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Faith in Action Reconciliation Grants Awarded

We are Disciples of Christ, a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world. As part of the one body of Christ, we welcome all to the Lord’s Table as God has welcomed us.

Living our identity is a great challenge in our world today, making our Pro-Reconciliation/Anti-Racism work even more critical. Through your generosity in supporting the Reconciliation Fund, The Faith in Action Commission has awarded approximately $20,000 seeking wholeness in 2020. These grants have gone to rural and urban areas and large and small projects. Some are offered by individual churches. Others are part of the work of communities. Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing with you more information about these projects. Here are just brief descriptions.

  • Central Christian Church, Enid—Enid Welcome Table—in coordination with other organizations in the Enid community a diverse population of food-insecure persons are provided a meal on Sunday evening
  • First Christian Church, Chandler, Bridging the Gap—Intensive program designed to lift people out of poverty, a debilitating impact of racism
  • First Christian Church of Midwest City, Eastern Oklahoma County Homeless—Addresses the needs of families who are homeless with children in school. It serves a very diverse population of all races and persons of Hispanic ethnicity
  • Simplicity Christian Church, Oklahoma City, Every Kind of Bird—Targets Reconciliation among all people who feel excluded from the general society, including people from the LGBTQ population
  • Stroud First Christian Church, Faithful Follower—Helps support a program that brings together Native American, black, and white youth from the community which includes a feeding program
  • First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Guthrie, Thankful Fest— Has a goal of creating more inclusiveness in a church that is 99% white in a community with 25% of the population being persons of color or Hispanic ethnicity
  • Shepherd Street Christian Church, Chickasha, Building Healthy Families—A predominately black church helping youth and their families flourish in a challenging world
  • First Christian Presbyterian Church, Pryor, The Meal—Building Reconciliation in a community with wide diversity and poverty

Reconciliation Funds were also awarded

  • To develop a lecture series piloted by Central Christian Church of Enid in cooperation with Phillips Theological Seminary regarding anti-racism that will be coordinated by the PRAR Team to make it available statewide
  • To Caminante to help address the discrimination impacting Haitian refugees in the Dominican Republic

Congratulations to all Faith in Action grant recipients. We thank you for serving your community in these important ministries.

2020-08-11T21:38:37-05:00Aug 11, 2020|Congregations|0 Comments

Pandemic Updates for Congregations

Just a reminder: The Region follows the guidelines of the CDC and the Oklahoma Health Department. We strongly recommend that congregations remain worshiping on-line until new COVID-19 case numbers are declining consecutively for 14 days or there is some miracle.

When congregations choose to return to in-person worship, we strongly recommend that congregations develop clear protocols which include:

  1. How to Return to In-Person Worship:  One-way entrance and exits, seating arrangements, sanitizing processes, no singing, no passing of the peace, alternative ways of taking the offering and communion.
  2. Best Practices for In-Person Worship:  Hand washing, physical distancing, and wearing a mask.
  3. When Someone is Diagnosed: When someone reports to the minister they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and attended worship, notify all those present at the in-person worship so everyone can self-quarantine for 14 days, AND return to on-line worship for at least two weeks or more.

Where Congregations Are Today:
Congregations are sharing that attendance on-line is consistently well attended, and for the most part, giving is consistent and up.  Celebrate!

Our largest congregations, Edmond FCC, Norman FCC, and Tulsa Harvard Avenue, have medical advisory teams. These congregations are continuing to worship on-line and have not yet set a date to return to in-person worship. Edmond FCC is offering early worship in-person but only by reservation.

In counties where the virus is low, mostly in west and northwest Oklahoma, congregations are worshiping in-person.

Our middle to small-sized congregations are all in different stages. Some are experimenting with in-person worship with clear safety protocols, including wearing masks while also continuing on-line worship. Some have experimented with drive-up worship, and this form of worship went well until it got too hot. Congregations returning to in-person worship are discovering they have VERY LOW attendance because members are very cautious about being in a crowd, especially when worship is in the highest identified place of contamination.

Even with all protocols in place, Oklahoma has three congregations who have had to return to on-line worship after a COVID positive individual attended in-person worship.

Again, the Region strongly recommends that congregations remain worshiping on-line until the numbers are declining for a consecutive 14 days. If your congregation chooses to return to in-person worship, we hope and pray that out of love of God and neighbor, all safety protocols are practiced, including wearing a mask.

Thank you for standing strong and faithful up against this mighty force of a highly contagious virus.

2020-08-12T13:57:13-05:00Aug 11, 2020|Congregations|0 Comments

Love is an Action Word: 7 Part Series

Avoiding Complicity with Racism

Love is an Action Word, is a 7-part series presented by Reconciliation Ministries and the Office of the General Minister and President. Panelists include Margie Pride, Glen Miles, Judith Guy, and Josh Toulouse. Our very own Jeff Champeau will be the producer! This is a wonderful opportunity to take your pro-reconciliation anti-racism to the next level. Watch the replay!

Register now for this virtual series here.

2020-08-11T10:15:35-05:00Aug 11, 2020|Congregations|0 Comments

Woodlands Christian Church Supports the Community: Shoe-A-Child

Woodlands Christian Church has an important outreach ministry called “Shoe-A-Child”, providing shoes to children in their church and local community. We thank Woodlands Christian Church, Verna Bateman and the Outreach Committee for their amazing ministry that serves and blesses so many. We thank God for your important ministry and servants hearts.

Verna Bateman, Outreach Committee says “What a wonderful experience seeing all those beautiful faces lighting up with their new shoes. This year was very different with having to deal COVID-19 virus. But with the Lord’s help, ever thing went amazing well. It was so different this year without having our wonderful volunteers from Woodlands Christian Church helping. We are so grateful for the staff at Encore Shoe Store who helped us this year more than ever. We are pleased to report that we served 45 children with new shoes. We would like to thank everyone who provided financial help with this annual event. It is only possible through your support. Lord willing, next year, will be back to normal.”

Thank you for a job well done.

2020-08-11T10:05:50-05:00Aug 11, 2020|Congregations|0 Comments

Join NBA for a Virtual Seminar Where Faith Meets Social Good

National Benevolent Association (NBA) invites social entrepreneurs and Disciples who want to learn more about the world of Social Enterprise to our virtual SENT Seminar. Participants will experience online education on the importance of impactful work in our communities and lessons on how to plant and grow new faith-rooted social enterprises.

Topics Covered:
• Fundraising 101
• How to Build a Board
• Church and Social Impact
• The ‘Why’ of Faith-Rooted Social Enterprise
• Congregations Pivoting for Social Impact
• Social Service vs. Social justice
• Communication Strategy

Join us online for the Virtual SENT Seminar, Sept. 16–18, 2020. Register HERE

For more information, contact Rev. Darnell Fennell, Director of Social Entrepreneurship, DFennell@NBAcares.org, (314) 993-9000 ext. 6845

2020-06-30T13:51:16-05:00Jun 30, 2020|Congregations|0 Comments

Western Oaks Christian Church Receives Award From Oklahoma State Department of Health

Congratulations to Western Oaks Christian Church for receiving the “Certified Excellence” award from the Oklahoma State Department of Health. We congratulate you on your award and accomplishment to become a certified healthy congregation. Thank you for going above and beyond to serve your church and community.

2020-06-30T10:30:56-05:00Jun 30, 2020|Congregations|0 Comments

Time for Virtual Vacation Bible School

The Region is excited to announce our Virtual VBS Program is available to use.  Based on the summer camp curriculum, This Is Our Prayer, Virtual VBS uses videos to lead you through four days of self-guided learning activities that are intergenerational.  You decide when to do VBS from home.  Maybe your congregation wants to do the activities together using video conferencing technology?  Maybe your congregation wants to use Virtual VBS together, socially distanced, in your building or outdoors?

Each day includes:

  • An Opening Thought

  • Singing

  • Bible Story for the Day

  • Craft Projects

  • A Way to Serve

  • STEM and a Game

  • Prayer Practice and Closing

All the items you need for the crafts are listed in downloadable PDF format including the words to the songs to sing along.  Items you need for other activities are included in the videos.

Virtual VBS will be on our website through August 15th.

Click Here to Register!

Thank You Virtual VBS Team

  • Rev. Darlene Martinez

  • Ashley Pease

  • Rev. Julia Jordan Gillett

  • Chris Fourcade

  • Rev. Sarah Combs

  • Ellen Beer (website design and support)

2020-06-24T12:01:12-05:00Jun 24, 2020|Congregations, Youth|0 Comments

Virtual Vacation Bible School

Covid-19 (coronavirus) has changed the ways we participate in congregational life and the things congregations offer during the summer.  Vacation Bible School is a summer tradition for many congregations and it has a long, rich history as a part of our denomination’s outreach ministry.   The Region asked a group to create an intergenerational VBS that can be done at home.  This self-guided VBS is designed for families to do together.  Congregations may want to use video conferencing for some or all of the activities to do together as another way of connecting their members.

Virtual VBS is a four day program that is designed to last a couple of hours each day.  A short registration form is required to access the VBS.  Registration opens June 18th and Virtual VBS will publish on June 22.

We give thanks for the talents, gifts, and dedication of the Virtual VBS Team, and offer our thanks to their congregations for gifting their time to this project.

Watch the short video to meet the team: Rev. Darlene Martinez, Rev. Julia Jordan-Gillett, Chris Fourcade, and Rev. Sarah Combs

2020-06-12T09:24:43-05:00Jun 12, 2020|Congregations, Youth|Comments Off on Virtual Vacation Bible School

(June 5, 2020) Camp Bytes goes live next week.

Working with our volunteer Camp Directors and Counselors, the Commission for Children, Youth, and Young Adults has reimagined our summer camp program as our Nation, and the world, lives through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chi Rho Camp Bytes (June 9-11) kick off the camp season.  Each day between 10am and 12pm, counselors and campers will gather for an online camp that will have a live element.  Campers must be registered to enter camp and, just like our physically in person program, we cannot accept same day registration for any of our digital camps.  Similarly, Camp Bytes for Junior campers, CYF campers, and Discovery campers will be offered.   Visit the Families & Youth section of our website to learn more and register today.

Just like our physically in person camp program, each day of digital camp will include: play, prayer, study, worship, and service.

We are excited to announce that campers who registered between February 1 and May 2 for traditional summer camp will receive a Camp Bytes t-shirt in the mail this summer!  Yes, if you listed a t-shirt size in your registration for traditional summer camp, the Region will send you a camp shirt FREE.  We are able to provide Camp Bytes and the t-shirt through the generous gifts by donors like you to the Region’s Camp & Conference Resource Endowment Fund throughout the years.  This fund is managed by the Oklahoma Disciples Foundation.

You didn’t register for traditional camp, but want a shirt?  No worries.  You can purchase a summer camp shirt through an online store later this month, and that purchase will support the Region’s program ministries for children and youth which includes summer camp.  Maybe you don’t want a shirt, but still want to support our program ministries for children and youth.  Thank you!  Visit our Givelify page to make a contribution today and select children and youth ministry.  Yes, you could also mail a check to the Region.  If you have other questions, please contact Rev. Michael Davison, Associate Regional Minister.

Yes, Camp Bytes is a bit more screen time this summer, but it will connect you to campers across our Region who want to connect with you.  So, don’t wait!  Time is running out to register for Chi Rho Camp Bytes.  Registration for Chi Rho closes at 3pm, this Sunday, June 7.

  • Chi Rho Camp Bytes (Jun 9-11) 10am-12pm
  • Junior Camp Bytes (June 16-18) 12pm-2pm – Registration Closes June 13
  • CYF Camp Bytes (June 23-25) 9:30am-12pm – Registration Closes June 20
  • Discovery Camp Bytes (July date TBA)
2020-06-05T08:39:11-05:00Jun 5, 2020|Congregations, Youth|Comments Off on