The Rev’d Dr. David Bridges, priest at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church and Dean of the NE Region Clericus, has joined Tulsa Together.
The group, organized by the Rev. W.R. Casey Jr., is working together with the goal of providing a center in north Tulsa designed to include childcare for infants thru 12-years-old, a computer lab, literacy programs, GED classes, teen pregnancy classes, a gymnasium, playground and a dinning/kitchen area.
Tulsa Together is an extension of the Christian Ministers Alliance. The Reverend A.D. Phillips Youth Center is slated to sit on a seven acre campus at the corner of Apache and Lewis.
“Free time can be the worst enemy of a young person,” Bridges said. “This center will provide services which help members of the community in so many ways.”
Studies, Bridges said, show more than 65 percent of the crime committed in north Tulsa is done by individuals under the age of 17.
He said the center will help provide members of the community with positive adult guidance, access to healthy activities and other opportunities.
Joining the effort
Bridges said becoming part of Tulsa Together seemed natural, as the Episcopal Church as a whole, is involved with racial reconciliation and ecumenical efforts.
“I never heard the phrase ‘white privilege’ until a couple of years ago and didn’t begin to understand it until about a year ago,” Bridges said. “I was raised in a predominantly white community and didn’t realize the privileges afforded whites, but not people of color. I have never been prejudiced, but I was uninformed.”
Bridges is the sole Episcopal Church representative in the group.
“We are called to be the body of Christ in the world and to take an active part in improving the lives of every individual, while upholding the dignity of all persons,” Bridges said. “Denominational lines must not separate us from the work Jesus has given us to do.
“As the Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement, we are called to step out of the box and bring light into the darkness.”
Bridges hopes his role within Tulsa Together is one which can encourage other Episcopalians within the Tulsa area and surrounding regions to become part of this project.
“We can all be a force for positive change in north Tulsa,” Bridges said. “When we reach out beyond our perceived borders we can begin to encounter and interact with people from many walks of life.
“When we reach our hands out in love, we can draw people to know and love Jesus, and place the Kingdom of God first in their hearts. This is when we will see positive change in our communities.”
Bridges has served as the priest at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Grove since 2016.
In addition to Tulsa Together, his community efforts include serving as a Court Appointed Special Advocate in Delaware county and a summer youth camp Dean at St. Crispin’s Camp & Retreat Center.
Additionally, Bridges owns Shout Media, a producer and publisher of Christian books and music.
Bridges and his wife Marla also work with Leah, a comfort service and diabetic alert service dog.
“Leah enhances my ministry by being available for home and hospital visits,” Bridges said. “She can comfort and encourage the sick and depressed patient.”
For more information about Tulsa Together, persons interested may contact Bridges at firstname.lastname@example.org or 918-801-2203.