The Religions United Committee of the Oklahoma Conference of Churches is conducting a tour of Israel and the Palestinian Territories from January 3-11, 2017. The tour will be led by Rabbi Vered Harris, Iman Imad Enchassi, and the Rev. Dr. William Tabbernee. There are 22 participants from the three Abrahamic Faith Traditions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). 

Harris, Enchassi, and Tabbernee brave cold weather at the State Capitol.
Participants will meet with local faith leaders, politicians, and both Israeli and Palestinian families, as well as see sites sacred to each of the three traditions. This interfaith experience will provide a unique opportunity to learn from contrasting narratives regarding complex national issues that are the future prospects of justice, security, and peace for the region.

One of the participants is Carla Hinton, religion editor of The Oklahoman, who will report on various aspects of the tour.

Upon returning to Oklahoma, participants will share their experiences and insights at public gatherings and at various houses of worship throughout the state. The first such meeting be held at Temple B'Nai Israel from 2:00-4:00 p.m. on March 5, 2017.  A similar event is being planned for Tulsa. 

OCC Announces 2017 Disaster Spiritual Care Academies

Oklahoma has experienced a new disaster, on average, every 7.5 weeks since March 2015. Although the new year has just begun, we are preparing for the upcoming 2017 storm season by scheduling a number of trainings, organized into three "Academies."

Scheduled for three locations across the state, these trainings are designed for those who want to be prepared and credentialed to respond to disasters in their local areas. Trainings are open to clergy and non-clergy, although only clergy qualify for credentialing at this level. (This training is required for ALL additional courses and Provider categories.)  To register, click on the following links:

* Local Spiritual Care Responder training: Duncan, Jan. 25, 2017
* Local Spiritual Care Responder training: Tulsa, Feb. 2, 2017 
* Local Spiritual Care Responder training: Oklahoma City, Feb. 9, 2017

Registration open soon!
These trainings are for clergy and non-clergy seeking credentialing as "Deployed Spiritual Care Responders" who are trained and prepared to respond to disasters outside of their local areas. The Local Spiritual Care Responder training is a prerequisite for trainings in this category.

* Intermediate Disaster Spiritual Care: Duncan, March 9, 2017
* Religious and Cultural Competence: Duncan, March 9, 2017
* QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer): Duncan, March 9, 2017
* Psychological First Aid: Duncan, March 8, 2017

* Intermediate Disaster Spiritual Care: Oklahoma City, March 23, 2017
* Religious and Cultural Competence: Oklahoma City, March 24, 2017
* QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer): Oklahoma City, March 24, 2017
* Psychological First Aid: Oklahoma City, March 24, 2017

Final dates and Open Registration coming soon!
Team Leaders are trained and prepared to coordinate and direct teams of trained responders. Local Spiritual Care Responder and the Deployed Spiritual Care Responder trainings are pre-requisites for this category.
* Team Leader Training: Duncan, coming in March 2017
* Team Leader Training: Oklahoma City, coming in April 2017
* ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training): Oklahoma City, coming in March 2017

Click HERE to receive email notification of future 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

Evening of Listening 
February 2, 2017

The popular Evenings of Listening series co-sponsored by OCC and St. Paul's Cathedral will re-commence at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 2, 2017. Members of OCC's Committee of the  Environment will present a program titled "Where In The World Are We--And You--On Changes In Weather, Climate, and Nature?"

The event will be held in Dean Willey Hall, St. Paul's Cathedral, 127 N.W. 7th, OKC. Free parking is available in St. Paul's parking lot at 7th Street, on the south side of the Cathedral. 

Presenters are Nathaniel Batchelder, Pat Hoerth, and Jane Wheeler. Please join us for this free event. Not only will the topic be presented, but this will also serve as a "train the trainer" event. The outline will be provided to participants and instruction given on how to conduct a similar presentation in their own churches and houses of worship.   

The Oklahoma Alliance for Liturgy and the Arts will present a prayer service to  commemorate the 2017 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity on Sunday, January 22,  2017, at 4:00 p.m., at Oklahoma City First Church of the Nazarene, 4400 Northwest  Expressway, Oklahoma City. All are invited. 

The service will include music, prayer, scripture, visual art and presentations by two speakers: Rev. Floyd Schoenhals, Bishop Emeritus of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Sister Diane Koorie, RSM, Director of Pastoral Ministry for the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City.

This year marks the 110th annual observance of the Week of Prayer , which began in 1908. The observance lasts eight days, beginning January 18 and concluding on January 25. These dates were originally chosen because they included the Christian celebrations of St. Peter on January 18 and St. Paul on January 25.

The 2017 theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, selected to  commem-orate the 500th anniversary year of the beginnings of the  Reformation, is: "Recon-ciliation - The Love of Christ Compels Us," taken from 2 Corinthians 5:14-20.

The Oklahoma Alliance for Liturgy and the Arts invites you to celebrate our unity in Christ. Please call (405) 843-9588 for more information. 
The mission of the Oklahoma  Alliance for Liturgy and the Arts, a Christian not-for-profit
interdenominational organization, is to enhance communal worship by promoting
the visual and performing arts in Oklahoma churches.  www.liturgyandarts.org

The  2017 OCC Annual Dinner has been scheduled for 
November 9 in the "Sam Noble Special Events Center" at the 
National  Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
1700 N.E. 63rd Street, Oklahoma City. Please put this date in 
your calendar  now . We have a very special speaker planned for this event and reservations will fill up quickly! More details to come as they are available. 

Your gift is tax deductible; 
click here to donate.

is a 501(c)(3) 
Day at the Legislature
Speakers Announced

Please join us on March 6, 2017 for the 34th annual Day at the Legislature! This important event is a rare opportunity to network and learn from the brightest speakers today on a variety of topics related to two of OCC's focus areas: Poverty and Environment. Individuals, schools, civic organizations and church groups are all encouraged to participate. 

We are excited to present Commissioner Terri White as the keynote speaker on Poverty, and the Rev. Dr. Mark Davies of Oklahoma City University as the keynote speaker on the Environment. Commissioner White has addressed this body during the last two years and is always in high demand as a speaker. She heads the Dept. of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services for the State of Oklahoma. Davies is the Wimberly Professor of Social and Ecological Ethics at OCU and is heavily involved in environmental issues both in Oklahoma and in national-wide organizations.

The Rev. Peter S. Sawtell, Executive Director of Eco-Justice Ministries, will be the closing speaker in the sanctuary at St. Paul's Cathedral at 3:45 p.m. Sawtell has a diverse background in academics, professional work, and community involvement. He is based out of Denver, CO.

The entire day, including lunch, afternoon workshops, and closing session with Peter Sawtell, will be held at St. Paul's
Cathedral, 127 N.W. 7th St., OKC, due to ongoing renovations at the State Capitol. Free parking is available around the Cathedral on 7th Street and on Robinson, as well as in the parking lot on the south side of the Cathedral.

Check-in (with coffee and pastries) begins at 8:30 a.m. The cost of registration is $40 per person. Complimentary transportation will be available from Tulsa and other cities.

On-line registration will open January 1 at www.okchurches.org

January 14, 2017
Adult Mission Trip to Uruguay by Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma. Details, cost and application at link: URUGUAY 

January 22, 2017
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Service, 
4:00 p.m., OKC First Church of the Nazarene, 
4400 N.W. Expressway, OKC.

February 2, 2017
Evening of Listening, "Where in the World Are We-and You-On Changes in Weather, Climate and Nature,"  6:30 p.m., St. Paul's Cathedral, 127 N.W. 7th, OKC. 

February 11, 2017
The Oklahoma Gospel Singing Convention is sponsoring a Sweetheart Concert and Banquet featuring the Black Family Bluegrass Group, 6:00 p.m. at Southeast Expo, McAlester, OK. Tickets are $20 per person or $35 per couple and may be purchased at Cross Your Heart Christian Bookstore. 

March 5, 2017
Review of International Interfaith Tour, 2:00-4:00 p.m. at Temple B'Nai Israel, 4901 N. Pennsylvania, OKC.   

March 6, 2017
Day at the Legislature, 8:30-4:30 p.m. To be held at St. Paul's Cathedral, 127 N.W. 7th, OKC.  

April 19, 2017
Evening of Listening, 6:30 p.m. at St. Paul's Cathedral, 127 N.W. 7th, OKC.  Topic to be announced.

May 11, 2017
Evening of Listening, 6:30 p.m. at St. Paul's Cathedral, 127 N.W. 7th, OKC.  Topic to be announced.

30th Annual Knippa Ecumenical/Interfaith Lecture features guest speaker

The Rev. Dr. Timothy J. Wengert, noted international speaker, author, editor, and emeritus professor of Lutheran Theological Seminary (Philadelphia) will discuss "The Reformation After 500 Years: Seeds of Religious Unity?" at the 30th Annual Knippa Ecumenical/Interfaith Lecture on Sunday, January 29, at Grace Lutheran Church (2331 East 5th Place, Tulsa, OK). The meeting will start at 4:00 p.m ., followed by an informal reception in Knippa Hall. 
2017 will mark the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's Ninety-Five Theses and the start of the Protestant Reformation.The Knippa Board wishes to take this opportunity to feature an expert on the history of this seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation. Wengert has written many scholarly books and articles on the Reformation and also wrote Reading the Bible with Martin Luther.

The first illuminated, handwritten Bible of monumental size to be commissioned by a Benedictine monastery in the modern era will be on view at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art this fall.

Sacred Words: The Saint John's Bible and the Art of Illumination  opened at OKCMOA on October 15 and includes seventy selected folios from The Saint John's Bible as well as other historical illuminated manuscripts, such as a Book of Hours, Quran pages, and Torah scrolls. Sacred Words will include a selection of original, unbound illuminated manuscript folios on calfskin vellum from The Saint John's Bible, as well as sketches, drawings, inks, and tools used to create the manuscript. 

Sacred Words presents the concept, historical context, technical execution and significance of The Saint John's Bible and illumination as an art form. This exhibition, open through January 8, 2017, will examine the revival of a millennia-old tradition of meticulous hand-craftsmanship that incorporates advances in modern technology. See OKCMOA
for tickets. 

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.

A man's hat was found at Embassy Suites after the OCC Annual Dinner. No one has called the office to claim it, so we are in search of its owner.  If you have been missing your hat since November 10, please call the OCC office at (405) 525-2928 and give us a description. We will gladly return it to its owner!  
Oklahoma Conference of Churches
301 N.W. 36th Street 
Oklahoma City, OK 
(405) 525-2928  ~   www. okchurches.org  

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. 
Banner photo attribution: Copyright: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/profile_ximagination'>ximagination / 123RF Stock Photo</a>