Saturday, May 31, 2008

Trina Bose North and the Oklahoma Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

I haven't been posting lately because Larkin and I spent 4 days in Tulsa this week as lay representatives at the Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Nichols Hills United Methodist Church was also represented by our ministers (Rev. Grayson Lucky, Rev. Rebecca Morton and Rev. Jack Terrell-Wilkes) and lay member Katie McLain (who has gone to Kenya with me three times).

There was lots of business conducted, lots of reports presented and wonderful worship services at Boston Avenue United Methodist Church. You can view some of it here and I am sure more will be available in a few more days! Highlights for me were the presentation by the Criminal Justice and Mercy Ministries program ably led by Rev. Stan Basler and updates on the United Methodist church's mission projects in Bolivia and Africa.

The United Methodist Church (with several other organizations including the National Basketball Association) has committed to wipe out malaria in Africa. It is very doable - just get everyone sleeping under mosquito netting for awhile - breaking the life cycle of the culprits - via the Nothing But Nets project. Note the photo of St. Luke's UMC senior pastor, Dr. Bob Long, presenting a basketball (signed by all the Bishops in the UMC) to our own Bishop Robert Hayes.

I also loved the ordination service - lots of new ministers (elders and deacons) to serve the church including my friend Trina Bose North.

Best of all, though was the "emerging worship service" organized by Rev. Jack Terrell-Wilkes and others. It was at 7 am on Friday but well worth getting up for. Over 100 participants sat at tables of 10 and participated in hands-on, interactive worship. Among other things, in an hour we broke tiles - then wrote forgiveness request prayers on the back and tiled a cross; worked with clay while listening to Scripture - then explained how our "result" related to the message; washed the hands of the person to our left; had Communion - by serving the bread and grape juice to the person to our left; shared something for which we were thankful as we broke a light stick representing the Light of the World; and much, much more! Unlike our "high church services" that we think of as "tradition" (while actually "typical" for only a couple hundred years at best), this more egalitarian, participatory form of worship very much appeals to those unfamiliar with current worship services and with those turned off by the very formal, bureaucratic church of today.

So that is where I have been but I will be back to blogging soon.


  1. When I got to the part about breaking the light stick - that really moved me. The world is a dark place for so many.

  2. Anonymous12:52 PM

    Thanks, Jean. Annual Conf was wonderful. See you at Yoga!