A small study group meets during Mission U in July at OCU. Ann Needham Bower is at left.
In July, Mission U participants marked a special birthday: 125 years of the United Methodist deaconess movement.
Three Oklahoma Conference deaconesses were honored: Pat Hoerth, spiritual director/owner of Turtle Rock Farm and Retreat Center; Elaine Parrent, church administrator for OKC-St. John’s; and Jerri Lindsey, a deaconess candidate.
Mission U (the former Schools of Christian Mission) drew 185 participants, including 11 youths and two children, to the weekend and weekday sessions at Oklahoma City University. Theme was "Learning Together for the Transformation of the World."
People of all ages come "to learn, be inspired, and be challenged to help others," said Derrek Belase, assistant dean. He estimated 15 people were first-timers at Mission U.
Many facets of the program focused on poverty in Oklahoma, he said. Plenary speakers were Jeff Jaynes of Restore Hope Ministries, Tulsa, and Donna Dodson, Enid District superintendent.
About 150 pounds of school supplies were collected for Restore Hope and Skyline Urban Ministry, Oklahoma City, reported Dean Jane Bond. The offering of $2,082 benefitted the capital campaign for Neighborhood Services Organization, Oklahoma City.
And the youths carried out mission service one morning at OKC-Epworth Church.
On the OCU campus, housing and all activities took place in three buildings: McDaniel student center, the science/math center, and Oklahoma United Methodist Hall. Participants appreciated the close proximity, said Rev. Belase.
Study topics were The Roma of Europe, Poverty, and The Call: Living Sacramentally, Walking Justly.
In 2014, dates are July 18-21 for Mission U, which is a cooperative effort by the Conference Mission & Service Ministry Team and United Methodist Women.
In the Media Library
Video resources are available for free checkout in The Media Library at the Conference office. Contact Amelia Ballew, 405-530-2075, firstname.lastname@example.org. Titles:
- "Standing in Need: systemic poverty in our midst"
- "America’s Working Poor" (ABC Nightline segment)
- "The Global Banquet: Politics of Food"
- "Always … Therefore: The Church’s Challenge of Global Poverty"
- "Praying in the Midst of Life" (Ecufilm)
- "Baptism in the United Methodist Church" (Ecufilm)
- "The Roma: History, Culture, Faith"