Maranatha, April 25, 2010

“Even if you’re on the right tack, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
Will Rogers

We had a great group of members today with a few visitors, including Pat Herron, Alexis Brownlee and Erin Meehan. We recognized one birthday, Brenda Worthington (5/1), and one anniversary, Margaret and Dave Been (5/1). Art and Karen Campbell as well as Lynn and Shari Goodwin were our greeters and brought delicious snacks. Thanks!

Pam Sherman noted that the response to the proposed May social opportunity, joining the church outing to a Drillers baseball game, has not generated much interest. She is exploring other options including group tickets to see “12 Angry Men”, a Theater Tulsa production. Pam will report to us next week about this and other possibilities.

Joys and concerns were shared with us, including the news that the Shermans have now, finally, secured contracts to sell both of their houses that they have had on the market for some time. Denzil is selling his ’66 Mustang; contact him if you have an interest. Erin Meehan thanked the class for our financial contribution to the VIM trip to Nicaraugra, enabling her to join this mission.

Suzy Meredith-Orr was missing this morning, and Denny reported that she had hurt her back and is home recuperating. We hope to see Suzy back with us again soon! Also, keep the Russells in your thoughts and prayers as they continue to recover from the theft at their home during our Sunday School hour last week.

Paula Scott led us in prayer; thank you, Paula.

Dr. Gary Peluso-Verdend completed his 2-part series contrasting the world of yesterday with the world of today as seen by our youth. Influence of technology, expectations for one approach our faith and beliefs, and other observations yielded much conversation by members as well as questions and responses by Dr. Peluso. Thanks, Gary, for a thought-provoking presentation.

We have an exciting May 2010 line-up of speakers/teachers, including:

  • May 2nd, Ann Smith, Executive Director for Tulsa’s Neighbor for Neighbor agency,
  • May 9th, Mother’s Day Presentation by Maranatha Women (Contact Meredith at meredith-davison if you are interested in making a 5 to 10 minute oral presentation regarding your Mother or being a Mother; Meredith will help you better understand what she has in mind when you contact her),
  • May 16th and May 23rd, Professor Susanna Southard, Phillips Theologica Seminary,
  • May 30th, our own Virginia (Ginny) Walker (her lesson will be given during our 5th Sunday Brunch).

Have a great week! See you on Sunday; bring your friends and family!

Richard Wansley and Meredith Davison

Published in: on April 25, 2010 at 6:53 pm  Comments Off on Maranatha, April 25, 2010  
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Maranatha, April 18, 2010

“Today the world changes so quickly that in growing up we take leave not just of youth but of the world we were young in.”
Peter Medawar (Nobel Prize Winning Zoologist, 1960)

Our Quote of the Day above was appropriate to our Class’ lesson this morning, delivered by Dr. Gary Peluso-Verdend, President, Phillips Theological Seminary. Gary began a two part series entitled, “Adolescents and Christianity in the United States: A Look Back Since WWII.” This moring, he acquainted us with the many ways in which young people of today are growing up in an environment different from many of us, older folks; he particulary pointed out the influence of technology on adolescents. Dr. Peluso-Verdend has set the stage for next weeks lesson discussing the relationship of these factors to the formation of values, ethics, and faith.

Prior to our lesson, we celebrated two birthdays this week, Mickey Maus (4/19) and Sarah Smith (4/23), and two anniversaries, Mary & Charlie Ninde (4/22) and Anita & Mark Rounds (4/23). Greeters who also brought great refreshments were Julie & Jeff Evans and Suzy & Denny Meredith-Orr. Congratuations to those celebrating special days, and thank you for the delicious food!

Nancy Morgan was a visitor for the last time; she now is a member! Welcome, Nancy! Our other visitors were Mary and Ed, parents of Susan Panciera. Mary and Ed, come again.

Lot’s of announcements were heard today. Suzy Meredith-Orr announced that Maranatha Class members have contributed 207 hours toward missions benefitting 450 people since January. Great job, Maranatha, and our thanks to Suzy and Denny for coordinating this activities!

“Dinners/Lunch for 8” groups will begin again this month. If you have signed up, then you’re in a group. If you haven’t signed up, then contact Pam Sherman for an assignment for this month. Also, contact Pam if you are interested in attending the May social event, a Drillers baseball game on May 23rd, immediately following the 11am service (lunch and the game for $20 per person).

Carol Grim showed us beautiful quilts made by her church quilting group, an activity supported in part by the Maranatha Class. She announced that one the quilts will be donated to Apartment M, Exodus House, another mission our our Class. Thanks, Carol and all the other quilters!

A special request was announced, looking for drivers to assist Disabled American Veterans access medical visits and other services. If you are interested in volunteering, call 628-2607.

We had a number of concerns mentioned this morning, the death of a friend and work colleague, illnesses of family and friends, the death of a grandson of a church member, a family who is facing a stressful legal matter, and a joy for a son who is to receive a fellowship to study for his PhD. Those in class this morning heard these concerns and joys; if you were not able to attend, please speak with me or another member about details about these expressions of joys and concerns.

Jim Embrey lead us in prayer following our announcement, joys and concerns.

Beginning next week, we will be asking all those who wish to have their specific joys and concerns placed in the weekly Class Report to write them down for us so that we can make certain that we get the correct details.

We’re always happy to have a large number of members as we did this morning, but we miss those of you who could not join us today. Come when you can, keep in touch! Have a wonderful, blessed week! Gary Peluso-Verdend will be our teacher again next week, completing his teaching series.

Richard Wansley and Meredith Davison

Published in: on April 18, 2010 at 6:21 pm  Comments Off on Maranatha, April 18, 2010  
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Maranatha, April 11, 2010

I regret I was unable to send out the regular Report earlier in the week, but work-related demands have prevented me from do so. But, here it is now:

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Our teacher/presenter on Sunday was Reverend Stan Basler, Director of the Criminal Justice and Mercy Ministries for the Oklahoma Conference, United Methodist Church. Stan, his wife, and local staff members attended our class; we all listened as he described the New Day Camp, a summer camp for children of incarcerated parents. We were all impressed with this very worthwhile and labor-intensive effort of the UM church that is designed to provide a unique, positive experience for these children while also helping reduce the children’s risk for their own incarceration. Statistics show that children of incarcerated parents are from 7 to 10 times at greater risk of criminal acts later in their lives leading to an incarceration.

Reverend Basler’s presentation was most timely given that Sunday was the day that we made a decision regarding distribuition of our class funds, and New Day Camp was one of our designated beneficiaries. Sharon Earley lead us through a description of the process that the Funds Committee and class has used to date in identifying proposed financial recipients. She then presented the proposal; it was approved by the class without objection. Later this week and, again, on Sunday, a final statement of the distributions will be forwarded to you. Thank you Sharon and your Committee for sheperding a good process and great outcome, and my thanks to all class members who contributed financially to our missions within and outside Boston Avenue!

Prior to Stan’s presentation and approving the funds distribution, we recognized several birthdays and anniversaries: Birthdays – LeeAnne Nichols (4/11), Pam Low (4/14), Jerry Russell (4/15), and Joey Manduano (4/16); Anniversaries – Beth and Bob Winchester (4/11), Ginny and Jerry Walker (4/14), Nancy and Joey Manduano (4/15). Happy Birthday and Congratulations to those celebrating annivesaries!

Pam and John Sherman, Beth and Eric Green provided great refreshments, and welcomed class members and visitors. Thank you!

We had a number of visitors including Jeannine Bezotte, Janet Basler, Nancy Morgan (who we hoping to move from “visitor” to “member” soon), Matt North (Beverly’s husband; come again Matt), Brantley Tillery, Delores Ritter, Pat Herron, Kim Orr, and Darren (sorry, we missed the last name). Great members, great visitors!

There were a number of joys, concerns, and announcements; it was a busy morning. Prayers were asked for concerns that included Katie (and her family), young 33 year old mother of 2-year old twins, who recently started chemo for breast cancer, for Noel Ray who recently suffered a serious stroke, and a friend, Dale, who has been disappointed by the actions of a young woman whom she has been mentoring. We were also reminded of Kaiden, the 2 1/2 year child, who has a brain tumor.

One true joy was Beth sharing with us that Eric has received a “clean bill of health” at his last checkup; indeed, good news! Scott Morgan let us know that his adult child and family are moving back to Tulsa for work; however, Scott let me know as class was ending that they have a need – a good rental house. If you have or know of such rental house, or need information about the need, contact Scott Morgan as soon as possible.

Rob Reck led us in prayer prior to Reverend Basler’s presentation.

Several announcements for your calendars:

  • Our mission to assist with the Interfaith Habitat House is this Saturday, April 17th. Contact Suzy or Denny Meredith-Orr for more information.
  • New “Dinners/Lunchs for Eight” will be formulated soon; Pam Sherman will start sign-ups next week.
  • The May 2010 Class Social will be attending with other Church members a Tulsa Drillers baseball game on Sunday, May 23rd. The game starts at 2:05pm but lunch will be provided to all attendees at the new ONEOK Field immediately following the 11am service. Cost for the lunch and ticket is $20 per person. Contact Pam Sherman for details.
  • For those who purchased the Champagne Bruch with Gary Peluso-Verdend, President, Phillips Theological Seminary is Saturday, April 17th. Contact Ginny Walker, your host, for more information.
  • The Designer Showcase party is Monday evening, 7pm to 9pm, April 19th. If you have not paid and want to attend, the cost is $20 payable to Maranatha Class; contact Lynn Russell for more information.

Next week (April 18th) and the Sunday following (April 25th), Dr. Gary Peluso-Verdend will be our teacher/presenter. Be there, you’re invited; invite others as well!

We had a busy Sunday and lot’s going on; isn’t it great? Hope that I got all the facts straight. If not, let me know.

Richard Wansley

Published in: on April 13, 2010 at 6:08 pm  Comments Off on Maranatha, April 11, 2010  
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Maranatha Class, January 31st and beyond

I am writing to remind you that this Sunday, January 31st, will be a “Brunch”.  That means, you should bring a dish of food as a “potluck” meal to share with everyone; bring as little or as much as you like.  If, for whatever reason, you are not able to bring a food item, then please don’t let this stop you from being there with us for informal social conversation.  The room will be arranged in rounds of tables rather than in the classroom style.

We will have one formal item on the schedule for this Sunday, that is a 15 to 20 minute, live demonstration of our new website by our “webmaster”, Barbara Meehan.  I think you will find this one-stop site for our Class to be a valuable resource should you decided to subscribe to its use.

I also want to give you an idea of how the year is stacking up with regards to Christian education for our Class.  Meredith and I have been working on a schedule that has quality teachers who will lead us in topics that reflect the theological diversity of our class’ membership.  In your evaluation responses, many of you suggested that we invite teachers from within our own Church but also beyond our own walls, especially taking advantage of such resources as Phillips Theological Seminary (PTS).  To that end, we have been moving forward with your suggestions.

Ginny Walker, a fellow Class member, has been instrumental in working to engage PTS faculty members to come to our class.  Thank you, Ginny!  Thus far, we have secured agreements from the following faculty to teach our class: Professors Bernard Brandon Scott, John L. Thomas, and Sandra Costen Kunz.  Phillips President Gary Peluso has also committed to teach for us.  We are negotiating one or more dates for their presentations in future months as well as seeking others from PTS to lead in our education series.

Dr. Scott, the Darbeth Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Phillips, will be teaching on Sunday, February 7th, and we are discussing his topic currently.  When we have defined that subject matter, we will forward more information to you.

Also, we have arranged for ministers at our own Church to teach in our Class including, at present, Debbie Petersen and Bill Crowell.

Finally, we invite those of you who wish to share your faith story or teach in our class to let us know so that we can add you into the year.  We are blessed in our class to have fine teachers who present not only at Boston Avenue but other churches and faith-related venues; we will be asking these folks to teach us as well.  Let us know if you have favorites who we can consider for the year.  Rob Reck will be teaching/reporting to us regarding his trip to England on February 14th, a Valentine’s gift for us all.

See you on Sunday at Maranatha!

Richard Wansley and Meredith Davison

Published in: on January 28, 2010 at 4:34 am  Comments Off on Maranatha Class, January 31st and beyond  
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