Greetings, Friends and Followers of Christ,

The Regional Staff and the Regional Board hopes and prays you are well in this extraordinary time of “staying at home.” We also hope that you are continuing to worship online with your congregation and taking the opportunity to worship with Disciples around the Region as well. Just as important, we hope you are continuing to practice your faith by giving to your local congregation. We are also asking that you practice your faith by giving to the Region’s 2020 Spring Annual Fund.

This Annual Fund letter is a little longer than usual because we want you to know what is happening at the Regional Church in this unique time in the world and in the life of the church. Beginning in March, heart-rending decisions were made to cancel Regional events including Caminante Mission Trip, International Affairs Seminar, the Men’s Retreat, the Women’s Retreat, and Regional Assembly/Leadership Training School, and we transitioned many meetings to Zoom.

The Regional Staff has been working remotely since March 12, 2020. We continue to answer the phones, check the mail, and make deposits. We continue to do search and call for congregations seeking a minister. We offer tech support to our clergy and congregations who have never done a live-stream service. And we continue to assist those who still need to transition to electronic giving. We are beginning to offer resources for clergy and congregations to ponder if and when it might be “safe and responsible” to gather for worship.

The whole paradigm of ministry shifted in March. Clergy could no longer gather their flocks in the sanctuary for worship, visit the shut-ins, or make hospital calls. For all, transitioning to live-streaming has been challenging and life-giving in a different way. Since March 15th, your regional ministers have each visited 4-6 worship services each Sunday to discover amazing words, visuals, and music. We are very proud of every one of our clergy and the support they have received from congregations.

Michael has attended many Zoom calls concerning summer Camp & Conference ministry. Some of these calls have been with youth leaders across our Regions. Others have been with our Commission on Children, Youth & Young Adults. Recently, Michael led camp counselor training with 30+ folks on Zoom. A “safe and responsible” decision about summer camp will be announced on May 2, 2020.

I have attended many Zoom calls with the College of Regional Ministers and our General Minister & President concerning the financial resources which have been made available to congregations through Disciples Church Extension Fund, National Benevolent Association, Week of Compassion, and Pension Fund. All Covid-19 resources can now be found at here or at disciples.org.

Michael and I have hosted for several weeks now a Thursday clergy prayer time on Zoom. And, we have created a private Oklahoma Disciples Clergy Facebook page for conversation and prayer.

Recently we created a booklet originally designed to be available at Regional Assembly. We think it is important that you know how your gifts provided for the ministries of the Regional Church that happened in 2019. We hope you enjoy reading about the wider church! See the booklet below this article.

In this time, we celebrate the whole church coming together as one to live into our Covenant of Faith. THANK YOU for your generous gifts, small or large, which allow us to continue to work, to communicate effectively and efficiently, and to serve the Region and the whole church. We are grateful.

We are asking that you continue to support the Regional Church by prayerfully considering a gift to the Regional Church either by mailing a check to the Regional office or by giving online here. Every gift matters. Every congregation matters. Every person matters.

We will have a Regional Assembly in the fall, most likely as a virtual experience. Until then, may God’s blessing of protection, care, and love continue to be upon each of you and your family.

Peace & God’s Grace,
Pam Holt Signature
Pamela G. Holt