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Scholarships for Disciples Virtual Gathering

The Region is pleased to announce the availability of scholarships for Oklahoma Disciples who wish to attend the Disciples Virtual Gathering event on August 7, 2021.

The online event is an opportunity for Disciples to connect, experience Bible study, learn from workshops, worship and imagine new ways of gathering as church.

Apply today for a $25 scholarship to reimburse your cost of Regular Registration. Applications are due no later than August 6th.

2021-06-21T15:02:55-05:00Jun 21, 2021|Congregations|0 Comments

Third Reconstruction Resolution: Poor People’s Campaign

The Poor People’s Campaign has released a non-partisan resolution urging a Third Reconstruction. Members of the Faith in Action Commission of the Oklahoma Region support the Poor People’s Campaign and share the following information with you to educate and to spur action. Please also note the Oklahoma Fact Sheet that provides statistics on poverty, systemic racism and other important issues in our state.

We invite you to join us in work necessary to attain our goals regarding the well-being of all people. Please see our website at https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/committee/oklahoma/ or follow our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/OklahomaPPC for updated information.

Moral Monday

The next Moral Monday event is slated for June 21, 2021. Learn more

Third Reconstruction: Fully Addressing Poverty and Low Wages from the Bottom Up

Drawing on the transformational history of the First Reconstruction following the Civil War and the Second Reconstruction of the civil rights struggles of the 20th century, the Third Reconstruction is a revival of our constitutional commitment to establish justice, provide for the general welfare, end decades of austerity, and recognize that policies that center the 140 million are also good economic policies that can heal and transform the nation.

Emerging from the pain and organizing power of the 140 million people living in poverty or with low wages in this nation, the congressional resolution for a Third Reconstruction reflects an omnibus vision for a fundamental restructuring of society that lifts from the bottom. This newest congressional effort comes as a response to years of movement-building to create the collective resolve necessary to implement real and transformational legislative action.

This non-partisan resolution recognizes that in order to build a true Third Reconstruction we must simultaneously deal with the interlocking injustices of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation and the denial of health care, militarism and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism that blames the poor instead of the systems that cause poverty. Read the entire Third Construction Resolution.

Oklahoma Poor People’s Campaign Fact Sheet

2021-06-16T14:05:54-05:00Jun 16, 2021|Faith in Action|0 Comments

Spring ’21 Ordination & Installations

Ordination of Rev. Gregory Chambers

Rev. Gregory Chambers was ordained into Christian ministry on Sunday, May 30, 2021 at New Hope Christian Church, Oklahoma City. Participants included his father, Rev. Stephen Chamber, Sr. Minister at New Hope, his mother, siblings, and family friends. Acting Regional Minister Rev. Dr. Paxton Jones officiated accompanied by Rev. Dr. Debi Powell-Maxwell, representing the Region’s Commission on Clergy.

Installations

Associate Regional Minister Rev. Michael Davison installed Rev. Paul Ragle as Sr. Minister at Christian Church of the Covenant in Enid on May 2, 2021.

Associate Regional Minister Rev. Michael Davison installed Rev. Dr. Richmond Adams as Sr. Minister at First Christian Church Pawnee on May 16, 2021.

2021-06-03T15:51:42-05:00Jun 3, 2021|Clergy News|0 Comments

Support Disciples Mission Fund 2021

DMF Day is June 24

Make a gift on DMF Day to support Disciples Mission Fund, which makes it possible for the whole church to work together, doing far more than we could alone.

Individuals and congregations make contributions to DMF, which funds the work of regional and general ministries, who make it possible for us to be the church together, in many ways and in many places.

If you’ve ever…

  • Sat around a campfire at church camp
  • Had a visit from a global mission co-worker
  • Visited a Disciples college
  • Served on a search committee for a new pastor
  • Attended Children Worship and Wonder

… then you’ve seen Disciples Mission Fund at work. Learn more about DMF

Tell us your DMF story!

How has DMF made an impact on your congregation or your life? Send your story and a picture to news@disciples.org, and share it on social media tagged #DMFDoesThat.

Imagine what our gifts can do!

2021-05-18T11:59:09-05:00May 18, 2021|Regional News|0 Comments

Paxton Jones: Peace Offerings

When our younger daughter was 2½ years old, her pediatrician advised us that she needed tubes put into her ears to combat a series of infections threatening her hearing. Arrangements were made; on Sunday I informed my congregation from the pulpit that I would be out of the office the next day and why; and too soon morning arrived.

In terms of medical procedures, putting tubes in a child’s ears is relatively minor. But this was my child, my baby, and though she marched down the hall to the surgical suite like a trooper, I was a nervous wreck. My anxiety was compounded by the absence of anyone waiting with us—no elder, no deacon, no one from the congregation, though it was obvious the previous day in church how anxious their young pastor was.

My wife and I were lonely and scared…and then the district minister of my region walked into the waiting room. He was the answer to a prayer I was too afraid to voice. He knew, when no one else seemed aware, that even pastors need pastoral care. And I swore to myself then and there that given the chance I would be “a pastor to pastors” whenever and however I could.

This episode is a foundational piece as to why I went into regional ministry and why, when my friend Pam Holt called, I came out of retirement to serve as your Acting Regional Minister for three months while she’s on a well-deserved sabbatical. I’m happy to be here—happy to minister with and to you, and to and for her—until she returns, hopefully renewed and refreshed, on August 1st.

I hope to encounter you soon, somewhere along the journey, here in Oklahoma!

Paxton Jones
Acting Regional Minister

2021-05-05T15:23:33-05:00May 5, 2021|Regional News|0 Comments

FEMA Funeral Assistance for Covid-19 Deaths

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, (FEMA) is providing financial assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.

Assistance is limited to a maximum of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $35,500 per application per state, territory, or District of Columbia

How to Apply

COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line Number: 844-684-6333 TTY: 800-462-7585
This dedicated toll-free phone number is open Monday-Friday 8 am to 8 pm CT. Call this number and FEMA’s representatives will help you complete a COVID-19 Assistance application. The interview should take about 20 minutes. Multilingual services are available.

Visit the FEMA Funeral Assistance website page HERE

Eligibility

To be eligible for funeral assistance, you must meet these conditions:
• Death must have occurred in the United States
• Death certificate must indicate the death attributed to COVID-19
• Applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after January 20, 2020.
• No requirement for deceased person to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.

Covered Costs

• Transportation for up to two individuals to identify the deceased individual
• Transfer of remains
• Casket or urn
• Burial plot or cremation niche
• Marker or headstone
• Clergy or officiant services
• Arrangement of the funeral ceremony
• Clergy or officiant services
• Arrangement of the funeral ceremony
• Use of funeral home equipment or staff
• Cremation or interment costs
• Costs associated with producing and certifying multiple death certificates
• Additional expenses mandated by an applicable local or state government laws or ordinances.

Further Information

Funeral Assistance Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and a Video:
“Providing Financial Assistance for COVID-19 Related Funeral Expenses” can be found HERE

2021-05-05T14:34:29-05:00May 5, 2021|Regional News|0 Comments

A Very Christmas Narrative

Refugee & Immigrant Ministries

This following story is given to us by the inspiration of Rev. Daniel U’Ren (Western Oaks Christian Church, OKC) and his servanthood along with that of Rev. Colton Lott (First Christian Church El Reno) and First Christian Church Norman member, Neil Johnson. We ask you to consider contributing to our Christmas in July Project.

Imagine a young couple with no place to go, adhering to a directive dictated by politics and necessity. Following a northern route, when they arrive there is no place for them to stay. They are placed in a refugee camp where their child is born. As they fled for their lives, wise ones following a heavenly star brought them gifts of food, shelter, and a way to safety, a place to be welcomed and loved. Those called “wise” have done so because they chose to do the right thing. To give a family a chance, to bring hope to their lives, and to this child. Born a refugee and escaping persecution, this child is given the opportunity to explore unknown potential. At Christmas we celebrate the Christ child who, too, was born in the lowliest of places, far from home, and his family would soon flee for their own safety. What better gift to give to Christ than to help a family such as this?

The Generosity of Three Oklahoma Disciples

A young refugee couple with an infant arrived in Fort Worth, TX and needed to check in with Oklahoma City ICE. They had no one to help them. Neil agreed to not only drive them to their appointment in OKC, but to drive to Fort Worth and pick them up, saving them from a very long bus ride with an infant in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. Daniel and Colton without hesitation agreed to find them a place to stay and supply food. Through the generosity of three Oklahoma Disciples, and your generous donations to Refugee and Immigrant Ministries, this young family was cared for while awaiting another sponsor.

Many families, especially women and children, are released in winter without adequate outer wear and shoes, and often sent to states that are still experiencing cold temperatures. The couple had been released into the U.S. in summer clothing and Oklahoma was currently having a December snowstorm. The twenty-one-year-old mother only had a short skirt, stretch pants, a thin sweater given to her by the border organization, sandals, and a short sleeve blouse. The infant had one sleeper, one blanket, and no formula.

Christmas in July

Our Region is asking you to participate in the Christmas in July project. Your donations of online purchases will ensure warm coats and shoes to those being processed in our border organizations. Our goal is to obtain 300 articles of clothing and shoes by July 31. Contact Rev. Mary Heath, chair of the Refugee and Immigrant Ministries Commission, for more information to help clothe women and children in need! Cell 405-697-7829 or email revmaryheath@att.net

A Day for Mothers

By Rev. Mary Heath

In the place we now call America-
we have just celebrated “Mother’s Day.”
A day we remember and thank mothers,
for all the love and support they gave.

The birthday parties, the presents,
the clothes, allowance, dance class, activities,
gymnastics, athletics, clubs, organizations,
bedrooms filled with posters, furniture, and toys.

And what about the mothers who gave everything-
their own homes and life,
their own safety and dignity,
just in the hope they would give their children-
safety, health, education, and the possibility of a future.

Those who gave their children to a wall or a bridge,
or a river, or a system far away that might offer them a chance.
Those mothers who gave the most precious thing in their life,
for the opportunity of a new life in a place they could not reach.

How do we celebrate mothers-
who made the ultimate sacrifice,
out of love and hope for their children.

2021-05-10T11:48:18-05:00May 5, 2021|Regional News|0 Comments

Donate to 2021 Spring Annual Fund

April 12, 2021

Dear Friends in Christ,

Christ has risen! Christ has risen, indeed! Like the disciples, I hope you can feel the joy of the resurrected Christ!

Thank you for being a generous donor to the Regional Church’s Annual Fund. Your gift is an important way to be a “witness” that Christ is risen, forgiveness is offered, and hope is everywhere. We are grateful for every gift which helps us stay connected and together serve those in our communities who are broken, suffering, and/or most vulnerable.

This past year, love has looked and felt like sacrifice in so many ways. And yet, despite the sacrifices, our loving and serving like Jesus and the Disciples has been extraordinary. Your gifts to the Regional Church have brought some unimaginable joy!

Your gifts have provided the Region with resources so that with up-to-date technology, we have found our way, like you, through the closed sanctuary doors into windows filled with prayer, music, preaching and sharing in the Lord’s Table. In these moments of connection, whether it be a church in our neighborhood or one across the state, we have experienced the love of God embracing us like never before. Albeit different, the Regional Church has not missed a beat connecting with clergy and congregations in all of the various circumstances of the life of the church.

With your generous gifts, we continue to provide clergy and leaders with education and confidence that there are many resources for caring in crisis and long term recovery from any storm that arises.

With your generous gifts, the Region continues to reach out to provide courage and strength and dollars for those who are in need. Since the first of 2021, the Region has helped clergy and families who have been sick and yet recovered from COVID-19. We have partnered with Week of Compassion to provide financial relief to families who have struggled with paying their rent and utilities, and even more financial relief to families and congregations who suffered damages from the frigid, sub-zero winter weather.

As we look forward, we are cautious and excited for the Region to offer in-person camp this summer for our youth. We are also already making plans for the 2022 Regional Assembly to be held in-person at Harvard Avenue Christian Church in Tulsa. We know it will be a grand celebration of gathering, worshiping together, and making a joyful noise throughout the land!

Your gift is important. And, we are grateful for every gift which we turn right back around to help you and your church to love your neighbors and serve like Jesus.

Please give generously to the 2021 Annual Fund of the Regional Church! The depth and breadth of love in your gift truly makes a difference. Again, thank you for your part in the meaningful, life-giving work of the Regional Church.

Stay safe! Stay well! Stay hopeful!

Peace & God’s Grace,

Pamela G. Holt, Regional Minister

To learn about your Regional Church read the 2020 General Board Report or watch the video.

God has not caused the current breakdown of our world.
But here is what I know about Easter:
God is creating in us something more beautiful for having been broken.
Crucifixion to resurrection.
That’s how God works.

Rev. Cameron Trimble, author of
“Piloting Church: Helping Your Congregation Take Flight”

Gifts may be given securely through Givelify or online here or checks may be made payable to Christian Church in Oklahoma, noted Annual Fund, and mailed to 301 NW 36th St., Oklahoma City, OK 73118-8661.

2021-04-12T13:44:38-05:00Apr 12, 2021|Regional News|Comments Off on Donate to 2021 Spring Annual Fund

Faith Still Standing: Tulsa Race Massacre

100 Years Later – Commemoration of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Trevor Bach writes, “On Memorial Day Weekend in 1921, as Jim Crow segregation laws seized the country, rumors about a young Black man sexually assaulting a white woman in an elevator sparked a frenzy in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As the racial tension escalated, a white mob descended on the city’s Greenwood neighborhood, a highly prosperous area known as “Black Wall Street,” and committed among the United States’ most egregious acts of racial terror, looting businesses and burning entire city blocks. Later estimates would cite as many as 300 Black Tulsans killed from the violence – some likely from firebombs dropped by private airplanes – and as many as 10,000 left homeless. Greenwood lay in ashes.

Nearly 100 years later, a series of projects aims to both commemorate a long under-recognized massacre and help revitalize the iconic American neighborhood. Read the full article.

While this horrific story of racism is part of our past and difficult to confront, this is the time for us to know the story, embrace the pain and grief, support the Greenwood Rising projects with our dollars and prayers, and turn our hearts, our minds, and our hands to become unrelenting catalysts for anti-racism.

Pine Street Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Recognized

Pine Street Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Tulsa is one of the churches that will be acknowledged and recognized, for being in the historical Greenwood area for over 100 years. Pine Street Christian Church (est. 1907) has congregants who are descendants of the massacre. A special event “Faith Still Standing” to commemorate the Greenwood congregations will take place May 30, 2021. You may find event details as they become available on the Commission’s events schedule.

Disciples of Christ Descendants

An ordained Disciples of Christ minister Rev. Zenobia Mayo of Tulsa is one of the descendants. Her great uncle was Dr. A.C. Jackson who was an African American surgeon who was killed during the Tulsa Race Massacre in 1921. According to the Greenwood Cultural Center, Jackson was considered as the “most able Negro surgeon in America” by the Mayo Brothers, founders of the Mayo Clinic.

There are other Disciples descendants as well. The Region will be releasing a podcast soon of a couple with those voices.

Event Schedule Released

The primary dates of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commemoration are May 26 – June 6, 2021, see the Event Schedule.

Download an Event Schedule

2021-04-12T10:25:54-05:00Apr 12, 2021|Congregations|Comments Off on Faith Still Standing: Tulsa Race Massacre

New 2021 Free Stewardship Resources

Center for Faith & Giving Releases Free 12-Month Stewardship Resources

Rev. Bruce Barkhauer has announced the release of new stewardship resources titled “Created To Be a Steward”. To meet changing circumstances, the Center for Faith and Giving determined that “business as usual” for resourcing stewardship was simply not going to work. The new “dynamic resource” provides fresh installments made each quarter as the year progresses. It is designed to to be relevant in the moment rather than hope we “guessed right” where your congregation finds itself throughout the year. It is intended to keep the stewardship conversation alive throughout the year by providing preaching, teaching and personal practical resources.

Created To Be a Steward

“Created To Be a Steward” is a 12-month stewardship emphasis for congregations that seeks to explore four major themes of biblical stewardship:

  • Self-Care (January – March)
  • Earth Care (April – June)
  • Resource Management (July – September); Gospel
  • Sharing [Evangelism] (October – December)

What is Included?

Each quarter, the free materials will contain:

  1. Three background pieces for sermon preparation
  2. Three companion educational curriculums based on the texts for preaching
  3. A commitment card for that particular theme (self-care, earth care, resource management, gospel sharing)
  4. Additional “experiential” exercises
  5. Links to additional resources and ideas (updated during that quarter)
  6. Worship resources including: prayers, call to worship, and offering and communion meditations
  7.  An entire separate resource of “campaign guidance” meant to help you organize and manage a financial campaign

How Do I Access the Free Resources?

Visit the Center for Faith and Giving website here. When you request the materials you will be given a link to the folders that may be downloaded free of charge.

2021-06-03T16:03:28-05:00Apr 10, 2021|Congregations|Comments Off on New 2021 Free Stewardship Resources