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2012 Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference

Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference
June 7-10, Anadarko, Okla.

The smell of cedar for the blessing of a brand new tabernacle, its dedication and the smudging of those in attendance beginning with the bishop of the Oklahoma Area, Bishop Robert Hayes Jr., set the tone for the 170th Session of the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference annual conference. Conference was held at the Southwest Region Center, Anadarko, Okla., June 7-10. Hayes was the preacher for all worship services.

With the theme "Renewing Ourselves for Transformation through prayer, proclamation and witness" the opening ceremonies began with the presentation of flags. The American flag, which was carried proudly by Mrs. Ramona Gooday, a Marine veteran, and the Christian flag presented by Deacon Mrs. Delana McNac, were followed by the flags of the 39 Federally Recognized Nations of Oklahoma. Also included in the procession were the flags of Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas, the states where the 87 churches are located. Serving as worship leader was Marcus Briggs-Cloud, a member of the Miccosukee Creek Nation and member of Norman First American UMC.

Fifteen persons who participated in the Lay Missionary Planting Network were recognized and four were deployed during the reading of the appointments Sunday noon. Five ministerial candidates were presented during worship on Friday evening and received their appointments on Sunday.

A lengthy discussion was held following the recommendation of the course to be taken concerning the Judicial Council's determination at General Conference that the apportionment formula for missionary conferences that the General Council on Finance and Administration has followed was unconstitutional. After having participated in an Act of Repentance to the indigenous persons of the church, the church turns right around and lowers this bombshell on the missionary and language conferences.

The conference also:

  • Celebrated the retirement of three clergy with a total of 62 years of service.
  • Celebrated our language retention program with the children on Saturday evening with eight children/youth choirs and two solos. All songs presented were in the participant's own tribal language. Certificates of participation were given to the churches that participated and all participants received a $5 gift card from Braum's Ice Cream.

Offerings received from the three nights of worship went to support the Native American Children's Fund, the Lay Missionary Planting Network and Clinton Indian Church and Community Center. Sunday's offering went to the host to help with the expense of annual conference.

The 2013 budget of $1,059,184 was approved. Membership stands at 6,177, down 19; average worship attendance 2,127, up 168; average Sunday School attendance stands at 999, up 21.

* Josephine Deere, Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference