Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Helping Others

Do you like projects that don't take up much time or effort on your part?

Is it OK if it doesn't cost anything?

And how do you feel if it makes a positive difference in the lives of people around the world?

"No such thing!" you say?  Here's the deal...

Hope Phones and the United Methodist Church are partners in collecting and sending used cell phones around the world to people in need (more about that later). Hope Phones does all the collecting work.  They pay for shipping, refurbishing, recycling, preparing the phones for new owners...  Collection boxes will be available for easy donation of cell phones.  Hope Phones and UMC work together to get phones to the people who need them.

This is a win-win-win project.  Look for a box in the church sanctuary to donate your cell phones.  If you need a differenct option, please leave a message as a comment and you will be contacted by email, phone, or the method of your choice.

Ok, go now and search your drawers and cabinets and find those old cell phones.

Thank you and God Bless You!

Friday, December 5, 2014

An Advent Prayer

God of comfort, wrap me securely in your nurturing arms. Let me be your voice, your heart, your loving touch to someone who needs a word of grace, a voice of hope, a loving hug during these sometimes difficult Advent days. Amen.

~ from Beth A Richardson, author of the Uncluttered Heart book, website and daily Advent emails.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Giving Tuesday

We've had one day to give thanks, two days to get good deals, and one day to be generous.  Today is the day to celebrate generosity: Giving Tuesday.

Giving Tuesday isn't new, but it isn't really old either. It began in 2012. If you google "Giving Tuesday" you'll find more information than you have time to read.

I saw that UNICEF promises 90% of your donation will go to the children. That's a high percentage, but if you donate through the United Methodist Church, 100% of your donation goes to the project/cause of your choice.

Go now, be generous today and give to a cause that captures your passion.

Monday, December 1, 2014

It's Advent!

Advent, the first season of the church year, began yesterday with the first Sunday in Advent.  This week centers on HOPE.  Al Bennett read about Advent hope as Ann Bennett lit the Advent candle of hope in church yesterday.

Pastor Jim told us about this video, The Gift of Expectancy: Hiding Baby Jesus.  If you like to laugh, be inspired by new ways of celebration, and be filled with the true meaning of Christmas, check out this video on youtube:


After I viewed The Gift of Expectancy: Hiding Baby Jesus, I saw another short video called HOPE, part of the Advent Worship Collection. It's a short 1:37 video and worth the viewing, especially since it's the week of Advent Hope.

Advent Worship Collection: HOPE

Jeremiah 33:14-16 Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel  and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring forth for David;  and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’

That was their hope then.  What is your hope now?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Giving Tuesday

I've always loved November because it's the month of Thanksgiving. It's the calm after the craziness of costumes and candy and scary fun.

The ghosts and goblins and witches and monsters don't bother me nearly as much as the stress and frenzied shopping that starts after Thanksgiving and continues through Christmas.

November 27 - Thanksgiving Day

November 28 - Black Friday

November 30 - First Sunday of Advent

December 1 - Cyber Monday

December 2 - Giving Tuesday

We begin our Advent celebration next Sunday.  Is God calling us to a celebration of gifts and decorations, food and parties, spending and going in debt?  Most of that is fine in moderation, but our focus should be on Jesus. The anticipation of God's son coming to the world in human form. The greatest story every told.  And nothing should take our eyes off of that event.

If you would like to learn more about Giving Tuesday, click HERE.

Or google "Giving Tuesday" for many opportunities to be generous.

Watch Pastor Jim's sermon from Sunday, November 23 HERE.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sonday Night Live!

Come as you are, No dress code.  Enjoy an informal service of contemporary Christian music. Sing along or sit back and listen. Dance, clap, relax, enjoy. There are no rules or predetermined structure. You are invited to participate in whatever way feels right to you.

Sonday Night Live is especially for people who are not comfortable in a traditional Sunday Morning Service. Come give it a try and see what you think.

Sundays at 5:00 p.m.
Indiahoma United Methodist Church
At the corner of Potter and Charlois

Friday, September 5, 2014

No! No! No!

No Church dinner in September since we had a big dinner at the end of August
for our Welcome Home Celebration.

No video of last week's sermon (August 31).  The record button malfunctioned (as often happens when it is not pushed).

No more Summer Nights.  The Vision Team will meet on Sunday, September 7 at 6:00 p.m. to decide where we go from here.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

You Can Find It HERE

Click HERE for The August 2014 Board Meeting Minutes

To view Sunday Morning Sermons, click HERE

Or you can navigate to these pages any time by using the top menu bar.

The Administrative Board Meeting Minutes are at the bottom of the "Church Administration" link.

The Sunday Morning Sermons are all available by clicking the "Sunday Sermon Videos" link.

Monday, July 28, 2014

God and Doctor Who

What's one got to do with the other?

Find out in an article, The Devine and the Doctor, by Beth Colvin about Matt Rawle, lead pastor at Ponchatoula’s The Well United Methodist Church in Louisiana.

If you're a Doctor Who fan, or even if you aren't, you might find this an amusing and inspirational story.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Annual Conference 2014, Day 1

Monday, May 26 - from the Laity Point of View

It was raining the first day of Conference; but in the middle of a drought, all drops of rain feel like blessings from God.  Off to a good start.

The Conference for laity started at 1:00 pm. with registration followed by a laity orientation session.  What a great idea.  It's been a long time since I've been to Annual Conference and there were many attendees who were there for the first time.  It was good to get information on how things were going to happen.

There was a discussion of the items we'd be voting on (district realignment, the budget which includes New People/New Places, and new health benefits for retired pastors and their spouses). There are videos on the Conference website (www.okumc.org) that explain the things we will be voting on.

This first part of Conference was held at St. Luke's UMC.  It has a book store, a gift shop and a Starbucks. Anybody else think we need a Starbucks at Indiahoma UMC?

A band from Claremore provided musical entertainment. "Elevate" is a band of 8 teenagers: two 8th graders, two 9th graders, one 10th grader and three 11th graders. I feel like we'll be hearing more from them around the conference.

The Laity Session started at 3:00 p.m. Bishop Hayes made a brief appearance and was funny and inspirational, as always.

There were awards and presentations about what different laity groups are doing.

I thought the Deaconess and Home Missioner presentation was very interesting. When she said, "A Deaconess is not a female deacon," I knew I didn't know what what this group does. A Missioner is a male Deaconess. These servants are laity who have responded to the call of God and are commissioned by the United Methodist Church to full-time ministries of love, justice and service. They do this without pay.  If you are interested and want to know more, you can read about them here.

Delegates to Jurisdictional Conference (a bunch of Annual Conferences get together to decide stuff) will be nominated at the 2015 Annual Conference. Is there anyone you want to nominate?  Oklahoma gets to send 7 clergy and 7 laity with approximately 5 alternates.

The Board of Laity has 6 areas of Focus:
  1. Spiritual Servant presented by Janie Wilson
  2. Church Growth by Ali Shayhan. Young families are the most sought after and the most mysterious.
  3. Missional Discipleship by Dr. Don Kim
  4. Small Membership/Rural Churches by Claudean Harrison.
  5. Lay Servant Ministries by Sherry Hiller.
  6. Connectional Resources by Herschel Beard
 You can follow the Board of Laity on Twitter at OKUMCBOL.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Annual Conference 2014, Day 2

Tuesday, May 27 at OCU (Oklahoma City University) in the Freede Wellness Center (pronounced FREE-DEE).

Bishop Hayes called the people to order and Hayes gave an Episcopal Address (opening speech by a Bishop). He is a fabulous speaker. Chuck Stewart, Conference Lay Leader, gave a laity address.

The rest of the morning was dedicated to "Act of Repentance."  This was a history lesson on the persecution of Native Americans including the Trail of Tears and their journey to faith.

LUNCH BREAK --- We had lunch with Patrick McPherson!  So fun to see him again.

2:00 p.m. - Enabling Motions:

The budget is corrected on-line. The bottom line didn't change.

Mark Ashton made a motion to get a projection of the budget for 2015-2018 in order to be better informed to vote.  Motion was seconded and carried.

2:20 p.m. - Strategic Plan
Grant Program: New People, New Places
The Annual Conference has  a $6 million budget with 5 major committees.  Discipleship and Missions took the brunt of the cuts to fund the new grant program.
A team of 18 laity and 18 clergy will audit and grant the proposals.
These grants are to promote innovative ideas of new ministry that will reach new people in places that have not been reached before.
There will be $700,000 available for grants in 2015.

2:50 p.m. -  The Mission & Service Team got 2 awards.
In Oklahoma mission giving is higher across the board in all denominations.
Oklahoma has done the most mission work in the South Central Jurisdiction.
The Mission & Service Team is going to put materials on the website for churches to use for Sunday School or however is useful.
People shared about the disaster relief in Bolivia.

4:00 p.m. - Board of Laity
All three of the Oklahoma youth and all four of Oklahoma young adults were elected to the South West Jurisdictional Conference.
We celebrated the 10th anniversary of "It Worked for Us" and laity in general.

4:10 p.m. - Church closings
Carter Church - 4 members are donating the church to the Carter community to be used for a community gathering place.

Christ Church, McAlister

Agra UMC opened in 1903.  Chandler will get the money fromt he sale of the building and property.

Barnsdale UMC opened in 1908. There were 8 in attendance at the last service. The attendees said it was more like a funeral than a church service.

There was a vote to disband these churches.  It was sad.  We closed in prayer after the vote.

4:30 p.m. - Congregational Development - We Start New Churches
Christ UMC in Oklahoma City
Summit began as fireside gatherings
Living Waters was a coffee shop during the week and a church on Sundays.  They had to move the church across the street when the group got too large for the coffee shop.
St. Luke's satellite campus.
Cross Timbers (Moore) building a new church after the 2013 tornado.

Annual Conference 2014, Day 3

Wednesday, May 28 at OCU Freede Wellness Center

8:30 a.m. - Business Session begins.

Throughout the days, retiree videos were played, each video focusing on one retired pastor.

8:40 a,m, - CJAMM (Criminal Justice and Mercy Ministires --- I love their acronym). A redeemed criminal gave an awesome speech about his life as a criminal starting as a young teen and continuing into adulthood. In prison he was introduced to Christ by CJAMM and slowly his life has turned around.  He's married with children, a productive member of society, reconciled with family and a faithful servant of God.

9:00 a.m. - Restoration Hope Ministries: Cookson Hills Mission
This is a ministry to people in poverty. In the past year they have helped keep 948 people from homelessness with a 99% success rate.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Mother's Day and Baptisms

Katie and Dawson were baptized this morning while their mom made a transfer by faith from the Baptist Church.

Pastor Jim reads through the ritual with the family and congregation.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit...

New members: Dawson                                             and Katie

Friday, May 2, 2014

Community Praise Service

April 13, 2014

Maurice Ford, pastor of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church brought the message based on Luke 24:13-35: The Road to Emmaus.

13-16 That same day two of them were walking to the village Emmaus, about seven miles out of Jerusalem. They were deep in conversation, going over all these things that had happened. In the middle of their talk and questions, Jesus came up and walked along with them. But they were not able to recognize who he was.

17-18 He asked, “What’s this you’re discussing so intently as you walk along?”

They just stood there, long-faced, like they had lost their best friend.

Pastor Ford said that the disciples were walkin' the sad walk and talkin' the sad talk.  There's no need to be walkin' the sad walk and talkin' the sad talk. Jesus has already done everything he said he'd do.  Now the question is, "What are you doing?"

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Ask and You Shall Receive

There's no church today at Indiahoma United Methodist Church because there is already two inches of snow on the ground and the snow is still falling.

Two inches of snow wouldn't shut down things in many other places, but here we have no street crews and our congregation has many elderly people who would slip and fall on the snow covered sidewalks.  So we stay home.

I want to take pictures of the snow falling so I've been hunting throughout my house for my Canon Rebel. I can set it to focus on the snow falling and blur the background.  But where is it?  I don't use it often because my point and shoot is easier to carry and takes adequate pictures and many times I'd rather use my iPhone so I can immediately share the picture.

I was getting exasperated and finally said out loud, "Where is my camera?" At that very moment I looked straight at where the camera was, hidden in plain sight.  Ask and you shall receive.

Thank you God for showing me my camera's location.  Please help me to remember to turn to you first when I am in need.  Amen.