Mid-Week Memo

Hi Five Oakers,

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

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

#2 – The vote to purchase the land passed by an overwhelming majority! I'm celebrating because I believe this is the best thing to do. But I also loved the congregational meeting itself because of the great questions and comments. Showed great discernment, accountability and heart. 

#3 – Kevin Johnson left out one name. Kevin is a charter member and Elder. At the congregational meeting he was responding to the concern that we not lose our outward focus due to a campaign for land. He talked about our partnership with missionaries and the people who have gone out from us to work on the mission field and the role our youth ministry, in particular, has had in that. What he didn’t mention is that his son Ryan is one of people, serving with our denomination as a missionary in China!

#4 – That group in the picture below is one of our small groups from last summer when they led a neighborhood VBS in St. Paul with Karen kids. This year’s VBS will serve as one of the distribution points for the backpacks. Two ways you can serve: help with the VBS and/or prepare a backpack or two. Contact the church office if you would like to know how to help with the VBS.


#5 – If you want to see how we are making a local impact, read this note from one of our educators:

Dear Sarah and Jerry,

Sometimes the context in which a compliment is received says as much or more than words themselves.

On Wednesday, the district superintendent brought together all systems leaders for district 833. This included all building principals and department leaders with district-wide responsibilities such as finance, facilities, food service, transportation, etc. We were asked in advance to share one or two Points of Pride as we reflected on the past year.

 …In this setting the Woodbury Elementary principal shared about Kids Hope US She shared her early hesitancy about the offer from a church, how she watched the dedication of the mentors and most of all the positive impact mentors had on students. Immediately, other principals asked about the program.

What I find gratifying regarding the efforts you have put forth is that Kristine was not offering this for your benefit. This was a Point of Pride that she was sharing with her peers regarding a high point of the year at Woodbury Elementary.

Well done to you and all of the mentors!

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

7/8 - Need to attend a few more times.  Looking for a home church after move from Lino Lakes.

#7 – Here are most of your comments from the Communication Cards:

  • I love how deep we dive into the Bible! I am new to the church and you have pulled me out of a spiritual sleep. I am so thankful for this church and Pastor Henry! [Wow! Love this. Thanks for letting us know.]
  • Beautiful song Libby! Perfect for me and my new “adventure”. Love the new coffee.
  • “I know.” was what I needed to hear today. God’s timing is perfect…again.
  • Great message! It’s good to be reminded that God knows that we’re unworthy and yet he invites us to join Him.
  • Absolutely, absolutely fantastic worship set. Loved the first song and you knocked to Hillsong song out of the park. So worshipful. Thanks worship team! Great continuation of this series in your message Henry. 
  • Great music and drums behind “Spirit Lead Me” (Hillsong). Like idea of pre-lit candles for conversions. Praise God. Also like the somber Holy Spirit of “Give Me Christ or Else I Die!” [Yep, we’re lighting candles for every first-time decision this year. We want to light them if any of our members are involved in seeing someone come to Christ outside the walls of our church building, so let us know.]
  • The service time change has not been the best for us. Either we eat at 4:30ish (which is probably late or on time in FL!) but for us (I speak only for the Latino people) this is early or eat after service which ends up being late. This isn’t too bad and is not a hardship – just a silly gripe. [It will go back to an earlier time in the fall most likely. I don’t like the later time either since it cuts so much into the evening. But one thing I’ve noticed is that the congregation is way more engaged. It is a huge difference. You feel it clearly when leading. More clapping, more laughter and more singing. I wish we could bottle that for when we go back to an earlier time.]
  • Can the tech team please shut off the lower blue spotlights on the stage during the message/sermon time? They really shine in the audience’s eyes when sitting on the side sections of the audience. Thank you!  [I’m sure they’ll be making an adjustment. But the lights need to be on for the sake of the video we shoot for the podcast (and probably some other reasons I don’t know about). Thanks for letting us know.]
  • I love Five Oaks. The messages are unbelievable. Referencing the Bible is key/awesome. Pastor Henry is fantastic. Did I say I love Five Oaks. However, I wish so badly that you would consider more traditional service. Not the messages. They are perfect. Music…? I understand this is the way to worship now days, but I would highly recommend one service with more traditional music worship or at least songs that are recognizable from KTIS etc. I miss the warm fuzzy feeling when you recognize songs in church. [Thanks for your encouraging words and for sharing your thoughts about the music choices. Regarding familiarity, we never introduce more than one song new song in any given service. And then we use new songs repeatedly to build familiarity for people who attend regularly. Regarding song choice, I wrote a tome about it, and then I decided to gut it for this post. Maybe another day. Bottom line: lots goes into choosing songs, and we appreciate hearing from our folks regarding song selection. So, thank you. Regarding offering the option of a more traditional service, we can’t at this time. We can’t dedicate prime worship space to a service that will attract fewer people (at least at the start) and we simply don’t have a smaller space for experimenting. Additionally, we don’t have the staff to prepare an alternative service, build a team of volunteers and then execute it well. Again, thanks for your feedback.]

#8 – Here is the sermon in 10 Tweets, Exodus 3:11-22, “God Knows” Exodus_main_notimes

  1. Two words, missing in this passage, drive home a truth we need before taking on a God-sized vision.
  2. Most biblical heroes are reluctant heroes. Moses wants to keep his contented life.
  3. “Who am I, that I should go…” …”But I will be with you.” What’s missing?
  4. Need to understand the question first. It’s a statement that says, “I’m nobody…incapable..unqualified…
  5. God’s response goes against the grain. Our response would be, “Yes, you are somebody…you can…
  6. “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and doggone it, people like me.” Moses knows that’s not true.
  7. When Moses or we say we’re nobodies, incapable and unqualified God says, “I know.” Those are the words the text demands.
  8. The statement from God assumes that’s the case and only makes sense if you supply that sentiment.
  9. God calling you to a new chapter? Feel you can’t do it? You’re right. But God will be with you.
  10. Feel you can’t sustain the Christian life so why even start? You’re right about not being able. God will be with you.

Blessings to all of you, Pastor Henry