Kenya Children’s Choir Oct. 6

On October 6, World Communion Sunday, we will have special music by the Children’s Choir from Kenya, Hakuna Matata. The Choir is composed of twelve children who are dedicated to spreading love, hope, and joy while raising awareness for the desperate plight of orphans and other vulnerable children.

The Choir will perform at both the 8:15 a.m. and the 10:45 a.m. Worship Services on Sunday, October 6. A special freewill offering will be received.

Oak Grove Welcomes Britta Weber

Oak Grove welcomes Britta Weber as our new Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry. Britta started at Oak Grove on August 19 and comes to us with a variety of experience with youth and children.

Britta is a recent graduate of St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN with a dual degrees in Norwegian and Religion, and concentrations in Middle Eastern and Nordic studies. She is especially intrigued by the intersection of religion and politics, and loves to figure out what unites us, rather than divides us across religious lines.

Britta spent the first half of childhood in Austin, TX, and her middle school years in Telemark, Norway where she discovered her love for the Norwegian language and culture. In high school, she was mega band-nerd. This was where she also met her now fiancé, Peter. They are very excited to get hitched this coming May!

Britta loves spending free time enjoying nature: in a hammock, on a hike, by a lake, or on a run are some of her favorite ways to be present in God’s beautiful creation. 

She is also always on the hunt for cute coffee shops, thought-provoking books, and good indie/folk and jazz music that she can play or sing along to.

Britta is very excited to join Oak Grove and to grow in the compassionate and driven spirit of this community. She feels especially blessed to serve alongside such an inspiring bunch of youth!

Mission Trip to Guatemala

Oak Grove students and chaperones traveled to Guatemala June 26 – July 3, 2019, for the senior high mission trip. Following are comments by four of the senior high students.

The thing that interested me most about going to Guatemala was the food. Food is a cultural common ground, allowing people to directly experience culture through the different feels and flavors of cultural dishes. I like experiencing new flavors and learning the techniques to replicate them and this trip was a complete success in terms of food. The mission served traditional fare of soups and black beans. Owen and I decided to go to the streets lined with vendors and went for churrascos (churrasco is Spanish and Portuguese for beef or grilled meat — a prominent part of the cuisine of Latin America). That meal was the best because it was food made for locals prepared by locals. Just outside the San Toliman park I felt truly connected to Guatemala, its people, and most importantly, its food. -Jack Wenz

This trip wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible congregation here at Oak Grove.  It’s thanks to your support, prayer, and donations that we were able to go on this inspiring trip…to meet new people, to learn new things, to see new sights, to help our neighbors, to grow in faith, and to represent Oak Grove.  So all we have left to say is THANK YOU.  -Morgan Duvall

Guatemala was amazing, the scenery, people and the work, were all new experiences. The work was much different than other mission trips, it was more physical, such as digging dirt and moving concrete. Yet is was some of the most satisfying work that I have ever done. Knowing that you are building houses for those who need them is a great feeling. -William Snyder

Guatemala was such a life-changing experience. It was a whole new environment and I wasn’t prepared for the change. The first thing that I witnessed when we got there was the beautiful nature but also, how there were some similarities to the U.S., the food places. Something I most definitely wasn’t prepared for were the street venders. They were very persistent, but I understood why. They are in need of money to be able to support their families. I never realized how much I took stuff for granted until we started our work. Everyone was always so grateful, even if all we did was a small gesture, and that was heartwarming. I would love to experience this again and go and do more work if I have the chance, and I recommend it to any and everyone. -Tedo Philips

The senior high trip to Guatemala would not have been possible without the leadership of our amazing, kind, compassionate, fun-loving, responsible adults. These fine folks gave a week of their lives to be with our youth. Thanks go to Chad Acker, Greg Johnson, Mary Koon, Rory Scott, Travis Scott, Adam Wilkens, and Amy Zsohar.  Additional thanks go to Sarah Olson for making reservations with Delta and helping navigate the group check-in process, and to Arlene Jullie for Mary’s Spanish lessons!  The trip was filled with meaning and lasting memories.

For more photos, see Oak Grove’s Facebook album, 2019 Guatemala Mission Trip.