This coming Sunday, we will be joined by Rich and Anna Ellwood. Having grown up in Oxfordshire, Rich and his Belgian wife, Anna, have spent 13 years leading a church in Brussels. They have now relocated with their family to the UK. Rich works for Christians Against Poverty, and as of September 2023, now leads Salt & Light Advance.
As part of OCC's service on Sunday 1 October 2023, Senior Pastor Steve Jones notes that Black History Month is a helpful annual reminder to learn more as a church, and comments on OCC becoming more intercultural, including relationships with other minority-led churches in Oxford.
In recent years, I’ve found myself personally caught up in the conversation about race, ethnicity and justice. I’ve appreciated rich conversations with people of other heritages in OCC (including in the Ethne team, and its predecessor group - you know who you are - thank you!), external learning opportunities and, of course, reading books. I do love a good book, and I now have a shelf in my office devoted to books on intercultural church, biographies of British people of colour, and history books considering race and ethnicity. Call me a geek if you will, but it’s part of how I learn.
We fast together as a whole church on particular days. If this is new to you, you might find it helpful to watch the video below where Elizabeth talks about what fasting is, why we do it, and how to fast.
In 1985, Steve Thomas was the founding Senior Pastor when Oxford Community Church was planted. Since then, God has led Steve and his wife Lorraine into what we call 'apostolic ministry' in our wider international family of churches, including senior leadership of our Salt & Light International family of churches on four continents.
Hello! I’m Susanna, and I’ve just started as the new OCC apprentice, a role which some wonderful people such as Sam S. and Jo M. have done previously.
You may or may not know me; I’ve technically been part of the church since 2008, but I’ve been away at university for the past 4 years - at Manchester Metropolitan studying French and Business. OCC feels like a familiar old home and an exciting new one at the same time, which is fun!
I like getting things done, and helping others get things done. But over several years God has been recalibrating me, teaching me that a healthy rhythm of life in God includes both times of retreat as well as times of getting things done. (You can read here about what I learned from Aidan, an earlier Christian leader from 635AD.)
Now that the dust has settled, we wanted to report further on the Gift Days in June 2023.
As a reminder, our 2023 Gift Day season was framed in terms of generosity! God is generous. He wants his people to 'inherit his DNA' of generosity, and for us to seek to foster that culture as a church community. As Senior Pastor Steve said, "These Gift Days are a nudge to get us all into the groove of generosity, even extraordinary generosity: some might start giving regularly for the first time; all are invited to add an offering."
Steve Jones, OCC Senior Pastor, introduces our founding vision for the church - and how that leads us to prepare for our 2023 Gift Days on Sundays 18 and 25 June, and 2 July.