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Season of Spirituality

Connection outside the traditional church box



 



Americans are diverse in culture and religion – this month is slated to be especially filled with myriad reverent celebrations in multiple faiths – but one swiftly growing group is the SBNRs: Spiritual But Not Religious. In January 2016, Pew Research Center authors David Masci and Michael Lipka examined survey data and presented an article titled “Americans may be getting less religious, but feelings of spirituality are on the rise.”
 

One expert meeting the needs of the SBNR sector is Ray Dykes. Formerly senior pastor of OKC’s Central Presbyterian Church, in 1994, he started Personal Pastor Program Inc. and its Personal Faith Program, which provides pastoral services to unchurched households and supplemental services to churched households. Dykes defines the difference between spirituality and being religious as a functional distinction.

“‘Religious’ for most people means ‘church,’” says Dykes. “The concepts, the doctrine, the dogma means church. Spirituality, on the other hand, is an individual meaning; one’s personal relationship with God or whatever one considers holy or sacred.”

“Every person in every household needs to develop a belief system to have a fighting chance of living a quality life,” Dykes states on his website.

According to Dykes, the number of Americans active in an institutional church include 40 percent of baby boomers (those born between 1946-1964); 20 percent of Gen Xers (1965-1983); and 10 percent of millennials (1984-2000).

But that trend isn’t universal: In September, St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in OKC opened a satellite church in Edmond. Senior Pastor Bob Long stated that the largest and second largest groups joining the church are 30- to 39-year-olds and 20- to 29-year-olds, respectively. The combined 20-39 group, he explained, makes up 50 percent of people joining the church. Regarding national statistics on church attendance, he commented: “Nationally, 80 percent of Christian churches, regardless of denomination, are either flat or in decline. It does not have to be that way.”

One way St. Luke’s is expanding membership is through delivering universal messages while staying true to the received word of God and focused on the church mission: to share God’s love and bring hope to the world. Religion and faith, Long remarked, can be elements that draw people together – and respect for each other is key.

“We really try hard to lift up some principles that I hope transcend any certain denomination,” Long says. “It is a message that is resonating. That is why people are coming. St. Luke’s is the 13th-fastest growing Methodist church in America right now.”

If you’ve been feeling more concerned with matters of the soul, the Pew Center’s survey numbers revealed you’re not alone: “The growth of the unaffiliated population and their decreasing religiosity have been the main factors behind the emergence of a less religious public overall,” reads the article. “But, interestingly, the rise in spirituality has been happening among both highly religious people and the religiously unaffiliated.”

Respect for all faiths through understanding, tolerance and acceptance fosters a loving world. And love is a common bond among all spiritual beings.


► Season of Reflection

December is packed with holy festivities

 

A celebration of the time when Prince Gautama took his place under the Bodhi tree, vowing to remain there until attaining supreme enlightenment. This holiday is honored through meditation.

 

A commemoration of the birth of Prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam, in about 570 CE. His teachings are read and religious meetings are held. Shia and Sunni believers celebrate separate days.

 

This holiday observes the birthday of Jesus Christ. Attending church, exchanging gifts and family gatherings occur to celebrate.

 

The Festival of Lights commemorates the Maccabean recapture and rededication of the Jewish Temple in 165-164 BCE. To honor the holiday, the eight-candle Menorah is lit, and observers participate in readings and songs focused on liberty and freedom.


► Get Connected

For more information: Personal Faith Program | personalpastor.org

St. Luke’s United Methodist Church | stlukesokc.org

 

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Calendar

September 2018

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More than 20 speakers in a one-track session designed for the digital marketing professional, marketer, business owner or anyone interested in branding, PR, advertising, social media, SEO, search,...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tower Theatre
425 NW 23rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: BigWing
Telephone: 405.475.4185
Contact Name: Janelle Archer
Website »

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This year will mark the eighth time the John F. Kennedy Awards have been celebrated, honoring individuals making a significant contribution to Oklahoma, its communities and its people, while paying...

Cost: $300

Where:
Skirvin Hilton Hotel
1 Park Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Sponsor: Santa Fe Family Life Center
Telephone: 405-840-1817
Contact Name: James Timberlake
Website »

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More than 20 speakers in a one-track session designed for the digital marketing professional, marketer, business owner or anyone interested in branding, PR, advertising, social media, SEO, search,...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tower Theatre
425 NW 23rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: BigWing
Telephone: 405.475.4185
Contact Name: Janelle Archer
Website »

More information

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

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A fabulous art auction to raise money to help support Oklahoma A+ Schools at UCO.

Cost: $100

Where:
CHK|Central Boathouse
732 Riversport Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73129
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma A+ Schools at UCO
Telephone: 405.974.3791
Contact Name: Heather Bryant
Website »

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The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

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Join supporters in communities across the nation for the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This family-friendly event raises funds to support the...

Cost: $10 for adults or children six and older

Where:
Stars and Stripes Park
3701 S. Lake Hefner Drive
Oklahoma City , OK  73116
View map »


Telephone: 405.403.7762
Contact Name: Emily Drover
Website »

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Let’s end childhood cancer. Together! This September, supporters across the country will unite to participate in the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer, an exciting, family-friendly...

Cost: $10 for Registration

Where:
Stars and Stripes Park
3701 S Lake Hefner Dr
Oklahoma City, OK  73116
View map »


Sponsor: ALSAC St. Jude Oklahoma City
Telephone: 405.403.7762
Contact Name: Emily Drover
Website »

More information

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

Show More...
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