Christmas in the Oklahoma Conference

12/2/2011

(Holiday visions of sugar plums? Consider this vision as your church fulfills its giving to the Apportionments for 2011.)
 
 By Karen Manera
Treasurer, University UMC, Tulsa
 
The Annunciation
The angels gathered around Mary. “Hey, we would have sent you an email, but we needed another $134 to keep COMMUNICATIONS going. But now that we’re here, guess what? Christmas is coming.”
The Nativity
As Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem, Mary said, “I am so tired. Can we contact the NEIGHBORHOOD SERVICES ORGANIZATION and tell them it’s an emergency and we need a place to stay? The baby will be here soon.”
Joseph said, “No, I heard they were short $72 and we were at the end of the list. We’ll just have to see what we can find on our own.”
Baby Jesus was born in a stable with no running water, and the facilities were out back. Mary and Joseph were happy but apprehensive.
The Shepherds
The shepherds were watching their sheep in the fields and engaging in a bit of storytelling. “Did you know,” said one young man, “I would have been a minister, but the MINISTERIAL EDUCATION FUND lacked $100 for me to attend a school. Too bad, because I think I would have been really good at it.”
As the night wore on, suddenly angels appeared in the sky, singing “Joy to the World.”
One of the shepherds grumbled, “Where’s the music director? They’re all singing off-key. And who’s choosing those songs? I heard there’s no GENERAL ADMINISTRATION for the rest of the year because they couldn’t come up with $322. This is what happens when no one is coordinating.”
The Star and the Wise Men
A bright star led three men on a long journey. They were discouraged. One of them said, “I really need to get this trip wrapped up and return home. The BLACK COLLEGE I applied to promised they could round up the $262 needed for me to start my education. I sure hope they’re successful. This nomad stuff just isn’t for me.”
Another one chimed in, “There’s supposed to be a really nice campground close by. The CAMPS & CONFERENCES travel agent said I would have to pay $57 to stay one night. I hope we don’t have to pay too much for dinner in the next town.”
The third traveler mused, “This is a strange land, and I’m not sure we’re going to be able to talk with the people living here. I paid $75 to the HISPANIC MINISTRIES group back home, and they sent this translator with me. I hope he’ll be able to help us when we get where we’re going.”
The Flight to Egypt
Joseph had started a small carpentry business, making custom cabinets for new homes.  One day he told Mary that he had a vision and the angels told him to take the family to Egypt.  
“We won’t be able to take Jesus’ new friend that stays at our house so often,” Joseph said. “I will contact the CIRCLE OF CARE and see if they can find a good home for the boy. His family just up and left him, so he really needs some people who can help him.”
Mary responded “Oh, Joseph, I’ve been talking with some of the other mothers, and they said it would take over $1,000 for the Circle to continue sponsoring children. How will we get the money to help this boy?”
Mary and Joseph pondered all the events that had taken place since Jesus was born. Joseph replied, “God will provide.”
(Pastor Nathan Mattox of University UMC, Tulsa, shared this story written for that congregation by the church’s treasurer.)


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