Jeana's 8th Street Dreams by Chris Pollock

Jeana Gering

Easter is the season of God’s dreams coming true, and we are dreaming with him. We are sharing our 8th Street Dreams – the dreams God has given us for the 8th Street building and our new neighborhood. Jeana first shared her 8th Streets Dreams during our service on May 28, 2017.

Hello, my name is Jeana Gering, I am a part of the Fitch parish group, and I’m here because this congregation truly strives to live the way of Jesus.

I want to share with you my dreams for the 8th Street Church, but first, because this is a place where I can be vulnerable, I have to make a confession. When we began this whole “8th Street Dreams” series, I didn’t really get it. I just don’t relish thinking in intangibles. “But Jeana, you’re an artist. You’re creative. You’ve devoted your life to abstract concepts.” No – I’ve devoted my life to representing abstract concepts through physical, visual, and auditory elements. I make something out of them, put them into context. What’s the point in just dreaming for dreaming's sake? Why state these lofty, intangible aspirations if we have no way of truly knowing if we’ll ever have the tools and means to get there? So I resolved to listen politely while the rest of you shared your 8th Street dreams.

And then Michaele called. She needed someone in a pinch to publically and vulnerably share their desires. Because she’s quite clever, she called the person who publically shares her vulnerability all the time. She knew I could do the public speaking thing in a pinch without getting overwhelmed – it’s my spiritual gift. Dadgummit, she caught me. Or rather, God went searching for his lost sheep. Not that I felt like I was lost – I was just refusing to sit down and think. Like a good millennial, I am a master at filling my head with distractions. Choosing to focus on the inconsequential trivialities of life that keep me from having to make any real personal decisions or declarations – work, Netflix, Candy Crush. But now I’m forced to start dreaming, frustrated the entire time because I feel like the exercise is frivolous. Sure, I want these grandiose ideals of community and acceptance, of inclusion and selflessness. But how does wanting these things actually affect anything? Now I really do feel like a lost sheep.

But I have to write something, and I can’t just wing it on Sunday because Michaele wants to publish this on the blog. Foiled again. Okay. What do I want 8th Street church to look like in 2022?

Well, I know Danny and I want to have kids, and I’d like that to be around 2022. What do I want the 8th Street Church to be for them? Well I know what I don’t want it to be – I don’t want it to be “safe”. Okay, I know I just rattled several of you, so let’s unpack that statement. I don’t want to use the guise of safety in order to surround my kids with people who look just like them, who come from similar backgrounds or family modules, who are in the same socioeconomic status. I don’t want them to be afraid of or uncomfortable around people who are different. When they see something they aren’t familiar with or don’t understand, I want them to run toward it rather than cowering in fear or walling themselves off. I want them to learn this from me, but I know that on my own I am going to fall short of this aspiration time and time again. I know this because I don’t have the greatest track record. While my parents did instill these values in me in theory, my human instinct for self preservation flocks to what is known, what is comfortable, what isn’t challenging. So my dream for the 8th Street Church is that it would be a safe place for people to abandon safety. A community that pushes one another to run toward what’s uncomfortable, what’s different, what we don’t understand. That we would trust in God to guide us to love His people – all His people. To embrace new, odd, unfamiliar ways of worship. To send us to places that make us uneasy. To embrace feeling uncomfortable until the sensation of uncomfortableness becomes a feeling that is simply familiar. And I hope that this example set for my children would so deeply engrain the practice in them that they would never know this mentality to be an anomaly, but a way – no – the way of life.

Dagnabbit, Michaele, your exercise worked. This is something meaningful. This is actually something I can start working on right now! What’s more, I’ve learned something in the process. This wasn’t ever about intangible concepts that make us seem lofty and enlightened. This was about defining a destination. After all, a sheep really is lost if it doesn’t know where it’s going. Therefore, to those of you who joined me as a “dream-skeptic”, I’m going to challenge you to take some time to write out your dreams. Pause Netflix, leave the dishes in the sink, put down the cell phone, open a Word document or an old-fashioned journal, and just start writing stream of consciousness. It doesn’t have to be good, or revolutionary, or even cohesive – yours isn’t going on a blog. Because I’ll be honest, even though I had several ideas floating around in my head, what I’ve shared today wasn’t truly fleshed out so that I could connect the dots until I had to start typing. Please join me in dreaming so that together we can flesh out our idea of our 8th Street Church destination. So that we know what we’re investing our time and money into and why we’re doing it. It’s a lot easier to know which path to take when we have an idea of where we’re going.


To learn more about the 8th Street Project, go here.

It takes work (& money) to make our dreams come true. Will you join us? You can give online through our parent church, Bethany First Church of the Nazarene; make sure to mark your gift for "Midtown- 8th Street Project." You can also send cash or check to PO Box 76266, Oklahoma City, OK 73147. Contact Pastor Chris Pollock at chrispollockokc@gmail.com if you have questions about giving.

Leigha's 8th Street Dreams by Chris Pollock

Leigha Day

Easter is the season of God’s dreams coming true, and we are dreaming with him. Throughout the next five weeks, we are sharing our 8th Street Dreams – the dreams God has given us for the 8th Street building and our new neighborhood. Leigha first shared her 8th Streets Dreams during our service on May 21, 2017.

My name is Leigha, and I am part of the Day-LaVigne Parish Group. I am here because I am an imperfect person, and I want to commit to love and be loved by a group of imperfect people through a perfect, redemptive, just, and merciful God.

What is my 8th Street Dream for our church? To begin to answer this question I had to first face the fact that I don’t really know what church is.

I found church as a barefooted child running through the blue-carpeted floors of the sanctuary.
I found church in a Nicaraguan barrio while playing the tambourine.
I found church through a warm cup of coffee and controversial conversation with a stranger.
I found church in the Philippines under a bridge that housed many children.
I found church through music and silence created by a classroom full of children on the Autism Spectrum.

I don’t know what church is- I’m just not sure. But I do know that I have found it here at Midtown church, with you, and I have dreams for us to become a church that embodies and embraces people and experiences such as these. I dream of a place where love is not defined by fear. A place where solidarity overrides preference. A place and space thoughtfully created for you, me, and the least of these.

My dream is that we are a church not defined by walls. That we are a people that choose to overcome language barriers, socioeconomic barriers, racial and gender barriers, barriers due to mental health. That the repurposing and construction of the physical walls of the 8th Street Church are not symbolic of a barrier—but as a construct of peace and a safe haven for vulnerability. My prayer is that the 8th Street Church becomes our home, and that we not only show hospitality to the people that walk in, but that our home is always open—an open space for the outcast, and a resource for the marginalized.

There are two dictionary definitions to define the word “neighbor”. The first, “noun, a person living near or next door to the speaker or person referred”. The second, “verb, to be situated next to or very near (another)”. I want to become both definitions of a neighbor. I want to care for, love on, and show Jesus to our physical neighbors. But I REALLY want to choose to the verb, the action—“to be situated next to or very near (another)” with our neighbors even when it feels difficult and uncomfortable, just as Jesus does and shows us through his teachings.

Oh, Jesus, may you give us love to show our neighbors, desire to learn from our neighbors, grace to embrace our neighbors, strength to support our neighbors, and healthy resources to provide our neighbors. To God be all the glory.

I hope that in 2022 that we are a family of people that can look back and say: “I found church in a hopeless place.”


To learn more about the 8th Street Project, go here.

It takes work (& money) to make our dreams come true. Will you join us? You can give online through our parent church, Bethany First Church of the Nazarene; make sure to mark your gift for "Midtown- 8th Street Project." You can also send cash or check to PO Box 76266, Oklahoma City, OK 73147. Contact Pastor Chris Pollock at chrispollockokc@gmail.com if you have questions about giving.

Ben's 8th Street Dreams by Chris Pollock

Ben Busic

Easter is the season of God’s dreams coming true, and we are dreaming with him. Throughout the next five weeks, we are sharing our 8th Street Dreams – the dreams God has given us for the 8th Street building and our new neighborhood. Ben first shared his 8th Streets Dreams during our service on May 14, 2017.

Hello, my name is Ben Busic. I’m here because I want to continue the calling of our Nazarene roots to bring lost and broken people to Christ. I would like to share with you the dreams I have for the 8th Street Church.

I have been a part of the Nazarene Church my entire life. Not a day goes by that I am not impacted because of the Church of the Nazarene. I was born here in Oklahoma City into the welcoming arms of Williams Memorial Church of the Nazarene. Since then, my family has been involved in a total of 6 Nazarene Churches as full time members, all of them having a significant part of my upbringing. I have had the opportunity to meet thousands upon thousands of Nazarenes from literally all across the World. We are a part of a Church that truly has global outreach! In fact, of all the millions of Nazarenes in the world, more than 70% of them are outside of North America. With many of this 70% being located in 3rd world countries, we are a part of a Church that truly understands what it means to be out of our comfort zones to show God’s love to every tribe and nation.

I would like to share with you a little history of our Nazarene roots.

Phineas F. Bresee was the founder of the Church of the Nazarene. He left a comfortable position in the Methodist church to work with the inner city poor in Los Angeles. One of his journal entries wrote, “It had been my long-cherished desire to have a place in the heart of the city, which could be made a center of holy fire, and where the gospel could be preached to the poor.”

Bethany First Church of the Nazarene was planted over 100 years ago. C.B. Jernigan was the District Superintendent at the time. Just like we have been in this process to plant a church, so was Jernigan. Within a year of planting BFC, he also planted 35 additional churches! Johnny Jernigan, the wife a C.B. Jernigan opened a Nazarene Rescue Home whose mission statement was “for penitent, homeless and friendless girls.” This was a home for the unwanted, unwed girls to feel safe. Within a few years time, 147 babies had been born there. Think about this: A hundred years ago… scandalous! Mattie Mallory, another Nazarene around this same time, used her inheritance in 1897 to open Oklahoma City’s first orphanage. This later became the Children’s Center in Bethany.

We are a Church that began courageously. We reached out to the scandalous, to the unwanted, to the lost and broken people. What does all this history mean to us at 8th Street Church? We still have this mission to reach the lost and forgotten people all across the world! That is why we want to give to this Nazarene Church in urban Oklahoma City. There are so many people that need the message of Holiness right in our own neighborhoods.

This is not only a building; it is a place for everyone in the city to come together worship our living God. Alicia and I ask that you join us in giving to this new church building project. We are giving in addition to our regular 10% tithe not because we feel like we have to, but because we want to be a part of what God has planned for his people.

Let’s continue the good work of our roots, together.


To learn more about the 8th Street Project, go here.

It take work (& money) to make our dreams come true. Will you join us? You can give online through our parent church, Bethany First Church of the Nazarene; make sure to mark your gift for "Midtown- 8th Street Project." You can also send cash or check to PO Box 76266, Oklahoma City, OK 73147. Contact Pastor Chris Pollock at chrispollockokc@gmail.com if you have questions about giving.

Sherri Pat's 8th Street Dreams by Chris Pollock

Sherri Pat Rothwell

Easter is the season of God’s dreams coming true, and we are dreaming with him. Throughout the next five weeks, we are sharing our 8th Street Dreams – the dreams God has given us for the 8th Street building and our new neighborhood. Sherri Pat first shared his 8th Streets Dreams during our service on May 7, 2017.

My name is Sherri Pat Rothwell, I’m here because there is a knowing deep within my being that resonates “this is home”.

Let me begin by reading from my journal in 2011. It is July 25th, on motorcycles, on a journey.

“We are on a road trip. We pass a lot of the same things
over and over, churches and a lot of them. Church of the Servant,
Jehovah Witness, Church of Jesus Christ and on and on.
I think if I were to start a church, it would be like a
restaurant, really good food and an abundance of it.
My church would only say “church” on the building.
I would offer grace and love and humility, you know,
the Corinthians kind of things and lots of it.”

It was in 2013 when Chris Pollock allowed me to read his prospectus of the church plant in the Midtown area. I poured over the pages and as I read, I found myself captivated by the possibilities.

A few days later, I called and said, “I’m In.” Then we prayed and waited to see what God had for Paul, my husband, and me together. So....here we are, together, “Home”.

This is the part of our journey where we gather together and collectively tell “our” truth. When I was growing up in school, we played “red rover”. This is a game where we would form two opposing lines. Each line would link arms and hands to form the most solid link. Then, one person would yell out, “red rover red rover let Patti come over.” Patti would run as fast and hard as possible and hit the opposing line between what she perceived as the weakest link.

The point of that story for now is, please don’t let me be the weakest link. My dreams for this church are that there would be conversations that would draw us each into being more than we are, creating moments that have the potential to forever change the trajectory and direction from here forward!

We each create part of the foundation of this church.This is a sacred journey, a space in which I intend to know the true intent of my own heart. I want to see this from God”s perspective. The big picture is made up of sacred moments, and we are all part of these moments.It’s not the “big moment” of a dedication of a building that defines us. We are living in the vacuum of moments that have the potential to tell an amazing story.

I don’t intend to be swept away with the newest trend or new attraction of the day. I am listening for my own calling and purpose. When we listen and love without terms or conditions, there is a freedom that flows forth.

I have a vision beyond the beauty of the stained glass stories. It’s an outdoor kitchen with blenders and griddles and a coffee barista and grills with the deep breath aromas drifting throughout the neighborhood. It’s a drawing to us; 8th street church, to dine, to dance to a rhythm that feels different, yet familiar...Home. Oh Father, give us wisdom that allows us to care for this sacred place in our city.

Our most amazing parish group, hosted by Mark and Cheryl Pollock met at the 8th & Lee church on a Thursday evening a couple of weeks ago. We had pizza. We had opened the front doors of the church and two men from the area came in those doors and we had the opportunity to share our meal with them. We would like to call this “the first dinner on the grounds”. This is a place of gathering that causes us to drink in the deep disciplines of walking in relationship with our Father.

Excerpts from Psalms 119

“Give me clear direction.

Barricade the road that goes nowhere.
Grace me with your clear direction.

God, teach me lessons for living so I can stay the course.

Divert my eyes from toys and trinkets, invigorate me on the pilgrim way.

Affirm your promise to me - promises to all who fear you.

See how hungry I am for your council, preserve my life
through all your righteous ways.

With your very own hands you formed me, now breathe
your wisdom over me so I can understand you.

Keep my mind fixed on your council.

And let me live whole and holy, soul and body, so I can
always walk with my head held high.”

The corner stone and the building blocks are each of us. I’m in. I’m on board. I’m leaning in so that I may see and hear the visions and sounds of the moment.

Are we saving this small corner on 8th & Lee....or is our participation in this journey saving us?


Are you dreaming with us? Share your 8th Street Dreams by posting to Facebook or Instagram using #8thStreetDreams, or email Pastor Michaele at michaelelavigneokc@gmail.com or Pastor Chris at chrispollockokc@gmail.com.

While we are dreaming, we are also getting to work. The $1.7 million dollar project will begin mid-June, and our congregation members will be making their faith commitment to the project by the end of May. Our goal is to do this project debt-free, so that we can truly give this building as a gift to our city. We have already received $830,000 toward the project, and have a goal of $170,000 to come from the faith commitments of the congregation. The remainder will be raised from outside sources.

You can give online; make sure to mark your gift for "Midtown- 8th Street Project." You can also send cash or check to PO Box 76266, Oklahoma City, OK 73147. Contact Pastor Chris Pollock at chrispollockokc@gmail.com if you have questions about giving.

Evan's 8th Street Dreams by Chris Pollock

Evan Mosshart

Easter is the season of God’s dreams coming true, and we are dreaming with him. Throughout the next five weeks, we are sharing our 8th Street Dreams – the dreams God has given us for the 8th Street building and our new neighborhood. Evan initially shared his 8th Streets Dreams during our service on April 30, 2017.

Hello my name is Evan Mosshart. I’m here because everything in my flesh wants to turn in and focus on myself, but when I’m a part of this community I feel emboldened to live in service to others. I’m a part of Keith and Kimberly’s parish group and I have been given the unique opportunity to share with you the dreams I have for the 8th Street Church and why I’ll be offering my God-given resources toward it. As I was preparing for speaking tonight, I like Michaele, had a hard time putting my feelings and dreams to paper. So I did what I tend to do in that situation. I read. I was inspired by the writing of others and I am relaying their words in the hope that it inspires you all as well. So here goes.

I still vividly remember the first time I heard about this project. Chris started rattling off the details; the building was 100 years old, it was built by German immigrants, was historically significant to the city, but was old, worn out, and needed lots of restoration. With each successive detail, I got more and more excited. Now as to why I was getting such a good burn over aspects which are seemingly not really that exciting and to some would seem a hindrance, I should probably explain a bit of my personality.

I’m not sure how many people have taken the StrengthsFinder test or know what it is, but one of my top strengths is called Context. People strong in the Context theme enjoy studying the past. They understand the present by researching its history. Many of my ancestors came from Germany. Both sides of my family were represented at Pilot Point when the Church of the Nazarene was started. My great-great-grandfather on my father's side and great-grandmother on my mother's side were preachers and helped plant churches from Temple, Texas to Bethany First Church. I have a family history of courageous church leaders and a lot of what they were doing then and who they were doing it for would still be looked upon with some hesitation by the Pharisees around us today.

As I heard the vision for our church laid out, I started dreaming about the possibility of carrying on this tradition. The opportunity to be a part of something bigger than myself; part of something that tied me, my family heritage, and the greater church body into the same thread. That is super exciting to me!

Even the process of doing the renovation is meaningful to me. I get energy by fixing things. I enjoy bringing things back to life. It is a wonderful feeling to restore something to its true glory; to resuscitate it and rekindle its vitality. This is my Restorative strength at work. As the son of a painting contractor, I got to participate in some amazing restorations. My dad taught me a bit of his art of revitalization and in many instances he has given his time and skills as a gift. He showed me that you don’t have to be a pastor to use your vocation as a method for ministry. The thought of being able to put to use a skill my father taught me as an offering to the church is a blessing, and again, is very exciting!

As I dream about what we as the 8th Street Church will look like in the future, I think it’s more helpful for me to think about the traits that we will exhibit as opposed to what the physical building or the programming inside will look like. Now, I think we all have hopes that the children’s area has all kinds of fun things to play with, or that we have a great sound system, or the landscaping looks sharp, or the preaching and worship is this style or that. But to me, what will make this church an incredible gift to the people that attend it and those who come in contact with it, will be things like: love, flexibility, intimacy, connectedness, and grace.

I dream of a church where we know the people around us, not just their names, but the stories of their lives. And we are invested, whether we like it or not, in those lives and they in ours, and where things like smoothness, production value, outward appearances, and sticking to the schedule aren’t all that important. That flexibility and an embrace of the imperfect can allow for moments of deeply intimate grace that can be hard to find in the church because the setting and our sometimes selfish expectations interfere with that sort of thing. I dream of a church where we are doing everything we can with the means available to us to incarnate the sort of love, compassion, and grace we talk so longingly about.

In preparation for speaking tonight, I was reading some of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s book Life Together, a classic work that explores the means with which to cultivate authentic Christian community. As I was excitedly reading his words and compiling my mental list of the dreams I have for the 8th Street Church, I was blindsided by his caution to the idealistic Christian dreamer, aka me. He said,

“Those who love their dream of a Christian community more than the Christian community itself become the destroyers of that community even though their personal intentions may be ever so honest, earnest, and sacrificial. God hates this wishful dreaming because it makes the dreamer proud and pretentious. Those who dream of this idealized community demand that it be fulfilled by God, by others, and by themselves. They enter the community of Christians with their demands, set up their own law, and judge one another and even God accordingly. They stand adamant, a living reproach to all others in the circle of the community. They act as if they have to create the Christian community, as if their visionary ideal binds the people together. Whatever does not go their way, they call a failure. When their idealized image is shattered, they see the community breaking into pieces. So they first become accusers of other Christians in the community, then accusers of God, and finally the desperate accusers of themselves. Because God already has laid the only foundation of our community, because God has united us in one body with other Christians in Jesus Christ long before we entered into common life with them, we enter into that life together with other Christians, not as those who make demands, but as those who thankfully receive.”

His words were like a heat-seeking missile, homing right in on my pretentiousness. I had been awakened to the fact that I will have to be on guard that I don’t love my dreams of community more than those around me, for by focusing on Christlike love, and not my dream, will the community be created.

For this church to be the place we hope and long for we must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted. God will be constantly crossing our paths and canceling our plans by sending us people with needs and petitions.

We must be tender to these people who are placed in our path. Pope Francis defines tenderness as being on the same level as the other. God himself descended into Jesus to be on our level. This is the same path the Good Samaritan took. This is the path that Jesus himself took. He lowered himself, he lived his entire human existence practicing the real, concrete language of love.

We must be a listen-first people and not a talk-first people. Just as our love for God begins with listening to God’s Word, the beginning of love for others is learning to listen to them. God’s love for us is shown by the fact that God not only gives God’s Word, but also lends us God’s ear. We do God’s work for our brothers and sisters when we learn to listen to them. We must be a generous people. Like the Good Samaritan, let us not merely pass by those who have been excluded or left behind. Let’s be a part of creating a new world by taking care of the other, even out of our own pockets. Mother Teresa actually said: "One cannot love, unless it is at their own expense."

We must be a merciful, graceful, loving, and forgiving people. When God was merciful, when he revealed Jesus Christ to us as our brother, when he won our hearts by his love, this was the beginning of our instruction in divine love. When God was merciful to us, we learned to be merciful with our brethren. When we received forgiveness instead of judgment, we too were made ready to forgive our brethren. What God did for us, we now owe to others. The more we receive, the more we should give. Thus God himself taught us to meet one another as God has met us in Christ. And let us remember, human love constructs its own image of the other person, of what that person is and what they should become. It takes the life of the other person into its own hands. Spiritual love recognizes the true image of the other person which they have received from Jesus Christ; the image that Jesus Christ himself embodied and would stamp upon all people.

Now you might tell me, "Sure, these are beautiful words, but I am not the Good Samaritan, nor Mother Teresa." But Pope Francis says,

“On the contrary: we are precious, each and every one of us. Each and every one of us is irreplaceable in the eyes of God. Through the darkness of today's conflicts, each and every one of us can become a bright candle, a reminder that light will overcome darkness, and never the other way around. This is our future, and its name is Hope. Feeling hopeful does not mean to be optimistically naïve and ignore the tragedy humanity is facing. Hope is the virtue of a heart that doesn't lock itself into darkness, that doesn't dwell on the past, does not simply get by in the present, but is able to see a tomorrow. Hope is the door that opens onto the future. Hope is a humble, hidden seed of life that, with time, will develop into a large tree. It is like some invisible yeast that allows the whole dough to grow, that brings flavor to all aspects of life. And it can do so much, because a tiny flicker of light that feeds on hope is enough to shatter the shield of darkness. A single individual is enough for hope to exist, and that individual can be you. And then there will be another "you," and another "you," and it turns into an "us." And so, does hope begin when we have an "us?" No. Hope began with one "you." When there is an "us," there begins a revolution.

I know this sounds grandiose but this is what I dream for! This is the Kingdom! I dream for a revolution that tears me out of my own simple existence and sets me down amidst the Holy history of God on earth. Like Bonhoeffer, I dream of a world that is overcome not through destruction, but through reconciliation. Not ideals or programs, not conscience, duty, responsibility, or virtue, but only God's perfect love that can encounter our tragic reality and overcome it. This is not some general idea of love that does this, but rather the love of God in Jesus Christ, a love genuinely lived, that does this. This love of God for the world does not withdraw from reality into noble souls detached from the world, but experiences and suffer the reality of the world at its worst. The world exhausts its rage on the body of Jesus Christ. But the martyred one forgives the world its sins. Thus reconciliation takes place. This is my 8th Street dream.


Are you dreaming with us? Share your 8th Street Dreams by posting to Facebook or Instagram using #8thStreetDreams, or email Pastor Michaele at michaelelavigneokc@gmail.com or Pastor Chris at chrispollockokc@gmail.com.

While we are dreaming, we are also getting to work. The $1.7 million dollar project will begin mid-June, and our congregation members will be making their faith commitment to the project by the end of May. Our goal is to do this project debt-free, so that we can truly give this building as a gift to our city. We have already received $830,000 toward the project, and have a goal of $170,000 to come from the faith commitments of the congregation. The remainder will be raised from outside sources.

If you would like to give to the 8th Street Project, email Pastor Chris Pollock at chrispollockokc@gmail.com.