NEO Team Update 2-18-21
Dear NEO District family,
What a year we have had! Almost a year ago we began to hear about this new virus in China. We had no idea how much our world would be impacted. Add to that racial unrest, political turmoil, hurricanes, forest fires and now the ice and cold. It has been quite a ride!
But the church has been resilient. We have adapted. We have learned new skills. We have leaned into the Word of God and the Spirit of God to find direction, hope and peace. We have found new ways to care for one another and to reach out in compassion to our communities. I know it has been incredibly discouraging at times, but you have persevered. I am so grateful for the faithful pastors and laity of the NEO District!
Reasons to Celebrate
Church/Pastor Reviews. Three of our churches had extremely positive church/pastor reviews in January. It is wonderful to see churches honoring one another and united in mission. Congratulations to Pastor David Stevens and Vinita Church, Pastor Jim Johnson and Barnsdall, and Pastor Brady Thelander and Sapulpa Church.
The Church is still reaching out and people are experiencing God’s transforming touch. Pastor Mark Smith, Drumright, reported recently: Last week I met a father and son in Yale. I’m starting a Bible study there. They were doubting God’s existence. As the night went on I was able to lead the son, about 30 years old, to faith in Christ. The dad was avoiding me and saying nasty stuff about me. People in Yale asked me to go talk to him again because he is lost and confused. I went to his home and, to my surprise, he invited me into his house. A few minutes later we prayed the prayer of faith together.
Let’s share with one another how God is at work! I saw that Scott Dermer and Tulsa Central took in 13 new members two Sundays ago! Tim Odom tells me he is enjoying the greatest days of ministry he has ever experienced at Collinsville. Jim Johnson has welcomed new people and Barnsdall’s attendance is up over last year, even with some staying away because of Covid-19! Pawhuska and Mannford are experiencing good days with interim pastors Jon Stoe and Kevin Williams! A new Immigration Ministry is beginning on the district with individuals from nine NEO churches!
Tulsa Regency Park has called a new pastor during the pandemic – Rev. Bryan and Louann Davis will begin ministering there the week of Palm Sunday.
Would you take a minute to drop me a quick email to let me know how God is working within your church family and community?
New Start Ministry
As we come out of the pandemic over the next several months, churches will be giving attention to what they have learned during this past year that we now have in our toolbox and can utilize as we revitalize our ministries. We also want to give support for strategic new starts over the next 12 months. God has been burdening a young family to help us start a new work in Cushing. Who do you know in the Cushing area that we could reach out to and share the vision of this church? Would you like to be a prayer partner for this young leader as he develops a vision and plan for ministry?
We also ask the District family to join us in prayer for God to raise up leaders and a core in the Glenpool area for a new start. Which adventurous people of faith would like to join us in this mission field? Will you join us in prayer for God to raise up the right leadership for this important new work?
Coweta The Way of Jesus the Nazarene, a restart church, is making progress on the construction of their new building. Watch Video. Who do you know that needs to connect with this vibrant congregation as they prepare to utilize this tool for ministry? Let’s pray for Pastor Steven Lester and this growing fellowship.
2021 Calendar Changes
District Assembly & NMI Convention – July 30-31 at Tulsa Central Church!
NYI Extravaganza at SNU – May 28-29
Youth Camp – June 1-5
Kids Camp – July 23-26
Please put this on your church and personal calendars.
NEO continues to have a global impact!
Several years ago a few teams from Tulsa Central and Northeast Oklahoma helped build a District Center in Riobamba, Ecuador. God continues to use that investment to bear fruit, as you will see in the article below. NEO – we share in the harvest! Isn’t it a privilege to be a part of a global church!
Harvesting in the Midst of Pandemic
(NCSA Ecuador) The Church of the Nazarene in North Riobamba, in the Sierra Centro District of Ecuador is pastored by Pastor Mayra Robalino and her husband Mario Paredes who serves as District Superintendent. On January, 31, 2021, the church celebrated a grand harvest through an exciting baptism event… Read More
Make the Dream Act more than a dream, finally
February 10, 2021, by Brenda Kirk
Dreamers are young people brought to the United States as infants, toddlers or young children by their parents. This, above all other immigration issues, long has been the focus of our broken immigration system.
The Dream Act first was introduced in the U.S. Senate in 2001, twenty years ago. Think about where you were and what you were doing twenty years ago. These children now are working adults with families of their own.
A Dream Act has been on the floor of the Senate every year since 2001. Why? Because there is a biblical principle at play here. Read More
NYI Leadership Training
NEO will be joining together in Bartlesville to be together during this training March 1-2. Of course, you can stay home and do this but it will be a lot more fun being together. Register HERE
Children’s Leaders Retreat
March 6 or April 24
Instead of an NEO Ladies Retreat this year, we invite all ladies on the district to attend THRiVE2021 — a FREE virtual OR in-person ladies retreat. THRiVE creates an atmosphere for ladies of all ages to gather for worship, fellowship, and renewal.
Why attend THRiVE?
- Because sometimes it’s hard to hear God’s voice above the noise of everyday life.
- Because meeting together spurs us on to “love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24.)
- Standing side by side with our sisters in Christ, worshipping, praying, and learning about our precious Savior makes us stronger.
When we attend THRiVE, we physically remove ourselves from many of life’s distractions in order to make space for God. Even Jesus recognized the value and need to getaway. And it’s just plain fun to have a girl’s weekend! More info
SNU Sunday on NEO
Although every plan we make these days is tentative, we are targeting Sunday, April 18 as Southern Nazarene University Sunday on the NEO District. We would ask every church to use one of the videos provided by SNU in your morning service and include the University, President Newman, administrators, faculty, staff and students in your prayer. It would be a good time to thank your church for their faithful giving to support the mission of SNU.
Sunday evening, we hope to have a District-wide service at Tulsa Central with University Singers, two groups from the Worship Arts’ class, and Rev. Dr. Lena Crouso speaking. Dr. Crouso serves as the Chief Diversity Officer in the Office of Intercultural Learning and Engagement, and she is also an ordained Elder in the Church of the Nazarene. Dr. Crouso is the daughter of Asian-Indian immigrants and states that her journey from Hinduism to Christ along with her diverse life path has given her a heart and mind for the empowerment of all people through intercultural understanding and a desire to lead people in spiritual and emotional ways, empowering students to move towards social transformation and freedom.