New People, New Places
CAL’S SERVICE STATION
Calumet & Red Rock Churches
Low-income children and unchurched families are showing up by the dozens to participate in an after-school program called Cal’s Service Station, a shared ministry by neighboring Calumet and Red Rock Churches. The program is based at Calumet UMC and has grown from 5 to 55, now reaching almost half of the elementary population of Calumet Public Schools. The youngsters so closely identify "Cal’s Church" as their church home that the 2015 Vacation Bible School had a record attendance of 83, and 31 children were sent to youth camps. (In 2010, Calumet’s population was 543. Worship attendance is 37 at Calumet UMC and 58 at Red Rock UMC). (Calumet/Red Rock offer safe space for kids - related story)
Unconnected residents of Miami, Okla., find true community, a path to discipleship, an evening meal shared with church members, and a worship service that has grown to 75 in average attendance. A total of 15 people have professed their faith in Christ through this ministry, and five people have been baptized. Several participants have joined Disciple Bible Study, Sunday School, or the youth group.
Young adults in Tahlequah find a unique place of worship that is truly inclusive of all people. Participants are led on an intentional journey of "Discipling, Impacting, Reconciling, and Transforming" (DIRT) by way of a model of theological reflection and action. (Tahlequah digs DIRT -- related story)
"Come & See" Evangelism Program
Four-hundred people in northeast Edmond will become deeply committed disciples of Jesus Christ through an outreach of one of the newest churches planted in the Oklahoma Conference. Already, 50 new people have professed their faith in Christ through this new church. But the big influx will come as a new building comes to life. This initiative will invite 250,000 people to church, with the expectation of 1,500 new visitors and 400 new United Methodists. Most importantly, these new people will be on a specific faith journey intended to produce not members only but disciples of Jesus Christ.
Foster families and adoptive families in the Lawton area will find a church home that specifically supports their interests and needs through this new church plant. The church’s partnership with the Circle of Care’s Child Share program offers long-term support for the ongoing needs of these families.
Wednesday Children/Youth/Adult Meal & Worship
Any person, any age, in the community of Vian (population 1,466) can find a new home and soon become a leader at Vian UMC through a new Wednesday evening meal, worship, and a curriculum-based discipleship program. In partnership with the local school, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and other town leaders, the Wednesday evening worship has grown to 90 in attendance, and Sunday morning worship has grown from an average of 25 to 70 worshippers.
OKC-Southern Hills UMC
Children ages 3-15, from nearby schools, find a new church home through a Wednesday after-school program that engages them and their families in year-round activities that center on art and community outreach events.
Ministry & Discipleship Internship Program
The Wesley Foundation at OSU, Stillwater
As young adults grow in their faith through our Wesley Foundations, small stipends for internships offer a chance for these young disciples to experience leadership and supervision while continuing their education at Oklahoma State University. This model is already working in other places, and will provide a new platform for leadership at OSU.
The Flow@Quail Springs
OKC-Quail Springs UMC
People in north Oklahoma City who wish to belong to a truly multicultural community of faith find it on the Quail Springs campus. This new "church within a church" features small discipleship groups and hands-on mission opportunities.
YMCA Summer Program
Edmond-Acts 2 UMC
Lower-income and non-religious people in the Edmond area will find welcome in a new church home through a summer program offered jointly by the YMCA and Acts 2 United Methodist Church. This hospitable faith community offers a specific plan for anyone who would like to know more about what it means to become a radical follower of Christ.
McFarlin in Motion: Mobile Food Pantry
Norman-McFarlin Memorial UMC
In underserved neighborhoods with high-needs elementary schools in Norman, children and their families are introduced to a church that wants to reach toward them, build rapport and trust, and invite them into the life of this vibrant church.
Camps Program Director
Oklahoma Conference Camps & Retreats
Many young people who have never had a chance to go to church camp will be introduced to a life of faith when our new Mobile Day Camps come to their towns. In every district, a host church will welcome young people from up to eight neighboring towns, as well as its own, for a week-long day camp where children from a variety of racial-ethnic backgrounds can experience some first steps in knowing and following Jesus.
Residents of Hominy beyond the reach of The United Methodist Church will find a monthly breakfast including prayer, Scripture, and encouragement.
Wesley Internship (Year 2)
The Wesley Foundation at OU, Norman
Following their graduation from college, seven young adults completed their first year of leading and being supervised in various areas of ministry during the first cycle of this internship program.
Going Out, Inviting In (Year 2)
New people moving into Stroud (population 2,710) do not have to find the church; the church finds them as the result of various community initiatives. In the first months of this ministry, four new families already had affiliated with the church.
Recovering Ministries (Year 2)
OKC-Chapel Hill UMC
Women and men coming out of prison or drug rehabilitation programs receive one-on-one mentoring in forming personal relationships with Jesus and overcoming addictive behaviors and a defeated lifestyle.
Women’s and Children’s Outreach (Year 2)
OU Chinese Fellowship, Norman
Spouses and children of Chinese students at the University of Oklahoma — many recently converted to Christianity — receive assistance with childcare, medical care, and tutoring in English, in addition to worship and discipleship.
Bar Church (Year 2)
Tulsa-St. Paul’s UMC
Young adults who try Bar Church’s monthly gathering in Tulsa will find a non-threatening yet well-grounded introduction to faith, life, and service. This grant helps train the group’s leader in the denomination’s latest and best learning on how to reach people who are questioning but are unlikely to go to a church to pursue that conversation.
International Ministry Multipurpose Building (Year 2)
Edmond Chinese International UMC
Chinese and other international students, many in the United States for the first time, and many with no prior experience of Christianity, find a welcome at this young, energetic, welcoming church. Edmond Chinese International UMC has a well-defined plan for making disciples of Jesus Christ. The church is operating at maximum capacity in its current facility — and bursting at the seams. There simply is not enough room! Young adults and children of varied nationalities are eagerly welcoming the opportunity to become disciples of Jesus Christ.
Runner Girls (Year 2)
Valliant & Wright City Churches
Girls and now boys, ages 9-18, in these small southeastern Oklahoma towns grow mentally, socially, and spiritually by running with their mentors. The pastor, also a runner, has created a small book that teaches church members how to mentor young disciples one-on-one. This program began in Wright City (population 754; worship attendance 14) and now has 31 Runner Girls. It has expanded to Valliant (population 751; worship attendance 28), where 84 new girls and boys are now active in the program.
Kings and Queens Ministry (Year 2)
OKC-St. Mark’s UMC, Bethany
Children younger than 18 who have been diagnosed with physical or cognitive/intellectual challenges grow as disciples of Jesus Christ through the Kings and Queens Ministry at St. Mark’s UMC.
Spot 31 (Year 2)
Tulsa-St. Matthew’s UMC
Dozens of at-risk children in a Tulsa neighborhood spontaneously began showing up at the church after school. Church leaders responded by offering a program where the young people not only can be safe but also are invited to know and to follow Jesus as His disciples.