Oasis Christian Church, the newest congregation in the Mid-America Region, is unique in many ways. However, it also resembles a typical Disciples of Christ congregation.
Oasis practices communion each time it meets…When the church gathers on the 1st and 3rd Sunday, it always gathers around the Lord’s table. Yet communion is not taken all at once but woven into the fabric of the worship gathering. Additionally, while Oasis remembers the sacrifice of Jesus as it shares the bread and the cup, communion is seen as a time of celebration, abundance, and resurrection so you won’t find a quiet, solemn event but instead a lively, joyful act.
Oasis engages in mission with the local community…Like other churches, Oasis takes advantage of every opportunity to love its neighbors through giving to the local food pantry, hosting community hospitality events, and giving to people in need. Oasis sees local mission as an opportunity to engage in intentional partnership. Rather than own or rent a building, the church has partnered with the local city government in Corder to utilize the Community Building in exchange for making improvements to it so that the building may better serve the community. This building consists of an old gymnasium, small cafeteria, kitchen, office, and stage. Oasis meets in the cafeteria/kitchen and has plans to open the gym for use during the week. While Oasis does sponsor and host some big community events, it also walks along side other service organizations in the community to help them with their projects.
Oasis believes that all are welcome to the table…The Disciples of Christ vision is the vision of Oasis Christian Church that we welcome all to the table because Christ first welcomed us. The church sees this welcome as more than being friendly or inviting, but as an opportunity to reflect on what it is that helps a person feel truly welcomed and uninhibited from coming to the table. Oasis does this through declaration and training. Worship gatherings are highly conversational in nature. Open discussion and conversation is welcome so long as it does not dehumanize others. The church upholds that all people are created in God’s image. Difficult topics are often discussed and addressed within the congregation and this is made possible by the above litmus test. This is coupled with leadership training. All of the leaders of Oasis have had training to listen intentionally and have been given tools to facilitate healthy dialogue.
There are many other ways in which Oasis Christian Church is both the familiar yet new. That said, the overall goal of the people of Oasis is that, with the Spirit’s leading, they might be able to help churched and unchurched people alike - that resurrection is always possible. The old can always become new, life, love, and grace truly can prevail, and that Jesus can be made known to us in a simple act of breaking bread and sharing the Good News.
As the congregation progresses, it hopes to be able to provide educational opportunities to clergy and laity alike so that they might be emboldened to re-envision their communities of faith in their contexts. For now, Oasis asks for your prayers in its mission that it might live into this new, old way of being a faith community. If you would like to help support the work Oasis Christian Church is doing, you can contact them at email@example.com or find them on Facebook. The church also is looking for some items that other congregations might have hiding in a backroom that they would be willing to gift to a new church. They are in need of the following: liturgical altar cloths; altar ware such as crosses, candle holders, etc; chalices; and a children’s size table and chairs.
Finally, Oasis officially launches on Sunday, October 6th at 5:00pm. The church extends an invitation to anyone who would like to participate in the inaugural gathering. They do ask that if you plan to attend to RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org with how many will be attending.
by Rev. Matt Limback,
pastor Oasis Christian Church