Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church



Johnson to lead Women’s retreat

Frankye Johnson will lead a spiritual growth retreat for all women on April 29-May 1 at Canyon Camp, sponsored by Oklahoma Conference United Methodist Women (UMW).

Rev. Johnson is superintendent of the Oklahoma City-South District and a native of Muskogee.

She is a contributor to the Women of Color Bible and has been co-dean of the Local Pastors Licensing School.

Raised in the National Baptist denomination, Johnson has much experience as a church musician, Sunday school teacher, and leader for women’s prayer and study retreats. Prior to entering formal ministry, she earned a nursing degree and worked in health care. She has three children.

The UMW retreat opens at 7 p.m. Friday and concludes at noon Sunday. Theme is "Faith, Hope, and Love in Action."

Deadline to sign up is April 11. Contact registrar Coe Ann Patton of Tulsa, capatton2@cox.net.

 2 agencies receive grants

Two Oklahoma Conference agencies have received grants from the denomination’s General Board of Church & Society.

  • A total of $32,000 was approved for the Exodus House program of Criminal Justice & Mercy Ministries (CJAMM).

  • The general board sent $15,000 for the 2011 Summer School of Chemical Dependency, presented by Addiction Ministries.

The Exodus House program assists newly released inmates by meeting initial living needs, including households of reunited parents and children. Facilities are in Tulsa and Oklahoma City.

"This program demonstrates restorative justice and success in reaching their goals," the general board stated in a letter to Stan Basler, CJAMM director.

Drug and alcohol addictions are forefront in the intensive education that takes place in the two-week Summer School, held in June at Oklahoma City University. The general board directed its grant be used to scholarship Native-American and African-American participants.

"This program provides needed training for clergy," noted the letter to Annette Harper, director of Addiction Ministries.

The two Oklahoma directors were notified of the grants by the general board’s Ethnic Local Church and Human Relations Day Funding Committee. The Human Relations Day offering is received on one of six Special Sundays observed annually across the denomination. The grants for Oklahoma underscore the connectional work of the Church.

 OMM president named Trustee of the Year

On March 9, President Gail Runnels of the Oklahoma Methodist Manor (OMM) Board of Trustees was named 2011 Trustee of the Year by the Oklahoma Association of Homes and Services for the Aging.

Runnels joined the OMM board in 2001 and became president in 2006. Under his leadership, the United-Methodist related facility in Tulsa has begun a campus-wide redevelopment, including the addition of the 103-residence Crestwood neighborhood, the 11,000-square-foot Spann Wellness Center, and renovations to the Health Care Center.

Runnels has been in private practice as an attorney and certified public accountant since 1961. He and his wife, Virginia, are long-time members of Tulsa-First UMC.

"Gail Runnels’ leadership has had a transformational effect at Oklahoma Methodist Manor. His creativity and zeal have encouraged us to greater achievements than we previously believed possible," said Steve Dickie, OMM executive director.

Strathdees to perform in Oklahoma

PRAISE—The Strathdees will perform at five churches.

Jim and Jean Strathdee—internationally honored United Methodist songwriters, worship leaders, and concert artists—will present a series of sing-along concerts across the Oklahoma Conference in late March and early April.

Concerts will take place at these churches:

  • March 30 at Grace UMC in Oklahoma City, 7 p.m.

  • March 31 at Guthrie-First UMC, 7 p.m.

  • April 1 at Highland Park UMC in Stillwater, 7 p.m.

  • April 3 at Alva-First UMC, 6 p.m.

  • April 4 at Miami-First UMC, 7 p.m.

The Strathdees have a special gift for encouraging people to sing with them. Most of the music they write and perform is for congregational singing. Their music is widely published, with some of their work in The Faith We Sing, a supplement to The United Methodist Hymnal. The Strathdees have a long association with those in the Oklahoma Conference, having led music at youth training events and camps.

 Evangelism effort expands

As the "New Christians" evangelism emphasis moves forward in the Conference, these plans are developing.

  • Prayers recorded by Bishop Hayes are posted on the Conference website, www.okumc.org.  You and your church group can join your prayers with his. A new video is posted every two months.

  • On May 14 at Abiding Harvest UMC, in Broken Arrow, the second event in a Conference-wide evangelism training series will be held. Keynote speaker will be Bishop Scott Jones of the Kansas Area, a former professor of evangelism at Perkins School of Theology.

  • On Aug. 2 in Ardmore, another regional training will be held, with speaker Elaine Heath.

 Christian music videos available

The Media Library has available three new Music Video Loops by Interlinc, which assists youth leaders with quality Christian music for students.

Each features over 15 music videos and related Bible studies. Contact aballew@okumc.org  or 405-530-2075.

  • No. 70 features music by Project 86, Manafest, Flatfoot 56, Red, Fireflight, Flyleaf, B. Reith, Pettidee, Matt Papa, Dave Barnes, Sho Baraka, Abandon Kansas, KJ-52.
  • No. 71 features Switchfoot, Manafest, House of Heroes, Owl City, Casting Crowns, Trip Lee, Downhere, Viktory, The Museum, Andrew Peterson, Coffey Anderson, Kari Jobe, Sanctus Real, Hawk Nelson, Polen, Delirious?
  • No. 72 features Flyleaf, Sent By Ravens, Third Day, David Crowder, SHIROCK, Demon Hunter, Matthew West, Tenth Avenue North, The Afters, Abandon Kansas, Mercy Me, Circleslide, Underoath, Delirious?
    No. 72 also features a Youthworker Guide on the movie "Soul Surfer," in theaters April 15. The movie is based on the story of Bethany Hamilton, a teen surfer who summons the courage to go back into the ocean after losing her arm in a shark attack.

Stephen Ministry training is April 2

On April 2, Wickline UMC in Midwest City will host a Stephen Ministry Workshop. Trained laypeople at more than 10,000 churches extend one-to-one Christian caring as Stephen Ministers. The workshop will be 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Register at www.stephenministry.org/workshop.


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