A prophetic encouragement shared by Bev, on Sunday 25th September 2022
There is a sense of ‘the end of things’ in Autumn, a time when life seems to be losing energy, dropping away, fruitfulness coming to an end, and there are people who are feeling this way about their lives and situations. And yet when we meet with God’s people on a Sunday, there is life and energy, the very presence and ‘scent’ of the Holy Spirit being felt, imbibed, and bringing life to us as individuals.
A talk from Senior Pastor Steve Jones about how we see and do gathered worship in OCC.
We're about to start a new teaching series on Sundays: Following the Way.
As you will be aware, last week the Covid rules in England changed (again). The most notable change for many of us is that the legal requirement to wear a face covering has been relaxed. The guidelines now say “consider wearing one in crowded, enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with people you do not normally meet.”
Breaking bread (aka communion, Eucharist, Lord's supper) is one of the few things that Jesus commanded the church to continue. It's no surprise then, that in every church tradition, it remains a key aspect of worship and shared life.
Because of the education and employment dynamics of Oxford city, a significant number of people join in at OCC each year, as well as people moving on. As new people join in, they often come from different church backgrounds, with different emphases and approaches to breaking bread, so we wanted to take a moment to explain how we do it in OCC.
We've just ended an important series in the life of OCC. As we explained in a previous blog, as we all emerge from the constraints of the last 18 months, the elders agreed it is time to invest again in our relationships with God ー both as individuals and as communities.
In the series we focused on nine 'keystone' habits, as we explained here, the habits most likely to lead to other changes.
Our Covid working group (details here together with more on our approach to managing Covid-19 risks) met today 21 October. As has been our habit for 18 months now, we reviewed national and local data, and our own activities.
For now, we continue to ask for face coverings to be worn in public worship services and especially in sung worship.
Read on if you want to know more about why have we made that decision. In coming to that decision (unanimous in the team, by the way) we've asked ourselves a bunch of questions, such as:
This is a phrase from Jesus’ words in Matthew 11: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls”. The Message Bible beautifully paraphrases this as
In my Sunday message from Isaiah 42-44, I commented on the prophetic words shared with OCC earlier in the year. Will you join with me in prayerfully reflecting on these words, and asking that God will he help us see what he wants to do in our city and communities?