Annual Conference -- Deacons to celebrate 20 years of specialized ministry
Deacons to celebrate 20 years of specialized ministry
ll of Oklahoma’s active and retired United Methodist deacons are invited to a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Order of Deacons on May 30, the opening day of Annual Conference.
The luncheon will be at noon at OKC-St. Luke’s, said Brian Bakeman, a deacon, who serves as Conference treasurer. Sign up to attend when you register online for Annual Conference.
The Oklahoma Conference counts 40 active deacons and 20 more who are retired.
The Order of Deacons was created by the denomination’s 1996 General Conference, as an outgrowth of the lay workers movement, Rev. Bakeman said. Diaconal ministers, a lay category, were predecessors. With that GC action, deacons gained full clergy status, including the same pension benefits as elders, Bakeman said.
A towel and bowl are symbols of a deacon’s calling to a ministry of service, whereas a Communion cup and plate represent the elder’s ministry.
Within the Church’s clergy structure are the Order of Deacons and Order of Elders, as well as Fellowship of Local Pastors.
Like elders, deacons move through provisional status to ordination, but they do not itinerate. They find their own jobs in their specialties, often but not exclusively within the Church, Bakeman said.
Deacons fill a variety of roles, including worship leadership, education, church business administration, evangelism, chaplaincy, and missionary service. A deacon often holds a master’s degree in an area of specialization and takes a series of seminary classes.
Bakeman said that he "felt a call to the ministry" of church administration and began his service in that field 32 years ago.
— Chris Schutz
8 churches prove ‘It Worked for Us’
The Board of Laity congratulates eight churches that will receive "It Worked For Us Awards" on May 31 at the Laity Luncheon during Annual Conference.
Outstanding lay-led ministries, one in each district, will be honored by the Board.
• Cheyenne-First UMC, Sack Lunch Ministry (Cimarron District)
• Tulsa-New Haven UMC, Bus Stop Ministry (Council Oak)
• Piedmont UMC, Shawl Ministry (Crossroads)
• Henryetta-First UMC, Bike & Build (Green Country)
• Franklin UMC, Prayer Quilts (Heartland)
• Ponca City-Albright UMC, Albright Neighborhood Breakfast (Northern Prairie)
• Quinton-First UMC, After-School Reading Program (Lake Country)
• Ringling UMC, Ringling Prom Dress Ministry (Wichitas)
The Tuesday noon luncheon will be at OKC-St. Luke’s. Tickets are only available in advance, through online registration for Annual Conference.
Book sale by retired clergy will move
The Retirees’ Used Book Sale has been moved to a different building during Annual Conference at Oklahoma City University.
The sale will be on the first floor of the Kramer School of Nursing building, just east of the Freede Center, said Burrel McNaught, president of the retired clergy group.
The sale, a 20-year tradition, features books that will be useful both to pastors and lay people. Proceeds go to the Clergy Crisis Fund.
Prior to the sale, donations of gently used books are welcome, as well as clergy robes and stoles in good condition.
Donors are asked to pack books, spine-up, in boxes that are easy to handle. Please do not bring old journals, magazines, tapes, or curriculum.
The preferred drop-off location for book donations is the Kramer building, which will be open May 25-26. Donors can park on the west side. Dollies will be available for moving books, if needed.
Books also may be dropped off at OKC-Wesley UMC, 1401 NW 25th, or in Tulsa at Boston Avenue UMC by May 25.
The sale will be held May 31-June 2.
• Watch the live stream of Annual Conference using your digital device from home, work, or wherever! A high-speed Internet connection is much preferred.
Live streaming will begin at 3 p.m. Monday, May 30, with the Service of Reconciliation. Programs each evening and daily business sessions also will be broadcast live. Those include the Area Night celebrating Bishop Robert and Dee Hayes on Tuesday, May 31, from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.