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The Oakleaf

The Oakleaf

The newsletter of Fair Oaks Church
To add future content, CLICK HERE OR CONTACT Jessica Leong

 

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You may think you're strong, but even our best intentions can falter in the face of temptation and distraction. Join us Sunday, June 3rd, for a new series, Samson, as we learn how to stand strong against forces of darkness.

 
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Curious about the songs we sing during Sunday service, or trying to remember the lyrics to that one song? Hop on over to Spotify to enjoy a playlist that our Worship Pastor has put together for your listening pleasure.

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Parents, you can now check your kids in on Sunday mornings before you're even on campus! Through the magic of your smartphone, your child's printed name tag will be waiting for you when you arrive, ensuring a smoother and quicker check-in process for all. Click here for instructions.

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Have you tried it yet? This giving platform allows us to receive donations from any electronic device! Pushpay accepts both credit and ACH (direct-from-bank-account) donations. You can schedule regular automatic donations or just donate on Sunday mornings from the comfort of your pew. Text 'foc' to 77977 or click here to get started.

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We're soaking up the joy of the season on Sunday, July 1st with a BBQ lunch, music, and games right after our morning service. There will be bounce houses for the kids, and cold brew coffee for the grown-ups - this is an event everyone will enjoy. Join us, and bring a friend!

 
 
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Dear Church Family,

I woke up this morning and I heard the birds chirping away just before dawn. I smelled the fresh air and I was struck with gratitude and the feeling of anticipation. I am thankful for what God is doing and for what He has done. He has blessed us all individually in special ways. We need to recall those things and give Him the praise of our thanksgiving. He gives us the ability to breathe, salvation and hope and even blesses us with material things. God is good!  Give Him thanks when you have a moment.

Our Father also blesses us corporately as a church family. Easter was such a wonderful time. I personally was blessed by the worship, the enthusiasm of the people and the moving of the Holy Spirit. I believe God was doing a work on hearts. There were new friends visiting Fair Oaks and old friends who haven’t been at church in years. I heard that many felt God speaking to them personally. That is God at work!

We were also able to connect for the special time in the court yard. With the added fun of having Cold Brew coffee, Frozen Custard and Chicken and Waffles, joy was evident on faces as we spent almost two hours together after church. Tina from Izzy’s Custard truck said to me twice, “You have such a wonderful community here.” She is right! We have something very special and it needs to be celebrated. God is at work in the hearts of the people at Fair Oaks and it shows.

Spiritually I see God moving and growing people in the church. He is drawing people to a closer walk with Him and one way this manifests is in service. We were able to send a team on a short term mission trip to Mexico this week. They are blessing the Gonzalez family by building them a new home. Sunday I heard of a number of people who desire to serve in a similar way. What a wonderful testimony of God opening hearts to serve.  

We also have people stepping up and serving in the Children’s Ministry, Youth Ministry, Worship, Coffee, Welcome Ministry and the list goes on. When God is touching hearts they are prompted to serve Him. That is a good barometer on measuring spiritual growth.

Another way to measure that God is moving is through numerically and financially growth. Easter Sunday was the largest group of people we have had in my 3 years at Fair Oaks. We are seeing new faces all the time and they are sticking around. That is fun. We also see God blessing us with finances. God is giving us what we need and continues to supply when unforeseen needs arise.  We are also being able to pay down the debt on the parsonage. My prayer is that we pay the debt off this year. Please ask God if you should help in this area. When we honor Him with being good stewards of His resources He is pleased with us.

I am excited to see what God will do this month as we will be having children (grades 1-5) with us in the service. It is my prayer that God will work in the hearts of our kids and adults together. I think of the story of the feeding of the 5000 in John 6. This was a church service. In that service was a “lad” or “little boy” with the five loaves of bread and two fish.  The little boy was there listening to Jesus teach along with the adults. He wasn’t on another hill being taught by other disciples. A boy was there and Jesus used him to bless everyone. We are going to be blessed with having our kids with us in the service.

Throughout Scripture we can read how the Lord values the presence and praise of children; Job 1:5; Psalm 8:2; Jeremiah 10:25: Matthew 18:14; Mark 10:14; Luke 18:16, just to name a few. There are times in Scripture that mentoring and equipping took place which we need to be doing as well. Recently I took a Sunday off and taught a group of second and third grade boys in our Children’s Ministry. They listened to how Jesus gives them eternal life. I saw their eyes light up for Jesus. I was blessed. Yes, men, these boys need you.  Yet until the right men and women are prompted we will be taking a new approach of having the children in the service with us.

With this new approach to ministry we will be scaling back in staffing. We will be eliminating the Children’s Coordinator position which means Roselyn Sarkar will be leaving the staff May 1st. This decision wasn’t made lightly. After great prayer and discussion, we feel God moving Fair Oaks into this direction for a season. Roselyn has been wonderful and we have been blessed to have her on staff.

My hope is to recalibrate the Children’s Ministry and possibly incorporate other ministries into a more family ministry focus. Please be in prayer as we seek the Lord in this new venture. I feel that the Lord is opening doors and I am curious to see where He leads us.  

There is another staffing change happening at Fair Oaks. Kathleen Rago, our church Administrative Assistant, will be stepping down this month. She has been a blessing and an asset to the church and she will be missed. She will be focusing more on family and new endeavors with her husband. Please share your gratitude to Kathleen for her last two years of service to the church.  

Jessica Leong will be helping out in the office during the interim period. This position may change a bit from what it has looked like in the past depending on how the Lord leads as we recalibrate other ministries. We are thankful to have Jessica and her skills during this transition time.

In times of transition we can choose to feel uneasy or hopeful. Like the feeling of hope and anticipation a new day brings, so I feel with what God is doing at Fair Oaks. He is guiding, providing and growing us. This means God is blessings us; which means He has plans for us that He is preparing us to walk in. Let us thank Him and praise Him as we walk in faith with Him.

In His Grace and Love,

Tom  

 
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By: Interim Children's Director Laura Olson

Spring is in the air and I'm starting to get around to spring cleaning... at least I'm thinking about it. For some of us, it feels so good to go through everything and do a deep clean and throw things out and for others it's met with dread and anxiety. 

Change is like that It can be difficult and uncomfortable but often that is when we grow the most. The children's ministry of Fair Oaks is going through a bit of a change. God is moving and directing but not necessarily in the way we anticipated. 

For the last month, we have had the 1st through 5th graders in the worship service rather than in a class of their own. Although this is not ideal for some, it has been good for others. Learning to participate in worship is a completely foreign concept to most kids in our culture today and we should expect it to be a process. They are learning - learning by watching and observing. As we approach the month of May, we are still short of leaders for the elementary class and therefore, will continue to have the kids in the worship service. It is my goal to once again offer a class for this age group but we will continue to wait on the Lord. I will re-evaluate this each month and communicate with you. If you would like to help out in any way please let me know.

For our younger kids we will continue to offer a class for the nursery through kindergarten. During the month of May they will be learning about faith through the study of Abraham. Faith is choosing to trust, believe, and live God’s way, even when we can’t see Him or understand what’s going on around us. Our faith seed grows when we remember the great things God has done before, and wait patiently to see His promises to us come true. You can access this months reading plan and activities using the Bible App for Kids. It is called Abraham's Big Test. I have also attached the Parent Guide for this month. 

Please join me in praising God that our church family continues to grow. It is a blessing to be a part of your lives each weekend.

 

In His Love,

Laura

 

By: Student Ministry Director Zech Carr

Hey FOC Parents!

I typed April 11th and thought, “Whoa, it’s the middle of April.” Can you believe it?

Tonight we will be having some open mic time to recap all of the fun and done activities that everyone has been getting into over Spring Break and play some Bubble Ball Games to get the juices back to flowing! Bob and Cindy Maes will also share with us a little about their trip to Haiti last month. We will also be starting a new teaching series called Emote about understanding the role of emotions in our lives and seeing what God’s design and will is for ours.

Remember new people and the friend who brought them get to take part in our $5 Challenge!

Mount Hermon is upon us! This year we are going up Week 3, 7/1-7 and the cost is $655. Registration is at a waitlist point for ladies at the moment, but there is still opportunity to go so sign up ASAP if your 9-12th grade student (current 8th Graders included) wants to go to camp. That being said, registration will be done directly through the website this year:http://www.mounthermon.org/events#facilities:9;upcoming:1;

and you only need to scroll down to “Ponderosa Lodge Week 3 High School” and click on the “Wait List” option.

Financial help is available! Ponderosa offers camperships, Fair Oaks offers scholarships, and we will be participating in various fundraising all the way up to July. Do not let the financial burden get in the way of this opportunity for your students and sign up quickly! (Please contact me with questions and let me know when your student is signed up 😊)

Convoy of Hope is an annual event put on by a collection of churches in the Bay Area that Fair Oaks has participated in and has been both blessed and a blessing in many ways. We passed out flyers on 3/24 & look forward to the next flyer date on Sat. 4/21 plus the event date 4/28.

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A few things to know…

- Convoy of Hope 4/21 & 4/28

- Mount Hermon, 7/1-7 $655

- Ladies Love Game Champ Event, TBD

Zech Carr  at Z.carr@fairoaks.org

 
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By: Women's Ministry Director Joy Rosenberg

The sound of grace..... what does it sound like to you?  The women who attended the recent Converge PacWest Conference pondered that thought as they were invited to “Follow : A Life Where Jesus Leads” by our great speaker, Andrea Coli.  Over 400 women experienced a weekend of worshipful music by the all-women band All 4 Grace, inspiring testimonies, a mission message on what God is doing in SouthEast Asia by our very own Lisa G., and thought-provoking seminars by women teachers (including 3 of our own women from Fair Oaks!) Sound intriguing? Exciting? Renewing? Life changing? The annual conference is all that and more. Make sure you don't miss next year! Save the date – February 1-3rd 2019.  Plan NOW to join Fair Oaks women as they trek down to the beautiful Monterey peninsula. 

You are always welcomed to join our women's life group us at 9:30am on Sunday mornings.  We gather in room 124.   If you have any questions, please contact Joy Rosenberg at jjoy1ster@gmail.com

 
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By: Men's Ministry Director Eric Vale

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Fair Oaks represented well at the Men's Golf Tournament taking 1st and 2nd place.  

Congrats to Eric and Doug.

Men's Ministry attended the Men's Retreat at Mt. Hermon.  It was a great time of fellowship and spiritual growth for all who attended.

 

Retreat highlights: Larry Adams was the main speaker, and spoke on "The Power of Passion". Each session had a different focus: A Passion For Christ, A Passion For Prayer, A Passion For The Gospel, and A Passion For Godliness. All were terrific! Larry is a humble man and spoke very powerfully on each topic, and of course he used many Bible passages to support his position.

A couple applications from some of the men: 

 * Larry helped re-kindle my passion for prayer. He said it is easy to get disillusioned and give up on prayer, but we need to persevere, and perhaps pray with someone else regularly if that helps.

 * I was challenged to consider anything that might be hindering my pursuit of being a godly man.... like, do I need to give up cable tv? Is there anything else in my life that is wasting my time, time that could be better spent? (Heb. 12:1)

 * When Larry spoke about a Passion for the Gospel, he gave an invitation for men to begin a relationship with Christ, and about 4 men at the retreat accepted that invitation and became new creatures in Christ! (2 Cor. 5:17)

In addition, there were several workshops offered. Some of the men attended one titled "Stop Reading Bible Verses!", in which the presenter challenged us to read the Bible in context, and not to allow ourselves to get off track by taking individual verses out of context. Some men attended one on Understanding Your Wife Better, so they will be MUCH better husbands now!! Some attended a workshop on stress relief, which had many application tools to use, including silent meditation. There were 4-5 other workshops as well. 

For recreation on Saturday afternoon, some men took a hike, some played golf, and some enjoyed a long talk with their pillow! Fair Oaks had 2 winners in the golf competition: in Friday's 18 hole tournament, Doug Mead earned individual prizes for winning the Long Drive competition, and he also won Closest to the Hole. On Saturday's 9-hole contest, Eric Vale won with the lowest score. (see pictures above)

All had a great time -- the food was very, very good, the worship time was great, and the setting was beautiful, among all the redwood and pine trees and the beauty of God's creation. Please join us next year!!

 
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By: Senior Adult Ministry Leader Johnnye Ellison

 

SAF Regular Session Is on Summer Hiatus!!!

       Enjoy Water Color Classes and Old Time Movies

The spring SAF session is on hiatus for the summer.  However, beginning Tuesday, June 12, Lou Ann Styles will continue teaching watercolor classes every Tuesday from 9:30 am – 12:00 pm.  For those who are interested, an old time movie will be shown on those days from 9:45 am – 12:00 pm.  The room will be filled with nostalgia as we have a wonderful list of movies from which to select.

            If all you want is to enjoy the fellowship, you’re welcome to come and visit. Bring a craft or hobby (knitting, puzzles, etc.) if you like and visit.  You are welcome to join us for a relaxing summer session.

The fall SAF full sessions will begin again on September13.  Until then …

Celebrate Summer!

 

By: Global Outreach Chairperson John Pickrell

Exciting things are happening at Fair Oaks Church in global missions.
 
Fair Oaks had a high school and leaders missions team join another local church, for the week after Easter, on a trip to Mexico and built a house for a family.  To get more details, talk with Student Ministry Director Zech Carr or Doug & Susan Mead about the trip.
 
John Henry and Randy Grieb are going to L’Arcada Camp in Spain as part of a construction team making improvements to the camp. They will be there May 26 thru June 2, 2018.  They have their travel costs covered but could use additional funds for materials.  If you would like to support this work, please click here and put “Work Team Projects” in the comments box when you make your donation. 
 
Two missionaries we support, Paul and Margie Varberg, will be with us on Sunday, May 13, for our worship service.  In addition, they will be sharing in both the women’s and men’s life groups at 8:45 am that morning.


INVITATION
The Global Outreach Team is inviting the Fair Oaks Church Staff, Fair Oaks Board, and any others from the Fair Oaks Church Family who are interested in the Varbergs' ministry in the Philippines, to a “BBQ/GET TO KNOW/POTLUCK” at the Pickrells' home at 4:30pm on Saturday, May 12, 2018.  Everyone is invited; however, it is absolutely essential for you to RSVP to the Pickrells by May 1.

 

 

The church office is operating on Monday & Wednesday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  You can always email us at fairoaks@fairoaks.org or leave a phone message at 925 687-4810 and we will get back to you during office hours.