The Pastor’s Away

Dear Oak Grove Family:

I wanted to share with you all that I will be out of the state for almost ten days beginning tomorrow. During that time, Grant Brown – Oak Grove’s Lay Leader – will be available for any immediate needs you may have. All activities will continue as scheduled unless something unforeseen arises.

This Sunday, Grant will be filling the pulpit in my absence. On the 15th, Perry Rich, Lay Servant from Hopewell UMC in Rose Hill, will be bringing the message. I hope you will make plans to attend worship and hear the inspired message these two gifted speakers will be bringing. I assure you that you will be in good hands!

Please know that Jessica and I covet your prayers as we travel and spend time with family and also prepare for our move to Kentucky. We love you all and will miss you while we were gone. While we will enjoy our break, we are very much looking forward to being back with you all on the 22nd.

In His Service,
Bro. Jonathan

Sunday, 3/1 @ Oak Grove

faithSunday Morning Small Group – 9:30 AM
Worship – 10:30 AM
Choir Practice – 5:30 PM
Sunday Night Study  on “Revival” by Adam Hamilton – 6:30 PM

Today is the second Sunday in Lent and today we’re talking about the promises that God makes. I know we’ve all been through times when we have doubted God’s intentions or even that He exists. There have been things that have happened in my life that even made me doubt that God was good. In the Old Testament book of Genesis, Abraham and his wife Sarah had a similar situation arise. But God made a promise to Abraham and Sarah and kept His promise. It was their faith that sustained them, an unwavering faith that withstood the storms that they faced. Paul wrote about this experience in Romans 4, which is where our text for today can be found. The spoiler alert is that God keeps His promises and by our faith we can be sustained as we wait.

You are invited to worship with us, to hear a story about strong faith and perhaps find out how your own faith can be strengthened. We will also celebrate Holy Communion which you are invited to partake of. Come as you are and bring someone with you. I hope to see you in worship with us!

Bro. Jonathan

Sunday, 2/22 @ Oak Grove

temptation_of_christSunday School – 9:30 AM
Worship – 10:30 AM
Choir Practice – 5:30 PM
New study: “Revival” by Adam Hamilton – 6:30 PM

Today is the First Sunday of Lent. Lent is a time of preparation for Easter and is also a time where we can take a good look at our own lives. Doing things like this gives us a lot of opportunities but certainly among them is the ability to make better choices. When we confront the “wild things” in our lives, we are forced to evaluate our situation. Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness (this is why Lent is 40 days not including Sundays – it reminds us of his temptation) and I’m sure he spent some time pondering what He was undertaking. We’ll be talking about that today as we take a look at Mark 1:9-15.

Also tonight we will begin a new study by Adam Hamilton called “Revival.” This is a study where we will look at what it means to be a Wesleyan Christian. John Wesley’s thoughts about God is distinctive in many ways and we will be looking at that in addition to taking video tours of the places where John and Charles Wesley began their ministry. I hope you will consider joining us for this study which promises to be wonderful.

Come as you are and bring someone with you. I would love to have you with us today at Oak Grove!

In Christ,

Ash Wednesday Worship

1ash“From dust you came, to dust you shall return.” Come begin 40 days of reflection, repentance and preparation with us tonight with supper at 6:00 and Ash Wednesday service at 6:30.

Lent is more than giving something up. You may also consider adding a spiritual discipline such as resolving to pray the daily office, study a new devotional or some other activity to help you grow. You may even consider taking on some kind of act of charitable service.

Come, find rest for your soul tonight and begin the journey toward Easter with us tonight.

Sunday, 2/15/15 @ Oak Grove

Radical SayingsSunday School/Small Groups – 9:30 AM
Worship – 10:30 AM
Choir Practice – 5:30 PM
Sunday Night Study – 6:30 PM

Today we’re wrapping up the series on The Radical Sayings of Jesus by looking at Mark 8:34-38 where Jesus tells us to take up our cross and follow Him. Now, Jesus is telling us to do more than to pick up a torture device made of wood and to carry it around for His sake. Jesus is inviting us to take on a new life and to be transformed into something greater than we ever imagined. This transformation will cause us to not want for the things that the world has but to instead desire to serve Christ by placing Him and others before our ambitions. That’s what we’re talking about today!

Make plans now to join us on Wednesday night for Ash Wednesday. This marks the beginning of the season of Lent. Now, this isn’t just about giving something up – although you certainly can fast from something if you would like – but it’s a time to focus on Christ and to prepare to celebrate His resurrection. Consider not only something to give up as a fast but perhaps something you can add such as committing to pray a certain number of times per day or some kind of act(s) of service. The service will be at 6:30 PM but you are also invited to join us for supper at 6:00!

I hope to see you in worship with us this morning!

In Christ,
Bro. Jonathan

Sunday, February 8th @ Oak Grove

Radical SayingsSunday AM small groups – 9:30 AM
Worship service – 10:30 AM
Choir Practice – 5:30 PM
Evening Study – 6:30

It’s the second Sunday of the month and second Sundays are always special days at Oak Grove. Arguably, my favorite part of the day is all of the amazing food and fellowship we will enjoy together at lunch after the worship service. You’re invited to join us for a wonderful meal and fellowship!

As for today’s worship service, we will continue our look at The Radical Sayings of Jesus by talking about one of His radical sayings about our stuff. In Mark 10:17-31, a man with a lot of stuff has asked Jesus how he can earn eternal life. Jesus explains to him the high price he must be willing to pay (that is, he must be willing to love God and people more than his things) and the man leaves disappointed. We constantly want to earn love and feel like our stuff can buy us anything. Jesus tells us that our stuff doesn’t matter as much as love does. Want to know more about what I mean? Come worship with us or catch the recording of the sermon here on the website later.

We will also have our Improvement Fund offering and collect canned goods for our food pantry.

Come just as you are, worship with us, grow with us and enjoy some amazing food and fellowship (bring something to share if you want but you don’t have to!). Verse Man will also visit the kids during children’s time during the service.

I’d love to see you at Oak Grove today!

In Christ,
Bro. Jonathan

Lay Servant School Opportunity

1C0DB4AB53184246B15FA35967CEEBAF_LayServMin_logo-239The Meridian District of the United Methodist Church is offering its annual Lay Servant school on Saturday, March 7th at College Park United Methodist Church in Meridian. If you are interested in this opportunity, click here to see the brochure. If you would like to attend, fill out the application included in the brochure and bring it to Brother Jonathan for approval.

Here is some basic information about Lay Servant ministry:

The 2012 Book of Discipline changed the name of the (Lay Speaking) ministry to “Lay Servant Ministries” in recognition of the broadened scope of leading, caring and communication made in 1992. Certification remain the same for the “name”.

To become a Local Lay Servant, a candidate must apply, be recommended by the pastor and church council or by the charge conference, and take the Basic Lay Servant Course. Reapplication is required annually along with an approved refresher course every three years.

The Local Church Lay Servant with appropriate training shall serve the local church in which membership is held in areas of leadership, caring, and communicating.

A candidate to become a Certified Lay Servant must apply, be recommended by the pastor and church council or by the charge conference, and take both the Basic Lay Servant Course and an approved Advanced Course.

The application shall then be reviewed and approved by the district committee on lay servant ministries or equivalent. Continued recognition required reporting and reapplication annually, and recommendation by the pastor and church council or charge conference, Continued recertification requires the completion of an approved Advanced Course every three years.

The Certified Lay Servant shall continue to serve the local church (where primary attention to service is expected), and as called upon may serve beyond the local church in the district and conference.

Sunday 2/1/15 @ Oak Grove

Radical SayingsToday at Oak Grove UMC, we are diving into week three of the Radical Sayings of Jesus. This week we are taking a look at Luke 12:22-34 where Jesus tells us not to worry about the things of this world. It may seem strange, especially with all of the uncertainty in our world but this saying actually is more than just a cute saying. Jesus is telling us that we are set free for so much when we give up these worries. That’s what we’re talking about today!

Worship is at 10:30 and we will celebrate Holy Communion/Lord’s Supper. All are invited to join in this sacrament. We hope to see you in worship!

Bro. Jonathan

Sunday, 1/25/15 @ Oak Grove

Radical SayingsSunday Small Groups – 9:30 AM
Worship – 10:30 AM
Choir Practice – 5:30 PM
Sunday Night Study – 6:30 PM

The series on the Radical Sayings of Jesus continues today with Jesus’ instruction to love our enemies. We might consider this to be the most radical saying of Jesus because we just don’t want to do this. It isn’t practical and is simply something we don’t want to do. And yet, Jesus tells us to do things like turn the other cheek and give our shirt to the one who is trying to take our coat. As with many of his instructions, Jesus had specific reasons why He gave these instructions. That’s what we’re talking about today!

If you have never visited Oak Grove and you are looking for a place to worship this morning, we hope you will consider worshiping with us today. You don’t have to dress up or even be in the know about church stuff. Oak Grove is a safe place for you to explore the love of Jesus.

I hope to see you with us!

Bro. Jonathan