Pastor's Lunar Project Keeps Congregation 'Looking Up' Despite Pandemic (+podcast)

Friday, March 5 2021 by Richard Hunt

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Oasis Church, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
This digital image will be soon be on the moon's surface

As a way to add some happy distraction to an otherwise low point during the COVID pandemic, Pastor Jody Skogen got members of Oasis Church thinking about something higher - the moon and, of course, God. 

Full podcast interview available

“We are just a really young church, a church plant. We’re just five months old and we’re always looking for ways that we can engage with people, connect with people, build community – and we became aware of a YouTube influencer who had purchased space on a NASA rover that’s going to the moon.” He offered fans an opportunity to send him a picture or video that would be placed in a digital time capsule that will be on that rover. “And so we thought, ‘You know what, let’s do that. Let’s build some memories here. Let’s do something fun and creative – particularly when physical distancing is such a challenge.’ We thought, ‘Let’s get together. Let’s do a Zoom call and let’s take a picture together… and send that image to the moon!’”

“I think we just felt like it was a special moment, being a part of history,” shares Pastor Jody. It also got Oasis Church thinking about God’s creation, “and how incredible it is.” Knowing their digital image would be sitting on the surface of the moon, some 240,000 miles above Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is what she calls “a perspective-maker.” Anytime they see the moon in the night sky, hot summer or bitter winter, it will be a reminder that “God is so big.”

Pastor Jody and others in the image may never know who could come across the picture in the future, maybe years or decades later, “but perhaps there will be a day…when someone might see that image and recognize that Oasis Church was a community of people who wanted to trust the Lord with all their heart and rely on Him” and they offered the photograph as a witness, a message of faith for the future. 

Pastor Jody reminds us, “It’s so like Jesus to seize an opportunity” and that’s what Oasis Church is doing, engaging culture. 

In our complete podcast interview below, Pastor Jody will share more about the specific Bible verses that were written on the outer border of the Zoom-like still image that’s going to the lunar surface. 


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