2023 Staff Reflections

Written By Boston Avenue

General | News

As 2023 came to a close, I asked the staff to reflect on the year and share their favorite Boston Avenue memories.

Editors Note: As 2023 came to a close, I asked the staff to reflect on the year and share their favorite Boston Avenue memories. Here’s what they had to say.

Keith Bethell
My favorite moment from this year is spending two weeks with our youth on Chapel Choir Tour and then Egan Youth Camp. I was only four weeks into my new role. At times, it felt like I was drinking from a fire hose. But this was a great opportunity to get to know our young people better. I also got a chance to know some of our parents better as well. It really helped me to get excited about all the potential and possibilities in our youth ministry.

Ed Payton
Our Core Value of “Developing Mission Partnerships as Christ Love in Action” is more than words. They capture our desire to share God’s love with a broken and hurting world. 2023 has been filled from January to December with putting Christ’s Love in Action. From the 12 Days of Kindness and the Blessing Box to the Uvalde Mission Trip, from the Chili Supper to the Easter Offering , from the volunteers at Vernon AME, Burroughs Elementary, Restore Hope, Family Promise, Project Transformation, Meals on Wheels and more to collecting formula and diapers for families in need to the completion of our 5 year plan for improvements on the McCurdy Ministries campus as well as over 150 members of all ages packing 20,000 meals in a Rise Against Hunger and the successful July Mission Offering. From the launch of the Smiles of Faith Mobile Dental Clinic with 4 sister churches in North Tulsa to Sistema kicking off another year with 400+ students in 5 locations, followed by the largest collection of Snacks for the Cookson Hills Pack and Snack program in our history (over 800 gallon bags and counting), and the purchase by our church members of everything requested on the Apple Tree for our education partner Burroughs Elementary school along with popcorn and staff meals during the year. We ended our year with The Angel Tree collection for Circle of Care and the Advent Offering. And the mission beat at Boston Avenue goes on and on and on.

Rev. EvaMarie Campbell
In 2023 I was particularly blessed by our members and their curiosity and engagement in our Adult Discipleship Classes. I love the quote: “As you teach, so shall you learn.” That has been true for me this year. I have gotten to know many new members of Boston Avenue and become deeper involved with those more familiar to me. Together, we learned how to engage with the scriptures through a “grown up” lens, reset our souls, practiced having meaningful conversations, engaged in Works of Mercy and Works of Piety while taking photos with our “Wandering Wesleys”, and discovered our saboteurs and strengthened our sages. Truly, Boston Avenue practices Spiritual Growth as a Lifelong Journey!

Rev. David Wiggs
Thinking back across last year, the event that would have been my favorite, I think, I missed. We had worked on the 130th anniversary celebration for a year leading up to those historic dates and then I began to feel ill. I tested and sure enough, I was positive for COVID. I tuned in from home, but it was surely not the same.

But we have just completed a wonderful Advent and Christmas season. It could be my favorite! With the lights and the candles and the songs of the season it is one of my favorite times of the year. When our Chapel Choir alums return to sing at the last service of Christmas Eve, I am always so pleased to see them return and join us in worship as musical leaders, once again. To see the candlelight spread across a dark sanctuary is deeply beautiful and moving to me. To have the privilege to share the Good News of God’s love being born into the world is always a highlight for me every year.

But, we had good numbers and great singing in July and that is another one of my favorite things we do throughout the year. I enjoy variety, so the change of pace we do in our worship style works for me. Then, to see and hear from so many of our long-time worshippers that these songs bring back such fond and poignant memories, it warms my heart as I see it rekindle their faith.

I also had the opportunity to teach from our new United Methodist Resource, Faith Working through Love. I got to work with two different classes full of adult students hungry to grow in their faith and to go deeper into the history and theology of our beloved United Methodist tradition. I love our Wesleyan theology of grace and the movements of grace that Wesley outlined for us to clarify our knowledge of how God’s love works in our lives. Truly, teaching and discussing this content is one of my favorite things.

It has been a great year! It is hard to choose just one single favorite event or experience. I hope you have too many favorites, as well!

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