CONGRATULATIONS, GRADUATES—Three clergy members of the Oklahoma Conference graduated July 29 from the Course of Study program of Saint Paul School of Theology, Kansas City, Mo. They are, from left, Robert Foos, Charles Broam, and Mike Mahaffey. The Basic Five-Year Course of Study, a set of 20 classes, is a year-round experiential and classroom learning process for licensed Local Pastors.
Williams leads Scouting Ministries
Susan Williams is the new Conference coordinator of Ministries with Scouts and Other Youth-Serving Agencies (i.e., Scouting Ministries).
Williams, who is a member of OKC-Quail Springs UMC, brings to the post more than three decades of personal involvement in these agencies. She follows Richard Grosshans, who just completed his service in the coordinator’s role.
"It is so important that our congregations embrace all the youth programs that The United Methodist Church sponsors," Williams said. "Youth development programs teach leadership skills, taking responsibility for self, learning to give service to others, and how to be assertive."
She said she became active in CampFire USA as a child, and later as a volunteer and staff member—for a total of 35 years with that organization. She earned the WoHeLo Award, the highest youth honor in CampFire.
Williams and her husband, Kevin, have two children. Jeremy is an Eagle Scout. Like her mother, Jennifer earned the WoHeLo Award.
"My kids both went through the CampFire program from kindergarten through 12th grades. Both have continued to volunteer even while in college," Williams said. "I know that these programs make a difference and are needed in today’s society."
UM Scouting Ministries include: 4-H, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, CampFire, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. District coordinators and agency representatives serve with Williams on a statewide Scouting Ministries committee. To contact her: firstname.lastname@example.org, 405-340-5369 or 405-615-6036.
September is Recovery Month
The Addiction Ministries of the Oklahoma Conference and the General Board of Church and Society are encouraging churches to observe National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month in September by hosting a special worship service or educational event to highlight the realities of addiction, benefits of treatment, and possibility of recovery.
A toolkit is available to help with plans for National Recovery Month. You can request a copy from Director Annette Harper, Addiction Ministries, 405-530-2010, email@example.com. Other sources: www.recoverymonth.gov, 800-662-HELP.
Harper also asks churches to report to her September Recovery Month activities, for ministry confirmation.
Retreat at Turtle Rock
A Shepherds’ Retreat for clergy and laity leaders will be held Sept. 13-14 at Turtle Rock Farm, near Billings. Registration is due by Sept. 9. Contact pastor Susan Ross, firstname.lastname@example.org, 405-714-0064.
Health checks tabulated
The 2010 Annual Conference health screening program drew 483 people to have their blood tested, reported Jan Tofani, Health Benefits director.
Grouped by age, most participants—160 people—were between ages 50 and 60. The overall totals of males and females differed by one person.
Tofani shared a statistical summary report provided by the medical testing lab. It showed 290 people were determined to be at higher risk for diabetes—and 11 newly-found diabetics. Participants were asked in advance if they were diabetic, and 46 people had said they were.
When screening for cholesterol, counts greater than 200 indicate higher risk. The lab reported 156 people with totals above that baseline.
You will find helpful health links and benefits plan information at www.okumc.org.
Young people to host Claiborne
The Young Adult Council and CCYM (Conference Council on Youth Ministries) are sponsoring presentations by activist and author Shane Claiborne on Oct. 16-17 in the Oklahoma City metroplex.
During his visit, Claiborne will speak Saturday morning at the CCYM Youth Summit, to be held at Yukon-First UMC. Further details are pending.
Claiborne writes and travels extensively, speaking about peacemaking, social justice, and Jesus. His books include "The Irresistible Revolution," "Jesus for President," and "Becoming the Answer to Our Prayers." His work has been featured by national media including Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, and National Public Radio.
Wickline event for youths
Wickline United Methodist Church in Midwest City welcomes youth groups to participate in the premiere of "Sunday5," a free celebration on Aug. 29, from 3 to 7:30 p.m.
The event, geared toward youths, will include activities and games, concert-style worship, a meal, and movie presentation complete with popcorn. The Christian film "To Save a Life" will be screened.
For more information, contact David Hanigar, 405-732-0356 ext. 106.
VIM to train Team Leaders
On Sept. 18, Volunteers In Mission training for Mission Team Leaders will be held at Bartlesville-First UMC.
Another class will offered Oct. 23 at OKC-Chapel Hill Church.
Register online: www.okvim.org.
Small churches in spotlight
Worship and preaching in small churches will be explored thoroughly during a week-long jurisdictional program in mid-November at Mount Sequoyah Conference Center, Fayetteville, Ark.
The goal of the Small Church Leadership Institute is to equip laity and pastors to lead these churches in more effective ministry. Proof of that goal’s importance is seen in the impressive lineup of expert speakers and sponsoring groups.
On Nov. 14-18, presenters include Taylor Burton-Edwards, director of worship resources; Safiyah Fosua, director of invitational preaching ministries; and Dean McIntyre, director of music resources. They are with the UM General Board of Discipleship.
Additionally, on Nov. 18-19, a summit is offered with Diana Northcutt, director of discipleship for small-membership churches in the Oklahoma Conference. Her topic: "It’s a New Day in the Small Church—Looking at critical issues facing the small-membership church."
Throughout the week, testimonies will be given by pastors of small congregations that have gained new health, vitality, and mission.
Register at: www.mountsequoyah.org. Scholarships are available.
Read newest Journal online
The 2010 Journal of the Oklahoma Conference is now posted online. Go to http://www.okumc.org and follow these links: "News," "Directory of Journals," and "Journal 2010."
Sign up for UN/DC teen tour
Teens are encouraged to sign up by Sept. 15 to participate in the UN/DC youth education tour set for March 2011.
This United Methodist study tour, March 11-20, is open to high school sophomores through college freshmen. Destinations are New York City and the nation’s capital.
The timely topic? Immigration reform. Key verses for the study are from Leviticus.
Find more, including a registration form to download, at www.okumcministries.org/youth.
InfoServ now offers live chat
InfoServ, which is the denomination’s official information service, has added an online "Live Chat" feature.
"Chat with InfoServ" encourages real-time conversations between members, church pastors, agency staff, and others with questions about The United Methodist Church.
People also may submit questions via e-mail: email@example.com. Answers to frequently asked questions are online, too. Go to: www.infoserv.umc.org.
Guidebook on UM schools
A new resource is available about the 121 United Methodist-related educational facilities. It will help high school students and others easily compare tuition, degrees offered, and possible financial aid. "The Guidebook of United Methodist-Related Schools, Colleges, Universities and Theological Schools" can be ordered at www.cokesbury.com.