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Supporting local families this Christmas with Boxes of Light

Posted by Will Munton
on 2nd December 2021

Christmas is a time we get to celebrate as a church, celebration of the light of the world, hope for the hopeless, and we get to share the wonderful news of Jesus being born.

Whilst we as a church look forward to our Family Carol ServiceCarols by Candlelight , our big Christmas meal , worshiping together on Christmas day; others are yet to experience the joy, peace and love that we gracefully receive daily.

There is no doubt that Christmas can be a time of unbearable pressure on many families. Whilst the nation spends, spends, spends; some families can be pushed over the edge financially. Families trying to create magic for their little ones so they see their eyes open widely; false smiles and portrayed excitement can mask worry and extra pressure. In many cases, reality can hit when the wrapping paper is in the bin, the magic of the season fades and January arrives with increased debts, financial worries and sometimes tragic circumstances for families. 

Personally I’ve seen the need in communities over the last twelve months. What have I witnessed? Growing financial pressure, low income straining life, and working people in our communities unable to get by despite trying their best. Within two days, four local schools highlighted the need for fifty Boxes of Light.

We are a gathering of loving neighbours, and have an opportunity to lighten the burden of financial pressures on the run up to Christmas. A small gesture, like a Box of Light from a bunch of loving strangers,  can mean so much to people at this time of year. 

Join us this Christmas, shining a little light in the darkness of local homes and let’s pop a few extras  in our food shop in the coming weeks, so we can generously give to our neighbours.

You can also get involved by supporting the packing, on the 12th of December in the Nest. Just a couple of hours from a few busy hands will enable us to deliver the boxes on Monday the 13th. Drop Will an email if you have any questions or would like to help pack.

Let's pray that Boxes of Light lightens the load this Christmas, leads people to community, and relationship with Jesus.

"For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in" - Matthew 25 v35

Thank you,
Will and team

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Christmas Events for our Afghan Neighbours

Posted by Lucy Munton
on 10th November 2021

The Oak Church has been supporting a hotel full of Afghan families who have recently moved to the UK. Afghan refugees who have had to uproot and leave Afghanistan, their homes and communities as it was unsafe for their families.

As they wait to be housed, many are living in hotel rooms with multiple children, little resources and with no end in sight.

As a church, we want to help and do some small things to love these people and to show God’s love for them.

We have teamed up with Mosaic to deliver some projects over the next 6 weeks that we would love you to be involved in.

Men’s Shoe appeal

There are many men across Leeds who have limited footwear. Some only a pair of flip flops that they travelled in. Over the next few weeks we are collecting men’s footwear to donate to 4 different hotels to ensure these guys have what they need.

Please bring preloved shoes to church during November and we will get them out to the hotels.

Family Fun Day’s

The Oak Church are hosting some family fun days for the Afghan families on a couple of Saturdays in December. This will be a fantastic opportunity for them to make some memories and have some fun as a family.

We need a range of volunteers to make this happen so please do contact Will or Lucy Munton if you are interested in volunteering.

Christmas cards

We are aiming to get Christmas cards to each family this year. With a short message of hope inside.

This could be a lovely way of involving your children to make, decorate and write a message to a family.

You can pick up empty cards from the church building, in Treehouse. Or you can come to one of our Card Making sessions in Treehouse.

 

Love never gives up
1 Corinthians 13:7

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Afghan Refugee Response

Posted by Lucy Munton
on 8th October 2021

There is an encouragement that has taken root in my spirit, “we are not waiting on a move of God, we are a move of God.” Right now, right here, we can see God move. The other week, I watched our church respond to an urgent need in a way that has taken my breath away and reminded me once again of the beauty of the church.

Just a few days before, Lucy put out a church request. 25 refugee families were coming, fleeing war-torn nations and there were some practical needs. She was asked by someone outside our church who said the need and the church responded; money came in… from you, the bride. Time was given at short notice, from you, His people. You came together, to help pack the bags. Ali made an assembly line, like the absolute admin Queen that she is.  Cards were written by sweet members of our church.

Welcoming these really hurting people, fleeing a war-torn nation, into our nation. Mums and Dads with kids, just like you. In 24 hours.

Why? Because we saw the need, broke down the steps required, and then took them. There is a world out there, desperate for Jesus and we are his people who love him. He tells us to “love the Lord our God… and love our neighbour as ourselves.” We did that.

What would Jesus do? He would meet the need. He took five loaves and two fishes and fed thousands but he told the disciples to get the loaves and fish. We partner with Jesus to see “on earth as it is in heaven.” Isaiah 61 is his mandate; the mission is to see the world know Jesus. One way to express that is to meet a physical need. Revival starts in families. It starts with the people of God, loving the world he created.

We can make a difference, all of us together by doing our tiny bit- whatever that may be. Maybe your bit was praying? We need that! Maybe your bit was going to work today, so you could earn some money that you kindly gave? You contributed. And I believe what we just saw, was a glimpse of the Acts 2 church- in the middle of Leeds, in a place I’d not even heard of until 2 years ago.

I’m the granddaughter of a refugee myself. My Grandad fled his homeland to England to escape death. I know the power of a warm welcome and the effect when it's lacking. I grew up watching someone courageously navigate a life full of trial and trauma. What you did, wonderful Oak Church will have made a massive impact on these sweet families having to leave everything to keep their children safe.

We can feel so overtaken by the need that we forget to move our feet forwards. Yet, what just happened, showed a few simple and practical steps and we can be involved in being missional.

Keep going Church!! You are making a huge impact.

Written by Rebecca Latz

 

The SLT would love to thank all who overflowed with generosity in their giving to our care fund as part of our special offering. Your compassion enabled us to quickly support the team in being hospitable to these families, stepping in to meet this practical need. Thank you!

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