Exciting Announcement — Twin Oaks Church merges with South Bay Church

We are excited to announce a new chapter for our church family!

Last November the Twin Oaks Elder Team began praying about the future of our ministry in South San Jose. We were grateful for the amazing ways that God has worked in and through our church for many years but knew that it was time to take some radical steps to strengthen our impact in our community.

Throughout this time, the question that drove our conversation was “How can we have the greatest impact in our community?” After months of prayer and conversation, the majority of the elder team believed the answer to that question was by merging with South Bay Church and becoming their South San Jose Campus.

We believed that integrating the resources, strategy and leadership of South Bay into what we are currently doing in South San Jose is going to maximize our impact in the community.

As we explored this together as a church, we were encouraged and affirmed in the step that we believed God was leading us to take. The overwhelming majority of the church expressed their support.

In light of this, on September 22nd, the Elder Team vote passed to officially merge Twin Oaks Church into South Bay Church. Twin Oaks Church is now a member of the South Bay Family! We are very excited about this new chapter and believe that the best days of ministry are ahead of us!

Here’s how you can help: Pray for God’s wisdom and blessing as we plan and execute the transition. Stay engaged by continuing to attend, serve, and give. The participation of every leader and volunteer is crucial to the success of this transition.

And finally, take steps to get connected. You can do this a couple of different ways including visiting South Bay’s website to learn more about our new church family and downloading the South Bay App on your smartphone to begin watching past messages, sign up for upcoming events, and give to the ministry.

Please see the FAQ where you’ll find more information about the transition period.
Let me know if you have questions.

God bless you,

Philip Pattison
Pastor, Twin Oaks Church
TWIN OAKS & SOUTH BAY CHURCH MERGER
Q: How did the merger idea originate?
A: In the midst of this season of intentional prayer and conversation, we were invited by a networking organization, Transforming the Bay with Christ, to begin a dialogue with South Bay Church about the possibility of linking arms in ministry. This led to three and a half months of exploring what it would look like to become part of the South Bay family.

Q: Who is South Bay Church?
A: South Bay Church officially launched in February of 2009, propelled by a vision to start a church that communicates the timeless truths of Scripture in a way that can be practically applied and understood, even for those who felt irreligious and far from God. They began meeting at Don Callejon Elementary School in Santa Clara. After three years, they outgrew the school and moved into the building that is now the North San Jose Campus. South Bay Church has continued to grow and in February of 2014 they launched a second campus in Sunnyvale. Over the last seven years, South Bay Church has been one of the fastest growing churches in the Bay Area (averaging around 1600 in attendance each week) and is seeing hundreds of men, women, and children make decisions to follow Jesus each year. Their stated purpose is to “urgently lead people to say yes to Jesus and passionately follow Him.”

Q: How were Twin Oaks Church attendees involved with this decision?
A: Before a final decision was made we presented the opportunity to the church. We invited the whole church family to join us in a month of prayer and conversation as we continued to seek God’s will. We prayed individually and corporately, held open forums, heard directly from the leaders at South Bay, and we reached out to every family in the church to listen and hear any questions or concerns.

Q: When will this take effect?
A: Twin Oaks is now officially South Bay’s South Campus. This may not be apparent right away, but steps will be taken gradually over the next several months as leaders are trained, new strategies are introduced, equipment and signs are purchased, etc. This transition period will be in preparation for a public “re-launch” as the South San Jose Campus of South Bay Church in early 2016.

Q: What about our staff?
A: Philip Pattison, Joe Newton, and Roxy Newton will be continuing for now in their respective ministries and roles at our South San Jose Campus — Philip will be the Campus Pastor. The staff is very excited about the growth and collaboration that will come from being a part of the South Bay Team.

Q: Should I give my tithes and offerings to Twin Oaks or South Bay?
A: October 4th is the final day to contribute to “Twin Oaks Church”. After this date, all checks should be made to “South Bay Church”. The Twin Oaks online giving will also come to a close on October 4th. Click here to set up online giving with South Bay Church.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20, 21

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Bless a Foster Family – PARENT’S NIGHT OUT

Today, throughout Santa Clara County, over 1,300 children are in the public foster care system, having been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect.   Due to laws and regulations, the County is required to move a child to a placement within 23 hours and 59 minutes of receiving them. The problem is there simply aren’t enough foster homes available. Children are often separated from their brothers and sisters and/or moved to other counties – away from their school, friends, and extended family – which only increases their trauma and heartbreak. County social workers have been vocal regarding this emergency situation and the desperate need for safe, nurturing homes for hundreds of the children in their care.

We believe that the church has an amazing opportunity to be a light for many of these children!   Our hope is that some members of our church would open their homes and their hearts and become licensed foster parents.  But, we know that due to certain life circumstances, that won’t work for many people. Therefore, throughout the year, we have coordinated various ways for our church to get involved.

On September 19, 2015, we are joining with Help One Child to host a Parents Night Out for children in the foster care system and their caretakers.   We are excited to be able to have fun, laugh and be creative with over 60 children in the foster care system.   Even if it is only for a couple hours on a Saturday night, we think that the impact of shining God’s light in their lives, is important.

In order to successfully manage and coordinate this event, we need 40 volunteers!   If we are unable to get that amount, we may have to turn families away. Please join us in volunteering and loving on the foster care community in a tangible way.   For more information, please contact Becky Basulto at beckyb@twinoakschurch.com or come see Becky at the Connection Center after church.

Perspective changes everything.

ocean

I’m so grateful for our community group. On Wednesday night we got together at our home, ate some good food, celebrated a few birthdays, and had a great conversation that centered around “perspective”.

As we were catching up over dinner, several of us shared some challenging areas of our lives. The word “perspective” kept coming up. My wife Jessica then went on to show us a TED Talks clip of Diana Nyad, the 64 year-old woman who swam from Cuba to Florida. She was the first person in history to accomplish the feat without the use of a protective cage. She was swimming for 53 hours. She said that one of the most challenging aspects of the swim was the dark. They were unable to use lights at night because this attracts the sharks and the jellyfish, so Nyad had to swim in pitch black. She said that it was so dark that she was unable to see her hand in front of her face, much less what was swimming around her or below her.

After we watched the video we spent some time comparing and contrasting her story with the Christian journey. We all said that this is what life can feel like sometimes – a long, unpredictable, exhausting, perilous swim just hoping that one day we will reach the shore.

But then we noted that there’s one major difference between her story and ours. We will reach the shore. We’re not betting on how strong our training regimen was, or our own strength, or the weather conditions. We will reach God’s golden shores. Imagine the difference it would have made for Nyad if she was able to swim across that body of water with the confidence that regardless of what surrounded her – bad weather, sharks, jellyfish, or the darkness itself – she will reach those shores. Imagine what that perspective would have given her.

The mantra that she and her team repeated to themselves over and over in their training and on the swim was “Find a way. Find a way.” The message of the Gospel is that The Way has found us. Jesus is the Way. Through Him, we will reach those golden shores, and we can be confident that these “light, momentary afflictions are preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond comparison.” (2 Cor 4:17) To the degree that we live our lives with that perspective, we can swim with sharks with a sense of peace. We can endure the stings of jellyfish, knowing that Rest and Victory are close at hand. We can keep moving forward when everything around us seems dark and uncertain.

I listened to a talk recently where the speaker was reflecting on the songs sung by African slaves in the 19th century. He pointed out how many of the songs had themes of heaven and eternity. Not much speculation is needed to understand why this theme dominated their songs and their hearts. It was this hope that one day all things would be made right and their chains would be broken that enabled them to press on through oppression and injustice. They looked past the sharks and on to the golden shores. That’s what enabled them to keep on swimming.

Perspective changes everything.

In his “Meditation in a Toolshed,” C.S. Lewis shared the difference between looking at a beam of light and looking along the beam. One day he walked into a toolshed and he could see nothing but a sunbeam that came from a crack at the top of the door. At first, he looked along the shaft of the light and saw thousands of specks of dust floating in it, but then he did something many of us have done at one point or another. He re-positioned himself so that the beam fell on his eyes, and at that moment, the toolshed and the sunbeam vanished. Looking along the beam, he saw green leaves moving on the branches of a tree outside, and beyond that, the sun and the sky. I’ll say it again: Perspective changes everything.

Where have you set your eyes? In the toolshed and the swirling dust? In the waters and the sharks around you? On your own failing strength? Or are you swimming with confidence with your eyes set on the prize, knowing that you don’t need to “find a way”…The Way has found you.

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Lent

Growing up in a non-denominational church, the concept of Ash Wednesday and Lent have always intrigued me. It wasn’t until about 17 years ago while I was attending a small Presbyterian church that I observed Lent. Participating in their Ash Wednesday service was actually very special; being surrounded by my faith community, meditating and reflecting on this season of preparation and repentance, and then bravely making my way to the front of the (very traditional) altar; the pastor dressed up in robes, dipping his finger in ashes, and then on my forehead, forming the mark of an abstract cross. The amazement I felt looking around in the light-filled sanctuary at all the others with their black smudges. I felt a sense of belonging and community.
It was a beautiful service, but I didn’t truly know what Lent was about.
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent. “Lent” is latin for “fortieth”. In the Bible, the number “40” is highly symbolic. This number is present in the story of Noah’s Ark, Moses’ time on Mount Sinai when he received the Ten Commandments, the Israelites  wandering in the wilderness, or Jesus’ time of fasting and temptation, you will note these all coincide with forty.  Forty is often symbolically used to denote a time of testing, trial and preparation. By participating in meditation and reflection of the death and resurrection of Christ, the hope is that we will use this 40 days to grow closer to Christ, and to more fully embrace and appreciate the sacrifice,  joy and celebration of Easter. Lent is a journey.
Traditionally, people give up something for lent, usually a bad habit that can draw one’s attention away from Christ. According to a Christianity Today article that lists the top 100 things people gave up for lent in 2012, , the leading 6 things people give up for Lent are: twitter, chocolate, swearing, alcohol, soda and facebook. (I don’t know which would be harder for me: to give up soda or facebook!)
A word of caution: giving up soda, coffee, or whatever you choose won’t necessarily draw you closer to Christ.  2 years ago I gave up diet Coke for 40 days. (46 days actually….. the 40 days of Lent actually don’t count Sundays; technically you are allowed to indulge on Sunday) and, though it was a feat of self-discipline and garnered a lot of attention from my friends (if you know me, you know that my diet Coke consumption is nearly an addiction), that’s all it really did. So focused on meeting this goal, I missed out on the true reason for observing Lent. I’d have been better off not giving diet coke up, but instead adding a time of reflection, prayer and reading.
Lent is not only a time of preparation and repentance, but also of reflection, gratitude and joy. We know the Story. We know that Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life, even in times of temptation. We know that Jesus gave up his kingly comforts to leave heaven and to come and live plainly among us, to become one of us. We know that he poured out his love for us to the point of an ugly, painful death on a cross, taking upon His perfect body the sins of the world. Yours. Mine. He truly suffered. But the glorious part is the resurrection! Because of His life and obedience to death, He has redeemed us. He is making us new. He has saved us.
Regardless of if you choose to fast or give up diet coke, coffee, etc I invite you to weep, wonder and draw close to Jesus this Lenten season. May this be a sweet time for us as we consciously reflect on the amazing sacrifice, goodness  and glory of our God….. that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us! (Romans 5:7)
Here’s a link from The Gospel Coalition to a wonderful devotional guide  that beautifully explains Lent and invites you to deepen your own journey. It contains daily Scripture readings, reflections, questions and prayers. It is broken up into 6 week ‘themes’ – starting with repentance, humility, suffering, lament, sacrifice, death and of course, Easter Sunday. I highly encourage you to use this free resource,Journey to the Cross: Readings and Devotions for Lent  either individually, with your family, or with a friend.
Note: This post was originally written in February 2013.

Resolutions for 2015

With 2015 just a couple of days away, I know that we’re all thinking about resolutions for the new year. In addition to your career and health goals, have you considered how you plan to invest in your soul? Have you prayerfully considered ways that you can “know Him more clearly, love Him more dearly and follow Him more nearly.”

If you haven’t set your goals yet, here are a few simple suggestions:
  • Commit to spending the first 10-15 minutes of your morning commute in prayer.
  • Commit to learning the names of the neighbors on either side of you, and a couple of ways that you can pray for them (and then actually pray for them).
  • Take the next step at church. (e.g. Get Baptized, Join a Community Group, Join a Ministry Team)
  • Read one book a month that stirs your soul.
  • Read through the Bible*
    *I’ve attached the Bible reading plan that I’ll be using this year. This plan enables you to read every word of the Bible, plus Proverbs twelve times (a book chalk full of wisdom for daily life) and Psalms two times (a book that compels us to worship in every season of life). The Bible is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, correcting and training in righteousness and equips us for every good work. The study of and obedience to God’s Word is critical to walking with God and living out our faith in 2015.
    biblereadingplan (The physical copies will be available at the Connection Center)
    So, what are your New Year’s Resolutions? Share in the comment section below…

My First Christmas Gift

“My First Christmas Gift” is right around the corner! This is an annual offering that is collected at our  Christmas Eve Service. Each year we select a different ministry or project and give generously towards  their work. This year we have decided to give a gift to each of the missionaries and ministries that we  regularly support. We’ll split the offering evenly and send an extra gift their way to bless them over  the holidays. Please prayerfully consider joining in and giving generously above and beyond your  regular offering to support these families and ministries that are sacrificially serving the Lord. Here is a list of the missionaries and ministries that we support…

Gabe and Eric Phillips and their Families are ministering to the young people in Chile through  evangelistic and humanitarian efforts.

Jeff Phillips and his family are currently serving the Kurdish refugees through a woman’s center,  providing food and shelter as well as spreading the love of Christ.

The LePoidevin Family is sharing the love of Christ through aviation and technology in Mozambique,  Africa, so that isolated people may be physically and spiritually transformed

The Leung family throughCharis Development is working in the Dali prefecture in China, focusing on  building meaningful relationships, discipling families and church planting all through different  business and project consulting programs

La Esperanza is a Christian based drug and alcohol treatment center just outside of Camalu BC Mexico,  ministering and helping over 100 people in their programs including over 15 juveniles between the ages  of 12 and 14.

Pastor Nouh and his family, through Partners International work in Timbuktu, Mali, spreading the gospel and reaching and serving the native people in tangible and practical ways.

Tom Foley and CEO are extending ministry partnerships in 7 countries (Eastern Europe, South Africa and D.R.Congo) through identifying, training and mentoring leaders who are changing cultures as the gospel  transforms hearts and minds, one life at a time.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving Twin Oaks Church Family!

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”
–G.K. Chesterton 

Worship, Prayer, and YOU!

Can you believe it is nearly Thanksgiving? November is already flying by, and sometimes when I look around I could mistake it already for Christmas, since every store and mall is already decked out in red and green and every Peets and Starbucks drink is served in a festive holiday cup, with Christmas tunes already playing through the store’s speakers.

Thanksgiving is an important time of family and friends, as well as reflection and gratitude, especially to our God who provides for us in every way!

Thursday November 20th at 7pm, Twin Oaks Church is having our Worship and Prayer Night. We love to do this throughout the year. It is a refreshing time of praise, prayer and worship. We  thank God for all He has done and is continually doing in our lives, hearts and community. We are offering childcare for kids up to age five, but we encourage all children to join us for this time of worship and prayer. There is something very powerful of entire families coming together to pray and worship alongside each other!

Won’t you consider joining us Thursday November 20th at 7pm? We’ll be meeting in the multi-purpose room at the church offices, 242 Hillsdale Avenue, San Jose. For more information or questions, contact info@twinoakschurch.com. This is a great way to start Thanksgiving and also to prepare our hearts for the Christmas season:  surrounded by church family, singing songs of praise to Jesus, and talking to God in prayer!

Worship is the believer’s response of all that they are – mind, emotions, will, body – to what God says and does.” – Warren Wiersbe.

Pastor Appreciation Month

October is officially Pastor Appreciation Month. It is great that there is a month set aside to show appreciation for pastors. After all, they deserve some recognition. Their work is often emotionally and physically draining and difficult, though most time I’ve talked to pastor friends, they are quick to say how rewarding their job of being a shepherd is and count it a blessing.

But lets be honest: it oftentimes is not an easy job. It is good that there’s a month dedicated to appreciating pastors. But here’s my thought: it isn’t enough.

I encourage you to send a quick email, tweet or Facebook Post to your pastor this month but more importantly, to offer such encouragement year-round. Perhaps even consider a handwritten note, or a small token, like a gift card to Peets. We are so blessed to have dedicated, prayerful pastors at Twin Oaks, and I encourage you to spend a few minutes letting them know how much you are thankful for them and their families and all they do!

Kindle Book Deals 8/12

Hi friends! Amazon has some really good and inexpensive Kindle deals going on for a limited time. Here’s a few that look good:

The Insanity of Obedience This is the 2nd book by Nik Ripken. I loved his The Insanity of God book and can’t wait to finish this one! Beware, this doesn’t look like a comfortable book. Right now it is only 2.99, making this a great deal!

Francis Schaeffer: An Authentic Life I loved this biography of Francis Schaeffer. Very inspiring and good insight into this amazing man of God. I read this book before I embarked on his own writings and was glad to have this ‘introduction’. I haven’t read it, but there’s a cheap book about the apologetics of Schaeffer. (Truth with Love) There’s also a few Schaeffer books discounted right now as well. No Little People and The Finished Work of Christ

Here’s a free one! A slim volume by Brother Lawrence. I recall one of our elders citing him and this book a few years ago in a message. Practice of the Presence of God

Another free book that looks good and got good reviews is Cold-Case Christianity by J. Warner Wallace.

FREE: Surprised By Suffering by R.C. Sproul. I haven’t read this yet but I tend to glean many insights from this author.

The more I look into this, the more I see lots of great books! I’ll just list a few more:

What Is the Mission of the Church? By Kevin DeYoung

Taking God At His Word by Kevin DeYoung

Disciplines of a Godly Man by R. Kent Hughes 1.99

Bloodlines by John Piper 1.99

When I Don’t Desire God by John Piper. 1.99

What books are on your nightstand?