LATEST NEWS

MAY 2017 - Oak Park Church will bid farewell and honour Pastor Steve McMillan and his family at a special dinner celebration on May 28th, 2017 at 5:30pm. Steve's last day on staff was Sunday, May 14th - all were moved by his heartfelt sermon. 


Steve has responded to God's call to serve as Senior Pastor at Bow Valley Christian Church in Calgary's NW. He will begin his new position there on June 16, 2017. What a wonderful 12 years we have had with the McMillan's here at Oak Park. God bless your new chapter!


  • Long-Range Planning update

    By Doug Walker, chairman of the LRP.


    First, a quick reminder that the LRP Committee was formed a little over a year ago, with the primary goal of identifying ways to increase the seating capacity at Oak Park, and the secondary goal of identifying possible building modifications (as part of any expansion) that could enhance existing ministries and uses of our building.


    You’ll also recall that the LRP Committee held several meetings with Parker Seminoff Architects (specialists in church buildings and expansions) last year to draft and review the pros and cons of several possible expansion options. The options have been discussed several times previously so won’t be repeated here, but we landed on an expansion of the foyer and Sanctuary to the east using the grassy area between the church and parking lot, coupled with additional parking, as the best approach for increasing our capacity.


    You may also recall that any physical expansion of our Sanctuary requires the City to rezone the land our church is on from our current land use zoning of R-C1, which is “Place of Worship – Small” to SC-1 “Place of Worship – Medium” since we’re already at the maximum sanctuary size our current land use designation allows. That is the process we’re now in the middle of.


    We’ve consulted with the City’s Planning Department this spring on the best way to prepare and file our application, and our land use rezoning application was submitted in May. It is now in the process of being reviewed by the City’s Land Use Planning Department. The approvals process includes an extensive public notification process, including ultimately a public hearing at City Council.
    The notice board you see in front of our church is part of that process. Further, we’ve met recently with, and distributed letters of explanation to, residents of
    the cul-de-sac immediately east of our church. We’ve also sent notification letters and offers to meet with the Alderman for this ward and the Cedarbrae Community Association President.


    Once the consultation process has run its course, the Planning Department will incorporate any public feedback it receives into their recommendations to City Council. At that point, City Council will address the matter at one of their meetings and will invite any members of the public who wish to attend in order to voice their opinions on the project – favourable or not.


    Again, we want to reiterate that “the project” at this point is simply the rezoning of our land. None of this work commits Oak Park to any course of action. We are
    proceeding with land use rezoning so we can know what is possible with our existing facility and at what cost. That in turn will better enable the Oak Park family
    to plan for the future. Any decision to commit to a physical expansion would, of course, be based on consultation with, and approval of, the congregation, and would require a funding plan to be put in place as well.


    We expect the next key step in the process then to be the City Council hearing and ruling, likely towards the end of this year.

  • Eating through the Gospel of luke

    There are three ways that the New Testament completes the sentence,

    “The Son of Man came…”

    “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45);

    “The Son of Man came to seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10);

    “The Son of Man came eating and drinking…” (Luke 7:34).


    The first two are statements of purpose. Why did Jesus come? He came to serve, to give his life as a ransom and to seek and save the lost. The third is a statement of method. How did Jesus come? He came eating and drinking.Jesus spent his time eating and drinking--a lot of his time. His mission strategy was primarily a long meal, stretching into the evening. He crafted relationships and shared himself and his message around a table with some grilled fish, a loaf of bread, and a pitcher of wine.


    Luke’s Gospel is full of stories of Jesus eating with people.

    In Luke 5 Jesus eats with tax collectors and sinners at the home of Levi.

    In Luke 7 Jesus is anointed at the home of Simon the Pharisee during a meal.

    In Luke 9 Jesus feeds the five thousand.

    In Luke 10 Jesus eats at the home of Mary and Martha.

    In Luke 11 Jesus condemns the Pharisees and teachers of the law at a meal.

    In Luke 14 Jesus is at a meal when he urges people to invite the poor to their meals rather than their friends.

    In Luke 19 Jesus invites himself to dinner with Zaccheus

    .In Luke 22 we have the account of the Last Supper.

    In Luke 24 the risen Jesus has a meal with two disciples in Emmaus and later eats fish with the disciples in Jerusalem.


    Commentator Robert Karris concludes: “In Luke’s Gospel Jesus is either going to a meal, at a meal, or coming from a meal.”


    Jesus is called “a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” This is why eating and drinking were so important to the mission of Jesus: they were a sign of his friendship with tax collectors and sinners. His “excess” of food and “excess” of grace are linked. Meals with Jesus were enacted grace, community and mission – they represented something bigger. They were glimpses of a new world, a new kingdom and new way of perceiving who was to be loved and included. But meals with Jesus are not just symbolic – food is stuff - it’s not just ideas or theories. You put it in your mouth, taste it, and eat it. And meals are more than food. They are social occasions that represent friendship, community and welcome.


    The meals of Jesus are a window into his message of grace and the way it defines his community and its mission. What it would look like for us to do the same? Maybe hospitality and eating together are still the best ways to influence others for God’s Kingdom? What if we got more intentional about our tables?


    Long before the church had pulpits and baptisteries, she had kitchens and dinner tables. Even a casual reading of the New Testament unveils the house as the primary tool of the church. Hospitality opens the door to uncommon community. It's no accident that hospitality and hospital come from the same Latin word, for they both lead to the same result: healing.


    When you open your door to someone, you are sending this message: "You matter to me and to God." You may think you are saying, "Come over for a visit." But what your guest hears is, "I'm worth the effort."


    This summer we will study the meals of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke. We will find our place at His table and consider together the power of an open table and an welcoming heart!

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