Mike Korenblit, Nyla Ali Khan, and the Rev. Dr. William Tabbernee enjoying the OCC Annual Benefit Breakfast.
OCC 2017

When people arrived at St. Paul's Cathedral for the OCC Benefit Breakfast on Thursday, April 20, 2017, some were surprised (and delighted) to find that their Table Host was listed as Mohammad Christian Goldberg,  see link. This name, encompassing the three Abrahamic Faiths, is how an anonymous sponsor of the event wants to emphasize the importance of Interfaith understanding and engagement--which is one of OCC's major programs. 

OCC is also very much involved in social justice and disaster spiritual care. After a brief overview of OCC's mission and main activities, Dr. William Tabbernee, executive director, used a "roving microphone" to interview a number of OCC Board and committee members regarding specific aspects of OCC's critically important work.  This new format enabled a great deal of information to be imparted quickly through a variety of voices about topics such as the recent International Interfaith Tour to Israel and the Palestinian Territories, OCC's Statement on Climate Changes, the bills being tracked by our IMPACT Committee, and the role of OCC's Council of Communion Leaders. 


St. Nicholas Chapel at St. Paul's Cathedral was the venue for OCC's Advocacy Training Workshop on April 20, 2017. Kim Moyer, Oklahoma State Director for Marcy's Law; Allie Shinn, Director of External Affairs, ALCU and Shirley Cox, Legal Services Development, DHS Aging Services were all outstanding speakers. Each presented extremely practical steps to take when trying to make your views known 
about particular bills before the Oklahoma Legislature. HB1913 (linked), a bill which proposes a new "small loan" of up to $1,500 by the Payday Industry at a massive 204% APR (annual percentage rate) was used as an example of a bill which needs to be opposed ( click here to see the statement opposing this bill by the OCC Heads of Communion). 

On April 27, HB1913 passed the Oklahoma Senate. This means that the bill is now on the governor's desk. OCC has written to Governor Fallin imploring her to veto the bill, which, if it becomes law, will allow predatory lenders to take advantage of financially vulnerable Oklahomans.  

If you would like to add your own voice to asking the governor to veto this bill, Governor Fallin may be reached by leaving a voicemail on her phone by calling (405) 521-2342 or (405) 522-8857.

If you would like to receive OCC's Social Justice Ministry Network monthly electronic newsletter, which provides up to date information about the bills which OCC's IMPACT Committee is tracking and about suggested actions to be taken, you may sign up at this link SJMN.


On April 25, 2017, the bipartisan Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission recommended "that the current moratorium on the death penalty be extended until significant reforms have been accomplished." OCC welcomed this recommendation by issuing the following statement:   click here.  The churches which comprise OCC have long advocated against capital punishment (see Theological Statement on the Death Penalty). Oklahoma executes more people  per capita than any other state in the USA, and is second only to Texas in the actual number of prisoners put to death. 

While OCC sees the recommended extension of the moratorium on the death penalty as "a step in the right direction," the Oklahoma Attorney General, "respectfully disagrees" which the bipartisan commission's recommendation and plans to move forward with new protocols for executing death row inmates. AG ARTICLE


Oklahoma experiences more than our share of disasters. For us, it's not "if" a disaster will occur, it's "when." As we enter into spring storm season, do you have your family plan in place?
Many resources are available to help you prepare. Start HERE to begin your planning.

Click on the links below for more ways you can prepare yourself and your family for specific events known to occur in Oklahoma:


While we hope not to experience any major events this year, thanks to the generous financial support of partners OCC's Disaster Spiritual Care Team is ready to respond.

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
photo i.d. required

Sign up with Saad Mohammed at islam68@cox.net 
or click this link RedCrossBlood.org
and enter sponsor code islamicsocietyokc


It is with great delight that we announce the appointment of the Rev. Shannon Fleck Speidel as OCC's Director of Program Development, Events and Communications. Rev. Speidel has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Central Oklahoma and a Master of Divinity from Phillips Theological Seminary. 

Rev. Speidel comes to OCC from Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Enid where she served as Associate Minister. Prior to that she was the Protestant Parish Coordinator at the Little Rock Air Force Base Chapel in Jacksonville, AR.  She has also served as the Assistant Minister with Youth at Western Oaks Christian Church (OKC); as a Mental Health case manager; and a Juvenile Justice specialist. She has also undertaken extensive training and has extensive experience in media, communications, and event planning. 

Rev. Speidel starts her new position on May 1, 2017 and may be contacted via email at sspeidel@okchurches.org or by phone at (405) 525-2928.   

OCC's Board president, the Very Rev. Justin  Lindstrom spoke at a news conference held on April 20, 2017 at which OCC's Statement on Climate Change was presented. To read the article by Carla Hinton click HERE

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. 

The OCC Offices will be closed for Memorial Day, May 29, 2017.

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

is a 501(c)3) 

May 11, 2017 - Thursday
" Immigration and Refugees" Evening of Listening, 6:30 p.m. at St. Paul's Cathedral, 127 N.W. 7th, OKC. For details, see below.

What can we do about Islamophobia?

St. Paul's United Methodist Church
1442 S. Quaker Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74120

Monday, May 15, 2017
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

The culture is riddled with misconceptions and fears related to the religion of Islam. Muslims are persecuted in America by people who misunderstand the belief system of Islam. May 15 will be an opportunity to address the fears, learn about Islam, and dialogue about why this is happening. We will also take some time to talk about what actions we can all take to be more understanding of one another. Come and open your heart and mind to our Muslim brothers and sisters.

Distinguished P anelists:
Dr. Charles Kimball
Presidential Professor and Director
Religious Studies Program at OU

Imam Dr. Imad Enchassi
Senior Imam and President, Islamic Society of OKC
Chair, Islamic Studies at OCU

For further information: contact the Rev. Dr. Bill Crowell
Senior Pastor, St. Paul's UMC, Tulsa
(918) 585-9596 or bill.crowell76@gmail.com
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 :00-4:00 p.m.,  Location to be announced.

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

The initial meeting of OCC's new Immigration and Refugee Committee was held on April 20, 2017.  This committee will head up OCC's immigration and refugee ministry, beyond that of tracking and advocating for or against legislation related to immigrants and refugees.  

One of the first activities of this committee is to conduct an Evening of Listening on Immigration and Refugees, on May  11, 2017.  For details see below.  
Evening of Listening 

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," held on April 19, 2017, for example, generated the f ollowing ten things which we can do to overcome the "arrogance of ignorance" inherent in Islamophobia or similar religious intolerance or prejudice: 
  1. Educate yourself and others. 
  2. Do not let negative or hateful comments, jokes, etc. pass--say something. 
  3. Use your privilege for good. 
  4. Share a meal with others. 
  5. Meet your neighbors, especially those different from you. 
  6. Participate in interfaith experiences and service projects. 
  7. Engage in dialogue regarding religion, politics, life in the community and with those who need to hear another point of view. 
  8. Be welcoming, focusing on similarities, smiling, and accepting others. 
  9. Communicate with legislators. 
  10. Pray for each other.
Next Evening of Listening:  May 11, 2017
This " Evening of Listening " will be held at St. Paul's Cathedral (127 NW 7th, OKC) from 6:30-8:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 11, 2017. 

Join us as we discuss the complex issues facing immigrants and refugees here in Oklahoma, especially as a result of the impact of recent presidential Executive Orders and the court decisions regarding those Executive Orders. 

The session will be moderated by Shirley Cox, Legal Services Developer DHS Aging Services.  Panelists will be Richard Klinge, Senior Director of Advocacy and Legal Services, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City; the Rev. Lori Walke, Associate Minister, Mayflower United Church of Christ, OKC; and Rex Friend, Immigration Lawyer, OKC.  

  At least an hour will be devoted to the listening to those present and determining practical steps which we can all take to address the issues discussed. 
The  Oklahoma Conference of Churches is looking for a highly-qualified applicant to  fill the following position:

Administrative Assistant
 Disaster Spiritual Care Program
10-15 hours per week
 F lexible hours are negotiable

Applicants may send their résumé and letter of application to

The Rev. Mary Hughes Gaudreau
Oklahoma Conference of Churches
301 N.W. 36th St.
Oklahoma City, OK 73118

Duties and Responsibilities:
  • Assist with publication, registration, logistics, and on-site coordination of OCC Disaster Spiritual Care trainings
  • Assist with publication and upkeep of digital and printed materials
  • Assist in communication between OCC and the OCC Disaster Spiritual Care Team
  • Manage the Director of Emotional and Spiritual Care in management of the OCC Disaster Spiritual Care Provider database
  • Assist with OCC Care Team badging in coordination with the Oklahoma City/County Health Department
  • Assist with background checks for OCC Disaster Spiritual Care Providers
  • Assist in OCC fundraising activities
  • Other duties as assigned by Director of Emotional and Spiritual Care or the OCC Executive Director
Necessary Skills:
  • Proficient in Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Dropbox, and basic digital photo software
  • Familiarity with or ability to learn Machform and other online registration software

May 1, 2017
Hispanic Cultural Day - State Capitol 
12:00 - 4:00 p.m. 

May 4, 2017
National Day of Prayer 
Click here for more information. 

May 5, 2017
Sacred Music in Abrahamic Traditions
5:00-7:00pm Crown Heights Christian Church, 4020 N. Western, OKC. Please call (405) 702-0222 or  RSVP at this link  SACRED MUSIC

May 10, 2017
Interfaith Security Conference
Sponsored by Jewish Federation of Greater OKC. Contact Roberta Clark at roberta@jfedokc.org or call 405-848-3132 for more info. Register for 9:00 a.m. session OR 1:30 p.m. session. 

May 14, 2017
Italian Festival Gospel Singing
11:00am-4:00pm at Southeast Expo in McAlester, OK. More info at oklahomagospelsinging@gmail.com or call  Judy Chastain at (580) 927-5828

May 20, 2017
Kindling News Fires of Love - Church Women United Friendship Day Luncheon. 11:00 a.m. -1:30 p.m. at The Secret Place Community Church, 2611 MLK Ave., OKC. Contact Karen Buntin for more information at 405-314-8348  or kbuntin300@cox.net

May 25, 2017
Tulsa Metropolitan Ministry Annual Awards Dinner at Charles Schusterman Jewish Community Center, 2021 E. 71st, Tulsa 

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

October 20-21, 2017
CWU in Oklahoma Ecumenical Leaders' Retreat 

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

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