2017 Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference
The Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference met June 8-11 at the Southeast Region Center in Antlers, Oklahoma.
Officiating bishop: Bishop James “Jimmy” Nunn officiated his first annual conference with the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference. The conference is held under an open air tabernacle and whole families come to conference.
Guest speakers and memorable points or quotes by speakers: We were welcomed to the Southeast Region of Oklahoma by Choctaw Chief Gary Batton; Assistant Chief Jack Austin Jr.; and Jack Austin Sr., representative of District 7. The district superintendents as well as the treasurer of the Oklahoma Conference attended and addressed the conference.
Two churches were closed with the succession of property placed with the Conference Board of Trustees. Offerings received from three worship services will go to help support the continued efforts of the Standing Rock Tribe and water protectors as they work to protect their water and raise awareness around the world regarding our natural resources.
A resolution calling for support and activities for the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages (2019) was unanimously approved. Upon approval of this resolution the conference will give special recognition to those dedicated elders and committed youth who are working tirelessly to keep their heritage languages alive, organized events will be held to celebrate our languages in order to raise awareness about the deep crisis for our original languages.
Three people were ordained with an average age of 57. Two clergy retirees were recognized.
Membership stands at 6029, down 32 from 2015.
Worship attendance stands at 1880, down 132 from 2015.
Church school attendance stands at 864, down 48 from 2015.
Professions or reaffirmations of faith for 2016: 73, down 7 from 2015.
Worshippers engaged in mission for 2016: 382, down 70 from 2015.
The conference discussed what had been done to support the Four Areas of Focus and the responses will be used to work from throughout the quadrennium.
— Josephine Deere, director of Interpretation and Programs/Connectional Ministries, Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference