We are the church, whether we are gathered or scattered--each one of us, a part of the body of Christ, wherever we go, whatever we do.
So, where can you find us, and what are we doing?
If you've attended Five Oaks on a Saturday evening, chances are you've been greeted by Matthew Wilde. Matthew serves on our Connections Team as a greeter. During the week Matthew works at a memory care facility, spending time with residents and providing loving care with friendship and conversation. It's hard, he tells me, because there are so many goodbyes. But it's worth it to him. And check out his new wheels!
Not that long after I officiated Juli and John Servatius' wedding, they told me they were leaving Five Oaks and looking for a church with more diversity. They ended back at Five Oaks and brought the diversity with them through adoption! (Lilah, Theo, and Charley Servatius pictured above.) Juli and John have a passion for orphans and adoption. Also for refugees, but that's a story for another day. So Juli started an adoption ministry at Five Oaks 10 years ago, the Orphan Branch. At first, the focus was on promoting adoption, especially to Five Oakers, and filling our Sunday school with kids from all over the world. Their concerns have broadened to include engaging all church members to consider helping all at-risk children, whether here in the US or around the world, in a variety of ways (from sponsorships to taking in kids for six weeks to adopting an older, special needs child). Look for Juli in the Commons this Sunday as Five Oaks Impact Ministry hosts a Child Welfare Information Fair between services.
Melanie Anderson came to Five Oaks with her husband Barry last fall after moving to Cottage Grove. Before long Melanie joined our newly forming Refugee Life Ministry team and has been tutoring a Somali family through SALT (Somali Adult Literacy Training) ever since. She especially enjoyed that her son Ethan tutored with her last summer when he was home from college.