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Asbury

TIDINGS DECEMBER 2009

LOVE CAME DOWN AT CHRISTMAS - TAKING A FRESH LOOK AT THE HOLIDAY SEASON

CIRCUIT RIDERS: RIDING OUT IN VICTORY FINDING THE HIDDEN HERO THE GIFT OF A BICYCLE SAVIOUR Coming December 13 Page 1 1 Tidings


Asbury

TIDINGS DECEMBER 2009

A

by Dwight Yoder, Executive DIrector

SBURY

is doing some really wonderful things! Our District Superintendent, Mike Chaffin, told me recently of the impact that some of our Discipleship Communities are having on other Tulsa area United Methodist Churches. Some of our Communities have found other local congregations to partner with and are building relationships with other Tulsa churches.

I love the development aspect of Habitat for Humanity. Asbury has just finished helping build another home in the Tulsa community. Jim Lenderman is having another group of folks go through Kingdom People with him. This time, he’s got Dr. Ed Wortham leading a group, too. This is another excellent place of ministry. The authors and creators of Kingdom People, Jim and Molly Davis-Scott, are regular in their worship with us at Asbury (and they help serve communion following the 11 am service in the sanctuary).

Pastoral care is happening in a great way these days! HospiMy wife, Dana, as a member of the tal visitation, Couple-to-Couple, Stephens Ministry, Hospitality, “Alpha” volunteer team, tells me our Children’s Ministry does Women and Men’s Ministries….well, it’s just incredible the things incredible ministry for kids. Angela told me today that her son that are happening. I’m just getting started! insisted her husband bring him to church today because he loves I’m in my 17th year now with you at Asbury. I feel like we are the Children’s Ministry. That’s saying something! doing exceptionally well. Yes, we have “issues.” We will always Thanks again for so generously supporting the “Tom Harrison have them, too! But overall, this is an exceptionally ripe time of Scholarship Fund” (looks like we have two more students from As- ministry. I’m profoundly grateful to be here. Thank you for all bury who want to go into full-time ministry). While the new Asbury you do! Seminary President was having dinner with us on Dana’s birthday, “I will uphold the church by my prayers, “Operation Hope Prison Ministry” was having a banquet in our building. I’ve heard so many posipresence, gifts, service, and witness.” tive comments about that event. “It’s been wonderful Let’s keep our vows! There are many compelling reasons for One of my favorite people, Giles to watch this ministry you to respond in these ways to Asbury. I remind you, that we Gere, is to be commended for bloom and grow” give first to the Lord. This is a spiritually directed ministry. As being such an instrumental leadwe give our very best (not our leftovers – see Malachi 1:6-8) to the er in this ministry. It’s been wonderful to watch this ministry Lord, may our lives be used by God to achieve His holy purpose. bloom and grow, and to watch Giles, even with some challenging health issues, take charge and lead. I heard this was an exceptionally good banquet. Lives are being touched and changed. See you Sunday! Todd Craig and I have an exceptional group of seniors in High School that we get to be with for an hour on Wednesdays. These are superb students! Our student ministry is doing so well! Dr. Tom Harrison

CONTENTS

3. What’s Happening 15. 4. Love Came Down At Christmas 16. 6. Circut Riders: Riding Out In Victory 18. 8. Finding the Hidden Hero 20. 10. Bicycles for Christmas 22. 12. Saviour Coming December 13 28. 14. Grandpa John Asbury Tidings is a monthly publication designed to tell stories of lives being transformed by the power of Jesus Christ. You may read back issues by visiting www.asburytulsa.org

Thank You’s My Life Heart and Seoul E-mails With God Opportunities New Members

Managing Editor Tara Lynn Thompson taralynnthompson.com Graphic Designer Jonathan Van Risseghem jonathanvanrisseghem@gmail.com

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has just passed. Hopefully it was an enjoyable and meaningful time for you and your family. It is my favorite holiday. In all aspects of our lives we have so much for which to be thankful. Included in that list is participation in the life of Asbury. For reasons we cannot completely understand, Asbury has been blessed with great people, resources, opportunities, and results. Though working full-time for our church, I still can’t keep up with all of the good things that are going on. Our ministry efforts are balanced between the spiritual development and care of our members on the one hand, and on the other, reaching out in service and missions in Tulsa and around the world.

n occasion O Asbury’s ministries are possible be-

cause of your generous contribution of time, expertise, service, and money. Such generosity is an ap-

we also hear comments along this line, “I don’t want to give to an institution, to light bills, or to salaries. I want to give directly to ministries.” It is admirable and appropriate to ensure that gifts are used for ministry. But such a statement reflects an incomplete understanding. The many ministries executed through Asbury, whether directed internally or externally, are only possible because we have a large facility configured for ministry, we have paid ministry staff to develop and coordinate opportunities and volunteers, and we have a pastoral and management staff to provide oversight and direction.

propriate response of thankfulness for our blessings. We know that God loves a thankful heart, and we know that to whom much is given much is required. This month I want to talk about the financial resources required to support our ministries. Very shortly you will receive in the mail a letter from Tom and Jim Lenderman, our pastor of stewardship. Also included will be a brief These components are not something that can be viewed sepasummary of some ministry highlights for 2009. The third piece rately from the “real” ministry work. Without all of these supof that mailing will be a financial pledge card for the support of porting functions and facilities there would quite simply be no Asbury in 2010. ministries in which to participate or support. When you receive that mail please take the time to open it and read the enclosed material. Then prayerfully consider your financial support of Asbury for next year. Some families use the receipt of the pledge card as the catalyst for a family conversation about financial stewardship. Financial giving is a way that every person can engage directly in support of ministry work.

Far more often we hear something much more pleasant. Over and over we hear from people who, upon observing the impact of some ministry, express great satisfaction at knowing that their financial contribution has played a part in the results of that ministry. That is the perspective we desire for every participant in the life of Asbury.

Sometimes people think that their gift cannot be significant given the size of our church and our budget. Therefore, they do not give. Let me assure you that every gift matters.Yes, Asbury is large and therefore the contribution of any single family is small relative to the total budget. But many families each giving what they are willing to give collectively makes up our large budget. Every family matters. Our church is a family with each member contributing what they should.

One of Asbury’s eight Objectives is that “every member will bring the tithe (one-tenth) in loving obedience to God’s gracious provision.” To those who are supporting Asbury financially, we express our thanks. To those who are not yet participating financially, or not participating fully, we invite you to begin now. Not only will you be pleasing God and fulfilling your membership vows, but you will also enjoy a great sense of participation and satisfaction in contributing to ministry impact through Asbury.

Photographer Don Kreautzweiser donsimages.com

Guest Contributors Sylvia LaRose, Dwight Yoder, Kim Beair, Christy Capps, Charlene Giles, Debbie Wallis, John C. Westervelt, Joan Kahl, Marty Morris, Page 2

he Thanksgiving holiday

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Love came down at

Christmas

by Rev. Charlie Ryser

W

hen you think of Christmas,

what pictures spring to mind? Imagine an old photo album or maybe pictures from Christmas cards. Take some time and let these images of Christmas bubble up inside you. I find this to be a good exercise and an opportunity to learn, remind, teach and hopefully reconnect with life and all of its memories. Like an onion with its many layers, we sometimes let ourselves get stuck on one or two particularly difficult experiences of Christmas like a scratched CD or record that sticks and won’t play through. Could it be that we’re refusing to learn life’s lessons so we can move on in a new direction, finding ourselves participating in the Christmas story and not just observing the picture? Some people get stuck theologically and simply don’t embrace the story, while others find their feelings mired in their own family history, and still others might just push to get past Christmas once again. While I was in seminary,

Ask God to give you his eyes to see and experience his gifts in all the ways he’s chosen to offer them to you and then take time to worship him with heartfelt praise and thanksgiving. Sometimes we forget that the love God has for us, and has put in each of us, is meant to be shared. We’re the gift of Christ that others need in their lives more than another necklace, tie or candle - no matter how wonderful, beautiful or expensive they may be.

In Jesus’ time,

it was a tradition that when a child was born in the village, musicians would gather to serenade the new family. Jesus was born away from his home village and the Bible tells us that God provided a choir of angels to serenade Jesus and his earthly parents. Have you ever considered that, regardless of the circumstances of your birth, the angels sang when you were born?

Like baby Jesus in the manger, few recognized his potential (and ours) to make a significant contribution in other people’s lives through simply loving, forgiving and caring for one another. We assume God must expect or have something greater or more important for us to do. There is nothing more powerful than you letting God guide you in becoming his gift of hope and love for another.

It is too easy to get hung up in the muck of the stable or our family messes and miss the simple yet profound miracle of our birth, let alone life, that God is even now offering us through Christ Jesus. Our heavenly Father reminds us through Christmas of how renewing and transforming love is meant to be as an ongoing experience.

The love of God often comes to us in small but powerful ways, and he is hoping you will take time to unwrap his gift

“Some people get stuck theologically and simply don’t embrace the story, while others find their feelings mired in their own family history, and still others might just push to get past Christmas once again.” I worked at a department store in Dallas and thought if I heard the muzac version of “The Little Drummer Boy” one more time that I would go bonkers! It is a challenge to frame, balance and integrate all of our Christmas experiences.

and then grow and mature with Christ. Ask God to give you his eyes to see and experience his gifts in all the ways he’s chosen to offer them to you and then take time to worship him with heartfelt praise and thanksgiving.

When love comes down at Christmas

(or at any other time) and enters our lives, hope springs eternal even in the midst of the darkest and coldest of winter nights or circumstances. Whether we feel like we’re shepherds, innkeepers, midwives or royalty, we all need love and hope to sustain us.

How about trying an alternative path this Christmas season? Why not step back from your traditions (have a Victor Frankel moment) and ask, “What is life/God asking of me this Christmas?”

My ministry focus at Asbury is primarily in the hospitals where many face challenging times. In the midst of it all, I often walk by the nursery to see the newborns and remind myself of the powerful potential God continues to create and bring to life - fresh each day.

For me, Christmas begins with music, in particular the hymns. I’m especially drawn to, “Love Came Down at Christmas.” The lyrics invite Christians to not get so wrapped up in having to be and do and get here and get there that we don’t take the time to journey to Bethlehem to receive and savor the gift of divine love that starts in that small package of the baby Jesus delivered from God to all of us. The love of God often comes to us in small but powerful ways, and he is hoping you will take time to unwrap his gift and then grow and mature with Christ

The love that has come to us in the baby Jesus reminds us of the potential packed within us as we walk with Christ. It is just waiting to be put into action through us to fulfill the purposes for which each of us was created (Ephesians 2:10). Have a blessed Christmas by being a gift of love and hope to those God is bringing your way.

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RIDERS CircuIt

and leading pre-ride devotionals.“They’re great!” exclaims Ed. All that was needed to get the idea rolling were some riders. On Community Sunday, Ed set up a table, printed sign up cards, pushed a Harley and Ed’s custom scooter into Asbury’s narthex … and it was full speed ahead for Circuit Rider recruitment.

RIDING OUT IN VICTORY

“We got mobbed,” Ed describes.

by Sylvia LaRos

They get their motors running to go flat out on the highway. But the Asbury Circuit Riders aren’t just born to be wild … they are reborn TO serve the Lord! “We go bike riding,” simply states organizer Ed Williams

C

to fall away from God. After searching for answers, and ircuit Riders is a community for motorcyclists. Like searching for a home church, the Lord led him to Asbury. other worship groups at Asbury, this crowd identifies with one another and seeks a higher power in “The day I walked into PDF (Purpose Driven Fellowship) I knew their lives. However, they are as different as you they were a great bunch of people. I liked the Bible-based teachcan get from a traditional community. There are no classes. ing,” Ed explains. There are no sermons. There are no “homework” assignments or taking notes. They don’t even meet Soon after that first visit, Ed became an Ason Sunday morning. So what is it all about, “Our mission is bury member. Within a couple of months, he and why is there a need for it at Asbury? to provide a relaxed, became active with the Leadership Team, Dis“Our mission is to provide a relaxed, pressure-free ciples of Christ and Celebrate Recovery. He pressure-free opportunity through moopportunity through is the engine revving up the Circuit Riders. torcycle rides for folks to associate with motorcycle rides” other riders who happen to be Chris“It’s how the Lord is working through me,” tians,” says Ed. “Private conversations can occur during a Ed continues. “Throw me in the briar patch – the Lord is with me!” bike ride and fellowship can certainly lead to individuals becoming open to the Lord. Our goal is to take the church A passionate history with motorcycles and experience as Presto the un-churched. We want to capture the curious!” ident of the Tulsa Police Department’s Blue Knights has made Ed a natural leader for this community. Pastors Dick Reed and Dub Ed has been a Christian all of his life … or at least most Ambrose also have been extremely supportive of Ed and his of it. Oklahoma born and raised, he is a fourth generaplans for the Circuit Riders – giving direction to the dynamics tion. In fact, he grew up in church and even considered goof the group ing into the ministry. But struggles in his life caused him

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Looking for future riders has gone far beyond Asbury’s walls. Ed has placed recruitment flyers in every motorcycle shop and biker bar in the area – from BA to the Turnpike. “There are a lot of good Christian folks out there – they just have a different lifestyle,” he says. “So far, I’ve had 110 percent positive response from every bike dealer and club owner. It’s what Christ did. He went out to the undesirables, in the trenches, to recruit believers.” The Circuit Riders gather at Asbury Church every Sunday at 2 pm for weekly rides. They meet by the statue of Frances Asbury – the “original” Methodist circuit rider, who rode thousands of miles on horseback to spread the word of Christ. How appropriate! After a devotional, the group hits the road for a couple of hours. Their route takes them down scenic secondary highways, through towns like Okay and Chouteau, around curves, up hills, and down the pathway of spirituality. “We don’t have cell phones and radios going. We get rained on. We go through puddles. We talk about God at every stop,” Ed reveals. “We are a bridge into the church. What better way is there to bring someone to the Lord than to be out in His creation?”

In your majesty, ride out to victory Defending truth, humility and justice. Go forth to perform awe-inspiring deeds! (Psalm 45:4 / NLT)

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Asbury member Jonathan Livingston saw one of Ed’s flyers at church. He rode dirt bikes as a kid and has driven a street bike for nearly 30 years. He’s been cruising with the Circuit Riders for a couple of weeks now. “I welcome any kind of ride,” he says. “We head out to the winding rural roads and see the wonders of God’s nature. I feel closer to God. And our outreach actually brings Him into the lives of those who don’t have a church or haven’t had the opportunity to hear about Christ.” Any man, woman, Christian or non-believer with a two or three-wheeler that can travel at 65 mph is welcome to join the Circuit Riders. Anyone. The only rules are the rules-ofthe-road and respect for fellow bikers. Although the Circuit Riders may currently be Asbury’s best kept secret, Ed hopes to see 25 or more new people coming into the club, and coming into the church in the next year. “Dozens of people ask me about it,” he says. “I say, come on a ride! It’s a vehicle to have fun, fellowship, serve and interact with guests. Belong, believe, become.” “My Grandmother used to tell me ‘You can’t make a person read the Bible, but you can’t keep them from reading you,’” Ed continues. “I hope the Circuit Riders can show others the importance of a relationship with God, Jesus Christ and the Church.” For more information on the Circuit Riders, contact Ed Williams (918)-939-9555 or tulsertoma@yahoo.com


finding the

hidden HERO by Kim Beair, MS, LPC, NCC

“On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable.” (1st Corinthians 12:22, NIV).

HEROES

come in many shapes and sizes. Though outwardly “successful” people are sometimes easy to see, we all know there are people behind the scenes who pave the way “There are for the “bright people without lights” to shine. fanfare or glory Do you notice the making your life people in your life easier” (those surrounding you) who help you shine? Let’s take inventory of how we see ourselves and others within this realm. There are people without fanfare or glory making your life easier, and in certain cases making your “job” (whatever that might be) possible. The question is, do you take stock and notice these people, and do you appreciate them? Could you be one of them, rather than being the front man in many situations? If so, do you appreciate your value? Consider the following scenarios to begin examining your appreciation of others, as well as yourself: You’re at your favorite restaurant ten minutes into the meal you realize your new server hates both people and service. Your server forgot to turn in your order, made you miss the movie you hoped to see, and was rude the entire evening.

THESE FOLKS

Let’s say our server at the restaurant, the hospital team, and the flight attendant did their jobs flawlessly. How do you suppose our perceptions might be changed? Our answers to this hypothetical string of circumstances will reveal how we perceive our own value and the value of others.

realize their value and have a lot of self-satisfaction because they are doing what they are supposed to do, even if nobody sees it. It does not mean, however, that we shouldn’t compliment them on a job well done. Likewise, if you are one of these positive people, upon receiving a compliment, it is important to say “thank you” rather than dismissing the compliment by saying “I am just doing my job.”

When the minimum job requirements are met and things go smoothly, examine what you say to yourself when the event is over. Do you leave the restaurant, hospital, or airplane saying “that was a great experience, and I appreciate everyone doing their jobs to make it pleasant?” Or, do you dismiss it because “everyone should do their jobs” and that is what is expected at the minimal level?

What these people also expect, however, is that even if a “behind the scenes” person is having a bad day, they do it with class and style and not put their garbage onto those they serve. A good thought in theory, but, if this is you, use caution so you do not get into becoming judgmental of others who are also in a helping role. The negative attitude is one that believes it is acceptable to put a bad attitude on those they serve. This mindset will also always excuse bad behavior of others in a helping role because “everyone has a bad day.” The root of this attitude is blindness to the importance of being called to be a “support” person. Oftentimes these negative thinkers feel “victimized” by others due to their own lack of self-esteem, rather than a lack of respect from others.

If you are one of those people who “expect” people to do their jobs, you may be forgetting that on any given day just “doing their job” might have been the most difficult thing that person could muster. Everything in life requires balance. People who are “behind the scenes” people tend to have two attitudes. The positive attitude is to give it all they have, whether they are seen or not, because that is their calling to give us all a positive attitude adjustment at just the right time.

Sure, there are people who are dismissive of “support team” people, but the majority of American culture has an appreciation of people who support the team behind the scenes. Take one day this week to simply notice your own support team. Take another day to truly examine your role in the support of others. Make an effort to go out of your way to applaud your own support team and also recognize when others give you kudos for your support of them. Sometimes the act of noticing is enough.

You are having surgery. You have a competent surgeon, but “But in fact God has arranged the parts in experience chaos and confusion with the hospital staff. the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be” (1 Corinthians 12:18, NIV.) You are on a smooth airplane ride and arrive at your destination early. The flight attendant was rude when you asked one question during the entire five-hour flight. Most people can understand from the above three scenarios why events can be spoiled by a bad apple. Let’s change the above events, however.

“The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ” (1st Corinthians 12:12, NIV).

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Bicycles for CHRISTMAS by Christy Capps

CAN YOU REMEMBER

your favorite Christmas gift as a child? It may have been a special doll or a new toy that you always wanted. For many, they will never forget the Christmas when they woke up to find a bicycle under the tree. Tulsa Transit bus driver Bruce French wanted to make the Christmas wish of a bicycle come true for as many needy Tulsa children as possible. “There are a lot of kids in the city of Tulsa whose parents can’t afford a bicycle. With the economy the way it is, the holidays are going to be tighter than normal,” French said. As a Tulsa Transit bus driver, French sees many children who would benefit from having a bicycle but don’t have the means to get one. So, four years ago, he rebuilt a couple of bikes and gave them away during the holidays. This year, he’s upping the ante. French has already rebuilt between 70 and 80 bikes and has requests for about 400. The bikes are for kids between the ages of five to 15 years old.

“Five is a pretty good age to start teaching kids the right and wrong of riding a bicycle. There are rules you have to obey.

You’re starting them off in the right direction,” French said. Tulsa Transit General Manager William Cartwright “Each one should use whatever gift has taken notice of French’s he has received to serve others effort. “Bruce’s determifaithfully administering God’s grace nation in seeing that as many children as possible in its various forms.” have a bicycle on Christ- 1 Peter 4:10 mas morning is impressive and inspiring. He has devoted countless hours and energy to this project,” said Cartwright, quoted in a Tulsa World article dated Oct. 5. “We are very proud of Bruce.” When Asbury’s Children’s Ministry learned about Bruce French’s mission, we knew the kids and families of the Faith Zone would want to help. We spoke to Tulsa Transit’s Assistant General Manager Cynthia Staab about ways we could get involved and lend a hand. She said we could raise money to help purchase helmets and bike locks for each child who receives a bike. We will also make bows and gift tags for each bike. We knew how generous our Asbury families are and how much they love to serve others, so during the “Second Saturday” outreach in November, we invited families to donate new or gently used bikes. Depending on the number of donations, we will use extra funds to purchase new bikes in December. During the week of Christmas, Asbury has been invited to help deliver the bicycles to the families of the children who will be receiving a bike. Through the giving of these gifts, we hope that our children understand that God gave the first and greatest gift at the first Christmas – the gift of his Son, Jesus Christ.

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SAVIOUR The Story of God’s Passion for His People

Four years later, Sav-

by Marty Morris

iour rehearsals began again. This time, since the Chancel Choir had grown considerably, a joint choir venture was not necessary. Hart Morris and Phil Baxter had the vision to use this presentation as an outreach to our community.

Ten years

ago Asbury’s Chancel Choir joined with the Sanctuary Choir of First Baptist Church, Muskogee, to present the modern oratorio entitled, Saviour. That fall the choirs rehearsed separately each week and came together under conductor Hart Morris for the December presentation in two morning services at Asbury. That evening we traveled to Muskogee to present it again to the congregation of First Baptist. This extraordinary work, created by contemporary composers Greg Nelson and Bob Farrell, calls for a full orchestra, choir and powerful soloists - three tenors, a baritone and a soprano.

The congregation was encouraged to buy two nominally priced tickets to receive two free ones for guests. The decision was made to present it two evenings in the Performing Arts Center of Union High School, instead of a Sunday morning in “We were profoundly A s b u r y ’s moved as we watched sanctuar y. the dancers soar. It was To further entice our a night to remember.“ community, Ballet Magnificat, a Christian ballet company from Jackson, Mississippi,was hired to visually interpret the performance.

That first year professional soloists were called in to join Asbury’s own Angela Parris. We were also “I feel God’s power joined by Jim Davis, former Minister of Music at every time I play it.” First Baptist in Tulsa; his son, Michael Davis, who at that time was singing with the Metropolitan Opera; Robert Winn, Minister of Music at Southern Hills Baptist; and Jeff Elkins, Minister of Music at Muskogee First Baptist. The response to the work from singers, as well as each congregation, was phenomenal; Hart Morris knew this was only the beginning of our relationship with this incredible oratorio. “Saviour is the most remarkable and memorable work I have ever performed,” said Cheryl Thompson, accompanist for Choir. “I feel God’s power every time I play it. The experience of being surrounded by people who are also giving back their gifts cannot be matched. God moves through all of us during Saviour.”

Angela was pregnant, due at any time, and the choir held its collective breath as she delivered Emory just one week before the performance. Our soloists were the same except for one, Bill Lowther, a local junior high band director. Our eyes and hearts were full that night as we sang and watched and listened. The subtitle to this work is ‘The Story of God’s Passion for His People.’ That was brought to life through the dancers, the music and the lyrics. We were profoundly moved as we watched the dancers soar. It was a night to remember. “Because we sang from the back of the stage behind the dancers, we were worried about not being able to see Hart in the orchestra pit,” said Susan Rizzotti, alto. “But the ballet was phenomenal and it proved to be an awe-inspiring performance.” “When we did the performance at Union, my daughter, Elizabeth, sat on one side of me and little Amey Mason sat on the other—two young girls

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who sang their hearts out—and did my heart good,” said Debbie Burchfield, soprano. “I think of that experience every time we sing any part of Saviour.” “When the Union performance came along, the opportunity came to me to work with the choir and orchestra as a keyboard accompanist,” said Marilyn Rhodes, Orchestra accompanist. “Although I had not seriously practiced for many years, the music challenge was stimulating, and I was amazed that the fingers remembered so much so quickly. I’ve never seen or heard another choral work that encompasses the message of God’s love for man and our response with the brilliance of the lyrics and music of Saviour.“ “The most hilarious memory is when the ballet troupe was late getting here and to ease the tension for all, four sopranos who played the Del Sarte ladies in The Music Man saw their chance to shine and did a bumbling ribbon dance,” said Angela Parris, soprano soloist. “I am still laughing about that one!” Three years later, Dr. Tom Harrison requested that we present Saviour again. This time we decided to use our own soloists. It was a great decision. Kent Williams, Brad Morris, Rev. Dub Ambrose, Paul Hockett and Angela Parris rose to the occasion, as did our orchestra. Though the music was very difficult, everyone stepped up to the challenge. Our hearts were full as we realized what we had accomplished. “For me the memories are not in the performance, but in the hours we spend rehearsing,” said Suzette Danks, alto. “Somehow those songs get down into my spirit; it is a continual blessing of worship as I drive in my car and listen to the music and sing along.” “It is a powerful piece of music; rehearsing and performing it blesses and inspires us,” said Janna Kiser, soprano. And so we come to 2009. Saviour will be presented on December 13, 2009, in the sanctuary at 9 and 11 AM. We hope you will make a special effort to join with us as we experience the story of God’s passion for His people.


Isaiah GOD’S PROPHET

by Joan Kahl

by John C. Westervelt

I

saiah lived in Jerusalem

during the latter half of the eighth century B.C. during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. Israel, the Northern Kingdom, would be carried off into exile in Assyria in 722 B.C. Isaiah would be instrumental in thwarting an Assyrian attack on Judah, the Southern Kingdom. In 740 B.C., the year Uzziah died, Isaiah saw a vision of the Lord. He heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send as a messenger to my people? Who will go?”

a history of those times, reported that the Assyrian army camp was overrun by rats. Infected fleas on the rats could well have been God’s choice for eliminating the Assyrian army. Isaiah was the Lord’s elected spokesman who told Hezekiah that he would die from his illness. After Hezekiah’s fervent prayers, the Lord told Isaiah to return to Hezekiah and tell him that the Lord would give Hezekiah fifteen more years of life.

Isaiah answered, “Here am I, Lord. Send me.”

Isaiah shared with the people his prophecy about foreign nations who at one time or another had persecuted Judah. He wrote a condemning oracle about each of Babylon, Assyria, Philistia, Moab, Syria, Ethiopia, Egypt, Edom, Babylon, Arabia, and Tyre. These oracles show the universal sovereignty of God.

Thus began the career of an eloquent, prolific prophet who gave words of wisdom to kings as well as to the common man. As a boy I knew little about Isaiah, still I had heard his words, “They will hammer their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war.” Years later, these words continue to impart hope in these turbulent times.

Isaiah records God’s encouragement for His people. “He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in Him.” “How lovely on the mountains are the feet of Him who brings good news, who announces peace and brings good tidings of happiness, who announces salvation, and says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’” “For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but my loving kindness will not be removed from you.”

On the Sundays around Christmas during my youth, I learned that Isaiah prophesized about Jesus. “Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Emmanuel.” “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” These names, pronounced by Isaiah in the eighth century B.C., still apply to Jesus today.

The prophet quoted God, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Eight years after Isaiah accepted the call on his life, the Lord told him to meet King Ahaz at the end of the conduit of the upper pool of Jerusalem. Here he was to tell the king to have no fear of the armies of Syria and Israel who were demanding a dangerous alliance. Hezekiah was anointed king of Judah in 715 B.C. Soon thereafter, Isaiah became a prayer partner of the king. Together they beseeched the Lord to help the troops of Judah defeat the 185,000 strong Assyrian army led by King Sennacherib. The Lord answered this prayer and used a plague to slay the Assyrian army. Herodotus, a Greek who wrote

God’s people confessed, “O Lord, You are our Father. You are the potter; we are the clay. We are the work of Your hand.” Isaiah found words of hope for the people of Judah in their day. These same words offer hope to me on this day. “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” Biblical References:

Isaiah 2 - Kings 18-20

“Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40

Thanks for all you do! You’ve possibly heard someone say Asbury is a volunteer driven church. It’s challenging to grasp the magnitude of that statement. There are a multitude of programs and thousands of people being ministered to through Asbury and the people who attend. If we were to dedicate the entire Tidings magazine to feature the people who give generously of their time, it would have to be a double issue . . . or more! You see hundreds of people serving on Sunday morning and there are hundreds more serving throughout the week. And yet, there is still so much more to be done. Our vision statement is “God calls us to lead all people to: Belong to the Family of God, Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and Become Servants of Christ”. Serving others is how we become servants of Christ. We say thank you to the Stephens ministers, support group facilitators and visitors to hospitals, retirement homes and homebound members. We appreciate Betty Jane Bailey and Carol Herwig leading the Mental Health Support Group for 20 years. Thank you to Dottie Westerberg for establishing and leading a program that ministers to special needs children on Sunday mornings. And to you, Joe Gates, for the wonderful meals you prepare for Celebrate Recovery every week. Thank you Bill Shores for playing the piano in the 9:15 worship service for 15 years. Music touches hearts in such a special way. We’ve been blessed with singers and musicians who

Other Old Testament stories at: www.jwestervelt.com Page 14

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attend rehearsals every week to give us their very best on Sunday mornings. Thank you to each and every one of you. Thank you Jim Light for cleaning the choir robes every year. Gracias to those investing their time in support of healthy marriages through enrichment programs and anniversary recognition. Thank you Scott and Kelly Luttenberg for connecting engaged couples with married couples for 12 years. What would we do without all the men who serve Asbury widows and single mothers through our Car Care Ministry and Home Improvement. What a special ministry this is. We are so grateful to the adults who serve our children and students and to God for the gifts he has given them. We appreciate the wonderful example they are as servants like Christ. Thank you to the hundreds of prayer warriors who pray around the clock for our students on spring break mission trips, for our staff, our missions teams, and for each family at Asbury. Novella Willis, thank you for answering the phone during weekly staff meetings for 25 years. Thank you to the accounting volunteers who count money and scan checks, to the office volunteers who all serve on a regular basis, and to the volunteers who help Virginia with the Wednesday night and Exploration dinners. Thank you to all of you who have the heart to serve but no longer have the physical ability to serve. We appreciate your gifts that help support ministry efforts. We pray you feel the same joy we experience by serving selflessly.


PETS are

WORKING SAINTS Hi! My name is Switzer.

John is pretty smart for a human,

even if I do say so myself. He had an upright dolly at home that could fold into a four-wheel cart. He put a nice plush carpet on the wooden platform he built for the top of the dolly. It is comfortable on my hips and I don’t slide around. In fact, I don’t want to get off once I have gotten on and I like to have him pull me around the building. I now have full view of the humans and they can talk to me and pet me.

I live in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I am a handsome, 90#, “mature” (12 year old!), black Labrador retriever who has a great love for people, especially those who are confined to their beds and wheelchairs. My human partner’s name is John Marquis. Before I was allowed to visit humans in special places, John and I went through a wonderful program at Asbury Methodist Church offered by Therapy Dogs Inc. (TDI).

The other labs and the golden retriever who go visiting with us wish they had a cart like mine so they wouldn’t have to get up on a wobbly chair. Because I am a caring canine, I sometimes let them use it. When it is time to go home, John just folds it up and puts it in the trunk of his car and off we go. I just wanted to share John’s invention with all of you and let you see some pictures of me riding on the dolly platform.

Asbury’s class is called PAWS, which means, Pets Are Working Saints. I was observed by humans to see if I had good manners, a good disposition with others, and was obedient and paid attention to my partner.

I hope you have enjoyed my story. I am so thankful for TDI and Asbury church for allowing me to be a part of this program.

John and I passed the requirements (I was especially good). I received a red heart stamped TDI to wear on my collar and Asbury gave me a neck scarf that said PAWS. I was now well prepared, insured by TDI so the people we visit would be protected from any damage or injury, and anxious to start the visits.

Blessings,

Switzer

“there were days when I went home and I was a little sad...” John and I make up a team

and every week we visit people in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living and hospice facilities. We also go to school and the children read to me – and pet me. But, there were days when I went home and I was a little sad because the people lying in bed couldn’t really see me and talk to me. I’m tall but not tall enough for those big beds. I’m not allowed to jump up on the bed and my old hips wouldn’t tolerate it anyway. John could tell I was frustrated and, being an engineer, he decided to solve the problem.

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Heart

Seoul

“’Two years ago, I was almost completely paralyzed. Now here I am, standing in Korea, speaking to you.’”

and

It was a lot to absorb, but Linda said, “It was the experience of a lifetime. The people were gracious and helpful. The palaces, museums and even the cemeteries were spectacular. The Demilitarized Zone (the two-and-a-half mile wide stretch of land between North and South Korea) was heartbreaking. Pray for North Korea to open their doors so that North and South Korea can be reunited.”

Asbury’s Deaf Ministry Team visits Korea

J

by Debbie Wallis

ust after the east Asian monsoon season of June and July ended, another “storm” of sorts arrived in the city of Seoul. A Korean Airlines jet taxied to the Incheon Terminal and out stepped four exhausted, but exuberant, women from Asbury. Their adventure in the largest city in South Korea had begun.

Sheila Finn and Karen Harrell, both deaf, have been longtime state and national advocates for the deaf. Sheila is a past president of the South Central Jurisdiction of the UMCD Conference and has served as a missionary to the deaf in eastern Europe and Japan. Karen is the current president of the jurisdiction and has served on the mission field as far away as Ecuador.

Linda and Ashley Ford, Sheila Finn and Karen Harrell set foot on the mountainous, 2000-year-old settlement on a warm day in late July 2009. The Second World Methodist Mission Conference of the Deaf would begin on August 2, and these women intended to make the most of their trip to this beautiful capital of 10 million people.

Linda said the conference was colorful, celebrative and uplifting, with nearly 700 mostly deaf participants daily signing their praises to God. Quite a few countries were represented, including Kenya, Japan, Vietnam, Guam and the United States, learning more about how to reach the deaf culture and the resources available. They were reminded that the love of Christ has no limitations, does not falter at disabilities, and is the language every created being can understand, hearing or not. The last morning of the conference, Pastor Tom Hudspeth from Dallas, TX, delivered a final message encouraging the attendees to bring to you,” Linda paraphrased. “’Two years ago, I was almost completely paralyzed. Now here I am, standing in Korea, speaking to you.’” boldly step out in ministering to the deaf. “He said, ‘You never know what God’s going to do.

Adding to the excitement for Linda was being reunited with her daughter, a junior at Baylor University. Ashley was just completing a year of study in Tokyo, and Linda flew there first to spend the week, then both met up with the team in Seoul. It was a week they will all treasure for the rest of their lives. Most Asburians know the face of Linda Ford, but many do not know her name. She’s one of five volunteers that alternate Sunday mornings in Venue 68, serving as American Sign Language interpreters to the deaf in our congregation. Linda has guided this ministry since December of 2004, a great fit to her passion for missions and the needs of our deaf and hearing-impaired population.

The women didn’t waste a minute of their time on the Korean Peninsula, fully immersing themselves in the rich culture where Americans are dearly loved and roughly 50 percent of the population is Christian. Hundreds of missionaries poured in to the country in the mid1800’s, and now hundreds are active, serving and even sent out from South Korea to other parts of the world.

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Linda and her team hope to heighten our awareness of the need for interpreters and funding on missions fields as close as our backyard, and as far away as Azerbaijan, Costa Rica, Honduras and Estonia The art of signing, in one form or another, has been around for centuries. To better use that tool in leading others to Christ is why Linda, Ashley, Sheila and Karen went to South Korea. They encourage you to “step out” and be a part of ministry to the deaf at Asbury and beyond. After all, you never know what God’s going to bring to you.


E-Mails to God Re: Submission by Charlene Giles “Submit yourselves, then, to God….Come near to God, and he will come near to you.” (James 4:7,8 NIV) Submission has always been hard for me. I began my journey as a young adult seeking freedom through complete independence. How strange that I have come full circle now realizing I only find glimpses of true freedom in those rare moments I most fully submit to my Father’s loving authority.

AGE 34 Just got home from the weekend called a “Walk to Emmaus.” For the first time I felt your presence inside me as I meditated on Gal 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” I thought I had submitted to you before, but now I’m asking you to be Lord over every area of my life. Reign over me.

AGE 19 Just got home from the college bus trip to see the musical “Hair” in Chicago. I guess you know my Dad told me not to go. But I already had the ticket, and it sounded fun. So I went. It really wasn’t “Part of me is afraid that if I submit to you I might get run over...”

AGE 41 Rod and I have run into a huge parenting issue. We face a really hard decision and see things totally differently. But I have decided to trust what you said in Ephesians. I know you like it when

all that great. But I’m in college now and I don’t need my parents or anyone telling me what to do. I’ve got things under control.

we submit to one another. Thank you that you blessed me with first a father and now a husband worthy of my trust and respect. I find that the more I see Rod submit to You, the easier it is for me to submit to him in these rare times we butt heads. I choose to trust him on this one, but Lord, this is so hard. Please let this decision be the right one.

AGE 20 I can’t believe Rod and I are getting married soon! Just for fun I took my third grade Bible off the shelf and looked in the concordance to see what the Bible had to say about marriage. I couldn’t

AGE 53 Gave my testimony tonight in Celebrate Recovery. Thanks for showing me how arrogant and controlling I tend to be. Submitting to you is

believe the verse I found! In Ephesians 5:22 it says wives are supposed to submit to their husbands. How oldfashioned! I’m sure glad Rod doesn’t expect that.

about letting go and letting YOU be God. What a relief! This is what freedom is all about, isn’t it, Lord? When I was young I thought freedom came from seizing control. But only You know what is best. I give it all to you one more time.

AGE 23 I love being a mother, but God, I haven’t slept more than three hours in a row for over three months now. I’m not in control like I thought. In fact, I read a book today that told me if I was at a time in my life where I knew I couldn’t do life all by myself, I should pray to you and you would come into my heart and give me peace and strength. I can’t do this without you, God. I submit to you. Now that I have a son of my own, I can understand better the huge sacrifice you made when you sent him to a cross for my sins.Thank you for loving me so much.

“Every morning I say, “Good morning, Lord, this is your day.”

AGE 55 Rod and I are leading a Dynamic Marriage class. What fun to learn how to give love to Rod in ways that are most meaningful to him, with no thought of what he’ll give me back. (That’s on a good

AGE 25 I’ve been asked to teach a “consciousness raising” group at the YWCA. I’ve been reading a lot of women’s lib books and they say women need to stand up and demand their rights. I’m kind of

day!) What a wonderful time of our lives to learn even more benefits of submitting to one another.

AGE 58 Every morning I say, “Good morning, Lord, this is your day. I am your child. Show me your way.” Help me remember to choose daily to take a vacation from “playing God.” Thank you for never

confused, God. Part of me wants to submit to your will, but part of me is afraid that if I submit to you I might get run over by the rest of the world. That scares me. Help me understand.

giving up on me as I keep learning how to submit to You. Keep guiding me each step and give me strength and wisdom to do the next right thing every day of my life. Amen.

Age 29 Just read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis and made a huge decision today. From this point on, You will be number One in my life. Even my husband and children need to come after you. Forgive me, God, for not submitting to your order of things.

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asbury opportunities GENERAL INFORMATION Breakfast Served from 7:15-9:00 am. in the CLC. Come enjoy fellowship with Asburians along with fresh donuts, bagels, biscuits & gravy, sausage, eggs, fruit, and cereal. $3 for adults & $1 for children 12 & under. Sunday Morning Worship 8:00 am Mason Chapel (Traditional Communion) 9:15 am Sanctuary (Contemporary) 9:15 am CLC Open House Worship (Acoustic Worship, Casual Setting) 11:00 am Sanctuary (Traditional) 11:00 am Venue 68 (Modern with sign interpreter)

tor to officiate and/or use Asbury’s facilities, be sure to book ASAP to allow ample time for Couple-to-Couple (required premarital sessions). Six months to one year lead time suggested. The Gazebo is Open CDs of Tom’s message of the day are available immediately following the worship service - $3. Prayer Journals are also available for $5 each. Recycling Recycle unwanted paper products. Three bins are available, located in the south and east parking lots. Asbury Family News is available at the Welcome Centers. It includes hospital lists, births, deaths, marriages, baptisms and military listings. Doors of Asbury posters are at the Welcome Centers...FREE! Suitable for framing.

Sunday Evening Worship 6:30 pm Venue 68 (Modern)

New Additions to the Library The Asbury Library is a wonderful resource. Thank you to all who continue to contribute books to our Library.

Sundays for Children and Students 6 Wks - 4 Years 8:00, 9:15, & 11:00 am K-6th Grades 9:15 or 11:00 am 7th, 8th & 9th Grades 9:15 & 11:00 am 10th, 11th & 12th Grades 9:15 am only

Mark Bennett’s new CD Mark’s new CD, “Healing Songs (for Elliot)” is available Sunday mornings in the gazebo and around town at Tulsa-area Kaffe Bona locations. All proceeds benefit The Little Light House school.

Adult Discipleship Communities Sunday at 8:00, 9:15, & 11:00 am, Carpenter’s Workshop on Wednesdays at 6:00 pm and Shepherd’s Flock on Tuesdays at 6:00pm. NEW, Salt & Light at 11:00 Sunday mornings in room 2820 for singles ages 30s-40s, and A Gathering for couples in their 20s on Sunday evenings at 5 pm in room 2821. If you are a motorcycle enthusiast, try our new Circuit Riders, who meet in front of the statue on the west parking lot each Sunday at 2 p.m. for a ride before fellowship time.

access

Surgery or Hospitalization Scheduled? Be sure to let Asbury know ahead of time by calling Pam at 392-1199, x253 so your pastors can be in prayer for you. When you enter the hospital, please designate Asbury as your church. The after-hours pastoral emergency line can be reached by calling 492-1771, selecting option 6, and leaving a message for the pastor on call. Engaged Couples If you are planning to use an Asbury pas-

Hands of Love Sign Choir Sundays, 6:00-7:00 pm, Rm. 2821 Friends in Christ Community Sundays, 11:00 am, Rm. 1507

bible study

RoadMap Check out the Winter 2010 RoadMap courses in the new brochure and on the Asbury website at www.asburytulsa.org. Accept Pastor Tom’s challenge to get actively involved in digging deeper into God’s Word ~ there is something for everyone! Most classes will begin the week of January 11.

care and support

Making Peace With Your Past Thursdays, January 14-April 15, 6:30-8:00 pm in Room 2314. Cost is $15. Learn how to understand feelings from your childhood and experience the healing God can provide.

This is a study of the dynamics of growing up in a family where not all of your emotional needs were met. It provides biblical and practical help for overcoming emotional and spiritual barriers to fellowship with God leading you to experience forgiveness, healing and hope. It will help you: • Identify ways your past affects you today • Understand that other adults have had similar problems and feelings • Overcome spiritual and emotional barriers to making peace with yourself and your past • Experience an atmosphere of trust, honesty, and unconditional love in a small group • Develop a sense of hope and healing Call Diane Taylor at 254-6131 prior to registering. Limited to first 12 paid registrants. GriefShare Thursdays, January 7–April 1, 1:00-2:30 pm, Room 2314. GriefShare is a special weekly video series and support group for people who are grieving the death of someone close to them. It’s a safe place to be around people who understand what you are feeling. At GriefShare, you’ll learn valuable information about recovering from your grief and renewing your hope for the future. Group sessions are offered three times per year. You may begin attending this group at any time...each video session is “self-contained.” Cost: $13 for workbook. Call 392-1191 to register. Visits to Asbury Members Asbury has a unique group of volunteers (Asbury Connection) who regularly visit people who are either homebound or in nursing homes. If you are interested in being visited, call Adrena at 392-1144, or contact the coordinator, Abby Sluice at 392-4583 or asluice@asburytulsa.org. Résumé Assistance and Review Do you have an effective résumé? An extra set of eyes can make a difference. Email your résumé to employ.transitions@ yahoo.com. Overcoming Job Transitions (OJT) Large group time followed by special interest breakout sessions about networking, resumes, interviewing, using the internet for job hunting and more. Reach out and bring a neighbor! Meets the third Tuesday of each month, 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm, Family Room. Questions? Page 22

Contact Russ Knight at ddknight1@cox. net or call Ruth at 392-1146. Wonder what Stephen Ministry is all about? You’re invited to an Information Meeting: Monday, November 30, 9:30-10:30 am OR Thursday, December 3, 6:30-7:30 pm. Training begins early January, either Monday mornings or Thursday evenings. Stephen Ministry is God’s love in action. Questions? Call Charlene, 392-1145, cgiles@asburytulsa.org. Prayer Card Sending Team Usually meets first and third Mondays at 10:00 am in Room 1621 to send cards with God’s encouraging words and our prayers to those who are ill or going through hard times. Cards and care packages are also sent to Asbury-related military personnel. Contact Gwen Mohler at GRMOHLER@ aol.com for more information, or call Ruth at 392-1146.

Cancer Support Group Second Sunday of each month, 4:00-6:00 pm, Parlor - For those living with cancer and their family and friends. Divorce Recovery Tuesdays, 7:00-8:30 pm, Rm 1335 - For those suffering from the early, highly emotional stages of divorce and separation trauma. Childcare available. Divorce Rebuilding Thursdays, 7:00-8:30 pm, Rm 1335 - For those ready to rebuild their lives after separation or divorce. Childcare available. Eating Disorder Recovery First and third Wednesdays, 12:00-1:30 pm, Room 1621 - For individuals seeking support in the recovery process. Bring sack lunch. Grandparents Raising Grandchildren First and third Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30 pm, Rm 1506.

Asperger Support Group First Thursday from 7:00-9:00 pm in Rm 1506. For mothers of children with Asperger Syndrome. Childcare available.

Mental Health Support for Families For family members or caregivers of people affected by a mental illness. 4th Thursdays from 1:30 - 3:00 pm in the Parlor. No meetings in November and December.

You’re invited to an Information Meeting: Monday, November 30, 9:30-10:30 am OR Thursday, December 3, 6:30-7:30 pm. Training begins early January, either Monday mornings or Thursday evenings. Stephen Ministry is God’s love in action. Questions? Call Charlene, 392-1145, cgiles@asburytulsa.org.

Military Connection Please join us in praying for our troops in harm’s way and their families. Periodic care packages and monthly encouragement cards with God’s Word are sent to Asbury-related military personnel. The Prayer Ministry also covers them in prayer. Please send contact information (complete name and address) to Gwen Mohler at grmohler@aol.com or call Ruth at 3921146.

Prayer Card Sending Team Usually meets first and third Mondays at 10:00 am in Room 1621 to send cards with God’s encouraging words and our prayers to those who are ill or going through hard times. Cards and care packages are also sent to Asbury-related military personnel. Contact Gwen Mohler at GRMOHLER@ aol.com for more information, or call Ruth at 392-1146.

Asperger Support Group First Thursday from 7:00-9:00 pm in Rm 1506. For mothers of children with Asperger Syndrome. Childcare available. Alzheimer’s Support Group Third Thursday, from 1:30-3:00 pm in Rm 1621. Christian hope, support and education for friends and family of those with Alzheimer’s or other dementia. Page 23

Asbury Bear Bags Asbury Bear Bags with coloring books have comforted young children for many years, but now you may give a Bear Bag with a scripture-based journal included instead! Great for teens and adults. Anyone may deliver an Asbury Bear to someone who is grieving. For more information, contact Beth at 392-1116.

children

Registration forms for all children’s activities are available in the preschool and elementary lobbies. Core Childcare Hours Parents who are involved in RoadMap classes during these core hours will have

childcare provided for children 6 weeks to 12 years of age with no reservations needed: Sun 8:00 am - 12:00 pm Mon & Tue 9:00 am - 12:00 pm Tue, Wed, & Thur 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm Children’s Choirs Christmas Pagent Our Second Sunday of Advent will spotlight the Asbury’s Children’s choirs as they present, Home for Christmas, Sunday, December 6 at 6 PM in the sanctuary. The drama taken right out of our current events will feature the Young Musicians choir as actors telling the story. Joyful Sound, Joyful Noise and the Music Makers dressed in tinsel halos and matching Christmas shirts will tell the age old Christmas story through songs. You will not want to miss this heartwarming evening. Christmas Eve Family Service Thursday, December 24 at 5:00 pm For 5th and 6th graders. Rehearsals are December 9th & 16th & 23rd, 4:00 p.m.5:30 p.m. The 5th and 6th graders have the privilege of presenting the Christmas Story to the congregation at the 5:00 pm Christmas Eve Family Service. We would love instrumentalists, scripture readers and actors and actresses to make this a memorable evening for all involved. Call Jennifer Barnes 392-4582 or jbarnes@asburytulsa. org by December 7th if your child is interested. Adult help with rehearsals and the program is critical to help get the message delivered on this special night.

discipleship

Discipleship Communities If you have not yet found an Adult Discipleship Community check out “Get Involved” on our website, www.asburytulsa. org or pick up a brochure at one of our Welcome Centers.

endowments

Leave a legacy that continues to give forever to a ministry you want to support. There are endowments that support many areas of Asbury’s outreach including children, youth, music, missions, and training of pastors as well as a General endowment. You can easily impact a ministry thru your will or a current gift. Contact Dwight Yoder at 392-1113 or dyoder@ asburytulsa.org.


marriage & family

Dynamic Marriage Give us 9 weeks…we’ll give you a dynamic marriage! This is an interactive class that will help you replace old habits with new ones in a unique, safe environment. Go from good to great, mediocre to magnificent or hurt to healed. Cost: $130/couple (many materials included, scholarships available) $50 holds your spot. To register, contact Jackie or Ron at 251-6665 or asburydynamicmarriage@windstream.net. Limited to first 12 paid couples in each class. Classes start on Tuesday, February 16, 6:30-9:00 pm OR Wednesday, February 17, 6:00-8:30 pm, Rm 2201. Childcare available. Attention Engaged Couples If you are planning to use an Asbury pastor to officiate and/or use Asbury’s facilities, be sure to book ASAP to allow ample time for Couple-to-Couple (required premarital sessions). Six months to one year lead time is suggested. Milestone Wedding Anniversaries Email your upcoming Milestone Anniversary (5,10,15,20, etc.) to Carolyn Schutte at brucars@cox.net or call Ruth at 3921146.

membership

Asbury Exploration Come to a lunch/class to learn more about becoming a member of Asbury. Sunday, December 6, from 12:15-2:00 pm in Community Life Center. Lunch provided and childcare is available for children six weeks through 6th grade. Call 392-1191 to register.

men Men’s Prayer Breakfast – Wednesdays, 6:30-7:30 am in the CLC. Attention men of Asbury. Make plans to join us for a great time of meaningful worship, life-changing prayer and an awesome big breakfast, all for just $3 per person. First-time guests are free. Schedule: December 2 December 9 December 16 December 23 December 30

Mark Springer Dub Ambrose Pec Clark Don Herrold Todd Johnson

Men’s Open Basketball Fridays, 11:30 am – 1:15 pm, Gym. Men! Make plans to join other Asbury guys and their friends each week as we get together for a little “round ball” and lots of fun! Come show us what you’ve got, and we’ll have a great time of exercise and fellowship. Invite your friends, and we’ll see you on the court!

Mature Men’s Ministry R.O.M.E.O.

Luncheon Are you a “Retired Old Man” who wants to “Eat Out?” If so, then these luncheons are for you! Two groups of men are meeting every Thursday or every 2nd & 4th Friday at 11:15 a.m., for good food and great fellowship. Both groups meet at Luby’s Cafeteria (71st and Riverside), and are open to anyone 60 years and up. Choose a day and join us this week! For more information, contact Bud at bdmathes@ cox.net (Thursdays), or Jim at rober@ cox.net (Fridays.) Men’s Fraternity: Winning at Work and Home Tuesdays, 6:15 – 7:30 a.m. or Wednesdays, 6:00 – 7:45 p.m., beginning January 12 & 13 in Room 2821. Join facilitators Brent Colgan & Greg Ruley for the remaining 6 weeks of this 16-session study, focusing on the two areas that are central to a man’s life: career and family. Learn to build the walls of manhood through study dealing with your chief responsibilities, and explore how you engage in work, and relate to a woman in new ways. Each session is an independent study, so it’s never too late to join in! Register by calling the Asbury Registration Hotline at 392-1191. All men ages 18 and up are encouraged to attend. Cost is $10. Annual Men’s Retreat Men! Mark your calendars for Friday & Saturday, March 5 & 6, 2010 for another awesome retreat at Camp Egan. Watch church publications for details!

missions

Annual Christmas Child Gift Giving Opportunity Adopt a Christmas Child by providing gifts for our Youth At Heart or Operation Hope children. Names can be selected on Sunday, December 6 in the main lobby, upstairs Children’s lobby and Venue 68.

Gifts will be due back to the church (Community Life Center Gallery) on Sunday, December 13. The Christmas Child Gifts and food gift cards will be delivered to the families on Thursday, December 17 beginning at 5 pm and 5:30 pm from the CLC. If you would like to adopt a Christmas Child, contact Jamie Schaffitzel or to help with delivery, please contact Beth McCalman. Global Outreach Dinner The next Global Outreach Dinner is Tuesday, December 8 at 6 pm in the CLC. Come enjoy a wonderful meal while hearing about the latest Global Outreach news. Anyone is welcome to attend. Contact Missy Sistrunk at 392-1163 or msistrunk@asburytulsa.org for reservations by Wednesday, December 2. Mission Matters A monthly newsletter is available with recent news of mission happenings. If you would like to receive the newsletter, please contact Missy Sistrunk at 392-1163 or msistrunk@asburytulsa.org. Global Outreach Prayer Ministry News and prayer requests from our missionaries and ministries are sent each week to our prayer ministry list. If you would like to become a prayer intercessor for those serving around the world, contact Missy Sistrunk at 392-1163. Recycling Efforts

• Campbell’s soup labels & Box Tops-benefit Red Bird Mission in Kentucky. • Campbell’s soup labels & Swanson labelsbenefit Cookson Hills in Oklahoma • Small soaps and shampoo-benefit medical missions and Circle of Care • Old eyeglasses-for adults or children-benefit medical missions • Old cell phones-benefit Little Light House • Old home printer cartridges-benefit Walt Whitman Elementary School • Hearing Aids-collected by Deaf Perceptions Community • Operation Hope collects the following receipts: Drysdales, McDonald’s, QuikTrip, WalMart, Sanders Nursery and Yale Cleaners just to name a few. For a more detailed list there is Community Club Awards booklet in each Community room. Receipts can be dropped off in the Mission Office. • Newspapers, copy paper, catalogues, etc.-collected in the recycle bins in the Asbury parking lot-benefit Asbury.

All donations can be dropped off in the Mission Office, unless otherwise noted. Page 24

missions/vim

Hurricane Ike Recovery Team The next Hurricane Ike Recovery Team is scheduled from Sunday, February 21- Saturday, February 27, 2010. The team leaders will be Steve Zenthoefer and Mike Mastraccio. This team is open to men & women! Contact Marilene Long at 3921164 or mlong@asburytulsa.org if you are interested in serving. Coming soon…a complete list of our Volunteers In Mission 2010 Opportunities.

music

Chancel Choir Wednesdays, 7:00 pm, Choir Room New Covenant Orchestra Wednesdays, 6:00-7:30 pm, Rm 1510 Children’s Choirs Wednesdays, 6:00-6:50 pm, various rooms Asbury Power & Light Sundays, 8:15-9:15 am, Rm 1510 Celebration Ringers Tuesdays, 4:30-5:30 pm, Rm 2506 Youth Orchestra Wednesdays, 5:30pm, Rm 1506 Asbury Ringers Wednesdays, 6:00-6:50 pm, Rm 2506 Perpetual Light Thursdays, 11:00 am-12:30 pm, Rm 2506 Saints of Swing Dixieland Band Thursdays, 7-9 pm, Rm 1510 Asbury Singing Ambassadors Tuesdays, 1:30 – 3:00, Choir room

prayer

Altar Prayer If you would like someone to pray with you during Holy Communion or immediately following a worship service, please come to the altar rail. A pastor or member of the Altar Prayer Team will be glad to pray with you for your needs – physical, emotional or spiritual - at the altar or in the Prayer Room. Prayer Room Reservations The leadership of Asbury’s prayer ministry would like to remind you that the main facility Prayer Room is open not only to individuals desiring to pray in a quiet, meditative atmosphere, but also to prayer groups within communities and ministries. Just give Debbie in the Adult Ministries office a call at 392-1177 to reserve the Prayer Room for your group on a weekly or monthly basis. Page 25

Prayer Room Days & Times Our prayer rooms are accessible to you at these times: Mason Chapel & Venue 68 Sundays from 7:00 am - 12:30 pm through the interior doors. Main Facility, Mason Chapel, & Venue 68 Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 9:00 pm Saturday 10:00 am - 3:00 pm Sunday12:30 pm - 9:00 pm To obtain pass codes, call Debbie in the Adult Ministries office at 392-1177. Prayer Service of Remembrance Sunday, December 13, 6 pm, Mason Chapel. Join Pastors Darlene Johnson and Charlie Ryser in a service or prayer and healing. The emphasis will be on grief and loss experienced within the past year or two. This special service will offer words of comfort, a time of healing prayer and a time for participants who so desire to light a candle in memory of those they’ve lost. This special hour can bring encouragement during the Christmas season and offer strength for today and hope for tomorrow.

recovery

Celebrate Recovery Come join this supportive group of people each Monday night at 6:00 pm. Dinner at 6:00 pm; Worship from 7:00-8:00 pm; Small Groups from 8:00-9:00 pm; Dessert from 9:00-9:30 pm. Hiding any hurts, habits or hang-ups? God never intended for you to live in bondage.

senior adults

Visits to Asbury Members Asbury has a unique group of volunteers (Asbury Connection) who regularly visit people who are either homebound or in nursing homes. If you are interested in being visited, call Adrena at 392-1144, or contact the coordinator, Abby Sluice at ozyanks2000@yahoo.com Senior Sit and Fit Stretching Class Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:00-9:30 am in the Gym. All senior adults are invited to join us for a time of stretching, coupled with lots of fun and fellowship. No high impact workout here. We take it nice and easy. Come give it a try.

Senior Walk in the Gym with Him Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:30-9:00 am in the gym. All senior adults are invited to join us for power walking, coupled with lots of fun and fellowship. Come give it a try. Senior Game Time Every third Thursday – 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Attention Asbury Senior Adults! How would you like to get together on a regular basis with a wonderful bunch of folks and play a few rounds of cards, dominoes, or whatever board or card game you chose? You KNOW you’d love it! If you’re a senior adult age 55 and up, come check it out in Room 2820. Bring a friend and stay for as long as you like! This fun group will meet every third Thursday, so mark your calendars! Senior Adult Meal & Movie Attention all senior adults of Asbury! If you’re 55 years of age or over, our monthly meal and movie day event may be just the “ticket” for you! We get together at a different Tulsa restaurant each month, and then head off to see a “first run” movie. The dates and times vary according to the movie selected, but those who express an interest will be contacted a few days ahead of time so they can make plans accordingly. For more information or to sign up for the call list, contact: Sally Wood, sally-wood@sbcglobal.net. December Tweenagers Program & Lunch Everyone aged 55 and up is welcome to join us for our monthly Tweenagers meeting & luncheon, taking place on Thursday, December 10, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., in the CLC. Our program, “The Sounds of Christmas”, will be presented by the Edison High School Chorale, under the direction of Brad Morris. You don’t want to miss this program, and don’t forget to invite your friends! Call the main office at 492-1771 to make your reservations BY NOON, Monday, December 7. If, during that week, you find you need to cancel, please also let us know as we need to give an accurate count to the cooks. Should you choose, you may make a donation for the meal when you check in that morning. Come join us for fun and fellowship!


Widowed Persons Christmas Luncheon Saturday, December 12, 1:00 – 3:00 pm, CLC, Cost is $10. Come and celebrate the joyous season by bringing a widowed friend to our annual Christmas luncheon! You will enjoy an amazing meal prepared by our church hostesses, Virginia and Susan, as well as experience the beautiful music of the season. There are other surprises, too, that will delight and encourage you during this Holy Season of Love. Tickets may be purchased on Sunday, December 6 in the northeast lobby. Or, you may call JeriAnn Robinson or Beth Dennis to make arrangements for the purchase. The deadline to purchase tickets is Monday, December 7.

singles

Divorce Recovery Tuesdays, 7:00-8:30 pm, Rm 1335 - For those suffering from the early, highly emotional stages of divorce and separation trauma. Childcare available. Divorce Rebuilding Thursdays, 7:00-8:30 pm, Rm 1335 - For those ready to rebuild their lives after separation or divorce. Childcare available. Singles Annual Christmas Shop Project Did you know there are approximately 175 single parents at Asbury, raising 350 children, and so many more just outside the doors of our church? During the Christmas season, it becomes more difficult for those families to make ends meet, and many children do not get to experience the joy of selecting and purchasing gifts for others. Through the Asbury Singles Ministry Christmas Shop, we hope to offer some relief from that pressure. On Saturday, December 5, kindergarten children through fifth graders coming from a single-parent home will have the opportunity, for just $5 each, to select gifts for their parents, grandparents and siblings. (Hardship scholarships available upon request.) The Christmas Shop will be open to children of Asbury families, Grove Elementary School, Lindbergh Elementary School, Walt Whitman Elementary School, and Youth at Heart. Individuals and Asbury communities are being asked to assist by providing small gifts valued at no more than $5 each, or financial donations to help with purchases and refreshments.

Un-wrapped gifts may be dropped off at the south welcome desk, through Wednesday, December 2. In addition to the purchase of gifts or financial contributions, volunteers are needed to assist with set-up and clean-up, greeting, registration, hospitality, wrapping gifts … the list goes on and on! To offer your services, e-mail Michele at ChristmasShop@asmtulsa.com, as soon as possible, and begin praying for this inspired effort to bring the love of Christ to “the least of these.” Singles Christmas Luncheon Sunday, December 13, 12:15-1:30 pm, CLC. Merry Christmas, single adults of Asbury! Come join us in celebration of the season, at our very first Christmas Luncheon! This event is for single adults of all ages, and your children are welcome too. Our menu will consist of Mexican Chicken Casserole, and all the great sides that go with it, including Virginia’s melt-inyour-mouth dessert. The cost is just $5 for adults, with children 10 and under eating FREE! AND, since this is the Season of Giving, we’ve decided to give a little back to you. Therefore, you do not want to miss our great door prize drawings! No reservations are necessary, so bring a single friend or two and be there!

students

7th, 8th & 9th Bible Study Wednesday night Bible Study is the place to be from 6:30-8:00 on Wednesday nights beginning Sept 10. Come to the Student Area in Venue 68 and hang out, have fun and study what God’s word has for us. 7th, 8th & 9th Grade Breakaway Sunday mornings, 9:15-10:30 am in the Breakaway Area. This isn’t your normal Sunday school. Come join us for worship, fun and games, interactive talk/lesson, and sometimes free candy and gift cards. 7th, 8th & 9th Small Groups Small Groups have begun! Being a part of a small group is awesome. It’s a great place to grow your relationship with Jesus, have fun hanging out with guys/girls your own age. A Small Group is made up of same gender and the same grade PLUS two incredible adults that want to hang out with you. 7th and 8th Grade Small Groups all meet in the Student Ministries Area this year.

9th Grade groups are meeting in homes. Yes you can be in a 7th grade small group and not be a part of Confirmation! If you haven’t signed up yet, you can do that on Sunday mornings or just come to the church on Sunday nights, 7th grade 4:306:00; 8th Grade 5:00-6:30; 9th grade times vary depending on the small group. For more information contact: Mark or Marsha. Parent Seminar: Understanding the Teen Brain Parents! What to really know what your teen is thinking and most importantly WHY they are thinking that? Don’t miss this Parenting Seminar, Sunday morning upstairs in the Venue 9:15-10:45 am. or 11-12:30pm Email: mbaker@asburytulsa.org. 8th Grade Parent Meeting If your student is attending an 8th grade purity small group, be sure you don’t miss this MANDATORY meeting, 3.4 room 5-6:30pm Life Hurts God Heals Life Hurts God Heals is created specifically for teenagers who have experienced some type of pain in their lives- divorce, bad breakups, sexuality issues, disappointment, rejection, alcohol, death, etc. For most teenagers, life hurts, but the good news is God heals. A new semester starts January 13, 6-8:15pm every Wednesday night through April, contact us anytime or come by the Student Ministry area and sign up. Parents if this is something that grabs at your heart to help lead we need you, please call Marsha 392-1157! 10th, 11th & 12th Breakaway Every Wednesday night we come together for a time of connection and worship. Our desire is to explore who God really is and how our lives matter to Him. We get started around 6:30 pm and wrap up around 8:30ish. Plan on hanging out afterwards for pizza. 10th-12th grade Small Groups Get Connected – Are you looking for a way to get more connected? Are you looking for a place to grow in your walk with Jesus? Then being apart of a small group is where you need to be. If you are already in a small group, don’t forget to resign up for your group. Our small groups meet every Sunday night, times vary. Page 26

Some of the groups meet in homes and others meet at the church. Call Todd @ 392-1154 or Amy @ 392-1156 to get more info. Small groups will not meet on Sept 20th. 7th-12th Grade Metro Worship @ Venue 68 Come join youth from all over the city in a night to just worship Jesus. We meet the first Wednesday night of every month from 7 – 8:30ish.

women

Women of the Word Wednesdays from 10:00-11:00 am in Rm 2319, Rev. Darlene Johnson, teacher. Crafty Ladies Fellowship Mondays, 9:30 am - 2:00 pm, Rm 2820. Ladies, if you enjoy doing crafts and fellowshipping at the same time, this activity is for you! We gather on Monday mornings to work on our own individual arts and crafts, stop for a delicious pot-luck lunch, and continue on through until 2:00 p.m. We have a wonderful time together, and would love to have you join us! For more information, contact Betty Seetin, and stop by some Monday and check us out! UMW December Luncheon & Program Attention ladies! The program for December’s luncheon will be a Christmas musical presentation by Asbury’s Chancel Choir members, and a delicious luncheon prepared by our church hostesses, Virginia and Susan, will be provided for just $7 per person! Our scripture emphasis for this month comes from Luke 2:13-14; “Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.’” An Evening for Women with Pastor Darlene Friday, January 22, 2010, 6:30-8:30 pm, Sanctuary. Asbury Women! Save the date for our Fifth Annual “Evening for Women with Pastor Darlene Johnson”, taking place on Friday, January 22, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. This always proves to be a night of encouragement, guidance and rejuvenation. And, we have some special plans for this year that you won’t want to miss! It’s a great opportunity to reach out and invite all the women in your life, too. Watch your mail and Asbury publications for more detailed information, coming soon! Page 27

Common Grounds: A Gathering of Women First Thursday of the month, February thru November 2010, Family Room & Café, 6:30 p.m. Women of all ages are invited to join us for this once-a-month gathering, where you will receive encouragement, hope and friendship, as well as opportunities to grow spiritually. Our first get-together will take place on Thursday, February 4, where we will begin the evening with coffee or tea, and dessert. Childcare for children six weeks through sixth grade will be provided. Watch Asbury publications for more details, or call Cathy Ambrose for more information. We hope to see you and your friends at our first gathering of “Common Grounds”!

worship

8:00 am Communion Service Mason Chapel. Traditional service with music led by Hart Morris. Communion is served and Dr. Harrison preaches. 9:15 am Contemporary Praise & Worship Sanctuary. Contemporary music led by Mark Bennett and team, time of prayer and the message will all carry a prevailing theme for the morning. Dr. Harrison preaches. 9:15 am Open House Worship Community Life Center. A relaxed atmosphere with engaging worship led by Dub Ambrose and team. Dr. Tom Harrison’s message is simulcast with an occasional live sermon from another pastor. 11:00 am Traditional Service Sanctuary. The Chancel Choir, the New Covenant Orchestra and various vocal and instrumental ensembles offer a variety of styles of music led by Hart Morris. Dr. Tom Harrison preaches. 11:00 am Modern Service Venue 68. Rich blend of ancient and modern worship, led by Chris Cleveland and team. Sign interpreters for the deaf are offered. Dr. Tom Harrison’s message is simulcast. 6:30 pm Modern Service Venue68. Rich blend of ancient and modern worship, led by the Ben Kilgore and team. Rev. Spencer Smith preaches.

Christmas Eve - December 24, 2009 5PM – Children’s Service in Sanctuary. 7PM – Traditional Christmas Eve Celebration in the Sanctuary. 9PM – Traditional Christmas Eve Celebration in the Sanctuary. 11:00PM – Midnight Communion in the Chapel. Watch Night Service December 31, 6:00pm in the Mason Chapel. Wesley Covenant literacy for the New Year.

asbury births & deaths births:

• Joshua Watson Fisher, son of Terry & Julie Fisher was born July 1, 2009. • Camdan Russell Highfill, son of Brian & Micah Highfill was born August 29, 2009. • Emmalynn Nichole Hester, daughter of Matt & Jeannie Hester was born October 22, 2009.

deaths:

• Charilee Narkaus, died October 7, 2009. • Kathryn (Kathy) Robbins, wife of Jerry, daughter of Kathryn (Bill) Metsker, sister of Tom (Dana) Harrison, died October 10, 2009. • Ella Jo Stookey, wife of Jim, died October 14, 2009.

marriages

Congratulations! • Janis McCartney and Kenneth Truelove were married October 2, 2009. • Daniel Dawson and Katie Wackenhuth were married October 10, 2009. • Charles Craig and Leigh Ann Burnham were married October 24, 2009. • Charles Sexson III and Erin McCall were married October 24, 2009.


asbury

anniversaries! 35 Years •

55 Years Charlie & Elaine Hack Dec-19

60 Years Jim & LaRue Coover Dec-10

Terry & Jann Berg Nov-30

25 Years • • •

Bart & Cathy Boatright Dec-29 Jim & Linda Tucker Dec-8 Dick & Cindy Read Dec-15

5 Years •

Steven & Linda Brunger Sept-4

50 Years Bud & Dianne Mathes Dec-18

50 Years George & Dolphine Keenum - Dec-23

60 Years Wallace & Barbara Westervelt Dec-18

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asbury

new members

Steve Benzel

Lara Christiansen

Stephanie Chancellor

Pat and Phyllece Clare

Dick and Billie Corley

Brad and Ashley Cunningham

Ted, Rikki and Sally Downing

Chris, Courtney and Lauren Duffy

Kent and Angie Foust

Jim and Linda Furman

Shelia Haney

Gael Heisten

Doug and Joyce Hill

Joe, Joy, Julie, and Jessica Cheek

Bob and Nasrin Cooper

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Matt, Angela, Elisabeth, and Ryan Jones

Carol Keast

Nancy Lettermon

Jody and Jill Vivion

Kathy Winder

Ann Young

asbury exploration classes

if you are interested in learning more about who we are, plan to attend one of the Exploration classesdesigned to tell you more about Asbury and what we believe. There is one final class remaining for the year of 2009 being held on December 6 from 12:15 - 2:00pm Upcoming 2010 Exploration classes will be held on – January 3, February 7, March 13, April 11, May 2 and June 6 Please call 392-1191 to reserve your place. Childcare is available and lunch is provided

Roger, Jessica, Samuel, Seminole, and Noah Miller

Randy and Jan O’Neal

John, Megan, and Jackson Rexwinkle

Cliff, Kelly, Alicia, Kassandra, Joshua, and Christian Rhoades

Bizz Smoots

Richard and Patty Taylor

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SAVIOUR

Glorify God...Make Disciples

The Story of God’s Passion for His People

will be presented on December 13, 2009,

in the sanctuary at 9 and 11 AM.

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www.asburytulsa.org

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Asbury Tidings - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas