By Carla Hinton Published
14 October 2016
(NewsOK) – More than 400 people gathered Thursday to pray for the oil patch — Oklahoma's beleaguered energy industry, which is experiencing a downturn critically affecting the state's economy.
The sixth annual Oklahoma City Oilfield Prayer Breakfast at the Tower Hotel featured keynote speaker Harold Mathena, a retired oil and gas executive. The event was hosted by Oilfield Christian Fellowship in partnership with Oil Patch Chaplains, a ministry affiliate of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.
Max Holloway, interim director of Oilfield Christian Fellowship-Oklahoma City, acknowledged the upheaval caused by the energy industry downturn.
“There's a lot of pain and suffering going on in the industry right now and that affects almost everyone in this room,” he said, adding that prayer is powerful in troubling times.
But perhaps the most notable aspect of the breakfast was Gov. Mary Fallin's address to the crowd.
Fallin read her proclamation proclaiming Thursday as “Oilfield Prayer Day” in Oklahoma, noting that she may have given the prayer breakfast some “free press” when she created the official declaration.
She referred to the controversy that arose about the proclamation in the days leading up to the breakfast.
Fallin was criticized for the wording of the proclamation, which initially called for Christians to “thank God for the blessings created by the oil and natural gas industry and to seek His wisdom and ask for protection.”
Critics expressed disapproval of Fallin's decision to gear the proclamation to Christians. Some also said the proclamation was a violation of separation of church and state. [more]
By Lorraine Chow
6 October 2016
(EcoWatch) – This is not us trying to be The Onion. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has officially proclaimed Oct. 13 "Oilfield Prayer Day" to raise awareness for the state's declining oil industry. Here's her official signed proclamation.
The document states:
"Whereas Oklahoma is blessed with an abundance of oil and natural gas; and … Christians acknowledge such natural resources are created by God … Christians are invited to thank God for the blessings created by the oil and natural gas industry and to seek His wisdom and ask for protection."
A series of "Praying for the Patch" breakfasts will take place in other cities before culminating at the sixth annual Oilfield Prayer Breakfast on Oct. 13 in downtown Oklahoma City, an event that Fallin has made preliminary plans to attend.
Tom Beddow, coordinator of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma's Oil Patch Chaplains ministry, is one of the organizers of the Praying for the Patch initiative that was also created in partnership with the Oilfield Christian Fellowship.
The organizers have invited Oklahoma residents and churches to simultaneously pray for the state's energy industry, which directly or indirectly employs one-quarter of all job holders in the Sooner State. [more]