For many years we mostly met in small “Cell” groups on Sundays, and that was our main Sunday worship experience. Once a month we met in a combined “Celebration” service with all the Cells worshipping together.
In 2006 we began meeting all together every week. Reasons for this included: providing a better “front door” to visitors, consolidating our children’s program, and just seeing everyone more. We had outgrown our own church site (2626 E. 16th St.), and also the Oak Park Tenant Activity Center next door to our church site. God provided the nearby Youth Employment Partnership site, where we currently meet.
YEP is where we gather to worship, trying to be close to the human condition, to the lives of everyone nearby: the homeless guy lying on the street; the refugees trying to adjust to a new setting; the immigrant families trying to make a living; the day laborers; the local small business entrepreneurs; the chain store/restaurant employees; the gangbangers, druggies, and streetwalkers; and all those others who somehow find themselves in this place, the Lower San Antonio District of Oakland, California, U.S.A. Here we bring our own needs and longings each Sunday, and receive God’s grace to serve and follow Jesus.
Cultural contextualization is an ongoing theme in our church’s journey and worship life. Our members come from a wide range of ancestries, including many from a broad array of East Asian and Southeast Asian backgrounds. We believe that cultivating individual and shared “voices” in worship is an essential part of making a full and good self-offering of ourselves in worship.