Mid-Week Memo

Hi Five Oakers,

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

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

#2 – On Sunday, April 28, we’re doing something very different and very special. There will be no Sunday school on Sunday morning for K - 6th grade. Instead, parents are invited to join the kids for a parenting and family workshop in the Community Life Center. And K - 6th graders are invited to join their families in the worship center. Choose either hour for the workshop (two identical back-to-back sessions are offered) and attend the service the other hour. We’re keeping all those kids in mind as we plan our worship for that week. This is one of the ways we partner with parents in the discipleship of their kids.

#3 – Don’t forget the detour this weekend. You can’t get to us from the north on Radio Drive. You have to come up from the south. I already know it will take me a few days to remember, and I go to the building daily! Good luck to you on remembering.

#4 – Here are your comments/questions from the Communication Cards:

  • Thank you for sending the book on Christian spirituality. I’m reading it through the second time.
  • Awesome! 
  • Can you give us an update on the search for the new worship leader? [The search team is still plugging away at it and interviewing two individuals this week.]
  • Tim, fantastic sermon, so practical! Thank you for the encouragement to continue in the “trenches” for God. I am blessed as God uses me as His nation! 
  • Loved to see a women lead in prayer! 
  • I feel so blessed to worship with Five Oaks today after nearly a year away. God is clearly at work here. The church just continues to flourish and honor God and bless this community. 
  • Ken, nice job with announcements! Good job on “Glory to God”. Tim an excellent message. I really like it when week to week we reinforce the theme for the series. God does not custom make his mission for us, we are custom made for God’s mission. That gal soloist can really sing! 
  • Appreciate the singableness of most of worship today. 
  • Tim, feel free to lead us in a Sunday School song. The truths from a young age are so relevant! There is power in voices raised.
  • Thanks Tim for preaching important truths – about Prosperity gospel message and that the U.S. is not God’s chosen nation – but God’s people, Christians, are. 
  • Love worshiping with Oh God song. Great job band. 
  • Great singing ladies! 
  • Awesome job Libby! Loved hearing your passion and leadership! 
  • Thank you for the Bible and the book “Purpose Driven Life”. 
  • What a gift the two female singers are today! 
  • Great service Tim! Henry I am loving this series! 
  • Beautiful song Kara! 
  • Is there an update on our worship leader search? 
  • Loved that we got to “meet” one of our elders on stage. Great job Libby and all worship team. Amazing teaching Tim! Thank you! 

#5 – $7,127 raised through the auction! Amazing! Thank you to all the businesses and individuals who donated items. Thanks to all the Five Oakers who bid high and often. This money helps send our youth to one of the most transformational experiences you can imagine—the Challenge conference with over 5000 other youth from around the nation. We’re not the largest church represented by far, but we usually have one of the largest of groups represented because this auction makes it affordable. Thank you and God bless you all. And by the way, the Cuban meal went for the highest bid ever thanks to two very determined people. This food better be really good!   

#6 – Here’s the comment we received back from the cards we send first-time guests:

4/3 - I truly felt welcomed – it is a very kind and warm atmosphere.  I will be coming back!  I have attended my church for 20 years and never felt the sense of community that I did at Five Oaks.  Thank you. [Wow! Way to go Five Oaks!!! That doesn’t happen by accident.]

3/10 - Appreciated intentionality of worship service to pull each listener into intimacy with our GOD, with its 4 ‘phases’ and stations.  Loved.  Refreshed by worship music, felt refreshed by Pastor Henry’s Bible teaching.  Kept engaged whole time by his content and style.  Very pleasantly greeted MULTIPLE times.  Really enjoyed the service.  Fruitcake Alert: Only thing that I really detest, hate, don’t like, dread is the Greet Your Neighbor part.  No matter that we’re given an ‘opener’, Greet Your Neighbor is awkward.  Especially for kids (and I really want my 13 year old to not feel awkward), it’s awkward for my sister to the extent she wouldn’t attend with us til A) it was over or B)it was a wedding or funeral.  I’m ridiculously distracted by dislike of it; I’m ridiculously tempted to choose seating accordingly.  Seemingly unnecessarily since we are well-welcomed and couldn’t be invisible.  Yea for the lovely greeters!  Of course I can make myself buck up, reach out, jump through the hoop of Greet Your Neighbor, and my kids will do the same.  But it is a discipline and downside that seems unnecessary given the profuse and warm greetings upon arrival – no one could feel invisible or left out.  It’s EASY to feel left out in a Greet Your Neighbor, wondering if you’re the only stranger.  I’ve come across the No Toucher (awkward) the I-just-blew-my-nose-now-I’m-shaking-your-hand, There’s awkward waiting and fake smiling if no one’s available.  I feel pressure to not neglect anyone, especially kids.  Not to mention the days I came as a sheer act of will, and now I have to paste on fake friendly.  Eek.  I will do the right thing and quit being me, me, me and reach out to my neighbor.  But if that neighbor is anything like me they’d wish there was one more worship song in its place.  Hope there is something constructive here amidst my personal fruitcakeyness. [I love the way you put this and I feel your pain. Okay, I don’t actually feel your pain because for me, something like a greeting time is easy. But I know of others that feel like you do and the anxiety you suffer over this is real. The reality is that our greeting time is the reason why so many people greeted you outside of the greeting time. We know this because we’ve experimented with no greeting time and the comments from guests take a very dark turn. I think it's because we’re only human and turn inward without the constant, real, tangible reminder not to. That’s what greeting does. If we could find another way of creating this atmosphere we would drop the greeting time and end the misery for a few of you who hate it and experience a lot of anxiety over it. And, yes, we know some of our guests hate to be noticed. But we live in a day where the majority of people looking for God or a church home want connection. The old philosophy of letting guests be totally anonymous is being dropped to reach the new seeker. So we are choosing to err on this side of the equation. I truly thank you for sharing this, it makes me think and re-think what we’re doing, and maybe we’ll have a breakthrough some day on how be a welcoming community without a formal greeting time. If you know of a church that has succeeded at that, let me know.]

# 7 – Check out the online version of a recent Pioneer Press article on our own Melissa Borner, Cottage Grove breast cancer survivor brings humor to blog, humaneness to work.'

#8I’ve got some great memories of the Father/Son retreats my boys and I attended. They do too. In our first year they were recognizing fathers and sons who had the longest track records of attending and my oldest turned to me and said, “Dad, lets do this every year and be one of the longest.” Well, we did it several years until high school wrestling made it impossible. Our Journey Men’s ministry is participating in a Father/Son retreat on the weekend of May 3-5, so check it out here.

Lois and I were in Minnetonka over last weekend and attended a wonderful church in Hopkins. But we missed you. And we love you and are looking forward to worshipping with you this weekend.

Blessings, Pastor Henry