News from the Executive Director (April 2012)

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Greetings in the Name of the Risen Lord

As I look back on the years since my association with Skyline, I marvel at the ways God has been in the midst of the changing landscape of our nation, our state and specifically our ministry here at Skyline. Economic change has made us rethink the way we use our resources as a nation; and as the value and impact of our state’s resources have changed, they have literally transformed our city’s skyline. At Skyline Urban Ministry this shifting has changed our view both literally and figuratively. We know that change is as much a part of God’s plan as is tradition and we are holding fast to the traditions of Skyline while making changes to grow into the future. Since the retirement in April of 2011 of long-time staff member Doralee Duncan, one such needed change was the addition of an assistant for me. However, recommendations had been made that our most pressing need was for a marketing or development person. Additionally, funds were tight for Skyline and changes in my own family with the death of my brother and soon after my step-mother, meant the search for a solution was postponed while any such hope for filling both of these positions seemed impossible. That was soon to change. As an ordained deacon, Rev. Rebecca Morton, desired to serve in a position of ministry to those in need regardless of salary, but no such positions seemed available. Thinking she may have to seek a job outside the church, she stopped by Skyline. Her words to me were, “I have applied for another fulltime position but this is the place I would most like to be.”

Once again, the unexpected is at times a part of God’s plan for transformation. In January of this year at minimal salary, Rev. Morton, who many of you know from her years of service in the Oklahoma Conference serving at Nichols Hills UMC, New Covenant UMC and Putnam City UMC as well as on various boards and councils for our conference, came to Skyline. As our new Assistant to the Executive Director, she will assist me with communication, coordinate volunteer opportunities at Alive in Christ on Saturday Night and represent Skyline in various ways. But God was not yet finished with the transformation at Skyline! Rev. Morton soon introduced me to Mike Slack and new possibilities began to unfold to bring him on board at Skyline! As our new Development and Marketing Intern through Oklahoma City University’s graduate nonprofit leadership program, Mike comes highly recommended! As a native Oklahoman who went to middle school and high school at Union Public Schools in Tulsa, Mike later attended Oklahoma City University for his undergraduate degree. From 2008-2011 Mike lived in Decatur, Georgia where he spent a year in seminary and then two years teaching in a public high school in Atlanta with Teach for America. In the summer of 2011, he returned to Oklahoma City to start the nonprofit Master’s Degree program and find work with an Oklahoma nonprofit organization. He will graduate in July, but in the meantime he states his role at Skyline is “to spread the good news about the transformation of lives happening at Skyline and to encourage the Oklahoma City community to become more involved in this ministry.”

Rev. Claudia Lovelace, Executive Director