Conference of Churches discusses its work, advocacy
The Rev. William Tabbernee didn't try to explain all the work being conducted by the Oklahoma Conference of Churches, an umbrella group for 16 Christian denominations in Oklahoma.
Tabbernee, the conference's executive director, let others do the talking for him during a breakfast fundraiser and "friend-raiser" on Thursday, April 20, at St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral, 127 NW 7.
He said the conference was focusing on several different things, including interfaith dialogue and support, legislative advocacy and environmental concerns.
Tabbernee let Rabbi Vered Harris, spiritual leader of Temple B'nai Israel, share about the conference's involvement as one of the sponsors of a Religions United interfaith trip to the Holy Land in January. Twenty-two Oklahomans from the Christian, Judaism and Islamic faith traditions took an eight-day "dual narrative" trip to Israel and the Palestinian Territories. The conference's Religions United Committee helped plan the trip.
The Rev. Mark Davies, at Tabbernee's request, spoke to breakfast attendees about the conference's Impact Committee and its advocacy at the Oklahoma State Capitol.
Davies said his committee tracks numerous bills at the Capitol, paying particular attention to legislation that deals with poverty, environment, education, health, criminal justice and immigration.
Meanwhile, State Rep. George Young encouraged conference representatives to make their voices heard at the Capitol.
"Your voice does count. Your voice does matter," he said.
The Rev. Justin Lindstrom, dean of St. Paul's, and the conference board president, urged attendees to find ways to help the conference in its various mission and advocacy roles.
"As you can see, there is a ton of work to go and we are trying to invest in our staff as well as volunteers and programming," Lindstrom said.
The Oklahoma Conference of Churches includes the following denominations: Roman Catholic Church, United Methodist Church, Episcopal Church, Presbyterian Church USA, United Church of Christ, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Mennonite Church, Cumberland Presbyterian Church and Cooperating Baptist Fellowship.
Others are: Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, African Methodist Episcopal Church, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Progressive Oklahoma Baptist State Convention, Religious Society of Friends and African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church and Reformed Church in America.