Download the printable version of the January 29 issue of GPconnect.
In this edition:
THIS WEEK'S NEWS
Bishop announces 2 new DSes, some district supervisory changes
DSes Watson, Bakely, Livingston close ministry careers with retirements
Email set up for General, Jurisdictional conference delegates
Negotiators for new UMC protocol urge hold on pastor trials, church closures
Minority funding critical to separation deal in protocol proposal
Traditionalist UMC event in Alabama draws more than 1,000
Videos from Orders & Fellowship sessions are now available online
Gratitude leads up to season of change for United Methodist Church
Students, churches, mentor pastors sought for pastoral leadership interns
Growing Communities of Love conference set for February in California
Camp Fontanelle to host tree climbing expert in April
Resurrection sets dates for Leadership Institute, Art of Hospitality conference
Missouri Conference hosts student day, LEAP, on Feb. 29
Planning continues for OneEvent, June 14-18 in Lincoln, Omaha
Nebraska UM Foundation offers New Start/New Faith Community Grants
New studies, devotionals now available for 2020 Lenten season
Helping your congregation get ready for General Conference
ACROSS THE CONNECTION
Lexington church, organization partner to fill childcare gap
In other news
Blogs and commentaries
The week ahead
Bishop announces 2 new DSes,
some district supervisory changes
Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. has announced two new district superintendents have been appointed in the Great Plains Conference to fill the roles of three retiring DSes and another DS who has completed an eight-year term on the cabinet. The appointments also continue progress toward a conference-wide goal to fully live into a system of networks and base communities for contextual ministries.
The Rev. Jenny Collins will serve the Topeka and Flint Hills districts, and the Rev. Dr. Tom Brady will serve the Five Rivers and Parsons districts when the appointive year begins July 1. Several other Kansas districts have new supervisory arrangements as well.
Read more about the new district superintendents and changes regarding the cabinet.
DSes Watson, Bakely, Livingston
close ministry careers with retirements
A trio of district superintendents with more than 80 years combined in the ministry have announced their retirements from the Great Plains Conference.
The Rev. David Watson, DS of the Five Rivers and Parsons districts, is stepping down after 38 years in the ministry. The Rev. Dennis Livingston, DS of the Hutchinson District and a portion of the Hays District, will retire after 29 years. And the Rev. Claudia Bakely, Flint Hills DS, is retiring after 17 years.
The retirements, as well as the conclusion of the eight-year term of the Rev. Kay Scarbrough, Topeka District superintendent with 26 years in the ministry, will make way for several changes in the appointive cabinet for the 2020-21 year.
Read more about their pastoral careers here.
Email set up for General,
Jurisdictional conference delegates
United Methodists in the Great Plains are welcome to share their thoughts and prayers with the delegation to the 2020 General Conference and Jurisdictional Conference delegates.
The Great Plains Conference has set up a new email for the 2020 delegates — email@example.com. Send your email to that address, and it will automatically forward to all members of the delegation.
Negotiators for new UMC protocol urge hold on pastor trials, church closures
Part of the new protocol for The United Methodist Church's separation calls for an immediate pause in closing churches and processing complaints related to LGBTQ restrictions. The United Methodist News Service reports on this part of the agreement and its impact.
Read more here.
Minority funding critical to
separation deal in protocol proposal
Negotiators of a proposed separation plan for The United Methodist Church say $39 million for minority ministries was a critical element to reaching an agreement.
“As you think about any kind of restructure or budget reductions or reallocations or whatever the case may be, historically marginalized communities usually become affected,” said the Rev. Junius Dotson, who took part in the negotiations and is top executive of United Methodist Discipleship Ministries, as well as being a delegate to the 2016 and 2020 General Conferences from the Great Plains.
Read more here.
Traditionalist UMC event in
Alabama draws more than 1,000
More than 1,000 people, mostly from Alabama but some from across the Southeastern Jurisdiction, attended a Jan. 25 meeting aimed at exploring a traditionalist denomination that would separate from The United Methodist Church.
Read more about it.
Videos from Orders & Fellowship
sessions are now available online
Videos from the 2020 Orders & Fellowship gathering, earlier this month at Lincoln St. Mark’s UMC, are now available:
Clergy heard from the Rev. Rachel Metheny, pastor of Congress Street UMC in Lafayette, Indiana; the Rev. Mike Mather, pastor of Broadway UMC in Indianapolis; and Darryl Answer, lead pastor of New Community Church in Kansas City, Missouri, discussing Asset-Based Community Development. Rev. Cecelia “CC” Armstrong, associate pastor of St. James Presbyterian Church in Charleston, South Carolina, also led a session.
Check out our O&F photo gallery.
Gratitude leads up to season of
change for United Methodist Church
In her monthly Clergy Health & Wellness blog, the Rev. Shelly Petz thanks her fellow pastors for their courageous leadership, faithfulness, and countless hours of work.
"I see you answering questions from people anxious/passionate/engaged about what is next in the life of the United Methodist Church and if there will be a place for them," she writes. "I see you exploring the same questions for yourself."
Petz points to a book, whose author will be joining us this year for the Annual Conference sessions, that can help pastors face the discernment that will take place in the months and years ahead.
Read more here.
Students, churches, mentor pastors
sought for pastoral leadership interns
The Pastoral Leadership Internship program is doing a new thing in 2020! Well, sort of …
While we will continue to provide opportunities for young adults to explore their gifts for ministry, we are also expanding the ways that churches and interns can connect for ministry. We will continue to have pastoral leadership internship opportunities for college students looking for a placement for the summer (and for churches looking for a pastoral intern for the summer), BUT, we will add the possibility of a church and an intern who already know that they want to work together, but perhaps need some funding to help make it happen!
If you’re a young adult and you’re up for a summer exploring ministry as a pastor, check out the information here. (Applications are open, with late deadline March 15)
If you’re a pastor and you want to apply to have a young adult intern in your church in the area of pastoral leadership, check out the information here. (Priority deadline is March 1)
If you’re a young adult and have a church in mind where you’d like to intern (kids ministry, youth ministry, or pastoral leadership) check out the information here and approach a pastor to explore the possibility. (Priority deadline is March 1)
If you’re a pastor or youth pastor with an intern in mind (kids ministry, youth ministry, or pastoral leadership) and are interested in a matching grant of up to $1,750, check out the information here. (Read more here about this possibility as well!) (Priority deadline is March 1)
And, if you’re confused by all the possibilities but are interested anyway, contact the Rev. Ashlee Alley Crawford, clergy recruitment and development director, to learn more! firstname.lastname@example.org or 785-414-4216.
This could be a life changing summer for a young adult or for your congregation to nurture the call of an intern. Will you check out the possibilities today?
--Rev. Ashlee Alley Crawford
Growing Communities of Love
conference set for February in California
Growing Communities of Love, presented by Mary Scifres Ministries in cooperation with the California-Pacific Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, will be Feb. 11-13 at Embassy Suites by Hilton, Anaheim South.
More than 60 churches across the country have turned to Mary Scifres Ministries for the help that is available. Growing Communities of Love both a Church Growth Conference and a Leadership Growth Conference to help you and your team:
- Uncover the No. 1 priority to grow your church by 10% this year
- Develop the leaders who will be your champions and explorers
- Create strategies to strengthen your finances and balance your budget
- Transform your church's culture through expanded emotional intelligence
- Discover your church’s untapped gifts for growth
Bring your leadership team to discover new insights and spiritual nourishment, and even bring your whole family for a Disneyland getaway on Presidents’ Day Weekend after the event.
Event information link: https://maryscifres.simplero.com/event
Hotel registration link: http://embassysuites.hilton.com/en/es/groups/personalized/L/LAXGDES-MIN-20200211/index.jhtml
Camp Fontanelle to host
tree climbing expert in April
Camp Fontanelle will be hosting a tree climbing training in April. Classes will be taught by one of the world's premier tree climbing experts, Tim Kovar.
The training is composed of two trainings. Basic is fundamentals of climbing while the facilitators course is how to safely lead groups and do rescues, etc. The training culminates with facilitating a tree climbing event on April 18 with the public for an Earth Day event at Elmwood Park.
- April 10-11 Basic Tree Climbing Course
- April 14-17 Facilitators Course
- April 18 - Omaha Earth Day
The cost for training and lodging and basic meals (food/kitchen prep area provided) is $1,500 per person.
Please reply ASAP by emailing Trent Meyer, Camp Fontanelle site director, at email@example.com if you would like to reserve a spot for this training as there are only a maximum of four spots available. A 50% deposit will guarantee your spot. More specific details will be shared with participants as the event approaches.
Resurrection sets dates for Leadership
Institute, Art of Hospitality conference
Save the date for Leadership Institute 2020, Sept. 23-25, for three days of inspiration, practical ministry tools and proven strategies to strengthen your church.
The focus for this year's conference will be ecumenical in nature, so we welcome and invite leaders from all denominations to attend. Bring your entire ministry team as we step forward together into a hopeful future for God's church.
Keynote Speakers include the Most Reverend Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, and Ron Heifetz, founder of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard's Kennedy School.
Registration opens in April.
Additionally, registration is currently open for The Art of Hospitality Conference, April 23-24 at Resurrection's Leawood campus. Churches are encouraged to bring their teams responsible for welcome and hospitality to learn key principles and methods to create a culture of radical hospitality that permeates the entire congregation.
Super Early Bird registration is available through Feb. 7 for $139.
Missouri Conference hosts
student day, LEAP, on Feb. 29
The Missouri Annual Conference and Next Generation Ministries is hosting a one-day student conference, LEAP, on Saturday, Feb. 29.
Students ages 13-18 are invited to attend this day filled with worship, service, fun and learning. The unique piece to this event is that it will be held simultaneously in two locations, Platte Woods (near Kansas City) and St. Charles (near St. Louis). Each location will have a similar schedule, but feature different speakers, worship bands and workshops. They will both have meal packing opportunities with Rise Against Hunger and a variety of games and activities.
You can see all the details and register here. For any questions, contact Maggie Lohmeyer, NextGen Youth Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Planning continues for OneEvent,
June 14-18 in Lincoln, Omaha
The group registration deadline has passed for OneEvent Reimagined, a conference-wide youth mission trip scheduled for June 14-18 in Lincoln and Omaha.
Currently, plans are being made for accommodations, evening activities, worship, and work to be done in the area.
From July: Information on changes to OneEvent.
Nebraska UM Foundation offers
New Start/New Faith Community Grants
The Nebraska United Methodist Foundation announces a new church development grant opportunity available to Nebraska churches and affiliated Nebraska agencies of the Great Plains United Methodist Conference.
Due to the generosity of donors supporting congregational development, the Nebraska United Methodist Foundation has grants available to enhance and support your new church development. The ultimate goal of these awards is to alleviate a little bit of the financial burden.
Grant applicants should be aware that priority will be given to the following:
- A New Start that is recognized by Congregational Excellence as a New Start/New Faith Community.
- A New Start deemed to be of an outreach and beneficial nature to the larger community.
- A New Start that is in collaboration with other United Methodist entities.
- A New Start that has identified other sources of revenue.
- A New Start that is an integral part of a long-range plan for growth and outreach.
Grants will be awarded on an annual basis. Applications must be received by April 1 to be considered. For application materials and more information, visit www.numf.org.
If you have questions about the application process or would like to talk to the Foundation about how you can help grow these types of grants, call 1-877-495-5545.
New studies, devotionals now
available for 2020 Lenten season
Feb. 26 is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the season of Lent. During Lent, Christians prepare to celebrate the miracle of Easter through prayer, fasting and other spiritual disciplines.
New studies and devotional resources are available from Abingdon Press, Upper Room Books and the Society of St. Andrew to help church leaders and congregants experience Lent as a season of reflection and attentiveness. Many are available to order in bulk or come with leader kits.
Most are appropriate for individual use and for Sunday school/small group or congregation-wide studies.
Get more information here.
Helping your congregation get
ready for General Conference
While only a few clergy and lay delegates will be attending the General Conference, May 5-15 in Minneapolis, other United Methodists from around the world will be watching, as the outcome may likely determine the future of the denomination.
What can individual churches do in advance of the General Conference? Discipleship Ministries has some ideas to consider.
Across the Connection
Lexington church, organization
partner to fill childcare gap
The congregation at Lexington First United Methodist Church and their pastor, the Rev. Anne Gahn, saw a need for childcare in the Nebraska community and worked with organizations to make it a reality.
Find out how the church partnered with a local organization to make the dream a reality, in this blog from NebraskaChildren.org.
Coverage from Lexington Clipper-Herald and the NTV Network.
In other news
- United Methodist Communications, January 29, 2020
- Safe Gatherings, January 29, 2020
- Leading Ideas, January 29, 2020
- CCS, January 2020
- Discipleship Ministries: Generous Living, February 2020
- A sermon for every Sunday, January 28, 2020
- The Source, January 28, 2020
- Discipleship Ministries: Worship, January 27, 2020
- United Methodist Now, January 27, 2020
- Mission moments and more, January 24, 2020
- Nebraska United Methodist Foundation, January 24, 2020
- Update from the General Secretary of GBHEM, January 23, 2020
- Compass, January 23, 2020
- Ministry Matters, January 22, 2020
Blogs and commentaries
- In Layman’s Terms: Hope discovered at pre-General Conference briefing — Todd Seifert, conference communications director, provides some of his insights from the pre-General Conference briefing Jan. 23-24 in Nashville. After hearing presentations about the plans for a way forward for the denomination, the Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation, and more, he came away with something lacking from many of the worldwide church gatherings he has attended of late: hope for the future.
- Leading when you don’t know the way: Church consultant Susan Beaumont – author of “How to Lead When You Don’t Know Where You’re Going: Leading in a Liminal Season” and a speaker at the Great Plains Annual Conference this May -- writes that church leaders need a different set of skills in ambiguous, disorienting periods of transition. She points to Moses as an example of leadership in a time of anxiety and uncertainty.
The week ahead