Maranatha, February 28, 2010

“Being a missionary doesn’t mean you have to cross the sea, just see the cross.”

When Reverend Marsha Alexander, our teacher/presenter at class this morning, made this comment to us on Saturday evening at our home where she spent the evening, we knew that this was to be Sunday’s Quote. Our Class was blessed by Reverend Alexander’s description of her journeys as a United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries’ missionary, not only those journeys of geography (the Phillipines and Mexico) but also the one of her calling by God to mission. Marsha shared with us that many people over the years have said that “…she must have given up so much to be in such service”, but Marsha simply concluded that “…she can’t think of a thing that she’s given up that hasn’t been replaced 10-fold by God through her service to our Lord, Jesus Christ.” Whether called across the sea, across the border, across town, across the street, or across the room, we give up nothing but we gain everything! God speed, Marasha; we are blessed by your message to us this morning!

Our classroom was filled to near capacity earlier today; what a great Sunday! However, there were those of you who weren’t able to be with us, and you were missed. Hope to see you soon!

We celebrated several birthdays inlcuding Ruth Giessen (3/4), Kenny King(3/6), and Barbara Loyd (3/6), and one anniversary, Christi and Kraemer Luks. To each and all, congratulations! Our thanks to Susie and Mark Butterworth, Sarah and Cisco Maldonado for delicious refreshments, both healthy and not, displayed with loving care over a quilted tablecloth. Our lone visitor was a family member, Ms. Lisa Meehan. Come again, Lisa!

Suzy Meredith-Orr announced our next mission opportunity, a painting party at Exodus House, on Saturday, March 6th, 9:30am till about 1:00pm. Contact Suzy for more information.

Pam Sherman let us know that the annual “Easter egg stuffing” is scheduled for Friday evening, 6:30pm, March 26th. Contact Pam, but we’ll provide more information in future Sunday Reports as well.

Sharon Earley is heading up the Funds Committee effort to nominate recipients for our donations. She asked that the Committee and other interested folks meet with her next Sunday at 9:00am in our classroom to discuss the process. Nominations will be presented to the class in April (probably the 11th) for our actions on this important mission of our Class. Contact Sharon or me if you have a nominee or comments/questions.

Jennifer Hall expressed her joy at the news of being an expectant grandmother. Judith Payton will have surgery next Friday; our thoughts and prayers are with you, Judith. Glenna Arnott shared concern for a granddaughter who is in harms way; she distributed information regarding this matter, asking for prayers and support. Glenn has asked to send this information to you via E-mail, and we will do in a seperate mailing later this week once she has provided it to us. Bob Russell led us in prayer following these expressions of joy and concerns.

March 2010 should be another interesting month of informative presentations and Christian education leading us into the Easter week (Palm Sunday is March 28th). Next week, Professor Michael Lapolla will be in our class to help us better understand some of the critical points within the national and local debate on “health care reform”. Professor Lapolla’s research and thoughts are often reported in our newspapers and other media locally and regionally, especially as it pertains to policy affecting underserved and underinsured people, a population of great concern to all us who are Christians. Professor Lapolla’s presentation is expected to be an unbiased report to you with an opportunity for questions and answers.

On other Sundays in March, expect teachings by Professor Sandra Costen Kunz (3/14) and Reverend Bill Tankersley (3/21 and 3/28). Also, please remember that Easter Sunday (April 4th) will be a Brunch Sunday at Maranatha.

Have a wonderful week; contact us anytime.

Richard Wansley and Meredith Davison

Published in: on February 28, 2010 at 10:00 pm  Comments Off on Maranatha, February 28, 2010  
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Thanks for Subscribing

I want to thank those of you who have subscribed to the Maranatha Class Blog. We currently have 23 subscribers to the Maranatha Class Blog, and over 140 still getting Class News and other emails by the Gmail delivery method.


Published in: on February 24, 2010 at 5:07 pm  Comments Off on Thanks for Subscribing  

Maranatha, February 21, 2010

“An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”  Mohandas Gandhi

Dear Maranatha Family:

We were honored  this morning to have Debbie Peterson, our Church’s Director of Mid-High Youth Programs, present to us. Our Class is an ardent supporter of youth activities in the Church, and Debbie helped us understand how important it is for us to be making such an investment.  She made it clear that today’s youth face some of the same challenges that we, sometimes painfully, experienced in our adolescence, while also pointing out the new temptations and decisions faced by young people in contempary times.  Debbie gave us assurance that our Church’s programs strive to be relevant and strengthen the developing faith of our mid-high youth.  Thank you, Debbie, for your presentation to us, and what you and your volunteers do with youth in our Church’s family.

Two Class Members were recognized for their birthdays coming in the next few days, including Ray Latchem (2/26) and Julee Embrey (2/27).   We also acknowledged the anniversary of Karen and Art Campbell on February 26th.  Happy Birthdays and Congratulations!!

An Olympics theme adorned our table of food and drink, thoughtfully arranged by Pam and Karey Low assisted by Suzy and Denny Meredith-Orr.  Pam also offered our prayer this morning.

Suzy reminded us that the Maranatha Class is responsible for the Chili (and Stew) Supper in Community Hall, immediately preceding the Monday, February 22nd presentation by Rabbi Sheldon Zimmerman as part of the Barton-Clinton-Gordey Series.  Please help; gather as early as 3pm, Monday, the kitchen in Community Hall. Meal serving begins at 5pm and ends at 6:30pm.  Also, plan on attending as many of the BCG Series presentations by Rabbi Zimmerman as possible, with more of his teaching tonight at 7pm, and, then again, Monday and Tuesday, 7pm each evening.

David Rose told us of not one or two but four joys, each of which pertained to joyous events in the family, a child’s acceptance to college, being an expectant grandparent (again), and members of the family moving back close to home, and a long awaited visit home by other family. Lynn Russell shared a concern, a request for prayers for Carl who is not expected to live many more days.

The Dixons, new members to the Church, visited with us today.  They live in the Catoosa area and seemed to enjoy their experience with our Class today.  Several of our Class Members spent time getting to know the Dixons.  I’m sure this made them feel welcomed; a big “thank you” to those Members who let the Dixons know that we are a great Class not only on Sundays but everyday!

Next Sunday, Reverend Marsha Alexander will be our teacher.  Reverend Alexander has served as a UM Missionary for a number of years, most of which were in the Phillipines.  Her most recent assignment was with Manos Juntas Mexico, a UM project in Northern Mexico which has been a VIM site for our Church in the past.  Be there next Sunday, bring guests!!

Richard Wansley and Meredith Davison

Today, we’re changing the means of our communications with you.  We’re using the Class G-Mail account so that we can have a better record or history of our regular Sunday reports. However, using this system does not permit you to reply to me with a private communication.   So, if you wish to send me a private comment or request, then please use the following E-mail address, richard.wansley(at), or call me on my mobile telephone, 918-520-8787.  Have a great week!

Richard Wansley

Published in: on February 21, 2010 at 3:27 pm  Comments Off on Maranatha, February 21, 2010  
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New Maranatha Class Website

This message is to announce the new website for the Maranatha Class and an online community for helping to organize care for class members in need. Karen Campbell and I gave a presentation in class on January 30. Because not every one was in class that day (and because it was confusing anyway), I am attaching the handout in two different formats, and I wanted to give you the links to the website, as well as to the presentation online at

The URL for the Maranatha Class Website is

You can watch the class presentation on how the new website works. It is now available on The link to the video is Or, you can reach it from the Welcome page on the Maranatha Class Website.

Please subscribe to the Maranatha Class Blog on any page of the site. We will be changing the way that we deliver emails within the next several months. The Maranatha Class Blog page will have the Class Newsletters and any CARE-anatha announcements regarding class members. If you have subscribed, you will receive emails of each post instead of through the Gmail account. You will need to be subscribed to get these emails.

There is a link to the Class Calendar, which you can use to find social activities, class mission projects, and Sunday School specifics, such as the names of each week’s speaker, prayer, and those greeting and bringing refreshments.

While most of the site is available to anyone, in order to keep certain class member information private there are two logins required. The Class Member Page link will take you to a password-protected page where you can find a link to the class member photos on Picasa (courtesy Pam Low), and downloadable copies of the roster and the email list (also the work of Pam Low). If you’d like to know the password to the Class Member Page, just contact any of the officers.

The CARE-anatha link (under Pages) leads to Lotsa Helping Hands, where you will find an online community for organizing care needs. This is the second place where a login will be required. Karen and I will coordinate our CARE-anatha scheduling there when the time comes, but we hope that you will register for the site now. See the instructions for registering on the CARE-anatha page.

As before, if you have any care needs, please contact Karen Campbell or me . For other questions or class-related business, contact Richard Wansley or Meredith Davison , or use the Class Officers link on the website for other officer names.

If you have any questions about the website, please let me know.

Barbara Meehan

Published in: on February 18, 2010 at 8:29 am  Comments Off on New Maranatha Class Website  
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Maranatha, February 14, 2010

“Life must be understood backwards; but … it must be lived forward.”
Soren Kierkegaard, Philosopher/Theologian

We had an inspiring lesson today from our resident “composer” and musician extraordinaire classmate, Rob Reck, about his trip to London during the Christmas holidays to the premier performance of his composition, “Close to Thee”. It was interesting to hear about his trip and understand more about Rob’s passion for composing music.

Today, we recognized birthdays: Keith Madden (2/14), Sam Smith (2/17), and Ginny Walker (2/23) and anniversaries: Mary and Randy Elliott (2/15) and Suzy and Rob Morgan (2/16).  Celebrate!  Valentine refreshments and greetings were provided by Michelle and Kirk Place as well as Barbara and Paul Loyd.  There were announcements about the Chili Supper on February 22st (contact Suzy or Denny Meredith-Orr) and the March social, stuffing Easter Eggs on Friday evening, March 26, for the children’s Easter egg hunt.  Upcoming mission opportunities include an Exodus House project in March and working on the Habitat for Humanity house in April. Joys and Concerns were expressed by members.  Concerns were shared for Terry, Pam Sherman’s friend, who has been put in hospice; Lynn’s friend Larry who was diagnosed with cancer, Allen Briggs brother-in-law who has prostate cancer; Patricia Ketter who has been diagnosed with breast cancer; and a friend who lost her grandfather and grandmother soon after the birth of her child. Ginny Walker expressed joy over her upcoming trip to California to celebrate her birthday with her daughter.  We also expressed sympathy to Joe Harris whose mother Margaret died last week; it was a joy to hear Joe talk about his wonderful memories of his mother and the influence she had on his life.

We welcomed several visitors: Jim and Sarah Young, former members who were visiting from Colorado Springs, Samantha Luks, and Lauren Tallent. We also welcomed a new member, Laurie Spencer to the class. Laurie is an artist whose pottery chalices are used in our communion services.

Next week, Debbie Petersen, BAUMC Mid-High Youth Director,  will discuss her work with the church youth programs.  Join us; invite others!

Have a great week!

Meredith Davison and Richard Wansley

P.S., See this informative note from Allene and Rex Donley:
Hopefully you will never need this service but it is good information for everyone to have.
Cleaning for a Reason
If you know any woman currently undergoing Chemo, please pass the word to her that there is a cleaning service that provides FREE housecleaning – 1 time per month for 4 months while she is in treatment.

All she has to do is sign up and have her doctor fax a note confirming the treatment. Cleaning for a Reason will have a participating maid service in her zip code area arrange for the service.
Please pass this information on to bless a woman going through Breast Cancer treatment. This organization serves the entire USA and currently has 547 partners to help these women. It’s our job to pass the word and let them know that there are people out there that care. Be a blessing to someone and pass this information along.

Published in: on February 15, 2010 at 8:38 pm  Comments Off on Maranatha, February 14, 2010  
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Joe Harris’s Mother

Karen Harris wrote to let the class to know that Joe’s mother Margaret Harris passed away yesterday in Philadelphia. They’ll probably be leaving Thursday and staying through the weekend.

Barbara Meehan


Published in: on February 13, 2010 at 9:40 pm  Comments Off on Joe Harris’s Mother  

Maranatha, February 7, 2010

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending”
Maria Robinson, Writer

We had an amazing lesson today taught by Dr. Brandon Scott, Darbeth Professor of New Testament, Phillips Theological Seminary; the title of his lesson was “Resurrection: A Quiz”. Following the late service, our Maranatha “Group of 8” lunched together, and we were still energized by Professor Scott’s words to us. If you weren’t able to be in class today, visit our website,, and go to Class Recordings where you can hear (or re-hear) Dr. Scott’s presentation. The podcast will probably be posted in the next day or so. And, while you’re at the website, sign up (subscribe); we hope to begin using this site even more in the future as a communication tool for the class.
Today, we recognized birthdays: Art Campbell (2/7), Sherry Stinson (2/70), Karey Low (2/8), Jerry LeDoux (2/11), and Kate Thomas (2/12); and anniversaries: the Maldonados and Worthingtons. Celebrate!
Refreshments and greetings were provided by Lynn and Bob Russell as well as Judith and Ed Payton. There were several announcements, the Chili Supper is February 21st (contact Suzy or Denny Meredith-Orr) and the Valentine’s Dinner is February 12th (contact Pam Sherman). Joys and Concerns were expressed by members. Concerns were shared for Dr. Biggs and his family regarding the death of his Mother last Thursday evening, also Pam’s friend, Terry, who has untreatable brain cancer, and Mary’s friend in the Marines. Carol told us that she is now 10 years cancer-free, a great Joy for her and all of us who call Carol our friend.
We welcomed several visitors, and introduced Patti and Gary Smith as new members. If you know Patti and Gary (or even if you don’t know them), contact our new members this week to let them know how happy we are to have them join our group.
Next week, Rob Reck, our resident “composer” and musician extraordinaire, will share his report to the class on his trip to London where his musical work was debuted last year. It always a great class when Rob is our teacher. Join us; invite others!
Have a great week!

Richard Wansley and Meredith Davison

Published in: on February 9, 2010 at 11:29 pm  Comments Off on Maranatha, February 7, 2010  
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Question re: Cataract surgery, need response today!


Alan Smith, a fellow Class member, has submitted the following question (see below) regarding his need in making a decision regarding cataract surgery. Can you help? If you wish to provide a response, contact Alan directly at: als19511973(at) Thanks.

“My question would be to ask which members have had cataract surgery
in order to share information and make a decision on which type of lens implant to get. There’s a difference in cost involved here also.
I have to make a decision today, so I guess this is a little late.
Alan Smith”

*Note that you will need to type email addresses into an email program substituting “@” for “(at).” I have edited email addresses so that recipients will not pick up additional spam from autobots that might be searching our posts. Also, for contact information, you can find our newest roster on the Class Member Page. -brm

Published in: on February 9, 2010 at 11:20 pm  Comments Off on Question re: Cataract surgery, need response today!  
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Maranatha Class – Urgent Request Being Met

I want to give you an update on the request sent to you yesterday (see below).

Within hours, there were a number of offers to assist our classmate with this problem.  While many of you who responded weren’t certain that you could do precisely what was needed to be done, you were willing to give your own level of expertise.  However, among those who answered the call, there was one class member who has arranged for a computer specialist to define and recommend how to best meet the needs of our classmate.  This avenue is being pursued at present.  Should, for whatever reason, this approach require additional assistance, I’ve kept the names of those of you who have volunteered and may be back in touch with you.

It’s gratifying to know that there truly are “angels” in our midst!


Previous email:
From: Wansley, Richard
Sent: Thursday, February 04, 2010 3:07 PM
Subject: Maranatha Class – Urgent Request

One of our Class members has contacted me to ask for help with the repair of a computer.  What appears to be needed is finding an inexpensive CPU replacement and transferring files and programs to the revamped system.  Since the computer is not currently in good working order and it is used for the Class member’s small business, it is urgent that this work be accomplished as soon as possible.  The Class member is looking for “pro bono” assistance since their business is not in a position to outlay funds (for labor/expert consultation) due to circumstances associated with the slowed local economy.

Can you help?

If so, please contact me, and I will connect you with our fellow Class member who is in-need.  God bless you for considering this opportunity to assist a neighbor.

Richard Wansley

Published in: on February 6, 2010 at 9:23 am  Comments Off on Maranatha Class – Urgent Request Being Met  
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Death of Dr. Biggs’ mother

Please see the notice below from Brenda Reed regarding the death of Dr. Biggs’ mother.  I will ask the Maranatha Funds Committee to make a donation to the Allison Biggs Scholarship Fund on behalf of the Class.

Richard Wansley


From: brendareed(at)
Subject: Death
Date: Fri, 5 Feb 2010 08:46:41 -0600

Dr. Biggs’s mother died last night.  Dr. Biggs is headed to Carthage, TX, for her funeral at 2:00 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday).  He will be back here on Sunday morning to preach.  We will send flowers from the staff and thought contributing to Allison Biggs Scholarship Fund for a memorial would be appropriate if you are interested.  I’ll keep you informed.



Published in: on February 6, 2010 at 9:19 am  Comments Off on Death of Dr. Biggs’ mother  
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