Download the printable version of the February 5 issue of GPconnect.
In this edition:
THIS WEEK'S NEWS
Prairie Rivers wins inaugural 'Kansaska Cup' for its mission shares payout
Updated calculator answers 'Where do our mission shares go?'
Two Topeka churches beefing up security after recent burglaries
Latest ‘In Layman’s Terms’ podcast explores culture of call
New webpage available for 2020 General Conference information
March 1 is deadline for interns, churches, mentor pastors to apply
Orders & Fellowship videos now available on our website
'Preparing for Your Future' set for April 20-22 at Salina Trinity UMC
Great Plains Conference's inaugural Laity Summit is 45 days away in Kearney
Author to speak about importance of youth finding rest, Sabbath in Feb. 19 session
MERCY & JUSTICE
Immigrant Legal Center staff find hope, fear side by side in trip to Mexican border
Mercy & Justice team looking for ways your church is addressing societal needs
Lenten devotional focuses on splendor of nature for 50th anniversary of Earth Day
Low-level flooding starting in Nebraska; farmland already faces impact
Kansas UM Foundation sets dates for investing, legacy workshops
Webinar-inspired study offers participants a ‘deep dive’ into evangelism
ACROSS THE CONNECTION
Bingo calls Wichita State University students to Campus Ministry event
In other news
The week ahead
Prairie Rivers wins inaugural 'Kansaska Cup' for its mission shares payout
Congratulations to the Prairie Rivers District for receiving the first "Kansaska Cup," a traveling trophy for the district with the top mission shares in the conference. The district, whose superintendent is the Rev. Lance Clay, finished 2019 with a 97.9% payout.
Clay talks about the determination that the district had, and Scott Brewer, treasurer and director of administrative services, explains more about mission shares and how it helps the connection of the Great Plains Conference, in this article.
Updated calculator answers
'Where do our mission shares go?'
Ever wonder what your church’s mission shares go? The Great Plains Mission Share Calculator has been updated for 2020 to provide greater detail and clarity on how these dollars are distributed. The simple, easy-to-use interface allows users to select their own church see how much of their Mission Share dollars will go to various ministries of the Great Plains, as well as the global church. To find out more go to https://www.greatplainsumc.org/currentcalculator/
Two Topeka churches beefing
up security after recent burglaries
Two churches in Topeka, First and Highland Park UMC (the latter shown here) have suffered burglaries over the past six weeks, and are in the process of increased security measures to prevent it from happening again.
Read more here.
Latest ‘In Layman’s Terms’
podcast explores culture of call
Even smaller churches can make a big impact in the world for Christ. And there is an example tucked away in Madison, Kansas, about 22 miles south of Emporia, that serves as proof.
In his book "The Madison Effect," Gary Robbins, a member of the Great Plains Conference’s Board of Ordained Ministry and a 40-year member of Topeka Countryside United Methodist Church, writes about how Madison UMC, a church in a town of 700 people, has helped 16 people enter into pastoral ministry. And Madison did it by paying attention, listening for the Holy Spirit and working in partnership between clergy and laity.
In the latest episode of his “In Layman’s Terms” podcast, Todd Seifert, conference communications director, talks with Robbins about why he wrote the book, some of the concepts he introduces and advice he can provide to churches so they can create a culture of call in their congregations. This is the first in a two-episode series on culture of call.
Listen to the podcast.
New webpage available for
2020 General Conference information
The page, which will be constantly updated until the end of the General Conference, includes news, blogs, proposed plans and contact information to send a general email to the laity and clergy delegates.
Other GC-related information:
March 1 is deadline for interns,
churches, mentor pastors to apply
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: https://www.greatplainsumc.org/pastoralleadershipinternships (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: https://www.greatplainsumc.org/pastoralleadershipinternships (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: https://www.greatplainsumc.org/matchinggrantinternships (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:
https://www.greatplainsumc.org/matchinggrantinternships (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 Rev. Ashlee Alley Crawford to learn more! email@example.com 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, clergy recruitment and development coordinator
Orders & Fellowship videos
now available on our website
Videos from the 2020 Orders & Fellowship gathering, last 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 Daryl 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.
'Preparing for Your Future' set
for April 20-22 at Salina Trinity UMC
The Great Plains Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits, along with the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund, invite you to “Preparing for Your Future,” April 20-22 at Salina Trinity UMC.
For any participants who need lodging, the UMC Board of Pensions will cover the cost of the Monday and Tuesday stay at a hotel. If you indicate on the registration form that you need lodging, the UMC Board of Pensions will make the arrangements. You will not need to make your own reservations.
The Monday night meal, Tuesday lunch and dinner will be provided by the Great Plains Conference Board of Pensions. The event begins at noon Monday and ends at noon Wednesday.
Download the seminar brochure here for more information.
Register for “Preparing for Your Future.”
Great Plains Conference's inaugural
Laity Summit is 45 days away in Kearney
An exciting engagement opportunity for laity is officially happening in our conference.
The Laity Summit will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at Kearney First UMC. This is for all lay persons, lay servants, lay leaders, and laity discerning a call for more of a leadership role. It will be a one-stop leadership gathering with worship, workshops, childcare, and food! The aim is that all in attendance network, learn and obtain resources for leadership.
For more information, details and to register go to this link.
The cost is $15 per person and that includes lunch, materials from workshops and walk-away resources for opportunity. Childcare will be provided at the church for $5 per child.
The mission is to provide lay persons of the Great Plains Conference a gathering that is accessible, affordable, and relevant that results in a more powerful dynamic in making disciples for the transformation of the world.
If you have questions about GP Laity Summit 2020, contact:
Author to speak about importance of youth
finding rest, Sabbath in Feb. 19 session
Rest has become a challenge for young people in a culture that praises incessant activities, endless digital communication, and on-going resume building.
The author of "Wrestling with Rest," Nathan Stucky, gives biblical and practical advice for helping youth find rest through the practice of Sabbath.
Come and learn from Stucky how Sabbath can shift young people's identity from one rooted in efficiency and productivity, to one rooted in the grace, life, and providence of God!
Nate Stucky runs the Farminary at Princeton Theological Seminary. He is a native Kansan, a Bethel graduate, a Ph.D. in YM, and an expert on Sabbath Rest and Youth. He tackles the hard conversations around busyness with young people in a kind, compassionate, and thought-provoking way in his book "Wresting with Rest."
Bring youth, parents and volunteers to this free event at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19 at Wichita Chapel Hill UMC to address the challenges of busyness with young people.
Respond to the Facebook event invitation.
Mercy & Justice
Immigrant Legal Center staff find hope,
fear side by side in trip to Mexican border
Last fall, four staff from Immigrant Legal Center - ILC (formerly Justice for Our Neighbors-Nebraska) traveled to the US-Mexican border to assist asylum seekers and other migrants and to experience first hand what the situation at the border is like. This was organized through National Justice For Our Neighbors (JFON) and teams from three other JFON sites also volunteered in the fall.
Read more about their trip.
Mercy & Justice team looking for ways
your church is addressing societal needs
The Great Plains Conference established themes for each year’s annual conference. The previous themes were:
- 2017 - KNOW GOD
- 2018 - PROCLAIM CHRIST
- 2019 - SERVE OTHERS
- 2020 - SEEK JUSTICE
The Great Plains Mercy and Justice team is asking local churches and mission agencies to submit their justice stories. Some of these stories will be highlighted as Justice Moments throughout our time together at annual conference.
Justice stories submitted by April 15 will be reviewed by a selection committee and may be included at Annual Conference. All stories will be posted on the Great Plains UMC website.
Mercy/charity includes direct services to those in need, examples include a food pantry or volunteering at a homeless shelter.
Justice is working for social, political and institutional change, such addressing minimum wage, affordable housing or environmental concerns. Justice deals with systems, polices and structures.
How are you engaging your community in addressing issues of injustice and/or societal needs? Follow this link to share your stories.
Lenten devotional focuses on splendor
of nature for 50th anniversary of Earth Day
As we mark the 50th Earth Day (April 22, 2020), Christians can reflect on how caring for God’s creation is connected to our faith. Drawing on the beloved hymn “For the Beauty of the Earth,” each week of this 40-day Lenten devotional focuses on a different aspect of the splendor of nature, how God nurtures our spirit through creation, and action ideas to protect our earth home.
To order, go to chalicepress.com.
--Creation Care Team
Low-level flooding starting in
Nebraska; farmland already faces impact
As we approach the spring storm season, our conference is already experiencing some low-level flooding issues in Nebraska. Currently no homes are impacted, yet some farmland is.
Now is the time to attend an Early Response Training so you will be ready to volunteer in our conference. Our next upcoming training will be Feb. 22 at York First UMC. Registration is available at www.greatplainsumc.org/register. We have other ERT trainings coming up in the next few months, and those are also listed in the same location.
Great Plains local churches -- save the dates of Aug. 27-29 for our Great Plains and UMCOR Disaster Response Academy. This three-day event will be held at Rock Springs Ranch 4-H Retreat Center in Junction City, Kansas. Watch for more details in the next couple of weeks.
--Rev. Hollie Tapley, disaster response coordinator
Kansas UM Foundation sets
dates for investing, legacy workshops
The Kansas Area United Methodist Foundation invites you to attend an Investing for the Future Seminar and a Leaving a Lasting Legacy Workshop this spring.
At the Investing for the Future Seminar, a Wespath Institutional Investments representative will share information on investing for the long-term. Topics will include: helping your church to align with its mission, resources for socially responsible investing, and strategies amidst volatile times.
The Investing for the Future Seminar will be held from 6:30-8 p.m. on the following days:
- March 16 at Wichita Aldersgate UMC
- March 17 at Hays First UMC
- March 18 at Church of the Resurrection, Leawood
For the second year, the Foundation will be offering Leaving a Lasting Legacy Workshops across the state. The one-day regional church training workshops will help equip pastors and lay persons to begin and/or grow their planned giving ministries. A planned giving ministry is about inviting people of your congregation to leave a lasting legacy through a planned gift. This ministry is based on the belief that God is still at work in the community and by giving generously you can change the lives of those who will come after you.
This spring’s workshops will be held at the following locations from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with lunch provided:
- March 24 at Colby UMC
- April 1 at Olathe Grace UMC
- April 14 at Wichita Calvary UMC
To register for an Investing for the Future Seminar and/or a Leaving a Lasting Legacy Workshop, please visit www.kaumf.org/register.
If you have any questions regarding the upcoming events or would like more information on a Foundation representative meeting with your congregation, visit website www.kaumf.org/presentations or contact the Foundation Office at 620-664-9623 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webinar-inspired study offers
participants a ‘deep dive’ into evangelism
A new group study guide has been released for “The E Word” webinar, which launched in November 2019. Written by the Rev. Heather Lear, the guide provides a way for small groups and congregations to dive deep into what evangelism means and learn how to better tell the Gospel story to their community.
Find out more here.
Across the Connection
Bingo calls Wichita State University
students to Campus Ministry event
Wichita State University Campus Ministry Connect invited students to join them for bingo last Thursday, Jan. 30, to kick off the semester. Fourteen students joined us in the hopes of winning gift cards to help with groceries, school supplies, and anything else that students might need. Five of these students came to play for the first time. Fun was had by all!
--Melissa Hasty, campus pastor
In other news
- Discipleship Ministries: Path 1, February 5, 2020
- Church and Society, February 5, 2020
- Leading Ideas, February 5, 2020
- Circuit Rider, Feb/Mar/Apr 2020
- A sermon for every Sunday, February 4, 2020
- MyCom, February 4, 2020
- Discipleship Ministries: Worship, February 4, 2020
- Leading Ideas Talks, February 1, 2020
- Discipleship Ministries: Slingstones (Korean), February 1, 2020
- Camp Norwesca, February 2019
- Disipleship Ministries 2020 L.I.D. (Korean), January 31, 2020
- UMComtigo (Spanish), January 30, 2020
- Ministry Matters, January 29, 2020
The week ahead