The Oklahoma Conference met at Boston Avenue United Methodist Church, under the theme “One: In Christ, in Ministry to the World.” Bishop Jimmy Nunn presided.
Notable speakers included Willie Berman, who gave a report on the day care center set to open on the U.S.-Mexico border. This center also was the subject of a special offering.
Evan Young presented the One Matters Award to Hydro United Methodist Church.
Some rhetorical highlights from the gathering:
“We are the body of Christ in this world. How many people in our families, in our communities, in this world God loves so much, need proof of life today in order to believe in Jesus? How many people all around us … would believe if only they felt the touch of the loving, living Christ through you? We are his body, and Jesus went to Thomas, and he offered him all that he needed to believe. And church, he commissioned you and he commissioned me to do the same thing.” – The Rev. Tish Malloy
“You see willingness to be light in the darkness for those who are hurting, those who are lost and those who really do not know what their next step is going to be.” – The Rev. Diana Northcutt
“We are excited. This bus has not stopped. We are rolling. For every church we lost, we want to bring back some new churches. I ask that you pray with us because, the interesting thing about starting a new church, it is work. It is the hardest thing you’ve ever done, but it is the best thing you will ever do. Imagine people wandering around, looking for a place to go, and you have a place for them to stop, just as they are.” – The Rev. Dr. Bessie Hamilton
“The church will not be overcome, because the church is grounded in the very nature of God.” – Bishop Jimmy Nunn
“One person really matters. That’s why we do it. It’s for one person. One person at a time.” – Evan Young
Main actions enacted by the conference:
The conference voted for two clergy delegates and 9 lay delegates for General and Jurisdictional conferences.
Resolutions or actions related to the postponed 2020 General Conference, now set for 2024:
29 in October 2022 and 55 in April 2023.
Bethany St. Marks
Boise City St. Paul's
Broken Arrow Abiding Harvest
Broken Arrow Heritage
Edmond New Covenant
Enid Willow View
Fairview in Slapout
Guymon Victory Memorial
Muldrow Roland Trinity
OKC St. Andrew's
OKC St. Luke's
Pathway Davis First
Tulsa St. James
Tulsa Will Rogers
Number of churches that closed because no longer sustainable: 6
Any special annual conference set:
An annual conference has been set for Oct. 13-14, 2023, to deal with the last round of disaffiliations and to set the budget. Action on the latter was postponed so the impact of disaffiliations can be better understood.
Other resolutions adopted by the conference:
The pension and benefits report was accepted. No other resolutions were adopted.
Did the conference have to elect replacement delegates due to the delay? If so, which delegates are replacements and why?
Yes, the conference elected two clergy delegates and 9 lay delegates. These delegates were replaced because some disaffiliated, some moved, one passed away, and two lay delegates transitioned to clergy.
Names of delegates for both General Conference and jurisdictional or central conference and designation of lay or clergy:
Joseph Harris, Clergy
Derrek Belase, Clergy
Sam Powers, Clergy
Jessica Moffatt, Clergy
Charla Gwartney, Clergy
Valerie Steele, Clergy
Carol Cook Moore, Clergy
Fuxia Wang, Clergy
Carlos Ramirez, Clergy
Tish Malloy, Clergy
Jennifer Long, Clergy
Adam Shahan, Clergy
Nancy Hamilton, Clergy
Mark Foster, Clergy
Don Kim, Laity
Barbara Perry, Laity
Kent Fulton, Laity
Kyla Powers, Laity
Courtney Blacksten, Laity
Sharri Hiller, Laity
Chantelle Foster, Laity
Kristen Harlin, Laity
Rebekah Wofford Hasty, Laity
Corey Shirey, Laity
Monica Hiller, Laity
Larry Anderson, Laity
Amy Neathery, Laity
Kasey Curry, Laity
Was there a push at your conference to elect younger delegates? If so, how many delegates under 35 were elected and what are their names and ages?
There was a push to elect younger delegates. Corey Shirey and Kasey Curry are both under 35.
Number of people ordained, commissioned or received into associate membership, and average age:
Five ordained as elders, one ordained as deacon.
13 licensed local pastors.
The average age of those we have on file is 42.
Number of clergy retired:
18 clergy retired this year.
Membership stands at 174,604, down from the previous year’s 206,315.
Worship attendance stands at 58,424, up from 2021’s 56,829.
Church school attendance stands at 12,104, down from previous year’s 13,854.
Professions or reaffirmations of faith: 1,136, up from 2021’s 781.
Adults and young adults in small groups: 3,212, down from 2021’s 3,481.
Worshippers engaged in mission: 19,372, down from 2021’s 22,409.
— Submitted by Jena Barber, Oklahoma Conference editor of publications
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