Mid-Week Memo

Hi Five Oakers,

I have SEVEN things I want to share with you.

#1 - Get a recap of the service with highlights of our prayers, readings and songs here.

#2 - Here are your comments from the Communication Cards:

  • Thank you and God bless!
  • Glad I didn’t miss the message today. That really helped with my questions about the marriage vote coming up and you didn’t even have to specify. Made a lot of sense. [I’ll be addressing the subject of gay marriage in the third/last message of the new series we're launching this weekend. I won’t be addressing how to vote since we don’t recommend political policy solutions. But we do speak to the issues behind the political solutions. I'm certain that Christians that agree on a biblical understanding of gay marriage do not agree on whether the amendment is a good policy solution. That doesn’t bother me. What bothers me is when Christians don’t think biblically about the moral issues of our day. We always need clarity on those. And the clarity needs to be built on truth and grace.]
  • Jesus reigns!
  • Missing the skits and video clips that are sometimes used. Will those come back? [Sorry, no plans at this time, but you never know. We are considering one for our Christmas services but it may be shot for video.]
  • God is good! His mercies endure forever! Because His goodness is his nature?
  • Loved the songs and the harmony. Tim you always are so welcoming and do a great job with announcements. Henry thanks for your passion for the Bible and ensuring we are literate and love it! Great mini-series. Love the closing song Hillsong.
  • Thanks for this series – if only every Christian. 
  • Worship program is dated “Sept. 29 & 30” oops! Great energy and teaching.
  • Thanks worship team!
  • Nice! 

#3 - Here’s a recap of the message in 10 tweets:

  • 1/ “Eat This Book” series, part 4 (last message).
  • 2/ We slather the Word with ketchup when we intellectualize it. This is where we slather it with expensive ketchup.
  • 3/ God's Word is addressed to us personally but always in the context of community. Always. No exceptions.
  • 4/ Yes, we get many "how-tos" from this Book, but that's not the intention of most passages in the Bible.
  • 5/ The Bible tells the story of our rescue. Jesus, the cross & the resurrection is how he rescued us & will renew the entire creation.
  • 6/ Everything written in the Bible is part of a string of comments & a historical moment in time.

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  • 7/ To ignore context is to disrespect what God is actually saying.
  • 8/ Imagine Lois leaves me a to-do list & I don't do it. Instead I spend the time putting it to song & sing it to her when she comes in the door
  • 9/ “Listening requires listening to the way it is said (form) as well as to what is said (content).” Eugene Peterson
  • 10/ If it seems complicated to you it's only because you haven't thought about what you do every time you read a letter, novel or recipe.

#4 - Off the cutting room floor:

Because this is a very personal Word from God to us, we need to read it carefully. Eugene Peterson addresses this in Eat This Book:

"Because we speak our language so casually, it is easy to fall into the habit of treating it casually. But language is persistently difficult to understand. We spend our early lives learning the language, and just when we think we have it mastered our spouse says, “You don’t understand a thing I’m saying, do you?” We teach our children to talk, and just about the time we think they might be getting it, they quit talking to us; and when we overhear them talking to their friends, we find we can’t understand more than one out of every eight or nine words they say.

"A close relationship doesn’t guarantee understanding. A long affection doesn’t guarantee understanding. In fact, the closer we are to another and the more intimate our relations, the more care we must exercise to hear accurately, to understand thoroughly, to answer appropriately.

"Which is to say, the more “spiritual” we become, the more care we must give to exegesis. The more mature we become in the Christian faith, the more exegetically rigorous we must become. This is not a task from which we graduate."

#5 - Several people told me how much they loved this series. It’s one of my favorite topics. But here’s what I’m thinking. If you geek out on this stuff like I do, maybe you ought to consider joining the Group Life writing team. We also need folks who edit or help in the administration of this ministry. Let me know if you want more information on this.

#6 - A few weeks ago I mentioned our need for auditors and three people responded. Very grateful! We only needed one for this year. We also had the largest group of people ever respond to the Nominating Committee’s search for Governing Board. Probably more than twice as many as we’ve ever had respond. An embarrassment of riches, actually. We also had more respond for Elder than we had spaces to fill. I love that you guys love our church enough to be willing to take on such significant and demanding responsibilities. Thank you for being the church that you are. It reminds me once again how much I love our church.  

#7 - Have you invited anyone to a church service lately? This might be a good time as we launch a 3-week series on marriage focused on God’s definition of marriage. How you define marriage in your mind—what you expect, how you think it works, how much work you think it takes—deeply impacts your experience. Is there someone you know who needs to hear this?  

See you on the weekend.

Blessing to you, Pastor Henry