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Reconciliation Grant Helps Fund FCC Stroud’s Children’s Ministry

Funding Provides New Children & Youth Coordinator

FCC Stroud is benefiting from two grants and finding ways to serve its community. One grant was received from the Oklahoma Region’s Faith in Action Reconciliation grant program. The Oklahoma Disciples Foundation provided a second grant with funding from four of its endowments including Children, Youth & Young Adults, Education of Clergy & Laity, Pastoral Support, and United Ministries for Higher Education.

Using the two grants, FCC Stroud called Israel Ragle to serve as Children & Youth Coordinator, beginning her ministry on August 1, 2020. Israel is the mother of three children and is a student at the University of Central Oklahoma.

Back-to-School Care Packages Serve Local Children During the Pandemic

Senior Minister Paul Ragle said, “Israel shared with us when we interviewed her as a candidate for the position that ministry would look a lot different during these times of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

One of the very first ministry projects Israel undertook was to organize the congregation to share Back-to-School Care Packages with the children in the congregation’s sphere of influence. Members of the congregation donated school supplies, gifts (snacks & toys), and notes of encouragement as the kids were heading back to their classrooms.

FCC Stroud Reconciliation-1
FCC Stroud Reconciliation 3
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2020-09-09T12:14:33-05:00Sep 9, 2020|Congregations|0 Comments

Pension Fund Webinar: Clergy Financial Wellness

Ministers’ financial lives are complicated: salaries are varied, some are burdened with debt, and they want to be generous as well as save for the future. Learn how to cut through the confusion and about new resources that will help answer your toughest money questions so you can find your path to financial wellness.

Join Rev. Thomas McCracken with Pension Fund of the Christian Church at 3:30 pm (CT) on September 15, 2020. This webinar will explore elements of clergy compensation and share how Pension Fund is finding new ways to support clergy and their congregations.

At Pension Fund, our mission is For the Support of Ministry and we want to walk alongside you on the road to financial wellness.

Click here to register

Questions?

Rev. Thomas McCracken, Area Director
214-862-5612 • tmmccracken@pensionfund.org • www.pensionfund.org

2020-09-03T11:30:29-05:00Sep 3, 2020|Clergy News|0 Comments

Worship Design Studio Webinars for Advent and More

Dr. Marcia McFee Multi-Session Planning Webinars

The Worship Design Studio is offering live stream webinars for planning creative worship experiences. The liturgical year starts anew with the season of Advent. You will likely be taking a very different approach to worship during one of the busiest times of the year.

Whether you are anticipating making alterations to your community’s most beloved traditions or looking for some fresh ideas to bring comfort, hope, and peace to the folks in your care these webinars offered by nationally-known Dr. Marcia McFee can help.

The Advent/Christmas session took place August 12th but is recorded and available. You may watch the first session free.

Register to get access or subscribe for all six webinars to prepare for the entire 2020-2021 liturgical year.

Webinar Sessions

(Free) Design Webinar (Recorded July 29)
Deep dive into the creative process and tips for planning ahead in changing times.

Advent & Christmas Planning (Recorded August 12)
Immerse yourself in the theology and scriptures of the season while demonstrating online and adapted sanctuary ideas and techniques for making the season special even and especially in these difficult times.

Epiphany “Plus” Planning – September 16
It is difficult to know what circumstances we will be in at the beginning of 2021 year when this season starts. Discern together how to invite people to new depths of spiritual resilience and transformation no matter what the circumstances.

Lent Ideas to Simmer – October 14
Lent planning explores the theological themes and scriptures of Lent but hold this lightly – let the ideas “simmer” until the next session after the onslaught of Advent/Christmas.

Lent Planning & Holy Week – January 6
Land on your Lent series decision and move quickly to start the production and details. Includes accompanying Holy Week scripts.

Easter Season Planning – February 10
Dive into the theology and planning of the season of resurrection and pray we are celebrating the life we have found even in the midst of this pandemic. We are an ever-renewing “Easter people” after all.

2020-09-02T16:11:09-05:00Sep 2, 2020|Clergy News|0 Comments

Reconciliation Offering 2020: The Rocks Are Crying Out

I tell you, if you were to keep silent the stones would cry out. Silence is the absence of sound. To speak is to convey a feeling or opinion. This is not the time to be the absence of sound but to convey the injustice of those feeling the weight of racism and oppression. This the time to speak up and convey the truth of God’s love and equality for us all.

Matthew Tippell, Musician, Allisonville Christian Church, Indianapolis, IN

In Luke 19:39 to 40 we read that some of the Pharisees in a crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher rebuke your disciples.” “I tell you,” he replied “If they keep quiet the stones will cry out.” Though we know that God’s spirit will cause the stones to cry out if we remain silent, when it comes to being an anti-racist, pro-reconciling church, silence is not an option.

The form of this ministry may be changing,
but the need for addressing racism
has never been more obvious.

Your gifts to Reconciliation Ministry allow your communities and your congregations to ensure the human dignity of every child, to ensure all have access to Christ’s abundance, to fully flourish in education, and financial stability, and friendships across God’s human diversity. Won’t you join the chorus in shouting out Hosana, Hosana blessed are we who come in the name of the Lord. Thank you for your generosity.

To show up is more than a selfie at a protest, or a social media post… showing up means to cry with me, and to let the pain of my people’s tears move you to fight WITH those of us who are pushed to the sides because of the color of our skin, the thickness of our accents, or the documents we hold.

Yesenia Caldwell, Lay Leader, Iglesia Hermandad, Indianapolis, IN

About the Special Offering

The Reconciliation Ministry Special Offering is used to fund our Church’s mission imperative to become a pro-reconciling and anti-racist church utilizing experiential education, inclusive worship, and intentional dialogue. Our efforts to promote healing, relationship, and restoration in the whole family of God are enlivened by funds from this offering. Through it we are able to provide programs for leadership development, curriculum for dialogue and learning, and partnerships within the Church and our communities.

Recent events have reignited the conversation about human brokenness evidenced in the sin of racism and perpetuated in our institutional structures and systems. Your generous giving to Reconciliation Ministry is transforming lives and strengthening Christ’s witness in the world showing that we love one another, even as Christ continues to love us!

Donations on behalf of emergency grants to support impacted communities and congregations toward healing of racial unrest can be directed to the Reconciliation Annual Fund/Racial Justice Response.

The Reconciliation Offering will be received in congregations on Sunday, September 27th and Sunday, October 4th.

Reconciliation Logo

I choose to stand up for people of color because racism seems unbeatable. But if God can make the rocks cry out, then just imagine what He can do with people whom God has intentionally created with the capacity to love one another.

Chris Kozak, Central Christian Church, Indianapolis, IN

Why Have a Special Offering

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has a history dating from the 1960s of sharing our resources to address the racism of our society and the racism within our own church. We have called this process the Reconciliation Ministry.

We receive this offering in the fall and use the funds throughout the year to give grants to the pro-reconciliation/anti-racism initiative to organize to dismantle systems and structures that perpetuate this sin of division within the Church.

The 2020 Vision adopted by our church names this work as one of the four priorities of our mission together as a whole church. This voluntary annual offering is the only source of funding for this ministry.

So may our voices echo across the stones and across this land as we work toward the restoration of God’s beloved community.

Rev. Brian Gerard, Sr. Pastor, First Christian Church Louisville, KY
2020-09-02T14:56:41-05:00Sep 2, 2020|Congregations|0 Comments

Association of Disciples Musicians 2021 Conference in Tulsa

ADM Selects University of Tulsa as 2021 Site

The Association of Disciples Musicians is well on the road to preparing for its 2021 conference. The theme is “Holy Spirit, You Are Welcome Here.” They will meet at the University of Tulsa from June 21-26, 2021. ADM has made arrangements with TU to meet on the campus each summer through 2023. This will allow the organization to benefit from financial savings and see what effect staying in one location for a few years will have on ease of conference planning and conference attendance.

2021 ADM Clinicians Announced

Clinicians for 2021 are David Cherwien, organ; Suzanne Castle, worship; Joel Raney, choral; Andra Moran, emerging worship; and Nancy Krause, handbells. Our own Alin Cass will lead the Chapel Choir with Sara Collins as the accompanist. ADM president Katrina Cochran is excited to have these returning talented leaders in their respective areas of expertise.

If you are interested in leading an option session at the 2021 Association of Disciples Musicians Conference, please let Katrina know by texting 405-514-8647 or emailing katrina.cochran@gmail.com. The 2021 Planning Team is still working out those details.

Oklahoma Connections

Several Oklahoma individuals are active in ADM. Rev. Larry Metzger serves on the 2020/2021 ADM Planning Council, and Rev. John Malget is also involved in ADM activities. Incoming ADM president Brad Burnham resides in Tulsa and may be reached at Bradb1007@gmail.com or 918-810-8630.

Download the September ADM newsletter

2020-09-08T11:47:12-05:00Sep 2, 2020|Congregations|0 Comments

Faithful, Hopeful, Loving Annual Stewardship Campaign

Are you planning a season of stewardship? Do you need resources to help you?

The Oklahoma Disciples Foundation just hosted a webinar with The Center for Faith & Giving with Rev. Bruce Barkhauer. Rev. Barkhauer provided wonderful information and words of encouragement reminding us that even in the midst of a pandemic, stewardship is still valuable and a faithful act of discipleship. He has also prepared a document called “Essentials” to help us think theologically about the way forward when we don’t know exactly what to prepare for. Regardless of the circumstances, he says, our faith practices may look different, but they are still vital to loving and serving like Jesus. This certainly includes stewardship.

On your behalf, the Region invested in the 2020 Faithful, Hopeful, Loving Annual stewardship campaign materials and resources from the Center for Faith & Giving. Every minister serving a local congregation in Oklahoma now has access to these wonderful resources. Please use these resources as your church plans and encourages continued stewardship.

Downloads

If you have trouble accessing any of this information, please contact the Regional office or you may contact Rev. Bruce Barkhauer directly at 317-635-3100 or The Center for Faith and Giving.

May God’s blessing of abundance and joy continue to be upon you and your congregation.

Peace & God’s Grace,

Pam

2020-08-27T14:26:08-05:00Aug 27, 2020|Clergy News|0 Comments

Rent Assistance for Income Loss Due to Covid-19

Community CARES Partners, a public-private resource center, has received funding from the State of Oklahoma to help residents pay their rent. Apply soon, this program ends September 30, 2020.

You could qualify if you:

  • Lost your job or income due to COVID-19 on or after March 1, 2020
  • Are an Oklahoma resident behind on your rent
  • Have received an eviction notice

Apply as soon as possible at okcommunitycare.org or call 211. You may also contact Legal Aid at 888-534-5243

The application takes 5 minutes to complete. Have proof of your situation ready, such as lease, eviction notices, unemployment documents, court summons, and proof of income.

Download the flyer here: English Spanish

Download the State Eviction Prevention FAQs

Community Cares 405-653-9940 Mon-Fri 9am-4pm

2020-08-27T10:13:45-05:00Aug 27, 2020|COVID-19 Resources|0 Comments

Webinars: Caring for Your Congregation During Crisis

Caring for Your Congregation and Community During Crisis Webinar Series

Registration is now open for the Fall 2020 free webinar series, “Caring for Your Congregation and Community During Crisis”. It is sponsored by The Oklahoma United Methodist Conference, The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Oklahoma, and Crisis Care Ministries. The series of one hour webinars for leaders is scheduled for most Tuesdays and Thursdays starting September 29, 2020, from 10:00 am – 11:00 am. Download a flyer.

Faith and community leaders are facing historic challenges, testing the limits of our creativity, strength, and resilience. In this free webinar series, experienced specialists in disaster response, recovery, health, mental health, and congregational and family life offer their expertise to help leaders gain new skills and knowledge to face the difficult crises impacting our communities.

Webinar Titles

  • COVID Conversations for Faith Communities – 9/29/20
  • Where are We? The Spiritual and Emotional Phases of the COVID-19 Disaster – 10/6/20
  • Explaining COVID-19 to Children – 10/8/20
  • The Disillusionment Phase: Assisting Others and Ourselves in Long-Term Recovery – 10/13/20
  • Ministry in an Age of Pandemic – 10/15/20
  • Providing Support to Schools After a Traumatic Loss – 10/20/20
  • In Good Faith: Why Legal Services are Critical for Disaster Survivors including COVID-19 – 10/22/20 & 11/10/20
  • Providing Support to Your Community After a Traumatic Loss – 10/27/20
  • Introduction to Stress First Aid – 10/29/20
  • Taking the Long View With Faith – 11/5/20
  • Managing Holidays in a COVID-19 Environment – 11/19/20
  • Navigating Political and Cultural Polarization Among Family and Friends – 11/24/20
  • Personal and Family Disaster Preparedness – 12/1/20
  • Caring for Those with Access and Functional Needs – 12/3/20
  • National VOAD Disaster Emotional Care & Disaster Spiritual Care Guidelines – 12/8/20

Click here for detailed webinar descriptions and presenter bios.

Free Webinar Series Presented By

Crisis Webinar Sponsor Logos

Presenters Include Representatives From

Catholic Charities (Archdiocese of Oklahoma City)
Crisis Care Ministries
Heart and Mind Pastoral Counseling
Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma
St. Luke’s United Methodist Church
Temple B’Nai Israel (Oklahoma City)
The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Oklahoma
The National VOAD Emotional and Spiritual Care Committee
The Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church
The Oklahoma Department of Health
The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
The Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps Stress Response Team/SRT Inc.
The Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security
Southern Baptist Disaster Relief

Need continuing education?

Attendance certificates (PDF format) are available for all courses. Check with your affiliating organization for applicability.

About Registration

Register for individual sessions. Registration closes 24 hours before the session.
100 spaces available for each session.

Click here to register.

2020-08-26T16:59:45-05:00Aug 26, 2020|Clergy News|0 Comments

Update on ODW Area Meetings and Fall Retreats 2020

Usually, August is a busy month for our Oklahoma Disciples Women Areas who would normally be having meetings and taking registrations for Fall Retreats.

Central Area Women:
According to Central Area Director, Jeannie Atkins the Central Area Women are considering a scaled-down meeting with no food and many precautions in place. Their cabinet will decide by mid-August about the meeting which is usually during the last week of August.

Northeast Area Women:
Northeast Area Director, Delois Guess states they will not have a retreat but are considering an alternative activity through social media during the weekend of October 2-3, 2020.

Northwest Area Women:
Northwest Co-Director, Sally Wheeler reports cancellation of their August Missionary Brunch and Fall Retreat. Sally is working on the Northwest Area booklet to be completed by mid-August. Sally is also looking at ways to engage the women through current technology.

Southeast Area Women:
Southeast Director, Mary Mueller has also had to cancel meetings and fall retreat. Mary also serves on the Texoma Christian Camp Board. Mary states that cancellations have been hard on the camp. Camp benefits our youth. They are able to hold events like Water Weekend for the youth since the camp has a dock on a lake. If you feel led to make a donation, you may send a check to: Texoma Christian Camp, PO Box 135, Ardmore, OK 73402-0135

Southwest Area Women:
Southwest Co-directors are Pam Shepherd and Marilyn Bohlender. The Southwest Area Women haven’t met as a group since the fall of 2017 but over the last few years Marilyn has stayed connected through church visits in Southwest Oklahoma. Marilyn found all to be warm, caring, thriving groups doing exciting things. Often Pam and other women of SW Oklahoma took turns traveling with Marilyn. Marilyn reports being very glad she was able to visit so many churches before the onset of Covid-19.

Stay connected with Oklahoma Disciples Women Facebook page as well as on the Oklahoma Region’s website and monthly e-newsletter.

Always keep your faith in the foremost of things

2020-08-17T13:21:28-05:00Aug 17, 2020|Disciples Women|0 Comments

Registration for Virtual Regional Assembly in Oklahoma Opens Aug. 27

Tell Us How Your Congregation is Sharing the Good News

According to these words in Luke, Jesus has anointed your congregation to bring good news to the poor. There are many ways Oklahoma congregations are sharing this Good News. How is your congregation bringing this Good News to the poor in your community? Please take a photo and send to the Region at office@okdisciples.org. We will collect the images and prepare a photo gallery to present at the Virtual Regional Assembly.

Learning, Worship & Regional Business

You are invited to gather virtually for the Oklahoma Virtual Regional Assembly on Saturday, September 26, 2020. This virtual assembly will include a learning opportunity: “Anti-Racism: The Bible’s Call & Our Response” with Rev. April Johnson, Minister of Reconciliation for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the US and Canada. “Worship” will feature guest preacher Rev. Dr. Nancy Pittman, President of Phillips Theological Seminary. Regional Business will include the installation of new Regional Board members. We encourage everyone to register and tune in! Regional Board Members and Regional Staff look forward to gathering with you on September 26th!

Voting Delegates – Churches & Clergy

Information about Voting Delegates has been mailed by USPS to all congregations. Deadline for congregations to designate Voting Delegates is September 10th. Please note: ALL Voting Delegates are required to register for this event to gain access to the voting area. All clergy with 2020 Standing are considered a voting delegate.

How to Register

To learn more about Virtual Regional Assembly and Registration Click Here.

At the top right of the Virtual Regional Assembly page you will see the “Register Here” button. Click that button to visit a simple registration page. After you complete the registration form you will receive an email confirmation.

Regional Assembly will also be live streamed on the Region’s Youtube Channel.

YouTube logo
2020-09-24T08:08:46-05:00Aug 13, 2020|Regional News|0 Comments