August Reflection from Pastor Matt
Take a deep breath, let in Good Air, let out all of your anxiety, let in Good Air, let out all of your anxiety. This was one of the exercises we did with the kids during their main gathering sessions at Freedom School. One of my favorite hymns is Leave It There, the refrain has this line: “Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.” How often do you take what is burdening you to the Lord and leave it there? This simple breath prayer of taking in Good air, and letting your anxiety out is freeing and life giving. I would encourage you to try it. Now here are somethings I would like for you to know.
DIRT Church Name Change: To better align with our Churches mission of being a Church with Open Hearts, Open Minds and Open Doors to make disciples of Jesus Christ to transform the world. We are aligning our evening worship (DIRT Church) to better fit our mission. We are changing the name to Open Door Worship. The music will be more modern then what we do on Sunday mornings, but we will be staying with what the church is preaching on Sunday mornings so if you miss church in the morning you can come and join us Sunday night. Communion will also be served at this service every week. September 9 th is our start date at 6:30 p.m. in the Activity Building. Please help us grow this worship service which is open to all.
Wednesday Night Bible Sunday: Starting September 5th at 6:00 p.m. I will be leading a Pastor’s Study Group. Our first study will be Forgiveness By Adam Hamilton. Book cost is $11.00 and can be picked up in the Church office. There will be a signup sheet in the Narthex on Sunday Mornings.
Men’s Group Wednesday Mornings at 6:30 a.m. at Jimmy’s Egg will resume on September 5th. Come and join us for some eggs, fellowship and study in the word.
Uniting Methodist Conference: Below I have a little bit of info on a conference I attended in the middle of July to help keep the United Methodist Church United.
Back To School Blessings: Thank you for your response in helping in this event. The Church and the Community have responded in great fashion and I can’t wait to see all of those kids get their back packs.
The Special General Conference for 2019 in St. Louis Mo. The Commission on a Way Forward was proposed by the Council of Bishops and approved by the 2016 General Conference to do a complete examination and possible revision of every paragraph of the Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and explore options that help to maintain and strengthen the unity of the church. You can read a lot more about the Commission on the Way forward here: http://www.umc.org/who-we-are/commission-on-away-forward
Our Bishop Jimmy Nunn released this statement on July 23rd..
The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church is asking the Judicial Council for declaratory decisions on the constitutionality of the work submitted by the Commission on a Way Forward to the 2019 Special Session of General Conference. As part of the process, The Book of Discipline ¶ 2608.1 requires that requests for declaratory decision, including relevant documents such as legislative petitions, be posted on the Judicial Council website thirty (30) days prior to the filing date of briefs. The Judicial Council has published its October 2018 docket and it includes the COB of Bishops’ request for declaratory decision. Here is the link to the COB case, which includes the full report of the Commission. http://cdnfiles.umc.org/Website_Properties/who-we-are/judicial-council/judicial-council-dockets/docket-10-2018-1.pdf This material has not yet been released by the Commission on General Conference and is not available in languages other than English. Please remember that only action of the General Conference can make changes to The Book of Discipline. As we serve together, we are still guided by the provisions of the 2016 Discipline. May God’s grace lead us in all we do. –Jimmy Nunn
In July I attended a meeting of a group called Uniting Methodist. This was a gathering of Methodist whom vary on the theological spectrum and came together to talk about which plan is the best to keep us United. You can find all the great videos at https://llumc.org/umlive After much prayer and discernment I feel it is best if the United Methodist Church adopt the One Church Plan.
A Committee member on the Commission on the Way Forward David Nuckols released the chart below that helps understand the One Church Plan and what changes would be made if the other plans we adopted. Nuckols keynote in the videos is a good one to watch to understand what is at stake. All the videos are great to watch. I found the Uniting Methodist conference an uplifting and life-giving time.
Can we covet to… 1st we pray for Unity in the Church. 2nd Please read the Commission’s report which can be found on the link above, it is a big document if you want a hard copy come to the Church office and we will have one to Check out. 3rd UMC.org will be keep us all up to date on what is occurring in regard to this special called General Conference. You will find all sorts of blog posts and other news information out there but umc.org will be were the official statements can be found. 4th If you have questions please feel free to contact me. I will have a time at a later date where we can do this as a community of faith. I am waiting on more info, praying, and discerning how best to do this. A side note. It will be our 2016 General Conference delegates who will be voting and representing the Oklahoma Annual Conference. Please hold these people in your prayers.
UPDATED INFO ( Aug. 21st 2018)
Dear Oklahoma United Methodist Family,
As many of you know, we will soon be facing an important time in the life of our United Methodist Church. On February 22-24, 2019, a special called General Conference will be held in St. Louis, Mo. with the purpose of discerning the direction our church will go regarding the Human Sexuality questions we have debated over many years. We encourage every United Methodist in Oklahoma to be in prayer concerning this conference. We also have available a weekly devotion (written by Oklahoma leaders) that can supplement your prayer time. Use the following links to subscribe to that resource. Here’s the link to sign up for the weekly devotions: https://okumc-reg.brtapp.com/28WeeksActsDevotions and the link to the archived devotions: http://okumc-email.brtapp.com/archivearea/329.
We would also like to invite you to attend a presentation about the plans that are scheduled to be presented at the called General Conference. This discussion and presentation will have members of the Oklahoma delegation present as well as Bishop Nunn. This important gathering will be held on Friday, Oct. 5 from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. at St Luke’s UMC Christian Life Center (CLC) in Oklahoma City. There will be no charge to attend, however if you plan on attending we need you to register so that we have adequate seating and handouts for all. Please use the following link to register your attendance for this meeting:
If you are not able to be present, we plan to live stream this important discussion in the life of our denomination. A link to the live stream will be provided on the conference website and sent by email to you as we get closer to the date.
We want to thank you for your prayers, concerns and continued commitment to our beloved church. As challenging as this discussion may be to some, it also offers us hope for a future that will best reflect our ongoing commitment to making disciples for the transformation of the world. We look forward to seeing many of you on the 5th.
Rev. Linda Harker, Chair Oklahoma Delegation
Rev. Joseph Harris, Assistant to Bishop Nunn
Dr. Don Kim, Oklahoma Delegation
Thank you Church for being you, we are making great strides in being a church with Open Hearts, Open Minds, and Open doors as we make disciples of Jesus Christ. Come and join us as we grow together.
Peace be with you,
Pastor Matt Franks