The Odessa Record -

OCMA: What it is and what it does

 

March 22, 2018



The Odessa Community Ministerial Association (OCMA) appreciates the Odessa community for its generous support over the years. We want to help make the community more aware of who we are and what we do.

Most people in town have a general idea or have heard of our group but don’t know much about us. First of all, we are a non-profit organization consisting of the leaders of the churches in Odessa. Together we confess Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. By His word and command, and because He has shown great love for us, we strive to assist the people of Odessa with their spiritual and physical needs in ways that no individual church by itself could do by itself. We have banded together to bring unity in the midst of our diversity, focusing on the core essentials of the Gospel, while allowing freedom to agree to disagree on the non-essential elements of each denomination’s unique distinctions. We strive to respect each other’s differences and celebrate our commonalities. We believe that THE CHURCH of Odessa is stronger when its churches band together, and we believe that the stronger THE CHURCH of Odessa is, the better the town of Odessa will be.

We receive all of our funds by donation. Occasionally, we will receive grants meant for nonprofit organizations like ours, but we DO NOT receive funds from the government. Therefore we are not a governmental organization, nor a social service organization per se. Because our funding is limited, we cannot serve as a consistent source of assistance. Strictly speaking, we serve as a source of emergency assistance only. Even if we cannot help you, we will strive to find other organizations that can help, or point you in a direction where you might be able to get help.

With your donations we have been able to assist residents of Odessa and the surrounding area with utilities, housing, food and some medical and other emergency needs. We also oversee the Odessa Food Bank, which is open the Thursday after the third Tuesday of the month. In addition to accepting general food and money donations for the food bank, we have an annual Food Drive put together by Heritage Church, occasional Movie Nights at Christ Lutheran Church, where donated food items are the “entrance fee” and even a food gathering van at the Desert 100.

Secondly, we also sponsor various community activities like our fall and spring sing-alongs and potlucks. Our next sing-along/potluck will be April 15 at the Foursquare Church beginning at 4 p.m. Our annual summer softball game and cook-out is always a hit. We have also recently added the annual fall “Tim Hauge Memorial Golf Scramble” (typically the Sunday after Deutschesfest weekend) which raises money for scholarships for post-secondary education. This will be our third year. A community church service during Deutschesfest on the outdoor stage is always well attended. We also host summer sing-along and ice cream socials at Reiman park and occasionally bring in a musician for a special concert at various times of the year.

Thirdly, the annual Vacation Bible School (VBS), this year scheduled for June 18-22, is funded and put on by the Association, which again, due to generous donations from individuals and the churches, we are able to do without charging the kids for the program or the T-shirts. That being said, the T-shirts are probably one of the most expensive items we have for VBS, so please keep that in mind come June. If you are interested in helping with VBS, please contact Kaci King or one of the pastors in town.

Finally, this year we are planning a sunrise Easter service on April 1 at 6:30 a.m. at the Odessa Cemetery, and no, that is not an April Fool’s joke. We hope you’ll come and join us as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Once again, we appreciate the Odessa community’s support for us so that we might help others. Please join us at one of our events, and if you need prayer, have a concern, question, suggestion or event idea, visit our Facebook page and leave a message for us. Now may God bless you, shine His face upon you and give you peace.

Pastor Jon Hayashi, President; Pastor Bill Cox, Treasurer; Pastor Dirk Jensen, Vice-President/Secretary.

 

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