Annual Meeting Workshops 2019
Always popular, annual meeting workshops are opportunities to learn, be challenged or think in new ways about areas you may not have engaged before. There are four such opportunities this year. Exact times of the workshops will be on final agenda in a few weeks. You can also download a flyer with the below information.
Join Hebrew Bible Professor Rev. Dr. Lisa Wolfe to learn about some of the best and new(ish) sermon prep tools. We will cover issues ranging from diverse worldview interpretations to insights on biblical languages, exploring both electronic and book formats. We will go beyond resource lists to consider new methods for creating bridges between the Bible and the worlds of our congregations.
Presenter: Lisa M. Wolfe is Professor of Hebrew Bible, Endowed Chair, at Oklahoma City University, and also teaches for Saint Paul School of Theology, OCU campus. She was ordained in the United Church of Christ in 2000, and preaches and teaches regularly in a wide variety of churches. Her Bible study DVDs “Uppity Women of the Bible,” and companion commentary Ruth, Esther, Song of Songs and Judith, were published in 2010 and 2011, respectively. In 2018 she received the Distinguished Faculty Award for the OCU Honors Program, and the University Outstanding Faculty Award. In early 2020 Liturgical Press will release her volume on Qoheleth (Ecclesiastes) for the Wisdom Commentary Series.
There are so many stories about church decline; well how about some good news! Twenty-seven people have joined The Federated Church in Weatherford, Oklahoma this year. That’s right 27 new members in a town with an estimated population of a little over 12,000 west of Oklahoma City. What’s the deal? Is there some new church growth strategy you haven’t heard about? Exactly what is happening at The Federated Church in Weatherford? Come hear a panel of lay members and the pastor of Federated church talk about their church and the new energy and excitement.
This workshop will focus on agriculture and earth-keeping as a spiritual practice, and as an important path to experiencing the body of Christ. Repeatedly, the Bible teaches that God works in substance – whether human flesh, animals, burning bushes, or the Jacob’s anointed stone. Spirit continually empties herself through incarnation and embodiment. Some like Fr. Matthew Fox have called this action of God, panentheism. But whatever the words used, the meaning is clear, we experience and participate with God’s body here and now. What we do “matters.” Nowhere is that earthy spirituality more elemental than in the stewardship and contemplation of the earth. There is a universe of creation existing in the soil that sustains us. And yet, while we celebrate our material progress and technical innovations, our civilization is decimating the very foundation of our existence on this earth through man-made climate change, and harmful agricultural practices. Caring for the earth as a spiritual practice is indeed an important path to experiencing the body of Christ.
Jim French is a 5th generation farmer and rancher in Reno County, KS. He and his wife, Lisa, attend Partridge Community Church-UCC where he has directed choir since 1980. He was the Senior Advocacy Adviser for Agriculture with Oxfam America for 12 years retiring in 2017. Most recently. French completed two years of study at the Center for Acton and Contemplation Living School.
This is part 2 of the workshop that begins Friday morning with the tour of the Greenwood Cultural Center to learn about the Tulsa Race Massacre. The afternoon workshop provides an opportunity for additional information and conversation about the massacre itself as well as the ongoing challenges of racial justice in Tulsa today and in our own communities as well.
Joy Miller-Davis, MSW, is a community organizer and facilitator. Joy has been part of numerous local and national movements to incorporate the stories of the 1921 Race Massacre into the lexicon of history. Additionally, she has committed her time and energy through research, advocacy, direct action, and collaboration to building a community where law enforcement applies due process instead of brutality to justice involved persons. Joy is a licensed, professional medical social worker. She lives in Tulsa, with her husband, two children. Joy was born and raised in UCC churches in New England and the Rocky Mountains.