Volunteer Tutors Needed!

September 22, 2017  
Filed under Events

Did you know over 60% of Oakland third-graders read below grade level?  An hour or two a week is all it takes to invest in the life of a struggling student.  You are invited to join a Succeeding by Reading Clinic tutor team!  For over 5 years, Convergence has taken part in this ministry by serving students at Martin Luther King Elementary School.  Please contact Joe if you are interested in volunteering this year.  

Upcoming Tutor Trainings:
Sat, Sept 23, 9:00 – 11am
Sat, Oct 7, 9:00 – 11:30am
Tues, Oct 17, 3:00 – 5:30pm
Sat, Nov 4, 9:00 – 11:30am

*Training take place at Faith Network of the East Bay – 2633 Telegraph Ave, #412, Oakland, CA 94612

Gratitude

September 22, 2017  
Filed under Pulse

“Reluctance says I have to give something. Gratitude says I have something to give.”

These words spoken by Gary Walter, the president of our denomination, has continued to resonate deeply within me since I heard them earlier this year. Since then, passages that speak of rootedness in Christ, meditating on God’s words day and night, trusting in God alone, and being powered by the Spirit… all have taken on new and very critical meanings.

A scarcity mindset is often the result of very real challenges in our lives that consume our attention while distancing us from God’s presence, power, and purposes. I have experienced much of this as of late. But this mindset is also detrimental as it manifests itself in a posture of reluctance with very little gratitude, if any.

The thing is, when the stakes are low and life feels manageable, its easy to talk or think about God and spirituality as something outside of us. But when we are pushed to our limits and life begins to feel less manageable, it is then when we must realize that God was never meant to occupy the space around our lives, but allowed the sacred space within that breathes continuous and overflowing life into everything we say and do.

My hope and prayer for us all is that we would experience and live out lives of gratitude. I don’t mean a visible gratitude of course with fake smiles or happy status updates. But rather a deep and overflowing gratitude that is rooted in the reality that God is sovereign, merciful, powerful, and relentlessly faithful no matter what we face.

Lastly, know that if God calls you into something that is outside of your resources, chances are it is intentional so that you will learn to draw from something greater than yourself to accomplish it (hint: THE HOLY SPIRIT!!!!!!!!!!!).

Your brother and servant in Christ,
Kevin

Minor Prophets Sermon Series

August 14, 2017  
Filed under Uncategorized

Tuesday Lunchtime Devotions

July 1, 2017  
Filed under Events, Pulse

Join us each Tuesday afternoon at 12:30pm for video chat devotions! We will discuss a selection of Scripture and pray for one another during this 30 minute gathering. All are welcome – please install the free BlueJeans app and join via https://bluejeans.com/210084043.  Please contact Pastor Kevin or Diana with any questions.

Project Peace: Day of Service

February 21, 2017  
Filed under Events

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Project Peace: Day of Service

Saturday, August 19th, 9AM-12PM

 

A Day of Service is a volunteer service opportunity coordinated by Project Peace East Bay to bring together local faith-based groups, non-profit organizations, and East Bay social service providers.

Project Peace’s hope is that through these partnerships our local East Bay communities will become more environmentally, economically and socially sustainable.

A Day of Service involves community “sweat equity.” Days of Service last from 9AM – Noon, 4 to 5 Saturday’s a year. Landscaping, classroom book “leveling”, construction, painting, organizing, cleaning up a watershed, mural painting, and more include some of the projects we take on at a Day of Service.

On Saturday, August 19th, we will be serving with Project Peace at Harbor House. There will be street parking only. Please wear clothes suitable for some manual labor! Address is 1811 11th Avenue in Oakland.

 

Gents/Group Camping

July 3, 2017  
Filed under Events

Gents Camping is being organized by Kevin and we’re looking for at least 15 people to join us. We have extra gear so just let us know if you’re interested and we’ll make it happen. We’ll arrive Friday afternoon and checkout Saturday noon. Call or text 510-463-1011 for more information. *** We are also currently gauging interest to see if EVERYONE wants to attend, not just the gents. Kids are welcome, too!

Approachable!

December 12, 2016  
Filed under Pulse

nativity

Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. – Hebrews 7:25

Dear Convergence Family,

There is a little over two weeks until Christmas!  I don’t know about you, but this year has flown by at a rapid pace.  It’s amazing that 2016 will come to a close soon.  What a year it has been!  I am grateful for this Advent season as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ!  I am definitely in need of His hope daily.
 
Lately, I have been reflecting on how Jesus entered the world.  I think that I had gotten so used to looking at the image of the nativity scene, that the impact of what God was doing was not hitting me.  Jesus was conceived out of wedlock and born to a virgin teenage mother.  He was born next to farm animals and his first crib was a feeding trough.  The thought of this does not seem as glamorous as the nativity scene images and sets that I see all around this time of year.  Having a child of my own, the idea of him being born near animals and sleeping in a manger saddens me.  Why would God allow His son, the savior of our world, to be born in such a manner?

Jesus’ humble birth conveys a powerful message to us.  Instead of being born in a palace, protected by large gates and guards, he was born in meekness as one of us.  He is approachable and available.  God comes to us!  How beautiful is it that the first people to see Jesus are not rulers or distinguished folks, but shepherds!  As we continue through this season of Advent, let us be reminded of the hope that is in Christ.  We can approach God, because he approached us first!  He tears down walls to make himself available to us!
Grace and Peace,

Pastor Joe

Christmas Eve Service!

December 12, 2016  
Filed under Uncategorized

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Christmas falls on a Sunday this year so we will be holding a worship service on Christmas Eve.  Join us on December 24th at the West Oakland Senior Center at 5pm for a special Christmas Eve service.  We will then enjoy a time of fellowship afterward with a potluck dinner and white elephant gift exchange, so please join us with a tasty dish and a gift to share as well!

We want to encourage folks to invite others, especially in our surrounding community.  If you are willing, please bring an extra gift for our visitors to take part in the gift exchange.  We will start collecting extra gifts this Sunday at service.  Please limit your gift amount to $15.

Convergence Retreat 2016

November 28, 2016  
Filed under Events

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In the first weekend of December our church spent the weekend at Mount Hermon in hopes to get away from the busyness of everyday life and to spend some concentrated and restful time before God and with one another.  We are incredibly thankful for all of the individuals who met months in advance to plan this event for us.  These volunteers met regularly and worked hard in different areas including: identifying retreat location, lodging, finding our wonderful retreat speaker, leading worship sessions, taking pictures, designing print materials, preparing drinks and snacks, transporting and setting up equipment  for our children and adult services, and creating the awesome Rooted swag.  The list goes on!

Becca Hu led the entire process and she has been receiving wonderful stories and testimonies from the retreat attendees.  We are grateful for the ways God blessed us during our weekend together.  If you would like to share your experiences from the retreat or would also like to share some thanks and encouragement to the retreat volunteers, you can send those to Becca directly and she’ll make sure the team gets it.  Go ahead and send it to her email at rebeccacrafthu@gmail.com.

A Seed

May 6, 2016  
Filed under Pulse

mustardseed

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”  He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.” Luke 17: 5-6
There is a story about a minister who sought out Mother Teresa for prayer in regards to God’s plan for his life.  She agreed to pray for him, but not for what he asked.  Mother Teresa told the minister that she would pray for him to have faith because it was faith that he needed.  She shared that if God had revealed His full plan to her when she was younger, she would have been too frightened to leave her convent and serve the first person she met in the slums of Calcutta.
In the beginning of Luke chapter 17, we read Jesus’ warnings about sin, the necessity of forgiveness, and the power of faith.  Jesus was not concerned with the size of faith as much as if faith was present.  It is not a faith of what I want, but a trust that what God provides is good and sufficient.  This may be a faith to endure rejection.  It may be trusting God for discernment.  It may be standing firm in wherever God has me trusting that He is with me and his grace endures.
I struggle with change and when change needs to happen or is thrust upon me, I claw for any control that I can get.  I’ve realized this most as a parent.  Through challenges and difficult prognoses, I have found myself at times not seeking God out of fear of being disappointed or let down.  The unknown at times seems impossibly overwhelming.  As I let this scripture sink in, there is peace knowing that I can turn over my doubts and my fears and God will hold it and grow something beyond my own understanding.  I don’t need to know the plan as much as I need to possess a seed of faith.
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Joe

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