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OTOC with First UMC and others gathered for inspiring Prayer for the Planet Sat Sept 19

September 20th, 2015

large group with church in background

150 People from many faith traditions participated in “Prayers for the Planet” to pray and organize for more sustainable climate

Muslims, and Catholics and Unitarians, Oh, my. Those faiths, and United Methodists, UCCs, Buddhists, Lutherans, Jewish, some with no faith tradition, and more came together on a beautiful fall Saturday morning to “Pray for the Planet,” an interfaith service.

Clergy, women religious and lay people read prayers and positions that their denominations and religions have taken to express the need for action to care for the world’s environment. Many leaders mentioned Pope Francis’ recent encyclical on climate change and poverty, Laudato Si’.


Fr. Vitalis

Rev. Frank Rivas, Sr. Celeste Wobeter, ND, and Fr. Dennis Hamm, SJ listen while Fr. Vitalis Anyanike, of Holy Name Catholic quoted Pope Francis and told of the growing deserts he has seen when he flies into East Africa


The front lawn of First United Methodist Church served as a grounding place for people of all faith traditions, to gather, connect, and pray for the upcoming Conference on Climate Change in Paris in December. (COP21/CMP11). You can read more at

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OTOC leaders discuss mental health issues with Sen Bob Krist

September 10th, 2015

Sen Krist close up

Sen Bob Krist of Dt. 10 met with with OTOC leaders to discuss how to improve mental health care in Nebraska, especially for those in the criminal justice system

A dozen leaders of the OTOC Mental Health Action Team met on Tuesday, September 8 with Senator Bob Krist (Dt. 10—North Central Omaha) to discuss their concerns about the mental health systems in Nebraska and especially about the behavioral health care available to persons who are incarcerated in our jails or prisons.

Sen. Krist has been a key voice in the Unicameral for prison reform and has sponsored or supported several bills in the last Session which mandated improved treatment of prisoners in jails. OTOC leaders traveled to Lincoln on several occasions to testify in support of several of those bills including LB 10 (suspended rather than terminated the Medicaid eligibility of person in prison), LB 598 (mandates better assessment and support for incarcerated persons while in prison and support upon release) and for restoration of funds to Region 6 Behavior Health Center that were cut in anticipation of Nebraska expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.Read More . . .

OTOC leaders learn how to hold a “listening campaign” at their organization

September 1st, 2015

Kevin Graham and documents

Kevin Graham shared agendas, leaders guides and other documents to help leaders prepare for their listening session

House Meeting

Leaders participated in a small group meeting role play to see how to conduct the meeting









Nearly 40 OTOC leaders participated in a training session on Monday, September 14 to learn how to organize an  OTOC “Listening Campaign” at their institution. OTOC leaders Carol Beaty and Kevin Graham organized and led the session that was attended by leaders from 16 congregations and community organizations that have committed to move to hold a “listening session” sometime before November 6

large group foto

Carol Beaty helped leaders think about how they will organize to have a good turnout from their congregation or community organization

OTOC member organizations are being asked to hold at least one large group meeting anytime from September 15 to November 6 with members of their congregation or organization to listen to stories and experiences of their members.

This process of listening to the ‘pressures on our families’ is the fundamental way that OTOC leaders identify issues of common concern which become the basis for organizing Action Teams. OTOC is asking each member institution to have at least two representatives at this training session to help you organize the listening campaign.


OTOC to Co-host Prayerful Gathering for the Planet on Sat Sept 19

August 26th, 2015

Gathering for the planetOmaha Together One Community (OTOC) along with First United Methodist Church and other partners will hold a “Gathering for the Planet” on Saturday, September 19 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. on the front lawn of First United Methodist Church (7020 Cass St.) You may wish to bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on.

The morning is organized in response to and in celebration of Pope Francis’ recent Encyclical Laudato Sí and in support of a world-wide response to the UN Climate Conference in December. The morning will feature education about climate change, the moving music of McCarthy Trenching and “Prayers for the Planet”, where local clergy and faith leaders will share the key teachings of their faith regarding Care for the Earth. This gathering will happen, rain or shine so come join us.

To download a flyer, click on the link below:

Gathering for the Planet

Sustainable Energy Team active on many fronts: OPPD, Unicameral and Climate Change

August 26th, 2015

With Director McGuire on Left and cropped

OPPD Board President Anne McGuire (far left) along with three OPPD senior staff met with seven members of the OTOC Sustainable Energy Action team on August 19

Leaders of the OTOC Sustainable Energy Action Team recently met with OPPD Board President Anne McGuire and three members of the OPPD senior staff to discuss  several topics of interest to OTOC. The group discussed OPPD’s progress toward implementing their 2014 plan which will result in OPPD generating 33% of their electricity from sustainable sources such as wind or solar by 2017.

The OTOC leaders also discussed OPPD’s rate structure, the Green Fund, increased use of electric vehicles and the impact of recent EPA regulations about green house gases on OPPD and the State of Nebraska. The frank and lively discussion was informative and OTOC leaders indicated their willingness to help OPPD inform households in our member institutions about how they  can help reduce the electric peak load on hot summer days by signing up for OPPD’s   “Cool Smart” program which allows OPPD to regulate your central AC system in 15 minute intervals during a maximum of 12 days each year.

Alan Vovolka of First Unitarian organized the meeting that was attended by seven OTOC leaders. Contact Alan  at if you want to know more about OTOC’s work to assure that our publicly owned electric  utility embraces practices that produce energy which is affordable, reliable and from sources that are environmentally sustainable.

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