Chris Dodson, pastor of newly planted CrossTimbers United Methodist Church, in the southeast Moore area, knows the importance of keeping church members and visitors connected.
Through its Christian education programs, CrossTimbers provides a place for many who are new to the church to feel comfortable sharing their experiences and faith with friends, neighbors, and fellow churchgoers. All the while, they are learning more about Christ.
Through a Petree Grant from the Foundation, CrossTimbers was able to expand that educational programming through new curriculum offerings for small groups and Bible studies.
"The grant allowed us to offer quality programming for adults and kids," said Rev. Dodson. "Christian education is a great source of growth for our church. People are more likely to invite someone new to a casual small-group setting than to worship on Sundays."
CrossTimbers previously had received a grant from the Foundation to provide Bibles for its adults, youths, and children, and Dodson reported the supply is nearly depleted.
"It did not take long for us to give out 200 Bibles," said Dodson. "For many of these families and individuals, this is the first and only Bible they have owned."
During 2009, the year the church first opened its doors, more than 100 children, youths, and adults participated in small groups and Bible studies. That number exceeded the church’s goal and affirmed the need for additional offerings.
"Small groups allow us to emphasize that church is more than one hour per week and allow participants to grow in their faith to better understand who they are and what they are doing here," said Dodson.
"Our Christian education offerings have changed everyday thinking and challenge us to live life differently. It’s a way to get beyond words and a song. It is life-changing and critical to CrossTimbers and our growth," he continued.
Applications for the Foundation’s Petree Grant are being accepted through Sept. 15. The application form can be found on our website at www.okumf.org and must be hand-delivered to the Foundation offices or postmarked by the September deadline.
Grants are awarded to Oklahoma United Methodist churches, agencies, and institutions for a ministry or program specifically benefiting children, youths, the aging, or persons in need and disadvantaged.
The Petree Committee has awarded more than 200 grants, totaling more than $1 million, to United Methodist agencies and churches across our state. The committee encourages agencies and churches with innovative projects, programs, and ministries to apply.
Contact Barbara Gayle at the Foundation for more information: 800-259-6863.