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Summer Camp Update #5

Summer Camp Registration Closes May 6th

Don’t wait until the last minute to register!

Chi Rho Camp, CYF Conference, and Junior Camp are at 50% capacity or more.

Discovery Day Camp and Mission Camp Enid are filling up!

Our Summer Camp Season is just over a month away!  On June 6th, our volunteer counselors and directors will gather at Oakridge Camp to make final preparations for Chi Rho Camp that begins the afternoon of June 7th.  Yes, we are offering overnight summer camps this year!  Back in February, the Commission for Children, Youth, and Young Adults created Covid-19 procedures and policies that will guide our camps and with everyone’s cooperation mitigate the possible spread of Covid-19 to campers, adult volunteers, or to families when camper return home.  It will be a great, fantastic, meaning-filled return of summer camp because your camper helped create Holy ground this summer.

Overview: Covid-19 Procedures and Policies

  • Mask Required for Campers and Counselors
  • Covid-19 Rapid Test at Check-In for Camp
  • Small Groups Limited to 8 youth and 2 adults
  • Campers will be with their small group throughout the day
  • Hand Sanitizer, Physical Distance, Primarily Outdoor Activities
  • Camp Sizes Limited
  • Click here to download the latest Covid-19 Procedures & Policies

Contact Rev. Michael Davison mdavison at okdisciples dot org if you have questions.

2021-04-28T16:47:09-05:00Apr 28, 2021|Youth|0 Comments

Summer Camp Update #4

We are excited to announce Mission Camp: Enid!

Our friends at Reach Beyond Mission have decided to cancel their multi-state program for this summer.  We understand and keep this quality, Disciples related organization in our prayers.  We had planned for Mission Camp Road Show to travel to Albuquerque with Reach Beyond Mission.  Instead, twenty-four (24) youth will be welcomed to Central Christian Church in Enid for a week of learning about food insecurity in Enid and serving our food insecure neighbors in Enid and Garfield Co.

Rev. Tom Stanley (Minister at Central CC Enid) will direct Mission Camp and work with = six (6) adult counselors.  Like our other camps, they will blend play, prayer, study, worship, and SERVICE each day of this unique opportunity.  You can download the flyer and registration is OPEN!

Register for summer camp Here, or visit the Families and Youth webpage to learn more.

2021-03-05T10:15:40-06:00Mar 5, 2021|Youth|Comments Off on Summer Camp Update #4

Next DRYG: October 28

Reconnect with God

Digital Regional Youth Group began last month (Sept 23rd) as five congregations met up with Regional Youth Council members.  The fall theme, Reconnect with God, invites Chi Rho, CYF, and their adult sponsors to consider the ways they are actively meeting God through spiritual practices, music, service, and community.  We had 24 participants in September.  Let’s make it 45 or more this month.

There is time to chat, a game or two, and time with the speaker.  There is a short closing worship.  Join DRYG this month!

Digital Regional Youth Group

6:30pm – 8pm

October 28: Music

November 18: Service

December 16: Community

Youth Leaders Email Rev. Michael Davison to RSVP to receive the link for DRYG.

2020-10-06T11:57:02-05:00Oct 6, 2020|Congregations, Youth|Comments Off on Next DRYG: October 28

Sept 23: Digital Regional Youth Group Begins

Digital Regional Youth Group Logo

Like all our congregations and clergy, the Regional Youth Council is improvising and adapting to offer opportunities for the Region’s youth groups to play, pray, worship, study, and serve.  This fall, RYC is offering four digital youth group gatherings for Chi Rho and CYF on the theme, Reconnect with God.

These monthly gatherings will last 90 minutes and meet via Zoom.  To maintain the security of our meetings we ask youth group leaders will need to register.  Email Michael Davison for more information.

DRYG (Digital Regional Youth Group) kicks off Sept 23rd, with the focus on spiritual practice to reconnect with God.  Our Guests are: Rev. Nancy Brink and Andra Moran.

DRYG is planned and led by the Regional Youth Council.

Q: How do I get my group to DRYG (digital regional youth group)?

A: To access DRYG youth group leaders need to email Rev. Michael Davison who will send them connection information to share with their group(s).

Upcoming Dates & Theme

October 28: Music
November 18: Service
December 16: Community

Schedule for DRYG

6:25pm: Digital Room Opens
6:30: The Fun Begins!
7:55: Preview Next Month
8:00: We bid you goodnight

Rev. Nancy Brink
Rev. Nancy BrinkGuest Speaker
Rev. Nancy E. Brink, the Donna (Ford) and Fahmy Attallah Endowed Director of Church Relations at Chapman University.

Rev. Brink will talk about centering prayer and offer other practices youth might explore. 

Andra Moran
Andra MoranMusical Guest
Andra Moran lives in Nashville, Tennessee where she works as a songwriter, singer, author, worship designer and freelance touring musician in a variety of ecumenical settings. In addition to her work in concert and commissioned music, Andra is a consultant in worship design, modern liturgical music and leadership in churches and denominational conferences across the country. She is regularly engaged as a clinician and workshop leader, teaching songwriting and creative expression in colleges and retreat centers. Currently, Andra tours and writes full time, and works part time on the staff of Woodmont Christian Church in Nashville as the Creative Director and worship pastor. She has a four year old daughter named after the heirloom lilies in that bloom in her garden.
2020-09-10T07:20:04-05:00Sep 10, 2020|Congregations, Youth|Comments Off on Sept 23: Digital Regional Youth Group Begins

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|Comments Off on Time for Virtual Vacation Bible School

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

A Difficult Decision: Summer Camp Canceled

May 2, 2020

Hello Christian Church in Oklahoma,

This was our prayer: that there was a responsible way to offer summer camp this year and effectively mitigate the health risks of the coronavirus.

The Commission for Children, Youth, and Young Adults, our Summer Camp Directors, and Rev. Michael Davison have ingested a lot of information.  We have talked with youth leaders, listened, consulted with the sites that host our summer camps, read diverse medical opinions, reviewed CDC guidelines, and State Health Department guidelines.  We have prayed together.  What we’ve discovered is that there is more unknown about the coronavirus (Covid-19) and its transmission than what is known.  No matter where a camp or retreat is held, our first responsibility is the physical well being, safety, and care of campers, their families, and our adult volunteers.

With all that we know and, more importantly, what we don’t know about the coronavirus, we have decided to cancel summer camp this year.  We are grieved, as we know you must be, about this decision.  We lament with you and for you, but this is the best reasoned and faithful way for the Region to do its part for the common good of Oklahoma, and ensure that summer camp returns in 2021.

You may be thinking, “There is uncertainty and risk everyday.” While that is true, what we knew as “normal” life before February of this year, with its acceptable risk and comfort with uncertainty, didn’t just happen overnight.  It grew through years of lessons learned (sometimes the hard way), and advances in medicine and social sciences.  We don’t think it is responsible for our intentional Christian community to be a medical experiment this year, as well as a place to play, pray, worship, study, and serve.

In the absence of physical summer camp, Michael is working with camp directors and the Commission for Children, Youth, and Young Adults to reimagine camp and offer Camp Bytes.  This digital experience will be age appropriate for campers just like the summer camp program.  Parents of younger campers, Discovery and Junior age, are welcome to participate.  This is one way to remember that there are many ways to be “in-person” to support, comfort, and learn together as followers of Jesus.  We know that congregations are thinking about how to offer Vacation Bible School and maintain physical distancing to support everyone’s health.  Using this same online portal, the Region will offer a digital VBS program this summer.  More details about these interactive digital opportunities will be posted to our website and social media platforms on May 22.  Through the generosity of donors to the Region’s endowments, there will be no fee for Camp Bytes and VBS.

As we monitor the news and guidelines about the coronavirus this summer, we are planning for an active second half of the year.  We know you will have many choices as schools, sports leagues, and clubs have postponed their events to this fall, and there is always college football.  We have two weekends planned for you to gather with siblings in faith around the Region.

  • Family Camp, September 5-7
    Camp Christian near Chouteau
    Families of all sizes and kinds are invited to attend this new camp as we design a weekend specifically for families.  Registration will open June 8.
  • Qahal/Koinonia Campout, October 16-18
    The Regional Youth Council will lead a weekend retreat for Chi Rho & CYF in the great outdoors!  Get out your camping gear (tent, flashlights, lanterns, and sleeping bags) for an unplugged weekend of hiking, games, some study, and a chance to slow down.  More information will be available in July and registration opens August 15.

This is our prayer, O Lord, that your goodness and mercy will surround the helpers, low wage essential workers, warehouse employees, delivery people,  decision makers, leaders, and teachers.  Be present, O Lord, to the sick and dying, the homeless, the hungry, and the lonely through the work of our hands and the voices of our neighbors.  We remember graduates and their families.  We trust that your mercies, O Lord, are new every morning and embrace us as we love and serve like Jesus, who we call Christ, and in whose name we pray.

We look forward to seeing campers at Camp Bytes in June.  Remember, Disciples, you are a blessing.  Keep on being a blessing, even from a physical distance, until we can gather in-person again.  Stay centered.

Sally Wheeler, Co-Chair, Commission for Children, Youth, and Young adults

Rev. Bill Hemm, Co-Chair, Commission for Children, Youth, and Young adults

Rev. Michael Davison, Associate Regional Minister


The Regional Board recognizes this extraordinary time of COVID-19, and concurs with the Commission for Children, Youth, and Young Adults in the very difficult but wise decision to cancel Camp and Conference for 2020.  We are unwilling to risk or compromise the health of any of our young people or the adult volunteers who serve them.  We are deeply grateful for the commitment it takes and all the preparation which has taken place in leading up to the 2020 camping experience.  We also offer our support for any alternative experiences that certainly will not take the place of summer camp, but can continue to enrich the faith of our young people.

Rev. Tom Stanley, Moderator, Christian Church in Oklahoma

Rev. Pam Holt, Regional Minister

2020-05-02T13:01:06-05:00May 2, 2020|Regional News, Youth|Comments Off on A Difficult Decision: Summer Camp Canceled

On the Road with Jesus: Week 2

We Are Family

Where is this parable? Luke 15.11-32

The parable of the prodigal son is a familiar one to most of us.  A father has two sons.  One requests his inheritance early, squanders it, and returns home begging to be welcomed back.  He is welcomed back, and he is received with a party!  The other son, who stayed home, worked tirelessly for his father, takes issue with the way his brother was celebrated upon his return—after living wildly and dangerously, using up all of his inheritance.  The father responds by saying that they had to rejoice upon the brother’s return, for he was lost and has been found.  How many of us have compared ourselves to the two brothers in this story?  It seems easy to try to fit ourselves into the category of “good child” or “wild child.” But what about the father?  How many times have we seen ourselves in the role of the father, receiving a lost one with open arms?  For me, forgiveness is difficult.  For me, being merciful to those who have treated me with disrespect or outright cruelty is difficult.  The father, though, paints a different picture of how things might be in these situations.  The father shows us how God sees humanity.  God sees claims us as beloved even when we have gone astray.  God celebrates when we return to the holy and sacred, never holding our transgressions against us.  How might we reflect this grace and mercy in our own lives?  How might we grow to understand the difficult routes some lives have taken and be gracious when the “lost” return home, asking for forgiveness?  We are not God, that’s for sure.  But we do have opportunity after opportunity to, with our words and actions, point toward a loving and compassionate God that sees humanity, God’s children, all people, as worthy, valuable, and beloved.

Rev. Shannon Cook, Minister of Faith Development
First Christian Church Norman


Found

Where is this parable? Luke 15:8-10

The Parable of the Lost Coin is a story about a woman who has lost one of her ten coins. Rather than sulk about it or just be content with the fact that she has lost it, she realizes that she must do something in order to locate it. She began to clean her home, looking for the coin as she went as the cleansing made it easier for her to access certain places. When she finally found it she rejoiced, celebrating by letting each of her friends and family know of her achievement. This can be compared to the attitude God shows towards sinners. When any of His children repents to Him and asks forgiveness for their sins, he rejoices. He is delighted at our initiative to restore our own faith through Him, and grows a love for us bigger than He had before.

This story teaches followers of Christ as well as non-believers that no matter what you have done or how long ago, it is better to take the time to admit the wrongs that have been committed than ignore them and hope for the best. The hardest part of this for me personally, is admitting that I am wrong in the first place. I always hold myself to such a high standard and sometimes even have a mindset that I haven’t done anything wrong at all, which makes it hard for me to accept that I do indeed need to take a step back sometimes and think about the affects my actions caused. I am in no way perfect and God knows that, but I also know that I am still just as loved as before I made my mistake. Knowing His unconditional love exists and that He rejoices at the fact that I do ask forgiveness makes it so much easier to repent, and it truly makes it so much easier to follow Jesus knowing I will not be cast down.

Trinity Towel, Central Christian Church Fairview


Yeast or TikTok

Where is this parable? Matthew 13:33

So, this is the shortest parable that is contributed to Jesus. Why is it so short?  What does it mean?  These are the questions that come to my mind.  So let us take them one by one.  Let us look deeper into this short story. 

Why is it so short?  We live in a time of convenience and immediateness.  When driving directions appear on our phones in a matter of seconds.  Whole meals can be prepared in under five minutes.  We can see the news happening around the world as it takes place.  We can travel from Dallas to Washington DC in the time it takes to bake a loaf of bread.  We live in an age of wonder.

So, a parable this short should be perfect for us.  I believe that he was trying to get a point across in a short amount of time, so he chose something that everybody knew and understood.  Simple really: flour, yeast, water and you get bread.  So easy fifth graders could understand, right?  Nope, I asked one of my fifth grade classes what yeast and leavening was and only one person was able to tell me, but I asked them how to post on TikTok and everybody was able to answer in under thirty seconds.

Jesus chose, like every good teacher, to meet the people where they were with the knowledge they had.  When we explain this story to the people of today, we need to do the same.  How we do that is mixed up in the situation that we find those people.  In other words we are the yeast, the knowledge that has been passed on to us.  We must be that leavening that is mixed into that three-fourths of flour and do our part of spreading these teachings to the rest of God’s children.

On your journey to the cross in this time of Lent, please take the time and meet people where and when they are.  Tell your story and when we (collectively) take the time and build that relationship that is the meaning of this parable.

Travis Carlson, First Christian Church Chickasha

2020-03-09T12:50:30-05:00Mar 9, 2020|Michael Davison Blog, Youth|Comments Off on On the Road with Jesus: Week 2