Maranatha, March 28, 2010

“Could life so end, half told; its school so fail?
Soul, soul, there is a sequel to thy tale!”
Robert Mowery Bell, Poet (written about 1900)

On Sunday, we had several birthdays to celebrate, including Suzy Morgan (3/29), Shannon Reed (3/30), Jim Banes (4/2), Olin Holmes (4/3) and Ralph Jackson (4/3). Happy Birthday! Only one anniversary was acknowledged, the Greens, Beth and Eric (3/28); happy anniversary!

Greeters and those who brought refreshments included Jim McCann and Angelyn Dale as well as Richard Wansley and Meredith Davison. The table was set with pastel tablecloths, adorned with a vase of yellow daffodils, and, oh yes, great goodies to eat!

No visitors on Sunday, but plenty of members were present for the Palm Sunday lesson provided by Reverend Bill Tankersley. Bill completed his lesson about the early Christian church that grew even though it was surrounded by a culture of violence associated with the Roman Empire. Thanks, Bill, for giving us a realistic peek into the history of our Faith.

Several announcements were made by members: The Roses, David and Susan, are expecting a third grandchild! First, there was one, then two, now a third announced within the last month! Bob Russell let us know that Lynn and he are also expecting a new grandchild. Paul Staat passed his Board of Ordained Ministers’s oral exams with flying colors; congratulations! Judith Payton was back in Sunday School, and we’re pleased that she is recuperating successfully from her surgery. Kraemer and Christi’s son got the job offer that he was wanting; great!

Concerns included one for Mary Elliott’s 2-year old nephew, Kaiden, who had surgery for a brain tumor yesterday. Prayers were also asked for the children and families affected by the meningitis outbreak in the Oolagah area.

Our class prayer was offered by Pam Low.

Next week, it is our Easter Brunch. It’s a pot-luck meal; bring what you want, and we’ll see how it works out! Also, remember class will begin at 9:30am. We’ll have a short time for announcements, then Ed Payton will deliver a devotional message for our Easter lesson. Most of our hour will be fellowship while enjoying the meal. Beverly North has graciously agreed to coordinate the preparations for the Brunch; if you have questions, contact Beverly.

The remainder of April at Maranatha has exiciting, interesting guest teachers: Reverend Stan Basler, Director of the Oklahoma UM Conference’s criminal justice ministries (4/11), followed by Dr. Gary Peluso, President of Phillips Theological Seminary (4/18 and 4/25).

Pray for each other and all those in need of what our Faith has to offer as we experience Holy Week! Then, we’ll gather to celebrate the risen Christ next Sunday!

Richard Wansley and Meredith Davison

Published in: on March 31, 2010 at 5:37 am  Comments Off on Maranatha, March 28, 2010  
Tags: , ,

Death of Dr. Duane Brothers

It is with regret that I inform you of the death of Dr. Duane Brothers. While Dr. Brothers was not a member of our Maranatha Class, he and his wife, Sue, were active members of our Church, touching many of us, personally and professionally, in a great many ways. Please see the comments forwarded by Reverend Paul Staat just moments ago:

“No one can illiterate all the kind, generous, selfless, and wonderful things Duane and Sue Brothers have done in service and mission to others. I know of few who model the mission of the church and the true love of Christ more than Duane and Sue. Our prayers are with Sue and the Brothers family, the New Covenant Sunday School Class, and all those whose lives have been touched by these good souls.

Paul D. Staat
The Boston Avenue Church – United Methodist
1301 South Boston Avenue
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74119
(918) 583-5181 Ext. 133”

Dr. Brothers service will be this Friday, at 2:00 PM in the Church’s sanctuary.

Richard Wansley

Published in: on March 30, 2010 at 6:36 am  Comments Off on Death of Dr. Duane Brothers  

Bob Ronne – update

Noted in my Class E-Mail Report on Sunday, we were informed that class member Bob Ronne had been hospitalized. Brenda Spencer has contacted Bob, and he responded to her saying:

“Thanks for your note. I went into the hospital last Tuesday. Had 3 procedures to get ready for the biggie which was Wednesday. Had a deliberator/pace maker implanted and was released Thursday. This was all preplanned and everything went fine. So now I have a restart switch. I feel great just have a couple of incisions to heal up and I will be good to go.”

Please remember Bob in your prayers, and feel free to contact him.

Richard Wansley

Published in: on March 30, 2010 at 6:35 am  Comments Off on Bob Ronne – update  

Death of Pat Webre’s mother

It is with regret that I inform you of the death of Pat Webre’s mother within the past few days. Pat and her husband, Neville, were active members of class and are friends with many individuals in our class, and friends to the Maranatha Class as a whole. We miss them in our group!

Please keep Pat and Neville in your prayers. Pat has informed Lynn Russell that they have no other needs at this time. If you wish to drop Pat a note, her address is:

[removed for privacy — please see the class roster – brm]

Richard Wansley

Published in: on March 30, 2010 at 6:34 am  Comments Off on Death of Pat Webre’s mother  

Maranatha, March 21, 2010

“Every Spring is the only Spring, a perpetual astonishment.” Ellis Peters (aka, Edith Mary Pargeter) – Mystery Writer

Yesterday was the first day of Spring, and as Ellis Peters pointed out, we were “…astonished” by a snowy beginning of the season, especially since it followed a 70+ degree Friday! With snow still on the ground and winds blowing hard, we had a warm Sunday morning at Maranatha! Somewhat smaller in size than usual, the class celebrated Spring with a refreshment table filled with flowers and colorful napkins, healthy snacks and those other tasty items as well. Our thanks go out to Brenda and David Worthington for a lovely setup and Beverly North for her contributions to the goodies.

Several birthdays were acknowledged, including those of Suzanne Anderson (3/22), Doug Tye (3/26), Eric Green (3/27), Suzy Morgan (3/27), and Linda Nicks (3/27). Two anniversaries were noted as well, including Debbie and Neal Pascoe whose celebration is today (3/21), and Sue and Keith Madden whose anniversary is on March 24th.

We had a number of announcements and “joys and concerns”.

On Friday, March 26th (this coming Friday), the annual Maranatha “egg stuffing party” will be held at our classroom beginning at 6:30pm. It’s a “pot-luck” event; so, bring a dish if you’re planning on attending. Also, this year, we ask that you to bring wrapped treats for the eggs; the church will not be providing all the items needed as it has done in the past. Contact Pam Sherman for more information.

Lynn Russell let us know that the Designer Showcase party will be on Monday, April 19th. This was an auction item, but it’s open to all those who wish to be added to the list (however, a contribution will be required if you have not already previously paid for this event). Contact Lynn for more information.

Several concerns were shared with us, including the death of Bill Gertsen’s father, William Marvin Gertsen. We learned later in the hour that Bob Ronne was hospitalized with heart complaints. Pam Sherman shared a concern for a friend and co-worker, Tom. Concerns were also expressed for those who are struggling with finding employment and others learning about losing their jobs. Please remember all these people, their families, and close ones in your prayers.

Joys were shared with the class as well. Paul Staat will go before the Board of Ordained Ministries this week as one of the final tests toward completion of his Seminary studies. Remember, Paul, we’re all with you; you’re in our thoughts and prayers. “You can do it!”

Denny Meredith-Orr let us know that Suzy has been chosen to play the rehearsal piano for Tulsa’s Light Opera. Congratulations, Suzy! Pam Sherman’s son has found a new position as a chef. Word is that Judith Payton is still progressing following her surgery.

Janet Purinton announced that she will become a grandmother in August! Meredith Wansley reported that she and Richard will be adding to their family, another grandchild is expected in October.

The Reverend Bill Tankersley provided our lesson today, teaching us about some of key characteristics of the Roman Empire at the time of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Reverend Tankersley will continue his discussion next week, Palm Sunday, focusing on the symbolism of Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem in that last week of his mortal life.

Join us next week and the following Sunday, Easter! What better time is there than Holy Week to invite friends and family members to visit with us at Maranatha! If we haven’t seen you in class recently, please come see us. We’ve missed you, and look forward to welcoming you home!

Remember, also, that Easter Sunday is a “brunch Sunday” at Maranatha. Ed Payton has graciously agreed to give us an Easter devotional message. Thank you, Ed.

Enjoy the week; see you soon!

Richard Wansley and Meredith Davison Wansley

Published in: on March 30, 2010 at 6:30 am  Comments Off on Maranatha, March 21, 2010  
Tags: , , , , ,

Maranatha, March 14, 2010

“Be kind to those who meet you as you rise, you may pass them again as you fall”
Irish Proverb

About 70 or so people joined us today to hear from Dr. Sandra Costen Kunz, a professor at Phillips Theological Seminary, present her lesson, entitled “The Human Spirit We Nurture in Christian Education: A Human Part or a Human Capacity?”. It was a fascinating, thoughtful presentation that challenged us to consider the role of our biology, specifically the workings of the brain, in the formation of our spiritual self. She help us better appreciate the importance of our “Christian community” and Christian eduation in modelling the principles taught us by Jesus, speculating about how this process triggers our “spiritual gene”, a unique quality of humans, that connects us with God. Thank you, Dr. Kunz; we hope you will join us, again, in the future. And, our appreciation to class member Ginny Walker in our class who has facilitated invitations to Phillips Seminary faculty members who have been sharing their scholarship with us.

Prior to Dr. Kunz’s lesson, we celebrated several birthdays, Joe Harris (3/18), Susan Panciera (3/19), and Meredith Davison Wansley (3/20), and one anniversary, Jeanie and Richard Payton (3/14). A lovely and very appropriate St. Patrick’s Day theme adorned our table of delicious refreshments. Christi and Kraemer Luks prepared the table and provided the healthy snacks, including muffins with “green” zucchini. Yummy! Bill Gertsen tempted us (and many of us yielded to the temptation) with guilty snacks – donuts, donuts! Thanks, Christi, Kraemer, and Bill for the snacks and serving as greeters.

Beverly North, who has done a marvelous job with organizing refreshmens and greeters needs your help; more volunteers are needed for future weeks. Please contact Beverly at bevjnorth(at)

We had two visitors, Adam Wood and Melissa Young. Please join us, again, at any time!

Several announcements were made by class members. Darlene Lorenz asked for help with moving furniture at Exodus House, next Saturday, March 20th, at 3:00pm. Pam Sherman told us that we can join her and others to “stuff Easter eggs”, an annual Maranatha project, on Friday evening, March 26th. Contact Pam for additional information. Denny Meredith-Orr announced that our class will be helping with the Church’s Habitat for Humanity project on either April 10th or 17th. More later on this opportunity to serve.

David and Susan Rose informed us that they have learned of yet another grandchild that is expected in the future, the second of such announcements for two weeks in a row. John Sherman’s mother was hosptalized but is now successfully recovering from her illness. John also let us know that he has a contract on the sale of his house; he has been looking forward to its sale for some time.

Lynn Russell asks that we all “save the date” for an evening at the Designer Showcase, scheduled for April 19th, from 7:00pm to 9:00pm.

Ginny Walker share a prayer and meditation with us this morning following announcements.

If you there this morning, it was great fellowship and education, as you well know. If you were unable to be with us this morning, we missed you, and recommend that you check out our website ( for what’s going on in the future. Also, Dr. Kunz’s lesson will be posted on our podcast soon; look for it at

Next Sunday and the following week (Palm Sunday), we will have Reverend Bill Tankersley as our teacher. Later this week, I’ll send you an announcement about his topic. Remember that Easter Sunday will a “brunch Sunday” for us. Have a blessed week!

Richard Wansley and Meredith Davison

Published in: on March 16, 2010 at 6:50 am  Comments Off on Maranatha, March 14, 2010  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Maranatha, March 7, 2010

“If you have health, you probably will be happy, and if you have health and happiness, you have all the wealth you need, even if it is not all you want.”
Elbert Hubbard, American writer, publisher, artist, and philosopher (1856 – 1915)

Elbert Hubbard made the above statement about 100 years ago, demonstrating that, even then, there was debate regarding health care and how much you need versus how much you want. Earlier today, Michael Lapolla, a professor at OU-Tulsa, presented to our class on the standards that he uses to “score” health care reform proposals. He also informed us about several local efforts to serve those in our community who are uninsured or under-insured, the Unused Prescription Medicine program and the Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner’s State Coverage Intiative, the latter which is designed to subsidize insurance coverage for many who cannot otherwise afford health insurance.

Following Mr. Lapolla’s presentation, there was a long line of Class members who sought more conversation with him. Several members asked if it were possible to set up a special event at the Church to allow more time to hear and talk about this important issue that is currently much in the news and our thoughts. I’ll be speaking with our Church officials and Mr. Lapolla to see if this option might be feasible.

Several celebrations were noted in class, Kendall Carpenter’s birthday (3/8), as well as Michelle & Kirk Place’s anniversary (3/7) and Pam & John Sherman’s anniversary (3/10). Our Greeters who also provided tasty refreshments were Kendall & David Carpenter and Nancy & Joey Manduano. Dave and Carol Grimm are no longer visitors, they are MEMBERS! Welcome Dave and Carol! Other visitors for some or all of today were Ashley Ann Payton and Alexis Brownlee. Come back, anytime!

Denny Meredith-Orr reported on the mission “painting party” on Saturday at Exodus House. Thank you to all those Class members and your families who helped with this important Methodist program yesterday. In April, our Class will be invited to help with the Habitat for Humanity houses being built jointly by Christians, Jews, and Muslims in Tulsa. Stay tuned for more information from Denny on this opportunity.

Sharon Earley reported that the Funds Committee met earlier this morning to begin its deliberations on distribution of those dollars raised at our annual Christmas auction. The next meeting will be held at 9:00am, Sunday, March 21st, in our classroom, prior to Sunday School. If you wish to nominate a candidate for our funds, please send an E-mail or other message to Sharon (sharon.earley(at) or Richard Wansley (richard.wansley(at) Please be specific about the interest and the amount of funds that you are recommending. Be reminded that our agreed upon policy regarding funds distribution prioritizes our own Church’s needs, then Methodist interests, and finally, other community programs or projects.

An unusual joy was reported by Ginny Walker. A baby was born at “Methodist Manor” this past week! Yes, a baby! Apparently, a staff member unexpectedly give birth at the Manor before being able to get to the hospital. The child who is doing well was dutifully named “Miracle” by the parents. Other joys included Beverly’s report of having finally found a teaching job, and Judith Payton who is recovering with success following surgery. It’s a blessing to us to share your joys with you!

Concerns were expressed for Lynn’s friend, Nancy, who has suffered a massive stroke, children at Sharon’s school whose parents were killed recently, and Jim’s friends who are struggling with post-traumatic stress. William gave us an update on his health; he’s been dealing with chest pains without any meaningful diagnosis from physicians. Gabriele’s mother has had a heart attack, and Gabriele is heading back to her mother’s home to help as best she can. Our thoughts and prayers are with all these people, family, and friends mentioned here and reported this morning. If you wish members to know about concerns that our Class might address, please contact our Caranatha Chairs, Karen Campbell or Barbara Meehan.

Lynn Russell gave our prayer before the presentation by Mr. Lapolla.

Next week, our teacher will be Professor Sandra Costen Kunz, Phillips Theological Seminary, who will address the topic entitled, “The Human Spirit We Nurture in Christian Education: A Human “Part” or a Human “Capacity”?” We do so hope that you will be with us next week. Have a marvelous week!

Don’t forget to check out our website from time to time, http:

Richard Wansley and Meredith Davison

*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 March 7, 2010 at 6:01 pm  Comments Off on Maranatha, March 7, 2010  
Tags: , , , ,