Register Now for Interfaith Youth Tour 2016

The Oklahoma Conference of Churches will be conducting its 9th annual Interfaith Youth Tour in Ok lahoma City on September 25, 2016 from 1:00 to 5:30 p.m. 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. 

Registration Deadline is Sept. 21!
$15 per person 
(includes transportation and snacks)

Group registration is easy with OCC's new registration system. Youth groups, schools and  organizations are welcome!  
Register now by clicking 
Community Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Ponca City
September 7 at 6 - 8 p.m. 

Three distinguished scholars and experts on interfaith dialogue will be discussing and answering questions on the importance of interfaith relationships and religious tolerance.  Dr. Imad Enchassi, the Rev. Dr. Charles Kimball, and the Rev. Dr. William Tabbernee will participate in the roundtable.  

This event is free and all are invited to participate. For more information, contact the church office at (580) 765-8900.

2109 W est Grand,  Ponca City, OK 74601
Allen  Hertzke 
to Keynote 2016 OCC Annual Dinner
Allen D. Hertzke,  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 work is two companion volumes (co-edited with Timothy Shaw):  Christianity and Freedom: Historical Perspectives and 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

FAITH AND FEAR is the title of the 8-week series featured this fall on the television program  The Exchange - Where Faith and Science Meet. Shown on OKC television station KSBI on Sunday mornings at 7:30 a.m. (or anytime on their website at  THE EXCHANGE "Faith and Fear") this special series brings together lessons of science and faith. Learn how the brain processes fear and how our culture overloads that process. The videos will feature several faith traditions to see if there is a clear path to living a fear-free life. Included are:

Kris Ladusau - Buddhist faith
Imad Enchassi - Muslim faith
Vered Harris - Jewish faith
Lawrence Stasyszen - Christian faith 

Hosted by Paul J. Kirbas, senior pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in OKC and founder of the Kirbas Institute,  FAITH AND FEAR begins on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016. 


Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform conducted a series of Town Hall meetings throughout the state during August. The Oklahoma Conference of Churches hosted the first of these Town Halls at East Central University 
in Ada.

Emceed by OCC vice-president,
the Rev. Dr. Victor McCullough, the panel included former governor Brad Henry, state representative Rev. Dr. George Young (at left) Danielle Eze l (Executive Dire c tor, Oklahoma Women's Coalition), and Kris Steele (former House Speaker an d now executive d irector of TEEM). 

The Panel was very well received and attendees were excited about positive changes occurring in the Oklahoma criminal justice system. We greatly appreciate all member participation in the event.  

For more information about Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform, click this link  OCJR.

Church of the Savior presents the 2016 Kate Lecture  Series:  "Sailing the  Ecumenical Boat in the Twenty-first Century" presented by the Rev. Dr. William Tabbernee.   The free lecture series will span the weekend as listed below:

Friday, Sept. 16, 6:30-8:30 p.m. 
"Know the Ropes: The State of the Church Today"

Saturday, Sept. 17, 8:30-11:30 a.m.
"Building a New Boat: Key Principles Learned from the Church's Past"  and   "Anchors Aweigh: Heading Confidently into the Church's Future"

Sunday, Sept. 18, 11:00 a.m. Sermon
"Sailing the Ecumenical Boat in the Twenty-First Century"

Please contact Church of the Savior with questions at  (405) 721-5241. 

Train-the-Facilitator Event
Hosted by The Oklahoma Veteran Families Wellness Alliance 
Veterans living in rural areas may have limited access to health care and other resources. When seeking help they are likely to contact a trusted resource, such as a member of the clergy from a local house of worship. Many active duty service members and Veterans feel that seeking help in rural faith communities will have less negative impact on their reputation within the community and on their military career.
As a Community Clergy Facilitator, you can help bring together clergy and others committed to creating a strong network of support to help Veterans and their families access care and resources. All participants who complete the two-day Train-the-Facilitator session will receive a comprehensive training guide which includes step-by-step instructions for putting on a workshop; workshop curriculum, toolkits to support workshop planning, implementation, and facilitation, a CD of resource materials, and consultation with and mentoring from the CCTP Training Team. 
September 26, Monday, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
September 27, Tuesday, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. 
Training will be held at  C atholic Charities of Oklahoma City located at 
1232 N. Classen Blvd.,  Chickasaw Room, 2nd Floor. 
For more information, please contact Tabitha Narvaiz, Army OneSource
918-906-1528 or tnarvaiz@afsc.com.

Celebrating 40 YEARS OF SERVICE

The Oklahoma Conference of Churches extends congratulations to Father Stephen Bird on the occasion of his 40 years of service to the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, as well as being the latest recipient of the Father Stanley Rother Faithful Shepherd Award.

The Faithful Shepherd Award is named in honor of the late Fr. Stanley Rother, a priest from the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City who was murdered in Guatemala in 1981. The award was instituted in 2003 to recognize a priest who has exhibited an unwavering commitment to the spiritual lives of his parishioners. 

Fr. Bird was ordained to the priesthood on June 25, 1976 and has since served as associate pastor of Saint Thomas More, Norman; and the Cathedral, Epiphany of the Lord, and Saint Eugene in Oklahoma City. He has been pastor of Saint Eugene, Weatherford; Holy Trinity, Okarche; and Saint Patrick and Epiphany, Oklahoma City, where he has served since 2005.

OCC works closely with Fr. Bird in his role as director of the Office of Worship for the Archdiocese in facilitating the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, held in January each year. He also serves as the president for the Oklahoma Alliance for Liturgy and the Arts, which is an ecumenical member of the Oklahoma Conference of Churches.

Sunday, Oct. 9, 2-4 p.m.

OCC's Religions United Committee will host an  Interfaith Meal entitled "A Mediterranean Afternoon Tea" at  St. Paul's Cathedral's Dean Willey Hall, located at 127 N.W. 7th Street in  Oklahoma City. 

In order t o facilitate interaction between people of different faiths, and to build bridges of understanding, printed questions will be provided at each table to stimulate discussion during the meal. 

This event is free, however donations will be accepted. Pre-registration is necessary for catering purposes; the deadline is October 5. To REGISTER, click this link!

The Oklahoma Disciples Foundation  Welcomes 
Rev. Bruce Barkhauer
Pastors, lay leaders and members of Disciples of Christ (Christian Church) are invited to hear Rev. Bruce Barkhauer, Director, Center for Faith and Giving of Indianapolis. The center provides education materials and resources that teach stewardship as a spiritual discipline as well as best practices in matters of church finances. "Stewardship is a whole life issue that deals with how to respond to a Loving God who has, in abundance, provided all that we need not only to survive, but to thrive."   

Details on each event are listed below.  Please contact (405) 525-6530 or click  Oklahoma Disciples Foundation   for more information.  

September 18 (Sunday) 9:00-10:00 a,m, 
The Cup Runneth Over - Speaker Bruce Barkhauer
First Christian Church, 2nd & Boulevard,  Edmond

September 18 (Sunday) 2:30-5:00 p.m.
The Cup Runneth Over - Speaker Bruce Barkhauer
Harvard Avenue Christian Church, 5200 South Harvard Avenue, Tulsa

September 19 (Monday) 9 a,m.- 12:00 noon
The Cup Runneth Over - Speaker Bruce Barkhauer
Central Christian Church, 1111 West Broadway Ave,  Enid

September 19 (Monday) 6:00- 8:30 pm  -  REGISTRATION REQUIRED
An Evening with Bruce: The Cup Runneth Over
Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame & Jim Thorpe Museum, 4040 Lincoln Blvd,  OKC


OCC is a 501(c)(3) 
Your gift is tax deductible! 
Please click here to donate.


Mark your calendars now for the following significant OCC events:

Sept. 7
Religious Tolerance Roundable, Community Christian Church (DOC), Ponca City, 6-8 p.m. 

Sept. 25

Interfaith Youth Tour at various OKC metro locations, 1:00-5:30 p.m.

Oct. 9
A Mediterranean Afternoon Tea, St. Paul's Cathedral, Dean Willey Hall, 2-4 p.m. 

Oct. 20
Evening of Listening - Discussion on State Questions 776, 777, 780 & 781.  St. Paul's Cathedral, 6:30 p.m.

Nov. 10
OCC Annual Dinner -
Embassy Suites Downtown / Medical Complex, OKC, 5:15-8:30 p.m.

NOTE: The previously-announced Annual Benefit Art Show & Auction on Sept. 8 has been postponed until further notice.


Basic Academy 
October 5-7, 2016
Team Leader Academy November 1-3, 2016

OCC's Disaster Spiritual Care Team continues to be active in response to disasters around our state. Registration is now open for our next Disaster Spiritual Care Academy. These academies are offered in multi-day formats, allowing participants to take necessary courses in "blocks" of days to earn their disaster spiritual care credentials.

All trainings will be held at:

 Oklahoma Disciples Center/
OCC Offices
301 N.W. 36th, OKC

Click to REGISTER.

Click for Description of OCC's three credentialing categories, training, qualifications, and accountability requirements. 

Click to READ UPDATE on OCC's Disaster Spiritual Care Program.

To receive e-mail notification of future trainings, click HERE.

We are thankful for our partners who train across disciplines, especially the Stress Response Team (Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corp), the Oklahoma National Guard Chaplain's office, and the Mental Health Association Oklahoma.

OCC's disaster spiritual care program is compliant with National Voluntary Organiza-tions 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.



Oklahoma City 
October  25-26, 2016
St. Paul's Cathedral 
127 N.W. 7th Street, OKC

The Oklahoma Conference of Churches and Mental Health Association Oklahoma are working together to help educate congregational leaders about issues related to mental health. A two-day seminar will also teach leaders how to connect with important resources to help them navigate a mental-health related event, including a suicide crisis.

Day 1 - Mental Health First Aid
This 8-hour course teaches the skills to help someone who is developing a mental health problem, or experi-encing a mental health crisis.

* What symptoms might a person experience or display when struggling with a mental health issue, or when experiencing a mental health crisis?

* How should congregational leaders respond?

* Learn a 5-step strategy to assist an individual until appropriate professional help arrives.

Day 2 - Suicide Prevention, Postvention, and Resources for Help and Healing

* QPR (Question, Persuade and Refer) - Often referred to as the mental health version of CPR, learn three simple steps anyone can take to help save a life from suicide

* Learn best-practice responses in the wake of a suicide, including appropriate language and responses, help for the grieving, and more

* Connect w/ resources in the community

* From children and youth, to adults and seniors, learn about accessing services, how to make a referral, and crisis intervention

Join us for one day, or both. This training is appropriate for senior church staff as well as youth ministers, lay leadership, and others who are in a role where someone may turn to them for help, or where they may be aware of life stressors that could contribute to a mental health struggle.

Watch for more details and registration. The training itself is free, however we are requesting a donation to help us cover the cost of lunch and refreshments. Information will be posted at both okchurches.org and mhaok.org. You may also contact Mary Hughes Gaudreau (info below) or Karen LaPlante at klaplante@mhaok.org.

Contact Mary Hughes Gaudreau
or   405-315-1528   
for additional information. 

The Rev. Mary Hughes Gaudreau 
Director of Emotional and 
Spiritual Care

September 1 
Tulsa Metropolitan Ministry - Delegate Meeting. For more information contact Rita Burns at (918) 582-3147 or rburns@tumm.org. 

September 13
Central OK Community Forum. 11:30 a.m.- 1:00 p.m. at IBEW located at 1700 SE 15th, OKC.   Lunch provided.  Call 405-634-4030 to RSVP. 

September 18 & 19
"The Cup Runneth Over"
Oklahoma Disciples Foundation annual dinner featuring Rev. Bruce Barkhauer.  See 
www.okdfdn.org or call Eric Gray at (405) 525-6530. 

September 24
Church Women United
"Gathering at God's Amazing Expandable Table." First Presbyterian Church, 505 SE Dewey, Bartlesville, OK 
10 a.m.-3 p.m. $15. Contact Lomasullivan@gmail.com for more information.

September 26 & 27
Community Clergy Training Program "Train the Facilitator Event" 
Monday 1 - 5 p.m.
Tuesday 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sponsored by The Oklahoma Veteran Families Wellness Alliance.

October 1
"Solar Summit" - Sierra Club, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. in the OSU-OKC South Conference Room, 901 N. Portland, OKC. E-mail Johnson Bridgwater with questions. 

October 6
OKC Labor-Religion Luncheon,  held at Fairview Baptist Church, 1700 NE 7th, OKC at  11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Free event. Donations accepted.  Contact (405) 634-4030 or cocforum@ sbcglobal.net.

November 12  
Church Women United
World Community Day, 
Sharing Gifts at the Table.
9 a.m. at Del City Community of Christ Church, 3333 Vickie Drive, Del City.  Contact Karen Buntin for more info at (405) 314-8348 or kbuntin@ou.edu.

OCC is conduct ing a $5 millio n endowment campaign. Funds raised  will provide enduring support for OCC's programs in disast er spiritual care, social justice, and interfaith understanding.
Endowment opportunities include endowments ranging fr om $5,000 to $1 million. For the news release announcing the campaign, click HERE .

If you would like more details and a campaign booklet, please call the OCC office at (405) 525-2928.

The Rev. Dr. William Tabbernee
Executive Director
The Oklahoma Conference of Churches connects, motivates, and empowers the witness of Christian communities and individuals through-out Oklahoma on issues of faith and social justice. 

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