Dear Oakland Family,
     I want to first thank all of you for your prayers and support during my absence and my illnesses.  It was tough, but God is tougher!  Also, Yesi and I want to thank you for praying for her and our kids through their issues while trying to come back to Georgia from their vacation in the Republic of Panama.  They were delayed 10 days due to a little known Panamanian immigration law, but we were able to get the paperwork to her to come back home.  We really appreciate and love our Oakland family!  This is a church filled with authentic love, and God does many great things in and through the fine folks here.
Well, August is here, summer vacation is coming to an end, and school days are taking its place.  But that does not mean that ministry slows down!  In my experience, August is actually a time when the church ministries are “taken off the ice and put onto the fire”.  According to the Bible, every Christian has been given at least one spiritual gift to use in service to the body of Christ: “Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve others, as good stewards of the varied grace of God”. (1 Peter 4:10, CSB)  God does not ask us to serve; He commands us to do so.  What a joy and honor it is to serve our amazing God and one another!
And so I want to encourage all of us to review the church calendar, the bulletins, and the website to find out the opportunities that exist for using our God-given spiritual gifts this coming month and months.  Then pray about it.  If God moves you to serve in a particular area, go to that ministry leader and let them know, let me know, or call the church office to find out with whom you should speak.  “For just as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many, are one body - so also is Christ”. (1Cor. 12:12)  Have a blessed August!

In His love,
Stephen Littleton, Minister of Education & Counseling