The Bible begins with one of the most beautiful things ever written about God: "In the beginning, God created..." God created light where there was no light. God created form where there was no form. God created us where there was no us.
One of the reasons I think this is one of the most beautiful parts of the Bible is because it reminds me that our story as a people always begins with God doing something creative, with God breathing life into dirt. And God still does this! This same God continues to call into existence new communities of people who learn to follow in the ways of Jesus and experience deep, life-altering change. We at The Oaks UMC are very thankful that the Holy Spirit of God is stirring to do this creative work in us that only God can do...again and again!
During the past week, we reached a true milestone in the life of this new church. For the past several months, we have seen God moving and working in people--after all, this is the true meaning of the Church, the people who are changed by an encounter with Jesus and who then go out and change the world around them. We have resisted the description of the Church as a physical location, as brick and mortar, as wood and steel. And we will continue to emphasize the true nature of the Church as being the ones who gather to worship God and experience the grace that comes through living in Christ. That said, it is a good thing for these people to have a space for gathering, for worship, for showing the community the love of God. It is a good thing for these people to have a place where they can gather for the purpose of being sent.
On Monday, April 11, 2016, The Oaks UMC closed on a new property for these purposes. The future--but also now present--home of The Oaks United Methodist Church is located at 2911 Inspiration Dr in Hudson Oaks, TX. We are very grateful that we have seen this part of the vision come to fruition.
Now, although we have closed on the property, this journey is just beginning. In the coming weeks and months, we will have a lot of paperwork to do, a lot of official processes to navigate--and we are glad for it--so we ask for your prayers during this season. And we will also begin soon to look at how best to improve the existing structures to maximize their effectiveness in serving as stations for carrying out our purpose: to continue to grow as Changed People Who Change The World.
God's creative work is not done in this world, folks. It's been ongoing since the beginning, and it continues even now.