My notes will go with me as I travel. I don’t want to forget this Bible lesson. Nice job, great message. Thanks! Awesome music! [I love that you're taking it with you!]
  • Great message. So well delivered and so appropriate and applicable to me. Well done and thanks. As an aside, I can’t help but think that some people who stay away from church would find the message enlightening and liberating. I think this is so timely. [Every week I try to present the message in a way that someone exploring the faith will at least understand (even if they don't like what they're hearing). We all need to be inviting our friends and family. I know most of you are. Keep praying and inviting because the gospel is preached one way or another every week since it is the A to Z, not the ABC's of our faith.]
  • Great talk and viewpoint on politics. I’d love to share that snippet with friends and family. [For some more on this topic, go to the categories on the right on the blog page and link to "Politics."]
  • Great message and worship. Thanks! 
  • I loved the version of “How Great Thou Art”. [Per my personal request. Dan had shared with me a link to the guys who arranged it. They are the Crowder Band guys minus Crowder. You can see them performing it here.]
  • Beautiful first worship set with amazing talk by Tim and reading about confession and grace. Great original song. Love the Digital Age time! [Oh yeah, that's the name of the formerly Crowder band guys. Forget what I said about Dan. Tim's the man!]
  • I love the message today! I needed to hear that. Thank you. 
  • Love the music! The violin bow on the guitar was an interesting touch. It added a cool layer to the dimension of the sound. 
  • Every sermon here at Five Oaks speaks to me. We as a family are so fortunate to have found this place of peace. We will follow Pastor Henry, who has helped our family find our “religious” feet. Thank you.  
  • For Dan, what I noticed: lyric wrong in closing chorus of first worship song (not 1st sonj). Drummer in dark – not enough light on Libby at start of last song, and lyrics is – How Great... Message wonderful. [Not enough light on Libby, but she led us well by her singing. Yes, more light!]
  • The “threat” of gay marriage makes sense now and why so many Christians sound heartless about it. [The constitutional amendment this fall will provide a great avenue for talking about our role as believers in the political process and about how to interpret Scripture faithfully. As I mentioned earlier in this post, I have written on politics at some length in other posts. Our church will not take a position on the amendment because that is a particular policy solution. Our reasoning can be found here. But that doesn't mean we don't talk directly to the issues behind the policy solutions. People who share our convictions about the authority of Scripture (and are also biblically informed) are nearly unanimous that the Bible only supports marriage between one man and one woman. With all due respect for my gay friends and family members that I love dearly, the Bible simply doesn't support gay marriage. Some people say the Scripture is not clear or the application is not evident, but I have yet to find anyone who says that and, at the same time, shares our convictions on Scripture. Simply put, folks who say that have a different starting point and set of assumptions from us. But people who share our deep convictions about Scripture are not agreed that such a constitutional amendment is good policy. We can agree on the issues behind the policy and disagree on the current policy solutions offered by the political process. So we have some interesting conversations coming up this political season. Just remember, the people you  disagree with are either your mission field or your brothers and sisters in Christ. Vigorously pursue your convictions, but never treat people disrespectfully. We are never excused from displaying the fruit of the Spirit.]
  • Can someone please check into fixing the guest WIFI for I-Pads? Thank you! 
  • Saturday slide still says 5th – 8th grade dismissed – there is no 7th & 8th grade now for the summer. This needs to be updated.
  • Excellent teaching today. Hit home on so many levels but mostly I realized I’ve become “tidy’ with a friend of mine. I’m ashamed of this but hope I can improve my relationship with them. Thank you! I wish we could end every service with “How Great Thou Art”.
  • Awesome worship today! (11:00)
  • Henry! Your sermon is Practical! And timely!! Solid actions, Solid Focus. Solid Directions. Dance!! Thank you.
  • Excellent message, Henry. Powerful song, Dan. They dovetailed beautifully – way to go God!! [The song was written by Dan some time ago but he applied it so well this weekend.]

#3 - Here are some helpful and interesting posts I came across this week:

#4 - We send comment cards to guests and here's the latest one we received back:

  • 5/27 Worship service was comfortable and I was impressed with the response stations.  Preaching was humorous, engaging, biblically-based, and also practical/applicable, and obviously encouraged spiritual growth.  Thanks!  I enjoyed visiting your church!

#5 - On Monday I had my last meeting of the school year with my Kids Hope kindergarten student. One of the most interesting things about Kids Hope is that I will continue with him next year, Lord willing. I know when I'm serving Christ in this way I'm being the church in the world and pastoring my community. I am Five Oaks at Woodbury Elementary. You are too whenever you reach out in love and compassion to people in need or share your faith with someone at work, in the neighborhood or as a volunteer in the community. By the way, the school wants more mentors and we'll have a table in the Commons this weekend with information about becoming a Kids Hope mentor. Check it out.

#6 - Wow, what a crowd for pizza after the Saturday service. It was amazing. We'll be doing this all summer. Subs this weekend, I think. I was not able to stay long because we did the Cuban meal for the auction winners. We had a blast, and I must say, it was tasty.

#7 - I'm going to do a little experiment this weekend. If you have questions about the message, you'll be able to email them to questions@fiveoakschurch.org and I'll try to answer them in the Mid-Week Memo or a separate post. But be forewarned, I will often simply point you to where you can find the answer for yourself so you learn how to fish along the way. So ask away. If I was listening this last weekend, for instance, I might have asked, "Yeah but shouldn't we have boundaries with some messy people in our lives?" Maybe you have some "Yeah but..." questions while listening. Shoot them at me this week.

See you on the weekend and God's blessings on you,

Pastor Henry