NEO Team Update 4-14-23
Dear NEO Family,
I love hearing how God is at work. Below are reports from a few of our pastors who are celebrating a great Easter and Holy Week:
Pastor Drew Dinnel, Muskogee Church. We had had 132+ in attendance, 2 baptisms and a glow in the dark Easter egg hunt and experience. We are also looking at taking in 15 members: 11 new and 4 by transfer in the next few weeks.
Pastor David Stevens, Vinita. We had 30 in attendance. A wonderful sense of the presence of God. Johnny Borgstrom sang a beautiful special song about the Blood. As we get close to the end of the year we will be celebrating all that God has done in our Annual Celebration of Ministries on April 23.
Pastor Steve Spangenberg, Bartlesville. We have been blessed to be able to carry some incredible momentum into our Easter weekend this year. God truly anointed our time; we had 860 people over 4 services! Not only that, but our altars were full, and transformation was happening. Now we’re getting ready for our Welcome Party this Sunday and our end-of-the-church-year celebration with Membership and Baptism on April 30! God is on the move!
Pastor Brady Thelander, Sapulpa. We celebrated Easter with 3 baptisms, a community breakfast and Easter egg hunt. As we normally do, we met many new guests and families for the first time. Most of all, though, I’m proud of our people who served so selflessly all throughout Holy Week.
Pastor Tim Odom, Collinsville. Easter Sunday in the old building (sanctuary still unusable after water damage). Standing room only. Even the kitchen was packed out. At least 250 with the ones we could see to count. A great day in the Lord.
Pastor Ronnie Baker, Tulsa Audacity. On Passover weekend, Audacity Church set a new record for attendance, up 25% from last year. Seven people were baptized on Sunday, bringing our total since January to 14 new followers of Jesus!
Pastor Brian Loderhose, Owasso Silver Creek. We experienced the excitement of the RISEN LORD in a combined service with our Hispanic church. With 140 in attendance, we baptized two, and the spirit of joy was overwhelming. Samantha Correa sang as her little sister was baptized. We ended with an Easter egg hunt and pictures.
Pastor Steven Lester, Coweta The Way of the Nazarene. Our morning began at 6:45 am – while it was still dark- where 30 of us gathered to celebrate the empty tomb. There is coming a day when we gather in our new building to celebrate the resurrection of the Church of the Nazarene in Coweta. We had nearly 100 assemble for breakfast at 9:30 with Worship following. Bryan Davis preached a great resurrection message!
We only had two visitors from out of town. There is coming a day soon when that many and more will gather! God is at work!
Pastor Clark Howe, Tulsa Regency Park. What an amazing weekend! It started with the Easter Egg Hunt. Our folks stuffed 20,000 eggs and then scattered them onto the fields at Aaronson Park across the street. Each team performed at a high level of organization and excellence. Congrats to Pastor Brianna for a well-organized and wonderfully implemented event with well over 220 kids participating and 500 people watching the kids scoop up these candy-laden Easter eggs. For our Easter Just-Past-Sunrise Service we had 65 in attendance. And who knows how many attended our Easter Fellowship Breakfast – I just know that those who were there filled up on food and people connections. It was a great time to be together. Great job to Linda Cox and her team for making this happen! Many new faces and some returning faces attended our Easter Worship Service. Our total in Worship was 195, and many more joined us online. Praise the Lord!
Pastor Josh Duell, Tulsa Ecclesia (New Start, House Church Movement). We had a wonderful passover service and seder prior to Easter where we remembered what Jesus means to us. We had 28 people (5 new guests) attend which makes for a very full house!
HALF-MILLION MOBILIZATION 2023
We continue as a people that prays…
We enter into our second year with another Call to Prayer from Easter (4/9) to Pentecost (5/28). The feedback has been resounding after praying through Pentecost 2022, that we must pray again every year! Oh, the unifying effects of praying together.
We also heard from the Spirit; our church must focus on each of the elements below for our vision in the USA/Canada Region, Church of the Nazarene.
There emerged four heart-cries for the USA/Canada Region, Church of the Nazarene:
- The importance of “mobilizing all Nazarenes in unity” in the midst of a polarized world.
- The calling of our churches to engage in “blessing our communities,” to get out from behind our walls to be salt and light in our culture.
- A passion for “bringing people to Jesus,” especially younger generations.
A longing for the transformation of the whole person, “becoming Christlike disciples” mobilized to make a holy, positive impact in our world.
The next four years, the NEO District will focus on these “heart cries” from our people. There will be a yearly emphasis on each one, but we hope to resource and challenge NEO churches annually in all four areas, what we call The Cycle to Resurgence, praying that the vision within the district becomes reality.
District Assembly 2023’s theme is “Vision Reset”
We will focus on the four elements of this cycle in the reports of the Pastors’ and District Superintendent.
You won’t want to miss this time of reporting victories and casting vision!!