National justice issue highlighted

Clergy action is urged by two Oklahoma Conference groups to support the National Criminal Justice Commission Act.

U.S. Senate Bill 714 would create a federal commission to review and identify effective criminal justice policies and make recommendations for reform. The legislation, approved by the U.S. House, awaits Senate action.

Oklahomans recently were alerted to the issue through UM-CAN (United Methodist Constituent Advocacy Network). The Conference Board of Church & Society, chaired by Kirt Moelling, and CJAMM (Criminal Justice & Mercy Ministries), directed by Stan Basler, endorse the bill.

Rev. Dr. Basler referred to statistics reported by the General Board of Church & Society:

  • With 5 percent of the world’s population, the U.S. holds 25 percent of the world’s incarcerated.

  • If the 2.3 million people behind bars comprised a city, it would be the fourth largest city in the nation.

  • Two-thirds of those in prison are African American or Latino.

The clergy petition is online at:


Campus picnic draws crowd at TU

On Oct. 1, more than 120 students at the University of Tulsa (TU) took part in the Wesley Foundation’s Friday Noon Lunch, picnicking on BBQ sandwiches and listening to the Caribbean music of the Something Steel band.

Friday Noon Lunch is the Wesley Foundation’s weekly outreach program to spread the message of Jesus to TU students, said campus minister Charlie Spears. The outdoor meal Oct. 1 was a special effort to create more visibility for the UM ministry and provide more room for the band.

Food was provided by Pastor Ray Crawford, Claremore-First UMC, and Morgan Dowell’s Barbeque Joint. Greg Spears, the brother of Rev. Charlie, leads the band.

On Oct. 29, Bishop Hayes will be the luncheon speaker.

Previous speakers this semester have included Barron Ryan, a celebrated local pianist; Roger Wainwright, who leads the TU computer science and mathematics programs and is active at Tulsa-First UMC; and UM missionary Richard Whetsell of Alaska. They shared how they experience Jesus Christ in their lives.

( Campus_Ministry)

OPEN DOORS—Outside the United Methodist Ministry Center, Annette Harper, left, and Linda Johnston, right, accept an award from the state Department of Mental Health, represented by Young Onuorah, Prevention Program manager, and Jessica Hawkins, Prevention Services director.

State officials salute Methodist hospitality

An appreciation award from the state’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services was recently presented to the Oklahoma Conference.

The Church’s headquarters building—The United Methodist Ministry Center in Oklahoma City—provides free meeting space for the department. And the Conference’s Addiction Ministries joined the state’s "Crystal Darkness" campaign against the illegal drug methamphetamine.

Officials of the Ministry Center extend Christian hospitality by making available its meeting rooms for groups with relationships to UM ministries. Receptionist Linda Johnston maintains the schedule.

Annette Harper, director of Addiction Ministries, said 19 UM churches took active part in the "Crystal Darkness" launch.

100 years for OKC-Wesley

A year of centennial celebrations will culminate Nov. 7 at OKC-Wesley church, 1401 N.W. 25th.

In the spotlight that Sunday: preaching by Bishop Bennie Warner, a former Wesley pastor; an anthem written by a Wesley choir member who is an Oklahoma City University student, commissioned for the 100th anniversary; and music by OCU orchestral students.

Diana Cox Crawford, pastor, said the church has been looking both back and forward this year. "We have a great past," she said. "What are we doing next?"

Upcoming is a mission trip to Liberia, Bishop Warner’s homeland. On Oct. 23-24 at the church, the Ruth Haddon Memorial Arts Festival will help fund the mission, to build an elementary school. The fine-art festival will be 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday.

To contact the church: 525-3521.


Bishop Hayes Roast set for Dec. 2

A fun evening with Bishop Robert Hayes Jr. will benefit a serious cause, on Dec. 2 at Oklahoma City University.

The Bishop Hayes Roast Event will raise funds for scholarships. A dinner, the roast, and live auction are planned, beginning at 6 p.m. that Thursday in the OCU Great Hall.

Tickets, $100 each, and all other donations will help Oklahoma United Methodists attend Saint Paul School of Theology at OCU. Tom McDaniel chairs the event planning committee.

Contact Rachel McClain, 405-208-5757,

Training for Lay Speaking

Training courses for Lay Speaking Ministries will be offered Nov. 5-6 in Clinton District (at Clinton UMC), and Nov. 19-20 in Ardmore District (Cross Point Camp).

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