Hart and Marty Morris 20 Years of Music Memories
wo things to address this month. First, I'll make summary comments based on the columns of the last several months then update you on some key staff changes.
Asbury is blessed to have many good things happening in ministry all of the time. Our congregation is devoted to the development of disciples of all ages within our church, in our community and around the world. A few months ago we celebrated our 50th anniversary. In parallel with our current work and our celebration of the past, our leaders have a responsibility to look toward the future and to consider areas in which attention is needed. In recent columns I've discussed our study over the past year of these issues. Our work has included both internal and external studies. We've looked at the challenges that come along with the benefits of a multigenerational church. Our difficulties in engaging young adults has been acknowledged. We now understand that the perception of some visitors to Asbury is not what we hope for (engaging with us is harder than we were aware). Finally, while membership continues to increase, attendance in worship and other areas is declining. Step one was to better understand the situation. Step two is to address what can be changed. I'm pleased to be part of a church in which the leadership is willing to acknowledge and face areas in which we are struggling. Some of this is new territory for Asbury. For most of our history we have been accustomed to seeing consistent numerical growth in all areas. Yes, Asbury is still doing much better than many churches. And yes, the broader culture is making it more difficult for churches to be successful. Because Asbury is doing well in many ways, it would be easy to hide behind those facts and not do the hard work of improving. But that is not happening. Tom, our pastoral team, our staff and our lay leadership are all committed to Asbury's vitality and growth - now and into the future. We want Asbury to be as pleased at our 100th anniversary as we were at our 50th. Our response to these new realities is under development. Changes will be necessary. Some of the changes may not be comfortable. We may need to think and act in different ways. Perhaps changes are necessary in how we conduct our ministries and our worship services. Certainly, our focus and priorities are being reevaluated. Communications, both internal and external, will continue to be a place of investment. While we don't know yet what changes are appropriate, we do know that the people of Asbury, historically and at present, are more committed to discipleship development and reaching others than they are worried about their personal comfort and desires. We also know that Asbury is blessed in many ways and with many resources. Bearing in mind the parable of the talents, we are committed to being good stewards - producing a return on God's blessings. Speaking of change, a number of staff changes have recently been announced or have already taken place. Hart and Marty Morris, in charge of traditional music, are retiring. Their last Sunday with us will be August 5th. You can read more about them elsewhere in this issue. Mary Ann Smith, director of global outreach, retired in June after 25 years of service. Jim Davis will be moving to Tulsa in August to assume that role. Guy Ames is our most recent pastor. He will focus on pastoral care, senior adults and the Asbury Foundation. Spencer Smith, previously the preaching pastor for Venue68, left Asbury to take a senior pastor position back in his home state of Missouri. We are currently searching for his replacement. Thank you for your support. Please pray for Asbury's leadership as we work through our response to these challenges and as we deal with the significant staff transitions. Dwight
Contents A Word From Tom Harrison Senior Adults Bassoon, Bagpipes and Bells A Look Back at Asbury’s Music Ministry Sharing the Gifts of God as a Family Chancel Choir and Orchestra Amey Mason Memorial Scholarship Winners Hartbroken Music Events Over the Years Hart's Birthday Songs The Unsung Heroes of Our Music Ministry Perpetual Light Family in Ministry Together The Gift of Music Communities Recipes of the Month Opportunities Special Announcements
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We need you! Do you have a story of what God has done in your life? Please contact us and tell us a little bit about what God has done. We will all be encouraged by hearing stories of what God is doing in the lives of those around us. Are you a writer or someone who enjoys writing? The Communications Department is always looking for someone to do an interview and write a story for us for Tidings. Have you noticed that we’ve been making some changes in Tidings? Please give us your feedback— both good and bad. Email email@example.com or call 918.392.1140. Asbury Tidings is a monthly publications designed to tell stories of lives being transformed by the power of Jesus Christ. You may read back issues by visiting www.asburytulsa.org. Editor: Asbury Communications Department, 918.392.1140, firstname.lastname@example.org Graphic Design: Tim Jurgensen, tjurgensen@ asburytulsa.org Photographers: Mark Moore (mark moore.photo. net), Ryan Farran (ryanfarranphotography.com), Chris Lo (matchadesign.com) Guest Contributors: Cynthia Bedford, Holly Brobst, Paula Goree, Barbara Graves, Diane King, Marty Morris, Marilyn Rhodes, DeDe Sageser, Cheryl Thompson, Judy Werner
A Word From Tom Harrison
art and Marty Morris are retiring from their positions of leadership in music at Asbury. I can’t possibly tell you what a privilege it’s been for me to have learned so much from them through over 19 years with them here. Two words come to mind: “World Class.” They are people who’ve touched a large group of folks (literally, all over the world), and they are the epitome of “class.” They are just incredible people that I’ve truly grown to love and cherish. Most of you have no idea how much I’ll miss them. I’ve been able to hand off the keys of our music ministry to them and know that they will lead us in a professional and spiritual way. We have a statue next to our fountain in front of our building. It’s our namesake: Francis Asbury (he’s the guy riding a horse). He was one of the two first Bishops in the Methodist Church in America. The truth of the matter is that those early Methodist preachers liked to ride in tandem. There really should be two horses and two riders to be true to our Methodist tradition. I like the quote of an early Methodist preacher: “We rode together.” That’s really how I see the music ministry. It’s never the domain of a single individual – it’s a mutual and shared ministry. When there’s competition, pride, and ego; the ministry is hard and draining. When there’s cooperation, humility, and service; the ministry comes alive with enthusiasm and zest. The congregation knows that the Morrises have exemplified the latter of the two ways of doing ministry. As a result, they are dearly loved. While we know God will provide for them in their retirement and for us in their replacement, we still grieve. But as I told them, “Wouldn’t it be sad if we didn’t shed tears when they left?” Their preference is simply to ride out of Dodge into the sunset with scant recognition. But 20 years of excellence, hard work, creativity, enthusiasm and grace needs (on both sides) affirmation. That’s what
this issue of Tidings is intending to do – to say “Thank you, Hart and Marty!” One of the great gifts of the church is the opportunity to make friendships with people while in the service of the Lord. That’s certainly been my privilege with this unique pair. The affection I have in my heart for them is very, very deep. And I know that you will want to express that to them, too. I close with Psalm 133: “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron's beard, down upon the collar of his robes. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.” Hart and Marty, thank you! How good and how pleasant it has been to be with you these 19+ years. You’re the best! We love you. God will provide for you and for us. He always does. Dr. Tom Harrison
Asbury Learning Center 2012 Totals On behalf of all our students, and the Union Adult Education program, I want to express our deepest thanks and appreciation for what the Asbury United Methodist Church has made possible this past year! Please know that through the generosity and prayers of its congregation, Asbury has already made a significant impact on the community in our area. Approximately 25 men and women have earned their High School Diploma through the program the church has made possible! There has seen a lot of foundation building and growth this year, and in August we look forward to continuing the work where we left off. On my way over to an end of year meeting this afternoon I will drop off a card originated and signed by our students on the last day of class. They too, deeply appreciate the tremendous enrichment opportunity Asbury has made possible for them. The card is a small token of their appreciation and gratitude. It has been an honor and pleasure working with you, and I look forward to working with you again next year. Please convey our deep appreciation to the Asbury congregation. - Mike Hogan, Adult Basic Education instructor
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Reflections on the Life of Phyllis Younts A Devotion for Tweenagers by Paula Goree
hyllis Younts was our dear friend in Tweenagers, whom you may know only as our birthday and anniversary songbird. She deserves a thank you for all those stamps she licked for the mountain of cards she faithfully sent us each month. You might not know that Phyllis graduated into eternity on March 9, 2012, at the age of 88. So that would have made her birthday September 7, 1924, if my math is right. Wonder if any of us ever remembered to send her a birthday card? As I considered what would be a fitting devotion this month, I decided Phyllis’ life was the very epitome of devotion, so here are some thoughts from my experience and those shared by others about the legacy she left us, her church family, and her sisters and brothers in Christ. Just like Jesus, her uncommon approach to a common life groomed her for His uncommon call. All her moments were key moments. Her life itself was grace—her gift to God. I first met Phyllis when she retired from a life spent in teaching and moved from Ada, Oklahoma, to Oral Roberts University Village to be near her son Bob, who was at that time Associate Pastor at First United Methodist, Broken Arrow. The old Asbury was so convenient to her new apartment that she immediately got busy as a volunteer, often working in the print shop. She joined the Word Finders Sunday School class and either played the piano or led the singing every Sunday. She was a faithful member of the Singing Ambassadors from its beginning and recently headed up the telephone committee. She was so active at University Village that she headed up three different programs for the residents, and when she moved to Woodland Manor on 61st to be closer to the new church, it took three people to fill her shoes. Phyllis really originated the senior exercise program, Sit-n-Fit and Walk in the Gym with Him. Beginning at 8:30 am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for several years, she faithfully led those committed seniors who motto is “use it or lose it.” Following the
exercise class, she would immediately begin her volunteer work at the church or at the Cancer Treatment Center of America right down the street. An employee there said her mom lived at Phyllis’ apartment complex and needed to find a closer church. So Phyllis wasted no time meeting Dee Raines, introducing her to Asbury, and a fast friendship developed. Phyllis’ life was always centered around church. She didn’t have much time for socializing because the Lord’s work was her singular commitment. She sometimes thought of going to seminary because of her lifelong passion for Bible study, so leading Bible study for her UMW Circle was a perfect fit for Phyllis. “She made the Bible come alive,” said some of her Circle members. A discussion format with everyone sharing made the Bible lessons “up close and personal” and a highlight of each Circle meeting. A serious car accident followed by a seizure six weeks later left her unable to recognize anyone. But the Lord wasn’t finished with Phyllis yet. During her speedy recovery from the seizure, a tumor on her leg was found to be an aggressive form of cancer. Of course Cancer Treatment Center was her choice for the required therapy. Extensive surgery and months of chemotherapy and radiation of increasing intensity never seemed to get her down. She kept right on with all her commitments with inspiring perseverance. As Romans 5:3-4 says: “We also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance character, and character hope.” Last fall, she learned that no more treatments were available, but she continued to lead exercise class and gave our UMW devotion for the luncheon on March 1st. Phyllis passed away on March 9th. Her desire was not to linger once she could not continue an active life. The Lord honored her desire. Phyllis showed us how to bloom where we are planted. To be faithful and persevere in our commitments to the Kingdom. And to find our strength and hope in Christ alone.
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Bassoon, Bagpipes and Bells by DeDe Sageser
usic has always been a big part of my life. With a Methodist music minister for a dad and a church music major and organist for a mom, I had no choice but to grow up in a household filled with music. When my husband, Troy, and I were first married, we started looking for a home church and found Asbury. We visited a few times and thoroughly enjoyed Tom's sermons, but the music was just as important to us as the teachings. The services had just the right mix of traditional and contemporary; we knew we wanted to be a part of it. Having played the clarinet from seventh grade through college, I wanted to join the orchestra at Asbury. I remember walking into the rehearsal room for the first time, and I felt like I was home. When joining a music group, it's always a little intimidating to walk in for the first time - not knowing where to sit or the names of the people around you - but this orchestra community was so welcoming and kind; I knew I had found a great place to be. Not only is the orchestra a place to serve, it's a place to be served. We laugh together and cry together; we pray for each other; we are all good friends that enjoy just being together and making music.
a fine group of ladies. Just like the orchestra, the bell choir is like a family, and I love it more and more with each passing week. It's challenging in a different way than my other wind instruments and great fun! My special thanks goes to Hart for also allowing me to play “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes with the orchestra and choir for Easter this year, as well as the Americana concert last year. When I started learning the bagpipes a few years ago, my goal was to play “Amazing Grace” for Asbury. Hart gave me the chance to do it twice - along with a full choir and orchestra, which was more than I ever could have dreamed. Thank you, Hart, for making the music department such a wonderful place to serve and be served.
The music we make in the orchestra is enjoyable to us and we hope to our listeners, but the one we always aim to please is our Father. Since I grew up in the church, I've never known a life without God. I don't have a conversion story like some others because having God in the home was as normal and common as the weather. However, the way I worship God may be different from others. Being in the orchestra allows me to play my worship, not sing it; although when we play the hymns, I'm singing the words in my head and praising God along with the congregation. You will not see my lips moving during the hymns but my mind and my heart are fully engaged, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Through the years, I played my clarinet many Sundays with the orchestra, but there was one Wednesday night rehearsal that was extra special to me. A very generous member of Asbury anonymously donated a brand new bassoon to the music department. Charles Emerson, the director at the time, asked if anyone would like to play it, and I couldn't raise my hand quickly enough. I was able to take lessons for a few years and learn this beautiful instrument that I never would have had the opportunity to play, had it not been for that donation. I love playing the bassoon and am very grateful for the generosity of that Asbury member whoever you are. As if I needed to add another instrument to my “collection,” I also play with the Perpetual Light bell choir. There was an opening in the group and my friend and fellow orchestra member, Beth Martin, asked me if I would be interested. Having been a member herself for a few years, she convinced me I needed to join. I hadn't picked up a bell since I was in elementary school, so I was a little nervous about going but I went anyway. I'm SO glad I did! What
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by Marty Morris
The first Chancel Choir of Asbury began in 1963 under the direction of Jan Menzies. After several short term choir directors, Dr. James Middleton came as the minister of music in 1970. Dr. Middleton established the children’s choirs and a choir guild of mom’s for each choir. He also began the first youth choir and the first handbell choir. Dr. Marvin Reecher served as minister of music from 1973 to 1980. He continued the programs of Dr. Middleton and developed the ministry further by creating an ensemble called the Sonshiners that sang “pop” music and entertained in the community as well as for church functions. “There was a wonderful eight part harmony, opportunities to witness through concerts at Asbury and throughout the community,” remembers Nancy Frampton. Jerry LeDoux followed Dr. Reecher and served for twelve years. Under his direction and with the help of his talented wife, Ginny, the ministry grew in every area. Dr. Dick Loerke joined the Chancel Choir early on. He was one of many dads who was a
sponsor for the youth choir trips and helped deliver semi-truck loads of fruit that the students sold to raise money for their trips. In 1992 the church called Hart Morris to be the minister of music. “Hart Morris is not only a great director of choirs but a composer and arranger of handbell and choral music who conducts festivals all over the country and abroad. The whole music program has grown so much under Hart’s direction,” says Nancy VanDyne. “Several months after Hart and Marty arrived at Asbury, I asked him, ‘With the talent you have you could be performing with the world’s greatest orchestras. Why in the world are you here
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at Asbury working with people like me?’ I shall never forget his answer – ‘Because I’m not here to serve you.’ Wow,” said Rosanna Corrales, current organist. Moving from Houston by way of Memphis, Hart and Marty joined the Asbury family and called it home. Just after Tom Harrison came to Asbury in 1993, he asked Hart to begin a contemporary worship service and create and conduct a band with singers. Scott Long says: “Before it was called contemporary, it was called praise and worship. When the word went out for a new kind of service, who knew what is was supposed to look like? Drums, guitar, keyboard were required. Add a flute and an occasional fiddle - or even accordion – and Asbury’s new kind of worship service was born. Hart went with the basics: it would be praise and worship in which everyone could participate and it would be a ministry. Somewhere along the line, it became cumbersome to say, ‘We serve on the Praise and Worship Team.’ The insider name nickname for the P&W team somehow became PIPS, short for Hart Morris and the Pips (ala Gladys Knight). It is not exactly a biblical moniker, but it stuck. It was much easier to say, ‘I am going to Pips rehearsal.’ It was clear Hart was not a huge fan of 7-11 music – the modern song of seven words, sung 11 times. There were basic praise songs, like “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus,” to revivaltype songs, “We Bring the Sacrifice of Praise,” to the then-current “Above All” by Michael W. Smith. Each service included a hymn to a tune you could recognize. The Pips were centered on ‘making a joyful song to the Lord’ and leading in worship.”
Perpetual Light The Suzanna Belles was a well-established group of women who met every Tuesday morning to rehearse handbells. Hart took over the group and Marty joined when a spot opened up. “When Jerry LeDoux was director, we always had a coffee break during practice. It usually lasted longer than practice! Around Christmas, we would haul all the bells, pads and tables to nursing homes to entertain,” said Carol Vrooman, D5/E5 player. The group became very good under the excellent leadership of Hart. They went to two national handbell festivals in the 1990s. The first one was in Portland, Maine. Hart was the conductor for the festival, and the ladies will never forget when they came in late to a mass rehearsal because they got lost on a shopping trip during the free time…they literally crawled into place! Their second national festival was in Kansas City. Marty was one of the conductors for that event. By then the ladies were tired of their name, Suzanna Belles, but could not come up with another that everyone could agree on. This was about the same time as the pop star Prince changed his name (“The Artist Formerly Known as Prince”) and began using a symbol. The ladies who did as much laughing as rehearsing took their cue from him. They became, for that festival, “The Group Formerly Known as Suzanna Belles.” They made a banner with every handbell musical notation for their symbol. That year each group that played a solo piece for one of the concerts was asked to provide a bio of the group. “The Group Formerly Known as Suzanna Belles” concocted a hilarious bio that, when read at the concert, caused uproarious
laughter from the audience. It helped the ladies as well. The tension of playing in such a place was broken, and the bell choir brought the house down with their performance of Hart’s composition entitled “Perpetual Light.” It only seemed natural that the ladies would take that name as their own. “One day in rehearsal, several of us were talking, and I told him how I always worried that I would disappoint him. I remember he looked at me and said something to the effect of, 'I don’t ever want you to worry about that.' That was such a gift to me. It may have been a small thing to him, but it was a ‘big’ deal to me,” shared Betty Sloan, C6/D6 ringer.
Asbury Orchestra In 1992, Richard Richards approached Hart with the idea of beginning a church orchestra. Hart appointed Richard the director and the Asbury orchestra was formed. When Richard Richards died, Dr. Doug Wilson from ORU took over for one year. Charles Emerson followed Dr. Wilson and expanded the instrumental program. When Hart Morris took over orchestra in 2006, they began to grow and took a new name: New Covenant Orchestra. Hart has brought them to a new level of musicianship as they lead the congregation in worship every Sunday and prepare special programs for our community and our congregation.
Asbury Power & Light Co. Asbury Power & Light Co. was formed when Asbury moved to the new building on Mingo. Tom Harrison wanted to have a brass group begin the 9:15 contemporary worship service. Under the direction of Charles Emerson, the group was divided into two groups which alternated playing on Sunday. When Hart Morris took over the instrumental music program, he put them together, enlisted a new leader, Ed Morse, and they began to play every Sunday at the beginning of the 9:15 service. Currently the band plays for the 8:00 and 11:00 am sanctuary services as well as performing for community events and in other churches in
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Oklahoma. They are a talented group of musicians that work hard and enjoy sharing their gifts with our congregation.
Children’s Choir Program In 1995, the children’s choir program took a new direction. Each Christmas all the children’s choirs prepare a Christmas pageant with actors, singers, dancers and bell ringers. In addition to this, each choir sings regularly in the worship services. Each summer the music ministry offers a week-long music camp called SummerSong. This began in 1995 and has been a well-loved program. Marty writes the script each year to fit her group of kids. “It always amazes me how quickly everything comes together. From set building, costume designing and prop gathering, to choreography and memorization of songs and scripts. We go at top speed until Friday night when it's time to show the audience what these talented children can do!” says Angela Parris who has worked with SummerSong for years as a coach for the soloists. Former SummerSong participants come back to serve as teen helpers. By the end of the week everyone is tired but all know that the songs and truths learned in SummerSong will stay with the children for life.
and production crew, and the audience was in disbelief that we could pull off such professional productions given our limitations. How many theater organizations do you know can successfully present a full musical production with an incredibly small, minute stage and wing space of six feet on stage left and seven feet on stage right? Asbury pulled that off due to innovative ideas from the directors and production crew, working with a motto of “if there’s a will, there’s a way!” The plays utilized the best directors, musicians, vocalists, actors, hair and make-up stylists and costumers. There were some pretty good dancers too, and for those that couldn’t dance, encouragement was given. To quote Hart Morris while observing a dance rehearsal: “Good grief, CT!” (speaking to Cheryl Thompson) “What are we trying to do? Kill the Cockneys?” The musicals were such hard work with six weeks of intense rehearsals, but the recurring theme with all involved was how much FUN everyone had! Friendships were made, bonds were developed, there were backstage shenanigans, family time together, and laughter…so much laughter.
Asbury Singing Ambassadors The Asbury Singing Ambassadors choir was formed when Hart asked John Sawyer if he would be interested in directing a senior adult choir. The year was 2002. Armed with music for about 35 singers, John was surprised and thrilled at that first rehearsal to see that 55 senior adults had joined. John and his wife Billy Kay nurtured, teased and loved on the group until it reached 150 singers. They took trips together and when they went to a competition for senior adult choirs, they “blew all the other groups away.” The choir especially enjoyed presenting musicals for the congregation. ASA presented the first patriotic vocal concert at Asbury. Under the direction of John and Billy Kay, the choir thrived. In 2007, the Sawyers retired from the directorship position and Brady Cypert took the helm for two years. He was well loved and did a wonderful job with them despite his poor health. When he died, Charlene Ravens took the choir over and has done a phenomenal job with them. True to their name, they are now ambassadors in the community. They are busy singing for schools, care facilities and for church meetings as well as singing once a month at the 8:00 am service.
Asbury Summer Theater Summer Theater at Asbury…. What a phenomenal experience! Meet Me in St. Louis, Sound of Music, Music Man, My Fair Lady, and Hello Dolly, they were all wonderful productions! “For my family and me, these were some of the best summer memories we have working together as a family,” says Cheryl Thompson. Many Asbury families share this same sentiment. That was one of the music ministry’s goals with Summer Theater – to provide an opportunity for family members to work together for a common goal. There was a full cast
In addition to singing together, the Chancel Choir has many outreach projects. Each year at Christmas, they take 100 boys from the Salvation Army to provide for. They have given hundreds of dollars to fund scholarships, snack suppers for the Ronald McDonald House, or helping out a needy person. They’ve sent baseballs to Mexico, bought goats to give the churches in Tanzania, provided personal items for the homeless, provided hundreds of blankets for Project Warmth, bought bicycles for the underprivileged, sent Boomwhackers, recorders and drums to Estonia and bless underprivileged children with birthday presents each month along with other service projects. “If everyone does a little, we can accomplish something huge together” is Marty’s motto. They also care for each other. When members are sick or
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have surgery, the choir takes meals, or drives them to the doctor. When they have babies the choir “pounds” the young family with diapers and wipes. When a choir member loses a loved one, the members prepare the funeral luncheon and food for the family. They sing for choir member’s weddings and funerals. They welcome new members with open arms. Friendships are formed. The Chancel Choir has had many wonderful musical experiences together. In 1994, they presented the first Good Friday Service and the Hanging of the Green Service which have now become traditions. Each year the choir sings two services for Easter, Christmas Music Sunday and Christmas Eve. They performed a Christmas cantata, Liftin’ Jesus Higher, written by Hart and son, Brad. The cantata was based on a Kenyan folk song that Hart learned when he was in Tanzania on a mission trip. Together Hart and Brad created an African Christmas work accompanied by marimba, flute and lots of drums. Taking a cue from that style of music, the choir donned African shirts, dresses and headscarves that Global Missions Director Mary Ann had the Africans’ make for the choir. Not one of the choir members will ever forget singing Saviour with Ballet Magnificat as well as three other times for our congregation. But probably the highlight since 2008 is when the choir and orchestra prepare the Americana concert. Each year as soon as Easter is over, the Chancel Choir, New Covenant Orchestra, Perpetual Light and One Voice begin working on the Americana concert. Hart picks all the music and usually writes something fun from our past for the choir to sing. In 2011, he wrote a medley of theme songs from past TV shows which was a huge hit with the choir and audience. For the 2012 concert, he has written a medley of famous commercials that everyone can join in singing. The first time the choir sang through the medley in rehearsal they burst into laughter as each commercial was sung. The idea of the Americana concert was not just to honor the servicemen and women or present patriotic songs; the idea was to look at our country’s musical heritage through many different venues. It has proved to be a very popular concert each year. “Being a part of the choir has changed my perspective of ‘the big church’ because we are a family. We care for one another. We laugh together in the good times, cry together in the bad times and pray together all the time. When we sing we are not worshiping with our lips, but worshiping with our hearts. When we sing, it is not to perform but the hope is that it will bring someone closer to God. When we sing, it is a time that we open our own hearts to the Lord,” said Barbara Burdick, first soprano Asbury’s musical excellence over the past fifty years has been blessed by God in so many ways. All the participants believe they are blessed to be a blessing, and that is exactly what they have been to the church. Thank you, Asbury music ministry!
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“When we joined Asbury, it was bursting at the seams, and the choir was literally overflowing the choir loft. I remember two people sitting on a seat for some services. Other Sundays, we ‘shorter’ members would be in front to the side of Rosanna by the organ on folding chairs. We were in full view of the congregation. We were looking at them looking at us. Oh, were we supposed to be watching Pastor Tom?” - Sherry Kennedy, first soprano
“In 2009 I was diagnosed with breast cancer while pregnant. I have never had so many people love on me. Emotionally spent, I could not bring myself to put on a choir robe, but Marty had me come in that Sunday morning so the choir could pray for me before my surgery. During treatment, choir members brought my family food, babysat my kids, and sent me numerous cards with messages of love and encouragement. I remember Marty and Hart coming to my house with pizza and salad. Mark, our oldest son, was so excited that someone brought pizza! I remember going into the music department office before a scan and the four people who prayed over me gave me so much peace. Asbury Chancel Choir members are the hands and feet of Christ.” - Joanna Lawson, second soprano
by Mike and Shirley Bennett I have been playing trumpet since I was about 9 or 10 years old, so that would be somewhere around 44 years or so. I have a music education degree from TU and have played professionally around Tulsa since the 1970s. I have been playing at Asbury “officially” since right after we moved to our current location. Skip Sidner asked me to help fill in for a while with the Asbury brass quintet and I ended up staying with that group for over two years. I then ended up joining the orchestra and later the Asbury Power and Light group and still continue to play in both of these groups each week. Shirley started playing in elementary school and played through her four years in college. She played in marching band and concert band but was not a music major. She played in a band program with me at TU in 1980, but once she graduated, she put her horn away. She was always sad about that, but she told me she was too chicken to join a community band or orchestra. When we started attending Asbury, they had a small orchestra – very small – maybe five people. It began to grow and her desire to join grew also. One day after church one of us told Hart that she used to play horn, and he asked her to join. She told him she didn’t have a horn and hadn’t played in years. He made a comment like they’d have to work on that. The orchestra continued to grow and the church hired a director, Charles Emerson, who knew Shirley from college and remembered she played the horn. Charles asked her to join, and she still resisted, especially since I was a professional trumpet player and manager of Saied Music in Broken Arrow, had sold her horn to a needy player still in school. I sold it thinking she would never play again. Was I wrong! She also resisted because of those huge blasted screens. She said she did not want to see herself up on the big screens. One day Shirley received a phone call from Charles telling her that the church had just bought a brand new horn and they wanted
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her to come play it. How could Shirley say no to that! She joined and loved it! God provided a way for her to return to music, and she is so thankful for that, and for Charles and Hart!
and orchestra members’ birthdays (primarily just choir members). Hart and Marty being the loving people they are each and every day, will be a favorite memory that will stay with me forever.
I love the fact that we can together share the gifts God has blessed us with and help minister to people in this very special way. I think we can both say that it blesses us to be able to be a part of such a wonderful worship experience. The music ministry means getting to spend time with people we really like and getting to share in Hart Morris’ genius. It is very special to be part of the orchestra which is such an integral part of the 11:00 am sanctuary worship service. We get to praise the Lord, spend time with friends and be an extension of Hart’s musical vision for the worship service.
On a more serious note, Hart and Marty both welcomed our daughter Sara into the adult choir when she was still in high school and made her feel very welcome, very loved and special. They still do! She loves them both dearly!
We will celebrate 30 years of marriage on November 6 of this year, and playing music together in a worshipful way is one of the most important experiences that we share with each other and with others. Both of our children are excellent musicians, love the Lord and love to worship and praise Him with the gifts God given them. Much of the reason they were attracted to the church as young children was through the ministry of music. The Asbury music ministry plays a huge part in our lives and our walk with the Lord. Hart and Marty are probably the two nicest people we have ever met in my life. They are both extremely talented and have a very eclectic background in all styles of music of the church, but most of all it is obvious to all people that they come in contact with that they are truly “disciples of Christ.” One of our favorite memories of Hart is him sitting at the piano and singing several of his very original and very unique “compositions” in honor of different choir
Of course we understand Hart and Marty’s need and desire to retire and get on with the next chapter in their lives, but selfishly we will miss them. Because Shirley works especially with Hart, she will miss him even more than words can express. He is a light to the world! Just being in his presence makes one feel better! Marty is the same way. When we see her singing with God’s love exuding from her face and looking so joyful, it fills us with joy! It is hard to imagine church without them. We have been expecting and dreading the announcement of his retiring but chose not to think about it. After the announcement, every time I thought of it tears would fill my eyes. But, there will be church without them. The best thing that we can personally do is to have faith that the hiring powers-that-be will find people to replace, no not replace, but to carry on the outstanding legacy that Hart and Marty are leaving us with at Asbury and to build on what we have. We have committed ourselves not to let selfish sadness over their leaving dictate behavior that would not make them proud. We’ll be positive and supportive of the new director and do what we can to help the person be successful. We want to make them proud.
Sara Bennett accompanies solos and the chancel choir when Cheryl Thompson is out. I love accompanying because it allows me to serve using my musical gifts, while also allowing me to remain in the background, providing support for the other musician or musicians. I love the collaboration involved. My first experience with Asbury’s music ministry was in the summer of 2004, when Marty Morris asked me to be a teen helper for SummerSong, the church’s annual music camp for children. I had a wonderful time helping that week, and I quickly grew to love the music ministry ladies who made it all happen. I wanted to be a part of their ministry. I joined the Chancel Choir that summer, and I left my piano teacher of twelve years to begin studying with Asbury pianist Cheryl Thompson. When I mentioned that I wanted to take a break from studying classical music, Cheryl decided to teach me about accompanying. Less than two months later, I accompanied Laurynn Smith as she sang a solo in church.
When I joined the Chancel Choir, there were two other choir members who were my age. Our number soon grew to five. I loved spending time with those girls but I also truly enjoyed being around the other choir members. I am blessed to have friends who are decades older than I am. I have benefited from their wisdom and perspective many times. One of the best things about staying in Tulsa for college has been that I have been able to remain active in Asbury's music ministry. Through all the struggles and stress of college, and through all the growing up I've done over the last seven years, I have been blessed to be able to call Asbury and the Chancel Choir "home." The choir members have supported me, prayed for me, encouraged me, and loved me. I would not be the person I am today without their influence. I am so grateful for their love.
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Married Couples in Chancel Choir and Orchestra Over the last 49 years the Chancel Choir has grown to 125 active members and serves as the worship leader for the 11:00 am traditional service and once a month for the 8:00 am traditional service. There are 19 married couples in these two groups. How special to be able to strengthen their marriage, grow in their faith, and worship the Lord together, while ministering to others within the Body of Christ.
Carrie and Carrick Buss Carrie has been playing clarinet since the 5th grade and alto saxophone since the 8th grade. Carrick has been playing percussion since the 6th grade. We met during our time in the Oklahoma State University marching band and wind ensemble, a common experience we shared and enjoyed together. Without music, we probably wouldn’t even be married! We had been playing with the Oklahoma Baptist Symphony but were looking for a United Methodist church due to Carrick’s parents both being Methodist ministers. Because of the reputation of Asbury’s orchestra, my friend Lisa Kirk had suggested that we should visit Asbury. I still remember meeting with Hart in his office the first time. We said, “Hi, I’m Carrick and this is Carrie, and we’d like to play in the orchestra. Carrie plays clarinet, and I have a percussion degree in music from OSU.” It was one of the few times Hart had trouble finding words! I didn’t know until later that Hart was a percussionist as well. That was five years ago. It has been wonderful to continue using our abilities in worship. It’s why we drive across town twice a week (or more) from west Tulsa to attend church. We love all of Asbury, but the music is really why we’re here as it allows us to worship in a more personal way. It has been fun to have an activity that we can both enjoy together. It has given us experiences that we can share and relate to which others might not understand. Music is a strong part of our lives and that common ground which nurtures our marriage every day. I think music brings our whole family closer together because our kids enjoy their activities while we are in rehearsal. I should
mention that without our wonderful children’s ministry, we would not be able to participate in orchestra together
Judy and Richard Edmonson We have been singing together since we got married in May 1973. Initially, Judy was the choir director of a small Methodist church in Stillwater with an average choir of 13-15. Richard was one of the 2-3 tenors. During our times living in Denver and Houston, we continued singing in church choirs together and later with the Houston Choral Society. We moved to Tulsa in 2005. We were drawn to Asbury six years ago by Tom's preaching and the strength and talent of the music ministry. This soon led to our joining the Chancel Choir and our community Christian Explorers. We enjoy being in ministry together, worshipping through the choir's music. God speaks to us in a unique way thru music, and Hart and Marty's creativity and love for Jesus are contagious! He teaches using the Oreo method: we learn about style and history of the music, then lots of humor geared toward communicating the message (and laughing at ourselves!), then perfecting the singing. What a great combination! We often discuss what these songs mean to us – by the message in them and how those songs draw us closer to Him. Church choirs are interesting and personable in many ways, and the Asbury choir is no exception. We are truly a community, and Hart and Marty lead by example with love and support. One of our favorite songs is "Untitled Hymn (Come to Jesus).” This song says what my words cannot express but truly believe. One of our favorite times each Wednesday night is with Hart's new birthday song for those having a birthday that week; Hart's lyrics put to a different melody (which can range from classical to rock-nroll) always makes us laugh and sends us home on a merry note. In musical terms, Hart and Marty are in "perfect harmony," both with the choir and each other. We love them!
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David and Nancy Frampton We transferred our membership from Boston Avenue Methodist to Asbury in 1972, mainly because of Marvin Reecher. We had been in the music ministry under Marvin's leadership at BAM since we were children and had developed a love and appreciation for him; so when Marvin came to Asbury, we came also and began to sing in the Chancel choir here. We remained at Asbury because of Bill Mason. His Bible-based sermons, his warmth and sincerity and his obvious love and commitment to God kept us here. We knew that God had led us to our new church home. Through our shared love of music, we have been able to develop meaningful friendships, serve our church and Lord, and add to our knowledge of scriptures as we learned new anthems. Being in the choir together has strengthened our commitment to the church and each other. Under Hart and Marty's leadership, we have been given additional opportunities to participate in outreach projects like Ronald McDonald House and Salvation Army Angel Trees. Singing with Hart and Marty has been a hoot! We never know what we're going to be asked to do next. Our special programs over the years--singing a Christmas program in Victorian English costumes, performing in African garb, singing Saviour with a ballet troupe, and the Americana concerts--have challenged and enriched us. We have been pleasantly stretched in new directions with Hart's music selections, but our favorite pieces continue to be “My Eternal King” and “At Calvary.” Being in choir has been an enriching experience for us individually and as a couple sharing our love for church music. I can't remember a time when I wasn't in choir (since age 6) and never realized how much scripture I was learning. I have never thought of it as a service because I was having so much fun. One of our early memories of Hart is of a one man concert he performed on many musical instruments displaying his versatility and style. Another memory is the original birthday lyrics set to familiar tunes Hart writes and performs each week anyone in the choir celebrating a birthday. We will always remember Hart's enthusiasm, high energy, and delightful sense of humor. Marty's joy in the Lord and witness to the choir each week and her enthusiastic support of all Hart does is a memory we will always keep of her. The Morris family is so creative and talented, perfectly complementing each other as a team. We have been blessed to be part of their ministry.
Paul and Shirley Hockett Shirley and I began singing together in high school and, with some interruptions, have continued doing so ever since. We have always done most everything "together" in our 57 year marriage and being in choir
together continues that opportunity. We moved our membership to Asbury from Aldersgate in 1978 after moving into the "Asbury neighborhood," thinking its close proximity would prove more convenient for our young children and encourage their involvement in youth programs. We love all the music of the Church, both the anthems and the hymns. Our common favorite is “Amazing Grace.” Hart is the most complete musician and accomplished minister of music we have ever experienced. With the significant help provided by Marty (and son Brad), he always gives the choir all the challenge it can handle (and then some on occasion). The Morris team absolutely gets the best out of us that we have to offer. A lasting memory for me will be the opportunity Hart gave me to sing the baritone role in Saviour. We all work really hard in our practices and presentations but the hardest worker in the group is Hart Morris.
David and Jeanne Hunt David joined the orchestra about a year before we moved from the old church to the new one but I joined just about six years ago. He plays trombone, and I'm the only woman in the percussion section. The orchestra has become our “community.” My favorite proof of this follows (if proof is needed). About 4 1/2 years ago, having already raised our three sons to manhood, we took over full time care of our granddaughter. When the orchestra heard what we were doing, they threw us a baby shower, complete with a diaper cake! It was such a blessing, both in terms of the much needed baby items we received and in the love behind the gifts. We are now waiting for a court date to finalize our adoption of our little angel - and our orchestra community will be among the first to know when it happens!
Daniel and Sherry Kennedy Sherry and I met in a church choir 33 years ago. We have been married 32 years, so church choir is very special to us. Sherry has been a soloist since she was a young girl, always singing in church services. She has been in professional organizations through the years, but we most enjoy performing together at church as when we were in adult ensembles and the adult choir. I also enjoy watching her perform in smaller groups or as a soloist. My favorite song to sing is the “Hallelujah Chorus”; Sherry loves to sing “The Majesty and Glory of Your Name” with the choir. We are also members of the Chancel Choir ensemble that sings for the 8:00 am service once a month. It has truly been a blessing
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for us more than we can express. We appreciate the opportunity to use our voices and to serve where we can fellowship. To sing in the choir is our expression of faith in worship, our gift. The choir is our support community and our prayer partners. I will always remember the multiple faceted capability of this fine musician, Hart. He loves his percussion instruments but could handle many other assignments. Hart's energy (and antics) could keep us focused on the music by his unique constant movement and facial expressions. He has given freely of himself to assist us all to do our best in the service of the Asbury. We started out with the summer musical in 2000, My Fair Lady, and enjoyed everything we did to prepare for and perform that program. Marty is also a fantastic musician and conductor. Marty has a wonderful capability to both conduct and lead the choir, which she had to do when Hart assumed the responsibilities of the orchestra. She also “motivates” us to do our best! I don't know how these two fine people had the energy for so many performances over the last 20 years, but we are all grateful for their time, and love and leadership.
Larry and Beth LaBuz We have been in the choir for about 12 years. I was already a member of Asbury (since 1984) and when we got married in 1989, Larry transferred his membership from another church. We love being in choir together because it keeps us centered and committed. The choir is a way we can share our faith while doing something we enjoy and at the same time have fellowship with lots of wonderful, caring people. Singing in the choir has impacted our marriage because we are reminded to stay focused on what is the most important part of our lives–every Wednesday and Sunday. Hart and Marty to be very compassionate, caring individuals. Hart took the time to call Larry during one of his most difficult times a few years back and it won't be forgotten.
Ed and Rita Lenfestey The Lenfestey family started our UMC journey at Boston Avenue Methodist in 1970 when our sons started singing with Dr. Marv Reecher. Shortly thereafter (1971) Ed also began singing in the BAM Choir under Dr. Marv. Then in 1972 Marv retired and joined Asbury UMC; the Lenfestey family followed. While attending an Asbury choir program, Dr. Bill Mason asked if we would like to join Marv at Asbury. All the boys in the family started with the Asbury choirs immediately, but Rita waited
until after Ed retired from American Airlines to begin singing in the Chancel Choir, now she also sings in the Singing Ambassadors. Our favorite hymns include all of the music from Saviour, the “Irish Blessing,” “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” We love all the songs we sing to the glory of the Lord.
Andy and Candy Meador Andy Meador, a member of Asbury since 1972 and a choir member for the past 12 years, recalls that joining the choir was one of the best decisions he has ever made. Not only did it help him to strengthen his relationship with Christ through Christian fellowship and worship, but it was also here that he met and fell in love with his wife, Candy. Candy was a member of Asbury’s choir in her teenage years, singing under the direction of Marvin Reecher, and after moving back to Tulsa, she rejoined the church when her daughter Tori began school. In 2007 she became a member of Asbury’s Chancel Choir and in the summer of 2010, she and Andy started dating. Still newlyweds after being married in November 2011, Andy and Candy thoroughly enjoy the opportunity they have to give back to the church through music ministry together. “Come Thou Fount” is one of Andy and Candy’s favorite songs to sing with the choir, as well as “Be Thou My Vision.” Andy also likes “This is My Father’s World,” which he remembers singing as a small boy standing next to his father during church. The couple looks forward to Hart’s weekly special birthday songs which he composes and sings taking well known songs and adding his own witty lyrics, and cherishes each and every one of Marty’s sweet, heartfelt prayers. Andy and Candy are very proud to be part of the Asbury choir family and value the experiences they have shared together over the years.
Gwen and Dick Mohler We joined Asbury on Mother’s Day, 2005, after the death of our daughter, Delana, earlier in the year. We felt a need for a church that offered strong senior adult support and the comfort of old friends like David and Patty Thomas. Their daughter and son were good friends with our children at Aldersgate, and their daughter Penny offered to be our step daughter. She is so sweet to remember us with cards. I also wanted to continue the prayer card ministry at Asbury and started by sending prayer cards to members of the Asbury family in the military. We did not join the choir immediately after joining but were so inspired by the inspiration of the music and the leadership of Hart, we knew we had to join. We were welcomed by the choir community and felt right at home. Both Hart and Marty
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make us feel like a choir family and offered us opportunities for mission to others as well as our own choir family. An added benefit is that we can sit next to each other. I have a hearing problem, and he helps keep me straight; and if he nods off, I wake him up. The music ministry is my second Bible because it helps me to retain God's word through singing his words. My favorite song is “Victory in Jesus” because I have seen a lot of God's victories in my own life. Dick’s favorite is “Amazing Grace” because it reinforces the redemptive power of God. It feels as though I am singing with the angels in heaven when I’m in the choir loft; it is so beautiful.
Dan and Kathy Rimmer On our first visit to Asbury in December several years ago, the choir and orchestra were performing Saviour, and we both knew immediately that Asbury and the Chancel choir were where we belonged. Soon after that, we joined the church and talked to Hart about becoming choir members. Fortunately, he informed us that auditions are not required, so we went to our first rehearsal and were warmly greeted into the soprano and tenor sections. Since then we have made many new friends in the choir, and it has become an important part of our lives. We look forward to rehearsal on Wednesday nights and being in the choir loft on Sunday. Singing in the choir is very rewarding and a lot of fun, but it's also hard work. Hart and Marty are dedicated to having us do our very best in singing our Sunday anthems and the special events like the Americana program we are currently rehearsing for. We have loved being led by Hart and Marty. They are both tremendously talented, loving, and inspirational people, and we wish them well as they retire. We will miss them greatly.
Steve and Wendy Shirk We have both been singing since we were children, I since age 5 and Steve at an early age as well. I grew up singing in a Presbyterian church and Steve grew up singing in the Asbury children and youth choirs under Dr. and Mrs. Reecor. We have been at Asbury together only a year and a half. We started coming here when Steve lost his dad, Harold Shirk (played baritone for Asbury), as we wanted to support Eleanor, Steve’s mom. Mom and Dad Shirk were members at Asbury almost from its beginning. We also came for the music department and Hart’s wonderful leadership.
We appreciate having a ministry that we can participate in together. We actually sit in the first row right in the middle; Steve’s a baritone and I am a second soprano so we get to sit right next to each other. Since we both work so much during the week, we miss each other and enjoy sitting together. I told Steve that once we are retired and I see him more frequently, I won’t sit with him anymore! We absolutely love Hart and Marty. I have high expectations because of singing for Tulsa Opera, and Hart and Marty meet and even exceed my expectations. Hart is able to get a volunteer choir and orchestra to sound pretty amazing! For us both, our signature piece, “Amazing Grace” with our orchestra and bagpipe is our favorite piece. It is such a powerful reminder of God's love and eternal care for His believers. This production ministers to us as we minister to others. We love their really unique combination of discipline and humor! We will never forget the birthday songs when Hart makes up crazy lyrics to popular songs – he’s a hoot! And we'll never forget how Marty organized the choir to sing to member Barbara Anthony at her home. We sang a few of her favorite anthems while family and hospice were comforting her final courageous journey from this life to her eternal rest. What a great example of Marty's heart for using music to minister to the hurting!
Jim and Johnna Taylor Johnna and I joined the Asbury choir in 1979, shortly after hearing the 1978 Christmas performance and deciding we wanted to serve Jesus in that way. We have been members continuously since then. Upon visiting Asbury in 1978, we felt a warmth and excitement that was contagious, the music being a large part of that and we never visited another church. Being in the choir together is the only thing we regularly do together outside our home. It is not only a commitment to the choir but also to each other. This is an important part of the tie that binds us. The music ministry means so much to us. It is our worship experience as well as our way of “ministering” to others. The music is such an important part of the 11:00 am worship experience and we get to contribute to that in our own way. Our favorite song is “Amazing Grace” with the bagpipes and our favorite service was a tie between Saviour and the 2011 edition of Americana. The Morris family is soooooo….talented. They have opened up their lives to the choir in such a way that we all feel such a sense of “family.”
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QUOTES ABOUT ASBURY'S MUSIC MINISTRIES I learned the joy of service from you, and my life has been over-poweringly enriched by participating in the many service projects choir supports. Choir members benefit most from our music— after singing scripture and working on passages over the six weeks or so we practice, the words truly permeate your soul. - Susan Rizzotti, second alto
It is truly an incredible, uplifting experience to have the privilege to play and be surrounded by such incredible music and musicians who are all there for one thing; to glorify Christ. - Valerie Dandridge, flutist
People may think the best memories and most rewarding experiences I have regarding my involvement in the music ministry is music related. But it’s not. Rather it’s what I’ve learned from our music ministers’ examples and opportunities they’ve presented to us, and in turn we’ve taught our children. It’s about giving generously and loving unconditionally. Is there anything more important?
Amey Mason Memorial Scholarship Winners by Marty Morris
n the fall of 2004, the Chancel Choir saw a need and met it. One of our high school seniors was short of funds to attend college. They decided to help her by donating $10 each and raised $1200 for her first year of school at Tulsa Community College. Her name was Amey Mason. She was from a broken home and lived with her grandmother. She joined our choir as a sophomore at Edison High School and sang with us until she went to college. On January 19, 2005, Amey was brutally murdered by a young man on drugs. To honor her and to help her family get through their grief, the Chancel Choir established the Amey Mason Memorial Scholarship. Each year the choir funds it by paying a “sunshine tax” of $10 per member. It is also funded by donations from the choir in memory of someone or in lieu of sending flowers. Since 2005, the choir has awarded the scholarship to eleven young people. Let’s see where they are now: Sara Bennett was the first recipient of the scholarship in 2005. She graduated from the University of Tulsa with a Bachelor in Music with a minor in education. “While music will always be my passion and I love teaching, I have discovered another passion in speechlanguage pathology. I will be entering the SpeechLanguage Pathology graduate program at OSU-Tulsa this fall, and I am so excited!” says Sara.
- Cheryl Thompson, accompanist
Emily Howland was also a 2005 recipient. Emily graduated from the University of Arkansas with a degree in animal sciences. She realized her lifetime dream when she was accepted into the Veterinary School at Oklahoma State University and will graduate in May of 2013.
While I was performing in the Americana programs, the songs touched me deeply. I realized some of the songs I sang had surely been sung by my grandparents and great grandparents. I must admit I shed a tear or two at the thought of connecting with my family in the past. - Vivian Kennedy, second alto
Hart has taught me valuable lessons in life that I have applied to my life outside of music. It is okay to make a mistake, but correct it immediately and go over it until you get it right; then move on. - Suzette Danks, alto
Laurynn Smith Littlefield (2006) graduated from Oklahoma State University in 2010 with a Bachelor's degree in Vocal Performance. She married her high school sweetheart, Taylor, in January 2011, and the Chancel Choir and New Covenant Orchestra performed for the ceremony. She and her husband now live in Moore, Oklahoma because of Taylor's job. Laurynn, a multi-talented girl, is currently working as a haute couture seamstress, and she absolutely loves it!
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Lauren Elisabeth Howard (2006) graduated from Northeastern State University with a major in elementary education and lives in Broken Arrow. “I couldn’t find a job teaching after graduation. I work at Hewlett Packard as a desk agent and talk to New York teachers/administrators all day... it's a hoot,” says Lauren.
Speaker) while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. In her spare time she landed the leading female role in the theatre department’s production of “You Can’t Take It With You”. The 2012 recipients were Berkeley Parris and Tori Bingham.
Jennifer Steffen (2007) went to Texas Christian University and received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in May 2011. She graduated Cum Laude in the top of her nursing class and is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. For the past year, Jennifer has worked as an ICU nurse at Baylor Heart and Vascular Hospital in Dallas. Jennifer is now considering pursuing a Master of Biblical Counseling degree at Dallas Theological Seminary. Rhianna Burdick Calhoun (2008) attended John Brown University. She married her high school sweetheart, Josh, and is currently serving on the staff of Asbury in the Children’s Ministry. She balances work with being a full time mom to their beautiful five month old daughter, Harmony Grace. Jake Bush (2009) Jake is attending the University of Central Oklahoma working on a degree in retail management and marketing. He works a full time job as well serving as an assistant manager at American Eagle at Quail Springs Mall in Edmond. Jill Arnold (2010) is currently at Oklahoma State University majoring in management science and information systems. “I work at one of the campus libraries and plan to attend graduate school for library science. I will graduate in December 2013,” says Jill.
Taylor Melone (2011) is attending Northeastern State University majoring in business and marketing. She was voted one of NSU’s top ten freshman, and was named the Larry Adair scholar (a scholarship to honor the former Oklahoma House
Berkeley Parris (2012) will attend Concordia University in Austin, Texas. She will major in communications. Her goal is to be a photo journalist. She received the Leadership Scholarship from the university. Tori Bingham (2012) will attend the University of Arkansas in the fall and will major in music. Her senior year, she won numerous music awards. She will major in music business and education and aspires to open and form a new World Class Drum Core in Oklahoma. When the choir lost Amey, it was one of the hardest things we have gone though together. We have lost other fellow choir members but never one so young. All the promise of that young life was cut down. The scriptures tell us that “All things work together for good to them that love the Lord.” We lost Amey but her legacy continues as each year a student is awarded a scholarship in her memory. As we look back on these bright and gifted students, we remember Amey and give thanks for her life and her influence. We also give thanks that these young people have shared in this wonderful legacy.
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by Holly Brobst
“We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.” – Arthur O’Shaunghnessy When Hart and Marty Morris announced they’d be retiring from Asbury, they made one thing very clear: they did not want the congregation to make a big deal about it. We’re honoring those wishes. Instead of making it a big deal, we’re making it a huge deal. I never considered myself a stealthy journalist, until now. In a quest to give this incredible team a proper sendoff, I partnered with someone who knows the couple well: music associate, Cynthia Bedford. From undercover information gathering, secret emails and undisclosed meeting places, we hope they forgive our sneaky ways and instead, realize this means just as much to us as it does to them.
The couple, who met while attending Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, has come a long way since their college years, living their musical dream at various congregations from Florida to Texas to Tennessee. During that time, they’ve been blessed with two children and eight grandchildren and recently moved into their dream farmhouse in Coweta. In their journey through the years, one thing remains the same, using their musical gifts for God. As the minister of music, many congregants know Hart Morris as the guy who leads the orchestra, choir and congregation during Sunday services (all while bantering with his long-time friend,
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Pastor Tom Harrison). What many don’t know about Hart Morris, is his impact within the world of handbells. Early in Hart’s career, his pastor at a Houston church asked him to lead the handbell choir. He said he would do so, but admitted to knowing very little about them. The pastor told him to find an expert, and he would send him there for training. He found the expert in another church in Houston. As a percussionist, Hart caught on quickly. Finding a new passion, he began to write for bells. He soon became one of the most published and distinguished handbell directors in the world, leading numerous workshops for The American Guild of English Handbell Ringers nationally, even representing the United States twice as conductor for the International Handbell Symposia. “This is how big Hart Morris is,” says Cynthia Bedford. “He’s so humble, you would never know it. Yet, those who do know think, ‘Wow, they have no idea who we’ve got’.” Not to ring Hart’s bell even more, but that’s not where his accomplishments in the music industry end. Other awards include the ASCAP Standard Award, the Oklahoma Baptist University Profile in Excellence Award in 2004, and the Oklahoma Baptist University Distinguished Music Alumni Award in 2005. As an accomplished musician, Hart is known for his fun, easy going attitude; something that can’t always be said for music directors. “Hart is the kindest, most diplomatic person I know,” says Kay Hays, a member of the choir. “He is the epitome of a Christian, and one of the few people I have met who can do anything musically.” Hart is up early every morning, far before he has to be at church, composing music on his home computer. For years he practiced writing music so he would be ready when the inspirations came. He believes what he offers to the Lord should be his very best. He’s not just composing music to be published. As it turns out, he’s also been writing weekly birthday songs for the members of Chancel Choir for several years. “We used to recognize birthdays by singing ‘Happy Birthday’,” explains Bedford. “One day, Hart decided to sit down at the piano and come up with his own rendition. From then on, he started bringing a freshly composed song each week for the birthday blessings. It’s always a disappointment when we don’t have a birthday to celebrate!” Hart certainly knows how to blend fun into everything he does. “He is such an unusual person,” Betty Sloan says. “He’s this mixture of strict professional, great encourager, and ‘wild and crazy guy’. Handbells with Hart is never dull.” During rehearsals, he’s the type who might pretend to puff on a cigarette, followed by telling the group, “You’re smokin’!” “He’s also known to hear a joke, top it and continue with the rehearsal without interruption,” says Skip Sidner, full-time orchestra volunteer. And anyone who works with Hart knows his famous line, “Look at me” while pointing at his eyes when things get a little too rowdy.
While Hart makes rehearsals fun, his sidekick and wife, Marty, helps keep everyone in line. She is lovingly referred to as the choir mom. When she’s not keeping the adult choir in check, she’s in charge of all the children’s choirs and leads the 3rd-6th grade Young Musicians. She also leads the women's ensemble, One Voice, and is a member of Hart's bell choir, Perpetual Light. Each June, she conducts a week-long SummerSong, in which children learn and present an hour-long musical. “Marty is this blend of strong person, yet very sweet and kind,” says Betty Sloan. “It is such a pleasure to watch her sing, she looks like she’s singing straight to Jesus. She always has this expression of pure joy on her face.” Hart and Marty are undoubtedly beloved, which made it that much more difficult for them to announce their departure. When it came time to tell the choir, “Hart stopped the rehearsal early, saying he needed to talk to us,” says Bedford. “He said, ‘We have just sung “There is a Time.”’ Everyone knew what was coming next.” The lyrics, in part (from Ecclesiastes): “There is a time, there is a season: a time to search, a time to lose, a time to hold, a time to release.” Hart spoke about last year’s stroke being a wake-up call for both of them. The room was very quiet, with the exception of a few
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sniffles. Pastor Tom had come for the announcement, prepared to end in prayer; instead, he had to leave the room for a moment of composure. When he returned, he went straight to Hart and Marty, hugged them and cried. He then prayed a wonderful prayer for the couple. “Finding their replacement will be a challenge,” Bedford says. “But I believe they will find a good one. Tom told us that night, ‘We will find a replacement, but we all know it won’t be another Hart.’ He also left us with his famous parting words, saying, ‘We must all lower our expectations, and raise our commitment.’” The goal of Asbury’s music and fine arts department is: “Equipping people to share their artistic gifts in ministering to the world.” Ed Morse, who leads Asbury Power and Light says, “I can’t imagine any better shepherds of that cause than Hart and Marty Morris. The quality of their lives, their faith and their art has allowed them to bring out the best in others, thus allowing all of us an opportunity to use our gifts to change the world.” It’s the end of an era. Twenty years ago, the congregation scratched their heads when this long-haired, boot-wearing cowboy stepped onto the chancel. Now, nobody sees the cowboy, they see the music maker. The first Sunday of August will mark a 20-year anniversary and a final send-off as Hart stands as Minister of Music one last time. It won’t be easy saying goodbye to Hart and Marty Morris. The congregation is truly Hartbroken. “Hart meets the classic definition of a leader – taking others from where they are to a place they have never been.”
“Hart is energetic and ready to go, we’d better be ready too, or we'd be falling behind the horse.” - Sandy Combs
“Hart was unquestionably given a musical gift from God, and has shared this gift for all to enjoy throughout his life. Praise the Lord!” - Gary Beatie
“I appreciate Hart so much for his creativity, his dedication to his Lord and his patience with us. I feel especially blessed by the way he ministers to the congregation through his descriptions of the hymns we sing. May God continue to bless him richly!” - Esther Gene Morrison
“I am always amazed at the brilliant way Hart orchestrates the music for the services, designing them to not just be another Sunday with some songs, but a well planned, oiled machine, that makes everything in the service tie together, like a beautiful masterpiece to honor our God.” - Laurie Smith
“Hart and Marty are two of the most talented, kind, and gracious people I know. Little did I know how wonderful and life-changing working alongside them in this fabulous music ministry would be. They have the ability to empower us and challenge us to be the best we can be, all accomplished with a perfect blend of patience and humor!”
- Skip Sidner
“Hart is one of the most talented musicians I have ever worked with. Plus, I enjoy his sense of humor, a little laughter goes a long way.” - Patricia Johnson
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- Cheryl Thompson
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Thank you for all of the great musical events over the years!
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SING THEM AT ALL OF YOUR SPECIAL OCCASIONS!
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The Unsung Heroes of Our Music Ministry: the Accompanists
he Music Ministry has been blessed with lots of wonderful accompanists through the years. Norma Helen Hampton was organist for more than twenty-one years and served under Dr. Reecher, Jerry LaDoux and Hart Morris. Norma Helen and Hart were known for their interesting and fun percussion and organ concerts that were presented as a part of the Asbury Music Series. After Norma Helen retired in 1999, Rosanna Corrales, an ORU graduate, ascended to the organ bench. She got to help plan the new organ at the Mingo location and has been at the helm ever since. Her gifts have been showcased on this wonderful organ and she blesses all who hear her. Each of the accompanists gives of her talent freely to glorify God. They may not be in the forefront but are vital members of the ministry where they serve. Cynthia Bedford is the children’s choir accompanist (not shown in group picture). My desire to play the piano began very early. I remember in third grade sitting in church and watching the pianist. From somewhere I can’t explain other than from God came such a strong desire to play the piano, I could hardly sit still. I told my parents of my desire, and they found a used blond upright piano with a mirror across the front for $100. I could hardly wait for them to find a teacher for me. My mom had a hymnal and made a cheat sheet for me with the names of the notes on the treble staff. She helped me find those notes on the piano. I found “Silent Night” in the hymnal and learned the treble part on my own. I was a good piano student, never having to be told to practice. In high school I began accompanying the choir and soloists. My part-time job in college was accompanying voice lessons. Because I also sang, I knew what I needed from my accompanists, and I tried to be a sensitive accompanist for others. Of course, all this has carried over into church where I enjoy playing for the children’s choirs and occasional soloists. Barbara Graves has been the accompanist for the 8:00 service since 1987. She, like the others, also accompany in many other areas of the music ministry. Music has been a major part of my life since beginning piano lessons at the age of nine. My love of music and piano skill have taken me from a small neighborhood church in Wichita, to a community church in Chicago, to playing both the piano and organ at Parkview Baptist, and finally to playing the piano at Asbury. There have been choral groups, weddings, funerals, and many various social functions along the way. About 1988, I began playing for Asbury's early service and it has
truly been a blessing. This grew from a piano-only service to eventually include the organ. I've enjoyed different duet partners over the years, including my daughter, Deborah, and granddaughter, Haley. Haley is in the process of becoming a church pianist herself. Rosanna and I started playing piano/organ duets a number of years ago and have found that when we play, we worship together. We share a special bond of love through our music. Marilyn Rhodes is the orchestra accompanist. As a small child, I was fascinated by the church pianist. When I was about 10, I started playing for worship services. After majoring in piano performance, my first job was staff pianist at Glorieta Baptist Conference Center in New Mexico. I became involved with the music ministry at Asbury by playing keyboard for the performances for Saviour at Union High School. Since that time I’ve served in choir or orchestra, and most recently pianist for the 11:00 worship services. My participation in worship at piano is my way of honoring God and sharing the gift of music. The blessing of being in the music ministry at Asbury is the rehearsals. Second Sunday Scrambles and Third Sunday Tuneups are intense workshops that bring you the extras – Christmas, Easter and the Americana Concerts. With choir, there is time to learn the beautiful poetry and language of the music. With both choir and orchestra, you grow close to your fellow musicians who share their talents and devotion. But the real blessing of the music program is the leadership of Hart and Marty. Hart is one of the finest musicians, composers and worship leaders anywhere. Marty’s musicianship and encouragement has bonded the choir members in love and music through the many mission activities that she enthusiastically encourages such as Salvation Army Angel Boys, the Amey Mason Scholarship fund, Susan Komen Race for the Cure, bringing food to the sick or diapers for newborns of members. The joy of seeing her smiling face with choir robe waving as she conducts the beloved children is a picture of God’s love. The depth of devotion to God that both Hart and Marty have shared with the musicians of Asbury has been a profound source of strength and encouragement in my life. Cheryl Thompson has been the Chancel Choir accompanist for the last 17 years. Her dedication and musicianship have been an inspiration to all in the ministry. As with many musicians, I began playing music at a young age – age 4 to be exact. My mom says they couldn’t keep me off the bench! I studied music through my sophomore year in college. I had some wonderful teachers; however, my greatest influence in my music was my precious grandmother. She lived with us while I was growing up and often took me to my lessons. She was my biggest advocate. Even in my adult years, she would sit near me
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as I practiced as she never tired of hearing me play. She would jokingly tell me she favored my playing as an adult since I didn’t make near as many mistakes as when I was growing up! She, too, was a musician. She was the organist for our church, and she was still finding opportunities to play the piano in her nineties. I like to think I’ve instilled a love for music and the arts in our children and in my many piano students, most of whom were from Asbury. As musicians, God gives us different strengths, and mine is in accompanying. I’ve never had much of a desire to be a soloist. I feel most at home when I am surrounded by the voices of the choir, the instrumentals, and Hart at the conductor’s stand. Personally, performing is not about me, rather it’s about the ensemble, and I am just one part of the whole. All of us performing together make the ministry of music. The most moving and personally touching experience I have had as a musician was performing Saviour. Many of us felt closer to God each time we rehearsed or performed that oratorio. People may think the best memories and most rewarding experiences I have regarding my involvement in the music ministry is music related. But it’s not. Rather it’s what I’ve learned from our music ministers’ examples and opportunities they’ve presented to us, and in turn we’ve taught our children. It’s about giving generously and loving unconditionally. Is there anything more important? A few years ago, I closed my piano teaching studio and started my real estate business which I find rewarding and very satisfying. However, my passion remains my music! The music keeps me grounded emotionally and fed spiritually. I plan to follow in my sweet grandma’s footsteps and continue playing as long as I can.
We should never take our gifts for granted. God gave them to us, and it’s our responsibility to give them back. I am so thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given at Asbury these last 17 years to do just that. Judy Werner is the accompanist for Asbury Power and Light Co. I have always loved playing the piano! As a child, I grew up in a home where music was important--along with serving God and going to church. My mother's favorite quote was “To whom much is given, much is required.” I was blessed with piano teachers who taught me classical music, and I began playing church hymns and Sunday school songs by “ear” as a child. When I was 8-9 years old, the pastor of our small church asked if I could play for a midweek service, since no one else was available. My dad offered me a quarter if I would play. Naturally, the songs chosen were ones that I knew and could play. From then on, it seems that I have been playing the piano in a church setting. When Wayne and I first came to Asbury over 8 years ago, I saw a note in the bulletin that a pianist was needed for Asbury Power and Light. I called Charles Emerson (the leader at that time), and told him that I was primarily a classical and gospel pianist. He said, “Close enough!” and my jazz experiences began. I have found that as the years have gone by, it has been an interesting journey for me. Ed Morse, the present leader of APL, has always been an encouragement to me and has enlarged my understanding of different styles of jazz. I always feel that playing the piano is a gift that I offer to God, whether I am playing an accompaniment for a children's choir, a soloist, or APL. I feel grateful that I can contribute my gifts at Asbury.
from l to r: Sara Bennett, Marilyn Rhodes, Cheryl Thompson, Judy Werner, Barbara Graves and Rosanna Corrales
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Carol Vrooman I started playing handbells before my kids were born, who are now 24 and 25 years old, respectively. When I was younger, I took piano lessons so I was very used to reading and playing music. In 1984, I started playing in the Asbury handbells. I like the people in the choir. We are all different but we have chemistry and work together very well. I feel like playing the handbells is my contribution to Asbury. Hart is so much fun to work with and be around. I really love the small group feel especially if you need support. You can call these people, and we are there for each other.
time we play a new piece and I love the camaraderie. Playing in the handbells has developed a closeness to the choir and the person next to you. It is just a pleasant time overall. Hart is never judgmental, never puts you down. He makes it so comfortable. He understands you are human and tells you if you make a mistake to keep going and make it better. The music ministry, orchestra and vocal choir, ministers the songs. You know the spirit is there and is ministering to you. This has a lot to do with Hart and Marty, from the music they select and who they are. The music makes you want to stand up and shout, it makes you joyful. I hope this is what heaven is like. I love watching Marty sing. It is like she is singing to Jesus, she has such an angelic expression. My fondest memory of Marty is when she taught the Beth Moore study. It was so memorable. Marty was such a role model and leader. God handpicked the group of us because of our similarities.
I have been playing handbells for the past 25 years. We were attending First United Methodist and Asbury at the same time. I worked as the music secretary for Asbury for 3 Â˝ years under Jerry LeDoux. We couldnâ€™t decide which church to join. We knew we needed to settle on one because I was playing handbells at Asbury. We finally joined Asbury. Handbells are so challenging but Hart is so much fun and brings out the best in everyone. I love playing, I love the challenge every
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Carol Lytle What I love the most about being in Perpetual Light is working together to make a piece sound great, and then using it to make the worship experience special. I have been playing for 18 years but only 9 months at Asbury. I love serving the church by making music.
DeDe Sageser It’s hard to choose just one thing that I love most about playing in Perpetual Light. The ladies (and Hart) are a family and we have so much fun from week to week. The handbells are challenging but in a good way. It’s a different type of instrument that can be used in so many ways.
Playing for a gifted director like Hart is always so much fun!! He gives us pieces to play that we may not feel confident about at first but his encouragement and lots of practice results in a great experience and blessing.
Nancy VanDyne I have been playing handbells for close to 50 years. I started playing at Boston Avenue Methodist Church but I have been at Asbury since Hart’s third year.
The music ministry is the heart of the church like the heart of a home is the kitchen. Music brings everybody together to worship. Even if someone doesn’t sing they can at least listen with their ears and worship with their hearts. I really enjoy playing the handbells in the Americana concert. We played, “Plink, Plank, Plunk” and we worked so hard on it. When we finally performed, it was a great accomplishment for the whole group.
Playing handbells is my joy. I enjoy this more than anything I do. Hart is so much fun. He is a fantastic, composer, arranger and director. He is so patient with us. It is a challenge and great fun especially when we do Hart’s music. I have learned a lot from him and can’t imagine being without him.
The members of the Chancel Choir and the Perpetual Light handbell choir have always represented Jesus to me. The blessing of joining other believers in musical praise and worship, and the love and support of those same people is incomparable.
Jann Berg I have been playing for about 20 years and 8-9 years at Asbury. I just love playing for Hart! We will miss him dearly.
We have had so many great and fun moments over the years, but I think the everyday moments have blessed me over and over.
Beth Martin I love the challenge that playing in Perpetual Light provides me. I look forward to practicing every Thursday morning and I am honored to be a member of this group with Hart as the director.
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Family in Ministry Together by Marty Morris John and Sandy Combs first visited Asbury in the summer of 2008 and made a decision to make it their home church. In November 2009, they became members. “We chose Asbury because we loved the music ministry led by Hart Morris and Pastor Tom’s preaching,” said Sandy. The Combs met in California at a church in Riverside. Three years later they were married and moved to Oklahoma and have lived here since August of 1982.They will celebrate their thirtieth wedding anniversary and thirty years in Tulsa this August. They have two wonderful sons: Ryan, age 26, and a graduate of Oral Roberts University; and Tyler, age 20, now a junior at the University of Oklahoma, majoring in engineering, computer science. John began singing at age 12 when his mom volunteered him to sing a solo at their church after she heard another boy his age sing and knew John could sing better than him. He has been singing ever since always with the knowledge that his talents are God given and should be used to further the kingdom when possible. John likes to be challenged musically and enjoys the music of the traditional service. When he came to Asbury he began to sing tenor for the first time which was a little of a challenge at first since he knew the bass lines of the hymns. If you have ever heard John sing it might be surprising to know he is a former bass. He sang one of the tenor roles of Saviour when the Chancel Choir performed it in 2010. Sandy began taking piano lessons in the 3rd grade, but three years later, after realizing that there was too much competition with her older sister, Linda, who also played the piano, she decided to play the violin like her father, David. He had been playing for years in the church orchestra, and she wanted to emulate him. She was a quick study learning to read music and play by ear and was soon playing with her dad in the church orchestra. In high school, she played with the school orchestra and performed in musicals. After graduation, Sandy continued to use her talent at the church she was attending. The violin is very therapeutic for her and a way for her to worship the Lord. She has also used her music in educating patients at the Cancer Treatment Center and at Kellyville High School where she teaches Family and Consumer Sciences (formerly Home Economics) “So many people talk about their bucket list and although I do not have an official list…I have always dreamed of just having the opportunity to play my violin in a professional orchestra just one time. I could visualize what this was like and knew that would probably never happen. After joining Asbury's orchestra, I realized that the Lord let me see my dream become a reality. Hart and the orchestra are more than I could have asked for…professional, friendly, and blessing others in the congregation! And I get to play in a professional orchestra every Sunday. Thank you, Asbury, for offering me this great opportunity,” says Sandy. Sandy’s sister Linda Shade moved to Tulsa in 2011 after she retired from teaching in Riverside, California. Her decision was made
back row: John Combs and David Shade; front row: Sandy Combs and Linda Shade
when she lost her mom in 2010 and felt she needed to be with her father. With that decision, she decided she would also pursue one of her dreams: to perform in the community and to teach piano in her home. Linda began singing in church at five years of age and began accompanying her mom when she sang solos at church at the age of 11. She has always been involved in music ministry and has taught music at Christian schools in addition to directing major musical productions accompanied by orchestra. She has also directed children’s church choirs. In 2008 she recorded her first CD entitled Linda’s Song. “My sister, Sandy, and brother-in-law John were the first to come to Asbury. Next my dad followed, and now I have joined them. I was first impressed with the music. I loved the choir and orchestra and the quality of music that was presented. Hart’s friendliness and amiable personality was a major factor in me continuing to come to Asbury. Thus, I was very interested in being a part of the music program on Sunday mornings. Currently, I am thrilled to be an active musician at Asbury, where the choir has made me feel so welcome. In addition, I can’t forget to mention the excellent teaching by Pastor Tom Harrison, which was another reason I chose Asbury.” David and Blanche Shade moved to Tulsa from Fontana, California where he taught business at the high school there for 35 years. In 2005 they moved into Inverness Village and lived there for four years until moving into their present home. His wife was unable to attend because of illness but they were able to worship by watching the live stream on their computer. “It was a real blessing to us,” he said. “The quality of the music program, and especially the orchestra, was a major factor in attracting me to Asbury. I have played violin in church orchestras since I was a teenager. John and Sandy Combs (daughter and son-in-law) were involved in the music program here, so it was only natural for me to attend Asbury. I really am thankful for the opportunity to participate in the Asbury orchestra, as playing violin has been one of the joys of my life.” Sunday May 20, John sang accompanied by his wife, Sandy on the violin and his sister-in-law, Linda on the piano as his father-in-law, David looked on with pride from the orchestra pit. “The family that prays together stays together.” The family that ministers together stays together might be more apropos.
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The Gift of Music by Nikki Boyd Rosanna Corrales came to know Jesus personally when she was a little girl attending Vacation Bible School. She recalls a girl named Rosie coming to their class and playing the piano as she led them in, “Jesus Loves Me”. “He became real to me through those songs,” says Rosanna. It’s not surprising that God would continue to use music as the theme of Rosanna’s life and ministry. By the third grade, she was taking piano lessons and leading her Sunday school class in hymns and Christmas carols. “I haven’t stopped playing,” she says. “Hymns continue to be a big part of me; so many texts express the emotions and prayers of our lives.” Corrales grew up in Broken Arrow and was involved in many musical endeavors through high school. She later graduated from Oral Roberts University with a Bachelor of Music Education degree in 1978. Years later while recovering from a divorce, Rosanna was looking for a new church home. She remembered Bill Mason who had been a teacher at a summer camp she attended. On her first visit to Asbury, she was invited to join the choir. “I’ve been a part of the Chancel Choir in one form or another ever since,” says Corrales. After joining Asbury in 1991, Rosanna began to spend many hours volunteering in the music library with music secretary, Carolyn Miller. Carolyn, a prayer warrior and fellow divorce survivor, ministered to her new friend on many occasions.
Savior, Hide, till the storms of life are past.” She remembers her daddy singing, “The Old Rugged Cross,” and a favorite song is “Be Still and Know that I am God.” During a time of joy, she celebrated with, “In Thee Is Gladness - Jesus, Sunshine of my Heart!” Rosanna continues, “There are times in life when words are useless. That’s when music comes and carries me along. I’m grateful to have all the hymns of the faith. The prayers and praises of the generations before are very powerful for me.” With Hart and Marty Morris announcing their retirement, Rosanna says it’s easy for us to “wring our hands and wonder what to do. But just as God provided the right leadership when He brought them to Asbury 20 years ago, God will do that for us again if we trust Him.” There is sadness to see the Morris’s go, because a lot of life has been shared over the years. Rosanna recalls, “We’ve watched each other’s children grow up and have grandchildren, carried each other through the deaths of parents, and we’ve participated in some moments in music that will never be equaled. But our God is big enough to continue to take care of all of us.” “Great is thy Faithfulness, O God my Father! All I have needed thy hand has provided. Great is thy Faithfulness, Lord, unto me!”
Rosanna became Asbury’s permanent organist while the church was still located at the Sheridan Road campus, upon the retirement of Norma Helen Hampton. The role has been a joy. “Moving to the Mingo campus was quite a challenge, especially with the sanctuary organ,” she adds. “It’s the largest organ I have ever played. There are many times when I walk into the sanctuary and wonder what a girl from Broken Arrow is doing in a magnificent place like this!” While it is an awesome experience to hear so many voices lifted up while she plays, preparing for each Sunday’s service is also an important act of worship. Says Rosanna, “If I can't worship while I’m practicing, how can I expect to lead my friends in worship later?” Rosanna is married to Alan whom she describes as “the handsome man you see on Sunday operating camera #5 by the piano.” You might even catch them grinning at one another. But he’s absent during Lent and Easter, when he’s involved in the longest running outdoor passion play in America, near Lawton. He’s been part of the production for 45 years, directing the past nine years. Corrales has seen the gift of music minister during many seasons of her life. While grieving, it was the hymn, “Jesus, Lover of my Soul” that spoke to her: “Let me to thy bosom fly! Hide me, O, My
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Praise and Worship as a Community by Diane King
n integral part of Asbury’s worship services every Sunday is the praise and worship time. For some Asburians, this is the main time and place they sing and praise God. For others, this is not enough, and they prefer doing this in a smaller setting, as well. This desire is what birthed the adult discipleship community known as Praise and Worship. The genesis of this community traces back to 1992, before Asbury had a worship service that primarily used praise songs. A small handful of people decided they wanted to meet on Sunday mornings together to sing contemporary praise songs, pray together and study the Bible. Dee and Barbie Paige, Bert and Dru Johnson, Karin and Darrell Duke, and Beth Grimes were some of these original members. The Paiges served as the first class presidents, and Beth led the singing.
books of the Bible as well as topical studies, depending on the needs and desire of the class members. “Many of us have taken the course Perspectives and Disciple Bible Study, so we know we are ‘blessed to be a blessing!’” notes Joy Alice Morrow. “Every Sunday morning we start by singing songs and end our class by circling up to pray, praising our Lord for who He is, giving thanks for His blessings and offering our petitions.”
The group originally started meeting in the Recreation Room across from the gym in the old building. “Beth said we would be singing thru the holes in the ceiling,” says Dru, “because they played pool and would accidentally poke holes with the cue sticks.” The class moved from meeting at 9:30 to 11:00 when the new Contemporary Worship service was added at 9:30. They soon changed to meet in the choir room. “We had this great big room,” says Paige, “and there would be this small handful of us in this great big room.”The group has grown to 80 members, with an average attendance of around 35 people. Barbie Paige says, “I love that Praise and Worship is made up of couples and singles. Our age group is 50ish.”
Becoming According to Joe Ford, “We have members who participate and volunteer to serve others in many ways, as representatives of P&W community, as members of Asbury, and as individuals simply serving Christ. The class has committed to financially support multiple missionaries who serve beyond our reach - and the class typically contributes partial support for any member who commits to a participation in an Asbury-sponsored mission trip.”
Believing The class has been blessed with many gifted teachers, such as Betsy Moore, Dee Paige, Glen Wellendorf, Doug Walker, and Mary Pittman, who rotate the teaching schedule. They have studied
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The Praise and Worship community is all about joining together to find practical ways of loving as Christ said we should. Some of the outreach ministries for which they regularly provide are Redemption dinners at St. Luke’s UMC, food and volunteers at the Walt Whitman school carnival, and baskets for Circle of Care and Operation Hope silent auction fundraisers, to name a few. Members are regularly involved in many local outreach ministries such as A&W (Asbury & Whitman.)
to her home last Christmas to sing carols and to pray for her. They then proceeded on to the St. Francis ICU to do the same for Bobby Armor and then to the apartment of Jeff Evenson, who had knee replacement surgery. Barbara Engler says that “Praise and Worship class is like ‘family’. They are there for you when you need help with anything.” When someone has a special need, it is common for the group to circle up around them, lay hands on them and pray. They most recently exercised this practice a couple of weeks ago as they said goodbye to Jeff and Beth Evenson, P&W members who moved to pastor a church in Missouri.” Sound like serious business? Don’t worry…they also know how to have fun. “From serving in the community to playing Pictionary, we have discovered the joy of laughter,” states Betsy Moore. “We take the things of God very seriously, but ourselves…not so much.” Barbie Paige observes, “Something I love about Praise and Worship is the laughter we share every week during class and at our socials. This is a FUN group!” Some of the recreational activities Praise and Worship folks do together are Dinners for Six, Bowling for Puzzles (they brought puzzles for local nursing homes), Game Night, Amish House dinner, line dancing, scavenger hunt, Bingo, picnic with Mini-Olympics, and of course, have a Christmas party!
“[We] are so proud of our own Barbie who spearheads that, not only for P&W, but for Asbury,” Alice Morrow recounts. “What a blessing to support the teachers and students of a north Tulsa school. Our class pulled together to clean the grounds of the school and paint inside. Other members enjoy reading to the children on a rotating basis.” Members of P&W also actively help out around our own church here at Asbury. They help set up the CLC for every monthly new member Exploration class. Many are active as support couples in Couple to Couple as well as helping with Celebrate Recovery. Many Praise and Worship members have been on Global Mission trips to Mexico and Tanzania. Any P&W member who goes on mission trips will get financial and prayer support from the class. Everything in the Praise and Worship collections goes toward missions.
If this sounds like a great group in which you could belong, don’t let being a “newbie” stop you from giving them a visit. Phil and Sheri Morrison share their thoughts on Praise & Worship by saying, “[It] has meant so much to us as newer members looking for our place in community life. We know Praise & Worship allows us to live life together as a community of believers supporting, praying, caring and being there for each other.” If you are searching for a community “home” and this sounds like a good fit for you, please visit them on Sunday mornings at 11:00 am in room 1504. There is always room for more to Praise and Worship!
Belonging “My favorite thing about the Praise and Worship community is the love and support that is given to every member,” says Betsy Moore. “We truly are a family. We are all learning to use our spiritual gifts so we can function as the body of Christ. My husband, Greg is going through serious health challenges and the community has rallied to our side. We know that we do not walk this road alone. We are a group of mature believers who believe in the power of prayer.” One of their members, Billie Murdock, faced serious illness and has since gone home to be with the Lord. Several from P&W went
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RECIPES OF THE MONTH
For years the Chancel Choir and New Covenant Orchestra celebrated together at Hart and Marty Morris’ Christmas Open House. The following are recipes from those parties.
Texas Quiche 1-4oz. can green chilies 10-12 oz. shredded Jack/Cheddar cheese 3 eggs, beaten (1 cup egg substitute) 1 T. mustard
1 t. Worcestershire sauce Dash of Tabasco Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients. Pour into greased (Pam) 7 X 10” pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with paprika. Cut into squares and serve warm. Makes 25-30 squares.
Cheese Stuffed Tortillas 8 oz. cream cheese, softened 8 oz. sour cream 1 ½ cups grated Cheddar 1 cup chopped black olives 1-4 oz. can green chilies
1 small jar chopped pimentos, drained 1 t. garlic salt 1 T. minced onion 12 flour tortillas
Mix all ingredients and spread on the tortillas. Roll up in jelly roll style. Chill several hours. Slice into ½ inch rounds and serve. They are great dipped in salsa. Yields 72 slices.
Marty’s Fudge 3 c. sugar ¾ cup butter (not margarine) 2/3 cup evaporated milk 12 oz package real chocolate chips
7 oz. jar marshmallow cream 1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts are good) 1 t. vanilla (Mexican is best)
Combine sugar, butter and milk in a heavy sauce pan; bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly. Continue boiling for 5 minutes over medium heat and stirring. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until melted. Add marshmallow cream, nuts and vanilla and stir until smooth and well blended. Pour into a greased 13X9” pan. Enjoy.
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Asbury Opportunities GENERAL INFORMATION BREAKFAST
Come enjoy fellowship with Asburians along with fresh donuts, bagels, biscuits & gravy, sausage, eggs, fruit, and cereal. • Served from 7:00–9:00 am in the CLC • $4 for adults and $1 for children 12 and under SUNDAY MORNING WORSHIP
8:00 am 9:15 am 9:15 am 11:00 am 11:00 am
DOORS OF ASBURY POSTERS ARE AT THE WELCOME CENTERS...
FREE! Suitable for framing.
NEW ADDITIONS TO THE LIBRARY
Mason Chapel (Traditional Communion) Sanctuary (Contemporary) CLC - Open House Worship (Acoustic Worship, Casual Setting) Sanctuary (Traditional) Venue 68 (Modern with sign interpreter)
The Asbury Library is a wonderful resource. Thank you to all who continue to contribute books to our Library. OJT (OVERCOMING JOB TRANSITIONS)
SUNDAYS FOR CHILDREN AND STUDENTS
6 Weeks–Pre-K K–6th Grades 7th, 8th & 9th Grades 10th, 11th & 12th Grades
Recycle aluminum cans by bringing them (in plastic garbage bags) to the wire collection cage located up the short driveway towards the east side of Asbury’s main church building. Thank you for helping to support the Boy Scouts.
8:00, 9:15 and 11:00 am 9:15 or 11:00 am 9:15 and 11:00 am 9:15 am only
Invite people you know dealing with job issues to OJT. We offer encouragement, prayer support and hands-on workshops helping with resumes, networking, interviewing, the internet and more. Meets the third Tuesday of each month. • Tuesday, July 17, 6:30–9:00 pm • Room 2319 • Contact Russ Knight at OJTJobs@gmail.com
ACCESS ADULT DISCIPLESHIP COMMUNITIES
Adult Bible study, belonging, and serving together • Sunday at 8:00, 9:15 and 11:00 am • Options during the week - Wednesdays at 6:00 pm
• Sundays, 5:30–6:30 pm, Family Room
SURGERY OR HOSPITALIZATION SCHEDULED?
• Sundays, 11:00 am, Room 1507
HANDS OF LOVE SIGN CHOIR
FRIENDS IN CHRIST COMMUNITY
Be sure to let Asbury know ahead of time by calling the church receptionist at 918.492.1771 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 918.492.1771, selecting option 6, and leaving a message for the pastor on call. THE GAZEBO IS OPEN
CDs of Tom’s message of the day are available immediately following the worship service - $3. UMW Cookbooks available for $20. Additional volunteers needed. RECYCLING PAPER
Recycle unwanted paper products. Three bins are available, located in the south and east parking lots.
BIBLE STUDY Check out our adult bible studies listed in our RoadMap brochures found at all welcome centers or online at www.asburytulsa.org/ AdultMinistries/Roadmap.aspx. DISCIPLE, PART I
There are two concurrent 34-week courses for adults who want to study the whole Bible in order to learn what it means to be a faithful follower of Jesus Christ. No previous Bible knowledge required. Part 2 of the course continues in the Winter 2013 RoadMap semester, beginning in January. Preview/Enrollment meetings (you are required to attend only one) • Tuesday, July 24 or July 31, OR Thursdays, July 26 or August 2 • 6:30–7:30 pm
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• Room 2818 Classes will be held • 17 sessions (first half of a 2-semester course) –– Class A: Tuesdays, August 7–December 11 (will not meet October 16 or November 20) OR –– Class B: Thursdays, August 9–December 13 (will not meet October 18 or November 22) • 6:30–8:30 pm • Room 2818 • Instructor: Dr. Vaughn Story • Cost: $40 (materials supplied for both semesters) Here are some ongoing studies you may attend at any time: BELIEVERS BIBLE STUDY
Continuous study of the Bible. Currently doing a survey study of the book of Romans. • Wednesdays, 6:00–7:30 pm • Room 1508 • Instructor: Don Herrold WOMEN OF THE WORD
Join Darlene Johnson as she leads an open Bible study focusing on the practical application of the Scripture sermon series. • Wednesdays, 10:00–11:00 am (No childcare) • Room 2818
CARE AND SUPPORT S.M.I.L.E. (SINGLE MOTHERS IN THE LORD’S EMBRACE)
Join us for a DVD series and book entitled “21 Principles of a Healthy Single Mom.” You will learn to apply specific, workable guidelines so you can flourish spiritually in the midst of overwhelming circumstances. Each principle/video session is self-contained, and you may begin attending at any time. • Third Thursdays, 6:00–8:45 pm • Parlor • Childcare provided • $12 for book • RSVP to Kellie at email@example.com HEALING HATS/BALL CAPS
VISITS TO ASBURY MEMBERS
Asbury has a group of volunteers (Asbury Connection) who regularly visit people who are homebound, in nursing homes or in assisted living facilities. • Contact Lisa at 918.298.9014 or firstname.lastname@example.org PRAYER CARD MINISTRY
Send cards with God’s encouraging words and our prayers to those who are ill or going through hard times. • Usually meets first and third Mondays at 9:30 am • Room 1508 • Contact Gwen Mohler at 918.258.5479 or email@example.com 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. Send complete name and address to: • Jo VanDeWiele at 918.459.0888 or Gwen at firstname.lastname@example.org DIVORCE RECOVERY
For those suffering from the early, highly emotional stages of divorce and separation trauma. • Tuesdays, 7:00–8:30 pm • Room 1335 • Childcare available • Contact Malia Miller at 918.494.9596 or malia.miller@ sbcglobal.net DIVORCE REBUILDING
An Asbury ministry created to provide hats to cancer patients who have lost their hair. “Home spun with knots of love, woven together with help from above!” Simply knit, crochet or sew a hat or decorate a ball cap of your choice and drop it in the collection box located next to the Gazebo. Find more information in the literature rack attached to the collection box. In addition, the following groups meet regularly for fellowship, while using their creative ability to make hats: • Crochet Group –– Second and fourth Tuesdays, 6:30–8:00 pm
–– Room 1506 –– Contact Sue Fisher at email@example.com or 918.455.2816 • Ball Caps (If you can cut and glue this is for you!) –– Fourth Tuesdays, 9:30–11:30 am –– Room 1507 –– Baseball caps and decorating items available –– Contact Sue Fisher at firstname.lastname@example.org or 918.455.2816
For those ready to rebuild their lives after separation or divorce. • Thursdays, 7:00–8:30 pm • Room 1335 • Childcare available • Contact Jim Small at 918.697.4220 or divorce-rebuilding@ cox.net MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT FOR FAMILIES
For family members or caregivers of people affected by a mental illness.
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• Usually meets the fourth Thursdays from 1:30–3:00 pm • Parlor • Contact Linda Lytle at 918.298.2707 or email@example.com
• Cost is $12.00 • Contact Leanne 918.392.1183 or firstname.lastname@example.org
ASBURY BEAR BAGS
Toddler n’ Me is a special time for a parent and/or grandparent and their two and three-year olds to enjoy activities designed for everyone to have lots of fun just being together. Nursery will be provided for younger (over 6 weeks) and older (up to 6th grade) siblings. • Tuesday, July 17, 10:00 am • Children’s 2nd floor gathering area • Cost is $3.00 per child to help cover supplies • Register in advance • Contact Stephanie Long at 918.392.1171 or slong@ asburytulsa.org
TODDLER ‘N ME
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. • Contact Sue at email@example.com
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–12 years of age with no reservations needed: • Sunday 9:00 am–12:00 pm • Monday and Tuesday 9:00 am–12:00 pm • Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 6:00 pm–9:00 pm SUNDAY MORNING VOLUNTEERS
Children’s Ministry is actively pursuing classroom, security and hospitality volunteers. We have two rotations: Alpha (1st and 2nd Sundays) and Omega (3rd and 4th Sundays) at both the 9:15 and 11:00 class times. • Contact Abby Sluice at 918.392.4583 or firstname.lastname@example.org ROLLER SKATING DAY
Why not get rollin’ with Asbury? Meet your friends or bring some along to get out of the heat and skate the day away. Asbury has the whole place to ourselves! • Wednesday, July 11, 10:00 am • 1st through 6th graders (or younger if accompanied by an adult) • Admission $7.00 per person which includes your skates, a drink, and an ice cream treat • Broken Arrow Roller Sports, 551 West Oakland Place, Broken Arrow • Contact Leanne at 918.392.1183 or email@example.com ODD SUNDAY
6th graders - Beat the summer heat and join us for some pizza and skating. Lunch will be here at Asbury, then we will take you to the Oiler’s Ice Center 6413 S. Mingo. Parents will pick up directly from the ice rink. • Sunday, July 15, 12:30 pm • Meet in the 6th grade room (2901) directly after church for pizza and fellowship
MEGA MOVIE MORNING
Take one…and action! Why not join us in your pajamas for a morning of movies? We will offer three movie choices, plus we will have a concession stand open with all your favorite snacks. Plan on bringing a few dollars to buy some yummy snacks and a pillow to sit back and enjoy some great flicks with friends. • Wednesday, July 18, 10:00 am • 4 years–6th graders • Children’s 2nd floor gathering area • Contact Leanne at 918.392.1183 or firstname.lastname@example.org MURDOCK VILLA VISITS
4th, 5th and 6th graders can serve at an assisted living housing project once a month where the majority of the residents have physical disabilities. Space is limited to the first 10 students. Make sure you sign up early and have a signed permission slip. • Sundays, July 22 and August 19, meet at 12:30 pm • Rock 6 room • Cost is $5 for a pizza lunch • Contact Christina Treat at 918.392.1172 or ctreat@ asburytulsa.org SUPER KIDS DAY
Our kids are SUPER, so let’s have a day to celebrate them. Drop off your kids for a super fun day of inflatables, open gym games and crafts. Don’t forget to send a little extra money for the concession stand. • Wednesday, July 25, 10:00 am • 4 years–6th graders • Asbury gym • Contact Shanon Brown at 918.392.1170 or sbrown@ asburytulsa.org • Adult volunteers needed FAMILY BINGO NIGHT IN THE CLC
“Bingo!” Get out of the heat and come play some bingo (and other
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silly contests) with your family and friends. Invite Grandma and Grandpa, neighbors and friends from school that you haven’t seen all summer. Concessions, including hot dogs and nachos, will be for sale. • Wednesday, August 1, 6:00 pm • CLC • No registration necessary • Contact Jennifer at 918.392.4582 or email@example.com. KINDERGARTEN BLESSING SERVICE
Children who are just entering kindergarten and their families are invited to be a part of this service of affirmation and blessing. A celebration reception with commemorative activities will follow. • Sunday, August 5, 4:00 pm • Sanctuary, with reception in the CLC • Register by July 29 to ensure your child receives a certificate • Contact Stephanie Long at 918.392.1171 or slong@ asburytulsa.org GOD AND ME/GOD AND FAMILY SCOUTING AWARD ORIENTATION MEETING
We are excited to offer these two programs for Boy and Girl Scouts or Campfire and their mentor (i.e. parent, grandparent, etc.) that fulfill requirements for the “God and Me” and “God and Family” awards. Both programs will have a mandatory parent and scout orientation meeting. We will provide the materials so that each week the mentor and scouts may work at home to complete the course. At the final meeting on October 2, we will review your workbooks and submit for your award to be presented at a final award ceremony. • Tuesday, August 21, 6:30 pm, parent/scout orientation meeting • Room 2909 for meetings; ceremony will be in Mason Chapel • Cost of $30 includes workbook, certificate, all program supplies, and award medallion • For more information contact Leanne at 918.392.1183 or firstname.lastname@example.org. CELEBRATION STATION
Celebration Station is a 52-week complementary children’s program to Celebrate Recovery. While adults explore topics that bring healing and wholeness, kids discover the same truths in ageappropriate ways through worship, crafts, games and activities. • Mondays, 7:00–9:00 pm • Faith Zone • Contact Eryn Wallis 918.392.4588 or email@example.com SPECIAL VOLUNTEERS FOR SPECIAL KIDS!
Do you have a heart to help children with special needs? If so, the Children’s Ministry needs you to volunteer. • Contact Dotti Westerberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or 918.381.0874
DISCIPLESHIP DISCIPLESHIP COMMUNITIES
If you have not yet found an Adult Discipleship Community check out “Community Life” on our website, www.asburytulsa.org, or pick up a brochure at one of our Welcome Centers. • If you are 20’s to early 30’s, come check out our newest Sunday morning group at 9:15 am in room 2314, “Transitions”
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 through your will or a current gift. • Contact Dwight Yoder at 918.392.1113 or dyoder@ asburytulsa.org MARY ANN SMITH
After 25 years on staff at Asbury, Mary Ann Smith, Director of Global Outreach, retired in June. You can help her legacy continue by supporting one of two funds that have been set up in her honor Asbury Church Foundation and the Mary Ann Smith Scholarship Fund at Asbury Theological Seminary. The Mary Ann Smith Global Missions Fund has been established in the Asbury UMC Foundation. Being an endowment, only the earnings will be distributed. The hope and expectation are that gifts will continue to be given to this fund for many years to come. It will support Asbury's global outreach efforts around the world. The funds will be managed by the Asbury UMC Foundation Board with distribution of funds to be done in consultation with the Global Outreach Leadership Team chair and Mary Ann. Gifts to the endowment can be made with a check to Asbury UMC with the notation: Mary Ann Smith Global Missions Fund. The Mary Ann Smith Scholarship Fund has been established at Asbury Theological Seminary by Tulsa friends to honor Mary Ann's twenty-five years of ministry in missions and to encourage and provide financial assistance to qualified Oklahoma students who are pursuing a degree in Intercultural Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary. The Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies is a multidisciplinary program focused on learning about other cultures and developing skills in negotiating across cultural boundaries, both within and outside the United States. The fund will provide financial assistance to those who are called to the mission field and further equip them to share the Good News more effectively. • You can help Mary Ann’s legacy continue by supporting this scholarship fund established in her honor. Checks may be made
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out to Asbury Theological Seminary and mailed to: Office of Advancement Asbury Theological Seminary 204 N. Lexington Avenue Wilmore, KY 40390 • Or, you may make your check out to Asbury United Methodist Church. Be sure to indicate that your gift is for The Mary Ann Smith Scholarship Fund. For more information, please contact Dean Hatch at dhatch@ asburytulsa.org or 918.392.1136.
HOSPITALITY We were recently asked, “why don’t you have volunteers holding the doors open on Sunday morning?” The simple answer is we have very few volunteers willing to do it. Most say Asbury is a friendly church, yet we don’t have enough friendly people willing to serve on Sunday mornings when the need is great to welcome folks who have possibly had little contact with people during the week. We need new volunteers to serve in a hospitality role as greeters and at Connection Corner where many people have their first experience at Asbury. The Gazebo needs new volunteers as well. Are you one of those friendly people? Contact the church office at 918.492.1771 to volunteer.
MARRIAGE & FAMILY THE ART OF MARRIAGE
A fun, edgy video marriage “getaway” from FamilyLife. Expect: expert teaching based on the Bible, engaging stories, real-life testimonies, man-on-the-street interviews and lots of fun! Includes: pastry breakfast Saturday morning and snacks. Lunch Saturday will be on your own. Whether single, engaged, contemplating marriage, or celebrating 50 years together, this is for you! No in-depth sharing with anyone but your partner. • Friday, August 17, 6:30–9:00 pm AND Saturday, August 18, 9:00 am–4:00 pm • Community Life Center (CLC) • Facilitators: Pat and Deborah Calhoun • Cost: $20/person • Free childcare to first 75 registered (some children's programming) • Register online • Contact email@example.com. COUPLE-TO-COUPLE TRAINING
See how you can make a difference in families of the future. Come to the CLC table or Venue68 North Lobby table between services on July 8 to find out how to become a support couple to engaged people. Remarriages welcome. • Couple-to-Couple training starts August 21 on Tuesdays • Contact Charlene at 918.392.1145
For all couples interested in growing their 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. For scholarship information, contact Jackie or Ron at 918.251.6665 or asburydynamicmarriage@ windstream.net. • Thursdays, September 6–November 8 (will not meet October 18) • 6:30–9:00 pm, room 2201 • Facilitators: Guy & Tammy Yoes • Cost: $130 per couple, $50 deposit holds your spot (many materials included, scholarships available) • Register online • 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 meetings).
MEMBERSHIP ASBURY EXPLORATION
Are you interested in membership at Asbury or just want to learn more about who we are? Plan to attend Asbury Exploration. After a wonderful lunch, which is provided, you will enjoy time with our Asbury pastors as you learn about the ministries of Asbury, important United Methodist beliefs and how you can get into the mainstream of our life together at Asbury. • Sunday, August 5, 12:15–2:00 pm • Community Life Center (CLC) • Childcare available for children six weeks through sixth grade • Lunch provided • Call 918.392.1191 to register
MEN MEN'S MINISTRY - CAR CARE VOLUNTEERS
If you like to work on cars, check tires, belts, fluids, filters and batteries, we have an opportunity for you! Put your faith and skills into action! Come join other volunteers as we perform basic maintenance check-ups on the vehicles of widows and single women of Asbury. Workdays are every other month, 5 times a year. • Saturday, July 14, 9:00 am–noon • Family Center entrance • To volunteer, contact Mike Nalley at firstname.lastname@example.org MEN’S PRAYER BREAKFAST
Make plans to join us for a great time of meaningful worship, lifechanging prayer and an awesome big breakfast. • Wednesdays, 6:30–7:30 am
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• CLC • Cost is $3 per person; first-time guests are free
MUSIC AMERICANA: A MUSICAL CELEBRATION OF OUR COUNTRY
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! A really awesome bunch of guys meet for good food and great fellowship. • Meet every second and fourth Friday, 11:15 am • Village Inn (71st and Memorial) • Open to anyone 60 years and up • Contact Bud at email@example.com or Jim at robersonjim29@ gmail.com
MISSIONS/VIM 2ND SATURDAY
Looking for an easy way to make a difference and share Christ’s love in Tulsa? Join us for 2nd Saturday and choose between local mission opportunities. Families with children are welcomed and encouraged! • Saturday, July 14 • Venue68 • Head to the ministry sites, 8:45; teams work from 9:00–11:30 am; buses return to Venue68 no later than 12:15 pm • Contact Betty Higgins at firstname.lastname@example.org VIM 2012 TEAM SCHEDULE
• July 19–30 –– Estonia, Parnu, MBS & Light Construction, $2,700 • September –– Tanzania, East Africa, Construction, $2,800 • Fall –– Cookson Hills, Oklahoma, Light Construction, $60 • October* –– Monterrey, Mexico, MBS & Construction, $950 • November 7–11 –– Rio Bravo, Mexico, Medical, $700
For more information about these exciting mission opportunities, contact Marilene Long at 918.392.1164 or email@example.com. For information about the men’s Rio Bravo, Mexico opportunities, contact Jim Furman at firstname.lastname@example.org. VIM LEADER TRAINING
We have so much fun…singing, laughing and serving together. Come share your God-given talent with us. • Wednesdays, 7:00–9:00 pm • Choir room • Available for seventh grade through adults. NEW COVENANT ORCHESTRA
• Wednesdays, 6:00–7:30 pm • Orchestra room PERPETUAL LIGHT
• Thursdays, 10:30am–12:00 noon • Handbell room CELEBRATION RINGERS
• Tuesdays, 4:30–5:30 pm • Handbell room ASBURY POWER & LIGHT CO.
• Sundays, 8:00–9:15 am • Orchestra room
* Tentative All costs apporximate.
• September 15 and November 3 (Oklahoma City)
The New Covenant Orchestra, the Chancel Choir, Perpetual Light and One Voice will present a concert of music from our American heritage and by American composers. Featured will be the music of John Williams, John Phillips Sousa, Mac Wilberg, the McGuire Sisters, as well as our soul-stirring national songs and hymn tunes. • Sunday, July 1, 6:00 pm • Sanctuary
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 call
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the Adult Ministries office at 918.392.4589 to reserve the Prayer Room for your group on a weekly or monthly basis. PRAYER ROOM DAYS AND TIMES
Our prayer rooms are accessible to you at these times: • Mason Chapel and Venue 68 –– Sundays from 7:00 am–12:30 pm, through the interior doors • Main Facility, Mason Chapel and Venue68 –– Monday–Friday, 8:00 am–9:00 pm –– Saturday, 10:00 am–3:00 pm –– Sunday, 12:30 pm–9:00 pm • To obtain door codes, call Pam in the Adult Ministries office at 918.392.4589.
RECOVERY CELEBRATE RECOVERY
Come join this supportive group of people. Hiding any hurts, habits or hang-ups? God never intended for you to live in bondage. • Every Monday night: 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
SENIOR ADULTS ADULT GAME DAY
Attention all adults! How would you like to get together on a regular basis with a wonderful bunch of fun adults and play cards, dominoes, or whatever board or card game you choose? Bring a friend and stay for as long as you like! • Every third Thursday, 1:30–4:00 pm • Room 2821
• 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, email@example.com
SINGLES SINGLES MINISTRY “MEET AND GREET”
All singles are invited to stop by the "Meet and Greet" area, grab a cup of coffee, and mingle with other singles. Come meet new people or catch up with those you know! This is a great opportunity for the community of singles to connect with others on a regular basis. • Every Sunday, 10:30–11:00 am • Breezeway outside the CLC ADULT VOLLEYBALL
Do you enjoy playing recreational volleyball, mixed in with a little bit of competitiveness? Then come join us for a few hours of exercise, fellowship and fun. All skill levels of play are welcome. Good sportsmanship and positive attitudes are required. It’s free and you do not have to be a member of Asbury to participate. • Every Sunday, 6:00–9:00 pm • Gym • Contact Doug at 918.607.0830 for questions COMMUNITIES
You are always welcome to join any other communities that are not “Singles Only”, as most are a mix of singles and marrieds. • Sundays, 9:15 am – New Beginnings Class, Transitions (mixed singles/married) • Sundays, 11:00 am – Ambassadors for Christ, Footprints (ladies only), Salt & Light, Christ Centered Singles, Single B.A.S.I.X.
SENIOR WALK IN THE GYM WITH HIM
All senior adults are invited to join us for power walking, coupled with lots of fun and fellowship. Come give it a try. • Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 8:30–9:00 am • Gym SENIOR SIT AND FIT STRETCHING CLASS
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. • Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:00–9:30 am • Gym SENIOR ADULT MEAL & MOVIE
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.
STUDENTS JUNIOR HIGH SUNDAY BREAKAWAY
Sunday Mornings we have two great options. At 9:15 am, we have our large group time with a worship band, fun games and God's Word. Then at 11:00 am, we have a small Bible Study group. Whatever your preference, don't miss out. SERVE THURSDAY
It’s missions here in our neighborhood all summer long. Be Jesus to the poor and lonely at places like the Day Center, Food Bank and Kids Camp. Come prepared, wearing closed toed shoes. • July 12, July 19, July 26, August 2 • 8:15 am–12:00 pm • Meet at Venue68
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It's five days for those who have completed 9th–12th grades that will challenge your heart, renew your passions and kick things into high gear. It's about relationships, serious fun and amazing worship. Wondering if there's something more…there is! • Monday through Friday, July 16–20 • Sky Ranch • Cost is $255 • Registration due by June 13 HIGH SCHOOL SUNDAY MORNINGS
Join us every Sunday morning for a healthy dose of God’s Word. • Sundays, 9:15 am • High school room
HOME IMPROVEMENT WORKDAY
10 11 12 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 a part of a small group is where you need to be. Our small groups meet every Sunday night; times vary. Some of the groups meet in homes and others meet at the church. • Contact Todd at 918.392.1154 or Amy at 918.392.1156
WOMEN UMW JULY LUNCHEON
Wear your red, white and blue! We are in for a treat as the highly acclaimed “Tulsa Tones,” an internationally registered barbershop quartet, brings us a medley of patriotic, gospel and “feel good” songs. Featuring Asbury member Jan Skinner, plus Charles Drake, Doug Campbell and Dr. Tom Pickard, this talented foursome will present a program you will not want to miss. Scripture: Psalm 33:12. • Thursday, July 5, 11:30 am–1:00 pm • CLC • $7.00 for lunch. No reservations necessary UMW GARAGE SALE
CAR CARE WORKDAY
Single women and widows of Asbury, while you wait in the comfort of the Family Room café, volunteers from the Men's Ministry will check your tires, belts, fluids, filters and batteries and do a basic maintenance check up. They will also vacuum and wash your vehicle, and then update you on what is running smoothly and what needs professional attention. This free service gives our men the opportunity to put their faith and skills into action by serving others. Workdays are every other month, 5 times a year. • Saturday, July 14, beginning at 9:00 am • Have your vehicle in line no later than 11:30 am • Family Center entrance • No reservations necessary • Contact Mike Nalley at firstname.lastname@example.org
Come one, come all to the United Methodist Women's Annual Garage Sale, benefiting mission efforts in our community and beyond. You'll find gently-used toys, clothing, books, DVD's, jewelry, small appliances, furniture and so much more. Don't miss this great opportunity to buy good quality items at rock-bottom prices. See you at the sale! • Friday, July 13, 8:00 am–4:00 pm • Saturday, July 14, 8:00 am–12:00 pm • CLC • Donations accepted in the CLC on Thursday, July 12, 9:00 am– 5:00 pm (no underclothing, socks, shoes or computers accepted, and all clothes must be on hangers, please)
The men’s ministry serves widows and single women, who are Asbury members, by helping with minor home repairs and small home improvement projects. H.I. volunteers make themselves available every other month, five times a year. If you are in need of help and qualify, just pick up an application at a welcome desk, fill it out, and return it at least ten days before the scheduled work day. A volunteer from the H.I. team will contact you and make arrangements to get the job done. • Saturday, August 18. • Questions? Contact Michiel Conner at 918.640.4382 or email@example.com. WOMEN OF THE WORD
• • • •
Wednesdays, 10:00–11:00 am Room 2818 No childcare available Teacher is Rev. Darlene Johnson
WORSHIP 8:00 AM COMMUNION SERVICE
• • • •
Mason Chapel Traditional service with music led by Hart Morris Communion is served Dr. Tom 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. Tom Harrison preaches 9:15 AM OPEN HOUSE WORSHIP
• Community Life Center
TIDINGS, J ULY 2012
OPPORTUNITIES / SPECIALOPPORTUNITIES ANNOUNCEMENTS
• 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
11:00 AM MODERN SERVICE
• Venue68 • Rich blend of ancient and modern worship, led by Chris Cleveland and team • Sign interpreters for the deaf are offered • Rev. Todd Craig preaches
• 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
Marriages, Births and Deaths • James Robert Neely born 5/23/2012, son of Kori & Robert Nealy • Lucas “Mac” Wilbourn born May 2012, son of Jessica and Craig Wilbourn, big brother is Jackson Wilbourn
MARRIAGES • Kristi Ann Augustine and Benjamin James Lenski married 5/26/2012 • Morgan Dawn Mathis and James Caleb Williams married 5/26/2011
BIRTHS • Cassidy Faith Sutterfield born 2/6/2012, daughter of W. Chris and Melissa Sutterfield, siblings are Parker, Hannah & Kaitlin • Andrew Braden Watson born 2/20/2012, son of Brady & Kim Watson, little brother of Maddie Watson
• Leon Gerald Russell died 5/9/2012, husband of Natalie H. Russell, father of Todd Russell • Dorothy D. Irby died 5/22/2012, wife of Lyle J. Irby • Richard C. Street, Jr. died 5/23/2012, husband of Gwen Street
Milestone Anniversaries 65 YEARS
• Rudy & Alice Gorishek 6/29/47
55 YEARS • Dan & Margaret Slagle
• Kent & Jeanette Young
MILESTONE WEDDING ANNIVERSARIES 7/20/57
Email your upcoming Milestone Anniversary (5, 10, 15, 20, etc.) to Carolyn Schutte at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 918.451.1559.
TIDINGS, J ULY 2012
Rudy & Alice Gorishek 6/29/47
Dan & Margaret Slagle 7/20/57
Kent & Jeanette Young 7/06/62
Jim & Sydney Aldag
Mark & Alecia Cramer with Riley, Sadie and Sofie
Jerry & Dee Heavin
Gary Mercer with Chelsey Purdy
Michael & Moyra Thompson with Molly and Michael
Matt & Tellia Watson
TIDINGS, J ULY 2012
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Asbury Tidings is a monthly publication mailed to your home designed to tell stories of lives being transformed by the power of Jesus Christ...