This Sunday we celebrated Oak Life's 2nd Easter together! As we remembered the resurrection of Christ, we also prayed for the areas of our world and lives that need renewal. After our morning worship gathering, we headed up to Lake Temescal, to continue the party by celebrating new life through Baptism. This was one of the most memorable days in Oak Life's history, and we're overwhelmed with all that God is doing. It's humbling to think that in many ways, the story of Oak Life is still just beginning!
During our morning celebration we closed our time together by writing down times in our life when we've experienced resurrection and also areas that need newness. These praises and prayers were then placed on a tree that symbolically represented new life in our church and in our world.
Below are the sacred praises and prayers of our church. As you read through these words, would you celebrate and pray with us for Christ's resurrection to be more known in our world? Most are grouped together having to do with where we have seen resurrection and where we need resurrection, but some are just prayers or words between us and God. A few have been changed slightly to protect anonymity.
Where have you seen resurrection? Where do we need resurrection?
"I experienced resurrection when I moved in 2000 to the Bay Area. New Culture, diversity, beautiful weather, and landscapes."
"I need resurrection in my work situation."
"Resurrection in this beautiful church giving me hope."
"Need resurrection in my belief about self efficacy"
"I see new life in the continually evolving way that I'm able to experience community with my friends and family. It's not always perfect, buy I'm slowly learning."
"I really need either a new job or a different way to be where I am. The status quo is, at times, soul crushing."
"Thank you for Spring, art, and imagination."
"We need resurrection. We need young people like my brother, and those in his situation to find jobs, meaning, and purpose."
"I felt like there was resurrection when I got baptized @ my church in Sacramento."
"I would like to become closer to God."
"I have seen resurrection in career, relationship with my girlfriend, and moving to the Bay Area."
"I would like to see resurrection in better health choices, relationship with family on east coast who I do not see much since moving"
"I've felt resurrection in mending of my family's brokenness"
"I still need resurrection to meal my negative outlook on people and the world's future."
"New job, new house, renewed relationships/friendships."
"Light/love conquer hatred and fear of unkowns."
"I have seen resurrection in the way people have continued to love me after I share the darkest parts of my story."
"I am looking for resurrection in the socially made boundaries between groups of people: races, wealth vs poor, etc."
"I hope that the inequality that exists in our world does not have the last word- that the spirit of resurrection creates spaces where all of humanity is recognized as being equal, all worthy of love and happiness and light."
"I have seen resurrection in my marriage"
"I need resurrection in my marriage"
What frequency are you tuned into? Trying to listen to God and hear people's stories- asking questions"
What area of our life do you need resurrection? "Action and loving the hope of Jesus"
"I've seen resurrection in my day to day life at work. I feel a change on the horizon in my relationships after 10 years of being together."
"I need resurrection in my prayer life. I need to be the voice of my circle and be confident in my faith and how I communicate with others."
"I've experienced resurrection with my mental health."
"I need resurrection in my job."
"Our relationship and life together."
"The struggles/turmoil in East Oakland Neighborhoods"
"Me and ___"
"Anger at God, my shame, fear- being assaulted."
"I have experienced resurrection each time I mess up and receive forgiveness from friends and family."
"I have a friend of 12 years possibly dying at 49 years old of heart failure. She's got a lot of dysfunction and fear/rage and mental illness in her family. I pray for healing and deliverance for her."
"Resurrection in having compassion towards others; in being courageous; in being mature following God's values."
"I see resurrection in my family that has endured cancer and grief but remains and struggles together."
I need resurrection in my motivation to create and be compassionate."
"The youth, my children."
"My calling to ministry. Relationships. Letting go of control and privilege."
"I see resurrection in the new growth here at Oak Life- new faces and connections every week!"
"I need resurrection in my relationship with Jesus. I have been keeping him on the fringe."
"I see resurrection in Baptism, meaning you have accepted God and have been forgiven."
"I need resurrection in my relationship with Christ. I need to stay connected with, stay focused, and not be distracted."
"Have resurrection: in the ability to know, listen to, and act on my own gut."
"Need resurrection: in my ability to act in service of others out of selflessness and ease."
"Experienced resurrection by returning to my first love."
"I want to resurrect my passion to serve God."
"I remember when I felt grace touch my soul. Even after years of being at church, I hadn't felt it. When it hit me, I felt new, I went outside and did cartwheels in the grass. I felt free. I was free."
"I have lost that feeling and need it back. I need grace to touch my soul again."
"See resurrection: Teaching. Totally in my students. As frustrating and seemingly futile as it can be at times, I am ultimately filled (like to the bring) with hope. So much hope."
"Need resurrection: Church. I haven't really been since college. I've lost so much faith. Not in God, but in the church. I get angry, both at myself and the world, at the human manifestation of the Kingdom, please God, help."
"When I was baptized."
"Loving others as much as God loves me."
"I have seen resurrection in finally having not one but 2 churches to call home."
"I would like to see resurrection in all the traumatic changes I have experienced since 2015."
"I experienced resurrection when I started to see my body the way God sees it... flawless."
"New life (birth of my son), New sense of purpose and belonging"
"Self love, sense of self worth, feelings of inadequacy"
"Births of my children and grandchild."
"I see resurrection when my patients come in sick, suffering, in panic, in pain, in fear, sometimes barely alive, and then become better. They go home smiling. Praise you Jesus for new life!"
"#hisnamewasblake, Alex Matheney, Spectrum Ministries. Lord teach me to exted grace and mercy to those I see as hateful. Lord thank you that your love is based on grace, not perfection. Thank you for this example through parenthood and adoption and foster care. Amen."
"I need new life in: my emotions, the way I view myself, the way I view others. Everyday I just feel worthless and that I should just give up."
"I see resurrection in the remnant who are willing to embody God's heart of radical inclusion and justice. Those willing to create a space and fight for the people on the margins."
"Seeing mainstream Christianity be dictated by the culture of capitalism which has led to hate and exclusion and imbalanced power dynamics. For myself, giving into despair and hopelessness from time to time."
"When I was baptized"
"Being the best I can be"
"New life: trusting people in relationships."
"Challenge: trusting that God will work through me."
"Resurrection: New beginnings! Purpose! Love! Caring!"
"Need for resurrection: American political life."
"My resurrection: Overcoming my failures"
"Need for resurrection: love, mercy, justice in our country and world."
"I see resurrection in how aware our community is of our differences and more importantly in our shared humanity!"
"I seek resurrection in my work/life balance ........."
"Health, Hunger for truth."
"I found resurrection in a Christ centered community to heal my loneliness."
"I need resurrection and new life in personal relationships. To no longer depend on people for happiness but to fill my cup of joy in this grace and love."
"Resurrection: In affirming communities, leaders, churches."
"Needs resurrection: loneliness of being a queer woman of color and minister in the church."
"renewal, rebirth, restoration, rejuvenate, regenerate, recreate, reevaluate. Trust heart, ears to hear."
"Two names", "My marriage"
"New life, grandchildren"
"Resurrection seen: being pulled out of and finally leaving an abusive relationship. Experiencing healthy relationships and forgiveness since then."
"Prayer for resurrection: Welcoming the thousands of refugees into this country with open arms, safety, provisions, and love."
"Forgiving myself for my wrongs in my marriage." "Co dependency, debting, spending, undearning."
"I've seen resurrection in the redwoods of Big Sur."
"We need resurrection among the races in Oakland."
"Help me to see your resurrection power for real."
"You know oh Lord you know that which is dead and dying in my life. Help, resurrection......"
"May you always be the center of my identity."
"Completing a 4 yr masters program when I thought I was two old to go back to school."
"abandoned animals and children around the world."
"I have seen resurrection in my life when I got a new job."
"I would like to experience resurrection in my relationship with my brother."
"Seen: I survived."
"Need: my heart, my faith."
"New life in friends and family who have extended so much grace and love unto me even when I'm undeserving."
"I need resurrection in letting go of the past and moving forward into a new chapter of my life."
"In my friends and family." "In me"
"Resurrection experienced: turning down fellowship/grant experience abroad and moving back to the US."
"Resurrection needed: my friends sister as she deals with depression."
"resurrection in my daily walk"
"I see resurrection in my daily awakening. It's how I know God is giving me a second chance and that he is not finished with me yet."
"I need resurrection in my thought life and in my personal devotion time with God. I need resurrection in my strength to overcome my temptations."
"My work/career is a form of resurrection."
"In my love life- I hate being single and lonely."
"I've had resurrection in my personal family, life and mental health."
"I need a resurrection of my career."
"Self Advocacy, directness, self acceptance." "Need 2nd chance and new beginning" "Community, loneliness,........ hope and faith"
"Widen his tent stakes" "Understanding life' shortcomings."
"Sing minded and focused on Jesus"