7 ways in a heavenly treasures hunt, 1) Jesus, 2) Heart on things above 3) Study Bible 4) Seek kingdom of God 5) Serve others 6) Share resoruces 7) Spread gospelHave you ever taken part in a treasure hunt? You know the game? A treasure hunt! You alone or your team gets clues or written directions, based on which you hunt for a treasure, which is usually hidden somewhere? It’s fun, isn’t it? According to the Bible, we may also think about hunting for treasures, but for treasures in heaven. In fact, Jesus calls his followers to store up treasures in heaven, instead of going after earthly riches only for ourselves (Matthew 6:19-21). On Sunday, 5 July, we gathered at St. Luke’s Chapel and then went outdoors for a heavenly treasure hunt in small groups. We explored and then shared seven ways of storing up heavenly treasures. Before we set out, we started with the first and most important way – Jesus, the only way to heaven, given to us freely as a heavenly gift and treasure. We also learned that putting our earthly treasures in use for God’s kingdom is also a way of storing up treasures in heaven – the main point being that we should become rich towards God, and serve the church and our societies with our God-given resources throughout our life on earth. Feel free to check the seven ways we explored during our heavenly treasure hunt: 1) Overview 2) Handout with Bible verses for further reflection (BF).

 

Cornerstone (Jesus)Have you ever seen how a foundation is laid? How much care must be applied to prepare it? How it is eventually completed, including blocks of stone and other material, skillfully arranged in relation to each other? And how such a foundation provides a safe structure lasting for more than a lifetime? In his sermon on 21 June 2020, Helmuth Garoeb shared his insights on laying the foundation of a building in his family. We then studied 1 Peter 2:1-12 and came to see that, as Christian believers, our lives rest on Jesus alone. If we believe in Jesus, we can rest on him as the sure foundation and cornerstone of our lives. Beyond that, Helmuth showed us that – according to the Bible – we are precious and regarded as living stones. Moreover, we are joined together and are being built into God’s spiritual house. Helmuth also challenged us to think about our personal and corporate relationship to Christ, to see where and how we are placed or fitting in God’s building. Helmuth encouraged us to be living stones, building our faith on and in Christ, helping each other and inviting others to join this building project. Learn more by reading up the sermon (BF).

 

Last updated: 2 June 2020

Please follow up with this website on updates regarding OIEF’s activities amidst the Covid-19 situation.  

As of 1 June, churches are moving from remote to face-to-face gatherings, for the time being. Exceptional circumstances continue to be in place. Safety measures must be taken accordingly. 

We wish everyone to stay safe and sound, and follow the safety measures below when you plan to come and when you attend a face-to-face gathering hosted by OIEF. 

Safety measures: 

  • At most 50 people can attend a gathering such as a worship service, devotion etc. given that sufficient distance can be kept between people. 
  • Keep at least 2 m distance between people, apart from your own family members 
  • People from risk groups should rather avoid attending, or take extra caution, if attending. 
  • Avoid physical contact such as shaking hands etc. 
  • Do not attend any gathering if you are ill, especially, with respiratory symptoms, see more below! 
  • If need be, cough into your elbow, sneeze into a paper tissue and dispose it safely 
  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly. 
  • Feel free to use your own breathing mask, if wished so. 
  • We won’t have coffee/tea fellowship at worship services/devotions. 
  • We won’t have Sunday School. 
  • We can have holy communion with a pastor. 
  • We can listen to music – singing together is not yet recommended, or only with caution and based on the worship leader’s assessment at the location. 

Recommendations: 

  • Pray for each other and the situation – locally and internationally. Ask God to provide wisdom and guidance. 
  • Care for each other virtually as well. Alleviate loneliness and stress that we and fellow people may experience. 
  • Follow the guidelines given by the governmental and health care authorities in Oulu and Finland. 
  • Inform yourself about the coronavirus and preventive measures, e.g. according to the THL website and YLE news
  • Protect yourself and other people from infectious diseases of any kind. For suitable safety measures, consult the guidelines provided by THL. 
  • Monitor your health condition, especially, regarding any kind of symptoms of flu (fever, cough, sore throat etc.). If you have any flu symptoms, stay at home and wait until you get better. Ask others to help with everyday matters such as groceries. If your condition gets worse, contact your local public healthcare provider in Oulu for medical advice according to the guidelines of THL. 

The aforementioned safety measures are based on OIEF’s leadership team assessment, in the light of health care, governmental and church authorities. We intend to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and possible infections for all groups of people, and want to cater for the spiritual and other needs of people in Oulu. 

We also want to encourage each other and people around us, because God is in charge of this situation as well, and Christ wants to give us his peace, which transcends all human understanding (Philippians 4:7). 

For more information, feel free to call Bastian Fähnrich (+358 40 6755 195) and/or rev. Ari Savuoja (+358 40 524 5919) (BF) 

 

We had cancelled face-to-face worship services and gatherings at OIEF during 17 March and 31 May due to the Covid-19 pandemic. All of us had to keep a distance to others, and most stay at home. But many of our activities in relation to others and God could still take place, though in different ways. We shared and posted activities in your (faith) life that had not been cancelled at padlet. See the results as a PDF file. Post updated 3 June. (BF)

 

Last updated: 3 June

Between 17 March and 31 May, OIEF had suspended all face-to-face gatherings. The purpose was to take measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19. I am thankful for God’s guidance and provision in this time. I trust that God will cater for our needs also in the time coming, so that we can share his goodness between and around us – by the means available to each of us.

It was good to try out different remote forms of worship and ministering to people with the help of virtual reality techniques. In my experience, our remote services and encounters proved to be real – real in terms of serving God and of being served, and of serving others.

Thank you for everyone who prepared and joined remote services and other activities. We can still partake in these by accessing the recordings on virtuaalikirkko.fi and YouTube:

31 May at 16.00
24 May at 16.00
17 May at 16.00
10 May at 16.00
3 May  at 16.00
26 April at 16.00
19 April at 16.00
12 April at 16.00
5 April at 16.00
29 March at 16.00

Thank you also for those who prayed and are still praying for the situation in this world. In addition to Covid-19, there are many hardships that we are facing in this world, and that our Christian fellowships can counter with God’s help – may our faith not rest on our human wisdom, but on the power of God (1 Corinthians 2:5) (BF).

 

The Bible states about Christian believers that “our citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20). What reasons and implications does this statement suggest for the earthly lives of Jesus’ followers? Read up more from Bastian’s sermon “Dual Citizenship” (BF)

 

Please note that on 13 March at 20.15 it was decided to cancel the “Encouragement Days” (26 – 29 March) due to the current coronavirus situation. (BF)



New Wine (https://newwine.fihttps://www.new-wine.org) cancelled its ”Encouragement Days” in English in March by means of Rev. Richard Thomas, Stephen Broadie and Dan Allen from the UK, see below.

Organised in English (interpretation into Finnish) by Oulu Free Church (Vapaakirkko, Kirkkokatu 34) and the Cathedral Parish of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Oulu (Keskustan srk-talo, central congragation hall, Isokatu 17):

Thu 26.3. at 19 Gospel Evening (Vapaakirkko) – cancelled!

Fri 27.3. at 19 Helmi Young People Evening (Vapaakirkko) – cancelled!

Sat 28.3. at 10-17 Encouragement Day (Keskustan srk-talo) – cancelled!

Encouraging and motivating teaching to strengthen faith. In addition, prayer and praise.
Topics:
– How does God call me/you?
– The work of the Holy Spirit and human incompleteness – towards a more healthy spirituality
– The congregation and me – renewal and growth in and as a community of faith

Free entry. Coffee/tea 4 EUR in cash. Lunch at own cost in restaurants downtown Oulu 12-13.30.

Sun 29.3. at 10 Worship Service, Richard Thomas (St. Luke’s Chapel)

Sun 29.3. at 11 Morning Service (Vapaakirkko)

More detailed programme to be published in Rauhan Tervehdys (BF)


 

The Bible is a great source of stories showing us our brokenness, and how Jesus heals us and cares for our needs. Think about the woman at the well (John 4:5-26). She is drawing water every day, alone and heartbroken. She is not only looking for water to still her thirst, but also for love that could truly fulfil her needs. She meets Jesus at the well. During their conversation, Jesus reveals himself to be the true Source of love. Read up more from Ari Savuoja’s sermon “Living Water” held on Sunday, 19.1.2020 (BF)

 

Open on certain Thursdays from 5pm to 7pm:
16.1., 30.1., 13.2., 27.2., 5.3., 19.3., 2.4., 9.4., 16.4., 30.4. and 7.5.
Tuira church (Myllytie 5)
Entrance from parking lot side.

Come, meet others and spend time together. Tea for free!
Arranged by Tuira Parish of The Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Finland (BF)

 

Sunday, 1.12.2019
Worship service led by Hany Fernando
Time: 16:00
Place: St Luke’s chapel
During the message there is Sunday school for the children
After the service there is fellowship time for everyone to chat with each other over coffee/tea and snacks.

Sunday, 8.12.2019
Christmas Carols. Bring your friends and family to sing along the most popular carols in Advent, including music performances and readings to get prepared for the festive season, and enjoy a moment of peace.
Time: 16:00
Place: St Luke’s chapel
After the carols there is glögi and gingerbread for everyone.
 

Sunday, 15.12.2019
Worship service led by David Olsen
Time: 16:00
Place: St Luke’s chapel
During the message there is Sunday school for the children
After the service there is fellowship time for everyone to chat with each other over coffee/tea and snacks.

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