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June 3, 2009 QUICK CALENDAR

Mission Yearbook Prayer

June 3, Foundation Meeting, INP Office

Gracious God, you are the source of all that we are and all that we have. You call us to share your love and your grace with all who so desperately need it.

June 5-6, Tripresbytery Meeting in Tulsa July 3, INP Office Closed

PDA Update July 7, COM Meeting, Central, noon

FREE To Good Home Copier, Black & White, Small Fax Machine Contact Jeff Austin at Central Office: 405.858.0380 austinsales@cox.net

2009-2010 Planning Calendars Available $6.00 at Tripresbytery in Tulsa Email Shar for your copy: sgrant@okinp.org

AROUND TOWN Mormon Tabernacle Choir June 27, 2009, 7:30 pm Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, OK

Dangerous elders wanted National Elders Conference part of June ‘Big Tent’ event in Atlanta BY JANET TUCK, SPECIAL TO PRESBYTERIAN NEWS SERVICE NASHVILLE, TN — The second biennial National Elders Conference will be held in Atlanta, June 11-13 — one of 10 companion conferences that’s part of the Big Tent event. If you are wondering how to be a dangerous elder, this is the place to be. Read full article here.

Join a West Virginia work team--Volunteers are urgently needed to help with mucking out and clean-up of homes affected by recent flooding in West Virginia. The mid-May floods affected about 3,000 homes, with damage throughout six counties. Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) is working with the Presbytery of West Virginia in this response. The Presbytery of West Virginia has a very good work camp ministry in place (WVWAM) that is taking the lead in helping affected families. Help with clean-up and recovery efforts in West Virginia - contact the PDA Call Center at (866) 732-6121 or register online. Respond to the humanitarian crisis in Pakistan--PDA is responding to the humanitarian crisis that has escalated in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. The displacement of more than one million people has turned into the largest movement of people within Pakistan since the 1947 IndiaPakistan partition. One Great Hour of Sharing and designated funds are helping to provide basic humanitarian necessities to families living in IDP camps. Give today. Help internally displaced persons in Sri Lanka--PDA is partnering with ACT (Action by Churches Together) International and Lutheran World Relief in responding to the needs of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Sri Lanka. One Great Hour of Sharing and designated funds are helping to provide basic humanitarian necessities including food and nutrition, water and sanitation, non-food and hygiene items and protection activities for families in 12 IDP camps. Give today.


Ready to roll Bike fix-up project energizes small church, touches community need BY TONI MONTGOMERY, SPECIAL TO PRESBYTERIAN NEWS SERVICE Editor’s note: This is the 21st in a series of stories about congregations engaged in significant outreach and evangelism ministries, reflecting the General Assembly’s commitment to “Grow Christ’s Church Deep and Wide.” ― Jerry L. Van Marter Fixed-up bikes are everywhere by the time the Spring Bike Clean-up of First Presbyterian Church of Colorado City, TX, is completed. STATESVILLE, NC — First Presbyterian Church in Colorado City, TX, proves that no church is too small to make a difference in the community it serves. Eighteen members strong, First Church held a Spring Bike Cleanup for their community of roughly 4,000 people on April 19th and the results easily eclipsed the number of people and the amount of money it took to produce the service and outreach project. The congregation — part of Palo Duro Presbytery — organized and funded the program completely on its own. Executive Presbyter Richard Schempp was very pleased with what he saw. Read full article here.

PUM June Newsletter Check out The Presbyterian Leader, a great resource

June 6th, 7PM doors open at 6, First Pres in Ardmore Disciple in Concert FREE Tell your youth about it and let Rick Baggett (rbgoodnews@yahoo.com) know you’re coming. If you haven’t heard of this nationally recognized Christian rock group, check them out at www.disciplerocks.com. Seeing Beyond the Ordinary: Healing Ministries of Faith Community Nursing July 16, 2009, First, Edmond Hosts: Faith Community Nurses Association (FCNA OK)Catholic Charities Faith Community Nursing Resource Center Sponsors:Mercy Health Center, Legend Assisted Living and Memory Care At Council Road, HealthBack Home Health/ Faith Hospice, Odyssey Health Care and Choice Home Health/Hospice Keynote: Rosemarie Matheus Registration:$60 for FCNA OK members, which includes all conference materials, meals, snacks, nursing CEUs, and evening reception. Non-member fees are $90. Students, clergy, and health ministers fees are $55. Registration is $40 for RN graduates since January, 2009. For registration information, contact Marilyn Seiler, Faith Community Resource Center at Catholic Charities, 405-523-3006 or email her at mseiler@catholiccharitiesok.org or see the FCNA website: www.fcnaok.org for a brochure with the registration form.


RESOURCE NEWS Spend some time this summer enjoying resources on Spiritual Growth Here are some ideas……………..the Resource Center has many more to choose from for great summer reading. Bad * Hair Days Rainy Days & Mondays: Wisdom & Encouragement to Lift a Woman’s Spirit by Cynthia Bond Hopson The Book of Buechner: A Journey Through His Writings by Dale Brown The Carpenter and the Unbuilder: Stories for the Spiritual Quest by David M. Griebner Celtic Prayers from Iona by J. Philip Newell Centering Prayers for Personal & Community Prayer by William Cleary Dakota: A Spiritual Geography and The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris Family Faith Stories by Ann Weems Meditating on the Psalms by John Eaton Sabbath: Restoring the Sacred Rhythm of Rest by Wayne Muller A Song To Sing, A Life To Live: Reflections on Music as Spiritual Practice by Don Saliers and Emily Saliers ************************************************************* Use the ONLINE CATALOG to find more…………………………….. GO TO www.okinp.org

CLICK ON Resources

GO TO Keyword Search and enter Spiritual Growth GO TO Advanced Search – Heading-Scroll down to find WorshipSpiritual Growth/Prayer This will provide a list of resources available on Spiritual Growth along with the descriptions of the above resources and all others on this topic.


OKLAHOMA SPONSORING COMMITTEE Last Tuesday, May 26, Kris Ausdenmoore, our lead organizer, and I met with the INP Resourcing Congregations Committee (RCC). I had met earlier with Carol Waters, moderator of the committee, and she felt that the Oklahoma Sponsoring Committee (OKSC) was an organization that the (RCC) should explore. The meeting went longer than expected because there were many questions and seemed to be much interest. Their recommendation was that, while we might need further talks, the OKSC was an organization that they should support and promote within INP. The first two steps of the OKSC, after training one or more congregational representatives, is almost entirely focused on building relationships within the church. First, the representatives meet one-on-one with several members of the congregation to hear the stories of the church members - where they came from to get to where they are today and the challenges they have faced and the issues and challenges that they face today that affect their living circumstances in their communities. During that process, we try to identify others who would serve on the church’s core group. Members of this group would be able to take advantage of the free trainings that the OKSC offers that help you learn the tools to re-organize and to act more effectively on behalf of those who live in our communities and are confronted by issues that leave them disadvantaged and make it difficult to live as children of God and people of the Kingdom who share in abundance with their neighbors. All of the trainings that I have attended have been very professionally done and extremely interesting, as well as being of great benefit to me both professionally and personally. The second step involves a house meeting campaign. These would be several separate meetings of members within the church where individual stories would be shared and members’ issues and challenges of living in today’s society and in this community would be shared. After all the meetings were held, the core team would identify the most common and most pressing challenges. They would then report back to the congregation and the congregation may come up with some ways they could take action on some of the issues. The representatives of the congregation to the Board of the OKSC would then take the issues and challenges to the Board. In a later article, I will talk about how the OKSC would address the issues. What excites me most about this process is that church members would be relating to each other in a new way. For, HOW CAN WE DO CHURCH AND NOT KNOW OUR NEIGHBORS, OUR FAMILIES IN CHRIST? The long-time members of the church would be sharing their history/story with newer members and newer members would get to share their history/story with long-time members and other newer members. The more relational we are, the more we know about each other and care for each other, the more we look at each other as Jesus looks at each person, the more compassion we feel - the more anger we will be able to feel about the way institutions and society continually "throw people away" by ignoring them, not giving them respect, not using their talents, not valuing them as citizens, neighbors, family, not seeing the face of Jesus in each of them. It is then that we will be able to put our faith into action. The OKSC exists for this very purpose: to build a collective of leaders representing faith-based organizations that will identify common areas of concern, organize efforts needed to act on behalf of families, individuals, senior citizens, children and neighborhoods in issues of social justice and public conscience, to help give a voice to those who have not had one in the society, and promote and help organize actions that will affect the community in real ways to change the situations that lead to social injustice, to change the conditions that lead to the need for charity, to stop punitive legislation, and to hold public officials accountable to issues and pressures facing families and society. - Nancy Sharp, Hillcrest Presbyterian Church, 405/685-0336,hillcrestpc@yahoo.com "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another beyond yourselves." -Romans 12:10


Issue: 253

June 1, 2009

GOD TALK by Wesley J. Wildman and Stephen Chapin Garner One of our liberal-evangelical heroes, J. B. Phillips, once wrote a book with a title that we love: Your God Is Too Small. Phillips's message was right on target, for his context and also for ours. It doesn't matter how smart you are, how good you are, or how attractive you are. It doesn't matter how much you read the Bible, how much you pray, or how much you give to church and charity. It doesn't matter what your culture is, what your gender is, what your skin color is. It doesn't matter who your relatives are or who you know, where you went to school or where you live. Your God is too small. Like many difficult truths, the people who cannot easily accept this fact of human life are also the people who need to hear it most urgently. Some people make God so small that God actually vanishes from their lives. These people assume that, since it seems unlikely anything conclusive could ever be known about God, if God even exists, it is best not to bother trying to get to know God at all. In Christian circles, it is more common to encounter people making God too small through believing that they fully understand God and God's motives. They create or absorb an image of God that is probably related to the Bible and reflective of their local community's culture of Christian belief. But then they allow this image to take the place of the actual God, relating to the image exclusively rather than using the image to relate to a God who breaks all images. Worst of all, they often speak proudly about who God is and what God wants, as if they were the one speaking from the eye of the storm. And they sometimes speak in a way that is desperately limited by superficial understanding of the Bible and very limited self-awareness. Continue Reading "God Talk"

NEW BOOK! Found in the Middle! Theology and Ethics for Christians Who Are Both Liberal and Evangelical by Wesley J. Wildman and Stephen Chapin Garner There exists a deep and broad population of Christians who feel the labels of "liberal" and "evangelical" both describe their faith and limit their expression of it. By working to reclaim the traditional, historical meanings of these terms, and showing how they complement rather than oppose each other, Wesley Wildman and Stephen Chapin Gardner stake a claim for the moderate Christian voice in today's polarized society. Found in the Middle! offers a foundational approach to the theology and ethics that


undergird a congregation where moderate Christians can thrive. Pastors, congregational leaders, seminarians, and all thoughtful Christians will learn how truly moderate Christianity can unite the compassionate openness and social activism of liberal Christianity with the magnetism and spiritual fervor of evangelical Christianity. "Wildman and Garner's Found in the Middle! gives both deep encouragement and sure direction to those of us who don't see ourselves in the available options or polarities of the contemporary religious landscape. Moreover, the perspective to which they give powerful voice is not a 'muddled middle' but a vital center." --Anthony B. Robinson, President, Congregational Leadership Northwest and author of Changing the Conversation, A Third Way for Congregations

On the Alban Roundtable Blog: "In difficult times, why engage in long-term planning at all?"

FEATURED RESOURCES Lost in the Middle: Claiming and Inclusive Faith for Christians Who Are Both Liberal and Evangelical by Wesley J. Wildman and Stephen Chapin Garner What's Theology Got to Do with It? Convictions, Vitality, and the Church by Anthony B. Robinson

Claiming the Beatitudes: Nine Stories from a New Generation


by Anne Sutherland Howard When God Speaks through Worship: Stories Congregations Live By by Craig A. Satterlee

UPCOMING SEMINAR - THE PRACTICE OF DISCERNMENT Join these two popular writers and workshop leaders to explore how discerning our calling in life begins with learning about the sort of person God has created us to be. Part of the Sacred Practice Leadership Series August 21, 2009 - August 23, 2009 Shalom Retreat Center, Dubuque, Iowa

The Alban Institute | AlbanRoundtable Blog | Congregational Resource Guide


Webinars led by Joy Skjegstad

June 2009

Planning for Long-Term Change Priorities, Outcomes, and Processes

About the Webinar How do you even start the process of long-range planning for change in your church or non-profit? Many organizations never try to look over the horizon, much less learn how to get there. This webinar is for all of you who are ready to learn how to gain focus and set priorities,; identify key outcomes for your ministry and work -- the end results; and implement a planning process by identifying the key steps to get you moving. Tuesday, June 2, 2009 1:00 PM EST 1 hour $34.99 More Information | Register Now

Discern, Participate, Act How to Put Planning in Motion About the Webinar As important as it is to set priorities for long range planning, to know your desired outcomes, and to have a plan to get there, putting that plan in motion requires three additional steps:   

Spiritual discernment about the planning you've undertaken. Broad participation from the congregation at each phase of the work. Specific plans that result in concrete action steps.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009 1:00 PM EST 1 hour


$34.99 More Information | Register Now

About Joy Skjegstad Joy Skjegstad, author of Starting A Nonprofit At Your Church (Alban Institute, 2002) and Winning Grants to Strengthen Your Ministry (Alban Institute, 2007) is a national speaker and consultant on nonprofit management and ministry development. She has 20 years of experience starting and growing nonprofit organizations, with a special focus on faith-based groups, youth development and the arts. She has served as the President of Sanctuary Community Development Corporation, the nonprofit connected to Sanctuary Covenant Church in North Minneapolis and is a founder of the Institute for Ministry Leaders, a university-based training program that builds the management capacity of churches and other ministry organizations. She also served as the Executive Director of the Park Avenue Foundation at Park Avenue United Methodist Church and has held a variety of other leadership positions with nonprofits in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

The Alban Institute 路 2121 Cooperative Way 路 Suite 100 路 Herndon, VA 20171 路 800-486-1318

The Alban Institute | 2121 Cooperative Way | Suite 100 | Herndon | VA | 20171


Wednesday Communiuqe, June 3