Friday, July 17, 2020

"The sun is shining, the grass is green
The orange and palm trees sway..."
Perhaps you recognize the opening lyrics to Irving Berlin's "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas." Apropos for our Florida home, right? Well, we're dreaming of something a little different. How about a big, beautiful, wow-worthy, Christmas lights extravaganza at The Grove, featuring the story of the Nativity and a clear presentation of Christ as the Savior of the world? Starting in early December and running every night leading up to Christmas, this eye-popping presentation of synchronized sound and light will attract onlookers from miles around – not just to be entertained, but also to hear the message of God's love, mercy, grace, and something everyone needs – hope!

"Come to the Light"
We've sorely missed our normal outdoor outreaches since the onset of COVID-19, haven't we? No movie nights or concert series at The Grove to serve as platforms for sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. It is impossible for us to plan any concerts for this Fall at The Grove, but we can move forward with an outreach where people stay in their cars or golf carts and enjoy the beauty and message of the season. Think of it! What could be more appealing than a one-of-a-kind, memory-making, Christmas spectacular for the entire family, young and old alike, celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior – and where COVID-19 is totally a non-issue? We'll call it "Come to the Light" – the invitation is right there in the title – throngs of people gathering in a COVID-safe environment, viewing the presentation on our Jumbotron from their cars and golf carts and being surrounded by a  dazzling display of lights and music – and hearing, maybe for the first time ever, the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. Everyone loves to look at the lights at Christmas time; let's give them something worth seeing and hearing. 

Planning the Work and Working the Plan
Yes, this is a major undertaking – lots of time and coordinated effort. Compare it to the collaboration among composer, conductor, and orchestra. One writes the symphony, one conducts the orchestra, and the strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion blend their talents to make the symphony sing. They invest long hours of practice and preparation – but the resulting beautiful presentation is worth every moment. 

Who's In?
So who will step up to make this dream come true? Who will create? Who will promote? Who will implement? Who will lend their talents and gifts to make it all happen? It'll take an army of volunteers. We already have one of our own engineering minds working on the two Christmas trees that will bookend the stage. Surely some who read this have been in charge of a major outreach event or ministry in their previous church or in their community – heading up a United Way drive or a civic club fundraising event, or a school carnival for example. Has God prepared you in your "former life" to lead at this stage in life? It is possible that some of you have seen or been involved with a sound and light event much like this one. This is a real call to ministry, and there's a spot in it for you:
  • Planning Team –  meeting regularly to ensure that the event is a success. This group will recruit team leaders, manage teams, and keep the momentum going.
  • Team Leaders – overseeing one of the myriad moving parts, recruiting team members, assigning tasks, and coordinating with other teams.
  • Team Members – accepting an assigned task and running with it, employing personal gifts and talents to make it happen.
Get Involved
Feeling the tug? Contact Pastor Sam ASAP at 253.448.0085 or to register your interest.
"And I am longing to be up north..."

And miss Christmas at The Grove? NO WAY! Let's do this. Contact Pastor Sam today.

Merry Christmas, everybody!!


Pastor Chris Holck will temporarily depart from
our series on the Gospel of Luke this
coming Sunday to talk about

"Finding Joy in the Midst of a Mess"

(Pastor Chris Atkins will be leading worship at both live services)

Don't miss it!

Thank you, Live Oaks family, for your patience and perseverance as we stay nimble with our worship schedule in response to the ebb and flow of
COVID-19. Here's our current weekend plan:


PLEASE NOTE: Indoor worship gatherings at Woodridge
are now suspended until further notice.


  • 5:30 p.m.
    Live Inside at Southern Oaks (Grace Tabernacle)

    There's ample space at this venue to employ social distancing. Last week, 100 of our church family attended in person and there is plenty of room even for twice that many. Face masks are encouraged as we continue to observe all COVID-19 protocols.

    This service also will be streamed live on and YouTube.

  • 8:30 a.m.
    Live outside at The Grove (please continue to employ social distancing)

    This service also will be streamed live on and YouTube.

  • 10:15 a.m.
    Replay of the first service projected on the Jumbotron outside at The Grove (please continue to employ social distancing)

    Indoor restrooms will remain open. Please wear face masks and continue to observe all COVID-19 protocols.

  • View Saturday's Southern Oaks service on or YouTube any time after it originally airs.
  • View Sunday's service at The Grove on or YouTube any time after it originally airs.

Did you know that you can access every week's bulletin online? All you have to do is go to, hover over "NEWS" at the top, and click on "Weekly Bulletin" in the drop down menu. Each new edition is posted usually by Friday of every week.

Help Us


It’s that time of year again when you can partner with Love INC (In the Name of Christ) to help purchase clothes for kids in need. There are two ways you can participate:

  • Volunteer to be paired with a Clothe-A-Kid family and accompany them on their shopping spree on July 28 or 30. You’ll get to cheer them on, share their fun, and even help them make clothing selections. Contact Dana Parker at 352.245.8774, ext. 204, to reserve your spot.
  • Sponsor kids at $90 each – or any other amount you feel led to give. Make your check out to Live Oaks Community Church, mark “Clothe-A-Kid” in the memo line, and drop it in the offering bucket as you leave the worship service. Worshiping remotely? Connect with Kirk Carver (contact info below) to find out alternative ways to give.

For details, contact Kirk Carver at or visit the Love INC website at




With Pastor John Gerhardt’s (Urban Impact, New Orleans) generous help, there are now five titles to choose from in our growing library of recommended reading on the subject of biblical justice and reconciliation. We are all seeking after God's heart and working toward having a mutual respect and honor for all races and classes. Now available are:

  • Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces That Keep Us Apart, by Christena Cleveland
  • Oneness Embraced: Reconciliation, the Kingdom, and How We are Stronger Together, by Tony Evans
  • Generous Justice: How God’s Grace Makes Us Just, by Timothy Keller
  • Let Justice Roll Down, by John M. Perkins
  • One Blood: Parting Words to the Church on Race and Love, by John M. Perkins

Stop by the church office any time during office hours to browse through our collection and borrow one to read.

Construction Update

Laying the Foundation

Trenches are dug, rebar is set, and concrete has begun to flow. Please pray for the continued health and safety of construction workers as our new Woodridge expansion progresses. See more photos here:

Construction Pix
Copyright © Live Oaks Community Church, All rights reserved.

Mailing Address
11962 CR 101, Suite 302, Box 103, The Villages, FL 32162

Woodridge Campus
12070 CR 103, Oxford, FL 34484

Southern Oaks Campus
7279 Warm Springs Avenue, Wildwood, FL 34785

Office Hours: 9-3 Monday-Thursday; 9-2 Friday 
Woodridge Phone: 352.446.3975
Southern Oaks Phone: 352.322.1964

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