NEO Team Update 4-8-21
NEO Southern Nazarene University Sunday – April 18
Celebrate at your local church: We would ask every church to use one of the inspiring SNU videos (under the “SNU Sunday” dropdown menu at https://snu.edu/church-relations/) 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.
Celebrate with your District family: Sunday evening, April 18 at 5pm, we will have a District-wide service at Tulsa Central with University Singers, the SNU worship group Truth, 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 has an amazing testimony of her journey from Hinduism to Christ.
Welcome to New Pastors
Rev. Kevin and Jody Williams are not strangers to the NEO family, having served as associate pastors at Bartlesville, Collinsville and Owasso Silver Creek. For the last 7 months, Pastor Kevin has been serving as the interim pastor at Mannford Church. With the enthusiastic recommendation of the Mannford Church Board, I have appointed Kevin as the Pastor of the church.
On March 28, it was a privilege to install Pastor Bryan Davis as the Pastor of Tulsa Regency Park Church. We welcome Pastor Bryan and Louann back to the District where they began their ministry serving churches at Pawhuska and Glenpool.
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.
We will have a meeting in the next two weeks to prayerfully discuss options for a new church in Glenpool. Would you like to join us? If so, please contact our District Superintendent, Dave McKellips (firstname.lastname@example.org) or our New Start Coordinator, Ronnie Baker (email@example.com) and we will send you the details. And please join us in praying for God to raise up leaders and a core group in the Glenpool area for a new start.
God has been burdening Ben and Alycia Finkbeiner about helping us start a new work in Cushing. Ben and Alycia spent many years on the NEO District as teenagers and young adults and were married at Central Church. For over a decade Ben has been coaching Division 1 basketball, but Alycia and their five children moved to Cushing last summer with a desire to prioritize family and ministry. They have been immersing themselves in the community and building relationships while welcoming child number six this fall. Kinetic Church of the Nazarene is being slowly started 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 have 10-12 people, including an ordained elder, Rev. Phil Buck, who have expressed an interest in helping us restart a church in Grove. Who do you know in the Grove area with whom we share the vision of this Church?
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.
NEO Ministry With Youth
Extravaganza will be May 27-30, 2021. It will be a great way for your students to see SNU and kick off their summer. Stretch Dean will be speaking and Royal Company will be leading us in worship. Go to www.snuextravaganza.com to register.
We are so excited to let you know that we are going to have youth camp June 1-5 at New Life Ranch at Flint Creek. Stretch Dean will be speaking and SNU’s Remedy will be leading us in worship. Registration and info should be up and running by the end of this week. We cannot wait to be together this summer. We have been praying for this week and we ask you to pray and fast for camp. We pray that our youth will find themselves drenched in the spirit and changed for the rest of their lives.
Thank you for your prayers and your love!
Ryan Amey, NEO NYI President
NEO Kids Camp July 23-26
2021 Calendar Changes
District Assembly & NMI Convention – July 30-31 at Tulsa Central Church!
NYI Extravaganza at SNU – May 27-30
Youth Camp – June 1-5
Kids Camp – July 23-26
A Journey of Grace, Districtwide Emphasis – October/November
Please put these events on your church and personal calendars.
Response to Acts of Violence Against Asian Americans
Part of Statement by The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) – March 18, 2021
The NAE mourns the eight lives senselessly lost on Tuesday at Atlanta-area spas, including six women of Asian descent. The attacks took place against a backdrop of increased violence against Asian Americans, and exacerbate fear and trauma for many in the Asian American community.
The NAE denounces violence and hate in all forms against any person or persons made in the image of God. Over the past year, nearly 3,800 incidents of name-calling, shunning and assault against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have been reported to Stop AAPI Hate. Some of the incidents include being spat at, coughed on or physically attacked while being verbally blamed for the coronavirus.
Christians are ambassadors of reconciliation and have a unique and compelling call to provide leadership for the benefit and dignity of all (2 Corinthians 5:16–20). The Bible uniformly teaches the essential dignity of all humans and the shared desire to belong in community. Yet, the devastating reality of sin results in denigration and alienation.
Fundamental challenges for Asian Americans to enjoy full participation in American society include the perpetual foreigner syndrome, in which people of Asian descent are constantly and consistently perceived as foreigners even if generations of family members were born in the United States, and the model minority myth, in which Asian Americans are perceived to have greater ability to achieve a higher degree of socioeconomic success than other minorities. These forms of racism result in discrimination that is too easily ignored, dismissed or justified.
Evangelicals understand that the heart of Jesus is for the “other” and the marginalized. As Christians, we seek to stand with the marginalized. The NAE encourages our communities of faith to seek understanding of the historical and contemporary facets of racism in our country, to enter into hard conversations, and to humbly listen to the hurt and pain of others.
Annual Pastors Report
The Northeast Oklahoma District church year end is April 25. All APR instructions and forms can be accessed online.