Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Lecture series to feature Marilyn Brown Oden


Award-winning author and friend to many in Oklahoma, Marilyn Brown Oden on March 5 will present the 2015 Martha Jean Lemon Special Lectures at Oklahoma City University.

She will make two presentations on the topic "Dancing with THE WORD."

Her first address will be at 1 p.m. in the sanctuary of the Bishop W. Angie Smith Chapel. A presentation at 2:30 will follow in the Watson Lounge of the Chapel.

At 7 p.m., a panel will feature Oden and two other speakers in the Great Hall of the Student Center. They will discuss "Creative Writing on Spiritual Themes." Joining Oden will be OCU English professor and poet Abigail Keegan; and Adam Shahan, an OCU alumnus, author, and associate pastor at Moore-First UMC.

Oden is the author of 11 books, which include "The Dead Saint" and "Crested Butte," works of historical fiction; and devotional reflections in "Through the East Window: Prayers and Promises for Living with Loss" and "Hospitality of the Heart."

Her life is enriched through experiences on six continents with diverse people — refugees, those who have physical challenges, women in prison, prime ministers, royalty, and presidents. She grew up in Oklahoma.

She has said two encounters profoundly shaped her perspective on the world: visiting refugee centers in the war zones of Bosnia-Herzegovina during the NATO bombing, and participating in an ecumenical delegation’s fact-finding trip to the Middle East.

She taught spiritual formation at Perkins School of Theology; served as a teacher, counselor, and director of volunteers for the Oklahoma City Public School District; and taught creative writing at two universities.

She lives in Santa Fe, N.M., with her husband, retired Bishop William B. Oden.

About the lecture series, Oden wrote, "Dancing with THE WORD is not a dance of dogma but a dance of discovery. It is a dance of awareness of the sacredness of the present moment. Instead of spending the first part of life focusing on the future and the last part focusing on the past (and perhaps missing life instead of living it) — we are invited to dance daily to the music and mystery of God’s Presence in the present."

All events are free of charge and open to the public.


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Youth Service Day is March 7

All youth groups in the Oklahoma Conference are invited March 7 to a day of fellowship, games, service in the community, and worship on the OCU campus. Registration begins at 10 a.m., and the day concludes at 5 p.m.

Reservations are required for planning purposes. By Feb. 16, contact Michael Horn, 817-219-7432 or mahorn@my.okcu.edu,  to register.

World Religions Expo set April 12

Learn about different religions as well as faith distinctions among Christians by attending the World Religions Expo on campus April 12.

The Wimberly School of Religion invites you to move among exhibits and booths that afternoon in the lower level of the Chapel. OCU students will be your guides to explore branches of Judaism and Christianity, as well as Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, and Native American religions.

Individuals, youth groups, and local churches are invited to this open house of learning.

No reservations are required. For more information, contact Leslie Long at llong@okcu.edu,  Lisa Wolfe at lwolfe@okcu.edu, or call 405-208-5176.



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