Oakhurst Presbyterian Church is a community of diversities. We come from different places, from different economic levels, from different countries of the world. We are a church in the city. Our life has known the movement of the city: we were once all of one kind. Then our church became multiracial and felt small and insignificant. And our people were afraid, afraid of ourselves from different races and afraid of ourselves from different cultures. The faithfulness of those who stayed and those who came gave us courage. By God’s power we have been given grace through what we thought was our weakness. In the midst of our fears God has surprised us and blessed us. The diversity, which we feared, has empowered us to confront God’s truth in the world. In Jesus Christ the dividing walls of hostility have been broken down. Though we are born into diverse earthly families, our life together at Oakhurst has led us to affirm that we are called to be one family through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Worldly differences fail to separate our folk. Instead, these differences are the threads that the love of Jesus Christ weaves into the one tapestry – Oakhurst Presbyterian Church. We are young woven with old, black with white, male with female, gay and lesbian with straight. We are employed woven with unemployed, poor with comfortable, strong with broken. We are courageous woven with disheartened, able with sick, hurt with healers. The world uses these categories to separate people from one another and to erect barriers between people. Our life together at Oakhurst Presbyterian Church, however, is a proclamation that people are more than just race, gender, economic class, and sexual orientation. We all find dignity at Oakhurst no matter the category in which society places us. And we celebrate that each difference finds it beauty and its strength in the Oakhurst tapestry.
God is active in the life of Oakhurst and has given us a vision of hope. This vision has inspired our pastors and elders to lead us in the proclamation of the absolute power of God’s love and God’s grace. This vision is rooted in the truth that nothing in this world can separate us from the Love of God. Not powers, not principalities, not hate, not idols, not even death can separate us from the Love of God. And the very thing that we had feared – our differences – has empowered Oakhurst Presbyterian Church. Through God’s grace what we once thought would destroy us has built us up. While alienation and separation persist in the city about us, the mission of Oakhurst Presbyterian Church proclaims that the Good News of the Gospel breaks down the barriers of the world. In our coming together we become whole in Christ.
At Oakhurst the compelling sermons bring meaning to our stories and clarify the connectedness of our lives. The preaching sounds the Call to Justice. The Oakhurst message is not always a comfortable message. Rather, it is that we must seek to do God’s will even when in conflict with the demands of the world. Our worship and work confirm that we are not impotent, that we are not just victims within this society, but through the Love of Christ we are empowered and are therefore responsible to act. We are The Good News realized. The work of our ministers guides our diverse peoples to weave the fabric that is our tapestry, Oakhurst Presbyterian Church.