When you join Oak Hill UMC and become a member of the church, you make a vow to support the church through your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service and your witness. At that time, the congregation, likewise, remembers and renews its covenant to:

... faithfully participate in the ministries of the church by our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service, and our witness, that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.

 

The reason we keep reciting these words each time a new person joins the church, is to remind us that we once made the same promises and that God keeps calling us to live out these vows. If you're not quite sure where to start, below are some ways to help you answer that call:

PRAYERS

So you've just joined the church and promised to uphold it through your prayers. But what does that even mean? Are we talking about praying daily, weekly, monthly, 10 minutes a day, 30 minutes a day? Who or what should we be praying for? And how should we even go about talking to God? Those are all good questions and you may find the resources at the Upper Room Living Prayer Center to be helpful in addressing those questions. There, you will find information on different methods of prayer, general articles on prayer, and even answers to questions such as 'why pray?' Remember, "the Lord is near to all who call on him" (Psalm 145:18).

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PRESENCE

Presence goes beyond showing up on Sunday mornings for worship or for Sunday School class (don't get us wrong, we want to see you on Sundays!).

But being present with and for God also means being present with those who are ill or who need advocacy or who simply are lonely and need someone to stand with them. Getting involved in a ministry such as the Stephen Ministry is just one example of how you can honor the vow of presence you made. Of course, there are many other ways to be present to those around us who are in need of someone to lean on.

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GIFTS

Operating a vibrant 1,400 member congregation is costly. That's why we invite members of this church to prayerfully consider how they can uphold their vow to support Oak Hill UMC through their financial gifts. Each year, all of us are given the opportunity to make a personal commitment of giving by filling out a commitment card. Those pledges allow the church to set the budgets for its various ministries. You can make a pledge to financially support the church throughout the year by contacting Angie Bragg or by visiting our Giving page. The promise to support the church with your gifts isn't limited to financial gifts though. It also includes your spiritual gifts. To find out what those are, take this test.

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SERVICE

At Oak Hill UMC, we believe that everyone is a minister. Puzzled by that phrase? Actually, it just means that at Oak Hill we believe that all of us are called to ministry – to serve as the hands and feet of Christ in a world that desperately needs encouragement and help. We take seriously Jesus' words from Matthew 25: For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” 

For concrete ways to serve in and around the church, in our neighborhood, in Texas, or even abroad, please visit our Service Opportunities page or contact our Director of Connections and Service, Vicki Matustik.

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WITNESS

The vow to “witness” was added by the 2008 United Methodist General Conference to highlight the mission and evangelistic responsibilities of church membership. It also reminds United Methodists to live out their vows publicly. Most os us have a very narrow and sometimes even negative view of what it means to witness. In reality, witnessing comes in all forms and shapes.

Simply living consistently with the gospel or leading a Christian life by example are a form of witness, whether it’s acting with integrity in the workplace, showing compassion to neighbors, or helping others embody the love of Christ through advocacy and outreach. Our pledge to "witness" simply reminds us to be witnesses of God's love in our community and to shine the light of Christ in the midst of these communities.

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