Our Mission Statement is: 
To follow in the reconciling ministry of Jesus
as an inclusive, justice-seeking community. 
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The Common Thread
Volume 20 Issue 9  September 2016
We apologize for the multiple emails. We found the issue causing many of you to receive the newsletter in plain text and it has been corrected. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

Pastor Kayla's Reflections
I’ve been thinking and praying with our mission & vision statement this month.  I’m trying to write this mission upon my heart, and seek ways in which our church family can live into it as fully as possible.  Will you join me in this spiritual practice? Our Mission Statement is: To follow in the reconciling ministry of Jesus as an inclusive, justice-seeking community.  
We do this by connecting with other justice-seeking groups.  Our church has partnered with the following justice-seeking groups, either by housing these groups in our building, or by participating in gatherings.  Amnesty International, The Peace House, Cathedral of Hope, Black Lives Matter, SISU, Two-Spirits HIV/AIDS Support Group, TransSpouse Discussion Group, LGBT Pride Festival, & VOICE. What other ways could we connect with justice-seeking groups? 
Reflecting our commitments in our worship. In worship we use inclusive language & images, multi-cultural music, contemporary readings which display our belief that “God is Still Speaking,” teach and empower our children to be full participants in worship, and pass an incredible “Peace of Christ.”  What other ways could we reflect our commitments in our worship? 
Intentionally engaging in our neighborhood. Our Food Pantry currently serves many people in our neighborhood.  Our garden vegetables are free for our neighborhood residents to eat.  What other ways could we be engaging our neighborhood?
Expanding pathways to spiritual growth. Last month 10+ participated in our Practical Guide to Meditation Class, and 10+ participated in our Rob Bell “Love Wins” book study.  What other ways could we expand the pathway to spiritual growth?
Celebrating and expanding our church family.  Our new members this year include Charles Warren, Dwana Hill, Samantha Coplen, Julie Web-Linzy & Jeanetta Linzy, Beverly Evans, and Gianna, Lelend & Zayla Meranto.  Also, Hank Roberts created our picture board with members’ names.  What other ways could we celebrate and expand our church family? 
And showing extravagant generosity with our resources.  In July we served 368 households, 830 people with our Food Pantry, and 2,340 households year to date.  As a church we tithe 8% of our operating expense monies to our “Our Church’s Wider Mission,” our National UCC Denomination which supports local church ministries, global ministries, disaster support, and justice & peace advocacy.  A portion of our weekly “Pennies from Heaven” offering went to Heifer International in 2015.  Our 5th Sunday “Benevolence” collection goes to help members in need during a time of crisis.  What other ways could we show extravagant generosity with our resources? 

Interfaith Youth Tour

Sunday, September 25, 2016  1-5:30 pm
Each September, the Oklahoma Council of Church’s Annual Interfaith Youth Tour is held on a Sunday afternoon for hundreds of metro students ages 7th – 12th grade.  The young people (with adult leaders) visit houses of worship for different faiths to learn more about each religion.   Meeting the leaders, witnessing a worship experience, exploring the facility, and participating in a question & answer session of other faiths helps to build bridges of understanding, friendship, and mutual respect. Charter buses transport the youth and their sponsors to three quite different houses of worship in the Oklahoma City area.  Pre-registration is required and a fee of $15 per person helps defray the costs of transportation. Contact OCC with questions at 405-525-2928. Participants under the age of 18 will need to complete a parent/legal guardian waiver.

The three tour stops are: 

1) East Sixth Street Christian Church,
1139 NE 6th St., OKC 73117

2) Masjid Mu’min Mosque,
1322 NE 23rd St., OKC 73111

3) Vien-Giac Buddhist Temple,
5101 NE 36th St., OKC 73121

Thank you from Youth!

In July, 4 youth from Church of the Open Arms and Cathedral of Hope attended the UCC National Youth Event Conference in Orlando Florida.  Our youth participated in worship, workshops, and learning experiences which helped to connect them to the wider UCC.  Thanks to Hank Roberts for being our co-sponsor adult, and for all of you who helped to make sure our youth could attend! 

A special thanks to the Kansas-Oklahoma Conference for paying for the airfare for all our youth and adults! And thanks to all our youth who participated in Youth Sunday at both churches on August 7th! 

Sunday, September 4
1st Sunday Potluck 

Saturday, September 10
All-Church-Work Day

Sunday, September 11
Ministry Team Meetings

Saturday, September 24
Strut Your Mutt 

Sunday, September 25
Interfaith Youth Tour

Sunday, October 2
1st Sunday Lunch
Food Pantry Benefit
by Cally Johnson, Executive Chef of J. Bruner's at the Haunted House Mobile kitchen in our parking lot

November 11-12

Cathedral of Hope 
Rummage Sale 

Saturday, November 12
Will Sing for Food
Food Pantry Fundraiser 

Sunday, April 16
20th Anniversary
Easter Celebration

Godly Play Begins

Our "Godly Play" Sunday School class for children from kindergarten through 12-years old begins on Sunday, September 11.  

The goal of Godly Play is to teach children the art of using religious language – parable, sacred story, silence and liturgical action – to help them become more fully aware of the Mystery of God’s presence in their lives.

Professional childcare for ages five and younger is available every Sunday for our Worship Celebration.

Strut Your Mutt

Saturday, September 24 11am-1pm.  A grand day out with your best furry friend!  Contests include: Best Dressed, Best Lick, Owner Look-Alike, and more!  Pet Blessing and Memorial Service.  $5 registration includes contest entry, swag bag, hot dog, water, and one raffle ticket.  A benefit for Open Arms Food Pantry Clients & their pets.  

2nd Sunday Ministry Teams

Starting in September, every 2nd Sunday after church we're going to host our  "Ministry Teams" Meetings.  If you would like to join us in ministry, please bring a bag-lunch and stay after worship as our teams meet at separate tables in the Community Hall.  Just look for the table-tent which describes the ministry you would like to be involved in!  

Social Justice 
Christian Education
Care Team 
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