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?"