Dear House Church Folks, it’s good to be back in your email box for the first time this year! Have you missed my loooong emails?? :)
I extend grace and peace to you and your house for 2021!
As with most weeks in recent times, we’ve had a lot of heavy stuff to deal with in our Country this week. The storm on our Nation’s Capitol on Wednesday was sad and tragic. It was a show of extremism and violence that resulted for the most part in chaos, anger, and fear.
We are left in wonder and amazement, and simply astounded at how we got here as a Nation. I hear and feel the fear, worry, anxiety and questions like, “What do we do now? and how do we respond in alignment with our faith while taking a stand?"Valid feelings and valid questions.
House Church stands for love, justice and inclusion. Notice the word “stand” - we have a voice, we have a message, and we are learning together how to wield the power of love in times like these.
We are strong together, bold together, and clear about our purpose. We will stand on the firm foundation of Christ Jesus, our rock, and on the shoulders of brave men and women who came before us. We will not waste the energy they poured into the freedoms we enjoy today.
House Church stands for our democracy and will continue to promote peace and dignity for all of God’s children through the message of the gospel. House Church will pray for our leaders, all of them, and for their safety, for wisdom to lead, and strength to uphold our constitution. We pray the eyes of their understanding would be opened to know the deep love of God for themselves, first, and for all people regardless of party lines.
House Church stands for people first before labels. In all arenas, make no mistake.
And let me just say, unequivocally, Black Lives Matter!
I have the honor and privilege of serving a church that is wildly diverse! I thank God for that! Hallelujah! It’s better than I could’ve imagined. I had no idea a church could exist that held differing beliefs about God, politics, the Bible, human sexuality, etc....congregations typically split up over stuff like this, but not our House Church.
Our common ground is our love in action, and our care for one another by providing spiritual and natural food, praying and encouraging one another in love. It’s awesome.
I’m grateful to belong here with you. I’m thankful to be connected to this church in all our unique ways of living out the Gospel and loving our neighbor.
Our feelings about what happened this week are varied and valid. I am here, as well as the other pastors, to counsel and pray together as we grapple with these very tough issues. Please don’t hesitate for one minute to reach out and let us be there to pray and support you.
This is a time to invest in yourself so that you can do your work in the world with a full cup. This is a time for extra, extra intentional soul care, and to do things that invest in your peace, health and wellbeing.
I do want to share a few other things with you, and I’ll try to be brief. :)
CHURCH APP: Download our new church app to hear our sermons, talks, theology group talks, meditations, and the social news feed which is all in one place now. The Prayer Wall is a great way to share prayer requests, and the Events section has all our zoom links and service dates. You can give right from that app, too! Download by searching your app store for “Church App - Tithe.ly” or here: https://tithely.app.link/
The Prayer Wall in the app is neat. Check it out!
DAILY READER IDEAS for 2021: Many have asked me about a daily reader for the new year. I have few I recommend:
Anything by Richard Rohr is good. Subscribe to his daily email meditations, or buy them in book form. His book "Falling Upward" is fantastic and while not organized like a reader, an astute person can make it that if desired.
Brian D. McClaren has one that looks interesting, and is a daily reader, formatted as such: https://www.goodreads.com/
"40 Day Journey with (fill in the blank with well-known figures and theologians)" these are a series of books with a neat format that includes a short reading, scripture reading, questions for pondering and meditation, a psalm fragment, intercession and prayer. Here's an example: https://www.amazon.com/40-Day-
Here's a digital devotional that Cary Nichols likes, it's from my good friend, and pastor in town, Chris Moore's denomination: https://www.ucc.org/daily-
NEW MEMBERS: Last year we welcomed 9 new families, and today we welcome our very first new family of 2021! Welcome to Sean & Jennifer Brown and their daughter Piper! Like we’ve done during Covid, while we aren’t meeting together, please find them in the church directory app (different from the new app, sorry!) and send them a welcome card or text.
While you’re in there, find someone you haven’t heard from in a while and send ‘em a note to let them know they are missed! Download the secure HCT Church directory app here: www.instantchurchdirectory.com
HOSPITALITY TEAM! A while back when we met in person we had “teams” and many signed up to be on the Hospitality Team to be called on when there’s a special need in the church such as providing meals, special services, help, etc. Mostly meals though. It’s a great way to get to know people.
This ministry is booming right now and we want to extend the invitation to everyone again to sign up to be contacted (via text) when a need arises. You can opt out at anytime, and you can choose with each need whether or not to participate. So, no obligation to help each time, always your choice. Zero pressure.
If you want to be on that team (I highly recommend it because it’s fun) just text the word “HOSPITALITY” to 1-833-630-0053 and we will get you plugged in.
SPECIAL NEEDS & STUFF: Lindsey House is needing cribs ASAP for family move-ins early next week. Any kind. Doesn’t have to be convertible. Any color. And made within the last 10 years for safety standards. And, toddler beds! If you can donate these items, give money, or have questions please contact Jennifer Solis at Lindsay House: 918-313-4696
Two HCT church members have Covid-19, Kimberly Hayes and Teri Hall. Please pray for them, send cards, let them know we are with them through this time.
Amber Rowland had hip surgery this week. Keep her in prayer and sign up for the meal train: https://www.mealtrain.com/
We have a Covid Relief Fund that is pretty depleted and we have many needs. Consider filling it up today, your generosity makes a big difference for a lot of people: www.housechurchtulsa.com/give
That’s about all I have for now. Whew! And that was a lot. There’s so much more I could share as many positive things are happening within our church body. Stay connected. This won’t last forever and you’ll be glad you bonded with your church family when it’s all said and done...and we are back in the HOUSE! Together!
And hey, Zoom isn’t hard to use, try it this weekend with me on Sunday. You just might like it :)
God bless you abundantly with peace and health.
REGULAR WEEKLY DETAILS:
1. Thursday Google Meetup with Pastor Thursdays 12-1 please join me for a lunch hangout. Same link each week: Google Meet Link
2. Wednesday’s “Coffee & Theology” Every week at 8! Jump in and listen, or listen laster on the church app. You’ll love it. https://zoom.us/j/4263965521 Meeting ID: 426 396 5521
3. Sunday Zoom Service at 11:15 Details sent via text each Sunday morning (it’s always the same link, FYI).
4. HCT Kids: We are back! Sacred Story time for 20 minutes on Zoom starts this Sunday at 10, https://zoom.us/j/4263965521
5. Offering: The church is strong and helping so many through your hands and feet. You are a blessing in every way. Keep the core and legacy of this unique ministry going for our children’s children. Give today: https://www.housechurchtulsa.