Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

OKUMC Weekly Update


Denman Award Winners Announced

The Oklahoma Conference has announced the 2020 winners of the Harry Denman Evangelism Award. Rev. Brian Matthews and Evelyn Phyffer have been selected as this year’s conference award recipients; Phyffer’s award is being given posthumously.

“Every time someone receives an honor, I believe it spurs others on in their own journey,” said Rev. Derrek Belase, director of connectional ministry. “To read or hear about someone else’s contributions, in this case in the area of evangelism, spurs others on in their journey with Christ.”

Matthews is the lead pastor of Ada-First. His nomination form describes his passion for teaching and preaching as well as his inviting spirit in attracting new visitors to church. He recently released “More than Miracles,” a collection of five sermon series he preached from 2014-2018 that can be used as a devotional guide.

“Brian’s contributions to evangelism have been evident in all the places he’s served, but especially in Ada,” Belase said. “His attention to young families, his development of sermon series, and his recent publication of daily devotions as they continue to follow Christ, is a no-brainer for the Denman award.”

Phyffer, a certified lay servant, was a member of OKC-Crown Heights from 2001-2016, when she moved out of state to be closer to her son. During her time at Crown Heights, Phyffer was heavily involved in Volunteers in Mission and the United Methodist Women. She organized VIM trips to Ghana, Liberia, Cuba, and Mexico, supported local ministries through item collection and donations, and had a way of encouraging everyone to be involved in service and discipleship. She passed away on July 11.

“Evelyn’s commitment to evangelism really came through racial reconciliation, engagement and mission all around the world, in addition to using her skills as a lawyer to live out her faith with various state agencies in Oklahoma,” Belase said. “She followed Christ with everything she did and invited other people on that journey with her.”

Learn more about the Harry Denman Evangelism Award at foundationforevangelism.org/harry-denman-evangelism-award.

NPNP Grants Delayed until February 2021

The grant cycle for New People New Places has been postponed until February 2021. The Annual Conference Council made the decision to postpone the cycle due to the number of churches postponing their fall programming due to the coronavirus pandemic.

New People New Places grant applications are normally due in August, with interviews taking place in September and grants being announced in October. Instead, grant applications will be due in February 2021, interviews will take place in March 2021 and grants will be announced in April 2021. Ministries up for a renewal grant are being contacted on an individual basis.

For grant questions contact Rebekah Hasty at rhasty@okumc.org or call 405-530-2009. Additional information is at www.newpeoplenewplaces.org.

Internet Assistance for Low-Income Families

The Digital Literacy, Inclusion and Safety Council has updated their resource page of internet plans for low and fixed-income households to stay connected during the coronavirus pandemic. The comprehensive list of financial assistance and internet service programs for eligible families and individuals is intended to be a helpful guide as schools and businesses have shifted to working and learning from home in order to prevent the spread of the virus. For more information, visit www.inmyarea.com/resources/guide-internet-low-income-customers.

Annual Conference

Information for the forthcoming 2020 Annual Conference will be shared in a mid-month updates and in the Contact. Watch this space for details, and register online at www.okumc.org/annual_conference.

Interpreting Facebook Statistics

ResourceUMC has created several Find a tutorial on how to read Facebook statistics online here.


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