oaks parish is guided by fOur core values:
The Gospel of Grace
It's been said that "it's not a matter of if we will worship, it's a matter of who we will worship." This points to the crucial question "where will we place our identity?" At Oaks Parish we experience holistic flourishing through the person and work of Christ. Such renewal challenges and disrupts self-governance and results in the reception of God's liberating grace. This good news is commonly referred to as "the gospel". Different from both religion and irreligion, the gospel leads to human flourishing for every person.
We want to be a church woven into the fabric of our city. Think about the church in Van Gogh's "Starry Night" but with the light on inside. We believe that God can work most abundantly when His story is rooted in the story of people and place. Moreover, the opportunity to live out our faith in a local context has profound economic, sociological and environmental impact.
You will probably never find yourself living at a monastery, but monastic practice has much to teach us about sacred formative rhythms. Such rhythms are often referred to as "liturgies" and are not only present in the church, but as scholar Jamie Smith points out, "cultural liturgies" profoundly shape our everyday life. During the course of a week we all find ourselves calling out to something in worship, singing a lifegiving melody, trying to assuage our guilt, and attempting to live with some mission in mind. As a community of Christ it is our vision that the liturgical practice of gathered worship on Sunday will pervade and shape our scattered practice throughout the week.
The greek term "oikos" holds meaning that we can't quite capture in a single English word. In the New Testament (Acts 2) we observe the embryonic church living life together as a diverse extended family. This family had structured and scheduled rhythms such as temple worship gatherings. Yet they also lived according to organic rhythms during other parts of the week that included engaging the truth of Scripture, growing more deeply as friends and sacrificing for the community-at-large. Thousands of years later, here in Southeast Portland our urban parish naturally fosters diversity along the lines of age, race, socio-economic status, vocation, family structure and gifting. It's through placing our identity in Christ that we're able to become a transcultural people who experience transformation as a lifestyle together.