What we Know About Remedy in Oakdale

Before winter rolled in we walked over a marathon in prayer in the city of Oakdale. (Starting back up soon, so be sure to keep up with our events for future walks and join us!) We’ve met all but one principal in the school district, and had plenty of coffee shop and roadside conversations, and here’s what we know: 

 

1. Oakdale schools have hidden struggles.

Many are surprised when I tell them the results of conversations that I’ve had with the principals in this district. The percentage of students on free and reduced lunch is one of the key markers that the government and local organizations use to determine poverty. Eagle Point Elementary (right on the border of Lake Elmo and two miles away from Woodbury) is at 40% free and reduced lunch in their attendance. That’s the lowest number you’ll see in this city. It’s as high as 64% at Oakdale Elementary and even higher in the Maplewood schools in the district. Every principal I've chatted with has mentioned mental illness and increasing poverty as the struggles that keep them up at night. The problem is that for so many when they think Oakdale, they think right next to Woodbury/Lake Elmo and assume there’s no need.

Sources: Interviews with Principals and ISD 622 District information.

2. There is beautiful diversity in the city, just like in God’s Kingdom!

I love this picture for it's symbolism of diversity in the city: It's literally right next to you!

I love this picture for it's symbolism of diversity in the city: It's literally right next to you!

As I’ve walked the streets I’ve found that Oakdale is filled with all kinds of diversity. One side of the street has single family homes, the other has townhouses. The next block has an apartment building. White people live next door to Hmong people, African immigrants connect with American Blacks. Blue collar, white collar, no collar, all in the same city. 35 different languages are spoken by students and their families in the school district, with the top five being: English, Hmong, Spanish, Cambodian, and Chinese! When I think of what heaven looks like, I think it’s all sorts of people from all walks of life rubbing shoulders together under the banner of Jesus. We get a little slice of that here in Oakdale!

 

3. There aren’t enough churches here.

When I ask people on walks or in coffee shops about what churches are here, a surprising amount cannot name one. When I ask about the churches active in the community, even fewer can name one. This isn’t a knock against the churches in Oakdale. There are some great ones here doing important work. This simply means that there is a significant need for more people impacting the city in the name of Jesus.

 

4. People are catching the Remedy passion!

Our monthly DREAM meetings were awesome in catching the vision and building momentum. At our last DREAM meeting, people started asking: "Why don't we start doing all the things we're talking about? Let's start acting like church!" So begins a growing core team with passion for the Remedy vision of engaging people in the way of Jesus. We are excited to see the Remedy at work in the lives of people, bringing the hope and healing found only in an eternity changing relationship with Jesus. We’re starting to meet, dream, and grow. Now is the time to join us in making history here in the name of Jesus!

Peace!

Andy Audette
Pastor - Remedy Church

"Where is the Church going to be?"

When we set out praying, planning, and dreaming about Remedy, there were a variety of cities and locations that were considered. We began passionate about a church that would engage people in the way of Jesus, but didn't exactly have a place in mind yet. So we set out walking - and talking to God while we did it. That’s what we mean by “Prayer Walking”. We walked through a variety of cities, spending time in parks, neighborhoods, coffee shops, and even a beach or two (church planting is so hard sometimes). We found a lot of neat places and met some cool people, but once we spent some time in Oakdale everything changed. We started seeing little hints of Jesus all over the place. Which at first might seem counter-intuitive, right? "You're planting a church, you're supposed to be BRINGING Jesus to the city, right?" We don't think so. That’s the huge truth for us as we begin: We don't believe that WE are the Remedy. We believe JESUS is the Remedy. As we prayed, we found Jesus written on sidewalks, clipped to magnet boards, and in conversations at coffee shops. It is clear that God is here already at work, and it felt tangibly like He was calling us to join Him in that work Remedy work. So we listen, and Oakdale it is!

“But where in Oakdale?” You ask…

Well, we can’t exactly answer that yet, partly because the walking isn’t done! Before we ever launch a public worship service, we feel called to prayerfully walk every street in this city. We want to become familiar with the homes, businesses, organizations, parks, and every empty plot in between! We need to learn what Remedy work God us up to here in Oakdale, and then we can best be a community that joins Him in it. What needs are there where we could serve? What events are going on where we could reach out? These are important questions that keep us focused where God wants us focused. We would love to have you on a walk with us, and connected to our monthly DREAM meetings! Click here to subscribe to our prayer updates and be informed about upcoming walks and events.

The History of Remedy

When I graduated from college I struggled with what was next for my life. I had a degree that set me up for youth ministry, but just didn't feel called to that direction. I spent a lot of time discouraged and in prayer over what was next. I took a year off and worked at a coffee shop while I tried to figure it out. I wondered if I was supposed to plant a church, I wondered if I was supposed to be a pastor, and I wondered if I was just supposed to be a barista at the coffee shop connecting with people. I would pray over and over asking for help and direction. Several times as I would pray, the word "Remedy" came to mind. Sometimes it just popped into my head. Sometimes I happened upon it through reading scripture (fyi, it mostly appears in the Old Testament, and not in a very happy context...which perfectly fit my emotions at that time). Sometimes it came through music. I'd hear Remedy songs on pop radio (thanks Jason Mraz and Zedd) and Christian radio too (David Crowder Band).

At this point I just simply loved the word, the meanings, and the context it brought to my life. It's a provocative word, isn't it? Remedy. Something isn't right. I need something more, something else, something different...I don't know exactly, but I need something! But at the same time Remedy is so attractive because it points us beyond the problem and towards the solution. Remedy is a cure. Remedy is an answer. Remedy brings hope for things to be set right finally in a way that no medicine or temporary treatment ever could. For me, Remedy is what Jesus is all about.

Then I was in Knoxville, TN drinking coffee and praying about as hard as I could over whether I was really supposed to plant a church. At that point I'd tried several times to get out and brought so many excuses but I kept finding myself right in the middle of conversations and plans to plant. As I'm praying and asking if I should really plant, I'm looking around and this is what I see:

Photo credit: http://remedycoffee.com/

Photo credit: http://remedycoffee.com/

This was the first time that I put together that the concept of Remedy God had on my heart for years was one and the same with the call to plant a church. I felt God's direction at that moment that I was supposed to plant a church called Remedy. And this church would be a church that would bring the Remedy of Jesus to the community in which it's planted. From that moment on Remedy has been the driving passion of my church planting journey. Please pray with me that God would use Remedy church to connect many to the one and only Remedy for humankind: Jesus.