COVID-19 UPDATE: We have resumed in-person worship.
See details in the Moderator's note below...
At Oak Lawn Community Baptist Church, we support people as they seek to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We are an American Baptist Church in partnerships with American Baptist Churches of Rhode Island and American Baptist Churches, USA. We are ecumenically minded and seek opportunities for worship and service with other community churches.
Our church welcomes diverse families. We provide for Christian Education (Sunday School) for school aged children, as well as a nursery for pre-school children during worship services.
A very important part of our worship at Oak Lawn Community Baptist Church is our music program. We have been blessed with a strong music ministry consisting of a Sanctuary Choir, Hand bell Choir, two organists, and many musically talented members who readily share their gifts during the worship services throughout the year.
At the conclusion of worship every Sunday all are invited to the fellowship hall to join in conversation and refreshments.
Oak Lawn Community Baptist Church is located at 229 Wilbur Avenue in Cranston. We warmly invite you to worship with us on a Sunday morning at 9:30 am. Until then, may our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ richly bless you!
Pastor Barbara's Facebook Page:
Friends, welcome back to church!
There is just something powerful and amazing about meeting together as church in person. Especially since it has been many months since we met together in the sanctuary.
The last year has been quite challenging, to say the least, for all of us. When something is taken away that we have enjoyed for years, we begin to realize what a blessing it has been in our lives.
Life can be challenging, but God is great and greatly to be praised.
We often hear people say they would like a little “peace and quiet.” I think we can all say “amen” to that, especially with all that is taking place in our world right now. Yet, I want to take a few moments to encourage you today on this thought of “peace.”
At times, we have concluded that peace is the absence of conflict, yet we forget that Jesus came into a world that was filled with political and moral turmoil. Yet, He was, and is the Prince of Peace!
As Jesus walked the dusty roads, followed by His disciples, everywhere He went benefitted from the peace He brought into the situation.
Political and religious leaders may have struggled with having a sense of peace because He came to restore hope and dignity to society's oppressed and forgotten. As He did this, the religious leaders felt their control of the people slipping away.
Yet, all this time, Jesus knew a day would come that He would be taken out of this world, and His mission would be left in the hands of the disciples.
He gave some comforting words to them at the time, and these words still apply to us today. In John 14:27 we read, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
The peace that the world gives is temporary and governed by the events surrounding us, yet the peace the Lord gives is one that comes from our innermost being because of the presence of God’s spirit.
Here is a beautiful story that illustrates the kind of peace Christ gives:
Two painters were asked to paint a picture illustrating peace. The first painted a beautiful evening scene in the foreground of a lake, it's surface calm and unruffled. Trees surrounded it; meadows stretched away to the distant cattle gently browsing; a little cottage, the setting sun—all spoke of perfect rest.
The second painter drew a wild, stormy scene. Heavy black clouds hung overhead; in the center of the picture, an immense waterfall poured forth-vast volumes of water covered with foam. One could almost hear its unceasing roar, yet perhaps the first thing to strike the eye was a small bird, perched in a cleft of a huge rock, absolutely sheltered from all danger, pouring forth its sweet notes of joy.
It is the second painter who could describe the peace that passes all understanding, which is the Lord Jesus Christ, the wisdom of God in the heart of the redeemed. One can only have peace within if one has peace with God.
Remember the circumstances around you do not have to dictate your peace. As we fix our eyes on Jesus and not our circumstances, we can know a peace that the world cannot give and the world cannot take away.
Times...they are a-changing! Gotta love the discoveries of science data. Yes, we are still returning to in-person worship on June 6th. But the CDC and state mandates have changed recently, and therefore, so have our guidelines:
If you are fully vaccinated, masks are not required indoors and you do not have to physically distance.
If you are not fully vaccinated, masks are required indoors and you do have to physically distance at least 3 feet.
This is totally an honor system. Some may even choose to continue to wear a mask even thought they are fully vaccinated. As always, if you are not feeling well, please stay home.
You may enter the church building from either the side or front door. There will be a table upon which will be bulletins, an offering basket, hand sanitizer, masks, and on the first Sunday of the month, an additional Deacons offering basket and communion packets for your use.
You may sit wherever you choose, keeping in mind the mandates.
Unison/responsive readings and singing will be as usual, again keeping in mind the mandates. We will continue to live stream for the time being, so please keep in mind the mikes are on. We will also open slightly a couple of windows to aid in air flow.
Cash for Causes cards will be available after church. We will not be offering Coffee Hour as yet. We will be on our usual summer schedule with special music. Choirs will not be singing/ringing.
The date for our in-person Church Life Meeting will be July 25th in the sanctuary after worship. All Boards, committees, and groups will need to have their reports (June 2019-June 2021) into the church office by July 7th.
This is an exciting time...we have waited so long for this day...the day we can worship together in person! And God said, “It is good”! See you all in church.
There is a legend, that at the time of the Crucifixion, the dogwood had been the size of the oak and other forest trees. So firm and strong was the tree that it was chosen as the timber of the cross.
That it was used for such a cruel purpose greatly distressed the tree. Jesus, nailed upon it, sensed this, and in His gentle pity for all sorrow and suffering said to it "Because of your regret and pity for My suffering, never again shall the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used as a cross. Henceforth it shall be slender and bent and twisted, and its blossoms shall be in the form of a cross... two long and two short petals. And in the center of the outer edge of each petal there will be nail prints, brown with rust and stained with red, and in the center of the flower will be a crown of thorns,
and all who see it will remember."
Submitted by: Robin Butzier
My Pandemic Discoveries
God is still ever-present! He has been my Fortress, my City Wall and Shield and has comforted me when worried. He has opened my eyes, in a special way, to His beauty and love! While my rhythms and routines have quieted, and each day (quickly) rolls into the next, His rhythms have remained constant and reassuring. Each spectacular sunrise and sunset (and there have been many) has reminded me that He is with me- right where I need Him to be! What I have surprisingly discovered about myself is how content I am with this quiet lifestyle!! I almost feel like this past year has been my Sabbatical. My home has been my sanctuary, and has provided me with comfort and safety (as well as a lot of cleaning!). I have welcomed the slower pace within its walls and have found that going to work one day a week was (and is) often too much. Too much worry, too much purell and too many sanitizing wipes!
What I Have Discovered During The Pandemic
The amazing strength and perseverance of our church community which has been tested
beyond measure. Kindness and caring are unmeasurable...there is no such thing as “small acts of kindness”.
When I take the time to just be, I can make the time to do.
Time is never wasted.
Hallmark movies---going back to our
roots (“in the beginning”) to get to our happily ever after (“...have eternal life”).
Disagreements do not have to lead to arguments. They can lead us to solutions when we truly listen. What a blessing technology is. It allowed us to worship together virtually---to keep in contact with each other---to conduct church business.
How irritating, aggravating, and frustrating technology can be when it decides to
take on a life/mind of its own. Especially when you are trying to make an appointment to get the vaccine.
Unsung heroes are everywhere.
Quiet moments with God renew my spirit and calms my fears.
Fully Relying On God is more than just a saying. God’s grace and mercy are
A LITTLE POEM ON PANDEMIC DISCOVERY
Well here it is, over one year gone
But has anything changed as we sing the same old song?
The search should be easy to find what is new
Of course streaming technology is replacing the pew
And meeting on screens of 10 inches or smaller
Learning when on “mute” it does no good to talk louder.
Through the fog of Lysol and spray disinfectant
We searched for answers, quite expectant. Oh, there were some but not what we longed to hear
Just mask and virus and not being near. We’ve gone from one step forward, two steps back
To shots in the arm and getting back on track.
So what have I discovered during this time of isolation
This time of lost patience, stress and frustration?
Well, it’s nothing new, it’s always been there
It’s in our name, it’s why we care.
It’s the Community we are that has helped us through
And the fellowship soon to be shared with each of you!
Seeing my Oak Lawn Church Family on Sunday morning can very easily be taken for granted; after all it is my choice to be there on a Sunday morning. Going away for a few months during the summer and not being there to see them is ok ; after all it is my choice.
With the pandemic, it is a different story the entire process is no longer my choice. A few weeks/ months of that was ok but as it has lasted many months, the realization has sunk in how much one receives socially/ emotionally from these encounters , even just a wave to some.
Making phone calls, texting, video chatting and even Zoom meetings helps to supply some of this. Being part of the online streaming service helps to let you worship with others- saying Good Morning briefly on chat. The Zoom bible study gives you the opportunity to see that others are ok and a chance to verbally share ideas.
There is nothing however that will compare with the physical contact that we will have when we are able to gather to share handshakes and hugs with one another.
Stay safe until then and continue to do what you are doing.
Having no place I can go has given me lots of time for sewing, knitting, reading, walking and puzzles. Also, lots of time to do the chores "later" so I have become very good at postponing the housework. However, I miss having places to go and visits with my family and friends especially "game time".