Conference E-Newsletter
February 2021 - Volume 4, Issue 2
The purpose of the Oklahoma Conference is to 
"Proclaim, Disciple, Live With Christ"
Priorities! I recently heard a story of a multi-billionaire who started a company that was very successful. It was an international organization that caused him to travel worldwide and work long days when he was at home. One day, his 10-year old daughter said to him, “Dad, I don’t even know you.” The next week he resigned from his own business and began to make his family his priority. He said it made all the difference in the world. Talk about changing priorities, doing things differently, having a major reset ~ he did it immediately.  I believe he did the right thing. Many of you may be thinking about your priorities for 2021. I have a few suggestions.

First, make God’s priorities yours.

Start by asking Him what your priorities should be. Then you might ask yourself “In light of eternity and the soon coming of Christ, are the priorities in my life  in the order that they should be?" Jesus did a great job of helping us with this by saying, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God,” (Matt. 6:33a). Make Him first in your life, before anything else. 

Second, wait for God to put things in place.

After seeking God first, Jesus said, “If you do this, everything else will come and your life will work as it is meant to.”  That is my paraphrase of “all things shall be added unto you,” (Matt. 6:33b). If we put God first in our thinking, planning, and living, then the other priorities will fall into place. Family will come next, then work, and ministry. We will begin to say no to certain things and yes to others, like the billionaire who changed priorities. Let’s pray that God will show us if we need to make any adjustments and reset our 2021 plans. I’m praying that for myself and for you. God bless you and happy 2021.

Elder James Shires
Upcoming Events!
This coming Saturday, February 6, many of our pathfinders will be tested on their knowledge of the books of Hebrews, James, 1st & 2nd Peter. There are 12 teams geared up to participate in four different regions of the state. We invite you to pray for our young people as they participate in this challenge, and encourage them to, "always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks them a reason for the hope that is in them" 1 Peter 3:15.
Details coming soon!
Hello everyone! National Family Retreat Online registration is now open! Our
guest speakers are Norman and Joelle McNulty and Tom and Alane Waters from Restoration International. 

Enjoy inspiring messages, marriage and family workshops, a youth panel, exhibits, and two new family fun time slots! There will be outdoor activities for the whole family, including horseback riding. Feast on the best plant-based meals by Chef Sam Hutchinson!

Everyone planning to attend must register. More information is available at www.rionline.org/nfr. It is going to be a spiritual feast! The essence of the gospel is restoration!
$3,000 SWAU Scholarship Back By Popular Demand
Out and About...
America's Got Flavor!
TULSA- During October and November, Pastor Nic Coutet and Pastor Karol Mosebay from Adventist Fellowship, Pastor Nathan Shires from the Claremore church, along with Pastor Samson Sembeba from the First Tulsa church worked together on a series for their churches called "America's Got Flavor." The series covered topics such as calamities, finances, social justice, and identity, topics that were plaguing the minds of their congregations. Each pastor tackled one of the topics for which they were the best fit and they rotated among the churches, preaching on that topic.

The responses from the churches were outstanding. Each congregation had the opportunity to listen to each of the pastors from the other local churches while being enriched, encouraged, and inspired in a time of chaos. The pastors also experienced a lot of fun getting to know the different congregations. Overall the experience was a positive one, and each of the churches is looking forward to the next time it will happen.

By Samson Sembeba
Church Bids Farewell to Its Pastoral Family
KETCHUM, OKLA.- The Ketchum church met December 30, 2020 to say goodbye to their beloved pastoral family, Andrew and April Spooner and their children. They accepted the position of pastoring in the Bristow/Okmulgee district starting January 2, 2021. Pastor Spooner will be greatly missed by all. He involved all ages in his ministry: he started Blaze, a Bible study/recreational fun time held on Sabbath evening at sunset; he involved the 20-30-year-olds on Monday evenings with dinner and a study in the group “Twice Fed." Twice Fed met at the home of Tommy and Kathy Beats who served as hosts and chefs.

Pastor Spooner was also very involved with a new church plant in Salina, Oklahoma. He preached every Sabbath along with Tuesday evening prayer meetings. Pastor Spooner held several revivals and special study times with this group, many of them new believers. Wednesday evening prayer meeting at Ketchum church has always been a small core group of praying believers and Pastor Spooner's studies were always enlightening. He was very involved with Ketchum SDA Academy and the children loved to have him play games, teach, and even cook lunch for them. 

The Spooner family will be greatly missed. Andrew, April, Enoch, Jonah, Hadassah, and Zipporah: we love you and will be praying the Lord leads you and takes care of you. 

By Carolyn Wigelsworth
Anointed For Service
VINITA, OKLA.- When Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit, like a dove, lighted upon Him and anointed Him for His saving mission and He heard His Father declare, “This is My Beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased.” Likewise, when anyone surrenders his/her life fully to Jesus, the Father declares His pleasure and the Holy Spirit begins to fill that heart with Divine love and power needed for a new life of service for the Master.

It is always thrilling when young people give their hearts to the Lord in baptism!  Last autumn, two brothers, Luke and Nicholas Toews, students at Ozark Adventist Academy, responded to the Holy Spirit’s appeal. Pastor Jerry Mayes was asked to baptize them, assisted by the academy's Boys’ Dean.  Michael Smith had been greatly impressed as he witnessed their spiritual growth and he was delighted to participate in their baptism and to offer a fervent prayer for the in-filling of the Holy Spirit in these two youth.
Eddie Thornburg experienced a very unique baptism.  He had attended the Adventist church as a young child, with his mother, Mary Cole.  When he listened to the evangelistic sermons, presented by Pastor Mayes, Eddie’s heart was touched anew and he indicated his desire to be baptized and become a member of our Vinita church family. As Eddie was scheduled for surgery, and the baptistery was not ready, Pastor Mayes decided to baptize him in a Jacuzzi bathtub.  It was such a blessing to witness his enthusiastic joy as he was lowered into the water and anointed with the Holy Spirit to make him a powerful witness for Jesus.  
Gloria Sawin was just radiant as she arose from the baptismal fount and as both Pastor Mayes and I placed our hands upon her head and pled for the Holy Spirit to fill her life. Connie Patrick had studied the Amazing Facts Bible Studies with Gloria and her heart, along with all in the church family, was filled with joy as she witnessed Gloria's baptism.
Donna Ellis, a health client of Becky Siler, was invited by Becky to attend our church in Vinita. Donna had attended Adventist churches before, several years ago, and she hesitantly accepted the invitation to attend.  She had no inclination, or desire, to ever become a member of the church. As she listened to the dynamic messages from God’s Word, and experienced the love of the church family, the desire grew in her heart to become a member of our congregation by baptism—in fact, she could hardly wait to be baptized, and be anointed for service, and her enthusiasm filled us with joy. We truly believe we are living on the knife-edge of eternity and we greatly desire to lead souls to the Savior and see them all prepared for Jesus' soon return.

By Kay Mayes
Encontrando Esperánza Por Medio de Facebook
OKLAHOMA CITY- Sábado enero 24, para gloria de Dios, en nuestra iglesia Central Hispana de Oklahoma City tuvimos cinco personas que entregaron sus vidas a Jesús.

Todas encuentran a nuestra iglesia por medio de nuestra página de Facebook.
Ismael Villa Piña, viene de una vida cristiana, pero estudiando la Biblia encuentra la importancia del 4to mandamiento y comienza a guardar el sábado y a recibir estudios y aunque ya había sido bautizado por inmersión, en unos bautizos celebrado en nuestra iglesia en el mes de diciembre 2020 se pone de pie y pide ser bautizado nuevamente. 

La familia de Carlos Nieto su esposa Esmeralda y su niño Carlitos. También encuentran a nuestra iglesia por Facebook y yo recibo su llamada un sábado en la mañana. El domingo siguiente los visito y comenzamos a estudiar. desde entonces ellos piden ser parte de nuestra iglesia y Primero, necesitamos casarlos y el jueves 21 de enero los casamos en nuestra iglesia y el sábado 23 los bautizamos.

José Ángel Peña. Vino del Salvador hace unos 6 años atrás. desde que llegó a Estados Unidos, comienza a alejarse de su vida cristiana y se hunde en vicios y conflictos, pasa varios años en Texas alejado y golpeado por la distancia de su familia y los problemas que vienen como resultado de una vida sin Dios. Con el tiempo se traslada a Oklahoma donde encuentra un buen trabajo. Se aleja un poco de los conflictos, pero aún le faltaba arreglar sus pasos con Dios.
Un sábado en la mañana recibo una llamada telefónica de un hombre desesperado que, con urgencia, necesitaba encontrar la iglesia para llegar. Ese sábado yo estaría en la Iglesia de Capitol Hill y le envío la dirección de la iglesia, Pero voy saliendo temprano de la Iglesia Central donde estaba para ir a Capitol Hill y llega a la iglesia un pariente lo trajo. Me lo lle vo conmigo a la otra iglesia y desde entonces es un hombre cambiado y renacido en Cristo Jesús.

By Roberto Perez
In 1950, Pathfinders became an official program of the Seventh-day Adventist church, and the first Oklahoma club started was the Oklahoma City Intermediate School in 1951, with Mrs. T. E. Phillips as Club Director. Oklahoma City, East Cooper, Lawton, and Ketchum started clubs in 1957. Oklahoma has a wonderful Pathfinder and Adventurer history. We are asking for each church, Pathfinder or Adventurer club to begin putting together a history display. Get started here: 
Angel Snow Baskets
CLAREMORE, OKLA.- The Claremore church's Community Services was very busy this holiday season! Ms. Nona Brese, our leader, and several other ladies gathered items for the “Angel Snow Baskets.” Canned foods, fresh vegetables, rolls, and pies were also a part of the baskets.  

I asked Ms. Nona if she would be interested in some help putting the baskets together. I was sure the students from our school would jump at the chance to help her, and I was certain they would enjoy doing some community service work with the “Angel Snow Baskets!”

On December 17, 2020, the Claremore Heritage Adventist School (CHAS) students and a few other helpers worked wildly and excitedly to prepare the baskets for the recipients. All the baskets were packed and ready for pick-up or delivery by 1:00 p.m.  

Fourteen Claremore community families received the “Angel Snow Baskets.”  The students gained a wonderful blessing helping others at this year’s unusual Christmas Season. We hope all of you had a wonderful holiday season with friends and family.  May God continue to send His many blessings to all this New Year!

By Cheri Robinson               
Resources
Solutions Newsletter
Sign up for our free newsletter Solutions to receive safety and risk management resources for your church, school, or ministry! The Solutions subscription is free, the articles come out bi-weekly and are only about a two-minute read.
"Claudio and Pamela Consuegra, NAD Family Ministries directors, took full advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic quarantine from home, not only by having hundreds of virtual speaking appointments via Zoom, but also by researching and authoring six new resources. Three of these resources have been released by AdventSource." Read more at NADAdventist.org.
Cruise with a Mission
It's a vacation with purpose: a mission trip, a cruise, and a spiritual retreat, all wrapped up in one meaningful adventure. Geared especially for Young Adults.
Adventist World
Leaders Vote to Postpone General Conference Session 2020 for a Second Time
For the second time in 10 months, members of the Executive Committee of the global Seventh-day Adventist Church have voted to postpone the quinquennial session of the denomination, originally scheduled for late June of 2020, due to challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
International Pathfinder Camporee is Going West
A vote was taken by the 2024 International Camporee Executive Advisory Committee which will impact Pathfinders around the world. This vote approved two things: A change of location for the 2024 Believe the Promise Camporee from Oshkosh, Wisconsin to Gillette, Wyoming, and new dates of August 5-11, 2024.

We realize that this is a paramount decision which will affect Pathfinders from around the world, so we would like to share with you the process of making this decision after countless hours of research, planning, site visits, and prayer.

In 2019, we had over 55,000 participants from 105 countries from around the world at the Chosen International Camporee, and 1,320 souls were baptized. God has truly blessed the Camporee beyond what we could have ever imagined.

As the International Camporee has grown, so has our desire to make each Camporee experience better than the last. For months, evaluation teams have visited the Cam-Plex Facilities in Gillette, Wyoming to determine if this new site offers more support for the International Camporee. After numerous site visits, various committee votes and meetings, and with today's final vote of the executive committee, we are excited for the move and are confident that this decision will greatly improve the International Camporee experience for all attendees.

The Cam-Plex facilities regularly host large events that include camping and on-site activities much like our Camporee, and it boasts the largest campground of full amenities in the world. Get ready for double the indoor activity space, more camping space, and over 25 new additional activities unique to the West. New experiences are just around the corner! You will not believe how much Wyoming has to offer.

We are very excited about the new opportunities that this new location will give us, and will be answering your questions on Tuesday, February 2, at 1:00 PM Eastern Standard Time via Facebook live on the International Camporee Facebook page.

See you in Gillette!

-CYE.org
Turn Back the Clock...
Wewoka Woods Summer Camp Staff 2001!
Chili with Avocado Crema
A hearty bowl of this easy and tasty Vegan Chili with Avocado Crema will drive away the winter blues. The chili is smoky and rich and flavorful and at just 217 calories per serving you can afford to indulge in this healthy treat. A vegan, soy-free, nut-free, and gluten-free recipe.
Please share your church and school activities by emailing pictures and stories to Communication@Okla-Adventist.org. Invite others to sign up to receive our E-Newsletter by visiting our conference website at www.okadventist.org. The sign-up form is at the bottom of the home page.

Daniel Ortega, Communication Director
Yesenia Ortega, Newsletter Manager
Caroline A. FisherNewsletter Editor
Communication@okla-adventist.org