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2007 Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference

June 7-10, 2007, Preston, Okla.

"Christ Centered - Spirit Led" was the theme of the 165th session of the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference. Bishop Robert E. Hayes Jr. led the conference with inspiring preaching and leadership.

Members of the conference celebrated the formation of a fifth new fellowship at Glenpool, Okla. The Rev. Mike Chaffin, Tulsa District superintendent, presented the Rev. Margaret Battiest, OIMC Northern District superintendent, with the keys to an abandoned church that will be leased to the conference for the new fellowship. Approximately $1,700 was collected in offerings that will help support the new fellowships.

A special service June 9 focused on children's choirs that sang only tribal songs. The children's performance was met with tremendous applause.

In a business session, the conference passed a resolution calling for balance and respect in Oklahoma Centennial celebration events, asking for fair depictions of both history and current conditions within the state. The resolution also asked for the retirement of Indian mascots and a moratorium on re-enactments of Oklahoma land run events in public schools.

The members contributed the conference's rebate from the United Methodist Publishing House to the Nothing But Nets anti-malaria campaign.

The conference was once again recognized for payment of 100 percent of general church apportionments.

The Rev. David Wilson was elected as the clergy delegate and Josephine Deere was elected as the lay delegate to General Conference, the denomination's top legislative body, which meets in spring 2008.

Two elders were ordained at annual conference.

Membership stands at 6,220, down 17 members. Worship attendance stands at 2,034, down 22.

- The Rev. David Wilson