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First Christian Church has, in recent years, had a wonderful tradition of making Summer a season of learning. This summer is no different! Check out the information below for updates and descriptions of our speakers and their topics. 

 

Our staff and Adult Education team are working hard to confirm speakers, so please check back regularly for schedule updates. 

June 18 - D. Newell Williams, PhD

Sunday School Topic Summary: In 2007 the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) adopted a slogan: “We are Disciples of Christ, a movement for wholeness in fragmented world. As part of the one body of Christ, we welcome all to the Lord’s Table as God has welcomed us.” What does this mean? Where are our roots as a denomination? How and why have we come to adopt such an identity? These questions will be addressed in a session titled, “The Disciples of Christ in One Sentence.”

Preaching Title: “A Post-Resurrection Message for Fathers and Others Who Might Be Listening” Matthew 10:1-8

June 25 - Nancy Pittman, PhD

Sunday School Topic Summary: Oh, Those Praying Women!

Much of the feminine imagery in the New Testament and in the earliest centuries of Christian art emphasizes the effectiveness of women’s prayers in the communities that were growing around the confession of Jesus as Christ. We will explore some of those images, from the women in the Corinthian community that Paul led to the persecuted woman in Revelation 12 to artistic depictions of women in Roman catacomb art. And we’ll connect what we learn from these images with our own efforts to be faithful prayers in our own time.

Preaching Title: “Grossly Unremarkable” - Romans 6:1-11 - What does it mean to walk in newness of life in ordinary and extraordinary times?

July 2 - No Speaker (Holiday Weekend)

July 23 - The Rev. Dr. Douglas Skinner

Sunday School Topic Summary: “Starlight, Moonlight, Sunlight” - Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth The Legacy of Alexander Campbell’s Bible on the Disciples

The Canon of Scripture is the collection of books that function as the church’s authority for faith and practice. Not all 66 books in your Bible were equal in Alexander Campbell’s estimation, and the way that he ordered them has had an impact on how Disciples think and believe. After looking at Campbell’s “Canon,” we will think about how it helps, and how it hinders our own faithfulness as Christians today.

Preaching Title: “Did Jesus Preach Paul’s Gospel?” Luke 15:11-24

There has long been a quarrel between Jesus and Paul. There is a suspicion that Paul fundamentally changed the message of Jesus Christ into something that Jesus Himself would not have recognized nor endorsed. This creates a divide in the minds and hearts of many Christians in the church today between Jesus and the Gospels, and Paul and the Epistles. So, how do the red letters and the black letters in your New Testament connect, and why does it matter that they do?

July 30 - Kris Steele

Sunday School Topic Summary: Oklahoma is #1 in female incarceration and #2 in male incarceration in our nation. Most of these women and men are nonviolent offenders—75%, in fact. Mass incarceration is devastating to families, harmful to communities, and often leads to generational cycles of hardship, setbacks, and insurmountable challenges. Without proper treatment, programming, education, and assistance, nearly one-quarter of Oklahoman's released from prison will return within 36 months. With appropriate intervention and support, however, justice-involved individuals can overcome a troubled past, achieve their potential, and live their dreams. Please join us on Sunday, July 30, for a lively discussion of the consequences of administering punishment over treatment and deep dialogue about effective strategies to break cycles of incarceration and poverty in our Oklahoma family.

August 27 - Commissioner Terri White

D. Newell Williams

D. Newell Williams has been President and Professor of Modern and American Church History of Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University since 2003. He has also taught at Christian Theological Seminary, where he served as Vice President and Dean from 1992 – 1998. He holds academic degrees from Vanderbilt and the University of Tulsa. He is the author of several books and articles with such titles as Barton Stone: A Spiritual Biography, and Ministry Among Disciples: Past, Present, and Future. He is co-editor with Paul M. Blowers and Douglas A. Foster of two publications: The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement (Eerdmans, 2004) and The Stone-Campbell Movement: A Global History (Chalice Press, 2013). Dr. Williams is an Ordained Minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and a member of the Stone-Campbell Dialogue. Dr. Williams served a two-year term as Moderator of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) from 2007 to 2009. He is currently chair of the General Commission on Ministry. He is married to the Rev. Sue McDougal; they are the parents of three adult children.

Nancy Claire Pittman

Rev. Dr. Nancy Claire Pittman was born in Lubbock, Texas, grew up further north in Amarillo, and graduated from Putnam City High School in Oklahoma City. She earned a B. A. degree in Religion and Psychology and a M. Div. degree from Texas Christian University. She also holds a Ph.D. in New Testament Studies from Southern Methodist University.

Dr. Pittman was ordained into the ministry by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the Southwest in 1984. She has served as a minister in several churches across Texas or Oklahoma and preached or lectured as a guest speaker in numerous congregations and regional and national events. Fourteen years ago she and her husband, Dr. Don A. Pittman, returned from Taiwan where they served for six and a half years as missionaries on the faculty of Tainan Theological College and Seminary, a school related to the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan.

Dr. Pittman continues to engage in research in the Book of Revelation and the Gospel of John, particularly as they relate to current images of faithful and faithless community, understandings of ministerial leadership in the 21st century, and women in pastoral leadership. She is currently working on a book project at these intersections and contemporary ecclesiolatries.

Currently, Dr. Pittman is Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dean and Stephen J. England Associate Professor of the Practice of Ministry at Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, an ecumenical seminary affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She is also an accredited spiritual director.

The Rev. Dr. Douglas Skinner

A 1975 graduate of Northwest Christian College in Eugene, Oregon, Douglas Skinner earned his Master of Divinity degree from Brite Divinity School and was ordained in 1979 to the ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Doug has served churches in Texas from Plainview on the high plains to Houston on the coastal plains. He has been the Senior Minister of Northway Christian Church in Dallas for the past 20 years. Doug has served the church in a variety of leadership roles in the Regional, General and Ecumenical Church. He earned his Doctor of Ministry degree from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 1995, and part of his integrative project was published by Chalice Press as At the Lord’s Table – Communion Prayers for all Seasons. Doug also has a certificate on Spiritual Direction from the Pecos Benedictine School for Spiritual Direction in New Mexico. 

Kris Steele 

Kris Steele is Executive Director of TEEM (The Education and Employment Ministry), a nonprofit dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty and incarceration in Oklahoma. TEEM offers educational opportunities, character development courses, job training and employment placement assistance to individuals reentering the community. Steele also serves as the Chair of Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform, a coalition comprised of community groups, business leaders, health professionals and faith leaders dedicated to advancing effective approaches to public safety by increasing access to treatment and programs designed to address root causes of crime. Kris earned a bachelor’s degree in Religion from Oklahoma Baptist University, and master’s degree in Education from East Central University. Prior to joining TEEM, Kris served as State Representative from 2000-2012, and Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives for the 53rd Legislature. During his tenure in office, he led the charge on a number of reforms in the areas of health care, human services and criminal justice. Kris and his wife, Kellie, are blessed with two daughters: Mackenzie (14) and Madison (12) and currently reside in Shawnee.

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