At 3pm on Sunday 30th September, at Oxford High School Junior, we are going to be celebrating the 1st Birthday of Emmanuel Central. We would love you to come and join us to celebrate all that God has done over the last year!
Emmanuel Church has been in Oxford for over 13 years. Having moved to our East site's current venue in Sep 2016, various people felt God speaking to them about God calling us to a greater work for him in the heart of our City. By Feb 2017, we started to hold meetings where anyone in Emmanuel could find out more about the potential launch of a new Central Site. Then in May 2017 we started to gather a group regularly in Turl Street Kitchen who wanted to be involved. Our times in Turl Street Kitchen were such exciting moments where we prayed, worshiped and dreamt about all that God wanted us to do – it is incredible realising how much of this God has now done!
What an amazing year it has been since we launched our meetings at Oxford High School Junior! One of the things that stands out for me is how we have all grown together in trusting God; this started as we were looking for a venue. We started looking for venues more than 8 months in advance, and despite contacting over 100 venues, we still didn’t have a venue less than a month before we were due to launch. God never leaves things he is calling us to do without the necessary resources; he answered our prayers and we were finally able to confirm our venue (Oxford High School Junior), just two weeks before we were due to launch!
From that point on there have been many, many moments to celebrate! We have grown as a family in various ways: lots of people joined the original group, we have had many wonderful moments getting to know each other and we have celebrated new babies being born. We have pulled off a lot together; making every Sunday meeting happen, launching new Connect Groups, starting new projects such as serving the homeless, helping run Alpha Courses and got involved in other projects such as CAP that Emmanuel supports. In terms of our Sunday meetings, we have had some great times of enjoying worshiping God together, enjoyed many different teaching series together and had a lot of fun. Connected to our Sunday meeting, it is wonderful to have lots of children! We quickly had to start a second children’s group, having started with only one; it is always encouraging to hear about all that is going on in these groups!
On a personal level for Jude and myself it is a total privilege and honour to be doing this with such a great group of people. It’s been quite a year for us, with all of this and having our second child in January (we took growing the site very seriously!). We have been blown away by how much everyone has done to make all this happen and really enjoyed getting to know everyone. We know that the journey is only just beginning and there is so much more to be believing and trusting God for in the year ahead.