NEO Team Update 4-8-20

NEO Team Update 4-8-20

Communication from Dave McKellips, District Superintendent

Dear NEO family,

I want to commend you for the ways you are responding to the coronavirus outbreak and the adjustments you are making to continue body life in the church, all while working to protect people from potential exposure. I know that most of you have cancelled services and group meetings for almost four weeks. Cancelling events, especially associated with Holy Week and Easter, is discouraging! Trying to have creative and wise insights and ideas is exhausting for our leaders. And who knows how long these stay at home rules will be in place.

I suspect many of you will relate to the sentiments of Karl Vaters:

So the church is engaged, active, worshiping and caring for each other.

But I miss the gathering.


You can read his whole article, If “We Don’t Go to Church, We are the Church”, Why Do I Miss Going So Much?

Most of us are becoming regular users of Zoom. Sunday night I had a Zoom gathering with my children and their families. These are amazing people. They are positive and outward oriented. Yet several shared that they had experienced a difficult day or two this past week as the enormity of the adjustments and the things they were missing weighed on them.

I imagine all of us could use a blessing! Monday morning, SNU President, Dr. Keith Newman,  sent the lyrics from a song, “The Blessing”, along with a link to the YouTube song by Elevation Worship featuring Kari Jobe and Cody Carnes. I pass it on to you. Hope you enjoy.

The Lord bless you and keep you,
Make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you.

The Lord turn His Face towards you and give you peace.
May His favor be upon you and a thousand generations.  
Your family and your children and their children and their children.
May His Presence go before you and behind you and beside you.
All around you and within you.
He is with you. He is with you.
In the morning. In the evening. In our coming. In your going.
In your weeping and rejoicing.
He is for you.
He is for you. 

Decisions that have been made

1. District Assembly and Conventions 2020 are cancelled.

The Board of General Superintendents have approved the unanimous recommendation of our Advisory Board to cancel our Advance. Rather than focus on assembly and preparation for it, we will ask our pastors to continue to keep their focus on the well-being of their families and congregations and ministering to needs in their communities.

a. According to the Manual 206.3, current district officers who were up for re-election will continue for another year.

b. General Assembly and SDMI Convention delegates will be elected by the District Advisory Council (District Advisory Board plus District NMI President, NYI President, SDMI Chair). NMI and NYI Convention Delegates will be elected by their respective Councils.

c. The District Advisory Board will work with the Assembly  Finance Committee to approve a budget for the 2020-21 year.

d. Mark Brown, President of The Foundry (formerly NPH) sent this promotional video: and a direct link to our Digital Delegate Packet: This digital packet gives church leaders direct access to various inserts currently in the physical packet, both from us and the Global Ministry Center.

e. There are two possibilities for Ordination: 1) A special ordination service could be scheduled with our General Superintendent at a later date; this could be one service for the three districts in Oklahoma;  2) Ordinations will have to wait until next year’s assembly. We are working for #1.

f. We would probably want to plan a service or two of celebration when major restrictions are lifted. Maybe this could include an ordination service. We can share the stories of how God worked for good during this crisis.

2. NEO Nominations.
Our Advisory Board will be meeting soon to nominate individuals to serve on District boards and committees, and to select delegates for the 2021 General Assembly and Convention. We are asking your help to expand the pool of qualified individuals across the NEO District. Please send names of people you would like to nominate to

3. No District Giving Goals will be assessed for March and April.
Anticipating that some of our people and churches will face financial challenges, the DAC voted to not ask for District Giving on any church income in the months of March and April. To qualify for this deduction, churches will need to send us their 10-month giving total (income minus any amount used for WEF and Approved Mission Specials from May, 2019 – February, 2020), which will be used as the base for District Giving Goals for the 19-20 Church Year. World Evangelism Fund, Pensions and Benefits and Giving to SNU are not included in this change.

4. Local Annual Meetings Will be Impacted.
It looks unlikely that churches will be able to meet in April. The BGS has said that if a church is unable to have their annual meeting, they can just ask local leaders up for re-election to continue another year. Of course, churches who prefer can hold their annual meeting with elections when we begin meeting together again.

a. Pastors will still need to fill out annual reports, although the District Advisory Council voted to move back the due date for all reports to May 19. Pastors will complete the following documents (see – Annual Pastor’s Report, Church Certificate of Election, Church Directory, Assembly Handbook page, Deceased Members and Approval for Associates.

b. Attendance reports are not being made in March and April. For the APR, Pastors may use the averages from March and April, 2019.

5. Many Churches are applying for the Payroll Protection Program loans provided by the CARES Act. I have sent a ton of material to pastors regarding this. Let me know if I can help you find answers to questions you may have.

6. The District Calendar has been decimated. Our camp directors are working with their teams and campgrounds and we will keep you updated as decisions are made. In case you are wondering, the Chiefs winning their second Super Bowl in a row is still on the calendar. ?

New Church Associate

Rev. Kasey and Amanda O’Donnell will soon move to Wagoner and join the Cornerstone Community family! The church board was unanimous and Kasey accepted the call to serve as Associate Pastor focusing on worship!

Work & Witness Trip

We are so excited about our district Work & Witness trip to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic to build a school/compassionate outreach center!

We will be postponing the trip until Fall 2020 or possibly Spring 2021.

There is still time to sign up! Airline tickets will be purchased following re-evaluation of global travel safety and pending travel recommendations from the General Church.

Any monies, except the non-refundable deposit of $200, can be returned if you need to cancel your spot. Please join us in praying over this trip as well!

Contact Cynthia Hollingsworth for more information:

Facebook: NEO Work & Witness-Dominican Republic