Gratitude

by Pastor Kent Carlson

30yearbash-54

I absolutely loved our church’s 30-year anniversary celebration weekend. I’m not completely sure why it was so profoundly satisfying and fun for me. I just know that it was perhaps the most enjoyable time I have had in thirty years of ministry at Oak Hills Church. Maybe it was because we were so very relaxed going into that weekend. Maybe it was because we weren’t really using the celebration for much of anything other than to have a party together. Maybe it was the amazing performance of the Oak Hills Rewind. Maybe it was seeing Rick Leary in long hair. Whatever it was, I had a blast.

The predominant feeling I have coming out of this celebration is gratitude. Thirty years is a long time to be in one place. In one church. There are so many stories, so many beautiful people, so many experiences of God’s grace and transformation. So many people who have sincerely sought to follow Christ in the midst of what seemed like impossible situations. And all these stories flooded over me, and I was, and continue to be, deeply grateful to God and to the people of Oak Hills Church, for all this goodness, all this beauty, all these stories that are a part of God’s great story of redemption. This Thanksgiving, without any effort at all on my part, but simply as the natural result of being overwhelmed by the goodness of God and the people of Oak Hills Church, I am deeply grateful. It’s a good feeling.

Now, on to the next thirty years!

I want to highlight two events to help us bask in the sheer delight of our 30-year celebration. First, we have our Annual Congregational Meeting and Vision Night on Thursday, November 20. We will worship together, meet our elders and vote to affirm them. We will talk about some of the challenges and opportunities in our future and have a time for questions and answers. We will have a scrumptious dessert. And most wonderfully, we will have a repeat of our Oak Hills Rewind. For those of us who have already seen it, we will be able to laugh all over again. For those of you who have never seen it, well, you are in for a treat. Please try to make this night a priority and let’s keep the celebration going!

Second, I want to encourage us all to come to our annual Thanksgiving Eve Service. We will worship together “in the round” and we will share together the Lord’s Supper. There will be ample opportunity to share with each other our deep gratefulness to God for all that He as done for us. I hope to see you all there.

With deep thankfulness,

Kent Carlson

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LPs, 8 TRACKs, CASSETTE TAPEs, CDs, . . . CHANGING TIMES By Sharon Richards, Communications

Indicator # 1: The Ohio PlayersSteely DanThe Jackson 5.  These are just a few of the artists that have albums in a dusty carton box in my garage. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with these things. Maybe I’ll hold on to them for another ten years to see if they’ll be worth anything. Or maybe they’ll end up in the grey dumpster for Wednesday pickup. Technology has passed them by. Times have changed. It’s a new day.  And a new era.

Indicator # 2: I’m a New York Giants fan. Always have been. So, when I say “LT,” I’m referring to Lawrence Taylor who (despite his self-destructive behavior) is still considered to be one of the greatest defensive players in the history of football. But, when I say “LT” these days, my teenage son immediately thinks of LaDainian Tomlinson, the record-breaking running back. Times have changed. It’s a new day.  And a new era.

Which brings me to the subject at hand. As more and more people are using electronic media for information, we recognize that we need to make some changes as well. We are expanding how we communicate with you in ways we’re very excited about. So, you’ll be seeing some changes over the next few weeks.

Webpage: Our webpage, the primary source for information, was recently given an updated look. Everything you always wanted to know about Oak Hills is there, including new blogs, updated photos and polls, and our Reality Check, which you usually read in this bulletin.

Bulletin: Our Sunday Bulletin will be streamlined. Smaller size. More concise.The “Reality Check” can now be accessed through our webpage.

eCorn: Our weekly eCorn is also being revamped. It will no longer be weekly since much of the information it contained could be found in the bulletin. We will continue to send eVites, which are, essentially, electronic reminders. They’ll keep you posted on important information, upcoming events, etc. So, if you’d like to sign up, go to the church website, look for “Contact Us” under the Get Connected tab and click on “Electronic Newsletter/Reminders.”

Facebook: While there are certainly valid concerns about social networking,  Oak Hills’ profile page has proven to be an effective way to communicate with our congregation and a great tool for connecting people within our church. So, if you are a Facebook-er, search for our church name and “LIKE” us.

Times have indeed changed.  It is a new day.  And a new era.  Yet, not much has changed in some ways.  It just has a new face.  🙂