Easter Egg Hunt!

April 2, 2017 by  
Filed under Events, KidsTown

Convergence Re-Launch!

June 27, 2015 by  
Filed under News, Pulse

Relaunch

Dear Convergence Leader, Member, Attendee, and/or Visitor,

For those of you who could not attend our member meeting on June 14th, we wanted to share the main thrust of the meeting with you, which had to do with the future of our church and the vision for a “re-launch.”

We began with a re-sharing of our vision and mission:

Our vision is God converging with our lives, changing us to change the world.

Our mission is to hear God, know God, and respond to God.

This is not something that is new for us. It’s not a new direction for us. This is not something that I made up.  This is what I believe to be the word of God that came to me and that inspired the launch of Convergence in the first place.  Why our vision and mission are so crucial to our future is that they undergird everything that we do as a faith community.  We long to see God influence every aspect of our lives and believe that in order to accomplish this, we must hear Him, know Him, and respond to Him.   Our hope is to live out God’s calling for us individually and collectively as a church with faithfulness and perseverance.

Why Re-Launch?

When churches are planted, there are a few characteristics that are deemed to be indicators of health:

  1. A launch team of about 35-40 people.
  2. Planting in the vicinity of the sending church (within 50 miles).
  3. The character of the church planter.

Convergence didn’t have the first or the second characteristic, and the third one (as many of you have come to know) was questionable. 😉  In any case, after seven years of ministry, growing every which way, we are now in a season where we are considering a re-launch.  There is a concept for toddlers called, “parallel play.”  Parallel play is when toddlers are doing their own thing next to each other thinking that they’re playing with each other. In some ways, I feel that this describes our church.  We have so many humble and faithful servants of God who are pouring out their lives faithfully in their respective ministries, but many of us feel alone in our mission and ministry. Also, there have been many people who have had a challenging time connecting with the church members on a deeper level.  All of this is a natural occurrence that many churches face over time.  This is why I believe that now is the time for us to gather together as a whole family and re-launch our church.

The church is God’s missional force in this world. The church is what God uses to fulfill His redemptive work. And now, we have the opportunity to establish ourselves as an enduring faith community that will last far into the future.  We have the opportunity to love one another as we experience God’s love to us in Christ Jesus.  We have the opportunity to pour our lives into something that is greater than us and simultaneously life-giving to us.  I believe that God is doing something absolutely amazing in our church right now.  I believe that He is calling us to hear Him, know Him, and respond to Him.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ moves and is on the move.  It begins in God, makes itself manifest in Jesus Christ, and empowers you and me through the Holy Spirit living and moving in us.  This movement of God in us is illustrated in Jesus’ final words in this world:

6 So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?7 He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywherein Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. – Acts 1:6-8

With all of this being said, we are asking for people who feel called to this new movement at Convergence to commit to being a part of this new launch team.  So far, we have 29 committed people who have said yes this past Sunday and we believe that there are more that will be committing through this week as word gets out.

Jeff Chou, one of our Convergence elders, has felt called to lead the strategic implementation of this re-launch and has laid out a brief outline of what this process will look like below.  We don’t have everything figured out. Why? One of our core tenets is to hear God.  This is a continual aspect of our lives and this is what we will continue to do as we move forward.  We do, however, know that we feel convicted to move forward in this re-launch process and that our God is faithful and good!!!

 

Stepping out in faith with you,

 

Pastor Bobby

 

Outline of Re-Launch Process

We’re planning the re-launch to happen in 3 phases.  We’re calling these phases “Listening & Learning”, “Planning”, and finally, “Launching”.  Each phase lasts between 2-4 months.

In the “Listening & Learning” phase we’ll be going through time of hearing from God, hearing from each other, assessing where we are as a church, and who we are as people.  The church is going to be investing in us by sending us to a leadership conference in August.

We’ll then move into a phase of “Planning” what Convergence 2.0 will look like.  This phase will be characterized by more frequent meetings, which will include planning church service and ministries logistically, but also times of fellowship and breaking bread together.  For a period of 6 weeks in September and October, we will be meeting twice a week.  Once on Sunday afternoon, and once during the mid week.  We’re asking people on the re-launch team to commit to attending at least 4 of the 6 weeks of this intensive.

The “Launching” phase starts on November 1st, and will run through January of 2016.  We’ll roll out our new service and ministries format, and have a couple months to tweak and fine tune things as we go along.

The elder team at Convergence would love to serve with any and all who feel called to join this process.  We believe that our church is comprised of uniquely gifted individuals whom God will use to shape and define the future of the church.  The elder team has no preconceived notions as to what the church should look like at the re-launch – this is truly an opportunity to create alongside brothers and sisters in Christ.

It is definitely not a light commitment.  We believe that along this journey we will be challenged into better listening to, knowing, and responding to God.  It is through our response that we hope to re-launch a church to reach the lost and give hope to the hopeless.

If you feel that God is calling you into committing to the re-launch team, please contact Jeff (jeff.chou@gmail.com or 510-676-7447), and we will be in touch with next steps!

 

Leading the charge,

 

Jeff

Full Color!

March 9, 2015 by  
Filed under Pulse

It’s about 2:00 in the afternoon on a weekday, and it’s about this time of day where I find myself reaching for another cup of coffee and taking a quick break from work. My not-so-secret break habit? Reading blogs. I have a whole bookmarked list of my favorite websites, mostly ranging from beautiful photography blogs and tasty cooking forums to interior decorating tips and savvy street style lady authors. This is my version of eye candy, it serves as inspiration as well as a nice mental getaway, and I love it. 

Lately in this season of Lent, I’ve been taking inventory of all my habits and felt a gentle nudging from God to reconsider what I fill my mind’s eye with– in particular the voices and lives I allow to inform me, in the times I’m “on” but especially when I’m in break mode. In particular I found myself taking a hard look of the list of bloggers I follow and am drawn to. Turns out, I read and enjoy the narratives of upper middle class white ladies who have sun-filled living rooms, perfectly dressed children and intricately executed art projects that they just “threw together” with items they foraged from a walk through the forest or somewhere. The thought struck me: what a wonderful but incredibly monochrome and limited worldview that has somehow become a high and narrow ideal of beauty and value.

This has led me to realize that God is challenging me to see the world He’s made and actively restoring in full living color. For me that has meant intentionally diversifying the range of voices and stories I surround myself with, both online in the blogosphere but also in my community. To see more of God’s beauty and work I personally need to read perspectives from men, from people of every ethnicity and culture, to hear the narratives of people of different classes and economic standings, to read and listen to people across theological and sociological differences.
In our church community, I am constantly struck by the differences that exist– economic and cultural differences, gender and differences in life stage, and even differences across recreational interests are all there. At times it is easy to be connected to people who share an affinity for where we live, what we love, and how we communicate. Even Facebook knows this and has cleverly done magical things with the Newsfeed to bring to you only the best of what you love and who you already tend to pay attention to. However, the truth is that I need to be also intentionally in community with those who are not like me and who think differently than I do. I need the other voices to help shape who I am and to continually challenge me to rethink and realize how big God is. The collage of lived experiences of all of us hold a bigger and a better narrative of who God is.

To see God’s beauty, I must expand my human standard of what is beautiful. I desire to be shaped by experiences and people who are different than I am because that allows me to humbly see more of God and be open to His power at work around me. My prayer is that God would help us be a community of people that needs one other because of the various ways we each reflect a unique piece of God in our lived experience.

Whose perspectives do you listen to, read, and allow into your life? How can other voices shape and inform you?

Becky Luoh

Full Color

Come Join Us this Sunday Evening!

October 29, 2014 by  
Filed under Pulse

Renovate_SimpleGraphic Dear Convergence Family,

 

In case you haven’t heard, we are having a gathering on November 2nd from 5pm to 8pm called “Renovate.”  What is this? and Why are we doing this?

 

In any journey, there comes a moment when it is both healthy and necessary to pause, reflect, reassess, and adjust.  We’re about to begin our seventh year as a church and I believe that we are at that moment.  There are things to be pruned, things to be cultivated, and new things to be imagined! In order to grow into the future as a healthy and vibrant church, we need all of us as a diverse and unified body of Christ to pour into the establishing of our church for the future.  We need our whole presence and our whole participation so that we can truly be a whole church.  Even if you’ve joined our church in the last week, this is an opportunity to jump in and be a part of shaping our future.

 

You can find details for “Renovate” (how to RSVP, location, time, etc.) HERE.  I really want to encourage you to RSVP and join us!

 

 

In partnership with you,

 

 

Pastor Bobby

 

RENOVATE!!!

October 29, 2014 by  
Filed under Events

Renovate_SimpleGraphicWHO: Everyone who calls Convergence their church community.

WHAT: This will be an event that will be our launching pad for 2015. Our purpose is to share a meal together, fellowship, hear each others’ experiences of Convergence (good and bad), testify of God’s movement in our lives, and envision our future.

WHY: In any journey, there comes a moment when it is both healthy and necessary to pause, reflect, reassess, and adjust.  We’re about to begin our seventh year as a church and we are at that moment.  There are things to be pruned, things to be cultivated, new things to be imagined! In order to grow into the future as a healthy and vibrant church, we need all of you.  We need your whole presence and your whole participation so that we can truly be a whole church.  Even if you’ve joined our church in the last week, this is the opportunity to jump in and be a part of shaping our future.

WHEN: November 2 from 5pm-8pm.

WHERE: West Oakland Senior Center (1724 Adeline St.)

HOW: RSVP HERE.

 

Family Night!

September 18, 2014 by  
Filed under Events

FNOct2014

Please join us on Thursday, September 25th for Family Night!!  We will be doing a scavenger hunt!  Dinner will begin at 6PM and we will be doing the scavenger hunt from 6:45-7:30PM.  If you have any questions or are interested in joining the Family Night team, please contact Rebecca at rebeccacrafthu@gmail.com.

 

Beautiful and Eternal!

May 9, 2014 by  
Filed under Pulse

maui

Dear Convergence Family,

I was so blessed to be able to officiate the wedding of Stephen and Kathy Mew this past weekend in Maui! It was absolutely beautiful. As I was enjoying spending time with the Convergence folks that were able to make it out and reflecting on Stephen and Kathy’s journey to marriage, I was deeply encouraged. It is so encouraging to know that Jesus has been, is, and will continue to work through our church to form marriages, birth new life, and restore relationships with God and with one another. It was such a testament to the life giving nature of Christ’s body – Convergence.

I want to encourage you to take one step closer in engaging with the church. If you’ve been following us from a distance (online), I encourage you to join us for worship on Sunday (10:30am at DeFremery Park, Oakland). If you’ve been attending our services on Sunday, I encourage you to join a Life Group (http://convergeoakland.org/life-groups/). If you’ve been attending service and are part of a Life Group, I encourage you to serve and pursue covenant membership with Convergence (http://convergeoakland.org/serving/). Only God knows what the future holds. But I am certain that following Him will lead us to that which is both beautiful and eternal.

In His Amazing Grace,

Pastor Bobby

A Call to Remembrance

March 20, 2013 by  
Filed under Pulse

This week’s Pulse is from Pastor Dominique Gilliard

As we’ve been exploring what it means to exist in the wilderness this Lenten season, I’ve continuously found myself reflecting on our propensity to be coerced into seeing ourselves, our neighbor, and God in distorted ways in the midst of the wilderness. When this occurs our vision becomes blurred; we become people who see ourselves as unworthy of love, who see our neighbors as exploitable means to our own personal gain, and who see God as an unloving Father whose love is not only conditional like our own, but also becomes prone to abandon us in our deepest times of despair.

In reflecting on this, I’m even more convinced of our necessity to be immersed within the Word of God and deeply invested in Christian community! We are a people, as the hymn Come Thou Fount says, who are “Prone to wander…Prone to leave the God we love”. Because of this, we need to be anchored in Scripture and surrounded by faithful friends who are sold out for God. These two foundational pillars of the Christian life will serve as crucial reminders to us concerning God’s faithfulness, even in the midst of our own unfaithfulness. These two sources of support will serve as essential accountability measures for us, constantly and intentionally reminding us of God’s presence with us, reminding us of who and whose we are, and what we are ultimately called to be.

These reflections remind me of the imperative role that remembrance plays throughout the biblical narrative, and in light of this, I think that it’s no coincidence that Lent’s observance coincides with the commemoration of both Women & Black History Months. These two months, in part, represent what is known as the “unholy trinity”: sexism, racism, and classism. These social stratifications are evidence of our distorted thirst. When we see the world and each other with blurred vision that’s distorted by Satan and the ways of this world, we dehumanize others and this infringes upon the biblical truth of the Imago Dei, that all humanity is equally endowed with the Image of God. As a consequence of these transgressions, the “isms” of the “unholy trinity” have become societal norms. The entrenched presence of these social stratifications are an indictment upon the Church. This harsh reality should summon us into a time of reflection and lament this Lenten season. We should spend time at the foot of the cross asking for revelation concerning our culpability in either attributing value to and detracting value from people based off their embodiment (physical appearance). This is not of God, it is not how God sees us, nor is it how we are supposed to see or respond to each other. The truth is that it’s sinful, but it is also a frequent, yet unacknowledged component of our daily lives.

Let us become a people who are increasingly intentional and cognizant about turning to God in humility and repentance concerning the ways we live into social norms, both consciously and unconsciously. Let us also find encouragement in knowing that this is not a new phenomenon; we even see biblical figures struggling with this in numerous places in both the Old and New Testament, specifically in Numbers 12, and Acts 6, just to name two occurrences. In both of situations, its only through intentionally turning to God in repentance and prayer that people were able to find the strength needed to resists the urge to continue to conform to their social norms of demarcating individuals based upon issues of embodiment. We have to be intentional as a people of God today about probing our hearts, minds, and souls to explore where we may have given into the temptation of abiding by societal norms. In a world where discrimination is normative, we are called to be maladjusted to the status quo. In a society where the realities of the “unholy trinity” are so deeply rooted that we even find its remnants in the life of the Church, we must become even more intentional about relying on the promises of God. Scripture assures us that God has defeated once and for all the powers and the principalities of this world, so we know that sin now only has the power that we afford it. We are now a free people who have the choice to live by the Spirit, to follow the road less traveled, following the path carved out by Jesus, the second Adam, as opposed to the first fleshly Adam.

Pastor Dominique

Ladies Night- Let’s Go Bowling!

October 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Events, News

Calling all women of Convergence! It’s time for our monthly Women’s Ministry Gathering! This month we’re going bowling at Albany Bowl on Saturday, October 22, 2011 from 6-8:30PM. Please RSVP with Becca at rebecca@convergeoakland.org or call (510) 463-1011. See you there!

Life Groups Launch October 2011

October 5, 2011 by  
Filed under News

Convergence Life Group

October is an exciting month as four Life Groups are launching at Convergence!  Life Groups are smaller groups of people that meet during the week to learn what it means to follow Christ, share life and love, and serve one another and the community.  You can learn more about Life Groups and all of the details to get connected on our website http://convergeoakland.org/life-groups/

Life group launch dates are: October 10, 13, and 20, 2011– don’t miss out!

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