This year we will celebrate Rally Day in a whole new way! We will offer virtual worship from 9:30 – 10 am, and then invite you to hop into your car and drive over to Oak Grove for a drive-through party between 10:15 – 11:30 am. This is our way to say hello and to thank you for “Living Church Beyond Walls!”
The Mardi Gras Jazz combo, a 5 piece band, will play music, we’ll enjoy Morris Dancing and collect Noisy Offering for supporting children in Minneapolis. Committee representatives, including Youth and Children’s leaders, will be on hand to give a friendly wave and connect in person! We can’t wait to see you on the 13th!
Please follow the arrows through the parking lot from Penn Ave!
On Sunday, August 16, we welcome Brenda Johnson, for “Courageous Conversations” with Mary Koon. Brenda was ordained in 2017 as a local elder/clergy in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Her life verse is Hebrews 1:1, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” And Nehemiah 8:10, “…for the joy of the Lord is my strength.”
Ms. Johnson is a Transitional Specialist with Stadium View School — part of the Minneapolis School District housed in the Hennepin County Detention Center — where she works with youth and families. Johnson is passionate about youth, families, and those incarcerated and is devoted to interrupting the “cradle-to-prison” pipeline. She is actively involved in the National Education Association. Her work is recognized internationally. We are excited to hear from you, Brenda! Welcome!
On Sunday, August 9, we welcome Reverend Denise Dunbar Perkins. Join us at 9:30 a.m. for our virtual Worship Service!
The Reverend Denise Dunbar-Perkins is an Honorably Retired Presbyterian Church USA Minister from a Specialized Ministry of Board-Certified Chaplaincy at AbbottNorthwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, where she also served as an adjunct Clinical Pastoral Education Facilitator and chaplain preceptor for CPE students.
Her work included providing pastoral care to patients and their families through spiritual assessment, sacramental ministry, bereavement assessment and support, bio-ethics or health care decision making support, consultation with staff, End of Life, life transitions with the elderly and connection with the interfaith religious community. Her specialty was in attending to the cultural/emotional/spiritual aspects and challenges with long term and life limiting medical conditions.
She also served as a public speaker with a focus on the healthcare concerns of the communities of color (HIV, diabetes, cancer, etc.) and the church’s response to them.
She is one of the original founding members of Kwanzaa (now Liberty) Community Church PC(USA) in North Minneapolis, the only African American Presbyterian Church in Minnesota and is also the first African-American female to be ordained into Presbyterian ministry in the State of Minnesota. In the last 24 years within the church, she has served locally, nationally and internationally as a speaker, teacher, preacher, workshop leader, curriculum writer and worship leader. She also been an adjunct professor at United Theological Seminary, where she received her Master of Divinity, teaching on Black church culture and Womanist Theology. Additionally, she is a former high school history teacher which informs her passion around paying attention to what has gone on before us in society.
Denise is currently serves on the Called Ministry team for the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area and she is our Presbytery liaison to the Pastor Nominating Committee.
“Bonus Reel” of deleted scenes not included in the final slideshow
Send us your photos for a Pentecost slideshow!
Celebrating Pentecost (May 31) involves a lot of movement and action. Acts Chapter 2 talks about tongues of fire and rushing winds. To help celebrate Pentecost this year, we’d like your pictures and action shots. Take photos of things flying, or blowing, or with a lot of RED in them. Let your imaginations take off!
Note: Please send only photos that you have taken yourself or that you have permission to share. Emailing us your photos indicates your permission for Oak Grove to use them in the slideshow we are posting on our Facebook page and website.
Email your photos to email@example.com by 12:00 noon on Friday, May 29. Thanks!
Matthew 21:9 The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were
shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in
the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
Jesus wasn’t the only one parading into Jerusalem that
day. On the other side of town, Herod rode in on a gleaming stallion,
surrounded by his military, the very symbol of power and might. The two could
not be more different. Jesus shows us the power of love. Love never
manipulates, marginalizes, and does not destroy. Love builds up. It is what is
real. Power and control are illusions.
Prayer: By your grace, O God, let your love fill
me; and let my gratitude spill out to others in acts of kindness. AMEN
Do something kind for
someone today – write a note, send a text, make a call, put a flower on a
neighbor’s porch, say a prayer, etc.
Holy Monday April 6
John 12:3 Mary took a pound of
costly perfume made of pure nard and anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with
is the same Mary who saw her brother, Lazarus, raised from the dead. Mary’s
gratitude to Jesus knows no bounds. Judas objects to the expensive oil used in
this way, but Jesus allows it. He knows what is behind this action and what is coming.
Mary has the conviction of how she wants to express to Jesus, her adoration and
gratitude. She withstands Judas’ criticism of being wasteful. Mary’s faith
tells her she is doing the right thing at this moment and time.
Prayer: Teach me to act, Lord with the confidence and
faith of your presence. Let my actions follow my convictions. I pray in
Christ’s name. Amen.
Think back to times in your
life when your faith has been strong. Share a part of your faith journey with
someone else today.
Holy Tuesday April 7
John 12:24 Jesus says, “Unless
a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain;
but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
Jesus continues to teach his
listeners in his last hours. During his three years of ministry Jesus sows the
seeds of God’s kingdom on earth. Now the time has come to allow God’s message
to germinate, take root and grow. At this time of staying home, we need to
discover ways of how we grow the seeds of God’s message to the world. It is a challenge
to love our neighbor when they are at least six feet from us. In this time of
containment, our actions and those of others reflect Christ’s message in ways
we would have not thought possible.
Prayer: I pray for clear sight and an open heart so that
I can hear your voice in my life and see what I can do to serve you. Help me
not to miss your presence by my own fears and insecurities. Amen.
Spend some time in prayer asking God what God’s intention is for your
Holy Wednesday April 8
John 13:21, 27-28 “Jesus said,
“One of you will betray me.” Jesus said to Judas, “Do quickly what you are
going to do.” No one around the table knew why Jesus said this to Judas.
They were having a meal
together. Only Jesus and Judas knew what was going to happen. Jesus shows his authority
as he tells Judas that he knows of the conspiracy against him and does nothing
to stop Judas. The show of strength is not always through force. Jesus allows
things take their course. What would have happened if Jesus’ disciples were
clued into Judas’ plan to arrest Jesus? It would not have been hard physically to
stop Judas; then the plot against Jesus would have failed. We are confounded when
God’s ways are not our ways.
Prayer: Help me God to step
back and rely on your ways. Help me trust that your care for me is greater than
I can comprehend. Amen.
Find ways to connect with
others through a phone call or email or letter. Try to see how God is working
in your life today.
Maundy Thursday April 9
John 13:34 “I
give you a new commandment that you love one another. Just as I have
loved you, you also should love one another.”
The word Maundy means
mandate. It comes from this passage in John when Jesus says “Truly I tell you
to love one another.” I remember a psychology professor saying that the last
words in a conversation are often the most important. As Jesus’ time draws to a
close, he tells his disciples to love one another — maybe one of the most
important teachings that we have. But it continues to be an elusive lesson for
so many of us. Love rather than hate; love rather than excluding or seeking
vengeance. Love one another as Jesus has loved us.
Prayer: Help me to love, Lord, because when I follow
love, hope comes alive. Help me to take on your mandate. Amen.
Watch the Maundy Thursday
Service online (oakgrv.org) any time after Noon. Think about how God shows love
to the world.
Good Friday April 10
John 19:33-34 When they
came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.
Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear.
A great deal happened
between the time Jesus shared his last meals with his disciples and he died on
the cross. To a disciple’s eye, things have gone terribly wrong. The teachings,
the miracles and cheering crowds do not seem to matter. Jesus was tried,
convicted and is now dead. How could any good come of this? I give thanks to
God that because we know the rest of the story, we never have a day as hopeless
as this was for all who followed Jesus.
Prayer: God the unspeakable happens to those who know
and love Jesus. Thank you that we can speak of it and know that not even death
can hold back your love. Amen.
Tune in to the live-stream
of the Good Friday Service at Noon on Facebook or our website (oakgrv.org), or
watch it sometime during the day.
Holy Saturday April 11
Sabbath John 19:31 Since
it was the day of Preparation, the Jews did not want the bodies left on the
cross during the sabbath, especially because the Sabbath was a day of great
On Friday, they buried Jesus
before sundown so as not to break the Sabbath rules. Even after they falsely accused,
tried and executed the Son of God, they conscientiously followed God’s law.
Such is the irony of religion. More wars and atrocities are committed in the
name of God/Allah, including the Crusades and the terrorist attacks. The
Pharisees must have observed that Sabbath in good conscience, as being good
Jews. How can we become so misguided? Like the first break with God in the Garden
of Eden, we fail when we are convinced that we know what God wants.
Prayer: God, forgive us when we start to believe we
know better than you. Give us humble and open hearts to hear your Word
and not our own. Amen.
Spend some quiet moments and listen to the sounds outside.
Notice the signs of new life among us.
Easter Sunday/Resurrection of the Lord April 12
John 20:15-16 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher).
Confusion, sadness, despair
– Jesus’ tomb is empty and there is no body. Mary weeps. Jesus calls Mary by
name, a moment of intimate affirmation. Is there a moment in scripture more
tender than this? New life is for all humanity, all nature, the cosmos, and God
of the universe calls us each by name. LOVE WINS.
Prayer: When the night is dark, and fear sets in, call my name, O God. When death seems to be winning, still my heart with the good news of the resurrection – love wins.
Shout “Alleluia! Christ is Risen!” out your window!
Palm branches will be available for pickup outside the church on Saturday, April 4, after 9:00 a.m.
Please tune into Facebook or the web page early on Sunday morning to watch a video of our Oak Grove children in a virtual Palm Sunday processional (see below). Shout Hosanna or sing your favorite Palm Sunday hymn while you watch from home!
Our livestreamed Palm Sunday Worship Service on Facebook and the website will begin at 10:45 a.m.
UPDATE: the church building will be closed March 28-May 4, but we will continue our online presence during the Stay Home period.
Session met Tuesday, March 24, 2020 via Zoom and decided the following:
Sunday Worship Services
Oak Grove will suspend
all on-site worship through the end of April. All Sunday morning worship
services will be online and livestreamed on Facebook and the website at 10:45
a.m., with archived videos available for later viewing.
Holy Week Services
April 5, and Easter Sunday, April 12, will be online and livestreamed on
Facebook and the website at 10:45 a.m. There will be no 6:30 a.m. Easter
April 9, will be online in some form. Details to be announced later.
Good Friday Service, April 10, will be an online worship service at 12:00 noon.
Updates will be
posted on Facebook Events and on the website.
Church office hours will be irregular for awhile, so please call first before coming to the Church. The Church office will close at noon on Fridays. UPDATE: the church building will be closed March 28-May 4 during the Stay Home period.
will continue virtually, with the students presenting their Statements of Faith
and being confirmed on schedule. The recognition of their becoming members will
be celebrated at a later time.
Pastoral Nominating Committee
The Session is
ready to present the nine-member slate for the Pastoral Nominating Committee to
the Congregation. Due to our current
situation that prohibits gathering, the Congregational vote on the Pastoral
Nominating Committee will be conducted by irregular means. A letter will be
sent to all members either by email or regular mail. Members will have ten
days to respond with a yea or nay, either by email to firstname.lastname@example.org , phone
952-888-4621, or mail. This will allow the provisional Pastoral Nominating Committee
to begin their work. When we can gather again, there will be a congregational
meeting to affirm the slate.