Download the printable version of the May 9 issue of GPconnect.

In this edition:

Bishop offers invitation to annual conference session via video
Deconsecration services set for conference offices
Bishops’ proposal garners a range of responses
Bishop Saenz: ‘Profoundly hopeful’ after council’s decision
Church ratifies three of five constitutional amendments
United Methodists encouraged to celebrate anniversary at Pentecost
Wisdom from Susanna Wesley, the mother of John Wesley

We're five weeks away from gathering in Wichita with ‘Proclaim Christ’ theme

Ready to Retire Seminar set for May 21-22 in Salina
Church of the Resurrection hosts Young Preachers Festival, June 27-28
Laity complete Certified Lay Ministers preaching classes

Lay Servant shares a resource that helped her preaching
Men gather to gain momentum, spread Gospel in Wichita
Discipleship Ministries releases second guidebook for #SeeAllThePeople
Campus ministry leaders focus on creating sustainable ministries
Newly released study guide explores God’s mission for the church
Southwestern hosts Summit Youth Academy in July

Learning to Weave: The Intersection of Faith and Politics
Walk gently in life, treat earth with reverence

UMCOR truck will be at annual conference; sponges off cleaning kit list

Online books of Discipline, Resolutions coming soon
Stay up to date on progress with new UM hymnal
Kansas UM Foundation sets May certificate rates

Baker University announces $20 million capital campaign
Topeka pastor dunks to celebrate 60th birthday
Former Great Plains pastor releases book that connects theology, heroes
Author/pastor Brian Zahnd coming to Church of the Resurrection on Tuesday
Southwestern College names Masterbuilders for 2017-18
Blogs and opinion
The week ahead


Bishop offers invitation to annual conference session via video

Our preview of the upcoming Great Plains Annual Conference session continues with an invitational video from Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr.

In this short video, the bishop shares information about our plenary speaker, the workshops available for you to participate in during the conference and some insight into how we will begin to address the decision by the Council of Bishops associated with the Commission on a Way Forward.

Watch the bishop’s video.

Watch a video featuring our plenary speaker, the Rev. Dr. Mark Teasdale.

Watch a video for first-time attendees featuring conference Lay Leader Courtney Fowler.

Learn more about the annual conference session.

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Deconsecration services
set for conference offices

As the Great Plains Conference starts up operations at the new Topeka office, the time has come to commemorate the ministry that has taken place in the offices in Lincoln (pictured above) and Wichita, as well as the former building in Topeka.

A series of deconsecration services has been scheduled to allow interested United Methodists and members of the communities in which the buildings sit to honor the work that has taken place in service to our risen Savior.

All services are anticipated to include communion and a short liturgy, as well as light refreshments.

Deconsecration service times are:

  • Lincoln – 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 20 (3333 Landmark Circle).
  • Former Topeka office – 2 p.m. Friday, June 1 (4201 SW 15th St.).
  • Wichita – Approximately 1:30 p.m. (about 90 minutes after the close of the annual conference session) Saturday, June 16 (9440 E. Boston St.).

Bishops’ proposal garners
a range of responses

In messages to their areas, United Methodist bishops are choosing to emphasize different parts of their motion for a proposed way forward. Advocacy groups also are making their thoughts known. The United Methodist News Service reports on initial perspectives about what the bishops are submitting to the special General Conference in 2019.

Read more about the responses.

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Bishop Saenz: ‘Profoundly
hopeful’ after council’s decision

“I am profoundly hopeful about the future of The United Methodist Church at such a time as this amid swirling uncertainties and rapid change,” Great Plains Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. writes in an open letter to the conference clergy and laity, following the decision by the Council of Bishops.

“My hope is based on the deep love and commitment our laity and clergy have for the mission of Jesus Christ in the world through the outreaching ministries of the church. I will diligently work with you in the coming year to help our Great Plains Conference remain focused on our core five-fold discipleship pattern of worshipful presence, prayer, generosity, service, and witness.”

Bishop Saenz also is calling for extended devotional time, including the Lord’s Prayer and the 23rd Psalm, until the February special session in St. Louis.

Read more from the bishop.

Check out resources from our Forward in Unity page.

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Church ratifies three of five constitutional amendments

United Methodists said “yes” to the Council of Bishops holding its members accountable and “no” to two constitutional amendments that promoted women’s equality. Heather Hahn of The United Methodist News Service reports on the amendment votes certified by the Council of Bishops.

A majority of Great Plains Conference, voting last year during the conference sessions, overwhelmingly approved the first four amendments, but against the fifth amendment, which would hold individual members of the Council of Bishops accountable for their work.

Read more about the votes.

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United Methodists encouraged to celebrate anniversary at Pentecost

May 20 is being called a “once in a lifetime” event for United Methodists, offering an opportunity to commemorate the church’s history alongside the celebration of Pentecost. Numerous event-specific resources are available for congregations, including a video created to honor the church’s legacy since April 23, 1968, when leaders of the Evangelical United Brethren Church and The Methodist Church declared the creation of a new denomination, The United Methodist Church.

“May 20, 2018 is Pentecost PLUS!,” said the Rev. Fred Day, general secretary of the General Commission of Archives and History. “Not only is the third Sunday of May, Pentecost, the culmination of the great 50 days of Eastertide, the day for celebrating the loosing of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and the gift of Christian unity, it is also Heritage Sunday. This year the Heritage Sunday theme is ‘Jubilee’ in a nod to the 50th anniversary, which often is referred to as the Golden Jubilee.

“Don’t miss this once in a lifetime intersection,” Day said.

Read more about plans for the celebration.

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Wisdom from Susanna Wesley,
the mother of John Wesley

Methodism’s founder John Wesley wrote about his mother’s many rules for raising children. The notes offer a fun glimpse into life at the Wesley home.

Read more of the wisdom of Mother Wesley.

Get insight in John Wesley’s letters to his mother.

Take this quiz about United Methodist and biblical mothers.

Meet the Methodists who founded Mother’s Day

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Annual Conference

We're five weeks away from gathering
in Wichita with ‘Proclaim Christ’ theme


“Proclaim Christ” is the theme for the 2018 Great Plains Annual Conference Session, which takes place June 13-16 at the Century II Convention Center in Wichita. Annual Conference formally begins with the Service of Remembrance at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. However, there is an optional listening session from 2-4 p.m.
Registration for the 2018 Great Plains Annual Conference Session is now open and will remain open through Thursday, May 31. However, registrations received after May 24 will have a late fee of $25 added to the registration, so please register early. Information about annual conference, the speakers and workshops can be found on the conference website
Some additional information for you to be aware of as you register:

  • The retirement dinner and celebration is Thursday, June 14. Dinner begins at 5:30 p.m. and the celebration will start about 6:30. Everyone is invited to attend. Register for the dinner on the registration form, or choose to eat elsewhere and return for the celebration. People from a local church wishing to celebrate the retirement of their pastor, but not otherwise attending conference, can reserve a space for the dinner by registering here
  • Ordination worship service is at 7 p.m. Friday, June 15. All are welcome to attend, including persons from the local church who want to celebrate the ordination of their pastor.
  • A 5K run is being planned for 7 a.m. Saturday, June 16. Click here to register.
  • Volunteers are needed to provide hospitality, serve as tellers, drive golf carts and provide basic medical care (if needed). You can register to be a volunteer here. If you live in the Wichita area and want to know more about Annual Conference, consider being one of our volunteers.
  • The Great Plains United Methodist Women are hosting a luncheon on Friday June 15th at First United Methodist Church, 330 N. Broadway St., Wichita, from 12:30-2 p.m. Cost of the lunch is $10. Registration is available here.

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Clergy Excellence

Ready to Retire Seminar
set for May 21-22 in Salina

The Ready to Retire Seminar for 2018 will be Monday-Tuesday, May 21-22, at Trinity United Methodist Church, 901 E. Neal Ave., Salina.

The Great Plains Conference Board of Pensions and Health Benefits and the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund invite all active United Methodist clergy anticipating retirement in the next one to five years and their spouses to attend this two-day educational event.

The seminar begins at 1:30 p.m. Monday, May 21, and concludes following the dinner catered by Martinelli’s Little Italy. Tuesday’s sessions begin at 8:30 a.m., with lunch catered by Hog Wild BBQ, and conclude at 2 p.m.
Lodging is paid for by the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund, at Comfort Inn and Suites, 715 W. Shilling Road.

Registration is available here.

More information is available in this brochure.

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Church of the Resurrection hosts
Young Preachers Festival, June 27-28

The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection will host the Young Preachers Festival, June 27-28 at its Leawood, Kansas, campus. 

The gathering is designed to engage and empower young people across the country to pursue their call to ministry and to further inspire and develop preaching gifts in those who have already answered that call. The festival is intended for persons age 18-34 who are graduating high school seniors, college-aged ministry participants, seminary students, declared candidates for ordination, youth directors and young clergy already serving in churches. 

The festival’s featured preachers/speakers include: Adam Hamilton, Sarah Heath, Kevin Murriel, Jerusha Neal, Charley Reeb and Scott Chrostek.

Experiences for festival participants include:
• Learning about the craft of preaching, sermon preparation and preaching skills from a panel of featured speakers
• Participating in inspiring worship and hearing some of today’s denominational leaders preach the Gospel
• Preparing and presenting a sermon and receiving feedback
• Meeting and connecting with other young church leaders

The Great Plains Annual Conference is providing scholarships for any participant from Kansas or Nebraska. Email Rev. Ashlee Alley Crawford, to let her know your interest; no further application is necessary.

Do you know a young leader who should attend the festival? Share information and invite a young leader to attend.

Additional details and registration can be found at Contact or 913-232-4139.

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Laity complete Certified
Lay Ministers preaching classes

Eleven Great Plains laity completed their Certified Lay Ministers preaching classes by delivering sermons April 28 at Wichita University United Methodist Church.

Completing the course are, from left, Mark Glover, Kansas City, Kansas; Chuck Squire, Ord, Nebraska; Cheryl Anderson, Davenport, Nebraska; Tracy Smith, Moran, Kansas; Bryan Hankins, Papillion, Nebraska; Michelle Loeffelholz, Kenesaw, Nebraska; Deloris Pinkard, Kansas City, Kansas; Julie Schropp, Leawood, Kansas; Jeanie Leeper, Shickley, Nebraska; Quentin Bennett, Facilitator, Wichita, Kansas; Kathy, Uldrich, Juniata, Nebraska. Missing is Lana Day, North Platte, Nebraska.  

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Equipping Disciples

Lay Servant shares a
resource that helped her preaching

Julie Schropp, the Kansas City District director of Lay Servant Ministries, shares an experience that helped her preaching in the latest LSM blog.

In the blog, Schropp shares how the book “The Homiletical Plot” and an online course provided by the Great Plains Conference opened her mind to a new way of sharing the message of hope and peace through Christ.

Read her blog.

Learn more about Lay Servant Ministries.

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Men gather to gain momentum,
spread Gospel in Wichita

The fourth annual Wichita Christian Men’s Gathering gained regional momentum as men from Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas and Texas came together April 28 at Wichita Calvary United Methodist Church.

Why did we Gather? We Gathered to be spiritually challenged by the Rev. Junius Dotson, General Secretary for Discipleship Ministries. As our spiritual guide for the day, Dotson challenged the men by sharing the story of Elijah, who fled from the challenges of his world and hid in a cave. The Lord met him there, not in the wind, not in the earthquake, nor in the fire. The Lord met Elijah there in a still, quiet voice and sent him back into the world to do the task set aside for him. Dotson tied the message to the opening remarks from Rev. Ashley Prescott Barlow-Thompson, Wichita Calvary deacon, from Ephesians 4 (the guiding scripture for the Gathering) where we learn we are all gifted in different ways to prepare us for the task, the challenges, of the world we live in. Dotson reminded us that we are also challenged to listen to the still, quiet voice of the Word of God, to go into the world and do the task prepared for us to make the difference for Jesus.

Why did we Gather? We gathered to hear Coach Kris Hogan, head football coach at Grapevine Faith High School in Texas, motivate us to meet our challenge as men. Hogan has coached his teams to eight state championships and has been selected coach of the year six times in Texas. However, Hogan is most respected for ministering to young men, their families and the community as he coaches. He challenged us that as Christian men we are called to reproduce another generation of Christians. For us to do that, we must not succumb to the wishes or the feelings of the world, but stay on purpose, maintaining our identity in Jesus.

Why did we Gather? We Gathered to hear personal testimonies from four men and women on how their journey was impacted through relationship with others. They challenged us to engage in the lives of others to make a difference.

We gathered to experience class meetings, where a leader guided the discussion on who mentored us on our journey. What was the impact of our fathers on that journey?

We Gathered to worship through the music of Aaron Lee Martin (pictured above), contemporary music director at Wichita Aldersgate ReNew.

We Gathered to raise scholarship funds of more than $1,600 so that women and men will help produce another generation of Christians as they attend Christian colleges in Kansas.

We especially Gathered so that the men could be anointed and sent back into their communities to find that person God has placed in their life for them to mentor. They were challenged to find a group of men willing to engage in the Wesleyan style of small group ministry for spiritual growth.
Plans for next year are coming together. We will gather again on April 27, 2019, again at Wichita Calvary. Look for more information on the Conference UMM web page

-- George Houle, Calvary UMC

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Discipleship Ministries releases second guidebook for #SeeAllThePeople

Congregations and annual conferences across the United Methodist connection, spurred by the #SeeAllThePeople movement, are engaging people in their communities to form new relationships that can lead to discipleship.
New resources from Discipleship Ministries, including a second book and study guide and a third short film, are available to help lay leaders, clergy and conference leaders reach out to new people with intentional discipleship.

Read more from Discipleship Ministries.

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Campus ministry leaders focus
on creating sustainable ministries

A visionary model for rethinking how campus ministries can provide meaning and purpose and yet be sustainable was presented during a training event sponsored by the Office of Collegiate Ministry at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM). As the leadership development agency of the denomination, the Annual Conference Leaders training supports GBHEM’s work to equip the current and future leaders of the church.
Collegiate ministry leaders from Annual Conferences and campuses heard Rev. Dr. Eric Law, founder and executive director of the Kaleidoscope Institute, describe how his Holy Currencies model can help campus ministries face financial constraints.
“One of the recurrent issues in campus ministry is, how it is sustainable,” said Law, who engaged attendees at the April 23-26 training event in what he calls “re-incubating campus ministry.”
Read more about the work of campus ministries.

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Newly released study guide
explores God’s mission for the church

The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and the Association of United Methodist Theological Schools announced the release of a new study guide, “Missio Dei and the United States: Toward a Faithful United Methodist Witness.”

The guide, suitable for a six- to eight-week study, is a resource to help readers take stock of Wesleyan heritage and ask how to best participate in God’s mission for the church. The study guide’s premise is that the mission field is ripe for a vital United Methodist witness here and now.

Read more about the guide.

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Southwestern hosts Summit
Youth Academy in July

Southwestern College will host the Summit Youth Academy, July 22-28. The academy offers current high school sophomores and juniors a week to hear God’s calling by connecting with God, Christian leaders, and peers, learning from Wesleyan scholars, and serving others.

According to Rev. Wendy Mohler-Seib (pictured above), director of faith formation for youth and young adults for the Institute for Discipleship, last year 36 Summit disciples attended, and this year the goal is 60. Disciples will be given the chance to consider their post-high school plans as Peter Cammarano guides them through the Birkman Assessment. This assessment helps young people consider the best career field for their interests, passions, strengths, and environmental preferences.

“Our goal is to give young disciples a deeper understanding of their faith and the challenges that our communities and neighbors face, and exposure to quality theological education so they can respond to God in a thoughtful way that promotes love, grace, kindness, and mercy in the world around them,” said Mohler-Seib. “We believe that every person is uniquely gifted to bring goodness to those around them.”

Special guest lecturers and preachers include Cammarano, Andrew Singh, Scott Kisker, Stephen Rankin, Julie Lashier, Jackson Lashier, Anne Gatobu, Lucas McConnell, and several Southwestern College alumni who will return as covenant pastors to assist 10 Southwestern College students (Summit Guides) who will lead small groups each day.

To be accepted into the Summit Youth Academy, potential Summit disciples need to apply at Acceptance also requires a nomination from a church leader. This can be a pastor, youth pastor, or lay person. Summit disciples who are currently juniors in high school are invited to re-apply to attend.

The cost to attend the Summit Youth Academy is $200 from the participant and $200 from the nominating churches. The Great Plains Annual Conference also provides 50 $100 scholarships for first-year Summit disciples.

Sponsors for the academy include: Winfield Circles, SoCe Life Wichita, Coaching for Grace, Camp Horizon, and The Great Plains Annual Conference.

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Mercy & Justice

Learning to Weave: The
Intersection of Faith and Politics

Each year, a group of United Methodists from the Great Plains Conference travels to Washington D.C., with scholarships funded through Peace with Justice Sunday offerings to participate in Ecumenical Advocacy Days. Participants come back with new insights and courage to continue on their faith journeys. Joy Lenz, a member of Grace UMC in Winfield, Kansas, reflects on what EAD has meant to her:

“As both religion and politics have begun playing an ever-larger role in my life, I have struggled with how to talk about them and how to define the line between them. I have become more and more comfortable talking about my political convictions, both publicly and privately, and have become politically active on many different levels. I have always had difficulty expressing my personal faith, but have slowly learned to explain what I believe and how it impacts my life. For many years, I tried to keep these two parts of myself separate, keeping religious and political ideals apart. It took me a long time to realize that the separation of church and state did not need to extend to my heart.

“I have had some wonderful models of how to tie biblical mandates to social action, but I have still been hesitant to fully embrace this, still struggling to keep faith and politics in their respective spaces. I know that much of my reluctance to connect religion with my political beliefs came from my disgust at the ways the Religious Right has corrupted Christianity and my desire to distance myself and my beliefs from that. At Ecumenical Advocacy Days I saw people carrying out social and political action and connecting it to their faith in new and beautiful ways. There I was surrounded by people who saw religion and politics and action not as distinct and separate ideals, but as a connected cycle. Faith leads to social stances which leads to political engagement which leads to personal action which strengthens faith.”

Read more from Joy Lenz.

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Walk gently in life, treat
earth with reverence

Editor’s note: The Creation Care Team of the Great Plains Conference will share thoughts with us on a regular basis in GPconnect, beginning today:

You are invited to incorporate these thoughts by Steve Goodier into your prayer life this week.

“Through life, I want to walk gently. I want to treat all of life – the earth and its people – with reverence. I want to remove my shoes in the presence of holy ground. As much as possible, I want to walk in peace.

“I want to walk lightly, even joyfully, through whatever days I am given. I want to laugh easily. I want to step carefully in and out of people's lives and relationships. I don't want to tread any heavier than necessary.

“And throughout life, I think I would like to walk with more humility and less anger, more love and less fear. I want to walk confidently, but without arrogance. I want to walk in deep appreciation. I want to be genuinely thankful for life's extravagant, yet simple, gifts – a star-splattered night sky or a hot drink on an ice-cold day.

“If life is a journey, then how I make that journey is important. How I walk through life.”

To learn how your congregation might become a Creation Care Church in the Great Plains Conference, go to

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Disaster Response

UMCOR truck will be at annual conference; sponges off cleaning kit list

The UMCOR truck will be outside the Great Plains Annual Conference sessions in Wichita again this year, from 2-7 p.m. Wednesday, June 13, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, June 14.

Only three kits will be accepted this year: Hygiene, Cleaning and School.

Please box kits and place an inventory list on top of the box. All kits must be compiled by UMCOR standards. If you are unable to locate an item, do not substitute for something else. Place a note on top of the kit saying what is missing from the contents.

Update: Sponges have been removed from the list because the type needed are hard to locate. Please include $1.50 to include the cost of sponges.

Donations can also be made to UMCOR. Make checks payable to the Great Plains Conference and write “901440 (UMCOR)” on the memo line. Donation checks to UMCOR can be dropped off at the truck at the times listed above.

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Online books of Discipline,
Resolutions coming soon


Each General Conference, changes are made to the United Methodist Book of Discipline. While we can read the new version, sometimes we forget what wording was there before.

Now you can sign up for an online subscription to the Book of Discipline and Book of Resolutions via the United Methodist Publishing House, which is preparing to make them available online in a way that not only gives you access to the texts in a searchable format, but they also feature a “red-line edition,” that shows the changes from the 2012 to 2016 publications. The cost for one year of access is $19.99, and the cost for four years of access is $59.99.

Learn more and sign up.

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Stay up to date on
progress with new UM hymnal

Anyone who is curious about the progress being made on a new hymnal for The United Methodist Church now can receive updates via a newsletter and by perusing a website set up to provide information as it becomes available.

Learn the latest news from the committee working on revisions to the hymnal, read news releases and even see videos about the progress being made.

See the information site for the New United Methodist Hymnal.

Sign up for a newsletter about the hymnal revisions.

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Kansas UM Foundation
sets May certificate rates

A Certificate of Participation is a time investment in building the United Methodist witness through the Kansas Area United Methodist Foundation’s loan program for Kansas and Nebraska United Methodist churches and agencies. An individual or church may invest a $1,000 minimum for one- or two-year participation so that you may strengthen the expansion of the United Methodist witness.

*NEW* Certificate of Participation May rate: One-Year: 1.20 percent; Two-Year: 1.50 percent.

To learn more how you may increase your investments at the same time expanding the United Methodist witness, download promotional material for your church such as flyers, postcards or newsletter/bulletin ads, etc., at or call 1-888-453-8405.

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Across the Connection

Baker University announces
$20 million capital campaign

Baker University President Lynne Murray has announced the start of the public phase of a $20 million capital campaign to address a wide range of school needs.

Murray made the announcement recently at the conclusion of the Forever Orange campaign's silent phase of reaching out to selected alumni and friends of the university.

Read more in this story from the Lawrence Journal-World.

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Topeka pastor dunks to
celebrate 60th birthday

Rev. Paul Wilke celebrated his 60th birthday by doing what he has on nearly every previous birthday – dunking a basketball.

But this year was his first birthday as pastor of Topeka Countryside United Methodist Church, where he was appointed last summer, and he had an audience of about 15 church members.

Read the story from the Topeka Capital Journal.

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Former Great Plains pastor releases book that connects theology, heroes

A former pastor from the Great Plains Conference has published a new book connecting theology to superheroes.

Son of Man & Superman” was released by Rev. Andy Whitaker Smith in February.

“Superman and Jesus have many similarities,” Smith writes in the book’s description on Amazon. “They both come from other worlds, raised by humans, sent out to discover themselves, and provide hope to the world. Is this because of who they are -- or how their stories are told?

“Similar to Joseph (Hero of a Thousand Faces/Power of Myth) Campbell's work in ‘Mythology,’ this book looks into Jesus and Superman's journeys being linked by a thread of storytelling which spans time and many other hero characters; including Batman, Spider-Man, and Luke Skywalker. If you've wondered why Jesus' story is told the way it is in the four gospels, perhaps looking at the story of Superman can shed some light.”

Smith served former Kansas East Conference churches in Hiattville, Winchester, Topeka First and Topeka Crestview. He is currently pastor of a church in Lakeland, Florida.

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Author/pastor Brian Zahnd coming to Church of the Resurrection on Tuesday

Author and pastor the Rev. Brian Zahnd will speak from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 15, at the sanctuary of United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, 5009 W. 137th St., Leawood, Kansas.

In his book “Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God,” Zahnd challenges centuries-old Puritan Revivalist Jonathan Edwards’ theology which casts a vision of God as angry, violent and retributive. Zahnd’s personal faith journey is rooted in a loving God who is revealed in perfection through Jesus Christ. He contends the hands of God are not hands of wrath but, hands of mercy. To be a sinner in these hands of God is where healing begins and transformation happens.

Zahnd is the founder and lead pastor of Word of Life Church, a thriving nondenominational Christian church in St. Joseph, Missouri. He has authored numerous books including: “Water to Wine,” “A Farewell to Mars,” “Beauty Will Save the World” and “Unconditional?: The Call of Jesus to Radical Forgiveness.”

He will be speaking about his newest book and signing copies at the conclusion of the event. This event is free and open to all. Click here to register and invite your family and friends.

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Southwestern College names Masterbuilders for 2017-18

Masterbuilders for the 2017-2018 academic year at Southwestern College were named during Honors Convocation on April 12. The honor of Masterbuilder is given to graduating seniors who best typify the spirit of Southwestern. 

The Student Government Association initiates the process for naming Masterbuilders by calling for each SGA member to nominate students. The list of students who receive votes are then submitted to a faculty vote. Finally, the entire student body votes, choosing recipients from the names remaining on the list. 

Masterbuilders for 2017-2018 include: Tanner Carlson, Belton, Texas; Jacob Horsch and Jordyn Miller, Wichita; Tomunci Whitfield, Cedar Hill, Texas; Craig Lantz, Bel Aire, Kansas; and Myron Fisher, Allen, Texas.

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Blogs and opinion

  • What is wrong with the church?: Florida Area Bishop Ken Carter, who this month became president of the Council of Bishops, regularly hears from people identifying what they think is wrong with the church. In his Bishop’s Blog, Carter asks if we all should instead focus on what is wrong in each of our lives. He points to Psalm 51, which says, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.”
  • Addiction, Mother’s Day and God’s grace: Children are born, grow up and then have babies of their own – one grandmother, Kathy Gilbert of the United Methodist News Service -- reflects on blessings for Mother’s Day.

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The week ahead

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