Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Tulsa church plant sows community goodwill on Maundy Thursday


Holy week in Brookside is something special for the folks at Community Brookside.

Being a new United Methodist church in Tulsa has allowed this young church to offer traditional Methodist services and events, while also giving it some freedom to take some fun risks.

Community Brookside launched in October of 2018, but even before the launch of the church, pastor Matt Morgan, who was appointed to start the new church in Brookside, began using Holy week as a way for the church to get outside the doors. His favorite way of connecting people in Brookside during Holy Week is through his barbecue.

Maundy Thursday is often celebrated throughout United Methodist circles with singing, foot washing, and a sermon preparing congregations for the events that begin on Good Friday and continue through Easter.

In 2017, without having a church building or even a place to meet at the time, Morgan set up his giant smoker and filled it with brisket and pork butt and invited the community to come and have a Maundy Thursday meal with him in the empty lot where Trinity UMC once stood. On that first Maundy Thursday in 2017, before Community Brookside had even hosted its first worship service, or even really had a solid launch team, a tradition was born. That cold and rainy Thursday led to over 70 people coming together from all over the Brookside area to enjoy barbecue and conversation with each other as neighbors. Stories were shared and tears were shed as Morgan got to know some of the people who live, work, and play in Brookside.

That Maundy Thursday six years ago led to one of Community Brookside’s most fun and engaging ministry events that they continue to celebrate each year.

The Maundy Thursday BBQ has grown over the past few years to reach well over 200 people and has led to other Easter focused events as well. A Good Friday Tenebrae service is held each year, along with a community-wide Easter Egg hunt on Saturday, followed by two Easter worship Services on Sunday morning. These events have allowed Community Brookside to meet its neighbors and equip many within the congregation as volunteers, to do ministry with people from all over Tulsa. Easter Week has become, for Community Brookside, the main series of events that launch the church into outdoor events all summer long.

At Community Brookside, the church has really gotten behind some of the non-traditional ways in which they have celebrated all of the events surrounding the resurrection. And the great news is that the rest of the Brookside neighborhood has embraced these events too.

For more information about Tulsa’s newest United Methodist church plant, visit www.communitybrookside.com  or visit www.facebook.com/communitybrookside.  


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