It was such a joy to gather and eat together, last Sunday, with our partner churches, to celebrate all God is doing in our community! It is a blessing to be the Oakdale Family together with you! I wanted to update you on a few things that are going on, and ask for your prayers, for our Wildly Important Goal, the Oakdale Together disaffiliation process and share the Board’s posture statement for ongoing negotiations.
Our first step to seeing God accomplish our WIG, through us, is to pray! We will be spending much of the rest of this year praying for each of the four sections of our WIG. My hope is that all of you will be a part of this prayer effort. Next, our staff and board are starting to work on hashing out definitions, what it looks like to accomplish the goal, in it's 4 parts, and start figuring out how God is going to get us there.
- Ask God to direct you toward where He wants you to focus your disciple-making as part of the WIG (Countries, Communities, Homes and Hearts)?
- Join our prayer efforts over the next few months, praying for the area that you feel called?
I also wanted to update you on what is happening concerning the disaffiliation process. God has positioned us, due to our size and resources, to help shepherd and protect smaller congregations in our conference who are on the same path as us. Rusty, our Board Chair, has begun meeting with leaders at the other 85 churches in our conference that are seeking to disaffiliate. This group of churches has submitted a petition to meet with the UMC Board of Trustees in an effort to continue to negotiate the financial penalties associated with disaffiliation that our conference has set over and above those created by the General Conference.
- Pray for our Board as they continue to navigate the disaffiliation process?
- Pray that God will use the connections Rusty is making to help bring about partnerships in disciple-making across the state and region for God’s glory?
- Pray that God makes a way forward for Oakdale, and the other churches, that will glorify God’s name and illustrate God’s power?
Finally, I wanted to share with you the posture statement that our Board has created concerning the cost of disaffiliation:
Thank you again for being a wonderful part of the Oakdale Family. I am thankful to be taking this disciple-making journey with you as my partner!
Rev. Dr. Kevin Baker