God has greatly blessed the people of Oikos in the last year. Just a few highlights from 2011:
- Oikos retreat – Our families enjoyed a fantastic time of fellowship in Berlin, Ohio for three days. The church sponsored all regularly attending families during a time focused on what the church is and is to be. From a raucous game of basketball to time spent singing around a firepit, the church grew closer together as a body.
- Baptism – The elders baptized several young believers. The testimonies and affirmation of faith were joyously received.
- Campus evangelism – This year’s Ohio State University campus evangelism was enormously exciting. We met several people who earnestly received the Gospel message. Each year, the soil seems to get harder, but at the same time, there is no scarcity of those willing to respectfully listen. There is nothing more affirming about a brother’s faith than seeing them do street evangelism.
- Black Friday evangelism – Several families went out to the stores along Hilliard Rome to pass out muffins and to hand out tracts (app. 400 muffins and 1,200 tracts). I’m always amazed at how well the tracts are received. We had several people flag us down to get more tracts for their family members. This year’s crowd was one of the largest that I’ve ever seen.
- Membership classes – 2011 was the first year for those in our fellowship to formally become members. The most exciting class was our doctrine session. It was obvious that people were really digging deep into the Word of God during this season.
- Launch of oikoshilliard.com – Oikos moved from using a blog site to provide updates to hosting sermon content and information on a full-fledged internet service provider. This gives us the ability to post innumerable sermons, videos, worship guides, etc.
- Adoption fund – The Oikos eldership announced that Oikos will grant $5,000 to any formal member of the church that adopts (as funds are available).
- Missionary giving expanded – Oikos committed to expanding its support for indigenous missionaries. As part of its missions strategy, Oikos seeks to support those who already speak the native language and who are thoroughly ingrained in the cultures and customs of their mission field.
- Traditions partnership – Oikos was able to minister several times at our local senior-assisted living facility called Traditions. Our visits are always enormously welcomed. It is not uncommon to see the residents weep for joy at seeing our young children sing. This year, we even had one resident’s family ask us to make a special visit to give the Gospel to their father. At Christmas, John Hanson’s piano playing sparked a live-wire of appreciation from all who gathered on the second floor meeting room. During our singing on the third floor, one lady who had not spoken for years sang Christmas hymns with us word-for-word. This caused an outpouring of tears on the part of the tender-hearted nurse.
- Genesis of a Legacy Bible study – The Schwind family started hosting this Bible study in Grove City. Nate has done a splendid job of facilitating the sessions and Andrea has proven her hospitality to the utmost degree.
- Helping the body of Christ and ministering to the poor – There have been several opportunities this year to minister specifically to the body of Christ in a special way. In addition, we have provided groceries and meals to minister to the immediate needs of several families outside the Oikos community.
It has been a rich year of personal growth and development for the whole body. Tom and I are enormously excited about the coming year and we are greatly looking forward to new challenges as we pursue the primary passions of Jesus Christ.
For 2012, expect to see the elders publish the new Deacon Qualifications, a repeat of the Oikos Retreat, a creation event hosted by the church, development of our worship philosophy, the initiation of the men’s group, a renewed commitment to equipping fathers to lead their homes, families healed, Jesus preached and God exalted.
With great esteem and love,
Owen Daniels and Tom Gullett
Elders, Oikos Community Church