Don't rush the rain

There’s something about the rain that can remind of us his presence.
There’s a peace that comes in the quiet of it. 
The rain brings a hush, a stillness. 
A whispered reminder of contentment.

If you didn’t stop to see it or listen to hear it, you might miss it.
But it’s there, falling gently-every drop sent to nurture, to quench, to satisfy.
Without the rain, there is no growth. 
Life cannot be sustained without it.

Sometimes we want to rush the rain. We’re too busy. We don’t have time.
Not so with nature. Nature never rushes. It remains. 
Nature waits to absorb every nutrient the rain will bring.
Somehow nature trusts the rain and its goodness.

Like the rain brings the nutrients to nature,
His presence brings the nurturing our souls long for.
Every drop of his presence is meant to sustain us. 
There is no substitute that can satisfy.


Don't rush the rain. Be still. 
Trust his timeliness and rest in his goodness.
There is beauty in his perfect provision.
His presence is life.

Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain?
Do the skies themselves send down showers?
No. It is you, O Lord our God.
Therefore our hope is in you,

for you are the one who does all this.
Jeremiah 14:22

May He come down like rain upon the mown grass,
like showers that water the earth!
Psalm 72:6

One morning last week, I was watching and listening to the rain gently falling
and it reminded me of God’s presence. While there are certainly times that we feel God’s presence, there are also times when we have to stop and remind ourselves that we can also KNOW his presence.

Encountering God’s presence isn’t just an experience. Experiences are not bad things, but they
generally come with expectations that are often tied to emotion and circumstance. 
For this reason, experiences can become misleading if we aren't careful.
His presence is not confined to a particular church building or service. It is not dependent on a certain worship song, sermon or prayer.

Biblically centered worship reminds us that his truth stands secure whether we feel it or not.
The truth and promises of his word are not dependent on our circumstance or location. 
His truth remains long after feelings and emotions fade.

His presence is something to KNOW. (Joshua 1:9; Isaiah 43:1-3; Matthew 28:20)

As a Christ follower, you can be assured of his presence because he lives within you. 
He is always with us, so he is everywhere we are.
Knowing that can change everything!

At Five Oaks, our services are Biblically-centered. Each service is formed around specific movements that prepare our hearts to listen and respond to God’s word, so that we can live our lives on mission by bringing the story of God to life. These movements translate to our every day lives and equip us to find our place in God’s story as we seek to worship him with our whole lives by learning to be disciples who make disciples.

-Aimee Thornton
Worship Team
























































News from Impact

Thank you from Karen VBS

Thanks to all who donated backpacks to needy Karen children and helped out in the VBS that took place August 6-8. We collected 85 backpacks, and 131 children attended the VBS, aided by 47 volunteers. You blessed many families! Twenty-four children made first-time decisions to follow Christ. Below is a picture of the cross you'll see in the Commons this weekend at Five Oaks. Kids at the Karen VBS each put their thumbprint on a small wooden heart charm, which signified that they were unique and special to God. Those kids who wanted to live their life for Christ went up and hung their heart on the cross.

Feed My Starving Children “Pack at the Park”


Target Field has been the site of both agony and ecstasy for the Twins this summer, but on September 20 you will be able to bless the most vulnerable of children by going there to pack nutritious, desperately-needed meals. The meals will be shipped to partners working hard to reach the neediest children around the world.

We have only 200 slots, so register soon!

Date:     Wednesday, September 20
Time:     5:30-7:30 PM
Place:    Target Field, downtown Minneapolis

Want to sign up to help? Click here to volunteer.

What is Five Oaks doing in Berlin?

Dennis and Nicole DeBruyn, Reach Global workers in Berlin, will visit Five Oaks August 26 and 27 to share with us about church planting, leadership development, and neighborhood outreach in this strategic, multicultural city.  We look forward to the opportunity to meet them in the Commons learn more about their ministry!

Upcoming Impact Opportunities

Dorothy Day – prepare and serve a meal
Saturday, Sept 2, 9:30 AM -1:15 PM
For details and to register, please email

SALT ESL Training (SALT=Somali Adult Literacy Training)
Saturday, September 9, 8:30 AM – 2:00 PM, Bethlehem Baptist Church
For information:

Feed My Starving Children Mobile Pack – Target Field
Wednesday, September 20, 5:30-7:30 PM (more information above in this blog)

Click this link to reserve your spot:

Kids Hope USA Mentor
Get informed and sign-up in September
For information:


Kevin Johnson, Impact Director

Drawing to its close

I was walking through my local Target, watching them stock the shelves with all the school supplies needed for the next season of the year, and I couldn't help but feel like this season was already drawing to its close. 

I didn't have enough time! How could this season already be ending? I haven't made the impact that I set out to make in this time! I haven't done all that I wanted to do. 

Is anyone else in this moment of panic or is it just me?

As I try to focus the blur of the last few weeks of summer and tighten my mind on the upcoming season of fall and a new ministry year, I can't help but bring back to my view the opportunity of impact that we have with the privilage to be in young people's lives. The whirlwind of summer, admittedly, left me asking the question, is what I am doing worth it? 

God had a definite answer for me this last week. 

Last weekend we had our outdoor Baptism service and as I stood waiting for the first young person to be baptized, I whispered a prayer for them. However,  God wanted me to see what He had for me in this moment.. and I looked up and saw the joy on the parents faces that thier children were making such an important step and declaration in thier life, it became real to me again. It matters! What we do for young people matters. 

Story after story during the service, the young people talked about thier VBS teachers or others and the impact they had on them that led to thier decision of wanting to be baptized! 

See, it's easy to get caught in the whirlwind of life, work and distraction of time in a way that causes us to so easily miss the meaning of it all! We can miss seeing young people with the eyes of Jesus. We can miss the fact that we GET to pray for young people to find thier IDENTITY in Christ! To BELONG in His church! That they have a PUROPSE in His mission!

“What we do for young people matters! Don’t miss it!”

I almost missed it, caught in the narrow view of my own short time. Thank you Lord, for helping me see that it matters!

If you want to help show young people that they matter by helping to teach them to fall in the love with the Word of God, we are beginning our scheduling of teachers and helpers for the upcoming ministry year and would love to hear from you. Please contact myself (Rhiannon: or Cindy ( to ask for more information about how you can come alongside parents and reach out to thier kids to make a difference in the lives of young people.  



A donated backpack + your time = a huge gift


We are wrapping up our Karen backpack drive this weekend! Please return all backpacks filled with school supplies to Five Oaks by Sunday, July 30. (Yes, you may bring them to our baptism service on Sunday!) Attached are the lists for supplies needed in both the elementary and the high school aged backpacks. Thank you for your generosity for these Karen children. Many of these kids have only recently arrived in the US and cannot afford to purchase school supplies for their kids in the midst of all the other new expenses they've incurred.

What's even better than knowing you helped some "new kids" feel welcomed with a filled backpack?  Seeing the joy on their faces as they receive these backpacks. You can share this experience by volunteering, alongside the Bryant small group, to help with Karen VBS on August 6-8, 6:30-8 pm each night. This is a low-key, relationship-focused serving opportunity, one that requires no VBS-leading experience.  We'd love your help with things as simple as talking to community members while their kids are participating, helping distribute treats, kicking a soccer ball with youth, or helping kids with crafts and games. The Karen community loves this event and looks forward to our return every year. All ages and families are welcome to help! Interested? Please contact Kristen Bryant,

Weekend of July 15+16

Celebrating Baptism -- Baptism is the outward expression of our inward decision to follow Jesus. In baptism we identify with Jesus, and we identify with the church. As a community of people who follow Jesus, celebrating baptism is a part of how we celebrate following him together. Join us at Five Oaks on July 30, at 10 am in our backyard to celebrate those taking the step of baptism.

Missionary Highlight: Zimmermans

You've heard about and possibly met international students. Here is a story that shows the impact we can have for the kingdom when we engage them.

It's also interesting to note that our missions weekend speaker, after speaking to us, returned to his home country to speak to a church that was formed by believers who had become Christians while studying in or working in the United States and then returned to their home country to share the gospel.

Kevin Johnson
Impact Director

To contact Russ & Di Zimmerman, email them at

Acorn Café Celebrations!

We have such outstanding volunteers here at Five Oaks, that I love when we can take the opportunity to acknowledge them.

Today I’m taking a moment to celebrate Peg Benson, who was our Acorn Café Team Leader for the past SIX years, and Tammy & Gene Sheldon, who have taken over that role this summer.

I’m so grateful for Peg and her family, who have faithfully (and literally!) SERVED our congregation in this position. Peg has shown all of her volunteers and our church family what it means to be a true servant. Her kindness, smile, and listening ear have made the Acorn Café a great place to serve at Five Oaks! We’re thankful that even though Peg won’t leading the Acorn Team any longer, you’ll still see her around, as she has taken on a bigger role with our church staff. Thank you, Peg!

I’m also excited to introduce you to our new Acorn Café leaders – Tammy & Gene Sheldon! They’ve both been fixtures at Acorn Café for a while, so you have likely seen them there. Tammy will be our main leader, our point person for the volunteers, and Gene will handle the training of our new volunteers. They both bring great experience and wonderful enthusiasm for heading up the Acorn Café – the social hub of the church! Welcome, Tammy & Gene - We’re so glad to have you take on this role!

When you see any of these three around, take a minute to say Hi, and thank them for their dedication to Five Oaks!

Until next time…

Pam Hawley
Associate Director of Connections


As parents, we often times have dreams for our kids that will help propel them towards success in life and we only have a very few, short, 18 years to do so. As I have one who just graduated, the hope that I have done this whole parenting gig well is on a continuous roll in my head. I have dreamt of great things for her, big dreams that only God could accomplish through her.  We need to help our kids dream. We need to teach them to dream big and give them opportunity to let them watch God show up in their life. 

Questions that I try to keep in the forefront of my mind, as a children's ministry director, are;  do we, as a church, dream big for our young people? Are we intentionally paying attention to the young people of our church? Are we prioritizing their faith journey inside the walls of our church so they can take the gospel outside to the world around them? Are we allowing God to use us to accomplish His work in their lives?

As we have been studying the life of David through the Gospel Project, I have been taking as many quick moments as I can to take in the activity of our classrooms down in the children's wing. A few weekends ago, I stood outside the lively 2's and 3's classroom and listened as our amazing teachers shared the story of David with the kids. They had a large picture of David and and even larger picture of Goliath hanging on the wall as they told the story with such life that  held these precious little ones attention and excitement. The dreams that I have had for this ministry were coming to life through these volunteers, as it does with many others, and the power of the word of God was alive in the eyes of these young ones. This couple was allowing God to use them to accomplish His work in their young lives.  

I am so thankful for our volunteers that show up week after week for the kids of Five Oaks. They bring the story of God to life in the eyes and hearts of these young ones that will help them create God sized dreams. They intentionally pay attention to these young lives and I couldn't be more grateful. 

As the world around our kids becomes a bigger space, let's, as a church, pray bigger prayers for them, show up in bigger ways for them and help them dream God-sized dreams so that they can watch God show up for them.  Let's continue to be intentional in their lives just as God is in ours.