On Sunday, November 7, we honored all those we have loved and lost, taking and opportunity to name their names aloud in worship. We also honored specifically the Oakhurst Baptist Church Saints we have lost since last All Saints Sunday: Sue Woolf and Margaret Blevins. Listen as Pastor Melanie Vaughn-West reflects on these two Oakhurst saints.
November 7, 2021 – All Saints Sunday
We are living in times where feelings of loss, isolation, and loneliness have reached extreme levels. And instead of uniting us, the pervasiveness of those feelings seems to only push individuals further into feeling alone. As we examine our own circumstances alongside those in the book of Ruth, Pastor Lauren Colwell asks: “What is the call to us as individuals and as communities?” Instead of islands of isolation, how can we strive for more crowded tables?
Listen as Pastor Melanie Vaughn-West reflects on what it might mean to be a servant in a kin-dom where there are no lords and there is no hierarchy and where losing in the eyes of others just might mean liberation in the eyes of our own souls. Melanie’s sermon is followed by a song by Lee Bains and a prayer by Leslie Withers.
On Pride Sunday 2021, we welcomed back Oakhurst-ordained Rev. Benjamin Curry, who reflects on Mark 10:17-31. Ben shares: “Pride is about getting down to earth and being true to who you have always been. No shame. You cannot truly understand pride unless you truly understand shame…and release it.”
Listen as Oakhurst member Melissa King Rogers preaches from Hawaii! Together, from around the globe and right here in Decatur, Georgia, we will worship God and seek God’s guidance in creating a more loving and just kin-dom of heaven here on earth!
With less than two days of advanced warning, we began virtual worship services on March 15, 2020. Virtual worship truly surprised us with the ways it provided intimacy, connection, and true community across Atlanta and our world.
We were blessed by former members living all around the country and the globe, joining us for worship. We were blessed by grandparents getting to worship with their geographically-distant grandchildren for the first time! We were blessed by local members, long absent from the sanctuary because of sickness or lack of mobility, suddenly worshipping with us again. We were blessed with a wonderful class of new members who might not have ever found us, had we not been online.
After taking his newfound knowledge back home and being rejected, Jesus claims, “A prophet has little honor in his hometown, among his relatives, or on the streets he played in as a child.” What does this brief story say to us about embracing transition and transformation? Are we so afraid of it in ourselves that we also scoff at others who dare to try? Listen as Pastor Lauren Colwell looks at this episode in the life of Jesus and questions what it means for us.
As we pass 600,000 Covid deaths in the United States, as we sit with those who mourn the loss of their beloveds, as the virus rages on in India, Cuba, the Philippines, and Brazil, how do we stop acting like everything is okay all the time? How do we be present to our individual, communal, and global grief, in a way that is authentic and has true integrity of emotion? And then, how do we not become so completely immobilized by it that we can continue to tend to those who are hurting?
Listen as Pastor Melanie Vaughn-West reflects on this passage, and how we move forward together as people who are called to share one another’s burdens, as well as the burdens of the world.