NEO Team Update 1-11-21
It’s been a challenging week. Between continued stress and devastation caused by the pandemic and this week’s political unrest, our nation is hurting. How timely that our denomination’s leaders—the Board of General Superintendents—have called upon us to join with our Christian brothers and sisters around the world for a week of prayer and fasting for our hurting nation and world. I would love for every one of you to join me this week. Their full message and a prayer focus for each day are below.
I saw a quote last week that I remember like this: All the darkness of the world cannot extinguish the light of one candle. Many of us held a candle in the darkness a few weeks ago as we celebrated the truth that Jesus, the light of the world, has come. The world cannot extinguish his light! And God’s plan is for all of us to reflect that light in our neighborhoods and cities. That will only happen as we lean into Him, walk in humility with Him and stay connected to Him, the source of our light. As we do so, all the darkness of the world cannot extinguish our light!
Thank you for joining me in prayer and fasting this week. I’m grateful to be a part of the NEO family with you!
A Message from the Nazarene Board of General Superintendents
What happens in one part of the world is not isolated but impacts us all. This is certainly true as we reflect upon the pandemic and the ways in which it has touched the whole world. This can also be said of political unrest, which creates uncertainty and destabilization around the globe. It is in these precarious times that God’s people turn toward the sure and certain hope that is found in Jesus Christ.
As followers of Jesus, we seek ways to be loving, forgiving, and charitable. In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, He reminds us: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9). He continues by telling us that we are called to be salt and light in our world: “… let your light shine before people, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
Like the Lord we follow, we are called to be peacemakers and to have a positive impact as salt and light in our world. This cannot be done apart from God’s grace experienced through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, the Board of General Superintendents is calling the global Church of the Nazarene to a week of prayer and fasting beginning on Monday, 11 January. When the church joins in prayer and acts in unanimity with Jesus’ vision, we are assured that God will do what we cannot.
Please, join us each day [this] week as we focus on the need for spiritual renewal within the Church and for healing the great divides in our world.
Monday — Pray for spiritual renewal and revival to come to the Church.
Tuesday — Pray for peace and opportunities to show Christ’s love to others.
Wednesday — Pray for the persecuted church around the world and for our missionaries.
Thursday — Pray for those who are suffering as a result of the global pandemic.
Friday — Pray for unity among God’s people and for healing across the nations.
Saturday — Pray for those who have yet to come to faith in Jesus Christ.
Sunday — Pray for the Holy Spirit to fill us again so that we may be empowered to be Christlike in this world.
—Board of General Superintendents
We are hoping to have a Southern Nazarene University (SNU) Sunday on April 18 with a District-wide Sunday evening service and two music groups from SNU. This will, of course, depend upon progress in our battle with Covid-19.
Despite this unusual year, we remain passionately focused on the mission of making Christlike disciples. Cohort groups will soon be reading and discussing the book, Fueling the Nazarene Movement with Love. We are anticipating 2021 with optimism and hope.
Immigrants are transforming the church in the United States. Immigrant congregations are growing faster than any other segment of evangelical churches. In addition, immigration presents a great mission at our doorstep, allowing us to reach the nations without leaving our neighborhoods.
A group of five members of our District have felt a burden to explore starting an Immigration Center in NEO. We are planning to meet with Arlita Harris who helped start an Immigration Center at Western Oaks Church of the Nazarene in OKC and with leaders in Tulsa who have done the same. We are also planning a zoom study of the book, Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion & Truth in the Immigration Debate by Matthew Soerens. If you would like to join us in this discussion, in the meetings or in the book study, contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Pastor John Hazelton came out of retirement to lead the Horton Chapel Church in a refocusing effort in 2012. On March 15, 2021, on his 87th birthday, Pastor John is going to retire again. Under Pastor John’s leadership, the wonderful laity of Horton Chapel, now Meeker Country Faith Church of the Nazarene, expanded their impact upon the community. A new building was purchased on Hwy. 177, getting the church off a gravel road, and thousands of people drive by the debt-free facility each week. We thank God that he uses men and women of all ages to bring renewal to his church. And we pray blessings on Pastor John on his second retirement (is this a second work of grace?)
This is such an exciting week in the life of Martha’s Foundation and Tulsa Hills Church (THC). One year ago, walls were being painted and cabinets cleaned in preparation for the grand opening. Now a year later, we join THC in celebrating God’s faithful guidance and provision in their partnership with Myrtle Watson and her team ministering to precious mothers and their children. Take a moment to watch the news coverage: New home for teen girls opens in Tulsa.
The Skiatook Parsonage Makeover is progressing with the painting started last Saturday working on the ceilings. Early this week a couple of guys are there trying to prep the window sills and door facings for painting, and even painting them with the finish coat. If they have time they will then begin to do the cutting around the edges of the ceiling and wall to prepare for the wall paint, which could be done this weekend by a group of 5-6 volunteers.
When this phase is completed we will need volunteers to install the vinyl plank flooring in the bathrooms, hallway and entry and the large living area/ kitchen.
Separately we will be painting the kitchen cabinets, so if there is a person able to take on that specialty task we would like to hear from you.
Installation of the new Formica countertops will be needed in a few weeks.
Then install backsplash tile for the kitchen.
Additional tasks will include:
- Cleaning windows and Installing Window treatments
- Rescreening the window screens
- Scrubbing some vinyl siding
- Patching some cement mortar joints around the windows (outside)
- Cleanup of the fence line and removal of some holly bushes
- Converting the garage room to a double door garage
- Moving dirt to the back yard to fill in some holes
- Replacing light fixtures/ ceiling fans
- General landscaping
Anyone who would like to volunteer for themselves or others please contact Jerry Wilburg at 918.607.8561.