Oklahoma Conference of The United Methodist Church by zhangyun


									                                                                      Winter 2010
                 Oklahoma Conference of The United Methodist Church

Connect to a new
generation of
Christian leaders who
will commit boldly to
Jesus Christ.
                                                                           George Warren waiting to give report at the Oklahoma
                                                                           Annual Conference 2009 at Oklahoma City University.

by George Warren
      This magazine has two purposes. The first is to report to all                                (1)  continuing the nurture and education of our young people
those who have been supporting campus ministry in Oklahoma and                                          that was already begun in their local churches; and
say, “Thank you!” The second is to inform you about what is going                                  (2) reaching out as missionaries to young people who have
on in campus ministry in Oklahoma and to invite you to invest in                                        never encountered the Gospel.
this ministry if you have not already done so.                                                          We have some exceptionally devoted and highly trained
      We believe that campus ministry is not an “optional” ministry                                ministers at work for God on our campuses.
of the church. We are convinced that if the church is not on the                                        In this magazine you will see the essential role that campus
college campus, many other voices—destructive voices—which are                                     ministry plays in implementing our annual conference’s strategic
present are only too happy to be “evangelizing” our young people                                   plan, especially in reaching younger people with the Gospel and in
with their message. NOT to be on campus is to neglect our students                                 developing younger leadership (both lay and clergy) for the local
at the time they are making some of the most decisive choices (for                                 church. You will see the joyful faces of young, committed disciples
good or ill) of their entire lives.                                                                of Jesus Christ who are worshipping with joy, growing in grace
      Campus ministers serve two very important functions in                                       and serving in mission. Thank you for your church’s continuing
“Making Disciples of Jesus Christ”:                                                                investment in campus ministry.

Obtaining our
church priority
                                           Page 4 - 5                                                More than
                                                                                                     FREE food
                                                                                                                                            Campus Connection
                                                                                                                                             is published by the
                                                   Making disciples,                                                                    Annual Conference Board of
Tracing the “Roots”                                making ministers                                  The bridge                            Higher Education and
                                                                                                     Rebuilding on                            Campus Ministry
                                                                                                                                          Rev. Phil Jones, director
                                                                                                     old foundations
                      Page 3                                                                                             Page 6 -7
                                                                                                                                        George Warren, chairperson
                                                                                                                                           Phone: (405)530-2013;
                                                                                                                                         E-mail: pjones@okumc.org
                                                                                                                                               1501 N.W. 24th St.
                                            Page 10 -11                                              Growing pains                       Oklahoma City, OK 73106

                                                   Come to the table                                 A whole new world                        For a listing of the
Funding that                                                                                                                              UM Campus Ministries in
changes lives                                      Raising the bar                                   My experience                      Oklahoma visit the Web site.

                      Page 8 - 9                                                                                       Page 12 -15
Produced by the Oklahoma Conference Department of Communications.
Cover photo: Oklahoma Conference campus ministers and directors at Annual Conference 2009. Front cover photo by Amelia Ballew.

Obtaining our church priority
reaching more people, reaching younger people, more diverse people!
by Phil Jones
                                                                   maturing faith can be nurtured and confirmed through our

          he United Methodist Church is expanding its              campus ministries. As students discover new thoughts and ideas
          focus to reach a “more young” and “more diverse”         through their academic experiences, the campus minister is
          membership. How do we accomplish this goal?              there to integrate faith and guide students to explore how their
     Campus ministries are a significant frontline resource for    faith works within these experiences.
the UMC. Since the beginning of the Wesley movement, United
Methodists have recognized the value of “outreach” on campuses.
(see related story “Tracing the “Roots”)
                                                                   Tracing the “Roots”
                                                                   of the United Methodist Family Tree
     The following are some essential ingredients found in
campus ministry that are key assets in our church’s expanding        By Susan Ross
effort.                                                                  I have roots in Campus Ministry. When I was
                                                                     a student at Oklahoma City University in the
Location, location, location                                         early 1970s, I was active in the Methodist Student
                                                                     Movement and participated in the first worship
      A mantra often chanted in the real estate profession
                                                                     service ever held in the chapel. And then I was
is “location, location, location.” Where you are located             privileged to serve as a campus minister for
geographically is a definite plus! Our campus ministries are at      several years in the 1980s when I was appointed as
the center of the largest concentration of young persons (18-30      director of the Wesley Foundation in Weatherford.
year olds) in our state.                                                 But my “roots” in campus ministry actually go
      Currently, there are more than 180,000 students attending      back quite a bit farther—and so do yours.
our Oklahoma colleges. Nearly 10 percent of that number claim            When Charles and John Wesley began what
to have a United Methodist connection; however, the largest          came to be called the “Holy Club” at Oxford
                                                                     University in 1729, what they were doing was
percentage of students is outside the church.
                                                                     campus ministry. Though they began by studying
      Our United Methodist campus ministries provide a               scripture and praying together, their purpose
tangible and visible witness of our church’s mission to welcome,     eventually became “to converse with young
connect and engage young adults. Even newer models of campus         students; to visit the prisoners; to instruct some
ministry—initiated by local churches—are more successful             poor families; and to take care of a school and a
when they find ways to locate on or near a campus center.            parish workhouse.”
                                                                         In an environment that included what was
Counseling and Support                                               described at the time as “idleness, hard drinking,
                                                                     lewdness, and gambling” (can you imagine?)
     Our campus ministries are present during the time when
                                                                     the members of the Holy Club focused on being
major life decisions are processed and made. Consider the            nourished by God’s word, by weekly receiving the
many decisions that are made about future careers, values, and       sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, by their support of
relationships while in college. As our campus ministries reach       each other in Christian community and on serving
out to students—with listening care and dialogue—the church          God’s people in the world—much the same focus
becomes a significant supportive partner in their academic           as many of today’s campus ministries. Among
journey. A common witness shared by many students is that            those who participated in the Holy Club was
they “felt lost and alone” until they connected to our United        one who eventually became a Moravian bishop,
                                                                     another who became a distinguished Anglican
Methodist campus ministries.
                                                                     churchman, another a noted religious writer,
                                                                     another a Yorkshire evangelist, and still another
Developing Faith Leaders                                             secretary of the “Society for Promoting Christian
     Building leaders for the local church is a major resource       Knowledge.” The Holy Club had a lasting influence
campus ministry offers the United Methodist Church. The              on the students’ lives, just as campus ministries do
campus ministry and the local church form a connecting               today. Then, and now, campus ministry continues
partnership that continues to develop and guide the students’        to change lives.
faith. The campus is a place where spiritual formation and           (Quotations from Richard Green, John Wesley:

     Making disciples,
      making ministers
by Bonnie Cates                                                        would watch me preach and share my faith and lead studies

                ur mission is to make disciples of Jesus Christ        and then we would process it and talk about how to do it more
                for the transformation of the world.                   effectively. Later he encouraged me to go out and do ministry on
                For some, becoming a disciple has also meant           campus, serve as staff at our summer youth camps and as a part-
becoming a minister. Are there ministries that God frequently          time youth minister for a local United Methodist Church.
uses to call people into full-time Christian service?                       Anyone who served on the student board at the Wesley
      Church summer camps, mission experiences like                    Foundation was asked to memorize scripture each week, take
Volunteers In Mission and spiritual retreats often provide             part in studies and learn servant leadership by helping set up
opportunities for people to move out of their everyday routines and    and tear down tables and chairs for the weekly luncheons,
feel challenged by Christ to give their lives to ministry.             and clean the kitchen and bathrooms at Wesley. Through this
      Another profoundly significant experience for many comes         intentional journey of discipleship, I felt led to go to seminary
through campus ministry.                                               for a trial year, and gradually over the next three years was called
      Students are often in a place in their lives in which they are   into pastoral ministry.
ready to challenge old ideas, set new priorities, and seek purpose          I am deeply indebted to all those United Methodists who
and meaning in life. God uses this time to draw many into full-        have faithfully paid their apportionments, given generously and
time service for His kingdom. The following paragraphs contain         served luncheons to thousands of students across the years. This
the testimonies of three individuals who responded to God’s call       support of campus ministries had a huge impact on my life.
as a direct result of their experience with campus ministry.

                                                                                                 Sam Powers
                         Darrell Cates                                                            (Oklahoma State University – 1986 -1990)
                         (University of Tulsa – 1969 -1973)                                            As I consider the impact of campus
                              During my senior year of high                                       ministry upon my call to ministry, it was
                         school I didn’t know what God wanted                                     profoundly important. The importance
                         me to do with my life, but I knew that                                   was not just to my faith development
                         whatever it was, I wanted to be a full-                                  but also to how I saw God working
                         time Christian and keep growing in                                       through me as an individual.
                         my faith. God miraculously provided                                           One thing that I looked toward
                         me with a full tuition scholarship,           to in particular was the Wesley Foundation’s reaction to the
plus money to pay for my books and fees for four years at the          controversy of the day. The campus theater was going to show
University of Tulsa. As I was walking to my first class my             “The Last Temptation of Christ” but was blocked by religious
freshman year in the fall of 1969, I met Rev. John Collier, the        groups at OSU. It then became an issue dealing with the
newly appointed director of the Wesley Foundation. John had            separation of church and state. Even though many religious
just graduated from seminary and had been praying all summer           bodies basically banned the movie, the Wesley Foundation stood
that God would direct him to students who wanted to grow in            on the other side of the fence supporting the right of the student
the Lord.                                                              body to be able to view the film. This impacted me not because
      For the next four years, John poured his life into mine. We      the film was good (it is actually pretty boring), but because the
met almost weekly for Bible study and prayer. I went with him          United Methodist witness to faith was not afraid of controversy
and watched him preach in churches all over Oklahoma and               or questions. We had discussions at the Wesley following each
then we would talk about it. I listened to him share his faith at      showing and saw people show up that we’d never seen before.
the student union and afterward we would discuss it. I sat in          John Rusco asked me to be there to help with the flow of the
on Bible studies he led in the dorms and then we would process         conversations. Many came because they were impressed that
it. After teaching me and modeling the life of faith for me, he        we would actually allow them to wrestle with these issues of
Making Disciples, Making Ministers continued

faith. Some became active in their faith again because of this            began to think and pray about how that discussion would
stance.                                                                   play out in my life. Much to my surprise, but not to the great
     I believe this was when I discovered that faith conquers             surprise of those around me, I found myself struggling with
fear if we allow it. I discovered                                                                   the idea that I was being called into
that I wanted to share faith with                                                                   ministry. I truly mean struggling. I
people who were yearning for it.                                                                    didn’t want to do it—I had my plan
I wanted to be a pastor to people                                                                   —yet I knew God was calling me
who needed a church that wouldn’t                                                                   into ordained ministry. I talked about
judge them for their questions                                                                      it with some of the other students
and would be accessible to them                                                                     who were all very supportive of the
wherever they happened to be in                                                                     idea that I go into ministry. They
their faith journey. Whether one                                                                    recognized—more than me—I had
is called to be clergy or to serve as                                                               been given the gift for ministry. I also
a lay person, our ministries with                                                                   talked with Michael Bartley, director
college students are vital to the                                                                   of the Wesley Foundation, about my
faith development of people who                                                                     call. It was the fall semester of my
are hungry for exploration of their                                                                 junior year of college when I felt I
faith. As I consider my own college      Nine of the eighteen campus ministry directors,            could finally accept God’s call on my
experience, I learned to share           currently serving across the Oklahoma Conference,          life and let go of my plan for myself.
                                         testify that they were influenced by campus ministry
my faith unashamedly through                                                                              I have begun the candidacy
                                         while they were students.
my involvement at the Wesley                                                                        process for ordination in The United
Foundation. This is important for                                                                   Methodist Church. Currently, I am
any Christian but helped me to discover my own calling to                 at the point of asking for recommendation from the Stillwater
serve as an ordained minister. As John would say, “Thank                  District Committee on Ordained Ministry in order to
God for that gift!”                                                       continue on the process to becoming a certified candidate.

                                                                             Darrell, Sam and Katie are just a few who have been
                       Katie Southard                                   profoundly impacted for full-time Christian service because
                       (Oklahoma State University – 2006 - 2010)        of campus ministry. God continues to use this tool to draw
                            I kept attending the Wesley                 many into His service. The chances are high that you have
                       Foundation at OSU where I was                    had or currently are being served in your local church by
                       learning much and growing in my faith.           someone who was called by God through a ministry at a
                       The ideas of ministry and seminary               university or college.
                       must have been stewing back in the                    Supporting campus ministry with our money, physical
                       corner of my heart.                              presence and prayers is one way we make disciples who
                            One of the things often discussed           become ministers.
on Tuesday nights at the Wesley Foundation is theology. This
was something that I hadn’t previously been exposed, at least
not in the way that it is talked about in small gatherings there.
One topic that frequently comes up, directly and indirectly,
is that of calling and vocation and how they intersect. After
sitting through a couple of years of these discussions, I began
to really try to apply what was being discussed to my life. I
More than
free   food!
by Elizabeth Wilson
                                                                  Often Campus Ministry seems to revolve around
                                                                  mealtimes. The following three stories show how
                                                                  making disciples can start with a simple meal.

                                                                  about his upcoming doctor’s appointment. When that same

                    hat started out as just free food is          person spoke to him later, during another conversation, she
                    turning into so much more at Rose             said to him, “Your appointment to get your next surgery is
                    State Community College.                      tomorrow, right?” He looked at her with an astonished face
     Every Tuesday a free lunch is provided to the students,      and said, “You remembered. Why would you remember?”
staff and faculty. We emphasize the word FREE because                  Another woman came in very upset at God, her family,
there really are no strings attached and we are finding out       and the world. Her brother had been killed and the entire
how rare that is. Every week we are asked, “What do we have       family was split over the death. She asked, “How could
to sign-up for; what do we have to listen to; what do we          this happen?” Some ministry team members shared their
have to pay; what do we have to do?” Every time the answer        thoughts with her, they prayed, and then she left with her
is nothing, it is really FREE! I truly believe the students are   plate in her hand. At the beginning of this school year,
wondering, “Why are these people so kind, so generous, so         she found us again. She was back on speaking terms with
loving that they would feed all of us for free!”                  her family and she wanted to thank us for being there and
     So many people want to know what United Methodists           supporting her.
believe. We feel that is because they can’t understand what            We believe with every free plate of food given out, a
we are doing and why we are doing it. Several students come       plate of grace is being served as well. Grace is there for all
to us asking for prayer. They have been going through some        of us to receive, we must take the initiative to accept it. Our
very serious personal struggles and because of this ministry      lunch ministry is the same way, there for all to receive; they
of free meals, they feel comfortable enough to share the          just must accept it.
intimate details of their lives so that someone will pray with         Through your contributions, both financial donations
them.                                                             and active support, campus ministries like the one at
     One young man had surgery on one of his feet about           Rose State are able to continue to minister to students on
three months ago and will have to have the same surgery           Oklahoma campuses. YOU are providing grace to every
on the other foot. He had told one of our team members            person eating our free lunch.

The bridge between two campuses
by Devon Krause                                                         ministry on campus. I am pointing out this difference between

                 orthern Oklahoma College (NOC) and                     the two colleges only to inform you of the various difficulties,
                 Northwestern Oklahoma State University                 regulations, and joys of campus ministry.
                 (NWOSU) are two campuses that are located                   After many efforts at NOC, we began to offer monthly
a block apart from each other. They are working together to             lunches at NWOSU, which are provided by United Methodist
provide education to two drastically different demographics.            Women circles in our area. We’ve been allowed the use of “The
     NOC is a two-year college that consists of around 200, 18-         Commons,” an area where many students gather for lunch and
and 19-year-old students living in dorms, plus students who are         other activities. On average 80 to 100 students and faculty
commuting from homes in and around Enid whose ages range                gathered when we offered lunch. Because of this success, we
from 18 to 30.                                                          began to offer free lunch twice a month along with an occasional
     NWOSU is a four-year commuter college. Seventy-five                devotion provided by various Enid area churches.
percent of the students are female, many of which are single mothers.        In addition, we offer a Sunday afternoon Bible study
                                                                        called “one-thirty-three” which comes from Psalm 133 (NIV),
Reaching out to two very different colleges campuses                    “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in
     These past two years have been a huge learning experience          unity! …” It’s something that all young adults are trying to find
for our campus ministry, which is called “The Bridge.”                  —unity, togetherness, community, and a place of belonging. It’s
     Our ministry started at NOC. They have an                          something that so many churches struggle to provide, especially
administration that requires certain things of an organization          for young adults. It is our hope that at “one-thirty-three” we
on campus, such as officers, volunteer work, staff support, etc.        can provide a sense of community and help students realize the
We began by offering a Bible study, free tutoring, and food in an       blessing that we all share together.
apartment that is owned by the college.                                      In many ways our ministry is a bridge that offfers college
     NWOSU has a welcoming administration that doesn’t                  students and other young adults a place to come together to
have special requirements and they were very excited to have our        realize their importance to the church.

Rebuilding on old foundations
by Andy Henson                                                          laying a foundation or even planting seeds is that we’re so

                   hen I first arrived at Northeastern in August        concerned that we won’t get to see any of the fruits of our
                   of 2007, there wasn’t much to speak of as            labor. In addition, laying the foundation and laying it correctly
                   far as a Wesley Foundation was concerned.            isn’t always the most attractive or desirable job, but we know
Sure, there was a building but we all know that the church isn’t        it is essential before we can build upon it. Most of all, we have
about the building; it’s the people. There was some definite            to remember that God is the master builder and we are simply
foundational work to be laid before ministry could be done.             the workers.

Starting from Zero                                                      Ministry starts to grow
     The good part about starting from zero is the only place                 It is because of God’s grace and the opportunity He has
you can go is up.                                                       given me to be His worker that the ministry here continues to
     Most of my time was spent out on campus—getting to                 grow. We have seen tremendous growth, in the programs that
know students, eating lunch with them in the cafeteria, playing         we offer and in the amount of students wanting to serve in
volleyball and tennis,—just trying to meet students where they          leadership.
were.                                                                         The Wesley is a place where people are growing in their
     We offered a lunch program for students on Mondays and             relationships with Christ and where students have the opportunity
a Bible study on Wednesday nights. Throughout the week we               to participate in God’s mission. With growth comes growing pains,
didn’t have more than 15-20 different people passing through            but as we remain faithful to the things God is calling us to and we’re
our doors, but the students who came said they really enjoyed           quick to give Him the credit and praise for every success. I know
being here.                                                             that the ministry here will continue to flourish.
     It was hard not to be discouraged that first year, but I                 I have found campus ministry to be one of the most
knew we were planting seeds and forming relationships that              difficult areas in which to work, but it’s also incredibly
would pay great dividends in the future. The hard part about            rewarding to see changed lives.
                                                                                                     Bottom row, third from left: Rev.
                                                                                                     Fuxia Wang with the Chinese
                                                                                                     Outreach ministry at the Wesley
                                                                                                     Foundation at the University of

Campus ministry
connecting internationally
          n 1979 a small Bible study for Asian        out teams of lay witnesses, our Chinese connection has helped to create a new
          students began meeting at the               congregation in Lafayette, Louisiana, now served by one of our UCO alumni.
          campus of the University of Central         A new UM Chinese fellowship has been launched in Dallas by our Edmond
Oklahoma. The Wesley Foundation soon                  congregation, and many of our alumni after returning to their homes have been
adopted this small Bible study and within             instrumental in launching new study groups, fellowships and even churches.
a brief time that small group grew into a                  One of the key leaders to come out of the Wesley Foundation at UCO
group of 25 to 50 students who gathered               is Rev. Fuxia Wang. Fuxia, a traditional “atheist” from the People’s Republic
for Bible study in Mandarin, the primary              of China, arrived at UCO to learn English as a second language for teaching
language for many Chinese across the globe.           purposes back home. She soon got connected with the Chinese fellowship and
     By 1990 that group of 25 had grown to a          was invited to go on a retreat. On that retreat Fuxia discovered what her heart
regular group of nearly 75                                                    had longed for her whole life long, a knowledge of God.
students, many of whom                                                        Immediately Fuxia immersed herself in the study of the
remained in the Edmond                                                        Christian faith, eventually knowing that she was being
area after graduation. In                The Wesley Foundation’s              called into ministry. After completing her degree, she
1995, Rev. Puong Lau, a                  Chinese ministry is                  enrolled in an international seminary and upon graduation
native of Malaysia and an                committed to providing               returned to Edmond as the Chinese ministry’s assistant
ordained United Methodist                radical hospitality, care,
elder joined the staff as                                                          In 2006 Fuxia was commissioned as an elder in the
                                         and Christian love to its
campus minister to Asian                                                      Oklahoma Annual Conference and was invited to join
students. In 2003, with over             Chinese community.                   the staff of the Wesley Foundation at OU as an associate
120 in regular worship, the                                                   director in charge of its Chinese outreach.
Chinese Fellowship was                                                             Fuxia is tasked to reach out to the nearly 3,000
chartered as the Edmond                                                       Chinese speaking students and families on the Norman
Chinese International UMC the only UM                 campus, as well as in the surrounding communities of Moore and South
Chinese speaking church in mid-America at the         Oklahoma City. The Wesley Foundation’s Chinese ministry is committed to
time of chartering.                                   providing radical hospitality, care, and Christian love to its Chinese community.
     While making disciples has always been           They are feeding the hungry by providing free home cooked meals every week
the main priority of this ministry, training          for the Chinese students. They regularly celebrate special Chinese festivals
leaders to begin new Christian fellowships has        and cultural events to help students and families find a home-away-from-
also been an important goal. Regularly sending        home. In addition, they are committed to providing tangible social services and
radical hospitality such as helping with immigration policies,
transportation in and around Norman, grocery trips to China
town in Oklahoma City, helping individuals settle down and
find an apartment, setting up cell phone service, getting a social
security number, and getting a driver’s license, to name a few.
     Over 90% of the people they are working with in this
ministry are atheist or non-religious. Many of these individuals
have never heard of the saving grace of Jesus Christ. There is
tremendous potential for a great harvest to be reaped. In under
three years this ministry has celebrated over twenty professions
of faith and they have many more students who are on the brink
of making that commitment.
     Fuxia and the Wesley’s staff isn’t just teaching these
individuals the Gospel message, but are living it out with them
as they seek to help alleviate much of the suffering and injustice
that they face as Chinese people seeking to fit into an American
Article materials submitted by Rev. Guy Ames, Ardmore District
Superintendent, Rev. Fuxia Wang, and Rev. Daniel Dennison

    Funding that changes lives
     by Michael R. Bartley                                           me to know that he had lost 50% of his retirement
         Almost weekly I have people walk into my office             and his 10% gift had to reflect his losses. However, he
     asking for assistance. I have to share with them that           completed his letter by saying, “I trust that God is able
     the Wesley Foundation does not have the economic                to make my small gift productive.”
     resources to pay utility bills or hospital bills. We cannot         Right there! I trust that God is able . . .! Funding that
     buy bus tickets or house homeless people.                       changes lives begins not with the money – be it $2, $150
         However, just a few months ago a young woman                or $150,000—but with trusting that God is able.
     and her child walked into my office. She asked me for               Each time that one of us kneels in prayer with a
     two dollars. Reaching into my pocket I took out eight           college student desiring to commit themselves to Christ
     quarters placed the quarters into her hand. She smiled          we understand that it is not our sermon, our prayer, our
     and I asked her, “What are you going to do with the two         teaching that has made this student receptive to the
     dollars?” She responded, “I am going to pay rent.”              gospel of Jesus Christ. You see, like in fundraising so it is
         I must admit that this woman taught me something            with evangelism and mission. The beginning point is not
     about fundraising that changes lives. She taught me             our labor, it is not our gifts—but it is the truth that God
     that it was not the size of the gift that changes lives         is able. Funding that changes lives is receptive to God’s
     but it is the vision with which the gift is empowered to        ability to make visions reality.
     become reality.                                                     “What are you going to do with $2?” I thought
         These past several months have been economically            about that women’s response for several days. “I am
     difficult for our nation. Recently, I received a letter         going to pay rent!” Not if I raise enough, but “I am going
     from an elderly gentleman sharing with me that he was           to pay rent.” No, hers were words of clear trust, “I am
     forced to reduce his monthly gift to campus ministry            going to pay rent.”
     from $150 a month to $75. He shared with me that this               Regardless of your $2, $150 or $150,000 God is
     was 50% of his tithes and that his local congregation           going to use it to redeem lives.
     would be receiving the same reduction. He wanted                    Thanks be to God!

10                                         Young women invited to

Marks of healthy
United Methodist
                                                     Come to t he Table
Campus Ministry

Healthy UM campus ministries                               nited Methodist Women around the world were focusing
“Make Disciples, Change Lives, Create                      on tables last year. “Come to the Table” was their theme
                                                           and Oklahoma women have welcomed a new group to
                                           their table this year. A new UMW unit was recently chartered at the
                                           Wesley Foundation at Oklahoma State University. The unit is the first
Healthy UM campus ministries promote
                                           college unit to be located in a Wesley Foundation in Oklahoma.
understanding of UM heritage and
                                                 Stillwater District membership, nurture and outreach coordinator
                                           Rinda Starr-Alsip of Chandler and Rev. Rebekah Belase worked together on
                                           organizing the unit. “For me, United Methodist Women has always played a
Healthy UM campus ministries foster
                                           central role in my faith development, and I wanted our college students to have
loyal, faithful UM congregants.
                                           a similar experience,” said Belase.
                                                 Together with the Stillwater District, the Wesley Foundation wrote and
Healthy UM campus ministries teach,        received a $500 start-up grant from The Women’s Division of the General
give access to, and promote awareness      Board of Global Ministries.
of the Social Principles of the UMC.             On April 5, 2009, thirty-five women gathered to celebrate the charter
                                           service. Participants included Rev. Belase, assistant director of the Wesley
Healthy UM campus ministries develop       Foundation; Rinda Starr-Alsip; Mary Lou Ferguson, Stillwater District
and operate with a strategic plan.         UMW president; Kathy Caldron, Oklahoma Conference UMW president;
                                           and Jane Bond.
Healthy UM campus ministries celebrate           “I am pleased that this unit is being represented at our district meetings.
and promote the relevance, identity, and   It is heart warming to see these beautiful young faces and their active
voice of the UMC for campus communi-       enthusiasm within our UMW membership,” said Ferguson.
ties and beyond.                                 District officers also organized a ‘pounding’ for the Wesley Foundation.
                                           The campus ministry received about 1,200 pounds of food and $500 from
Healthy UM campus ministries help          the Stillwater District UMW units. This food will come in quite handy since
students explore faith-based options to    the ministry feeds between
life issues.                               5,000 and 5,600 students
                                           each semester.
Healthy UM campus ministries increase            The unit has 14
the number of students, faculty/staff,
                                           active members and looks
                                           forward to increasing their
and graduates who are and who become
                                           numbers each semester.
active, growing disciples and leaders
                                           The new unit also had four
in the life and ministry of the UMC, its
                                           members attend the 2009
congregations, and beyond.
                                           Cooperative School of
                                           Christian Mission. The unit
Healthy UM campus ministries receive
                                           is excited to attend its first
students (freshmen and others) at their
                                           UMW Assembly at the end
faith level and intentionally provide
                                           of April 2010 and will be
ways or programs that can lead them to a   taking eight members to St.
more mature faith.                         Louis, Missouri.
                                                 For more information,         (left to right) Rev. Rebekah Belase, assistant
Help students connect with a local                                             director of the Wesley Foundation; Cathy Caldron,
                                           contact Rev. Rebekah
                                                                               UMW Conference president; and Katie Southard,
church both during their college years     Belase, (405)564-4142 or            student, at the UMW Charter Service for the new
and after leaving the campus.              wesleyosu@gmail.com.                unit at the Wesley Foundation at OSU.

Raising the bar
by Jennifer Long                                                Wimberly School of Religion and Saint Paul School of

                   hat do you do when the students do           Theology. Imagine how high the bar could be with a building
                   not have a place to study on campus          that provided space for even more students at our Evensong
                   after 11 p.m. during finals week?            Contemporary Worship service on Monday nights. Kappa
When people want to recycle their bottles and cans              Phi (Christian Women’s Organization) could celebrate their
but lack a central location? When Westboro Baptist              25 new members in a room of their own instead of having
Church is planning to protest your campus and the               to set-up and break down for their meetings each week.
community wants to come together to show that we live           Students would find the Wesley Center building to be a focal
out God’s call to love our neighbor? When young men             point of faith and service on the campus and beyond. We
desire to start a new style of Christian Men’s Service          could reach out in ways not yet even imagined.
Organization? When students spend their money on                     Help us continue to make disciples, grow disciples, and
tuition and don’t have the funds to have a meal plan?           send them out in ministry to the world by being a part of
     You look to the Wesley Center at Oklahoma City             the Wesley Center building. For more information on how
University.                                                     to donate to this project go to the Web site at http://www.
     Four years ago we offered the lower level of the Chapel    okcu.edu/religiouslife or contact Rev. Long at (405)208-
as a place to study from 10 p.m. – 2 a.m. during finals         5078 or jlong@okcu.edu.
week. After meeting that need the student government
association worked to open the library and Alvin’s student
café for late night study during the year. The Wesley Center
was the collecting point for paper, cans, plastic, glass, and
cardboard for years—now the university has
a recycling program that meets that need.                                                              photo by Jennifer Long

As the students gathered to have a silent,
counter protest during the Westboro Baptist
Church visit, we blanketed the staff, students,
and faculty with 1,000 free “Love not Hate”
T-shirts that were handed out in less than
45 minutes. Delta Alpha Chi, our Christian
Men’s Service Organization, has become one
of the leading groups on campus and offers
opportunities for personal and social holiness.
Our Wednesday at the Wesley free lunch and
Bible study program began feeding 20 people,
three and one half years ago and now feeds
140 students, staff, and faculty per week.
     We raise the bar each time we recognize
a need, meet it, and empower others to be in
ministry. However, to continue raising the
bar we need to raise the funding for a Wesley
Center building on the campus of OCU.
     The Wesley Center is currently located
in three rooms on the lower level of the
chapel. We share these rooms with the

Oklahoma City University students participate in a
Habitat for Humanity project through the Wesley

                                                                                                    Photos by Kris Boevers
                                                                                                                             Students at the Wesley
                                                                                                                             Foundation at the
                                                                                                                             University of Oklahoma
                                                                                                                             now have room for
                                                                                                                             a variety of ministry

Growing pains
by Daniel Dennison                               director of the Wesley Foundation, Brad Humphrey. When we celebrated the

                   hen I became director         completion of our building expansion in October of 2008, we had no idea
                   of the OU Wesley              how much this project would enhance our ministry, we were only thankful to
                   Foundation in May of          have the tediousness of fund-raising and a constant flow of contractors and
2008, not only did I inherit a wonderful         jackhammers behind us.
program with great potential, but I also              Now, almost a full year later, on a typical Tuesday night we have anywhere
inherited a $400,000 building project.           from 120-200 different college students in our building for worship. This is
     As it is with most building projects this   always preceded by pizza and fellowship before worship starts. Without our
one would not only double our meeting space,     building expansion we couldn’t host this many students without breaking fire
it was also going to double our ministry’s       code. On a typical Wednesday night we have six different Bible studies that
potential. Before the expansion, the ministry    meet. This includes men’s and women’s Bible studies, a Bible study specifically
was at about 130% capacity with small groups,    for women who are a part of a sorority, men’s and women’s service fraternity
meals, and worship. The sanctuary served         and sorority, and the director’s Bible study. If you walk into our building
as a multi-purpose room, hosting dinners,        at 8 p.m. on a Wednesday evening you won’t find a free room anywhere.
meetings, worship, and sometimes all three in    Without our renovated building, we wouldn’t have the space to fit all of
one day. This put stress on both the staff and   these students that desire to study God’s word and grow in their personal
the building.                                    relationship with Christ. This only paints a brief picture of two days at
     The expansion would add 1,300               Wesley and fails to account for the 15 other small groups that meet regularly,
square feet of space, doubling the size of       our free MMMonday lunch, our student leadership team and its numerous
our large gathering area, tripling the size of   committees, the potluck dinners, and the 100’s of students who walk through
our kitchen, and freeing up an additional        our doors each day to study, relax, play pool, and visit with one another. It
room for small groups. The project proved        also fails to account for the numerous “random encounters” that our staff is
to be something that would be a thorn in         able to have with multiple students on a daily basis because of the hospitable
my side for six months and throughout that       and welcoming space that we have created for the students. In most local
process I jokingly cursed my former boss and     churches it would be surprising to have more than ten or fifteen visitors during

the entire work week, but at the Wesley
Foundation we rarely have less than 10 or 15
students in our building at one time, whether
it is 10 a.m. 3 p.m. or 10 p.m., on any given
day. In one week, it’s not uncommon for us
to have over 400 different students walk
through our doors for worship, lunch, pool,
Bible study, ping pong, accountability group,
counseling with the staff, or study groups.
      I’m grateful for the vision of those who
saw a need for a United Methodist campus
ministry at the University of Oklahoma and
raised the funds to build our student center
and sanctuary in 1957. I’m even more grateful
for the vision of those who saw the need to                       View of the newly remodeled room at the Wesley Foundation at OU
expand and enable us to reach more students                           Many of our other Oklahoma campus ministries are
in the matchless name of Jesus Christ. I am grateful for every   in need of the same kind of support and every single one of
single individual that gave anywhere from five dollars to        our ministries is in need of your regular Apportionments,
$50,000 to help make our building expansion possible. Their      prayers, and extra giving in order to train up a new
selflessness and faithfulness has enabled us to reach more       generation of leaders for the United Methodist Church and
young and diverse people for the Kingdom of God.                 the Kingdom of God.

Campus Bulletin Board
Big Fun Thing
Spring ‘09
                     The Oklahoma Conference Campus
                     Ministries sponsored an event for our
                     youth. Youth and sponsors attended a
                     RedHawks baseball game last spring at the
                     AT&T Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City.

    Game go’ers enjoyed a tailgate party with                               Bishop Hayes was a special guest that day
    hotdogs and chips, before the game began.                               and got to throw the first pitch of the game.

                                                                           Wesley Ministry Center at Langston…

                                                                           A Whole
                                                                           New World

                                                                           a ministry center for the Wesley Foundation at Langston as
                                                                           one of four goals in his first year of leadership here.
                                                                                In April of 2009, after much hard work and with the
                                                                           generous contributions of many from across the conference, a
                                                                           center was consecrated.
Cross and Flame emblem in the new Wesley Foundation at Langston                 Rev. Brooks says she has a new building and a broader
                                                                           vision of ministry. The building is a place for developing a life
by Frank Denney
                                                     that is representative of God in this world like the life Jesus led when he walked

             igns along I-35 and Highway 33          among humankind. The building will not make you holy. What you allow in
             proclaim Langston University as the     your heart, mind, and soul makes you holy as in a ‘closer relationship’ with God.
             students’ “Passport to the World.”      –John 14:12-27,” said Rev. Brooks.
      For nearly 40 years, campus ministers                The Langston Board of Directors did research two years ago. The largest
at the Wesley Foundation in Langston                 religious populations in the Langston University community were those who are
struggled, wandered through the wilderness           unchurched, unsaved, and another group they call “Christian wannabes,” —those
like the Hebrews of Moses’ era as they led, and      who lie and say yes when they have never accepted Christ as their personal
shepherded the students without a building.          savior.
And the students had to show Hebrew                        Evangelism is not just going up to the unchurched with a Bible in hand.
determination to walk down a dark highway to         Our students have developed positive alternative programming. On First
find the campus minister’s home, half of which       Fridays of each month, we open the Wesley Center for a Christian “Night at the
was designated for their meeting place.              Apollo.” We host singers, dancers, and all talents to perform among their peers.
      Rev. Cecelia Brooks, campus minister at        Students, who would not stick their feet in a church, come into the building. The
the Wesley Foundation in Langston, in her 20         microphone is open for questions about Christianity.
some years as director, cast the vision to build           We also sponsor a student-run café to raise funds. Students create the
a ministry center. The board of directors began      menu, then do the work, and manage the café. It is another evangelism tool that
working in earnest drawing up building plans         draws people into our environment.
and raising funds.                                         As you can see, young adult ministry at Langston has been transformed. It
      An energetic new Bishop, Robert E. Hayes,      is great to see the students taking ownership of the building and their ministry.
at his first Oklahoma Annual Conference,             Rev. Brooks has them fully involved in the planning and carrying out the many
transformed the vision from a local effort to a      facets of living out our faith. She is developing strong student leaders, and they
conference-wide project when he listed building      are very intentional about taking care of the new facility.
     My experience at the Wesley Foundation...
     by Courtland J. D. Powers                                       Through the hard work of Rev. Brooks and our
          When I came to Langston University the fall            leadership team here at the Wesley, I have been able to
     of 2006, I was a freshman. The first time that I was        network in the UMC. I have also embarked on a once in
     introduced to the Wesley Foundation was when I met          a lifetime experience. I traveled abroad to Chile in South
     Rev. Brooks. She was walking around the campus and          America as a missionary with Chapel Hill UMC. I was also
     talking to students. That was when I told her about my      able to represent the Wesley Foundation as “Miss Wesley
     membership at Quayle UMC in Oklahoma City. From             Foundation at LU 2006” during homecoming that year.
     that point, I started coming to Bible studies at her        Our growing group of students look forward to attending
     home where I met other United Methodist students            “Black Methodist for Church Renewal” in 2010. We
     from around the country. Thus, I embarked on a              would like to meet other UMC African-American leaders.
     lasting membership that has helped to transform my              I have also grown spiritually in my relationship with
     matriculation through college.                              God through Jesus Christ, and I have become more in-
          The Wesley Foundation has helped me to become          tune with my faith since I became a member. The Wesley
     more active in my faith. I have been able to meet friends   Foundation creates a loving and spiritual atmosphere
     who share the same joy in the goals of Christianity and     for students no matter what their cultural, religious,
     sharing our faith.                                          or racial background. I think that is the mission of the
          We now have strong student leadership and as a         ministry and is the primary reason why it will continue
     part of the leadership team, I act as a “lay leader” for    to be a success. The Wesley Foundation is an advocate
     Rev. Brooks. As a part of the team, I help make decisions   for the cultivation of future young professional and
     on programming, ethical decisions, and we help              educated leaders in the church and world. I am proud to
     manage the new building.                                    soon be one of them.

Southeastern OSU
New construction
Rev. Gloria McGee-Denton,
Wesley Center director, at
Southeastern OSU in Durant, and
Rev. Guy Ames, Ardmore District
Superintendent show the new
floor plans for 1,750-square-foot
addition. Construction is currently

This mission and this building
have been a dream since United
Methodist students started
gathering on a church member’s
back porch five decades ago and
began to lay the foundation on
which they are building today to
grow tomorrow’s Christian leaders.

                                        Oklahoma Conference of The United Methodist Church    NON-PROFIT ORG.
                                        Campus Ministries                                       U.S. POSTAGE
                                        1501 N.W. 24th St. • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73106           PAID
                                                                                             OKLAHOMA CITY, OK
                                                                                               PERMIT #1045

                     Oklahoma Conference of The United Methodist Church

                         Campus Ministry


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