This weekend, Fair Oaks Church celebrated its 50th birthday with a double celebration complete with great memories, inspired music, special guest speakers and moving testimonies from members young and old. Over the last month, Fair Oaks Church have been asking folks to “Share Your Story” by completing a questionnaire. Here a peek at what I submitted….
What Sermon or Sermon Series has impacted you the most over the years and why?
It’s hard to pick a single Sermon Series that impacted me the most because every Sermon Series has had at least one (if not many) places where it spoke to me directly or served up a perfect dialog for me to witness with. But last year when I wrote a recap of all the Stokes-isms written in the margins of my sermon notes, the top 3 series that I took “extra” notes on were “The Flip Side”, “Faith” and “Wasted.” My favorite Stokes-ism from Wasted was “Can’t afford to tithe? Do the math… you’ve spent more than 10% of your income on bad choices and what did it get you?” I’ve used that several time when talking to people about tithing.
What song, video or creative element used in a service has touched you in a special way and why?
The creative element that was most special to me was the privilege to be a part of introducing Joel Slater’s Hallelujah (Sing It Over Again) to the church as a choir special. I loved singing that song with the Fair Oaks choir and after it came out on Joel’s CD Scattered, he was kind enough to let us sing is as a worship song in the Wednesday night services.
The edgy “live art” elements that have been woven into the services also have a special place in my heart… from painting Mike Z while he sang a special song, Amber shaping clay or painting an outstretched hand to enhance the message of the music, to Don Hensley performing a powerful monologue for a “first Wednesday” service, our Arts team really knows how to punctuate a message with creativity.
I also love the videos the Fair Oaks Arts team put together. My favorites have been the Mother’s Day and Father’s Day videos that Christian and Mike made (the always make me think of my own boys) and the whole series of videos that were a take-off of the Mac/PC commercials – especially iGive.
And last, but never least – Ken & Mimi, Ken & Mimi, Ken & Mimi, Ken & Mimi, Ken & Mimi!
Has a particular person in the church (staff, volunteer, fellow growth grouper, etc.,) made a difference in your life? Who? And How?
So many people at Fair Oaks have had an impact on my life… from Roy Dowdy who was the first person to walk up to us as new comers to the church and welcome us, Debby White for getting me involved in Christmas Coffee House, Choir and the Connectors ministry, Brian Bosler for making the choir more than just a rehearsal of voices but a ministry to the heart of worshipers, Joel Slater as a musical inspiration and gentle encourager getting me involved with the Wednesday worship team, Christian Gaffney being sent down straight from heaven speak directly into the hearts of my boys and being a godly partner to every youth-group-parent and for coming to the hospital to pray over my surgery when I was diagnosed with cancer, Tracey Dowdy for the touching or funny but always pregnant with meaning dramas she used to write for the services, Scott Maurer for supporting me in putting together my first MBTI small group, Philip Bassham for bringing an infectious energy to everything he does from his years with Kidz Inc to the Media ministry and finally to Pastor Stokes for always preaching the Word, never compromising the Truth and for leading the church and his staff with creativity.
What is your favorite all time Fair Oaks memory? Why?
My favorite all-time Fair Oaks Memory was when my two boys and I were Baptized together.
I'd grown up in the church (baptized and confirmed Catholic) but I didn't come to know the Lord, have a relationship with Him, surrender my life to Christ until I got engaged to my husband who brought me to his church and for the first time I prayed the prayer inviting Christ into my heart and to take over my life. But the church we were at didn’t emphasize baptism so I had never made that public profession of my faith.
The summer before we moved to Northern Virgina, our boys excepted Christ as their savior and wanted to be baptized but we didn't get to it before we moved and would have to wait until we found a new home church.
In October of 2005 we found Fair Oaks Church. The house of God we call home, the church we each serve in our own callings and the place where I and our two boys were baptized together in a very special "Amazing Grace" service - a song that has always served as a personal anthem. So very special and appropriate that it worked out for the three of us to be baptized together on that particular Sunday at Fair Oaks Church.
Overall, please describe what this church means to you:
I can't wait to be a part of the next 50 years of memories at Fair Oaks Church! So what is your Fair Oaks story?