Oak Lawn Community Baptist Church
Oak Lawn Community Baptist Church

In an effort to keep our members and friends safe, all onsite services and activities are cancelled until further notice. We will update you as we receive new information regarding the Coronavirus Pandemic.

 

Please feel free to call the church for prayer or the pastor for spiritual counsel. We will get back to you as soon as we are able. 

 

Also, Pastor Barbara has asked us to recite The Lord's Prayer at 10:00am each day during this difficult period.

 

Pastor Barbara's Facebook Page:

 https://www.facebook.com/barbara.annpastor

Live Streaming Service, Sunday 9/20, 9:30am ET

9-20-2020 web order of worship.docx
Microsoft Word document [77.6 KB]

Request for Email Addresses

Jimmy Elison is looking to create an email list for the Church, in order to send out notifications and offer services via email. Your email address will only be used for Church activities and NOT be sold or shared with ANY third party. If you'd like to join the mailing list, please go to the link below to sign up.

Welcome to Oak Lawn Community Baptist Church

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!

From The Pastor

September 2020

Dear Oak Lawn Family,

 

Recently I received some correspondence from a colleague in ministry who began his conversation by saying, “It’s just hard.” He went on to share that he has been a pastor for 23 years and like every other pastor he knows, was completely unprepared for leading a church through a global pandemic in a time of tremendous social unrest and political division. He shared that he was struggling far more than ever to keep his chin up and stay engaged.

 

Christianity Today and Baptists News addressed this issue in recent pieces, also. It’s been a real roller coaster for all of us. Most churches were able to shut down for a few weeks back when the coronavirus started to spread, but when weeks turned to months, we watched the trend affect offerings, ministry to our kids, summer camps, small groups, and pretty much everything else we do.

 

Plenty of churches made the shift to online ministry, but we’re all acknowledging the limitations. There’s an interaction and a camaraderie that you just can’t capture speaking to a camera or watching a video.

 

Plus, it’s an election year here in America. We are bombarded 24/7 with news that politicizes everything from mask wearing to whether we ought to sing in church or receive communion or not.

 

What’s the solution to it all? Who knows? Most of us are struggling to figure it out. It’s just hard. And, as my colleague in ministry so honestly shared, it’s okay that it’s hard. It’s okay that we don’t have all the answers. It’s okay if we’ve stumbled clumsily through the transition to online ministry and how to open our doors again.

 

And, most importantly, it’s okay to grieve the feelings of loss this pandemic has brought to us individually and as a church. Grief is a gift from God that helps us cope with the losses we feel. Perhaps more than ever, we need to encourage one another by acknowledging that it’s just been hard. And we need to lean together on Paul’s words to the Corinthians:

 

We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure.

 

This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

 

That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. 2 Corinthians 4:7–10,16 NLT Or, to put it more simply, “I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never gonna keep me down!” Yes, it’s hard. But, keep the faith. The sun will rise again.

 

Gracefully yours,

Pastor Barbara

A Note From The Moderator

 FINALLY!!! The time has come…

 

Your Executive Board has set a tentative date of September 27th to reopen our building for Worship! We say “tentative” because so many things change so quickly, but that is the day we are planning for. Our Church School will open on October 11th.

 

This is all so exciting! Please know that reopening does not mean a return to normal. It means we just have to do things differently. You will be receiving a letter and other information soon that will explain everything.

 

If you have any questions, please call me. Not only are we preparing the inside, but the outside is going to look awesome! The painters have started doing their magic and should be finished by the time we reopen. Again, this is so exciting!

 

We usually sponsor a Flu Clinic early in October. This year, however, we encourage you to get your flu shot at your doctor’s office or at your pharmacy.

 

Looking forward to seeing you in church or worshipping with you through our live streaming. Our blessings are overflowing!

 

With a grateful heart,

Judy

Notes from the Board of Christian Education

Members of the Board of Christian Education have continued to work many hours in the various classrooms to completely clean all items, books, and surfaces to provide a safe place for your childrens' Christian learning. Each child will receive his/her own box of crayons, markers and/or pencils which will be stored in a sanitized personal pencil box for his/her use throughout the year.

 

Christian Ed has decided to reopen Church School classes tentatively on October 11, 2020 but, unfortunately at this time, we do not feel we will be able to safely open the Nursery. We will inform you of any future changes.

 

Thank you for your understanding.

Corinne Ricketson, Chair of Christian Education

GOD’S ROADSIDE BEGGARS by Mary Ackroyd

Ever since college I’ve been involved in social justice issues. And recently, since the deaths of George Floyd and John Lewis, I’ve been wanting to do more particularly in relation to the poor. I asked the Spirit to guide me in finding the perfect way to be of additional help. I received the guidance that I asked for.

 

I was cleaning out my purse one recent morning because it had gotten unusually heavy with coins I’d carelessly dropped inside. It occurred to me as I did so, that this money, upwards of three or four dollars, would be appreciated by people who were in deep financial distress. I thought of the individuals that have taken their place in the public eye begging along the roadside.

 

My attitude towards them until fairly lately, had been tinged with mistrust-suspecting them of wanting money for alcohol or drugs. Recently, however, I‘d read something the Catholic Pope had said about it. He’d encouraged generosity in giving and suggested letting God worry about how the money would be spent. This softened my outlook considerably and relieved me of my harsh, judgmental unkindness towards these unfortunates.

 

The Spirit was bringing my guidance into focus, I decided to give all my change as well as my change purse to one of these roadside beggars. I now had a sense that they were God’s roadside beggars.

 

One day as I was out doing errands, I had the sense that it was time for my small gift to be given. I kept my eyes open for the right opportunity. Soon I found myself pulling into position right next to one of these individuals with the traffic light turning red. This was my chance.

 

When I held my arm and the change purse out of the window, he saw me and came over. I told him that I wanted to give him all my change and the change purse too. He took it and thanked me. He told me his name was David when I asked. He had a softly kind air about him but also seemed weary. I told him my name was Mary, smiled and got ready to leave. As I did so he hustled up next to my window and said “There’s a key in here. Do You want it?” I took the key as I pulled away not knowing how it had gotten mixed in with the coins or what it might open.

 

I had a sense that the key was a gift from the Spirit and that I was to figure out it’s significance and meaning. For days I pondered this question. I believe that more of the answer about the key will be revealed as I interact with more of Gods roadside beggars. For now, I believe that giving my little gift of change is the key to increasingly opening my heart and awareness to this segment of the population. My awareness will grow and it will be a blessing to me as well as to the recipients of my change and change purses. May it be so!

A Note from Milly Smith

I am an essential worker in a nursing home. I have been employed there for 25 years. I am a member of Oak Lawn Community Baptist Church, Pastor Barbara has asked me to say a few words about what it has been like to be an essential worker in a nursing home.

 

It has been a very challenging time. We have faced many obstacles in implementing the directives from Governor Raimondo, Dept of Health and CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services). These directives affected all of us – the residents, the families and the staff. We were all affected on different levels.

 

The residents were isolated from their families early on. Residents have felt secluded, alone and scared. Their daily routine has been turned upside down. They have not been able to have group activities or spend in person time with their families. Activity staff has been able to provide face time so that there has been some connection with their families.

 

Several residents were infected with the coronavirus, scared and uncertain as to what was to happen. Even after recovery it has affected them both mentally and physically. And some of the residents have lost their friends to this virus. Families have been shut off from their loved ones. Although they have been able to see their loved ones on a computer screen, they long to see them in person, to give them a hug, to give them a kiss, just to see for themselves that they really are okay. Family members wait patiently until they are allowed once again to visit their loved ones.

 

Staff has been devastated by the coronavirus – caring for sick residents, holding their hands to comfort them, reassuring them things will be okay. Staff also worked short as employees were afraid and scared to work, and some tested positive with the virus and were unable to work.

 

Several employees worked double shifts to help out their coworkers, causing exhaustion both physically and mentally. Prior to the major outbreak, there was an uncertainty as to how this virus would impact the residents and the staff, fear of the unknown. Many expressed concern about how to protect themselves and the residents from this virus.

 

I was infected with the coronavirus. I had to isolate myself from my family for 14 days. I was fortunate that the virus did not affect my respiratory system, however caused extreme fatigue. I was able to work from home when I was not sleeping which was most of the day. However, I missed the residents as they are part of my extended family. Working from home I had no contact with the residents – it was difficult as I was not able to talk with them, not able to see how they were doing during all of this.

 

It was also difficult because I was not there physically to help support my co-workers. My prayers and thoughts were with both my co workers and the residents, praying for their strength and well being during this time.

 

Many people have been supportive of the essential workers in nursing homes through prayer and fellowship, staying connected with each other through phone calls and texts . As a community many have pulled together to provide meals for the workers, provide necessary PPE and other items. God does not give us more than we can handle. Through His strength and our faith we will weather the storm.

Annual Church Life Report

2018-2019 Annual Church Life Report full[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [2.2 MB]
Annual Church Life Report 2017-2018
Report is available to download here:
2017-2018 Annual Church Life Report full[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [346.2 KB]

Worship Service

Sundays, 9:30am ET

Contact Us

Oak Lawn Community Baptist Church

229 Wilbur Avenue

Cranston, RI 02921-1016

Phone: 401 944-0864

 

Pastor: The Rev. Barbara DaCosta

 

Or use our contact form.

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