Conference E-Newsletter
September 2020 - Volume 3, Issue 9
The purpose of the Oklahoma Conference is to 
"Proclaim, Disciple, Live With Christ"
Dear Conference Family,

Often we feel like Moses and the Israelites at the Red Sea's edge, imagining there is no possible way out. But when we are in a difficult place, we need to realize that the Lord placed us there or allowed us to be there, for reasons perhaps known now only to Him. The same God who led you and me in will lead us out.

I just want to take a minute to share a few updates with you.

It Is Written is kicking off a new evangelistic series called "Acts 20:21." This is a one- year series with many churches on board who are full of excitement about it. In fact, the Conference organized an Evangelism Think Tank to make plans for the explosive evangelism God has planned for this world throughout this next year. Please pray for all of this outreach.

The International Restoration Family camp meeting was held virtually the last of August at Wewoka Woods Adventist Center (WWAC), as was our Oklahoma Conference camp meeting. Both were a great success and blessing. The family ministry in this program is inspiring! 

The Oklahoma Conference Corporation combined its annual meeting with the Summit Ridge Board and the Wolfe Living Center Board Annual Meeting on August 24, 2020. The annual meeting for each of these boards is to vote in 1/3 new board members for three-year terms. The combined meeting was successful and will glorify God.

On Thursday, August 27, 2020, the Oklahoma Conference Executive Committee met. A report was given about WWAC development and maintenance. Two new air conditioning units for the cafeteria have replaced the old, worn-out ones. All four cabins had the gable ends, facia, and soffits redone and painted. Parking lot striping was also painted. Reports were given about the Oklahoma Conference Finance, Education, Youth, and 2021 camp meeting planning. I was voted to take the interim position of Community Service Director for the Oklahoma Conference because Stanley Buckmaster officially retired in April 2020. We will miss his leadership in this area.

We may be at the Red Sea's edge, but God is our cloud and our fire. He is our defense, guide, and saving grace. May we trust Him and watch for the small and grand miracles He has planned for us. Oh us, of little faith, look up and watch the hand of your God be mighty and powerful.

Your servant in Christ,
Apple Park, Executive Secretary
You’re invited to join Elton DeMoraes, Vice President for Ministries and Men’s Ministries Director for the Southwestern Union, to learn about true strength at Stronger Together, our Men’s Ministries Virtual Gathering featuring Claudio Consuegra, North American Division Men’s Ministries Director; John Boston II, Associate Director of the North American Division’s Evangelism Institute; and Mike Tucker, Speaker Emeritus of Faith for Today on September 5 starting at 2:30 p.m. on the Union Facebook page and YouTube channel.
"Mentiras Que Las Mujeres Creen"
El ministerio de la Mujer esta haciendo una cordial invitación a conectarse for Zoom Meeting o Facebook Live a una jornada de lectura del libro " Mentiras que las Mujeres Creen (Agosto 18 - Octubre 6). Si tienen alguna pregunta o duda favor de contactar a la hermana Ninette Campos (405) 837-6270.
Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/.81516505360 Meeting ID: 815 1650 5360
Online Youth Week of Prayer
Join youth from around the North American Division during #Built4This week of prayer. Visit Facebook for more information.
Free Online Training for Children's Sabbath School Teachers
The Southwestern Union will be providing a FREE Online Training in English and Spanish. This training will focus on sharing ideas and sharing resources to children's sabbath school teachers implementing CDC guidelines for COVID-19 and how to minister to children through the internet.
Out and About...
MINISTRY MOVEMENTS
Pastor Samson Sembeba was serving at the Choctaw and OKC Central churches and has now been assigned to First Tulsa.

Pastor Joel Armenta was serving at OKC Central Spanish and Capitol Hill churches since 2013. He has now been assigned to Woodward Spanish and Weatherford Spanish District.

Pastor Robert Perez was serving at the Woodward and Weatherford Spanish churches and has recently moved to serve the OKC Central Spanish and Capitol Hill District.

Pastor Nathan Shires will now be pastoring the Pryor Church (in addition to the Claremore Church)

Pastor Jerry Mays has been assigned to pastor the Vinita church.
2019-2020 Pathfinder & Adventurers Honor Clubs
Adventurers

Lawton Spanish - Guerreros de Cristo
Guymon - Hornbills
First Tulsa - Tulsa Thunderbirds
Cherokee - Rockets
Capitol Hill Spanish - Little Rescuers
Arbuckle View- Braves
All Nations - Little Warriors
Adventist Fellowship - Tulsa Tigers
Pathfinders

Adventist Fellowship - Tulsa Twisters
Arbuckle View - Warriors
Canadian Valley Fellowship - Light Bearers
Capitol Hill - Orions
Cherokee - Raptors
Durant - Querubines
Guymon- Hornbills
All Nations - God’s Army
Lawton Spanish - Guerreros de Cristo
Congratulations to our Adventurer and Pathfinder clubs that achieved honor club this year. Clubs that participate in our conference events such as Bible Experience/Adventure, leadership training, presidential fitness and send their monthly report to the Conference are eligible to be honor clubs.
School Leaders Work Out COVID-19 Concerns
Above, students in Parkview Adventist Academy's 5th & 6th grade class with clear dividers designed and built by the staff.

Below, students inTulsa Adventist Academy's high school math room are safely together thanks to Mr. Seery's ingenuity.
The 2020-2021 school year started off with a lot of questions.  What will this year look like with COVID-19?  How will we keep the students and teachers safe from COVID?  To mask or not to mask?  How often do we need to disinfect everything?  What happens if someone in the school tests positive for COVID-19?  Insert any other COVID-19 related question that you can think of here.  Educators felt like they were facing the impossible, perhaps like the Israelites did as they approached the Red Sea.

What seemed like the impossible to the Israelites as they approached the Red Sea while being chased by Pharaoh, turned out to be a chance for God’s glory to shine through.  Even though the Israelites were trapped, God had a plan for them, a plan that would bring Him honor. Beginning in July we prayed, planned, and prepared to open our schools all the while fighting thoughts of doubt, uncertainty, and even helplessness.  We felt as though it would be impossible to re-open our schools.  Through much prayer, even though we didn’t have all of the answers and we weren’t sure of the path we were being led on, all eight schools in our conference were able to complete plans that follow all applicable government guidelines and re-opened for in-person learning. 

To aid in relieving some of the uncertainty and provide some calm, all students, staff, and visitors are being screened before entering buildings; social distancing is being observed; desks that need to be close have teacher-made clear barriers; hand sanitizer is being used; and everything within reason is being disinfected.  Students are happy to be back amongst friends, teachers are happy to be back in their classrooms, and I am sure that parents are happy to not have to be teaching their children at home.  Through all of this happy energy, our teachers are able to once again teach and model what it means to have Jesus in their hearts.  Teachers are also able to offer to their students a sense of normalcy and calm during this time.

There are still a lot of unanswered COVID-19 questions, but as the Israelites faced the impossible and put their trust in God, so can we.  Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

By Tim Kripps
SWAU Hosts Graduation for Class of 2020
On August 9, 2020, Southwestern Adventist University hosted the Commencement Ceremony for the Class of 2020 at the Cleburne ISD Jeff D. Cody Auditorium. While the ceremony came three months later than expected with a change in venue as well as safety measures in place, it was a memorable and positive experience that had been long-awaited by graduates and their families. Oklahoma had eight young people who walked and received diplomas.
Investigation Station VBS
MUSKOGEE, OKLA.-The Muskogee SDA Church held VBS from July 26-30 at Muskogee SDA Christian Academy.  The theme was Investigation Station: Galactic Quest.  We discussed stories in the Bible such as creation and how we were created in His image and Jesus calming the waters with His disciples in the midst of a storm.  Each night had a different theme: God is my Creator, God has a Plan, God is dependable, God is my rescuer, and God is my friend.  We had over 40 children come throughout the week.  We had exceptional volunteers and multiple non-church members attended all week who also brought friends and family.  We had a great, fun time.  The kids loved the BLAST OFF theme and songs! 
 
By Cindy Adams
Tulsa and OKC Schools Receive Microscope Donations
OKLAHOMA CITY - Thanks to the help of a parent of students at Parkview Adventist Academy, both Parkview and Tulsa Adventist Academy received surplus microscopes from the Oklahoma State Department of Health.  Ira Farley, whose children attend Parkview, connected me with the person in charge of releasing surplus items at the Department of Health.  I asked for microscopes and they donated a total of 10 high quality microscopes for our two academies.  Six of the microscopes are Nikon and the other four are Eagles.  These microscopes will be a great addition to our secondary science programs.  I was able to deliver the five microscopes to Parkview and both the teacher and students were excited to have received them and look forward to being able to use them.  If you work for a business that works with science or technology-related equipment that continually update their equipment and are looking to update, please contact me to see if any of our eight schools can put your surplus to use.  Thank you for keeping our schools in your thoughts and prayers!

By Tim Kripps
Resources
There’s no doubt that Gen Z has some different habits than previous generations.
Thanks to the internet and smartphones, the environment that we’ve grown up in is completely unique, and unlike any generation before. We spend more time online, go outside less, and care about wildly different things than our parents did when they were kids.
How to Start Bible Journaling
Do you want to study the Bible on a consistent basis? Would you like a structured plan to guide you as you dive into the text and to help you draw out real life applications? This short video will guide you through the steps to accomplish just that through a simple and easy-to-follow Bible journaling plan especially designed for young people. Download the Bible Journaling Guide and verse list on our webpage at okadventist.org/youth.
The Evangelism Pledge
The Evangelism Pledge is a joint initiative of ministries committed to Seventh-day Adventist evangelism.

Goals:
  1. To raise the profile of effective evangelism practices in local churches across the North American Division.
  2. To inspire local churches to put effective evangelistic methods into practice, encouraging them to pursue their calling to go make disciples.
  3. To equip local churches with resources that will help them do the evangelism they’re inspired and called to do.
Stupid Money TV Episode 9: Car Debt
Watch as John Mathews, Vivian Johnson, and Diana Santos discuss car debt. Learn why it is important not to let emotions drive your decision to purchase a car with a loan.
The Chosen
The Chosen is the first-ever, multi-season TV show about the life of Jesus. Created outside of the Hollywood system, The Chosen allows us to see Him through the eyes of those who knew him. No matter where you are in your journey with Jesus Christ, this TV show is for you. Check it out ~ your whole family will love it!
Adventist World
Kyoshin Ahn Named NAD Executive Secretary
On August 20, 2020, the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s General Conference Executive Committee met virtually to receive the name of Kyoshin Ahn, the recommendation for division secretary, from both the North American Division’s standing nominating committee and executive committee. Ahn was confirmed in a vote of 118 to 2. Alexander Bryant, officially voted in to the position of NAD president on July 9, 2020, chaired both committees.
ADRA Responds to Beirut Explosion
Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) response teams in Lebanon are providing essential emergency supplies to recovery workers and survivors of the massive explosion in Beirut’s port. The huge blast that struck the Lebanese capital city on August 4 killed at least 135 people, wounded more than 5,000 people, and left more than 300,000 people homeless.
Montana Adventist Lay Leader Dies in Firefighting Helicopter Crash
It is with heavy hearts that we share share the loss of Tom Duffy (pictured above, right). He died recently while piloting a helicopter that crashed as he was helping to fight a wildfire in Oregon. Duffy served on the executive committees of the NPUC and Montana Conference as well as the board of education for Montana.
Turn Back the Clock...
May 8, 1979: Ground breaking for the Oklahoma City Central Church Fellowship Hall. When ground was broken a fund of $50,000 was in hand, more than half of the full amount needed. Top Picture, Left to Right: Jake Knight, Jack Qualls, Minnie Taucher, Robert Rider, Max Treviño
Thou Shalt Smile...
Firecracker Lettuce Wraps
Ingredients:
For the Firecracker Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chili paste (like sambal oelek) ++ for more firecrackery-ness
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