Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

New People New Places 2018 Grants


The grant committee chose 23 projects across the state. This fourth round of grants will be presented at Annual Conference.

Antlers-First UMC, $5,000
Blessing Bags & Foster Family Outreach
This project will reach out to vulnerable children in Pushmataha, Choctaw, and McCurtain Counties who are entering the state foster care system. We will provide for each child a personalized bag that contains a hygiene kit, clothing, blanket, Bible, toy, and teddy bear. We also will host activities to encourage foster families and let them know the Church is an ongoing resource for them.

Broken Arrow-Heritage UMC, $51,734
The Foundry @ Heritage
Our original focus was an area of the city northwest of Heritage UMC. We would like to expand; the city is experiencing growth in multiple locales. As a result of the project’s first year, we report six professions of faith, 20 new people attending church, our first co-ed church softball team in 10 years, 70 connections through the Easter egg hunt, and a 40 percent increase in Vacation Bible School attendance. (Year Two)

Conference Camps Ministry, $91,521
Leadership Development
and Mobile Day Camps
We help churches reach their communities with a high-impact day camp experience that positions them to follow up with new people/families they attract. We also hope to connect with underserved children and families and ethnic minority populations. Last summer, 83 percent of the day campers were eligible for free/reduced-price school lunches, and 53 percent of campers were non-white. Over 300 people were impacted. For this summer, Conference Discipleship leaders are available to consult with each church to evaluate its readiness and capacity. (Year Three)

Edmond-First UMC, $30,000
Worship on Hurd
Early indications are that “Worship on Hurd” is on a growth trajectory. With the appointment of an additional associate pastor (funded by the NPNP grant) and the official launch of the project, attendance at this service quickly jumped by 12 percent in less than eight weeks. We anticipate weekly attendance will reach 100 in fall as families return to school routines. (Year Two)
Glenpool-Living Water UMC, $56,423
Thrift Store Evangelism
Our goal is to open up space in our building to invite thrift store customers and other new people to join small groups and Bible study. The store currently takes up the sanctuary space and two of the three classrooms. We cannot add small groups or host our Cub Scout group due to space constraints. The Living Water church plant is only 4 years old, but its reputation of helping people through its Thrift Store for Missions is drawing people to trust this faith community.

Heavener-Faithbridge UMC, $20,000
Acts 2:4 ESL Ministry
We want to offer Christian-based English as a Second Language classes to our community, which has a population that is 50 percent Hispanic, many undocumented and afraid to reach out for help. We feel compelled to help them overcome the language obstacle they face as they try to become legal citizens. In addition to teaching English, we hope the time we spend with them in class will develop bonds of trust and they will come worship with us in an environment that is language-friendly due to our bilingual worship service.

Hominy-First UMC, $5,000
Project FLAME (Fellow Lives And Methodist Eating/Engaging/Encouraging)
This breakfast brings people from all walks of life here in Hominy. It’s an outreach to anyone in the community, especially those who don’t have a home church locally. Our average attendance is 65 per breakfast. We have a core group of about 15 people serving in this project. (Year Two)

Jenks-First UMC, $26,700
First Jenks
This project will create intentional community outreach opportunities for First UMC in a city where other churches don’t carry out local hands-on missions. New people will then be invited to engage in discipleship through our modern liturgical worship service and small groups. The project calls for an Outreach/Hospitality leader to create opportunities and a Worship Leader to help bring new and more diverse people into our church facilities.

Laverne UMC, $2,640
(Methodist After-School Tutoring)
We want to grow the number of young families in the church in Laverne and to create in children a foundational knowledge of God through worship, song, and tutoring. The project will provide English tutoring for children who are early-elementary age. In grades pre-K to fifth, 65 percent or more of students are new English speakers. We tested our plan in early 2017, and the people served were either marginally or not connected to churches in Laverne. M.A.S.T. provides a high-profile connection among the school, community, and our church.

Lost Creek UMC, $41,000
Oak Park Retreat Center
The church’s newly purchased Oak Park Retreat Center is located in Perkins. Men’s and Women’s Emmaus Walks and Chrysalis flights for youths have been held at Oak Park. The main building was transformed into the “Road to Jerusalem,” a one-day event for families. Voyage Mobile Day Camp hosted 50 children on site in 2017 and returns this year. Discussion is under way about a Vacation Bible School, and so many more plans are being made to impact people’s walk with Jesus. Our facility can handle the plans with a little more remodeling. (Year Two)

Norman-McFarlin UMC, $26,140/$25,000
Project SHINE
Project SHINE is part of McFarlin’s plan for next-step faith engagement with new, younger, and more diverse members of the Norman community and is directly connected to four schools. We will offer a Vacation Bible School/camp-style program during school breaks when students are off but parents still have to be at work.
McFarlin in Motion Mobile Food Pantry
Since starting the food pantry in September 2016, we have served an average of 159 people per month. In a survey of participants, 29 percent said they had attended an event at McFarlin, and 86 percent said they read the devotional made available at each visit. A new goal is to go to each school twice a month so that people have access to food every 14 days. (Year Three)

OKC-Penn Ave. Redemption UMC, $30,709
Redemption Solutions
Redemption Solutions is a readiness program designed to prepare people for living successfully post-incarceration. The project consists of two components.
1) RediWork will promote community by providing meaningful employment and job skill training.
2) RediFamily will promote family bonding between incarcerated individuals and their children as well as serve other children of incarcerated parents by providing a worship alternative.
The grant will support a youth pastor who will split duties between the two components.

OKC-Quayle UMC, $33,200
Collegial Connection Ministry at Quayle
Our base audience continues to be young adults in the Quayle Church community in northeast Oklahoma City. However, through our music concerts and other fruitful initiatives we have seen more diverse young adults can be reached effectively throughout Oklahoma City. The Collegial Connection Ministry envisions practicing hospitality with strangers and intentionally cultivating worship and discipleship with an intercultural, multi-ethnic audience of young adults. (Year Two)

OKC-Southern Hills UMC, $11,256
SHOW (Southern Hills Outstanding Wednesdays)
The project first sought to reach younger students at schools within 2 miles of the church. We have expanded into other schools. Including families, we are impacting 240 people and over 50 volunteers. Part of the SHOW schedule is a praise-and-prayer service. The children share their prayer concerns and pray at the Communion rail. Many joined the church children’s choir, and families participate in other church activities. (Year Three)

OKC-Village UMC, $21,090
Single-Parent Support Groups
and Upgraded Communications
Village UMC is partnering with the Single Parent Support Network, with simultaneous activities for children and youth. In Village’s immediate neighborhood, there are 1,300 single-parent households of diverse ethnicity. Single parents have significant support needs that can be met by a caring church community. This provides a perfect avenue for discipleship to occur with both parents and children. Concurrently, we are upgrading communications. Among our greatest needs is electronic signage. We need digital means to communicate that we are a multi-ethnic, intergenerational, and mission-oriented congregation. We anticipate this strategy will result in new professions of faith and revitalize the church.

Okmulgee-First UMC, $9,600
Friday Friends Ministry
Okmulgee Public Schools began a four-day school week in January 2018. Friday Friends’ goal is to reach out and provide a weekly, Christian-based discipleship program for working parents who struggle to find a Friday solution for their grade-school-age children who need supervision that day. Our goal is to assist families facing financial challenges, lack family nearby, or lack other local support.
Piedmont-First UMC, $130,450
Inviting Piedmont
First, we will plan and execute a modern, comprehensive, and professional marketing campaign. We will primarily use digital advertising to make 1,800,000 “impressions” with a targeted demographic. We will couple this with a series of well-run community outreach/involvement events each month. Secondly, we will increase the effectiveness of our hospitality and guest follow-up through hiring a part-time hospitality coordinator. We know this plan will create significantly more first-time guests. Our desire is to create a clear and welcoming pathway from first contact to established life with our church. Piedmont’s population grew 22.3 percent between 2010 and 2015; the school district is increasing each year by almost 200 students.

Tulsa-Asbury UMC, $40,000
Asbury International Fellowship
Demographics reveal a trend of increasing immigrant and ethnic groups coming to Tulsa. Asbury UMC’s calling to “make disciples” and to “welcome the foreigner” compels us to share hospitality and the gospel with these newcomers. We believe this project’s emphasis is unique and in keeping with the criteria of New People New Places. Asbury International Fellowship started in 2016; we seek to hire part-time leadership to shepherd this growing fellowship and help reach beyond our congregation to others from the many nations represented in our metropolitan area. Our current international membership represents at least 28 nations from six continents, and they will extend invitations, hospitality, and relationship connection to other international persons.

Wesley Foundation
at Langston University, $16,275
WFLU Student Intern Program
The Wesley Foundation reopened its doors with a worship service on Aug. 16. Participating in freshmen orientation created many student connections. The student interns at the Wesley who are upperclassmen are a huge factor in generating interest among those new students who may be looking for a church home and campus ministry to nurture them. Our college interns are prepared to go out into the world and encourage others like them to develop a relationship with God and to develop personally and professionally themselves. Their outreach also enables us to then develop relationships within the Langston, Guthrie, and Coyle communities. (Year Two)
Wesley Foundation at the University
of Central Oklahoma, $15,000
UCO Wesley Outreach Ministry
(Intern Project)
The project proposes to reach a more diverse group of additional student participants through (1) new campus-based engagement, (2) outreach ministries, and (3) ministry intern skill development. Interns will deploy in new settings on and near campus where commuting students gather and in local United Methodist churches with soon-to-be university students. We are reaching out to 200 participants for Bible studies, worship, UMC Youth/Student Ministry Groups, Weekly Wesley Meals, mission projects, professions of faith, and ministry career commitments. (Year Two)

Wesley Foundation at the
University of Oklahoma, $40,600
Increasing Our Global Footprint
Our international ministry has grown exponentially in the past five years, and we believe an additional full-time staff member along with extra programming and leadership development are necessary for continued growth. We intend to add a second staff member solely devoted to international ministry, build an international office suite, and increase funding for outreach and leadership development of international students. We believe this will lead to more students involved, more new disciples, more student leaders of ethnic diversity, and a more global and diverse ministry.

Yukon-First, $18,600
Modern Worship Service Improvements
First UMC wants to continue the growth of our new worship service by updating our equipment, renovating our space, increasing our publicity, and adding a part-time staff person. Since beginning some efforts, we have seen dozens of visitors, and five families have joined the church through this new service. We believe the steps we describe will allow us to reach even more people, as well as provide a more helpful environment for first-time guests.

(These descriptive excerpts were compiled
from applications submitted mid-year 2017.)

Support for the Oklahoma Conference’s
New People New Places initiative comes from the Apportionments.

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