July 8, 2009 QUICK CALENDAR
Mission Yearbook Prayer
July 9, Council, @INP Office, 10a
Dear God, thanks for your great creation. You did everything beautifully and in its time. You made only one crucible, humankind, in your image. Allow us to see you in the other's face, which is different from ours. Help us to live here as we are going to live in your presence forever. In your name we pray. Amen.
July 9, Small Church Networking Lunch @Grace OKC, noon, BYOL July 20, Nominations Committee Meeting, @First Norman, 1p
Mo-Ranch 2009 Small Church Pastor's Retreat October 12-15 Keynoter: Rev. Trey H. Little "Blueprints for a Vital Church" www.moranch.com OKLAHOMA SPONSORING COMMITTEE Iâ€™ taking a step back today to give an example of a meeting you might have with a core group in your church to explain what the OKSC really is and does. These questions, or similar ones, might be asked. What are some of the biggest challenges facing you and your family personally as you live in this community today? What are some of the biggest challenges that you know others are facing who live in this community? Can you tell a personal story about an experience you had when you were faced with a challenge or difficulty? How does if affect you that Forbes magazine says that Oklahoma City is one of the most recession-proof cities in the country - yet, we have a higher poverty rate than the national average, we lead the nation in uninsured citizens, and we lead the nation in the number of incarcerated women and African Americans? To be able to address and act on those concerns, as Presbyterians with a history and tradition and policy on social issues, we need POWER. We recognize that all power comes from God. In the Ten Commandments. God tells us to love God and love our neighbors. The Church has a value system that includes compassion, healing, care for the poor, justice, welcome to strangers, equal opportunities to all people, transformation of lives and loving one another as God/Christ loves us. So, how can we possibly DO church and not even know our neighbors?
Power is an ability to ACT. Power speaks to power. For example, it is unlikely that if I wrote a personal letter to President Obama about some issue I felt it was important for him to address, it is very unlikely he would even see the letter, let alone talk to me about it. It is much easier to act if you are linked to power. The word, "power," often puts people off. But there is "good" power and there is "bad" power. Unilateral power is top down power, which is power over others and only one person has ultimate power. The second kind of power is relational power or mutual power, where we have power together or with each other. We have sustainable power as we work together. So, community faith-based organizing, which is what the OKSC does, uses the organization to help build power because built into that organization is organized people and organized money. A faith-based organization lives its beliefs. It listens to the STORIES of its most vulnerable, different, weak. It helps give a voice to families, to the poor, and to the underprivileged. Churches are all about transformation. We are to be all about forming people to become citizens who live out their beliefs and will act on their beliefs for the good of all people. And, churches are called to social responsibility: to preach justice, to help victims of injustice and to CHANGE THE CONDITIONS AND SITUATIONS THAT LEAD TO CHARITY, so that we can say with the words of Amos, "Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an everflowing stream." The intent of the OKSP is to use the community faith-based organizing model to (1) build relationships within the community of faith in OKC; (2) identify and develop leadership among member organizations that will identify the needs of the members of the community and use tools to organize and re-organize in order to act more effectively on behalf of its families and members. It will help our members to hold public officials accountable to COMMONLY AGREED-UPON issues and pressures facing families and society today. We do not take on controversial religious issues such as abortion, etc. We DO talk to political candidates and public officials, asking questions and challenging decisions. We are nonpartisan, we do not endorse candidates and we do not lobby. If your church chooses to get involved with the OKSC, any members can choose the level of participation that they want - from nothing to serving on the Board of the OKSC. They are also able to attend any of the awesome trainings that the OKSC offers. So, I will repeat my invitation. If you or any of your church members are interested in the vast majority of possibilities this organization offers your church and the issues of social justice and injustice for the citizens of greater Oklahoma City, please contact me. I can meet with you or any committees or members of the church informally or invite other members of the committee to have a formal meeting with you. "What does the Lord require of you?" Nancy Sharp Hillcrest Presbyterian Churchhillcrestpc@yahoo.com(405) 685-0336
MAKING HISTORY TODAY WHAT A TEACHER! James S. Currie, Ph.D., Executive Secretary Presbyterian Historical Society of the Southwest
Prescott Harrison Williams, Jr. died Thursday morning, June 18, 2009. He was 85 years old. Most people in these parts knew Prescott as professor of Old Testament languages and archaeology at Austin Seminary. He served on the faculty there from 1959 until his retirement in 1997. At the Seminary, where a memorial service was held on June 25, he served in almost every administrative capacity possible: professor, dean, acting president, and president and dean (simultaneously). Before coming to Austin Seminary, Prescott served on the staff of the oldest Presbyterian church in the United States – the Makemie Memorial Presbyterian Church in Snow Hill, Maryland (organized in 1683). A native of Detroit, Michigan, Prescott earned degrees from Wheaton College (B.A.), Princeton Theological Seminary (B.D.), and Johns Hopkins University (Ph.D.) where he studied under William F. Albright. Like Albright, Prescott became an expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls and was involved in archaeological digs in Jordan, teaching in the American School of Oriental Research. In addition, he served as an exegetical consultant for Eugene Peterson’s English translation of the Bible, The Message. Those of us who were fortunate enough to sit as his feet in the classroom will remember both his scholarship and his sense of humor (“Our ways are not Yahweh’s”). We will recall his amazing memory and his unpretentiousness and pastoral concern for students. In some seasons he would cultivate a handlebar moustache, while in others he sported a neatly-trimmed goatee. While his scholarship was unquestioned, Prescott exhibited an openness in his classes that surprised some. For example, instead of having all his students simply writing papers at the end of a semester’s work, in some classes (on Isaiah, for example) for a final project he would invite students to engage their imaginations and present their project in the form of a painting or a poem or a song or some other art form. Some have testified to Prescott’s ability to see in others what they could not see in themselves. He was able to see a spark of potential that led him to encourage others, both students and faculty, to cultivate. And, for some, it made all the difference in the world – not only in developing a gift they might not have seen, but also in discovering someone who cared enough to say something about that gift.
Prescott Williams was a remarkable person – scholar, teacher, pastor, husband, father, and grandfather. He was also a faithful presbyter, a member for many years of Palo Duro Presbytery. He worshiped regularly in Austin and often preached, both in Austin and beyond. Every once in a while we come across persons who had an enormous influence on the lives of many persons in a positive way. When we come across such persons in our own lives, we do well to give thanks to God for them. But just as they may have encouraged us, we have the opportunity to “pass it on”, encouraging others as they grow in the faith. As we make history today, we are inevitably inspired by the witness others have made to the grace and love of Jesus Christ, often in low-key, unpretentious, yet genuine and authentic ways. May we be faithful in bearing our witness to that same Jesus Christ in our time and in our own way. The powerful words in the hymn “For All the Saints Who from Their Labors Rest” by William Walsham How come to mind and seem to be a fitting close to this memory of a marvelous teacher and friend: For all the saints who from their labors rest, Who Thee by faith before the world confessed, Thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest. Alleluia! Alleluia! O blest communion, fellowship divine! We feebly struggle, they in glory shine; Yet all are one in Thee, for all are Thine. Alleluia! Alleluia! And when the fight is fierce, the warfare long, Steals on the ear the distant triumph song, And hearts are brave again, and arms are strong. Alleluia! Alleluia!
July 6, 2009
TEN LESSONS ABOUT BEING A LEARNER-CENTERED TEACHER by Wayne Whitson Floyd I still remember what a shock it was to discover just as I was finishing my graduate training to be a theology professor, that I was about to have to start to learn to be a teacher. Suddenly I was faced with the realization that the art and science of teaching--pedagogy--wasn't merely a gift that came with my facility as a student; it was a craft that I still needed to learn, if I was going to teach. In the process, I inadvertently made an even more important and humbling realization: as little as I knew about myself as a teacher, I knew even less about my students as learners. I had grown up believing that good students simply were good learners by definition--and that great teachers were merely born with the gift of teaching. Now I was about to find out just how much I needed to learn about pedagogy. However, the art and science of learning ("andragogy," to use Malcolm Knowles's coinage) simply never, ever got addressed in my preparation to teach. I didn't know what my students were like as learners, or what they themselves contributed to the dance of classroom teaching and learning. Continue Reading "Ten Lessons About Being a Learner-Centered Teacher"
UPCOMING SEMINAR: RAISING THE ROOF Join Alban senior consultant Alice Mann, noted author of Raising the Roof: The Pastoral-to-Program Size Transition, to learn how to address the obstacles and barriers to growth, as well as the deep links between size, community context, and a congregation's distinctive sense of vocation. September 15, 2009 - September 17, 2009 Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center, Lake Junaluska, NC
Learning the Way: Reclaiming Wisdom from the Earliest Christian Communities by Cassandra D. Carkuff Williams One Step at a Time: A Pilgrim's Guide to Spirit-Led Living by Timothy C. Geoffrion
Your Brain Goes to Church: Neuroscience and Congregational Life by Bob Sitze Learning While Leading: Increasing Your Effectiveness in Ministry by Anita Farber-Robertson
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