We’ve just completed a short series on Sundays entitled “Renewing our Community Groups”. Community Groups have long been really, really important in the life of OCC! Community Groups are OCC's midweek groups, small groups, house groups, fellowship groups – whatever you want to call them!
We mean 'community' in two ways. These groups seek to be community, working out how to do community in a multi-cultural, transient, 21st Century city. They also love, serve, and reach the wider community; that could be those you live and work with, people in your local area, a certain demographic, or a group that you serve through a particular project.
We often quip that “‘community’ is our middle name”. That can lead us to be passive, and just assume that community will just happen. So we are in a season looking to refresh, reinvigorate and renew our Community Groups, for three reasons:
- Oxford keeps changing. People come and go from Oxford, more so than anywhere else in the UK. As we seek to see God's kingdom extended in Oxford, actively building community is an important priority for us in a busy, transient city.
- The people in Oxford are changing. People come and go, and the kind of people coming are different. We're must ask how we best connect with, serve and reach more diverse people. Changing ethnicities, generational, and cultural preferences in the city all mean adapting as we share the gospel.
- Covid! Covid was ‘a hard winter’. Our groups survived, but like seeing plants emerge from winter, many of them need attention: fertiliser; care and love; maybe even some pruning!
We expect to see - and are praying and working to see - existing groups renewed and new groups formed. And for some of us, that means God might be moving us onto a different group, more suitable to our sense of calling, season of life, and places of work and community.
This is the start of a conversation with existing groups, with each other, and with God - we expect this conversation to continue into New Year 2023. If God has started to speak to you during the series, perhaps about a new group or new opportunity, please talk to Sanjay (Assistant Pastor) or one of the pastoral team via @email before Sunday 15 January 2023.
- If you are already in a Community Group and have specific questions about this process please visit this FAQ page.
- For more general information on Community Groups please visit www.occ.org.uk/communities
- To catch up with the teaching series, please visit www.occ.org.uk/teaching-series/renewing-our-community-groups