June 3, 2019 Board Meeting Minutes

First Congregational Church of Norman, UCC

Meeting of Board

June 3, 2019

 

The Board held a telephone conference call at 7:00 p.m.

In attendance: Steve Davis, President; David Wheeler, Pastor; Mary Carter, Treasurer, Louise Whitaker, Secretary

Finance:

Total Income for May 2019:                                 $3,351

Less Benevolent Fund Donations                         ($    101)

Total available for operating expenses             $3,250

Average Monthly Expenses                                   ($4,383)

Short                                                                               ($1,133)

Although income is lower than budgeted amount, $2,000 was budgeted for speaker fees which will not be spent.

Benevolent fund: $197 currently in the fund. Homeland $20.00 gift cards will be available for Social Justice committee to disburse.

Six month giving statements: – Mary will have them available for pickup, for 2-3 weeks. The statements will reflect giving for an 8-month period. Even though our fiscal year is October – September, it may be less confusing to provide statements of giving based on the calendar year.

David asked Mary to investigate the possibility of setting up ACH, so members can have deposits made directly to the church checking account on a regular basis.

Growth:

David brought up the idea that we may need to look at a more structured approach to attracting and retaining new members, and promoting stewardship. This could mean providing more than one educational opportunity after service, and a stewardship campaign. We need to find ways to not only get new members, but find ways to help them “stick”.

Targeted advertising. Norman is experiencing an .8% growth, which translates to about 1,000 to 1,200 new households. Postcards can be sent to a target group for .89 cents per household. While this is not currently budgeted, we need to find a way, if at all possible, to do this because summer is the busiest time for families to relocate.

Education:

Mary and Chris will continue the current Old Testament study beginning in September. We will also plan on starting a second education opportunity.

This summer we need some structured “classes” that don’t have to necessarily be religious. We could look at social justice issues, or just fun ideas to keep members engaged.

Outreach:

Website:

We are beginning the process of reviewing the current website to ensure the information is current, then make plans to keep the site updated.

Vacation Bible School:

Rhonda Ramos is working with Memorial Presbyterian to coordinate our involvement with Vacation Bible School. It will be held July 15-18, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm.

Social Action:

The evening of July 11 we have volunteered to help the Regional Food Bank in Oklahoma City, We need at least 8 people. Steve and Eddie are coordinating the event.

Louise will contact Food and Shelter for Friends to see if there are opportunities to help them.

Adult Education: Schedule for Old Testament Program with Amy Jill Levine, Spring 2019

Writings that Form the Spiritual Bedrock for Millions

Even if you know the Old Testament well, you will find it enlightening to hear Professor Levine discuss how it appears against the larger background of the ancient Near East as revealed by research in archaeology, cross-cultural studies, and comparative religion.

Even were one to argue that the text is divinely inspired or dictated by God, one might still want to know as much as possible about the particulars: Why these words? Why this order? Why this social context? Why this translation?

Although she focuses on historical and literary issues, Professor Levine also provides thoughtful reflections and useful information on the religious questions that arise from these sacred texts, and the lectures do not avoid raising issues of religious concern.

The goal of an academic course in biblical studies, she maintains, is not to undermine religious faith, but to use the best available knowledge and research to give believers richer insight into the writings that form their spiritual bedrock.

Click here to see more, including a video preview.

Below are the dates for 2019 and the respective topics that will be discussed Sundays at 5:10pm in our Fellowship Hall for class.

TITLE DATE
Isaac 10-Mar
The Jacob Saga 17-Mar
Folklore Anaysis and Type Scenes 24-Mar
Conversation Sunday 31-Mar
Moses and Exodus 7-Apr
The God of Isreal 14-Apr
EASTER 21-Apr
Covenant and Law Part 1 28-Apr
Covenant and Law Part 2 5-May
Mother’s Day 12-May
The “Conquest” 19-May

Rev. David Wheeler on Mark 1:21-28

 

Dear Church friends and family,

This week, at worship, we will be looking at what, for many mainline Christians, is a difficult text: Mark 1:21-28. In this text, Jesus performs the exorcism of an “evil, unclean spirit.” This text can create difficulties for “thinking” Christians because, well… demons. What do we believe about demons?

I long ago gave up seeing these types of passages as literal or historical in nature. I take the Bible far too seriously to read it all literally. I prefer to read it “literately”— understanding the culture in which is was written and attempting to find a very real application tied to the “spirit” of what was written, to today’s world.

I’m sure we’d have dozens of different opinions on demons even among our own congregation. But, my encouragement to each us, when reading this text, rather than writing off demons altogether, is to take a deeper look at our lives and at the world in general. Instead of looking for the manifestations of evil in the forms of things we might see in a horror movie, we need to look much closer to home.

Demons, in the broadest use of the word, are manfestations of evil. When people or groups of people allow manifestations of evil to exist, persist, or worse yet, when we deny the existence of systematic evil— what we are in essence doing is allowing evil to grow and fester. Take, for example, child abuse. Let’s say I have a suspicion that a child may be getting abused at their home, but I choose to not take steps to learn more about their situation— there is a great chance that this manifestation of violence and evil, the “demon” of child abuse will continue to infict harm upon both the child and perhaps even upon future generations of children (since child abuse is typically something that can easily be passed on generationally).

Racism, sexism, and all the “isms” you can list, are, along with all manner of chronic violence (like child abuse) are not only isolated instances of mistakes by individuals; they are also a part of a systemic, related “web” of violence and injustice. Some might say, they are “demonic” in nature.

In the text from Mark 1:21-28, the author notes that Jesus, when he spoke at the temple, spoke as one “having authority,” and not “as the scribes.” We’ll talk about this too on Sunday. But, without saying “too much,” what I think this means is that Jesus EMBODIED the teaching he was giving, whereas, the “scribes” were a bit detached from their more “lecture-like” teaching methods that were likely more about ideology than their own personal behavior.

Think about this for a minute: the greatest way to honor any teaching is to do it. It’s nice to be able to talk about a teaching, but it is just so much better to embody a teaching you truly admire. When we embody the spirit of one of our mentors in our own daily lives, we are honoring them with the highest compliment that exists. When we live out the deeper truth of the scriptures in our daily lives by loving God, loving neighbor as self, standing against evil and injustice, becoming agents of God’s healing for creation— this sort of “embodiment” has a much more profound effect on the world and on us, for that matter, than being able to quote thousands of bible verses from memory— and then living lives void of love.

The best part about being “the church” together is that we can form a community of companions and friends who strive together, however imperfectly, to more fully EMBODY the teachings of Jesus. Speaking truth to power, loving and bringing healing to the broken, finding strength when we ourselves are weak— this is the beauty of the Beloved Community we call “the church.” We don’t always get it right. We don’t always fully EMBODY the teachings of Jesus. We don’t always stand as strongly as we should or speak up as loudly against evil as we should. But, when we do, even when we get it “mostly” right, not only do “demons” run in fear, not only are our own hearts and lives enriched, but the world is formed more fully into the Beloved Community Jesus not only taught about, but EMBODIED for his followers.

I hope to see you Sunday. Don’t forget that our worship time is 4pm, followed by Adult Ed!

Authentically yours,

Rev. David Wheeler
Pastor

The MLK March – From Rev. David Wheeler

Dear First Congregational Church Family and Friends,
This week as I prepare for another sermon to share with you on Sunday, I am still relishing the experience I shared with a few other members of our congregation this past Monday when we marched together in OKC’s MLK, Jr. Parade. The streets were not as packed with onlookers as I had seen in years past. The weather was quite brisk while marching and downright cold walking back to our cars after the parade was over and some of us had eaten a meal. You might be wondering, “why are you still ‘relishing’ this marching experience on a Wednesday (as I write this note) when it was miserably cold and there was such a small crowd?”  I am so glad you asked!
For me, there was something deeply and profoundly spiritual about investing my physical body and energy in this whole experience. I was not merely explaining with my words how important I think it is that we be aware of racial tensions and justice-related concerns in our society; I was “doing” something about it. I was marching ALONGSIDE old and new friends. I was marching FOR a man I deeply admire (Dr. King). I was marching AGAINST hatred, bigotry, prejudice, and injustice. And, I was marching WITH many of the black lives that matter to God and therefore should matter to us. For me, this act was more than just symbolic; it was as real as real can get, for me. Though marching in this parade solved no problems immediately, it spiritually, emotionally, and physically reframed at the forefront of my mind the refreshing feeling of “doing” something that engages mind, soul, AND body.
With this parade having just happened on Monday, I am already thinking about another march on Saturday. “Has he lost his mind?” you might be thinking. There is a March for Women in OKC on Saturday. Unless I end up having to drive to Tulsa on family-related business, I will be there as well. Seeing my sisters in this life treated with equality, dignity, respect, and consideration is vitally important to me. I’ve preached about it, talked about it, written about it— but to date, I’ve never MARCHED about my feelings about Women’s Rights.
By nature, I’m not a very good protester. Marching FOR and marching or standing AGAINST things— this kind of marching calls me out of my comfort zone. But, do you know something? I plan to keep marching for the things that matter most. It engages my body as well as my spirit and gives me the kind of fellowship that is decidedly different from my preferred settings of the classroom and pulpit.
If you’ve been reluctant at times yourself to “march”— whether literally or simply “taking a stand”— you just might appreciate this Sunday’s sermon. We’ll look at one of the “reluctant marchers” from the Hebrew scriptures; Jonah. We’ll see why, even against his personal preferences, when he finally “marched” where he was supposed to “march,” that he had a transformative experience and even changed the lives of an entire community. What causes people like Jonah and me to “march?” It might be a little different for everyone. But Sunday’s message will take a look at some of the reasons why some of us are, “Marching For Change.”
Still marching in my heart,
Rev. David Wheeler
Pastor

A Prayer – from Rev. Welch

 

Dear Friends and Members of the United Church of Norman-UCC

Hate, fear and violence have been on full display this weekend. And while eyes have been turned on Charlottesville, some of the same attitudes are resident in communities across Kansas, Oklahoma and throughout the country. While most who harbor deep-seated racist attitudes would never call themselves racist or white supremacists, the feelings of racial and religious superiority thrive. We all know that what we are witnessing in Charlottesville is not about a statue, it is about the painful and continuing legacy of racial hatred, attitudes of racial superiority, intolerance and bigotry. In a few weeks, the events of this weekend will be overshadowed by other news but we can’t unsee the anger and the waving of Nazi flags, we can’t unhear the racist chants. Neither should we, as failure to see and refusal to hear, allows the hate to grow, to fester and to continue to be passed from generation to generation. What we saw this weekend must be called out, there can be no excuses or justification, no tolerance for hatred and bigotry in our communities and in our country. I invite you to join me in prayer as we recommit ourselves to the hard work justice and love.

 

Grace and peace to you.

Edith Guffey, Kansas Oklahoma Conference Minister of the United Church of Christ

 

 

 

Adult Education and Future Meetings

August 20th Sunday Worship 11:00 a.m
Communion will be served this Sunday as we try various changes to the order of worship. The worship committee invites your input on these changes.

August 20th, August 27th Sunday Adult Ed 9:45 a.m
Chris Carter will be leading a discussion on the PBS series on the historical Jesus, called from Christ to Jesus.

 

 

Book Club August 28th

We’re discussing a new book A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman at Nancy Logan’s home 3200 Summit Bend at 7pm.

 

 

Food and Shelter Needs

Resident and Shelter Needs include soap, cleaning supplies, furniture, diapers. Kitchen Needs are dry sealed foods. Care Packets for the homeless include deodorant, self care products, snack foods

Progressive Reformed – from Rev. Welch

 

Dear Friends and Members of the United Church of Norman-UCC

I’m a sort of a Calvinist. This is to say that there are themes in the writings of John Calvin, a French Reformation leader, that I take as my own while leaving other parts behind. I thought I’d highlight what some of the themes I’ve taken.

1. The natural world tells us all of God that we are in a position to know. That’s a robust natural theology! Special revelation is not new information beyond our world. It illuminates something already at play in our world.

2. Theology starts with anthropology. To know something of God is to know something about ourselves and our relationships to each other and our wider world.

3. Sin, pride, impiety is an over (or under) estimation of ourselves in relation to one other and our world. Any number of cruelties (to use Niebuhr for a moment) against each other and nature occur when we ignore those relations.

4. Sin and grace are bigger than individuals. They both indicate significant features of a world that draw us either to inordinate self regard or other regard. The ambiguity is living in a fallen world that yet gives signs of God’s redemptive purposes.

4. Calvin was just as able to draw from Seneca as Scripture. As a French Humanist he saw the Christian tradition as a wisdom tradition, a philosophy almost that could draw from the best, including non Christian resources.

5. Like Augustine, Calvin also believed that all knowledge was from God. Science, literature, philosophy, any field and discipline was a gift not something to be wary of or at war with. In fact it can set us on a path to discern our proper place in our world and relations.

6. God’s redemptive work is for the whole of creation. So there is no way to cut off some part of the world, the secular, or some area of life as not religiously significant.

I decided to explore this in my sermon this coming Sunday. And I want to give more time for folks to send ideas, questions, topics to be explored for my sermons in August.

Blessings,

Rev. Dwight Welch

 

 

Adult Education

 

An attorney waits looks over his paperwork befere entering the Public Defender of Oklahoma County offices, 9-24-15. (Mark Hancock)

July 30th Sunday
Congregational meeting begins at 9:30 as we talk about the work of the church.

August 6th Conversation Sunday
Joe Ward, chief investigator for Oklahoma County public defender’s office. He will speak on issues of Poverty and Crime. He spent 45 years as a special investigator for the Oklahoma and Texas Indigent Defense System in the Capitol Crimes Division.

August 13th, August 20th, August 27th Sunday
Chris Carter will be leading a discussion on the PBS series on the historical Jesus, called from Christ to Jesus.

 

 

Book Club August 7th

We’re discussing a new book at Nancy Logan’s home 3200 Summit Bend at 7pm.

 

 

Food and Shelter Needs

Resident and Shelter Needs include soap, cleaning supplies, furniture, diapers. Kitchen Needs are dry sealed foods. Care Packets for the homeless include deodorant, self care products, snack foods

 

 

 

Vacation Bible School

Is being held with Memorial Presbyterian Church 601 24th Ave SW Norman July 24-July 27th from 6-8pm. Snacks, Bible stories, play,c rafts and lessons are focused on the importance of food in our life.

Celebrating Pride – from Rev. Welch

 

 

Dear Friends and Members of the United Church of Norman-UCC

I wanted to wish everyone a happy Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride month. It is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots, where protestors fought back against a police bust of the Stonewall Inn, a LGBT tavern in New York City.

They claimed for themselves, the right to LGBT space and rejected harassment for who they are. And that is where the term Pride comes into play.

There are a few events, celebrating Pride, I wanted to highlight. PFLAG’s second annual Pride Picnic will be held Saturday June 17th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Norman’s Rotary Park 1501 W Boyd St. Hot dogs, chips, and side dishes are included. Bring a blanket, chairs for extra seating.
OKC Pride is being held June 23rd through the 25th.

But the Norman connection is to be found on the 24th and 25th where there are tables on the 39th Street Strip at 39th & Pennsylvania Ave. A range of Norman groups from St. Stephen’s United Methodist, the United Church of Norman UCC, Norman PFLAG and others will table, sharing information on their programming.

And this year marks the 30th year for the OKC Pride Parade, which is being held on Sunday June 25th. The parade goes from NW 39th Street from Classen to Youngs and will include over 100 entries including, including St Stephen’s and Norman PFLAG. That morning, the United Church of Norman UCC will hold a special Pride worship service at 10 a.m. before we join the festivities in the city.

I mention all this to highlight the role churches play in celebrating Pride. That is important, because most folks identify Christianity as anti LGBT. So, it is up to churches to step forward and live out a different and more inclusive way. One that celebrates the gifts of LGBT folks and to publicly speak out when legal equality is threatened.

But I have heard critiques over the idea of “pride” from a Christian perspective. Isn’t pride one of the seven deadly sins? As Proverbs 16:18 says “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 11:2: When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.” So, isn’t it the case that pride should not be celebrated?

It depends on your definition of pride. If pride, is satisfaction with one’s own achievement, that’s a good thing. A craftsman who is proud of their work, a student who studies hard and earns an A, the OU Sooner’s pride in winning the Women’s College World Series, these are worth celebrating. They are the result of hard work and skill.

Where pride goes wrong is when you receive satisfaction for an achievement that is not your own. When Donald Trump expresses prides in his genes, this is not the result of his work. You do not get to choose your parents. That’s just a roll of the genetic dice.

The other way pride can produce problems, is it when it results in an over estimation of one’s own skills. Pride goes before a fall happens when you overestimate yourself. How many corporate CEOs have done damage to companies because they assumed skill and knowledge they did not possess?

Now there is the flip side to this sin. And that is to under estimate yourself. It is to not recognize the gifts you have because you believe others who have torn you down over the years. That has often been the experience of people based on race, gender, sexual orientation, and ability.

Now, when LGBT folks express pride, we are not doing so because of pride in a genetic makeup we had nothing to do with. We are expressing pride in overcoming the barriers that have been placed in our way, barriers to prevent us from realizing our full potential and gifts. That kind of pride is being celebrated this month and it’s one our church proud to support and to participate in.

Blessings,

Rev. Dwight Welch

 

 

Church Events

June 11th and June 18th Sunday
Adult ed at 9: 45 a.m Ted Talk discussions led by Vicki Walden and Dana Cantwell

NPJC is planning the Norman Peace Festival for Saturday, September 23, 2017. Please join us for our organizational meeting on June 14 at 6:30 PM at the Norman Public Library Central branch. We are going to be discussing the details and how we are going to raise the money to hold this event. If you cannot attend this meeting but would like to help. please contact us via email or phone. [email protected] or 405.561.1248

There will be a showing of the film From the Ashes. The showing is on Friday, June 23rd, 7pm. It’s an advance screening of this new documentary film produced by RadicalMedia and Bloomberg Philanthropies. Watch the 2 minute trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=rV0ro0uleVo The showing will happen 1602 Barwick Drive Norman, OK 73072 at Rev. Pam Normille’s home.

June 25th Sunday

Our Pride service will be held early at 10 a.m. There will be no adult ed. You are invited to join us afterwards for OKC parade by visiting our church booth and joining us with Norman PFLAG in the Pride March at 4 p.m.

 

 

Book Club June 19th

We’re discussing chapters 2 and 3 of Chris Haye’s new book A Colony in a Nation at Nancy Logan’s home 3200 Summit Bend at 7pm.

 

 

Food and Shelter Needs

Resident and Shelter Needs include soap, cleaning supplies, furniture, diapers. Kitchen Needs are dry sealed foods. Care Packets for the homeless include deodorant, self care products, snack foods

 

 

Vacation Bible School

Is being held with Memorial Presbyterian Church 601 24th Ave SW Norman July 24-July 27th from 6-8pm. Snacks, Bible stories, play,c rafts and lessons are focused on the importance of food in our life.

LGBT Pride Month – from Rev. Welch

 

Dear Friends and Members of the United Church of Norman-UCC

June is Pride Month and our church will be celebrating this throughout the month.

This means that we’ll be holding a service for LGBT Pride on Sunday June 25th at 9:45 a.m instead of our regular 11 a.m service. This is so our church members can leave to staff our table at the OKC Pride Festival from 12-4pm. We are looking for volunteers for that event.

This has been made possible by our sharing a table with Mayflower Congregational UCC who is insuring a UCC presence on Saturday June 24th.

Than we’ll join Norman PFLAG in marching in the parade following at 6pm. We’ll meet at 42nd st & Classen Blvd rain or shine.

A week before on Saturday June 17th from 11 a.m to 1pm we’re invited to join in the 2nd annual PFLAG Pride Picnic at 1501 W Boyd St

This year we are going to be doing activities to help us prepare for PRIDE! We are tie dying togas (feel free to bring other things to tie dye), making swords, and constructing our float! Come join for the fun and community this weekend and then come march with us next weekend!

Hotdogs, chips, and drinks provided but more food is welcome! Lawn chairs and blankets are also a great idea because table space is somewhat limited.

With these festivities in mind , I wanted to highlight the Norman United meeting Tuesday June 6th at 7:30pm at West Wind Universalist Congregation 1309 W Boyd St which works on LGBT equality in Norman. And I wanted to highlight our Conversation Sunday June 4th.

This Sunday, our Conversation Sunday is focused on Transgender 101. While we affirm LGBT inclusion, figuring out the T in that list can be difficult for those of us who are not transgender. As a gay man, I figured I knew all the relevant issues until I went to a transgender conference that Stephanie Mott put on when I was at the University of Kansas.

That was an eye opening experience for me. The issues of birth certificates, whether it was safe to use a bathroom, whether health care providers would be supportive, to the weird mish mash of laws one has to contend with, were issues I had never considered.

And so while I have a natural inclination to be supportive, without the information and the stories of transgender people, we’re limited in what we can do. So our church is hosting a transgender 101 panel discussion for our Conversation Sunday June 4th at 9:45 a.m as we learn from their presentation and discuss over a shared potluck.

I hope you can join us this Sunday and in our various activities this month.

Blessings,

Rev. Dwight Welch

 

 

Book Club June 5th

We’re discussing the new book by Chris Hayes on our criminal justice system. It’s called A Colony in a Nation. We meet at Nancy Logan’s home 3200 Summit Bend at 7pm.

 

 

 

Food and Shelter Needs

Resident and Shelter Needs include soap, cleaning supplies, furniture, diapers. Kitchen Needs are dry sealed  foods. Care Packets for the homeless include deodorant, self care products, snack foods

 

 

Vacation Bible School

Given We’re joining with Memorial Presbyterian in their annual Vacation Bible School. The focus is on nature, animals, meeting God in our environment. It will be held July 24th-July 27th from 6-8pm.

Reimagining Mother’s Day – from Rev. Welch

 

Dear Friends and Members of the United Church of Norman-UCC

This Sunday our church will be celebrating Mother’s Day, Sunday May 14th.

But it can be an awkward holiday to celebrate for some. To give my own back story, I was in foster care from five to eleven. I’ve never met my birth mother since. Then I was adopted by a single father, so my memories of motherhood are somewhat limited.

I also know that not everyone has had a relation with their birth mother that they treasure and so some churches will avoid this day. They believe that to raise this issue is to raise up all we wish would have been different in our own families.

But I think that would be a mistake. If the GLBT movement has taught us anything it has been to re-imagine families. One can start by asking the question: what do families do? And to move away from the question of who constitutes a family.

You can identify families with those individuals that do family. That is they provide nurture, support, freedom to grow, security, relations that can last a lifetime. They provide your first moral lessons, indicate what kind of world you live in, pass on memories and traditions.

Reinhold Niebuhr calls this “original security.” They provide the support needed for you to become the person you are. A space where you are loved, encouraged, directed, and supported.
Biological families should provide this. That is not always the case. But for any of us to be who we are in life, we did have that support. And from some important people in our lives. They might have been teachers, mentors, neighbor parents, youth groups, social workers, friends.

In talking with the Department of Human Services, I was surprised, that most of the folks taking on foster and adoptive children are relatives, others who had to step in, in the raising of the children. They included grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. They become family.

I found that support in the church. I found a safe welcoming environment growing up. I found it in friendships. For some, activism has provided that, developing connections with those we work with for a more humane world. From activist groups to churches, we can discover family.

In all this, responsive love happens but it’s not always tied to biology. It’s more fundamental than that. Family, can include our biological family, but it can also include what the LGBT community has often called, one’s “chosen family.” Those who do family for us and with us.

So, this Sunday we will be celebrating mothers. But we will not only be celebrating biological mothers. We will be celebrating all those who have been family to someone in their life, a sibling, friend, niece, nephew, students in a class room or in a scout troop. Grandmothers, teachers, mentors.

And while Mother’s Day is not on the church calendar, I do think days like this, open our understanding of God. God as that reality at work which sustains, nurtures, and grows us. Such a God we encounter in one another, in families, in that power which as Rita Nakashima Brock writes “empowers human beings as social creatures to seek others and deliver salvation.”

Blessings,

Rev. Dwight Welch

 

 

Church Events

May 14th Sunday
Adult ed at 9:45 a.m What do religious communities do which can help the wider society? We’ll explore this with a Ted Talk by Alain de Botton

After church at 12:00 p.m. A meeting to discuss setting up a regular Bible study will be held after church. All who are interested are invited.

May 21st Sunday
Adult ed at 9:45 a.m The contours of progressive Islam is explored and how it can inform progressive Christianity.

After church at 12:00 p.m Adult Education committee will meet to discuss our programming into the summer as well as Vacation Bible School.

May 28th Sunday
Adult ed at 9: 45 a.m Criminal Justice Reform, the urgency of now.

After church at 12:00 p.m Social Justice committee will meet to discuss the Peace and Justice activities this summer and OKC Pride.

 

 

Book Club May 22nd

We’re discussing the new novel by Anthony Doerr at Nancy Logan’s home 3200 Summit Bend at 7pm.

 

 

Food and Shelter Needs

Resident and Shelter Needs include soap, cleaning supplies, furniture, diapers. Kitchen Needs are dry sealed foods. Care Packets for the homeless include deodorant, self care products, snack foods

 

 

A New Recycling Box

Given the number of paper products we use for our morning gatherings and conversation box the Social Justice committee has set up a recycling box to discard those items. Look for it on Sundays!

Early Church Visions – from Rev. Welch

 

Dear Friends and Members of the United Church of Norman-UCC

I wanted to post this Sunday’s lectionary. It comes to us from the book of Acts.

Acts 2:42-47

2:42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 2:43 Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. 2:44 All who believed were together and had all things in common;
2:45 they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. 2:46 Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, 2:47 praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

The House of Representatives is voting on a measure that would have 24 million lose their health insurance, with an expected increase up to 50 million within the decade. The congressional phone number is (202)225-312. The passage from Acts reminds us of a vision of the early church, where all had enough, where no one could be counted as poor.

It’s a stark contrast with the priorities of our government these days. But then that suggests the amount of distance that exists between our existing society and the ideal that the New Testament pointed towards.

Blessings,

Rev. Dwight Welch

 

 

Church Events

May 7th Sunday Conversation Sunday

Join us at (9:30 for brunch and a conversation with award-winning academic and author, Nyla Ali Khan. Nyla is from Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir. She is an internationally recognized expert and author on the Kashmir conflict, India and Pakistan. Bring a dish to share and join us.

Nyla was made a member of the Advisory Council of the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women. She will be speaking to us about women and politics and the comparison between Kashmir and Oklahoma on this topic.

 

 

Book Club May 8th

We’re discussing the new novel by Anthony Doerr at Nancy Logan’s home 3200 Summit Bend at 7pm.

 

 

Food and Shelter Needs

Resident and Shelter Needs include soap, cleaning supplies, furniture, diapers. Kitchen Needs are dry sealed foods. Care Packets for the homeless include deodorant, self care products, snack foods

 

 

A New Recycling Box

Given the number of paper products we use for our morning gatherings and conversation box the Social Justice committee has set up a recycling box to discard those items. Look for it on Sundays!