Join us today at 6pm while we look at the Epistle to the Philippians in the 4th sermon of the sermon series “Finding Joy in a Turbulent World”.
- What We Believe
- About Us
- Contact Us
What an honour to chair the planning committtee for last night’s LGBT Pride Interfaith Service of Remembrance, which was a beautiful, moving event.
The program personalities covered a wide range of Christian denominations, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Unitarianism. And each prayer or reflection was a beautiful statement from their respective tradition.
After prelude, welcome, and congregational singing of “We Would Be One,” Jonalu Johnstone, of the First Unitarian Church, set the stage with an insightful reflection on Loss and Remembrance that explained the significance of what we were doing in the service.
Then we lit seven candles each remembering the lives of some group of people, and prayers were offered for each.
Rev. Dr. Henry Roberson, retired priest, prayed for Activists and Community Leaders. His was a powerful prayer thanking God for sending us prophets who make the world a better place.
Rev. Kris Ladusau, of the Dharma Center, reflected on Victims of Hate Crimes by sharing a story of a friend who was beaten, and then his simple, profound prayer for who each of should live as creators of peace.
The prayer of the Rev. Loyce Newton Edwards, a retired UCC minister, drew from the African-American tradition with its rhythm and energy and evocative words (“bodacious” being everyone’s favourite) and she remembered her transsexual sister and prayed for victims of HIV and AIDS.
Roshini Nambiar, the spiritual leader of the Vedic Temple, offered a traditional Sanskrit prayer for Friends and Loved Ones. The beautiful, unfamiliar to many, Sanskrit lifted us to a mystical plane.
Praying for Partners and Spouses, the Rev. Dr. Kathy Mcallie of Church of the Open Arms UCC, spoke about passion and romance and its ability to call forth our best selves.
Rabbi Abby Jacobson of Emanuel Synagogue remarked on all those whom we do not get to saw our goodbyes to and offered a meditation for Goodbyes Unsaid that invited us to imagine what the funeral for that loved one should have been if we had been able to be there as our true selves and say and do what we needed to do.
Then the Rev. Scott Hamilton, Executive Director of the Cimarron Alliance Foundation, concluded this portion with a ringing commentary on the Lonely and Forgotten, calling us all to commit that no one ever again die alone.
This portion concluded with a musical reflection adapted from the Jewish practice of niggun, whereby the congregation hums a tune over and over.
Then, individual names were read, with each name followed by the chiming of a bell. Around sixty names had been turned in. During this portion, I heard many fighting back tears in the audience, and Kathy almost broke down when reading the names of Bill Rogers and Paul Thompson.
After a minute of silence, we were lifted up by the song “Breaths” by the quartet Evensong. This is a Sweet Honey in the Rock song, and its accapella rhythms and skat-like sounds honoring the dead and claiming that they are always with us, filled us with joy as we began to move upward in our service.
I brought the Reflection on Light and Hope, with the poem “Recovery” by Czeslaw Milosz.
Then we passed the candle light throughout the congregation as we sang “Let There Be Peace on Earth.” This ended with everyone’s hands raised in the air, an anthem declaring our commitment to one another and a better world.
Tonight will be the most interfaith service ever held as part of Oklahoma City’s Pride celebration. At 7:00 p.m. at Epworth United Methodist Church (1901 North Douglas Avenue).
As we remember and celebrate those who have died, prayers and reflections will be offered by faith leaders representing a wide array of Christian denominations (Pentecostal to Roman Catholic), Judaism, Unitarianism, Hinduism, and Buddhism.
This is a significant, historic moment for the Pride movement in Oklahoma City that will be long-remembered.
Do you have a loved one, friend, or significant person you would like to remember this Pride? Is there someone who inspired you who is now deceased? Is there a family for friend whose death you were not able to adequately mourn? Whose funeral you were unable to attend?
Then tonight’s LGBT Pride Interfaith Service of Remembrance is a special moment you will want to be present for.
In order to submit a name to be read during the service simply email firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out a card as you enter the church.
Tonight the Cimarron Alliance Foundation hosts a unique interfaith service of remembrance. It will be at Epworth United Methodist Church, 1901 North Douglas Avenue (just West of Classen High School) in Oklahoma City. The service begins at 7:00 p.m. You still have the opportunity to submit the names of loved ones you would like to have remembered in this memorial service. Simply email email@example.com or fill out a card as you enter the church. This is a wonderful opportunity to come together in community and to celebrate the lives of those we’ve loved.
“Spirituality” has been quite popular in recent decades. Many people claim to be “spiritual” but not “religious.”
Sunday is Pentecost — our celebration of the coming of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the church. It is a good time to focus on what it means for Christians to be “spiritual.”
Preaching from Jesus’ “farewell discourse” in John 14, Pastor Scott Jones will explore this question. This is Scott’s final Sunday before his going-away service on May 30. Don’t miss worship at 6:00 p.m.
Don’t forget to wear red, yellow, or orange this Sunday as we celebrate Pentecost. Here is what we are celebrating: The Holy Spirit arrives and transforms us into a radically inclusive, covenant community. How can we better understand that and put this spirituality into practice in our lives? Join us for worship Sunday at 6:00 p.m.
Afterglow Out on Sunday
This Sunday we will go to Jason’s Deli, just west of the church on NW Expressway, for our fellowship time after church.
Winds House Collection
If you didn’t bring them last Sunday, bring your donations for the Winds House this Sunday. May’s collection is paper products: toilet paper, paper towels, etc.
Council Meeting on Sunday
Don’t forget this Sunday’s Council on Ministries meeting at 3:30. The discussion will include the interim process, Pride, and the Tenth Anniversary.