AC 2017 Daily

Recap from June 7, 2017

Welcome to Grand Island, Nebraska, and the 2017 Great Plains United Methodist Conference Session!

The weather will be on the warm side. We hope you enjoy the city and its amenities, while taking in the grand worship, productive business and timely learning of this conference session.

Each day there will be a special edition of "GPconnect." You can expect to receive GPconnect Daily today through Saturday. Below you can find information on what attendees can expect during AC 2017, along with announcements and featured stories.

Watch the live streaming of the session at See the official schedule to help make your viewing plans. View photos on our AC Flickr album, as we will update it daily. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to view additional photos and stay current with everything AC 2017. Don't forget to use hashtag #GPUMC and #GPAC17. Have a great week.


Opening service remembers, celebrates new life

The circle of life – and new thoughts on Jesus as the shepherd and we the sheep – were celebrated Wednesday night at the opening services at the Great Plains Annual Conference sessions in Grand Island.

The conference’s first evening opening worship included memorializing 27 clergy and 31 spouses who had passed away since last year’s conference. Each name was read and projected on the screen, accompanied by the playing of a tone and the lighting of a candle.

The Rev. James Brewer, a retired Nebraska United Methodist pastor, called his former colleagues “those whose voices we know, whose lives touched ours.”
But new life was also celebrated, with three baptisms: James Joowon Lee, child of Shin Hyo Lee and Eun Hye Lim; Hael Kim, child of Taejong (David) Kim and Hye Jin Cha Kim; and Theodore Jase Kaufmann, child of Tyler and Nicole Kaufmann.

The Rev. Claudia Bakely delivered the sermon for the opening services, expanding on the thoughts of Jesus as the shepherd and we as the sheep.

“We’ve been through a lot this year,” Bakely, Flint Hills District superintendent, said. “The sheep have been particularly fractious this year.”

Sheep, Bakely said, will flock and follow together even if it might not be a good idea. Through videos and photos projected to the congregation, she showed sheep crossing busy streets in the Mideast and crowding into one small opening to get through to the other side.

Bakely said she has heard complaints from church members that their pastor was letting into the fold “sheep that were dirtier and unrulier than the ones already in church.”

However, she said now more than ever “the world needs a shepherd.”

An offering was taken to benefit the education initiative grants, and communion was served.

UMMen award $6,000 in scholarships

More than 75 people attended the 28th annual UMMen Dinner and Auction at Trinity UMC at 5 p.m., Wednesday, June 7.

More than $6,000 in scholarships distributed.

The auction included a variety of items and experiences.

"Everybody's been overly generous" in the donations, 100 Club executive director.

Recipients of the 100 Club scholarships are Nick Kaufmann, St. Paul School of Theology; Marcee Binder, Illff School of Theology; and Katelyn Renea Hilger, Asbury Theological Seminary.

Fleming Family Scholarships were received by Kaufmann, St. Paul; Binder, Illiff; and Hilger, Asbury.

The Dean, Jean and Randy Fleming Scholarships were awarded to Kaufmann, St. Paul; and Binder, Illiff.

Madeline Baugous, Garrett evangelical Seminary, was the recipient of the Nichole Spiegel-Wheeler Scholarship.

The Merv and Bev Schliefert Scholarship was given to Hilger, Asbury. The Fleming-Humphrey-Goff Scholarship was awarded to Kaufmann, St. Paul. kaufmann also received the Joe Meehan 32nd Degree Master Mason Scholarship.

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