THIS WEEK'S NEWS
New PDF from conference shows what United Methodists believe
Great Plains clergy active in payday loan reform rallies across Kansas
Camp Horizon celebrates its 75th anniversary on Sunday
Childcare center gives new life to former central Nebraska church
General agencies face tough budgeting season
Jurisdictions advised to elect 14 U.S. bishops
Four recipients named for fall Culture of Call grants
Tomson-DeGreeff next guest in online clergy discipleship series
Final deadline for 2022 clergy wellbeing grants approaching
Health Ministry Fund offers Mental Health First Aid training
Children’s ministry online workshop set for Nov. 19
Grants available for emerging ethnic ministries
MERCY & JUSTICE
Learning, practicing peace is subject of GBCS webinar, Nov. 1-3
KMF hosts free webinar about 'Courage to Ask'
Kansas foundation provides videos for stewardship campaigns
United Media Resource Center back with new arrivals for your ministry
Email still relevant for outreach; how your church can be effective
Seminaries plan virtual recruiting fair for Nov. 4
Among a full menu of choices, 10 free services for local churches
In webinar series, scholars explore Fresh Expressions of church
ACROSS THE CONNECTION
10th annual SERVE Day connects church to McPherson community
K-State Wesley working with Afghan refugees moving to Manhattan
In other news
New PDF from conference shows
what United Methodists believe
During the recent district gatherings with Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr., conference staff and the cabinet heard how many of you wanted a document that summed up United Methodist beliefs to address some misleading information being shared in some areas of the conference. You wanted something you could hand to someone with questions and/or post to bulletin boards, or even send out in your email newsletters.
The link below is to a single page (front-and-back) PDF document that shares core United Methodist theological beliefs and answers to questions asked most often of late of our district superintendents, conference staff and, of course, the bishop.
Download the printable PDF here or find it at greatplainsumc.org/beumc.
Feel free to share this document with your congregations.
Great Plains clergy active in payday
loan reform rallies across Kansas
The Rev. Annie Ricker, pastor at Berryton and Lecompton Big Springs UMCs, was among the Great Plains clergy involved in payday loan reform rallies across the state in the past week.
Upcoming rallies are at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 24, at Wichita Saint Mark UMC; and 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, at Overland Park St. Mark UMC.
A Wyandotte County rally, previously scheduled for this week, is being rescheduled with a time and place to be announced.
Read more here.
Watch a video from Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. on payday loan reform.
Camp Horizon celebrates its
75th anniversary on Sunday
More than 100 people -- many of them current and former campers and counselors -- helped Camp Horizon celebrate its 75th anniversary with outdoor worship and sharing memories.
Read more and see a photo album.
Childcare center gives new life
to former central Nebraska church
The loss of the United Methodist Church in the central Nebraska town of Kenesaw nearly two years ago quickly turned into a blessing for the community.
The church was converted into a childcare center for the town of 1,100, fulfilling a need in the community while still keeping reminders of the former incarnation.
Read more and see a photo album.
See related stories from the Hastings Tribune, KSNB and the NTV Network.
General agencies face
tough budgeting season
United Methodist general agencies are in the process of developing their spending plans for the year ahead. They do so as the ongoing fallout of the pandemic, high inflation rates and rising church disaffiliations are affecting finances throughout the denomination.
Read more from United Methodist News Service.
to elect 14 U.S. bishops
Faced with uncertainties around the denomination's finances and future membership, jurisdictional leaders are recommending United Methodists elect fewer U.S. bishops than there will be vacancies. But after the Northeastern Jurisdiction met for a special session Oct. 15, it's clear all five U.S. jurisdictions will be holding episcopal elections. The South Central Jurisdiction, which includes the Great Plains Conference, will elect three during its conference, Nov. 2-4.
Read more from United Methodist News Service.
Four recipients named
for fall Culture of Call grants
The four recipients of this fall’s Culture of Call grants have been announced:
Burlington (Kansas) UMC -- $2,000
Institute for Discipleship at Southwestern College -- $650
- A program to meet regularly to cultivate a deepening understanding of God’s call through a book study, mentorship, and attending a conference together
- Submitted by Rev. Dr. Joshua Johnson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Paola (Kansas) UMC -- $2,000
- A Poverty exploration for youth to connect justice ministries and reflecting on God’s call in their lives
- Submitted by Miranda Priddy, email@example.com
Southwestern College — Discipleship program -- $2,000
- A focus on engaging the children (and volunteers in the children’s ministry) to consider how God has uniquely made them.
- Submitted by Rev. Jee Sook Gil, firstname.lastname@example.org
- A retreat for women students in the Discipleship program to consider how stories shape them and is led by a senior Discipleship student as her senior project.
- Submitted by Carly Redding, email@example.com
Tomson-DeGreeff next guest
in online clergy discipleship series
Clergy, have you had an opportunity to watch any of the conversations with some of our own GP Clergy as they share vulnerably about their own discipleship? We hope you’ll take some time to do so and reflect upon ways that God may be inviting you to consider your own discipleship. We’ve compiled some ways here, but we also want to provide small groups of clergy to connect (virtually) with one another and with one of the guests who shared his or her own experiences. Check out upcoming Clergy Discipleship Virtual Meet-Ups below:
- Thursday, Oct. 20, 2-3 p.m. CT, Rev. Michael Tomson-DeGreeff, Trinity UMC, Hutchinson. Watch Michael’s testimony here and here and register for the meet-up with Michael here.
- Thursday, Oct. 27, 10-11 a.m. CT, Rev. Amy Lippoldt, St. Paul’s UMC, Papillion, NE. Watch Amy’s testimony here. And register for the meet-up with Amy here.
- Thursday, Nov. 17, 10-11 a.m. CT, Rev. Juan Carlos Veloso, Iglesia Comunitaria and Grace UMC, Omaha. Watch Juan Carlos’ testimony here and here. Register for the meet-up here.
We hope to see you for a bit of connection, sharing, and mutual encouragement!
The fourth episode of At the Threshold's "Discipleship: Real Talk" is a conversation with author Alex Absalom, and is now available on the clergy stories page of our website.
Final deadline for 2022 clergy
wellbeing grants approaching
Since the fall of 2021, the Office of Clergy Excellence has awarded more than 70 Clergy Wellbeing Grants. Our Great Plains clergy have used them for retreats, coaching, spiritual direction and other customized wellbeing practices or resources. Our final cycle of grants for 2022 is nearing the deadline of Nov. 1. If you are serving one of our Great Plains UMC churches as the pastoral leader and have not requested a Clergy Wellbeing Grant, consider how you might pay attention to your own soul in the season ahead.
Check out the video explaining more about the $450 grant that is available to clergy that can be used to enhance a planned renewal leave or to create space for spiritual self-care in the midst of your ministry and are intended to be the sort of things that would be approved by your continuing education or travel budget. Our website for self-care mini-grant opportunities also includes a link to apply for the grant. All grant requests for 2022 must be received by Nov. 1 with follow up report and request for reimbursement received by Dec. 31, 2022.
Check out some soul-care resources for planning your own solo (or small group) retreat, meeting with a conference peer coach or having conversation with a Spiritual Director. And don’t hesitate to be creative!
Clergy, would you give yourself the gift of reflection and self-care?
Health Ministry Fund offers
Mental Health First Aid training
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training is a proven and effective resource that teaches lay people how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders in their community.
In this one-day, 6.5-hour online training, participants will learn risk factors and warning signs for mental health and substance use concerns, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help. The training helps anyone who wants to learn how to provide initial help to someone who may be experiencing symptoms of a mental illness or crisis, and provides tools to help friends, family members, colleagues, and others in the community.
The United Methodist Health Ministry Fund is offering sessions of MHFA each month through March. The trainings are open at no cost to all individuals. Anyone in your church may attend but each person should register individually. You must register at least one week prior to your preferred training. Spaces are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Please contact Dashinika@healthfund.org with any questions.
The remaining 2022 sessions are at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 28, Nov. 3 and 18.
Register to attend at https://healthfund.org/a/healthy-congregations/mental-health-first-aid/.
Children’s ministry online
workshop set for Nov. 19
Whether we are volunteers, part time staff, or working full time in Children's Ministry, God has placed a call on our lives to care for the faith needs of our community's kiddos.
With all that Children's Ministry can bring, how do we know what to say "yes" to? How can we discern where God is going and what God wants us to do in ministry?
"Pruning our Passions" is a 90-minute opportunity to begin the discernment process of how to stay healthy in ministry with kids! Join our children's ministry regional coordinators and Rev. Ashlee Alley Crawford from 9-10:30 a.m. CT Saturday, Nov. 19, on Zoom for a moment of peace, reflection and care.
Registration is free and now open at https://gp-reg.brtapp.com/PruningOurPassions2022.
Grants available for
emerging ethnic ministries
The Vital Congregations team is offering grants for emerging ethnic ministries. Any emerging (new or developing) ministry to or with ethnic minority communities in the Great Plains can be considered.
Applications are being received through Dec. 1 and grants will be awarded before the end of the year. Applications can be completed here -- and questions can be directed to Rev. Jeff Clinger, Director of Congregational Excellence.
Mercy & Justice
Learning, practicing peace is
subject of GBCS webinar, Nov. 1-3
“They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.“ Isaiah 2:4
The General Board of Church and Society invites all of us to participate in this seminar which will be conducted via Zoom.
“According to the Council on Foreign Relations, there are 27 ongoing conflicts worldwide. While there are crisis that receive attention on the evening news like the conflict in Ukraine, the war in Afghanistan, and the civil war in Ethiopia, there are also hundreds of millions of people who are living in the midst of war and conflict that do so without international attention.
Inscribed in the rotunda of the United Methodist Building are these words from Isaiah 2:4, “they will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.” This verse is part of a vision that imagines Judah and Jerusalem as a gathering place, where the nations meet to learn the ways of peace. It serves as a reminder that peace does not arrive on its own but must be learned and practiced.
Join us for this three-day series to: (1) engage with experts and practitioners on the root causes of conflict; (2) learn about the methods and means to peacebuilding and preventing recurrences in conflict; (3) delve into a theological grounding on peacebuilding; and (4) learn how United Methodists have been participating in global peacebuilding efforts.
Church and Society invites you to participate in four sessions over three days in its 2022 Called Seminar, “Plowshare Vision: Peace to be Learned and Practiced” from Nov. 1-3.
To register go to: https://www.umcjustice.org/news-and-stories/register-now-church-and-society-conducts-virtual-three-day-2022-called-seminar-1645
-- Submitted by Andrea Paret,
Peace with Justice coordinator
KMF hosts free webinar
about 'Courage to Ask'
The Kansas Methodist Foundation will be hosting a free webinar on the “Courage to Ask,” from 10-11 a.m. CT Tuesday, Oct. 25.
Bonnie Ives Marden, of MYTE Ministries, will provide discussion about “What prevents you from speaking up about your visions and ministries?” and “What does it take to overcome those obstacles?” Generosity builds when inspiring information and compelling cases are made for our ministries. Many opportunities for generosity are overlooked due to our reluctance to speak courageously about the work we are called to by God.
Marden is a stewardship practitioner, specializing in leadership empowerment and financial accountability. Author of “Church Finances for Missional Leaders: Best Practices in Financial Stewardship (2019),” she brings technical experience and cultural awareness to the spiritual and temporal aspects of church financial stewardship.
She has provided leadership to numerous capital campaigns, including Imagine No Malaria, and teaches donor cultivation (Cultivating the Craft of Asking) and conflict transformation (Conflict as a Means of Grace). She speaks and teaches nationally on our relationship with money. In 2018, she launched MYTE Ministries, where she offers her skills as a trainer, facilitator, and consultant/mentor in the areas of leadership, stewardship, conflict, and organizational development. She focuses in this work on congregations (UMC, ELCA, UCC, Presbyterian and Baptist) and personal finance mentoring.
Marden has guest lectured on church administration, stewardship, and conflict transformation at Boston University’s School of Theology and numerous theological and denominational foundations. She holds a double BA in economics and political science from Tufts University, and certificates in mediation and trauma from Eastern Mennonite and Lombard Mennonite Universities. She is a certified faculty member of the Creating a Culture of Renewal program.
All clergy and laity are welcome to attend the webinar at no cost. Click here to register to receive the Zoom link for the webinar.
Kansas foundation provides
videos for stewardship campaigns
The Kansas Methodist Foundation, in partnership with the Great Plains Conference, has prepared six videos on subjects ranging from why parishioners should give, how giving is part of our discipleship, and how to leave a legacy.
The videos are short in nature and may be a good fit for use in worship services as “ministry moments” or in other ways to assist pastors, finance committees and other church leaders as they prepare campaigns to determine budgets for the next year.
The videos all can be watched here. They can be downloaded for use by clicking the link for each video and then click the “Download” button under each video. Select the resolution that is best for your church (1080p is usually the best choice).
United Media Resource Center back
with new arrivals for your ministry
The United Media Resource Center is back up and running again from its new home.
New arrivals include "Don't Look Back: Methodist Hope for What Comes Next" by Will Willimon; "Fresh Expressions of the Rural Church" by Michael Adam Beck and Tyler Kleeberger; and "Grace Can Lead Us Home: A Christian Call to End Homelessness" by Kevin Nye.
See those and more here.
Email still relevant for outreach;
how your church can be effective
With myriad ways for people to connect, email remains a tried-and-true means of communication. United Methodist Communications staff tells churches how to put together effective email campaigns.
Read more here.
Seminaries plan virtual
recruiting fair for Nov. 4
All 13 United Methodist Theological Schools in the U.S. plan to hold a virtual recruiting fair at noon CT Nov. 4. The online fair is for those interested in vocational ministry or further study in theology. Candler School of Theology is the host.
Learn more and register.
Among a full menu of choices,
10 free services for local churches
United Methodist Communications has a menu of services and tools as extensive as the menu of dishes at The Cheesecake Factory. Here’s a list of the top-10 services United Methodist Communications offers for free to help local congregations reach out to their communities.
In webinar series, scholars explore
Fresh Expressions of church
Fresh Expressions UM is a distinctly Wesleyan Spirit-led movement of new Christian communities that serve the present age. On the first Thursday of each month, starting Nov. 3, Discipleship Ministries has organized online theological conversations between Wesleyan scholars about these new forms of church. Each session is scheduled at 5:30-6:30 p.m. CT. A recording will be available afterward. The first conversation will feature the Rev. Michael Adam Beck of United Theological Seminary and Florida Conference Fresh Expressions and Brian D. Russell of Asbury Theological Seminary.
Read press release
Across the Connection
10th annual SERVE Day connects
church to McPherson community
McPherson First UMC in Kansas had its 10th Annual SERVE Day on Sunday, Oct. 9, with members of the congregation going into the community to serve in fifteen different projects with over 115 members of the congregation participating in this day of service. The day of service began with a short worship service where Deacon Jeanne Koontz focused on the power of God to use the tiniest of seeds to bring forth the kingdom encouraging participants to spread seeds of love and hope as they serve. The McPherson Community Foundation provided a grant for project expenses. Projects included:
- Volunteer at Save N Share Thrift Store
- Fence repair
- Install mobile home flooring
- Mobile home maintenance and painting
- Assemble IKEA shelves for Habitat for Humanity home
- Install concrete steps
- Home maintenance
- Exterior house painting
- Write care notes
- Visit residents and clean windows at the Cedars Retirement Community
- Yard work
- Assemble new playground equipment
- Bake and deliver cookies to first responders
- Assemble lunches for volunteers
- Pray for all projects and participants
A barbecue was held on Sunday, Oct. 16 to celebrate 10 years of service in the community, and dream about how God is calling the congregation to serve in the next 10 years.
K-State Wesley working with Afghan
refugees moving to Manhattan
The Kansas State Wesley Campus Ministry is working with the Manhattan Afghan Resettlement Team to help acclimate refugees to the Manhattan area.
Find out more in this video by Manhattan First UMC.
In other news
- Ministry Matters, October 19, 2022
- Leading Ideas, October 19, 2022
- CCLI, October 18, 2022
- Discipleship Ministries: Young People’s Ministry, October 2022
- Mission Link with Dr. David Upp, October 2022
- Discipleship Ministries: Offertory Prayers, November 2022
- Discipleship Ministries: Worship Planning, October 17, 2022
- Leading Ideas Talks, October 15, 2022
- Nebraska United Methodist Foundation, October 2022
- Leading Ideas, October 12, 2022
- GCFA Collaborator, October 2022
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