April 2018
CONNECT
A MONTHLY E-NEWSLETTER OF THE OKLAHOMA CONFERENCE OF CHURCHES
The latest news and information from OCC
We are thrilled to have you as a part of our network and we look forward to sharing the latest OCC news with you each month. We are always looking for ways to involve as many people as possible in our work. Interested in getting involved? Email The Rev. Shannon Fleck today to get plugged in to our wonderful efforts statewide! 
Your gift is tax deductible. OCC is a 501(c)(3) organization.
OCC IS HIRING
The Oklahoma Conference of Churches has two openings for employment with the organization! Do you or anyone you know seem like good candidates for our open positions? Please share the information with anyone interested. Links to the job descriptions can be found below.
  • Candidates for the Executive Director position should email their information to EDSearch@OKChurches.org no later than May 1, 2018.
  • Candidates for the Administrative Assistant position should email their information to The Rev. Shannon Fleck at sfleck@okchurches.org. This position will remain open until filled.

OCC Spring Benefit Breakfast
Make plans to attend the Annual Spring Benefit Breakfast, which will be held on Thursday, April 12, 2018 at St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral, from 7:30-9 a.m. This is an excellent opportunity to support the ministry of the Oklahoma Conference of Churches and catch up on the latest with the organization in person! Questions? Email Courtland Powers at cjpowers@okchurches.org .
MANY GRATEFUL THANKS!
The Oklahoma Conference of Churches is exponentially grateful to The Very Rev. Justin Lindstrom and his outstanding service as Board President. We wish him the best as he begins a new ministry outside of the State of Oklahoma and continues his passionate ministry for ALL people.

We would also like to thank our Board members who are rotating off the board for the time being. Especially Shirley Cox and Randall Smith who served on the OCC Executive Committee. We look forward to continuing to work alongside of each of you in all the important ministry ahead.
New Interfaith Panel: Faith Perspectives on Jerusalem
Join the Oklahoma Conference of Churches in a conversation about Faith Perspectives of the conflict in Israel and Palestine. What are the historic, political, and theological factors at play in the region from a Jewish and Muslim perspective? Make plans to come and be a part of this important dialogue.
Save the Date!
2018 Interfaith Youth Tour
Save the date for the 2018 Interfaith Youth Tour, taking place on Sunday, September 16, 2018!
2018 Annual Dinner
Save the date for the 2018 Annual Dinner, taking place on Thursday, November 8, 2018!
Are you personally prepared for storm season?
Now is the time to prepare!
       
Consider your own  personal and family preparedness , including your safety and household plans.  Click here  for information about personal preparedness.
OCC Emotional and Spiritual Care
Above: As a part of OCC’s preparation for the spring storm season, 10 new OCC Disaster Spiritual Care Team Leaders attended training on March 13, 2018

OCC’s national benchmark disaster spiritual care program is compliant with National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster Spiritual Care Guidelines and Points of Consensus. Our program is possible as a result of the generous financial support from our national, state, and local faith-based partners. ...........................................................................................................................

Click   here   to receive email notification of future disaster spiritual and emotional care trainings.

Click  here   for a more detailed description of OCC’s three credentialing categories, training, qualifications, and accountability requirements.

Click   here  f or an update on OCC’s disaster spiritual care program.
Justice and Advocacy: Get Engaged!
I nterested in being a part of the OCC Social Justice Ministry Network? The SJMN is a network of people who are committed to the tangible work of advocacy through action, and receive targeted advocacy alerts throughout the year, but most especially during the legislative season. We continue to grow this list so that we can call upon you all when our collective voice is most needed. Please feel free to email the Rev. Shannon Fleck with any questions.
Earth Day: April 22, 2018
Dear Friends,

On behalf of the Environment Committee of the Oklahoma Conference of Churches, we strongly encourage sermons, homilies, and messages on and around Earth Day: Sunday, April 22, this year. 

As people of faith, we believe we are created by God to both enjoy and to protect this good, earth and the abundant life dwelling with us on earth.

We assert that all people, societies and nations must participate in the call to be stewards and students of creation and the balance of nature supporting all life on earth.

This is more critical now than ever because all efforts so far to live sustainably fall farther behind solutions needed every year. Consider some of the daunting challenges:

In just forty years, human population has grown from 4 billion to 7.4 billion.

Thousands of species go extinct every year as a result of humanity’s impact on the world. We are expanding into virtually all habitats for living space, food production, highways, bridges, railroads, forestry, mining, fossil fuel development, and waste disposal.

NASA reports that carbon dioxide (CO2) levels that warm the atmosphere remained stable below 300 parts per million over the past 400,000 years. But, since the industrial revolution, CO2 levels have risen steadily and have now exceeded 400 parts per million. The result of burning coal, oil, and natural gas, CO2 levels are still rising. (SOURCE: NASA Global Climate Change Vital Signs of the Planet) https://climate.nasa.gov/climate_resources/24/

The numbers of cars & trucks on earth has reached 1.2 billion and is expected to double by 2050. How will they be powered? By gasoline? Hydrogen? Electricity?

It cannot be the will of God that humanity should so degrade earth’s environment through unconscious habits and lifestyles that we can change.

May we all answer God’s call to be stewards of creation, to preserve, conserve and sustain environmental health for ourselves and all generations to come.

The Rev. Jim Stovall, Chair
OCC Committee on the Environment
Religions United Committee plans next Interfaith International Trip
After the success of the first Interfaith International Trip to the Holy Land, another trip is being planned for November 25-December 5, 2018 ! Space is limited and participants will be expected to participate in meetings prior to the trip to become better informed about the conflict and history in the region. Please send an email of interest to ReligionsUnitedTravel@gmail.com if you would like more information.
OCU Sponsors World Religions Expo
Volunteer Opportunity

Oklahoma United Methodist Disaster Response is thankful for five more months of operations. We have 209 families in need of home repairs from the 2015 storms. Your help is needed immediately as we work to help those still in need. Register HERE to volunteer.


The Oklahoma Conference of Churches connects, motivates, and empowers the witness of communities of faith and individuals throughout Oklahoma on issues of faith, care, and social justice.