Let's live beyond ourselves this Christmas!

Friends, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never looked forward more to the hope, joy, peace, and love of the advent season than this year. I’ve found renewed comfort and inspiration this advent, maybe more than in any other year of my life. It’s a tough world out there, and it’s been a difficult year for many—the suffering and brokenness of humanity has felt, at times, overwhelming. You can almost hear our community, our state, our country, our world, our souls, groaning in pain, crying out, longing for God’s restoration. This advent let's remind ourselves and each other: God has not abandoned us, He is with us, and He is for us!
 
I confess there have been many Christmas seasons where I’ve had a “chocolate calendar” kind of advent (not that there’s anything wrong with those, we have 2 at our house!) But I’ve definitely fallen victim to the type of advent season that seems more like a sweet, precious tradition, a quaint ritual, and less of a spiritual practice making space for Emmanuel, God with us. This year, I’ve resolved to slow down, make room in my calendar and my heart, for God to enter in, fill me up, and take residence in my heart in new and profound ways.
 
Advent reminds us of the extravagant lengths God has gone to rescue us and restore our world. As Christians we get to announce to the world: Love wins! This Christmas season we have the privilege of reminding ourselves and each other of the promise that God has the upper hand even when the world seems to indicate otherwise. God’s love for us is radical, and we get to partner with Him to show radical love for our neighbors and bring healing to a broken world.
 
How will you show the radical, restorative love of Jesus, this Christmas? Here are some ways you can jump in to what is already happening in the Oceanhills community:
 
AMOR MEXICO MISSION TRIP MARCH 24-29, 2018 Did you miss the meeting? It’s not too late to be a part of what God is doing in Tijuana, Mexico this spring break! Check out the amor.org website for information about our partners, and this link for information about the Oceanhills trip. Registration can be found on our website.

SHOP FOR A CAUSE TOMORROW! Thursday, December 6th at The Loft from 12-8pm! Stop by and shop from numerous thoughtful local and international entrepreneurs who are changing the world with their business! Items like handmade jewelry, bags, clutches, pajamas, t-shirts, photography, home decor, personalized gift boxes, and BBQ sauce have filled The Loft! There are vendors here you may know of from our church family and vendors we love who will be new to you! Live music from Upside Down Kingdom & Neighbor Tim is catering!

COMMUNITY ADVENT EXPERIENCES Advent is to be experienced together. Whether your friends are your family, or you have a spouse and children, each week we will provide ways and inroads for you to engage the Hope, Peace, Joy and Love in family. This week we're meeting at Sarah House! Email DJ, Director of Compassion, Mercy, & Justice to get involved!

RUN OR BIKE WITH TEAM WORLD VISION Calling all cyclists! This is your opportunity to ride your bike to change lives. We are joining the Team World Vision LA Marathon runners by training to ride 100 miles to Santa Monica the day before the marathon, and raising money for clean water in the DR Congo. If you can commit to raising or paying the $1,310 minimum, and making over half of our training rides (Saturday mornings @7AM from the bird refuge), send an email to Scott Lisea and include your cell phone number. Space is limited. If you want to run the half or full marathon, email Brianna Hammond!

NOAH'S ANCHORAGE This Sunday, take an ornament from the tree on the patio after church to buy a Christmas present for a young person in a challenging situation. 

PARTNER WITH OCEANHILLS When you give to Oceanhills, you're bringing hope to people in our community and beyond through thoughtful relationships, conversations, and opportunities. We couldn't do what we do without you- it's truly a partnership. Give your first gift this season to your church family by becoming a recurring giver or by making a one time Year End gift.

We hope to see you all this Sunday for the beginning of our new sermon series, "The Wonder of Christmas" and begin this season as a church family!

In it together,

Dr. Laila DiGuilio
Director of Oceanhills Youth

Julie Lisea