2017:06
Ramadan Mubarak: Happy Ramadan!

We are officially in the Islamic season of Ramadan, which began on Friday, May 26, so Ramadan Mubarak to all our brothers and sisters who will be celebrating throughout the month! If Ramadan is not a part of your religious tradition, you still have the opportunity to participate in solidarity with our Muslim neighbors, by attending an Iftar dinner (a meal that breaks the day's fast at sundown), or by attending an education event about Ramadan. You can also read this etiquette guide for Ramadan for non-Muslims, which provides information about the holiday.

Ramadan is a time when the principles of generosity and hospitality become especially important. Ramadan is the month of fasting, developing self-control and kindness, a time of comprehensive thanksgiving and charity. It's a time of training oneself to become a better person spiritually and improving relationships with family, friends, and neighbors.


The following are Ramadan Iftar Dinners for all people to celebrate together:

Date
Time
Location
Host
5/30/17
7:45 p.m.
Turkish Raindrop House
4444 North Classen Blvd.
OKC, OK 73118
Dialogue Institute of Oklahoma City
6/1/17
7:45 p.m.
St. Augustine of Canterbury
  14700 N May Ave.
OKC, OK 73134
St. Augustine of Canterbury
6/4/17
7:45 p.m.
Temple B'Nai Israel
4901 North Pennsylvania Ave.
OKC, OK 73112
Temple B'Nai Israel
6/8/17
7:45 p.m.
St. Charles Borromeo
5024 North Grove Ave.
Warr Acres, OK 73122
St. Charles Borromeo
6/9/17
7:00 p.m.
Noah's Event Center
14017 Quail Springs Pkwy
OKC, OK 73134

CAIR Oklahoma
6/13/17
7:45 p.m.
Turkish Raindrop House
4444 North Classen Blvd.
OKC, OK 73118
Dialogue Institute of Oklahoma City




In addition to the above events, join CAIR-OK for "Revealing Ramadan" on Thursday, June 15 at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, located at 3815 North St. Clair Avenue, OKC, OK 73112. The evening's program will include a tour of the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City (ISGOC), a special presentation on the Day in the Life of a Fasting Muslim, and a panel of young professionals sharing their experiences of Ramadan. Following the presentation,  a nice Ramadan inspired halal meal will be served from a local restaurant.

This event is FREE and open to the public. Check out CAIR Oklahoma's Facebook Page. Please RSVP online here

OCC Responds to Elk City Tornado

On Tuesday, May 16, in a matter of minutes, hundreds of people in Beckham County lost their homes as a large tornado tore through their neighborhoods. One person was killed and several others sustained injuries. With damage focusing primarily in the city of Elk City, the Oklahoma Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) community responded. 

An assessment team from OCC went to Elk City on Friday, May 19 and met with a number of faith community leaders, disaster response leaders, and other community leaders. On Sunday, May 21, members of OCC's team worked alongside the Medical Reserve Corp's Stress Response Team, meeting directly with disaster affected individuals and families. On Tuesday, May 23, OCC and other Oklahoma VOAD partners met with the ministerial alliance to begin crafting a long-term recovery plan. 

Long after the cameras have moved on to more immediate news, OCC will continue to provide care.  Please continue to pray for all the individuals and families affected and for our team.

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 for an update on OCC's disaster spiritual care program.

 
The Rev. Mary Hughes Gaudreau
Director of Emotional and 
Spiritual Care
(405) 315-1528
mgaudreau@okchurches.org 

To register click here or contact Tamara Braxton:
tamara_braxton@occhd.org I 405-425-4335



SPECIAL ADVANCED SCREENING



The screening of " From the Ashes" will take place on June 8, 2017 at SixTwelve (612 NW 29th Street, OKC), beginning at 7 p.m. with discussion afterwards led by Johnson Bridgwater.

All are invited to view this incredible film produced by RadicalMedia in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies. The film highlights the work of the Beyond Coal Campaign, partner organizations, and frontline communities. It celebrates and lifts up community voices and the role of grassroots advocacy in shaping our energy future. PROGRESS IS STILL POSSIBLE!

Hosted by the Cimarron Group of the Sierra Club.



The Summer Food Service Program is designed to fill the nutrition gap and make sure children can get the nutritious meals they need.

During the school year, many children receive free and reduced-price breakfast and lunch through the  School Breakfast and National School Lunch Programs. What happens when school lets out? 

Hunger is one of the most severe roadblocks to the learning process. Lack of nutrition during the summer months may set up a cycle for poor performance once school begins again. Hunger also may make children more prone to illness and other health issues.  The Summer Food Service Program is designed to fill the nutrition gap and make sure children can get the nutritious meals they need. 

Families can go to this website  SUMMER FOOD SERVICE PROGRAM, then type in their zip code to locate the nearest feeding site.  Kids eat FREE!

Help us get the word out!  Please contact  Heather Griswold  for posters and other promotional materials for your congregation. 

JUNE 2017
Your gift is tax deductible; 
click here to donate.

OCC 
is a 501(c)3) 
organization.

Farewell to Cheryl McGuire 
and Dolores Ferguson

It is with great regret that we say goodbye to two very special people who have been vitally important members of the OCC staff for a long time. 

Cheryl McGuire came to OCC in August 2010  as a
part-time administrative assistant. She become full-time in 2014 taking on an increasing number of duties and responsibilities. Currently she is OCC's Administrative Support Ma nager. 

Cheryl's duties over the years have
included not only  secretarial and administrative tasks but also finances,  event planning, and communications, such as OCC's two monthly e-newsletters. Without her expertise and hard work we would not have had multiple highly successful Days at the Legislature, Interfaith Youth Tours, Art Shows, Benefit  Breakfasts, Annual Dinners, and a host of other special events.

We wish Cheryl the very best as she and her family move back to Tulsa.

 
Dolores Ferguson has been at OCC as a part-time administrative assistant since 2014. She initially came to OCC through a government program whereby, following the 2013 tornadoes in central Oklahoma, City of Moore residents who needed employment could be placed with organizations such as OCC at little or no cost to the organization for an initial period. We were so impressed with Dolores that when the program finished we found the funds for her to keep working for OCC on a part-time basis.

Dolores has been a wonderful support to the full-time OCC staff, including the OCC Disaster Spiritual Care Program. No task has been too menial or burdensome for Dolores, who has metaphorically and literally "rolled up her sleeves" each day to file documents, keep mailing lists up to date, stuff envelopes, make phone calls to remind people of meetings, ordered luncheons, and assisted with the logistics of special events. We wish her well for the future also! 


 The Oklahoma Conference of Churches Disaster  Spiritual Care Team worked in tornado-affected Elk City  neighborhoods alongside local law enforcement, the Salvation  Army, and the Medical Reserve Corp.

OCC Team Members Rich Thibodeau and Rick Gratch

Evening of Listening highlights Immigration and Refugees  

Listening to brief presentations about critically important issues and then t o each other is, as the name implies, the focus of the popular " Evening of Listening " Series at St. Paul's Cathedral (127 NW 7th Street, OKC). Through such listening we are also able to come up with very practical steps which we can  implement locally to add ress the particular issue  or issues under discussion.
The most recent " Evening of  Li stening" addressed topics related to Immigration and Refugees and was held on May 11, 2017. The evening's conversations generated the f ollowing ten things which we can do to participate in promoting knowledge and education on issues surrounding Immigration and Refugees:
  1. Provide "Know Your Rights" seminars, being creative on how they are offered and how people are invited to be a part of them. 
  2. Seek education and collaboration and be intentional regarding becoming a sanctuary congregation. 
  3. Be an informed voter such as knowing what 287(g) is and how candidates view it, uphold it, abide by it, etc. To read about issues relating to a 287(g) program by the American Immigration Council, click here
  4. Write letters to elected officials, editorials to local media, and thank you notes to the leaders of sanctuary cities. 
  5. Collaborate with other local churches, especially those who serve a high number of the immigrant population. Seek ways to support all people, connecting people who need resources like immigration attorneys to the resources available. 
  6. Meet immigrants and hear their stories. Hold forums and opportunities to hear the stories of immigrants and refugees. 
  7. Get a copy of the documentary from Oklahoma City University called, "Here For Good: The Latino Experience in Oklahoma" and collaborate and become a partner of the OCU Center for Borderland Studies. You can find a link to the documentary by clicking here.  
  8. Consider a church and/or organization policy on ICE. Be prepared to ask for a warrant to allow them on to your property. 
  9. Take a stand for the right thing. Be courageous. Speak up. 
  10. Pray for all people, especially immigrants and refugees.
Please keep in touch for information on upcoming "Evening of Listening" events which will resume in the fall.
September 17, 2017
Interfaith Youth Tour
The Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help 
Catholic Church,  Temple B'nai Israel, and the  Islamic Society of Greater OKC will host this annual event this year.

October 15, 2017
Meet Your Interfaith Neighbors 
Meal  2 -4 p.m.,  First Unitarian Church of Oklahoma City, 600 NW 13th Street, OKC. There will be a $5.00 cover charge.

November 9, 2017
OCC's Annual Dinner 
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum-Sam Noble Special Events Center, 1700 NE 63rd, OKC. 
Consider becoming a COOL ZONE

We know that Oklahoma is a pretty cool place to live, but when we enter the hottest months of the year, it's hard for many to keep cool. We see far too many heat-related incidents and deaths, especially in the elderly and disabled community, and we ask that you consider helping to prevent these unnecessary incidents.

Residents in Central Oklahoma need a place to cool off during the heat of an oppressive summer day. As temperatures and humidity outside climb to dangerous levels, many Oklahomans do not have a safe place to go for relief and to prevent heat-related illnesses.

Additional locations are needed to reach unserved areas of the Oklahoma City metro. Would your church or worship center be willing to participate in meeting this need? And if you are outside of the OKC metro, have you considered a similar program in your area? 

To learn more about becoming a COOL ZONE, click here.

Cool Zone locations include:
  • Libraries
  • Shopping Centers
  • Community and Senior Citizen Centers
  • Churches/Houses of Worship
To apply to become a COOL ZONE, click here

Please mail completed forms to the OCC offices at 301 NW 36th Street, OKC, OK 73118.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

June 2, 3, 2017
Spirit of Oklahoma Storytelling Festival 
Eastlake Cumberland Presbyterian Church, OKC        (More info here)

June 4, 2017
Gloria In Excelsis: Sacred Music from the Middle Ages to the Dawn of the Baroque - Trinity Episcopal Church, Tulsa

June 22, 23, 24, 2017
Oklahoma Gospel Singing Convention 
Southeast EXPO in McAlester (More info here)

July 15, 2017
Church Women United in Oklahoma - Highland Park United Methodist Church in Stillwater

October 5, 6, 2017
Zarrow Mental Health Symposium: Challenging Injustice and Discrimination - Cox Business Center in Tulsa (More info here)

October 20-21, 2017
Church Women United in Oklahoma Ecumenical Leaders' Retreat (For more information, contact Lynne Bussell at lbussell@suddenlink.net) 

Oklahoma Conference of Churches
301 N.W. 36th St.
Oklahoma City 
73118
(405) 525-2928
www.okchurches.org


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

  

The Rev. Dr. William Tabbernee
Executive Director
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