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Contact, an edition of

The United Methodist Reporter

Two Sections, Section A • 039000 • Volume 157, Number 04 • May 28, 2010


Helping clean up, 5A and Section B

Watch Annual Conference LIVE May 30-June 2!

Go online to view the soaring worship and dedicated work of this Oklahoma gathering
at Boston Avenue United Methodist Church in Tulsa. Access the link at

Bishop Owen
dies at age 78
Retired Bishop Raymond Harold Owen,
78, died Saturday, May 15, 2010, in Oklaho-
ma City. Survivors include two sons, Darryl
and Dyton, who are both United Methodist
“Ray” Owen was elected to the episcopa-
cy in 1992 by the South Central Jurisdictional
Conference. He served the San Antonio Area,
comprised of the Southwest Texas and Rio
Grande Annual Conferences, until his retire-
ment in 2000.
Rev. Darryl Owen recalled his father led
building projects in every place he minis-
“My dad was always the one who was

Places of grace
passionate about helping God to build God’s
Kingdom. He was very evangelism-oriented,
mission-oriented, and construction-orient-
ed,” Darryl said.
“I remember he asked my brother and
me, as young kids, to pull the nails out of
Above, celebrants form a prayer circle on Palm Sunday on acreage old boards so they could reuse the nails” for
in Norman where BridgeView UMC plans to build a church. At right, a church’s construction project. The church
a couple prays after receiving Holy Communion on a Friday night “didn’t have enough money, so we were sav-
at the Edmond-Acts 2 church, which also is preparing to build. Be- ing everything we could.”
Under Bishop Owen’s leadership, a new
low, acolytes Kelsey Rogers, left, and Savanna Gentry carry out the Area office was built in San Antonio. He found-
light of Christ on May 16 from the newly completed sanctuary of the ed Southern Hills United Methodist Church in
Franklin church. Conclusion of a two-part series, pages 4-5A. Oklahoma City. Darryl described seven other
construction projects, ranging from fund-raising
to remodeling work and educational wings, at
Continued on page 3A

Photos by Holly McCray

Ray Owen

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Page 2A The Oklahoma United Methodist Contact May 28, 2010

School of Mission: New dorm at OCU becomes home base

School of Mission participants will occupy new space in news of Jesus Christ in the 21st century. What are the bibli- Children’s class
July on the Oklahoma City University campus. cal mandates for mission? Does Christ call each of us to be Also during the weekend event, children will study
Dates are July 16-18 for the weekend session, and July his evangelist? Leaders will be Jeremy Basset, director of “Hugging the World: Faith, Hope, Love in Action,” with
18-19 for the overnight event. Volunteers In Mission for Oklahoma Conference, and dea- teacher Rebekah Belase of Stillwater. She is the associate
The Centennial Hall dormitory becomes home base for the coness Nancy Van Antwerp, who ministers at Reaching Our
campus minister for the Wesley Foundation at Oklahoma
school this year. This building opened in 2007. For decades, City health center in Oklahoma City.
State University.
School of Mission operations—registration, housing, classes, n “The Beauty and Courage of Sudan.” Retired Okla-
and more—were centered at Walker Hall. homa State University professor Earl Mitchell Jr. of Stillwater Special delivery
Dean Ann Marie Boyce of Tulsa declared, “You will love will present this geographic focus. The country of Sudan has The School of Mission is collecting items for UMCOR
the spacious and private accommodations” in Centennial been plagued with severe drought, food shortages, climate Birthing Kits: hotel-size bars of soap, latex gloves, 12-inch
Hall. Each participant will have a private bedroom, and each change, and wars. What are ways people of faith can embrace pieces of clean string, single-use razor blades, flannel receiv-
bathroom will be shared by only two people. and affirm the Sudanese people? This class will explore the ing blankets (each 1 square yard in size), and clear plastic
The three adult studies and their leaders will be: history, ethnicities, possible causes for the wars, and the way sheeting (4 mil thickness, also 1 square yard). Items must
n “For the Love of God: John’s Letters.” Study of the Sudanese women are contributing to the peace process. be new. These gifts will be packed into kits according to
these New Testament books will be facilitated by Rodney Youth mission UMCOR specifications.
Newman, chaplain at OCU’s Angie Smith Chapel; Patricia Youths will study “Embracing the World: Faith, Hope How to sign up
Hoerth, spiritual director and co-owner of Turtle Rock re- Love in Action” on the weekend only. Leader will be More details and registration forms are on the Oklahoma
treat center in northern Oklahoma; Derrek Belase, pastor at Lindee DeRoin, who is a Certified Lay Minister assigned to UMW website:
Highland Park UMC in Stillwater; and Tino Espinoza, who the ­Fairfax church and an educator at Hominy Elementary To contact the dean:, 918-
will teach a Spanish-language class. Rev. Espinoza is pastor School. Short-term mission trips are often the entry point 438-1622.
at OKC-Hillcrest Fuente de Vida. into mission for youths today, and those trips may provide The School of Mission is open to all and is a cooperative
n “Joy to the World: Mission in the Age of Global cross-cultural encounters. Students will participate in hands- effort between Oklahoma Conference United Methodist
Christianity.” This study will explore proclaiming the good on mission during the weekend. Women and the Mission & Service Ministry Team.

Student group helps military veterans with education

the campus community to wear yellow rib-
bons as a show of support.
OCU has been approved to participate
in the Yellow Ribbon Program, a tuition-
assistance agreement with the U.S. Depart-
G.I. Jobs magazine named Oklahoma City ment of Veterans Affairs.
University a “Military Friendly School for In August, that department deployed the
2010,” thanks to collaboration between a new Post-9/11 GI Bill, which covers tuition and
student group and school administrators. fees at the highest public university rate in a
The Military Affinity Group was estab- state, and includes a housing allowance and
lished in Spring 2009. It is open to active- stipend for books and supplies. OCU agrees
duty military personnel, Reservists, National to help cover tuition exceeding the amount
Guard members, and veterans. OCU student granted under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
Derek Gordon is the founder of the group. The veteran-friendly designation from
With an estimated 400,000 U.S. military G.I. Jobs ranks OCU in the top 15 percent of
personnel preparing to rejoin civilian life, all colleges, universities, and trade schools
Gordon said, it’s a good time for universi- nationwide, based on the magazine’s re-
ties to start preparing for many of them to search and survey results.
become students. “On behalf of the eight-million military
The group’s focus is on finding donors for Before a spring basketball game, members of the OCU Military Affinity members and veterans seeking a school, I
an endowment fund to help students get an Group salute during a ceremony honoring military veterans. The event was thank you for your commitment to educating
education at OCU after serving their country. in OCU’s Freede Center. our nation’s most deserving heroes,” stated
“It’s more than just a social group where the letter to OCU from publisher Rich Mc-
military students can share ideas about their campus goes a long way in recruiting military rated Veterans Day last November by passing Cormack.
college experience. The main component is students. “We look at things like that when out yellow ribbons and MREs (meals ready OCU Admissions Director Michelle
the financial aspect,” Gordon said. we’re determining where to go to school,” to eat) during lunchtime in OCU’s Tom and Lockhart said the designation is evidence of
He pointed out that the federal GI Bill he said. “OCU took steps to get a ‘Veteran Brenda McDaniel University Center. the university’s goal to help students obtain
does not cover all costs of attending most Friendly Campus’ rating.” “We want to give students a taste of what first-class education.
private universities. Other activities by the group include the food is like in war zones,” Gordon said. “Those who serve our country with honor
Gordon, who has a four-hour commute visiting veterans in residential care facilities. “Some people may have seen movies and read deserve the best education they can find,”
to school from his home state of Arkansas, “(Those) veterans don’t get many visitors for about great food served to military personnel. Lockhart said. “We’re happy to help them
already has had success creating such orga- about 10 months out of the year. They tend to That’s a rarity during combat operations. This with their educational needs, and proud that a
nizations. He began one at the University of be remembered from Veterans Day through is one small way to show what it’s like in order media voice of these students has recognized
Arkansas, and it grew from 10 members to Christmas, then it’s a lonely wait for the holi- to raise appreciation for what our brave col- our commitment.” For more information
more than 100. days to circle back around,” Gordon said. leagues overseas are going through.” about the OCU Military Affinity Group, visit
He said a Military Affinity Group on The Military Affinity Group commemo- The group also encouraged members of

The Oklahoma United Methodist

Phone: 405-530-2075 Robert E. Hayes Jr., bishop Nyla Wallin, administrative assistant/video coordinator
Joseph Harris, director of communications Alicia Galyon, Web ministry/graphics design
Fax: 405-530-2093 Holly McCray, editor Amelia Ballew, The Media Center
To subscribe, send mailing information
1501 N.W. 24th and $15 to our address at left. Sign up online for Contact Digest, a free electronic newsletter. Find information at
Oklahoma City, OK 73106 Moving? Send change by mail or e-mail: Send news to Next publication date: June 18.
Page 3A
The Oklahoma United Methodist Contact May 28, 2010

Strength for the journey: Ideas and thoughts from our bishop

For people who gather

By Bishop Robert Hayes Jr. ally attend our gathering at Boston Avenue
ook closely at the words of Charles “And are we yet alive, and see “Yet out of all the Lord hath Church, you can be a part of the activities by
Wesley’s hymn “And Are We Yet each other’s face? Glory and thanks brought us by his love; and still he using the Internet.
Alive.” You will discover that it to Jesus give for his almighty grace! doth his help afford, and hides our This year our Communications Depart-
is a song written for people who gather. It “What troubles have we seen, life above.” ment is making it possible for anyone with
speaks to the joy what mighty conflicts past, fighting (“And Are We Yet Alive,” by access to the Internet to view the activities
of being united in without and fears within since we Charles Wesley, 1749, The United of our conference as they take place. You
fellowship with ­assembled last! Methodist Hymnal) can watch live as the worship services and
one another, of business sessions are conducted. The process
difficulties and is called live streaming.
obstacles that Previously, only 1 percent of the total
have been over- similar to what Wesley had instituted in In essence, our Strategic Plan is a constant membership of the Oklahoma Conference
come, and of the England. reminder of who we are and why God has has been able to experience firsthand this
ever-present love This led to the notable Christmas Confer- placed us here for such a time as this. annual faith gathering—the joyful wor-
that will continue ence of 1784, held at Lovely Lane Chapel in Our keynote preacher for this year is ship, supportive fellowship, the growth in
until we join our Baltimore, Md. The next year, the Church Bishop Thomas Bickerton, who is episco- knowledge and insight about our ministries.
Lord in the heav- published its first Book of Discipline and pal leader of the Pittsburgh Area (Western This year at Boston Avenue, this technology
ens above. Bishop Hayes adopted a quadrennial General Conference, Pennsylvania). creates an opportunity to reach thousands
I’m sure that when this song was writ- “the first of which was held in 1792; drafted For our denomination, Bishop Bickerton of United Methodists across Oklahoma and
ten in 1749 Wesley did not realize it would a Constitution in 1808; refined its structure, has been spearheading “Nothing But Nets,” a beyond. You will find instructions online at
become an anthem of sorts for people called established a publishing house, and became major effort to provide bedding nets in Africa
Methodists. All around the world, this great an ardent proponent of revivalism and camp to help prevent the spread of malaria.
hymn is sung at annual conferences in praise meeting.” (United Methodist Book of Disci- The program has been so successful that
What you can do
and tribute to God who has been faithful all pline, 2008, page 11) The United Methodist Church is imple- Perhaps you are not a delegate to the an-
along our journey. Every year as the date nears for our An- menting an even more expansive program: nual conference. Perhaps you cannot attend
This will be the song we will sing, fol- nual Conference, my excitement builds as I “Imagine No Malaria.” He continues to carry in person or watch online.
lowing that tradition, in just a few days at look forward to this very special gathering. a key role. Whatever your location, I ask you to do
the historic Boston Avenue United Meth- Bickerton is a dynamic leader and something for me. I am urging each and ev-
odist Church in Tulsa, as the gavel strikes A reason for being preacher to welcome into our special time of ery United Methodist to pray for the success
and we call into session the 167th session The theme for our meeting this year is: fellowship at Tulsa. His outstanding preach- of our annual meeting. Your prayers will go a
of the Oklahoma Annual Conference, May “Following the Plan—Faithful Witness, ing and genuine Christian spirit will inspire long way toward ensuring a Spirit-filled and
30-June 2. Transforming Presence.” It is an obvious and challenge us. Spirit-led gathering.
That thought produces goose bumps as I reference to our Strategic Plan, which was He will speak at the opening Memorial/ In just a few months I will complete my
think about the heritage that is ours as United adopted two years ago. The Plan is the tool Communion Service on Sunday evening (May sixth year as your bishop!
Methodists. we use to hold ourselves accountable as we 30), and at the Service of Commissioning on I’m excited about what has taken place
Even before our country had a Declara- in Oklahoma seek to fulfill the mission of our Monday evening (May 31). On Tuesday eve- in Oklahoma. I’m even more excited about
tion of Independence, the first conference of denomination: “To make disciples of Jesus ning, it will be my joy to deliver the sermon what will take place in the days and months
Methodist preachers was held—in Philadel- Christ for the transformation of the world.” during the Service of Ordination sermon. to come. In whatever way you can, I invite
phia, in 1773. At that conference, 10 min- The reports shared at the Annual Confer- you to share my excitement as we celebrate
isters pledged allegiance to John Wesley’s ence will examine the ways we have carried Internet tools open doors an ending and a new beginning as the people
leadership. They inaugurated a system of out ministry throughout the past year, as well Everyone is invited to these worship called United Methodists who gather to thank
regular conferences for preachers, a system as set priorities and goals for the coming year. services. And this year, if you cannot person- God for the journey!

Bishop Ray Owen Continued from page 1A

Oklahoma churches pastored by his speaking engagement. Throughout City University. He is the author
father. that building, he saw pictures of several books.
“He had an understanding of and mementoes honoring Bishop Rev. Dr. Owen began his minis-
the church: If it wasn’t presentable, Owens’ ministry there. “That has try career in 1959 at Highland Park
who’s going to come to it?” Darryl stayed with me. I understood the United Methodist Church, Lawton.
explained. “He was such a devoted, deep respect they had for him,” At the time he was elected bishop,
dedicated Christian. No question Hayes said. Owen had been the pastor at First
about his relationship with God.” Ray was born April 21, 1932, in UMC, Bartlesville, for 10 years.
Bishop Robert E. Hayes Jr., Tennessee. He served in the U.S. He also was Bartlesville Dis-
who leads the Oklahoma Area, Army for 12 years. He and his wife, trict superintendent, 1976-1981.
concurred. “Bishop Owen was one Lavell, were married in 1952. Among other Oklahoma churches
of the finest Christian men I have After graduating from Okla- he served were Tulsa-New Haven;
ever met,” said Bishop Hayes. “He homa City University (OCU), Epworth and South Side, both in
was a soft-spoken but passionate he earned master’s degrees from Oklahoma City; Hugo; and Ant-
witness for Jesus.” Perkins School of Theology and lers. He also served at Sardis, Cen-
The two men met through their Scarritt College. He received his tral Texas Annual Conference.
Texas connection—while Owen doctorate from OCU. He is survived by his wife, sons
was a bishop in southwest Texas, He served on the World Meth- Rev. Darryl R. Owen and Rev. Dr.
Hayes was a clergyman in the odist Council. In the Oklahoma Dyton L. Owen, and four grand- Photo by Laura Deerwester
Texas Annual Conference. Conference, he chaired several children. He was predeceased by IN GOD’S GARDEN—George Elswick takes his turn as staff
Hayes described one visit to boards and committees, and he was another son, Dana, in 1973. members plant a buckeye tree on Arbor Day, April 30, at the
the San Antonio Area headquar- a trustee of several United Method- Memorial service was May 18, United Methodist Ministry Center in Oklahoma City. Elswick
ters, when he was in the city for a ist entities, including Oklahoma at OKC-Chapel Hill UMC. has been supervising the Mail Room since 1995.
Page 4A The Oklahoma United Methodist Contact May 28, 2010

Places of grace
Conclusion of a series
on church building projects

Curtain rising on second act

ttendance was averaging 120 worship- n Member-
pers when Acts 2 United Methodist ship growth in the
Church moved into its own building first quarter of the
in northwest Edmond. The year was 2005. church’s year includ-
Within two months, “we were at 240,” said ed 21 professions
founding pastor Mark Foster. of faith. A total of
This year, attendance is averaging 429. For 35 people joined the A gift from a family
Easter 2010, the church set a record: 602 people. church during two in the church, this
Thus, as Christians mark Pentecost this month, recent weeks. (This plane will be sold to
Acts 2 is kicking off a capital campaign. The includes a Confirma- help raise funds.
church plans to construct a new sanctuary building tion class of 17.)
and to expand the existing facility. n Three worship services are offered each
Some funds are being generated by ideas week—two on Sunday morning and one on Fri-
outside the box. Members have donated an air- day night.
plane, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, a personal nParking lot capacity is 110 vehicles.
watercraft, handmade furniture, motor home—and In 2007, Acts 2 moved two portable buildings
dedicated all sale proceeds to the new building and a large storage container onto the property.
campaign. The portables add 3,000 square feet of meeting
Other statistics are noteworthy in addition to space to the 10,000 square feet that are in the
attendance numbers. main building.
n “Our average age is 28, counting the kids,” “All of our space, other than the nursery, is
said Rev. Foster. “Forty-six percent of our mem- multi-use,” Foster explained. One room may
bers are under 29, and 40 percent are between house 10 events during a week.
ages 30 and 40.” “You’re getting a sense of why” a building
n “A third of our people are younger than project is planned, the pastor commented as he
fifth grade.” About 250 of those children partici- led a facility tour. “Even the halls are not wide
pated on that record-setting Easter weekend. On a enough for all the young parents trying to get to
classroom wall, one Sunday school roster literally the nursery and back to the sanctuary.”
overflows with the names of 2- and 3-year-olds. He said, “People are hungry for God and, when

Sanctuary work is complete at

garden sprawls in the field beside ers announced a June visit by a missionary from
Franklin United Methodist Church. It Mexico. A Father’s Day Breakfast and Vacation
is apparent that God’s growing season Bible School are scheduled.
has returned to both. This day, the “praise reports” greatly outnum-
Observed on May 16, the rows of vegetables bered prayer requests. One couple announced
showed healthy evidence of God’s gift of rain in their 59th wedding anniversary; they married in
recent days. And at the rural church in South Okla- the Franklin church. Pastor Gerry Rhodes said
homa City District, 81 people dedicated God’s gift a wedding already has taken place in the newly
Wanda Dunlap teaches Trenam Verbick to search for Easter eggs of a newly completed sanctuary. finished sanctuary.
during a hunt on acreage owned by BridgeView UMC in Norman. The building project began 28 years ago, Rev. Rhodes said the church is debt-free; much
stalled, and was recharged in 2009. However, of the construction work was handled in-house.
worshippers this May morning did not dwell on the The space found use even when merely a
past. The church is collecting items for a women’s shell of a building. For six years it was a co-op
Stories and photos by Holly McCray crisis center in Norman and for U.S. soldiers site for Child SHARE, a program of the United
serving in the Middle East. Lay leader Brad Rog- Methodist Circle of Care agency, supporting foster

BridgeView church heralds Easter‘s promise for land

ORMAN—Wind swept the field and the people dreamed of Norman couples marrying in the new building— services were at an elementary school.
standing there, hands joined in prayer March 28 “a real church.” Leslie Long’s connection to BridgeView dates to its
for BridgeView UMC’s building project. The congregation now worships in a mini-mall on 24th beginnings, too. She has served there as both an associate
It was easy to imagine the blustery wind quickly car- Avenue. Monthly rent for that space is $6,500, Rev. Carson and interim pastor. Rev. Dr. Long now directs the Wesley
rying that prayer to the heart of God. That morning, the said. Attendance is 110-115 people. Foundation at the University of Central Oklahoma in Ed-
congregation had dedicated $508,020 in funds and pledges “In our current space, we would be hard-pressed to grow mond. The Long family attends BridgeView and lives in
toward constructing a church on land in northwest Norman. much,” he said. “Space in Sunday school and in our sanctu- northwest Norman.
The sunny afternoon brought Easter-themed activities to the ary, parking—we don’t have it. In order for us to take the As the populations in northwest Norman and southwest
undeveloped site. next step as a church, this is what we have to do. New folks Moore grow toward one another, Carson said, subdivision
Tiny flags sprouted here and there, drawing lots of atten- visit at least every other week. I think we’ve had a baptism properties on three sides of the new church site are platted
tion. They helped people trace the boundaries for the future or new member almost every month.” for hundreds of new homes.
building. Pastor Allen Carson began sentences with “You’re Charter member Karen Rich recalled BridgeView’s launch The church property is less than a mile west of Interstate
standing where …” 10 years ago. She and her husband, Eric, have been part of 35, on Indian Hills Road. The land debt is fully paid.
Music director Glen Woods found the spot where he the church family “from Day One,” she said, despite the Fund-raising continues, with the theme “Building a Home
will lead a sanctuary choir. Members Randall and Jill Floyd miles between their Del City home and Norman. Those first for All People,” grounded in Isaiah 56:7. Cathleen Jones
Page 5A The Oklahoma United Methodist Contact May 28, 2010

Stricken by storms
Weather systems hurled
hailstones and tornadoes
during one of those weeks in

in Edmond springtime Oklahoma. And

United Methodists hustled to
help clean up and comfort.
they find Him, they come.” More storm news is in Section
The tour of the current building re- B, including a state story
vealed lots of practical design choices, by Boyce Bowdon. Find
hopefully portents of future construc- Oklahoma Conference Disaster
tion decisions. Response updates on Face-
Among them: The sanctuary con- book; go to “Oklaho­ma United
verts for church dinners; all the fur- Methodist Communications."
nishings are moveable and the floor
is flat. Low light softens “Mary’s
Sanctuary,” for nursing mothers. What
appear to be big multimedia screens
are merely painted white rectangles,
framed by pieces of wood trim—a
cost-saving idea that works, Foster
explained. Child-sized bathroom fix-
tures prevail.
Acts 2 UMC sets on 35 acres, at
the southeast corner of Pennsylvania
Avenue and Covell Road. The land
debt is paid.
To the south, an elementary school
is expected to open in 2013, with a mid-
dle school to follow, Foster explained.
Rooftops are visible in a nearby new Holy Communion is celebrated on a Friday night at
housing development. Covell Road is Acts 2 United Methodist Church in Edmond.
Photo by Amelia Ballew
due to be widened.
Goal for the new building project is 33,000 Avenue entry will be created. The capital drive seeks Book in hand, manager Julie Wood surveys ruined
square feet, doubling space for worship, children $1.5 million, to retire remaining debt on the existing inventory, above, at the Cokesbury store in Oklahoma City
and youth ministries, and parking. A Pennsylvania building and start work on the new facility. on May 18. Top photo shows water leaking from the hail-
damaged ceiling. The store was forced to close indefinitely.

rural Franklin United Methodist

care families. A program representative said he always
will remember the grace extended to the Child SHARE
families by the Franklin church.
“Because you gave away your church, God has given
you this sanctuary,” said guest preacher Frankye Johnson,
South Oklahoma City District superintendent. Bright wall
hangings encircled the congregants occupying new pews.
The space has greatly expanded seating capacity.
Some finishing work remained on Dedication Sunday.
Baseboards and altar rail were not yet in place; a new
church sign awaited installation beside Franklin Road.
An alcove for the sound system was almost complete.
And ideas were growing on potential uses for the former
sanctuary space. Franklin UMC presses ahead —all in
God’s good time. In these two photos,
volunteers respond on May

in Norman 13 at Tulsa’s Aldersgate UMC,

where wind tore away a large
chunk of roof that morning.
chairs the building committee; Jo Fowler, the design Pastor Marcia Shoemaker
team; and John and Jennifer Verbick lead the steward- said worship continues in
ship campaign. the sanctuary, and structural
In a series of cottage meetings last year, participants repairs on the building
expressed overwhelming support to act on building, Car- will likely take months.
son said. As they continue the planning process, they will A Montessori school housed
develop financial goals with Mike Wiley, of the Oklahoma in the church has moved
United Methodist Foundation, and will work with the temporarily. Recovery efforts
Oklahoma City Bi-District Board of Church Location. also mean relocating Project
“We want the church to connect with the community Transformation, a summer
beyond its walls, to be a safe place for people to know literacy day camp for children.
God’s love and be able to live that out in the world,” Car- The church will continue
son said. “There is a desire to do that here, a willingness to Bellringer Wanda McElhiney as the host wherever Photos by Leanne Chaffin

welcome new people. More people doing a project gives announces the start of worship the camp meets, Rev.
you the ability to do more in the world. It’s exciting.” at Franklin UMC on May 16. Shoemaker affirmed.
Page 6A The Oklahoma United Methodist Contact May 28, 2010

Leaders map Bolivian trips

Two tours in September reflect the ongo- which features a discount. For details, includ-
ing ministry partnership between Methodist ing costs, contact Rev. Stephenson, http://
churches in Bolivia and Oklahoma., dstephensontulsa@
n Engineering work on display
On Sept. 7-18, a group will survey projects n Women sharing across cultures
in Bolivia that are the work of Engineers In The “First International Bolivia-Oklahoma
Action (EIA) and the Council of Elders for the Women’s Encounter” is Sept. 17-26 in La Paz,
Bolivia/Oklahoma Methodist Partnership. Bolivia. Representatives of FeFeMe (Fed-
Leader will be David Stephenson, who is eration of Methodist Women of Bolivia) will
EIA executive director and heads the Coun- participate, joined by Oklahomans. Lodging
cil. Other leadership will be by John Funk, a will be at a retreat center.
Photo by Amelia Ballew missionary to Bolivia assigned by the General “We have a ‘girls-only’ week planned—
Deneese McLaughlin tells her story of accomplishment through Board of Global Ministries, and Ruben Ma- share recipes, learn to weave and teach quilting,
The Education and Employment Ministry. mani, director of EIA operations in Bolivia. and have an intercultural Bible study” said Su-
Participants will visit some of 17 EIA san Waite, Oklahoma City, vice chairperson of
Agency helps to build people up projects, including supplying potable water
to villages, eco-latrine projects, bridges, mine
the Bolivia/Oklahoma Methodist Partnership.
Reservation deposits are secured through
wastewater treament efforts, and irrigation OKC-Chapel Hill UMC. For details, contact
The annual TEEM Builders’ Luncheon “They got her a cake and everything,”
projects. Waite,, 405-824-
on May 11 raised $128,000 to undergird the McLaughlin remembered. “I said to myself,
The deadline is near for early registration, 8421.
work of The Education and Employment ‘What can I do to get that?’”

Ministry. She went to TEEM for help. Today, she
Related to The United Methodist Church, is employed and is buying a home.
this non-profit organization in Oklahoma Rev. Zahn said the ministry served 716
City extends “a hand up” to help people people last year. The organization is seeking
n Summer hours announced n 5 churches
secure better jobs. TEEM is directed by UM to help more people attain their GED diplo-
clergyman Tony Zahn. mas and is developing a database to better at Church headquarters will host Russian singers
Luncheon speaker Deneese McLaugh- track students’ progress. On June 7, summer office hours will In June, five Oklahoma churches will
lin recalled when she and her 14-year-old Major gifts announced at the luncheon begin for the United Methodist Ministry welcome the Praise Team from The Church
daughter were homeless. A church provided were from the Kaiser Family Foundation, Center in Oklahoma City. The Church’s of the Resurrection in Voronezh, Russia.
them transportation from a Salvation Army $25,000; Josephine Freede, $5,000; and the headquarters building will be open Mondays The musicians will perform concerts in
shelter to worship services. During one Kerr Foundation, with a $5,000 matching through Thursdays, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., both English and Russian languages at:
trip, the driver told McLaughlin that TEEM grant. The event was at the Oklahoma His- and closed on Fridays. • Tulsa-Christ UMC, June 20-21;
staff threw her a graduation party when she tory Center, near the Capitol. Regular hours of operation, Monday • Ardmore-First, June 23;
received her GED diploma. ( through Friday, will resume on Aug. 30. • OKC-St. Andrews, June 25;
• Edmond-New Covenant, June 27; and
n Special offering set May 30 • Enid-First, June 30.
Opportunities “Peace with Justice Sunday” is set for Contact Gloria Helmuth at Tulsa-Christ
Executive Director:   The MUTUAL Sunny Lane United Methodist Church in Del May 30. Church, 918-510-0150.
Girls Club (Methodists United To Use Ap- City. Larry Bauman, lbauman@sunnyla- Oklahoma Conference Treasurer Brian
plied Love), Bartlesville. Executive Commit-, 405-677-3347. Bakeman said 50 percent of this special of- n Save the dates
tee, MUTUAL Girls Club, P.O. Box 2405, Youth Assistant: Part-time. Norman-St. fering is retained to fund related ministries for Bishop‘s Retreats
Bartlesville, OK  74005. Stephen’s UMC, within the state, and half supports the de- Dates and locations of the Bishop’s
Youth Director: Part-time. Dewey UMC. Music Ministries Director: Full-time. nomination’s advocacy work for peace and Retreats for clergy: Sept. 19-21 at Canyon
Rick Robart, 918-534-2328. Randy Shrauner, Church of the Servant, justice around the world. Camp; Sept. 21-23 at Cross Point Camp; and
Children’s Director: Part-time. OKC- 14343 N. MacArthur, Oklahoma City, OK Rev. Bakeman also reported the total gifts Sept. 23-25 at Camp Egan.
Southern Hills,, 405- 73142, given in April for two special offerings: Na- Each retreat begins in the evening and
681-5515. Hammond electric organ: Free to a tive American Awareness Sunday, $2,742; concludes at noon. Information will be
Youth and Family Minister: Part-time. church. Arlene McIntyre, 405-848-4502. and One Great Hour of Sharing, $14,876. mailed after July 1 to clergy members.

Voters approve 5 of 32 proposed changes to Church constitution

By David Briggs An amendment on the inclusiveness of
Both the denominational and Oklahoma Conference vote totals for each
COLUMBUS, Ohio—The United Meth- church membership, which some interpreted
amendment will be reported next week in Tulsa by Conference Secretary
odist Council of Bishops on May 4 announced as a challenge to church teaching on homo-
Joseph Harris during the 2010 Annual Conference. Oklahoma delegates cast
and ratified the results of global voting on 32 sexuality, also did not receive a majority of
their votes at the 2009 Annual Conference.
constitutional amendments proposed by the votes. The amendment would have stated “all
2008 General Conference. people are eligible to attend worship services
Five of the proposed amendments were congregations as part of the Baltimore- “central conference,” which refers to the and receive the sacraments.”
ratified: Washington Annual Conference. church outside the United States, could have Overall, voters from the central confer-
• Amendment 8, adding “gender” to the For a proposed amendment to be rati- been replaced by “regional conference” in ences in Africa were the strongest oppo-
categories of persons protected in the list of fied, two-thirds of the aggregate number of other parts of the world. nents to the proposed changes, rejecting the
duties of General Conference. voting annual conference members must These proposals for restructuring the amendments on restructuring by as many
• Amendment 9, setting minimum levels approve it. church were denied, in many cases drawing as 4,900 votes out of 5,165 votes cast. Eu-
of support for the election of bishops. More than 49,000 voting representatives more than 28,000 votes against and about ropean voters, in contrast, overwhelmingly
• Amendment 17, allowing lay people to of the worldwide United Methodist church 21,000 votes in favor. supported the amendments.
vote on ordination matters. rejected 27 amendments to the denomina- Proponents of those changes said the In the United States, the proposed
• Amendment 19, permitting all clergy tion’s constitution. new structure would reflect the growth of changes were most strongly supported in the
members of annual conferences to vote to Of those proposals, 23 would have al- the church outside the United States, but Western Jurisdiction and soundly defeated in
elect clergy delegates to general, jurisdic- lowed groups of annual conferences in a some opponents expressed concern that it the Southeastern Jurisdiction.
tional, or central conferences. single nation or area to organize as one larger would lead to the division of the church into (Briggs is news editor of United Methodist News
regional conference. Additionally, the term national groups. Service. Find denomination news at
• Amendment 22, recognizing Bermuda
Page 7A
The Oklahoma United Methodist Contact May 28, 2010

UMW Assembly: Faith, hope, love in action

By Shari Goodwin United Methodists. They’re so forgiving and
Contact Correspondent non-judgmental.”
For first-timer Michelle Gaddis of Okla- Assembly participants enjoyed a myriad
homa, the recent United Methodist Women’s of booths and exhibits in Experience Hall and
global Assembly in St. Louis, Mo., was about found many helpful classes as well.
connection—new friendships, shared vision, “In one class we experienced intercessory
working shoulder-to-shoulder for good. prayer through a Native American jingle-
“I loved seeing all the women from so dress dancer,” Campbell said. “The bells on
many places—all over the world,” she said. her dress represented people.
“There was so much information, so many “In another we explored advocacy through
people, so much going on. Assembly helped the M(other) Project and a Web group, moth-
me see that UMW exists for a much grander Another class, ‘Loving God
purpose than I had realized before.” and Loving Sexuality,’ was hilarious, and it
Attendance totaled 6,500. integrated sexuality and spirituality in a way
EvaMarie Campbell, attending her fourth that put everyone at ease.”
Assembly, was surprised by a new perspec- Gaddis said, “I really enjoyed the social
tive. networking class. Younger women were
“This was my first time to go as a wife helping older ones with Facebook and UMW
and mother,” she explained. “I experienced Online, and it was exciting to see the genera-
Photo by Shari Goodwin
the stories of women and children in a whole tions talking and working together.
different way. Hearing about child trafficking At the recent global UMW Assembly, Denise Rowell of Cookson Hills Center “I felt a pull to get our own members
and listening to OIMC’s Anita Phillips talk tells how Christ changed her life. more connected to each other. We talked
about abuse of young girls along the Trail of about it on the way home, and we’re planning
Tears made me want to rush home and hold put a real face on what United Methodist never to give up on people who are fight- to offer a similar class for women in our unit.
my daughter. Women and The United Methodist Church are ing addictions. It took me five years after I Sonia Caze in Norman is planning a similar
“I wasn’t expecting that.” doing all over the world. It’s impressive.” started going to Meri’s church, but she never class, so we can help each other. It was nice
Both were touched to see, in person, re- Oklahoma Conference UMW members gave up on me and she kept welcoming and to exchange ideas with women from other
sults of UMW’s investment in missions. filled three charter buses for the trip to St. encouraging me. churches.” Caze leads a young women’s
“At one session, on the big screens, we Louis. The travel itself brought new friend- “When I finished, some people were cry- group at McFarlin UMC in Norman.
learned about the Della Lamb House in St. ships as riders shared stories, impressions, ing, and many wanted to talk about people “It’s so easy to live in our own little bub-
Louis. Suddenly the lights came up, and the and ideas. they knew. Almost every family is touched ble, our own day-to-day lives,” Gaddis said.
very children we had seen on those screens “We’re much closer now,” said Gad- by addiction in some way. “When we take time to step outside of that,
were standing before us, singing to us.” Rev. dis. “On the day Denise spoke, Oklahoma “God makes my life good now, and I love we get a bigger perspective of what’s going
Campbell said. Conference members wore matching purple my work at Cookson. There’s nothing like on in the world; we see a bigger vision.”
“We knew about our Cookson Hills shirts and OIMC members had matching
Center near Tahlequah—but to hear Denise vests.”
Rowell sing so beautifully and talk about her “Assembly was awesome!” agreed
own pain of addiction and how she found Rowell. “At our booth, we talked to lots
God and a new beginning through Rev. Meri of people about our cottage industries and
Whitaker and Cookson meant so much more. about mission opportunities at Cookson,
She was fantastic, and so brave. but I was nervous about singing and talking
“Those experiences, and others like them, (on stage). I just told my story and told them

Pastor George Lupton, at center, of Altus gathers United Methodist College

Ministry participants for a group photo.

Campus ministry
District effort connects with Altus college students
In Altus, leaders report a successful ser- provided by groups from Altus-First, Altus-
vice year is concluding for the United Meth- Grace, Blair, Duke, and Altus-Highland
odist College Ministry at Western Oklahoma Heights.
State College. Rev. Lupton stated, “The goal was to
Attendance has more than tripled this physically and spiritually feed the students
school year, according to Director George and staff. This was done extremely well by
Lupton. our local churches, and the meals and devo-
Churches in Clinton District cooperate tions were well received.”
to reach out through the campus ministry. He continued, “The connection of all
Highland Heights UMC in Altus furnished churches was outstanding. We gave the stu-
the location to serve a regular luncheon to dents an escape from studies for an hour to
students and staff. Meals and devotions were reflect and just relax.”
Page 8A The Oklahoma United Methodist Contact May 28, 2010

Oklahoma United Methodist Foundation insights

Clergywoman honored for outstanding leadership

Marcia Shoemaker, pastor at Tulsa Al- faces, and know their the neighborhood. She ing, who they are, whose they are. I see
dersgate UMC, recently received the West way around,” said Shoe- is an example of servant God in them, and this community sees God
Award, given to clergy who show outstand- maker. leadership and has a in them,” said Shoemaker.
ing leadership and service to their church. The church was a passion for ministry,”
Rev. Shoemaker has been in full-time site for Project Trans- said Rev. Chaffin.
About the West Award
ministry for seven years, serving the last formation last year, and When Shoemaker Dail and Frances West were active United
three at Aldergate UMC. a love for neighbor- was appointed at Alder- Methodists, members of Miami-First UMC
Prior to being called into hood children formed. sgate, the church was and St. Luke’s UMC in Oklahoma City.
ministry, she was a high Following Project at a crossroads. After Lawton District Superintendent Chuck
school English teacher. Transformation, mem- much prayer and going Horton remembers Dail telling him how a
Since arriving at Al- bers were able to enhance an afterschool through the exercises of the Conference’s particular sermon profoundly impacted his
dersgate, Shoemaker program to keep the kids connected to the Strategic Plan, the church ultimately had to life. From then on Dail worked hard to share
has made a big differ- church. answer the question: “The church of Jesus his blessings and make a difference in the
ence in the life of the The church hosts a Christmas cantata and Christ will continue; do we want to be a lives of many people over the years.
congregation and sur- encourages participation from children in the part of it?” “Dail and Frances wanted to leave a
rounding neighborhood. afterschool program, offering another oppor- “We decided to be in ministry and place special endowment for use in the Conference
She has been instru- Shoemaker tunity for the neighborhood to be included in our future in God’s hands,” Shoemaker said. after he and Frances were no longer living.
mental in forming new the church’s activities. “I had to learn to wait on God. He was at It would be an endowment for clergy who
programs and revitalizing existing programs “We try to be hospitable and display work. Our members were scared but faith- showed promise and were doing a good job,”
to better connect the community and church Christian love and grace, impacting lives of ful, scared but still here, still giving, hoping said Rev. Horton.  “Dail wanted to reward
members. people in community. They are starting to and praying.” clergy for their leadership and to encourage,
The church offers programming or hosts feel more comfortable in the church,” said With Shoemaker’s leadership, the church thank and reward those who go above and
community activities nearly every day for Shoemaker. has a newfound purpose and mission. The beyond the call of duty.
the neighborhood or congregation. Mike Chaffin, Tulsa District superinten- congregation is dedicated to making a dif- “I hope all who receive the West Award
“Our goal is to open the doors of the dent, said Shoemaker has made a significant ference in the community. will recognize it as a gift from a couple who
church so when people are ready to wor- difference. Shoemaker considers the honor to be the held clergy in a very high regard, loved Christ
ship, need a church, or have a spiritual need, “Marcia’s leadership allows the church to church’s award, too. and The United Methodist Church, and found
they feel comfortable here, know friendly reach out and make a Christ-like difference in “I love this church, what they are do- ways for their love to benefit others.”

The Oklahoma United Methodist Foundation Inc., 4201 Classen Blvd., Oklahoma City 73118;; 800-259-6863

In memoriam
Rev. Don Miller
Rev. Donald Farron Miller, 85, of Oklahoma
City died May 11, 2010. He retired in 1990.
Don was born July 16, 1924, in Alva. He
was a graduate of Oklahoma A&M College
and Garrett Biblical Institute, Evansville, Ill.
He married Ruth Marion Martin on June 14,
1950, in Joliet, Ill.
In 1950 he was admitted to ministry in the
Oklahoma Conference. He was ordained as an
elder in 1952. He served at Billings, Manchester,
Sand Creek, Wakita, Chelsea, OKC-St. Paul’s,
Yukon, Midwest City, Canton, Oakwood,
Ponca City-First, Muskogee-First, Stilwell, and
Ardmore-First. He also served in the Missouri ‘How beautiful are the feet of those
East Conference, 1970-79.
Survivors include his wife, Ruth; five chil- who bring good news!’(Romans 10:15, NIV)
dren, Maudie, David, Mona, Jeannette, and More than 100 clergywomen from several states converged
Dean; and five grandchildren. Rev. Dean Miller, April 12 as the Sisterhood of the Travelin’ Shoes, a jurisdictional
his brother, is a retired Oklahoma clergyman. retreat at OKC-St. Luke’s. OIMC Pastor Julienne Judd, left, told
Memorial service was May 16 at OKC-Quail the story of her blue boots and thanked God for their protection
Springs United Methodist Church. when she was stranded overnight in her vehicle amid a snow-
storm last winter. OIMC District Superintendent Margaret Batti-
• Christopher J. McDowell, 34, of Kingston est wove the basket pictured in the worship center. Oklahoma
died May 12, 2010. He was the son of Joyce and Conference clergy Jennifer and Leslie Long, sisters, and Twila
Rev. Paul McDowell, pastor of the Ryan and Gibbens-Rickman sang in the opening worship. Speakers were
Comanche churches. Bishop Judith Craig of Ohio, Cheryl Bell of Kansas, and OIMC
Pastor Anita Phillips. The Divine Divas also performed.
Births Photos by Holly McCray
• Charlotte Elizabeth Smith was born May
18. She is the daughter of Allyson and Rev.
Trevor Smith, pastor at Waurika and Temple.
 • James Matthew Watson was born May
11. He is the son of Melissa and Rev. Kevin
Watson, who is studying at Southern Methodist