Sunday, December 26, 2010

The First Sunday After Christmas

December 26, 2010The only two kids in church, Matt and Owen, listen to Patsy's "Happy Birthday Jesus" children's sermon. She also shared the legend of the candy cane and Owen got to take Jesus' birthday cake home with him.

Laura Bennett, home from Dallas for the holidays, watches her parents Al and Ann present the final Advent Wreath Meditation.

Al Bennett reads Luke 2:1-20 as Ann lights all of the Advent candles, including the Christ candle.

Notice the Happy Birthday balloon in honor of the birthday child, Jesus.

Joys: Trey and Heather Carothers are pregnant with twins! Micah and Abby Moeller are pregnant with one baby!

We had a guest speaker today, June Tucker, because Patrick was gone to Nebraska for Christmas.

June's message was about the Magi, otherwise know as the wise men. These wise men were astrologers, they studied the skies. And in the skies they saw a message from God, an invitation to follow the star to Bethlehem and see the child King.

The wise men were curious gentiles, persistent (it took them 2 years to get to their destination) and are an acknowledgement that Jesus came to save the whole world, not just Israel.

June said that the wise men were the first missionaries to the gentiles because they returned home and shared what they had seen. I don't remember any great Christian evangelism in the Orient. Do you?

Lord give me a gentile and kind spirit so that I might be an epiphany* to others.

*epiphany: (a festival held on January 6 commemorating) the Manifestation of Christ to the gentiles (as represented by the Magi). (Epiphany with a capital E includes the entire definition.)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

More Pictures

Almost the full cast: The choir director, choir, Mary & Joseph, the shepherds and one of the angels.

The rest of the cast: The rest of the angels and Hubert the shepherd.

Comic interlude: Isabela decided she needed to sing in the choir with her Grandma.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Program

Sunday, December 19, 7:00 p.m.

Santa Couldn't come to our Christmas program this year, he was gone visiting friends in Texas. Does anyone besides me think Santa should go on vacation every year and skip our church program? I'm talking about Santa, not Fred.

Our Christmas program began with a congregational Christmas song that was followed by Patrick reading a Christmas story, SANTA KID, to the children. Who knew James Patterson was writing children's books?

At the end of the story, Patrick explained that the message of the book is "believe" and that we need to believe in Jesus, whose birthday we celebrate at Christmas. He then gave each child a copy of the book.

Mary and Joseph, shepherds and angels took their places around the manger as the choir sang.

As always, our program ended with a collection for the Circle of Care, passing out treat bags, exchanging gifts and then a finger food feast in Fellowship Hall.

I hope to get some pictures of the "Nativity Scene." I couldn't take them because I was narrating the story from the choir loft.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Fourth Sunday in Advent

Betty Bigbow reads the Advent passage while Bill lights the candles.

Scripture verses for today, Isaiah 9:2-7

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.

For those who lived in a land of deep shadows---light! Sunbursts of light!

You repopulated the nation, you expanded its joy.

Oh, they're so glad in your presence! Festival Joy!

The joy of a great celebration, sharing rich gifts and warm greetings.


For a child has been born---for us! the gift of a son --- for us!

He'll take over the running of the world,

His names will be: Amazing Counselor, Strong God,

Eternal Father, Prince of Wholeness,

His ruling authority will grow, and there'll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.

He'll rule from the historic David throne over the promised kingdom.

He'll put that kingdom on a firm footing and keep it going

With fair dealing and right living, beginning now and lasting always.

The zeal of GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies will do all this.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Third Sunday In Advent

The acolytes bring in the light of Christ. Everyone wants to help.

Today is the Third Sunday in Advent.

Wilderness and desert will sing joyously, the badlands will celebrate and flower---Like the crocus in spring, bursting into blossom, a symphony of song and color. Isaiah 35:1

Patsy reads the advent story while her mother lights the candle of joy.
Advent is the special time before Christmas. Preparing the way for the birth of Jesus.

I received this link in an email today.

It's a music video called "Where's the line to see Jesus?" It says a lot about Advent and the way we celebrate Christmas. I hope you'll take the time to view it. I think you'll be blessed.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

December Board Meeting Minutes

Daryl called the meeting to order and Patrick opened with prayer.

Minutes of the October Meeting were read and approved.

Treasurers Report:
Building Fund----$6622.00
General Fund-----$2971.59
Our final apportionment payment for this year will be made on December 15,2010.

Committee Reports:
Women's Circle and Choir are doing fine.

Old & New Business combined:
Food Drive: We turned in close to 300 items to Indiahoma FFA. Their collection date cutoff is Dec. 10 at which time they will announce which class gets a pizza party and which church gets a landscape makeover.

We decided to go caroling after choir practice on Dec. 15, approximately 6:30 p.m. Alba will make fliers to post around time promoting the Christmas program and caroling.

School Christmas Program: Thursday, Dec. 16, 7:00 p.m.

Senior Citizen's Christmas party: Sunday, Dec. 19, 1:00 p.m.

Indiahoma UMC Christmas Celebration: Sunday, Dec. 19, 7:00 p.m.

We will sack candy during Sunday School on Dec. 19th. Those attending the Senior Citizen's Christmas party are excused from sacking candy this year.

Pastor's Report:
The High School lunch went well. Bar B Q brisket sandwiches seem like the way to go. They are easy to make and the kids like them.

The Lawton UMC conference was a big success.

The Small Churches Meeting in Elfin was a pretty good work shop.

The Community Service in Snyder went real well. Patrick responded to Herwannah's request to invite everyone to stay and eat whether they brought something or not.

Dec 19, 7:00 p.m. - Indiahoma Christmas Celebration
Dec 24, 7:30 p.m. - Christmas Eve Service with communion
Jan 23, 6:00 p.m. - Introduction to the Old Testament Bible Study
Jan 30, 2:30-5:15 p.m. - Local Leaders Workshop. The cost is $10. See Harold.

Alba asked if we had found a Santa for the Christmas program since Fred will be out of town this year on the program date. Daryl told her that we hadn't. Syd. burst out it applause which stunned the others into complete silence. My question, "Why do we need to have Santa at a program celebrating Jesus?"

Daryl closed the meeting with a benediction type blessing.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Sunday, December 5

Second Sunday in Advent

Harold and Collene Hunt light the advent candle of peace.

Later that day, Harold enjoys chicken and dessert at the monthly church pot luck dinner.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Advent, Day 6

How are you God's partner in hope today?

Faith, Hope and Love, three things that endure forever. The greatest of them is love, maybe because it is somewhat tangible and available now. Faith in things to come but also faith in things as simple as gravity. Hope is different because it is totally focused on the future. And it's eternal. So we will always have something to look forward to? Something to hope for? I think that's an interesting concept.

Like Beth Richardson, I want God to sharpen my vision so that I may see the signs of His goodness at work in the world. I want to be His partner in hope.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Advent Questions

Day 1 --- What are your hopes, dreams, challenges as you enter this Advent season?

Day 2 --- What is your wilderness?

Day 3 --- What are the challenges keeping you from reaching the stillness? What do you need to do in order to find a quiet space.

Day 4 --- How do you deal with distractions and anxieties?

Day 5 --- Who around you is in need of comfort? Where do you find comfort?

SOURCE: The Uncluttered Heart by Beth A. Richardson


Monday, November 29, 2010

First Sunday in Advent

The beginning of another church year, anticipating the birth of a savior, preparation and celebration. Here are two websites worth checking out to enhance your Advent season:

The Uncluttered Heart, making room for God during Advent and Christmas. You can visit the site daily or sign up to receive daily email devotions from the Upper Room. Beth A Richardson includes a photograph that illustrates an Advent point, words to carry in your heart, a prayer, a song, and a book of the day in each email. It takes less than 5 minutes to read the entire email.

The Advent Conspiracy, what if Christmas became a world changing event again? Worship Fully, Spend Less, Give More, Love All. Give Presence.

What are your hopes, dreams, challenges as you enter this Advent season?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

New Bibles

Ken Wellhouse made and installed pew Bible holders for the new Bibles (the red books) we bought with money left to the church by Lucile (Altizer) Lindsay.

Click A Service of Joy to read about Betty (Skaggs) Wooden and the day she brought a gift that her Aunt Lou left in her will for Indiahoma United Methodist Church.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Day Without Hunger

The Lawton District United Methodist churches
had a district-wide food drive. Postcards were sent
to residents of the Lawton District telling them
about the food drive, inviting them to participate
by donating food and then coming to a celebration
at First UMC in Lawton on Sunday afternoon.

The postcards were sent from Nashville by the
National Conference who also provided us with
T-shirts and red bags for collecting food. They also
sent banner to hang outside of collection sites (ours is shown flying in front of the Fellowship Hall door). The National Conference also produced and
aired radio spots about the area food drive.

The food drive was first advertised locally in the
church's Grace Notes newsletter and in the
Indiahoma School Newsletter. On Halloween night,
several members took their children trick-or-
treating and gave flyers in exchange for candy. Other people handed out flyers to parents who came to the door with their children.

Today, November 6th, was collection day. Members came in shifts to accept donations in Fellowship Hall. 284 items of food were donated, 43 items had to be removed because they had passed their expiration date leaving 241 food items to donate to the Indiahoma School FFA. FFA will add our food to their food drive and deliver it all to the Lawton Food Bank.

I love the verbage on the postcard:

A Life that Matters
a day without hunger
Open hearts, Open minds, Open doors.
The people of The United Methodist Church®

Monday, November 1, 2010

This Week

Wednesday NOV 3
---1:00 p.m. - Women's Circle
---5:00 p.m. - Prayer Meeting
---6:00 p.m. - Choir Practice

Saturday, NOV 6
---10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. - UMC Food Drive for Lawton Food Bank

Charge Conference 2010

On October 18, Indiahoma UMC members got together to do church business. District Superintendent Chuck Horton blessed us with a message about fasting. We enjoyed his message along with yummy finger foods.

Patrick presented his Pastor's Report which was a reflection of our accomplishments over the past year and our vision for the future.

We covered the following Items: Calendar dates of upcoming events for the next year, finances and budget, Lay Speaker and Trustees reports, Sexual Abuse Policy, and committee members for 2011.

We discovered that we don't have a "Safe Sanctuary" Policy (What would we do if a tornado blew through Indiahoma during Sunday morning church service?) and need to have one in place by January 15, 2011.

We talked about the district wide food drive that culminates on Saturday, November 6th. We will have people at church 10:00-4:00 on November 6th to accept donations. You can sign up to be a part of the food drive at and receive a free T-shirt and a reusable bag for collecting food .

Meeting Adjourned.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Our Newest Acolyte

Isabella enjoys the duties of an Acolyte. She brings smiles to our faces and joy to our hearts as she brings in the light of Christ.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It's Not About Me

Why do we go to church?

For a long time I thought it was to be fed, instructed, encouraged, and enabled to make it through the following week with renewed spiritual strength. But that's just a byproduct.

Hebrews 10:24-25 reveals the main reason for attending church. "Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another."

It's never about me. The second I put the focus on myself, I am outside of God's purpose. I should go to church for the good of other people. Who knows how God can use me as a blessing? But if all I'm thinking about is what I can get out of the service, it's likely I'll be of no use to anyone else, including God. When I look for ways to encourage others, that's when I am flooded with blessings from God.

We've had only 21 people in church the past two Sundays. The missing people aren't just home sleeping in. Some are very ill and others are recovering from operations. There are vacations and people who have to work on Sunday. A few were even missing for the district-wide youth fast in Weatherford.

If you haven't been able to come to church, know you are missed and we look forward to worshipping with you again soon.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Adminstrative Board Meeting, 10/3/10

Patrick opened the meeting with prayer.

Minutes from the September meeting were read and approved.

Treasurers report:
Building Fund----$7398.63
General Fund-----$2340.09

The stove sold for $50, new memorial gifts of $175.00 and an $11 rebate from Cotton Electric.

Women's Circle got a $50 check from John Vana's daughter which will be used for future funerals and when someone needs help with their water bill.

Trustees sold the old stove for $50.00. We need to plan a work day to do a few things around the church. Ken Wellhouse has made 40 pew Bible holders.

Choir will do the Christmas Program that Virginia wrote several years ago. It has familiar songs and won't require much practice.

Pastor's Report:
Charge Conference is October 18 at 7:00 p.m. Please bring finger foods.

We will have the outreach lunch for Indiahoma High School students on Wednesday, October 27. The menu is BBQ brisket sandwiches.

The district wide food drive culminates on November 6th. We should plan an activity on that Saturday and disburse the food. Advertising ideas: put it on school Marquis and make fliers.

District Conference is Sunday, November 7th.

Small Churches workshop is THU November 11th in Elgin.

Our Invitation to the Old Testament will begin in January.

Fall singing in Snyder on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.

No Old Business or New Business.

Virginia closed the meeting with prayer.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Bridging the Gap

Today's scripture verses in celebration of World Wide Communion Day were I Corinthians 11:17-26.

Corinth was the ancient Las Vegas. Located on an isthmus. It had ports on both sides of the city, on the east was the Aegean Sea and on the west was the Adriatic. Sailors were constantly flowing in and out of the city looking for a good time and ready to blow off some steam. (Were the ancient times really that different from today?)

What a place for Paul to establish a church! But a city that definitely needed a church.

Chapter 11 of First Corinthians addresses the Lord's Supper and the way it was being abused. At that time the Lord's Supper was a full meal, not just a bite of bread and a sip of juice. Some people were abusing this sacred remembrance of our Lord. Instead of an act of reconciliation, they came for a party of gluttony and drunkenness. Having no concern for others, they ate and drank as much as they could without concern for anyone else.

The problem was self interest, self absorption, selfishness. Paul told the people that if they no longer have the healing blood of Christ in their hearts then they cannot be a part of the body of Christ.

Patrick went on to tell some interesting information about some of the famous bridges in the world. The Brooklyn Bridge, The Golden Gate Bridge, the Mackinac Bridge and Akashi-Kaiky┼Ź Bridge in Japan, the longest suspension bridge in the world. (Patrick said that in 1998 when the bridge was built, the construction cost 500 billion yen which at today's exchange rate is approximately $6 billion dollars.)

That's an expensive bridge! But the most expensive bridge is the altar of God. The gap between God and man is immeasurable. The cost to bridge that gap is the body and blood of Christ.

My hope is that if you were unable to worship and celebrate World Wide Communion Day with us this morning that this sermon summary will help bridge the gap of your absence. We missed you and hope to see you soon.

Monday, September 6, 2010

September Admin Board Meeting Minutes

Call to Order---Daryl Perry
Opening Prayer---Patrick McPherson
Treasurers Report---
  • General Fund = $11952.39
  • Building Fund = $18752.13
  • Buildingf total = $10704.52
$5000 from the Alteizers and $1000 in Connie Gatlin's memorial fund is part of the total.
Herwannah gave Harold a check for $50 from Elsie Scott in memory of Susan Scott.
We will be at 50% of our apportionment this month.

Women's Circle is doing well. They have regular meetings and have enough money to help out when needed.

Trustees Report---The new stove has been installed, the old stove did not sell at the town garage sale. It is at Virginia's waiting for a good home somewhere.

Pastor's Report
  • Charge Conference is Monday, OCT 18 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Staff/Parish Relations Committee meets Sunday, SEP 12 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Finance Committee meets Tuesday, SEP 14 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Nominations Committee meets Tuesday, SEP 14 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Outreach lunch to Indiahoma High School is Wednesday, SEP 22.
  • NOV 6 is Lawton District Food Drive.
  • NOV 7 is District Conference at First UMC in Lawton.
  • NOV 11 is the workshop on Small Churches at Elgin UMC, 5:00-9:00 p.m.
  • OCT 9-10 is Lawton District Youth 30 hour famine & mission project.
  • Plans to have Invitation to the Old Testament Bible Study on Sunday evenings beginning in November.
  • Patrick is attending Financial Peace University, a Christian based money management course. He hopes to present the information to Snyder and Indiahoma in January.
Old Business --- NONE

New Business --- Betty Bigbow said that the Lawton Constitution still lists Judith Eichling as our Pastor. We'll get that fixed.
New Business --- The school Ice Cream Social is September 27th. We will provide toppings again this year. The FFA Hotdog Supper is September 28th.

Daryl asked, "Is there anything else?"
Collene answered, "I think we should close this meeting."
Daryl closed the meeting with prayer.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Thought on the Holy Spirit

Part of our scripture reading in church today was: "If you bad-mouth the Son of Man out of misunderstanding or ignorance, that can be overlooked. But if you're knowingly attacking God himself, taking aim at the Holy Spirit, that won't be overlooked." (Luke 12:10, THE MESSAGE)

The more traditional translation states: "And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven." (same verse, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION)

Something to do with the Holy Spirit is the only thing that won't be forgiven. And yet we know so little about Him. Many many scriptures talk about God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Only a few mention the Spirit. I don't think the Holy Spirit minds. He doesn't need to be glorified or praised. (Is he a mother or what?)

Look at The Apostles' Creed. "I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth." There are 9 lines stating what we believe about Jesus but all it says about the Holy Spirit is "I believe in the Holy Spirit."

What do you think about the little known Holy Spirit and the unforgivable sin of blaspheming Him?


An Out of the Ordinary Sunday

This morning was Kaylee's first time to bring in the Light of Christ. She's been staying with Grandma and Grandpa (pictured). Patsy asked Kaylee in the children's sermon if she knew who Jesus is. Kaylee answered, "Yes, he's at my church too."

Daryl substituted for Patrick in
the pulpit this morning. Shirley substituted as Choir director for Herwannah who substituted for Janie on the piano.

We didn't have communion today though we usually do on the first Sunday of each month. We postponed it and our monthly church lunch and board meeting until next Sunday when Patrick will be back in town.

It's good to shake things up from time to time and do things differently. Variety is the spice of life.

Our closing prayer at the end of Sunday School was:
Lord, you have called us to serve others in response to your gift of eternal life. May your Spirit strengthen us for whatever situation we may face each day as we follow you. We ask these things in Jesus' name. Amen.

Have a blessed week.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday, July 25

Patrick is just back from a week at camp with 125 district youth. He said he was exhausted, but seemed energized as he was there 100% with another great service.

Good sermon (the prodigal son), good music, good prayers.

The service closed with a favorite hymn, "Let There Be Peace On Earth" (google the words if you aren't familiar with it) and the benediction: "Dance the dance of salvation, experience the joy of the Lord in new ways, and share that joy with others." (Probably not a direct quote but the way I remember it).

Thanks Patrick for your amazing service and leadership.

Thanks Janie for playing the piano every Sunday, whether you feel good or not.

Thanks Herwannah for always leading the choir with a positive and joyful attitude (and so much more).

And a final thank you to the congregation for coming to worship regardless of circumstances. You are a blessing.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Celebrating Birthdays

Shown here: Patsy, Harold and Beth with Daryl standing behind them struggling to hold the church bank that is weighted down with the combined birthday money of all three.

Every Sunday, between church and Sunday School, we do a birthday celebration. People with birthdays near that Sunday put a penny for every year they've been alive in the bank. I believe it was Roy Stoll who came up with the idea to put a dollar in for every year when your birthday falls on a Sunday. I did that one year and the treasurers (one of them being Harold) asked me, "Is this a mistake? This is hard to believe." I had to ask for clarification, "Do you think I'm not that old or that I don't have that much money?"

Monday, July 19, 2010

Luke 10:38-42

This is one of my favorite scriptures and was the inspiration for Sunday’s sermon, “A Messy World.” You can plan and plan and plan (like Martha) but things don’t always turn out the way we plan. If you’re like Mary and have discovered the One Important Thing, then when plans go awry, it doesn’t matter. You still have your joy and your focus.

Mary and Martha: two sisters, two personalities, both serving the Lord. Martha had their home warm and welcoming for Jesus when he arrived. I wonder if Mary helped her. Jesus entered their house and Mary sat down with him. She spent time with him. Martha carried on preparing the meal without the help of her sister. Martha got annoyed. I know the feeling.

Jesus appreciated Mary’s presence and her attention to what he had to say. That’s why he came to see them, to be with them. He wasn’t really upset with Martha when she asked for Mary’s help. THE MESSAGE puts it this way, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing.” This is the Jesus I know. When I’m doing something that does not please him, he doesn’t turn me into a pillar of salt but gently turns me in the right direction. And he’s very patient.

I used to wonder what they would’ve eaten if Martha hadn’t busied herself getting the meal ready. But the dinner isn’t important. The fact that Jesus is at their house is important. And it’s the same with any visitor. People don’t come over to eat your food and inspect your house, they come to see you and spend time with you. If Martha didn’t get a meal prepared, Jesus could have multiplied whatever they had on hand and turned water into wine.

Martha missed out on being with Jesus. Jesus was in her house and she chose to work instead. There’s a lesson here for us. We need to be in the presence of our Lord and not be worried and bothered about so many unimportant things. Easier said than done.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Baptism

Today's service was special, it ended with a baptism. Tami joined the church by profession of faith and was baptized. Our church greets a new member with hugs, from everyone. We like an excuse to hug.

We all joined together in the professing the Christian faith found on page 35 of the UM Hymnal. It is worth reprinting here.

"I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, is seated at the right hand of the Father, and will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting."


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Church, July 11, 2010

Rain was a joy mentioned today at church. Patrick said, "The Holy Spirit falls on us daily like a gentle rain falling on the thirsty earth."

The children's sermon and the "big" sermon were about the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). Jesus answered the question, "Who is my neighbor?" I couldn't believe that Patrick never mentioned the neighbor of all neighbors, Mr. Rogers. I'm sure Jesus was thinking about Mr. Rogers when he was explaining neighborliness to the "lawyer." But it would have confused the issue, having to explain television and all, so he just went with the Samaritan example. That worked out well too.

I think it would be wonderful to hear what you enjoyed about church today, whether you go to IUMC or somewhere else. Leave us a comment. THANKS!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Oklahoma Conference

I saw this picture of our Bishop on the Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church web site and it made me feel good. I wanted to share the picture with you so I sent an email and got permission to post it on our church blog.

I hope his smiling face puts a smile on your face too. You can read more about Bishop Robert E Hayes and lots of other things too on our Conference web site. Check it out!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Service of Joys

It was an amazing Sunday Morning at Indiahoma UMC. I'm sure it wasn't a coincidence that our hymn of praise was "Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee."

We started off small by sharing our joys with one another.
  • Guests in church: Betty (Skaggs) Wooden, and Shirley & Frank Hankins
  • Memories recalled after visiting with out guests
  • The telephones are working in the church!
  • Blessed by the presence of John and Ann. Not feeling well is no excuse to miss church (except when contagious).
  • Youth Mission Trip to Espanola, NM
  • Fred & Daryl are home safely from fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • After waiting for a year, Kimmie starts treatment on her back today.
  • Crosswire leaves today to perform at Cornerstone Christian Fesival in Illinois.
  • Katherine's hands are healing.

Betty (Skaggs) Wooden was invited to the pulpit where she shared the reason for her visit to our church on this Sunday morning. Her Aunt Lou (Altizer) Lindsay left $5000.00 to our church in her will. Betty shared about her family and how they were here at the foundation of our church and the beginning of Indiahoma.Betty's speech is at the bottom of the page. I hope you can see the joy on everyone's faces as Betty and Patrick pose for pictures.

The choir did a short, one verse "anthem." The joy here is, "Look at all the men." It is very unusual to have more men than women in the choir. It was a joy to see them fill the back row. I have no idea where all the women were.

Patrick's sermon was about the youth mission trip to Espanola, New Mexico. Patrick took youth from around our district plus a few other adults to work on a UMC school in Espanola. They painted and cleaned and taught science academy classes. They also had time to play, rafting down a river and visiting the sites of Santa Fe. Patrick shared about awesome worship experiences and assured us that we have nothing to worry about, the future is in good hands.
Please add your joys in a comment.

Betty's Speech

My grandparents, Will and Alice Altizer, came to Comanche County, Oklahoma Territory, in March of 1902. They traveled from their home in Missouri to Kingfisher where her parents lived. They came across the Wichita Mountains in a covered wagon accompanied by their two young daughters, Martha and Mable. Their land was won by my grandfather in the last land lottery of 1901.

Their new farm was one and a half miles south of Indiahoma, in the northwest quarter of section 26, one north and fifteen west. Their first home was a dugout and later a one room house. Four more daughters (Wylma, Gladys, Lucile and Bernadean) and a son (William Russell) were born on that farm.

Their nearest neighbor was Mr. Benjamin C. Dillon, who had a small store on his land. He was also the postmaster for "Rosna," as the community was called. In April of 1902 a storm blew down his store and the post office. Mr. Dillon decided to leave the area and turned the post office over to my grandmother, who was given a small pine box about 3X5 feet as her "post office." About 25 families called there for their mail.

Grandma had the job as "Post Mistress" for about seven weeks for which she earned the princely sum of $4.75. They used the money to make a five day journey in the covered wagon back to Kingfisher to harvest wheat there.

The post office was eventually moved to Indiahoma and the new post master was a Mr. Potter who kept it in his general store.

The Benjamin Dillon Land was later bought by Dr. J.R. Hood who delivered almost every baby born in this area (including Herwannah and Barbara) for the next 30 or 40 years! He also moved the one room school located on his property to the southwest corner of the Altizer farm. The school was named "Ollula," a name never forgotten by my mother and her siblings because they all attended school there and the school teachers lived with them most of the time. The first school teacher was Miss Cassie Rose and the second teacher was Miss Myrtle McLinn, sister of Lloyd McLinn (father of Colleta and Collene), who would later become postmaster of Indiahoma.

According to the history of Indiahoma School kids discovered for the Centennial Celebration in 2003, my grandfather, Will Altizer, was the first mayor of Indiahoma!

Actually, I have wondered why there isn't an Altizer Street. The home where my grandparents lived after they moved into town is still there...and I wonder if the ghosts of the family have bother the current tenants. The house sits on the northeast corner of Becker and Suffolk.

I am giving you this history because I know many of you probably recognize the names of the early settlers in and around Indiahoma. Another important name to me is my grandfather's younger brother, Andy Altizer, who owned a large general store next to A.B. Moore's bank in "downtown Indiahoma." My earliest memories are of pressing my nose to the glass on the candy counter and being given a piece or two of my favorite candy...chocolate drops! (Uncle Andy was a pushover for us kids.)

Will and Alice Altizer celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1946, surrounded by their children and many of their grandchildren. Grandpa died in 1950 at age 89; grandma died in 1965 at age 92. They are buried in the Indiahoma IOOF cemetery near their youngest daughter, Bernadean, who died at age 14 from meningitis. Nearby are buried Uncle Andy and his wife, Sue Altizer and their three sons, Howard, Sparrell (Hawk) and Louie.

For the record, my paternal grandparents, Jessie and Mattie Skaggs, are also buried there along with my baby brother, George Edward Skaggs, Jr., my Uncle Robert Skaggs (WWI veteran), my Uncle Kos Skaggs and his wife, Bertha.

Now, I want you to know my Aunt Lucile Altizer Lindsay. She was the first of the Altizer kids to graduate from Indiahoma High School, at the age of 16. She attended Oklahoma University for a year, where she met and married David "Dutch" Lindsay in 1928. They lived in Oklahoma City for many years. He died in 1960 and she died July 10, 2009.

During their lifetimes both were very active in their church as well as civic and charitable causes, especially the YMCA and activities that benefited others of any age - old or young. Uncle Dutch used to say, "The rent we pay on our place on this earth is the good we do unto others." Aunt Lou carried on his legacy.

My purpose for being here today is to deliver two bequests form my Aunt Lou's estate. I am sure that your church can find a good use for $5000.00 - and maybe a small plaque somewhere in the church to recognize her for this gift.

The other check is for the Indiahoma IOOF Cemetery for the maintenance of the Altizer family graves. I have visited this cemetery many times over the years and recognize many names...Carothers, Erickson, Brenton, Gray, Stoll, Becker, Beauchamp, Brown, Christian, BussanmusMcClung, and Poole, and so many more who settled in and near Indaihoma and made history for the State of Oklahoma.

I am leaving you a photograph of my grandparents, Will and Alice Altizer, and their daughter, Lucile "Lou" Lindsay. Perhaps they will serve as reminders that all of us should try to leave the world a better place than we found it...

this place and wish all of you the very best as you go about your daily lives.

Betty (Skaggs) Wooden
June 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Father's Day 2010

What a wonderful surprise to see Chuck and Nancy Horton,
AKA: Mr. and Mrs. District Superintendent, at church on Sunday. Chuck was there to bring the morning message in Patrick's absence. Patrick was gone on a mission trip to Espanola, NM with our district youth. Chuck is funny, tells great stories and brings the Word of God to life like a conversation with a good friend.

After the children's sermon that celebrated Vacation Bible School 2010, Alba enlisted help from the children to pass out goody bags to the dads, grandpas, spiritual fathers and all the men in the congregation.

Hopefully Mattie and Patrick will be back from the mission trip by Sunday and we can hear all about it.

Friday, June 18, 2010

VBS Day Five

The Bible point for our final day of VBS was "God's Word is for everyone."

At the end of the last day of VBS we have a performance for the parents followed by a hot dog lunch. The students practiced the songs that they would sing for their parents.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

VBS Day Three

After a morning of VBS,
the kids go to free lunch at the school.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

VBS Day Two

Today's Bible Story was about Paul being shipwrecked. The snacks, crafts and game all reinforce the story.

The voyagers had their pictures taken to have as VBS souvenirs on Friday. Or maybe it was needed for their passport.

Today's Bible Point was "God's word is comforting."

Vacation Bible School, Day One

"High Seas Expedition" is all this week, 9:00-11:30 a.m.
We begin and end in the sanctuary with music, singing and dancing. We rotate through activities: games, science, snacks, crafts, Chatter Chipmunk, and Bible story.

Each Day has it's own Bible Point.
Day one's Bible Point is: God's Word Is True.
To which everyone says, "Let's go!"

Let's all go to VBS for summer fun with Jesus!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Park Avenue UMC

What's it like to worship in Manhattan? It's not so different. Ushers greeted us at the door and handed out bulletins. There was a responsive call to worship, familiar hymns (Love Devine All Loves Excelling, Amazing Grace), children's message, offering, prayers, Bible readings, sermon, communion, The Lord's Prayer and a benediciton. There was even an announcement about the Health Kits for Haiti that they are putting together.

What was different? The current building was constructed in 1926 (the church was founded in 1837) and has never been air conditioned. Floor fans were blowing and hand-held fans were passed out with the bulletins. That took the edge off the heat. No need for blankets on the pews, though.

The first service does not have music. It is more of a reflective, meditative service. We attended the second service, full of music with paid musicians and singers. Some people leave quietly during the postlude, others remain not wanting to miss a note of the concert quality Bach organ music.

Communion was offered in three styles, each one at the front of the sanctuary. Station 1 was intinction, Station 2 was bread cubes and little plastic cups of juice, and Station 3 was gluton-free bread for those with allergies.

Isn't it good to know that God is alive and well in New York City? We would love to hear about churches that you have visited. Or if you don't live in Indiahoma and would like to do a guest blog about your church, great! Pictures are welcomed and enjoyed too.

Take a look at the New York Park Avenue UMC sanctuary.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day!

We had our traditional Memorial Day worship service at the cemetery on Sunday. The weather was perfect. Former members returned to worship with us again. Community members joined us and made it a two sermon day as they left us to go to their home churches. It was a lovely service of remembrance and celebration that death is not the end.

Friday, May 28, 2010

2010 graduates

The Church honored our Junior High, High School and College graduates. Thanks to Alba for picking out the fabulous picture frames.

Junior High Graduate, Mattie, with her grandma, Herwannah

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Alba got flowers ready for the children to hand out to the moms during the children's sermon time.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

May 2, 2010 Board Meeting

17 people in attendance.
Patrick opened the meeting in prayer.
The minutes from the March meeting were read and approved. (There wasn't a meeting in April because of Easter.)
Treasurers Report:
We are up $2000 since March. Harold would like to be up another $2000.
Building Fund=$3708.61
General Fund=$3546.82
Billye has a fundraising idea. She thinks it would be interesting for people to write their stories about life when they grew up, tell what an average day was like, so that kids now and in the future will know how it was to live without microwaves and other inventions that we don't even know about yet. We would put all the stories in a book, publish it and sell it.
Propane update: $260 bill for April.
Committee Reports:
UMW---They had a wonderful Surprise Birthday Party for Virginia for their April meeting. There is another meeting this week, May 5. UMW has no $ worries.
Trustees---We have a contract to fix the Bell Tower. They will replace the window with a decorative Plexiglass window ($248 for the Plexiglass and $200 for the design). A metal door will be installed.
The hydrant that caused the water leak has been fixed. Daryl built a boundary around it with bricks and decorative rocks to keep people from accidentally knocking into it.
We need to have a work day to get several projects done. Trash Off and Cemetery Work Day are on May 15. We decided to wait until June for the church work day.
Choir---For 2 weeks the choir has sung out of the 101 Songbook. They sang at the Baptist Church evening singing and at the Benefit for TSA.
Old Business:
VBS is set for the week before Fathers Day. The theme is High Seas Expedition.
Thursday night study and/or instructional DVD viewing. Patrick and Billye agreed to get together to work out the details on this.
New Business:
We have 4 graduates: Kyle Carothers (College), Tyler Rhoads and Mattie Jones (Jr. High) and Laycee Haynes (High School). Alba is taking care of gifts for our graduates and gifts for mothers at the Mothers Day worship service.
Pastor's Report:
Mattie and Cassie are going on the mission trip to Espanpola, New Mexico in June.
June Tucker will be preaching at our church on May 9th because Patrick will be in Nebraska at his nephew's high school graduation May 5-9.
Patrick is speaking at IHS Baccalaureate on May 16.
There was a discussion about having a quarterly community singing and a welcome back to school block party. We are going to prayerfully consider these things and revisit them at the June board meeting.
Daryl closed the meeting with prayer.

Friday, April 30, 2010

May Dates

May 2, 2010---Potluck dinner (12:30) & Board Meeting following Worship Service (9:30) and Sunday School (10:45)

May 2---Lawton District Youth Mission Trip Meeting at Cameron Campus Ministry (6:30 p.m.) See Patrick for details.

May 5-10---Patrick will be in Nebraska attending his nephew's High School graduation. Greg Schulz will be preaching on May 9th.

May 15---Town Clean Up (Trash Off) in conjunction with the annual cemetery clean up.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Trash Off

Trash off has been postponed until May. Details to follow.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Big Fun Thing

United Methodist Youth and Family Day
July 11, 2010 @ Whitewater, Oklahoma City
White Water hours of operation:
10:30 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
Campus Ministry Pavilion 4-7 p.m.
$25 for each ticket
(include park entrance, parking and dinner)
Once payment is received,
tickets and parking entrance can be mailed.
Money and registrations should be sent to the Campus Ministry Office,
ATT: Cheri Grunow
1501 NW 24th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73106
Registrations are due by July 2nd.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Sermon and A Book

"Enough Breath for Thomas and for Us" was Patrick's sermon title for today's message. The theme was get out of your comfort zone and serve God. He talked about when he worked at the youth homeless shelter in Denver. Picture a dorm full of smelly socks, sweaty bodies, noisy voices, unrefined manners - not what you would call a comfortable environment. Don't just come to church to hear a sermon and sing some songs. Get out in the world and tell God's people about the risen savior. What Jesus wanted the Apostles to do, he wants us to do to.

The book is CURE FOR THE COMMON LIFE by Max Lucado. It might seem to be in direct contrast to Patrick's message. Patrick says God wants you to get out of your comfort zone, Max says God has a sweet spot created for you. You get to that spot by using the equipment that God gave you to do the work that you were created to do. The equipment is your personality, talents, disposition, interests, strengths, the things you like to do... When you are using your equipment to do God's work you are in the zone.

So which is it, get out of your comfort zone or live in it? I think it's a blend of both. God wants us to stretch and improve the strengths he gave us. Like the scripture passage where the master gives his three servants varying amounts of talents (I believe a talent is a year’s wage). He wanted the servants to use and improve what he had given them. So, you have to step out of your comfort zone to use your equipment to the fullest.

Maybe you love to ski. . God gives you a mountain and you ski. Or you love to cook. God gives you a kitchen and you create wonderful dishes. Then God calls you out of your comfort zone. "Go, take a group of children whose parents are in prison and teach them to ski." "Go, put on a banquet for the hungry people."

Think of the work Mother Teresa did. Could you do that? Me neither. But she loved it. God equipped her for that job. A reporter once saw her treating people with open oozing sores and said to her, "I wouldn't do that for a million dollars." Mother Teresa smiled at him and said, "Neither would I."

What equipment has God given you and how are you using them to get his work done?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Easter Sunday

We have a traditional Easter children's sermon. There are a dozen plastic eggs, each containing a symbol of the Easter story. The story unfolds one egg at a time. There's a loaf of bread, a coin, a crown of thorns, a piece of cloth, a nail ... but the last egg is empty just like the tomb. Jesus isn't there any more. He is alive!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Good Friday Service

Upon entering the sanctuary with somber reverence each person was handed a bulletin, a small envelope and an equally small piece of paper. The paper contained these instructions:

"On this piece of paper we want to allow you to write down any issue in your life that is keeping you from growing closer to Christ, maybe it is a past sin in which you seek forgiveness or maybe it is some issue in your life which you feel walls you off from Christ. Whatever the issue we want to offer you the chance to confress it on this piece of paper, and place it in the sealed envelope and offer it over to God, seeking God's love, grace and forgiveness. No one will see the contents of your envelope; this issue in your life is between you and God. When you are done place it in the bowl at the foot of the Cross of Christ."

Patrick burned the envelopes with their personal messages inside. He brought the bowl of ashes to church on Easter Sunday letting us know that when he was carrying the bowl in, the wind blew everyone's sins in his face. Well, not all of them.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Maundy Thursday Service

Come and seek the mysteries unfolding.
Squint your eye and bend your ear to those deep things of God.
The son gathers with his followers, celebrating the ancient sacrifice of blood, the coming of death, of the Passing Over of the Angel of Death, foreshadowing what is to come...
The son gathers with his followers, showing them the extent of his love.
The son gathers with his followers, instituting a new covenant.
All things begin to come together here, here in the upper room.
Lord, let us look on and listen in to these mysteries. Draw us deeper still, Spirit of God, into the depth, the significance of this celebration.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Palm Sunday Parade

Our tradition on Palm Sunday is to get a palm branch as you enter the church.

When the service begins,
we sing "Tell me the Stories of Jesus" and march around the church waving our branches. As the song comes to an end, everyone places their branches at the foot of the cross.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Send Crosswire to Illinois

Crosswire has played at many of our Lawton District churches and was the featured teen entertainment at the Lawton District Conference in 2009. The band wants to play in the Cornerstone Christian Music Festival this summer and we can help send them there. The 12 bands with the most votes will be going to Illinois in July.

You can vote for Crosswire at Go to the website, register (create an account), get your password from your email, log in to Cornerstone, click on New Band Showcase 2010 - Vote Now, scroll down and click on Crosswire, then cast your vote. There are several steps the first time you vote. You can vote daily and by bookmarking the page you cast your vote on, you can go directly to that page once a day to vote.

Some people in the music Industry will listen to the remaining bands and select their 4 favorites, making a total of 16 bands participating in a battle of the bands competition. The winner gets to play on the main stage with Skillet, a very popular Christian rock band. Let's send these boys to Illinois to represent Oklahoma at Cornerstone Festival.