The Oklahoma Conference of Churches will be conducting its 9th annual Interfaith Youth Tour in Ok
lahoma City on September 25, 2016. The tour will have stops at East Sixth Street Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Masjid Mu'min, and Vien Giac Buddhist Temple.
Along with educating the participants on aspects of Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism, this year's tour will also give great insight into the experience of the historically African-American congregations of East Sixth Street Christian Church and Masjid Mu'min.
$15 per person
(includes transportation and snacks)
Group registration is easy with OCC's new registration system. Youth groups, schools and organizations are welcome!
Allen D. Hertzke, the David Ross Boyd Professor of Political Science at the University of Oklahoma, will be the keynote speaker at the OCC Annual Dinner on November 10, 2016. Professor Hertzke is an internationally renowned expert on Religion and Politics. The title of his keynote speech will be "Why Religious Freedom Matters - Especially Now."
Prof. Hertzke's most recent book (co-edited with Tim Shaw) is Christianity and Freedom: Historical Perspectives on Christianity and Freedom: Contemporary Perspectives (2016). His earlier books on the topic are The Future of Religious Freedom: Global Challenges (2013) and Religious Freedom in America: Constitutional Roots and Contemporary Challenges (2013). For a more complete bio and his curriculum vitae, click ALLEN HERTZKE
The 2016 OCC Annual Dinner will be held Thursday, November 10, 2016 at the Embassy Suites Hotel - Downtown Medical Center located at 741 North Phillips Avenue, Oklahoma City. Check-in and reception will start at 5:15 p.m., with dinner and program commencing at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are $50 each.
For information about reservations or event sponsorship, please contact William Tabbernee at the OCC office (405-525-2928).
Please mark your calendar now to avoid a potential scheduling conflict. SAVE THE DATE: November 10, 2016
Give a lift...Get a Lift
The Independent Transportation Network (ITN) of Central Oklahoma provides low-cost rides to seniors and people with visual impairment to any place they want or need to go, including worship services, doctor appointments, hair salons, lunch with friends, etc. Unfortunately, we have people who continue to drive themselves after they are no longer safe because they simply cannot imagine losing their independence. The cost of taxis or Uber may be prohibitive, and many of our seniors need more personal help getting in and out of vehicles, or having friendly conversation, than is provided by traditional ride services.
ITN needs the help of the faith community to recruit volunteers to drive. They have plenty of people wanting rides (over 100 were provided last month in Oklahoma County), but they need more drivers. Volunteers can "bank" hours towards receiving their own rides in the future.
Please spread the word about this service to churches and especially the need for volunteer drivers. If possible, include in your church's weekly or monthly bulletin. A press release and flier have been developed for promotion to your congregations and organization members.
For more information, call 405-602-1558 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. The ITN Central Oklahoma website is www.itncentraloklahoma.org.
"People have worth, not because they are innocent, but because they are human."
OCC partners with "Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform" Coalition
"It is time to reform Oklahoma's criminal justice system. We must transform our system from one rooted in prisons and punishment to one that believes in a higher purposes. Fortunately for Oklahomans, a new effort is doing just that," stated Oklahoma City pastor Dr. Hance Dilbeck, who is also president of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.
The Oklahoma Conference of Churches believes advocacy of social justice to be one of the most important tenants of our work, and that includes criminal justice reform. Our IMPACT committee closely tracks Oklahoma legislation and advocates accordingly.
Recently, OCC partnered with Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform to advocate for state questions 780 and 781, which will reclassify certain minor offenses like drug possession and low-level property offenses as misdemeanors and save money by reducing the number of people in prison. The savings will be invested in community rehabilitation programs like mental health care, substance abuse treatment, and job training.
We agree with Dr. Dilbeck, quoted in the April 7th edition of The Baptist Messenger as saying, "Oklahomans deserve a justice system that fosters strong families and improves quality of life. Children shouldn't be torn from their mothers and fathers, and families shouldn't slowly deteriorate because our justice system is without a redemptive focus."
"The members of OCC are proud to stand with Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform as they push for these much-needed measures," said the Rev. Dr. William Tabbernee, executive director of the Oklahoma Conference of Churches.
Led by former House Speaker Kris Steele, Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform gathered over 230,000 signatures to get SQ 780 and 781 on the ballot in November. Comprised of some of Oklahoma's most prominent faith leaders, law enforcement and elected officials, health professionals, and business leaders, the OCJR is a coalition of community leaders and experts from across the state working to reduce the prison population, save money, and make Oklahoma communities safer by addressing the root causes of crime and helping people who have committed low-level offenses turn their lives around.
Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform have scheduled a series of Town Hall meetings throughout the state during August. The Oklahoma Conference of Churches is hosting the first of these Town Halls at East Central University's
Chickasaw Business and Conference Center, 830 E. Main Street, in Ada.
OCC Vice-president, the Rev. Dr. Victor McCullough will emcee the event which starts at 5:30 p.m. Speakers include former governor Brad Henry, Representatives George Young, Danielle Ezel (Executive Director, Oklahoma Women's Coalition), and Kris Steele (former House Speaker and now executive director of TEEM).
Find out when Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform is coming to your neighborhood, and RSVP to join them in making this reform a reality. Click this link:
Dancing in Jaffa - A film to encourage respect for diversity.
Confident that dance will dissolve political and cultural differences, celebrated ballroom dancer Pierre Dulaine returns to his hometown of Jaffa, Israel, after years abroad and teaches 11-year-old Jewish and Palestinian Israelis to dance together.
An Update on OCC's Disaster Spiritual Care program s
erving disaster-affected Oklahomans
In addition to numerous prepared-ness events, trainings, and presentations, the OCC Disaster Emotional Spiritual Care program has responded to an unprecedented eleven new Oklahoma disasters in the last sixteen months.
We continue to work in long-term recovery for many of these incidents, and many could be described as "low-attention disasters."
Since March 2015, OCC has responded to the following Oklahoma disasters:
March 25, 2015: Moore EF-2 Tornado Central Oklahoma
March 25, 2015: Sand Springs/Sapulpa Tornado - Northeastern Oklahoma
May 1, 2015 through June 22, 2015: Flooding in 45 Counties - Approximately the south-eastern two-thirds of the state.
May 6, 2015: South OKC, Moore, Bridge Creek Tornadoes - Central Oklahoma
October 24, 2015: Oklahoma State University Homecoming Parade, intentional vehicular homicides. OCC was the lead agency for the "Care and Community Resource Center," at the invitation of the OSU Vice President for Student Affairs.
December 26-27, 2015: Flooding - Northeast Oklahoma
March 30, 2016: Tulsa, Claremore, Verdigris Tornado - Northeast Oklahoma
May 9, 2016: Tornado - South central Oklahoma
May 9, 2016: Tornado - Southeast Oklahoma
June 12, 2016: Flooding, Lawton area - Southwest Oklahoma
June 12, 2016: Flooding, Maysville area South Central Oklahoma
A full report of OCC's disaster spiritual care activities can be found at this link: Click here.
Due to the cumulative nature of traumatic events, communities and states that have been impacted multiple times by disasters have emotional and spiritual care needs that cannot be cleanly tied to a single event. We are so very thankful for those who provide funding for our program and recognize the importance of emotional and spiritual care efforts far beyond the most immediately visible needs.
Dates for the Fall 2016 Disaster Spiritual Care Academy will be announced soon. To sign up for notification of future OCC disaster spiritual care trainings,
For more general information about OCC's Disaster Program go to: