Thursday Memo

Hi Five Oakers,

There are several things I want to share with you today.

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

#2 – Great time today as our staff served at the Feed My Starving Children event. So much fun to see 17 people come from the Hartford to serve at the 11:30 time slot. Their company gives them time off this sort of thing.

#3 – Over the last two weekends, 13 Five Oakers went through 20 hours of training for our Care Ministry Befriender ministry! It was a marathon, and it will yield great results. You’ll be hearing more about this ministry in the coming weeks. But thank you to all of you who went through the training and for the leadership of Jake Eyler, Dan and Betty Juntune and Kent O’Grady in launching this ministry.

#4 – Last weekend we had a film crew shooting for a new 60-second video we’ll post prominently on our website. The idea is to give a little snapshot of our church. Not informational. More an impression. By the way, here’s a screen shot sneak peak into our new website that is still in development.

Screen Shot 2013-02-28 at 4.40.07 PM

#5 – The worship leader search continues, but it's incredible how many people who have told me we haven’t skipped a beat. We are so blessed by the hard work and excellence of our volunteers in Worship Arts and Dan Lukas’ leadership. Thank you to all of you.

#6 – Kingdom Rock VBS online registration will be opening soon and a decorating team is dreaming up a Throne Room plan for the worship center.

#7 – The Student Ministry team that will be going to Jersey City this summer is learning the Kingdom Rock program to lead at Woodbury and then on the following week in Jersey City for their short-term mission!

#8 – The city had a public meeting for our new street sign and everything went well. We’re getting closer to getting permission to build it on the same location as our current sign.

#9 – I mentioned it last weekend, but in case you missed it, I think Bill O’Reilly has been watching our podcasts: "Bill O'Reilly's next blockbuster: 'Killing Jesus'." Actually, after hearing him talk a bit about it, I'm not so sure.

#10 – Here are the comments from the cards we send to first-time attendees:

  • 1/28 – It was different than what we were used to but so nice, and welcoming.  The kids loved the band.
  • 2/10 – People were welcoming as soon as we walked in the door!  We are looking for a new place to worship on Saturdays – we’ll be back!

#11 – Here are your comments from the Communication Cards:

  • It’s amazing to see God working in this church and my life over the last year. Beautiful growth.
  • Awesome praise leader last week. 
  • First song set the tone for the wonderful service.  [That Prelude song was incredible!]
  • What a blessing to hear Revelation song. Please pray it more often. 
  • Great opening worship set!
  • Beautiful singing ladies! Worship and service, again awesome! Thank you all. 
  • Pre-service song – very nice, beautiful lyrics. Loved the cup and kiss part Henry.
  • Dan rocks! 
  • Pastor Henry, thank you for the suggested book! “A Praying Life”. It was written as if it were personally for me. It’s helped greatly. God bless you. [SO glad it impacted you. My absolute favorite book on prayer.]
  • Beautiful opening song (though a bit too loud) in the middle. Henry – I love how you look deeper into the specific words and historical context in Bible passages. 
  • I liked the lower more reflective music this week. But ready for some stand-up, clap-your hand, feel the Holy Spirit down deep in here – music – just saying.
  • Awesome worship set this morning Dan and worship band. Excellent message Henry. I am blessed! 
  • Beautiful, beautiful opening duet. Alex you wailed on the second song on the drums – awesome. That worship set was absolutely an awesome selection and performed set – thanks. I felt ushered into the presence of God. Great worship! 

#12 – Here’s the sermon in 10 tweets, Luke 22:39-53, “When you are Desperate & God is Silent”:

  1. God’s silence is serious stuff. But silence is exactly what Jesus experiences while he prayed desperately in the Garden of Gethsemane.
  2. Hearing from God in a crisis takes more time if you weren't listening to God before the crisis.
  3. “Devote yourself to prayer” (Col. 4:2). You don’t have to devote yourself to what comes easy.
  4. Focus on the relationship, not the ritual.
  5. Take every opportunity to pray that you already have. Don’t waste your opportunities during worship, meals, small group prayer times...
  6. If you’ve been building your life on sand and the storm is washing it away, find a rock and start rebuilding.
  7. God speaks even when he is silent. Seven Orfield: "The quieter the room, the more things you hear."
  8. Jesus endured God’s silence so you can experience God’s presence.
  9. Jesus drinks the cup because of our kiss. Cup = God’s wrath. Kiss = Independence, separation.
  10. This is the gospel. And it’s to the gospel that we need to return when God is silent.

#13 – Remember, no worship services this weekend. We’ll be worshiping through service all weekend.

God bless you, Pastor Henry