THIS WEEK'S NEWS
Connecting Council hears results of clergy survey
Speaker offers insight into Orders & Fellowship message
Eduardo Bousson bounds into new job with GBHEM
Jean Marie Grabher remembered as pioneer in women's ministry
Holy Land church leaders call for end to violence
Interested in seminary? Check out the upcoming virtual seminary visit
Young Adults: Explore a call to ministry, Feb. 16-18 in Orlando
Sign up to write one of our daily devotions
Connect with other children’s ministry leaders in fall webinar
MERCY & JUSTICE
Jesus weeps over Palestine, Israel conflict
Peace with Justice coordinators visit Congress in Washington, D.C.
Kansas City Epiphany Justice Encounter set for Jan. 6
ERT training session scheduled for Leawood on Oct. 28
Optional benefits enrollment open for clergy through Oct. 29
New editions of conference journal, directory available in print, online
Bricks, blocks and comics are topics of available books
Thursday is deadline to sign up for UMCom Learning Week
ACROSS THE CONNECTION
Bishop part of two ceremonies honoring Nebraska Native Americans ?
Lord’s Acre celebration continues for Brady UMC
In other news
Connecting Council hears
results of clergy survey
The Connecting Council heard the results of a survey of Great Plains Conference clergy at the council's meeting via Zoom on Saturday.
The survey was sent to determine findings on continuing education, mental and physical health and personal and professional development.
“Overwhelmingly our clergy are doing very well,” said the Rev. Dr. Ashlee Alley Crawford, associate director of clergy excellence.
Read more here.
Speaker offers insight into
Orders & Fellowship message
Rev. Dr. Stacey Cole-Wilson, executive minister of beloved community for the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference, shares some details of what she plans to present at the upcoming Orders & Fellowship clergy gathering Oct. 23-25, in Kearney.
She talked to communications director Todd Seifert about her background and what she'll be telling clergy in the Great Plains.
Watch the five-minute video.
Eduardo Bousson bounds
into new job with GBHEM
After 14 years in campus ministry — four years with Washburn University and 10 with Nebraska Wesleyan — Rev. Eduardo Bousson began work in July as director of schools, colleges and universities for the General Board of Higher Education & Ministry.
“It is quite invigorating,” Bousson said of his first three months on the job. “Working at the general board and working with our schools and universities, particularly with the chaplaincy, is interesting.”
As part of National Hispanic Heritage Month, Bousson talks about how his Puerto Rican heritage has been a part of all his ministries.
Read more here.
From UM News Service: GBHEM expanding church scholarship for women.
Jean Marie Grabher remembered
as pioneer in women's ministry
Rev. Jean Marie Grabher was the first female in several United Methodist accomplishments, including the first female district superintendent in Kansas and the first female graduate of Saint Paul School of Theology.
Grabher died May 15 in Topeka at age 88. Memorial services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday at Topeka Highland Park UMC.
She also served as a mentor for many United Methodist clergy women, among them Bishop Dee Williamston.
“Whenever I had run into a challenge in the local church ..., I remember calling her on occasion to get her counsel,” the former Great Plains pastor and clergy excellence director recalled.
Read more here.
Read her obituary.
Holy Land church leaders
call for end to violence
Methodist and other Christian leaders in the Holy Land are urging prayer and an end to the violence that harms both Palestinian and Israeli civilians. The violence began Oct. 7 when the militant group Hamas attacked southern Israel, taking hostages and killing hundreds of people. Israel has now declared war on Hamas. The Methodist Liaison Office in Jerusalem calls “on Methodist people all over the globe to continue to pray for peace and for an end to the violence.”
Read Methodist Liaison Office statement
UMC leaders condemn violence in Middle East
Read World Council of Churches story
Reuters: Timeline of Israeli-Palestinian conflict
The violence erupted in the Middle East as Rev. Adam Hamilton was leading a large group from Resurrection, a United Methodist Church, in a tour of the Holy Land. See coverage from the Kansas City Star, KMBC and KCTV.
Interested in seminary? Check out
the upcoming virtual seminary visit
Attending a United Methodist seminary is a great way to say yes to what God is stirring in you. Are you (or is someone you know) wondering about a seminary education ... what it's like, how to fund it, how you could experience it amid life/family/church responsibilities?
The admissions representatives from the United Methodist seminaries have put together a joint effort to share what they call Seminary 101 with prospective students. It will be held via Zoom from 1:30-3 p.m. CT Thursday, Nov. 2. Sign up here.
If you're not sure if this is for you, talk to Rev. Dr. Ashlee Alley Crawford for more information, email@example.com.
Young Adults: Explore a call to ministry, Feb. 16-18 in Orlando
Do you know a college student or other young adult who has the gifts for and a possible call to ministry? Consider attending Exploration, a three-day event held in Orlando, Florida, for young adults aged 18-26 to hear, discern, and respond to God’s call to ordained ministry and to explore their gifts for service as a deacon or elder in The United Methodist Church.
- It’s held in Orlando from Feb. 16-18 for people aged 18-26 considering a call to ministry
- There is a registration fee ($500, or $400 for a shared room) but a $350 scholarship will be available
- The Great Plains Conference will provide travel scholarships for airfare (Travel scholarships will be available up to $650 per person, while funds last; flights should be booked to arrive no later than 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16 and leave 2 p.m. or after on Sunday, Feb. 18.)
- It’s a potentially life-changing opportunity to be open to or get direction in God’s call in the context of other young adults, ministries of the church, and campus ministers!
Participants will engage in vibrant worship, connect with other young adults, learn about ministry possibilities from workshops, and have space to encounter God in a new way. Representatives from the United Methodist Seminaries will be present for conversation if seminary is a next step. Check out their website here: https://www.explorecalling.org/exploration/
Are you interested in learning more about scholarships, or do you have questions? Contact Rev. Dr. Ashlee Alley Crawford: firstname.lastname@example.org or 785-414-4216.
Sign up to write one
of our daily devotions
We appreciate the clergy, both active and retired, laity and staff members who share their thoughts and inspiration with us daily in our devotions, emailed at 5 a.m. each day.
The devotions are open for everyone — the insights of the people in the pews are just as treasured as those with theological training. The weekly liturgy is provided, but you are free to use whatever verse you wish.
Sign up for the devotions is open through the end of the year. Thank you!
Find out more about devotions and subscribe here.
Connect with other children’s
ministry leaders in fall webinar
“Self-Care for the Journey,” an online event for children’s ministry leaders, will be from 9-10:30 a.m. CT Saturday, Nov. 4, over Zoom.
The event is hosted by the Great Plains children’s ministry coordinators.
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. Children’s ministry (and life in general) can bring seasons of storms, celebration, busyness, grief, joy, and so much more. Whatever season you may be in, join us as we connect with each other and recenter our focus on Jesus.
"Self-Care for the Journey" is a 90-minute opportunity to begin the discernment process of how to stay healthy in ministry with kids. Our time will be led by Allison Brewer, a kindergarten teacher and experienced children’s ministry leader, on Zoom for a moment of peace, reflection and care.
Register here in advance to be sure to receive your care package: https://gp-reg.brtapp.com/SelfCareForTheJourney.
Mercy & Justice
Jesus weeps over
Palestine, Israel conflict
The attack by Hamas on Israel was horrendous but was not unprovoked. Israel’s response in declaring a war of revenge and retaliation and genocide is just as horrendous and is bringing more unimaginable suffering to so many.
Read more from Andrea Paret, Peace with Justice coordinator.
Peace with Justice coordinators
visit Congress in Washington, D.C.
In September, Peace with Justice coordinators, including Andrea Paret from the Great Plains Conference, and chairs of conference Church and Society committees met in the United Methodist Building on Capitol Hill. This was the first in-person gathering since the pandemic.
Read more here.
Kansas City Epiphany
Justice Encounter set for Jan. 6
Discover the true essence of Epiphany, the Christian holiday celebrating the journey of the Magi in search of the sacred, at our Kansas City Epiphany Justice Encounter. This unique event invites you to embark on a transformative journey through the heart of Kansas City, exploring the pursuit of justice in the community.
It is hosted by the Great Plains Conference Mercy & Justice Team and Leadership Lab.
Find out more and register here.
ERT training session is
scheduled for Leawood on Oct. 28
For those individuals, 18 and above, who desire to become an Early Response Team (ERT) member, our next trainings are as follows:
Find out more about how to contribute to the Great Plains Disaster Response Fund.
Optional benefits enrollment
open for clergy through Oct. 29
Clergy appointed to churches three-quarter to fulltime are eligible for optional benefits through the conference. This is the time to explore what Great Plains Conference offers in optional benefits. All benefit coverage and cost can be found on GP website: https://www.greatplainsumc.org/optionalbenefits.
Clergy currently enrolled into optional benefits will have individual benefit statements and the 2024 Open Enrollment Guide email by Oct. 10, with a deadline of Oct. 29. Benefit statements have the 2024 pricing. If you are already enrolled into an optional benefit, you will also receive an email from ADP notifying you that open enrollment has been opened.
If you have any questions, need assistance, or would like to enroll into any optional benefits email Peggy Mihoover, benefits officer, at email@example.com.
New editions of conference journal,
directory available in print, online
The 2023 editions of the Great Plains Conference journals and directory are now available online and in print.
Order print copies, shipped directly from the printer, at https://unitedmethodist.myprintdesk.net. The cost is $53.33 for the directory, $69.66 for Volume A and $41.77 for Volume B. Orders will go directly to the printer, so payment and shipping is handled completely by our Omaha-based partner.
The editions can be viewed online at https://www.greatplainsumc.org/journal.
- Directory — Appointments by district, ministerial directory, churches directory.
- Volume A — Officers, staff and lay leadership of the annual conference, Daily proceedings from the annual conference session, legislation that passed, the Business of the Annual Conference, surviving spouses, ministry reports, memoirs, roll of deceased clergy, standing rules and budget summary.
- Volume B — Clergy records, audit report, statistical tables.
Bricks, blocks and comics
are topics of available books
“Bricks, Blocks and Comics” is the theme of this week’s offerings from United Media Resource Center.
You’ll find “Building Faith Block by Block: An Unofficial Minecraft Guide,” two books in the “Building Faith Brick by Brick” series, and “Submitting to be More Vile: The Illustrated Adventures of John and Charles Wesley.”
Find out more here.
Thursday is deadline to sign
up for UMCom Learning Week
United Methodist Communications (UMCom) has announced the return of its week-long ecumenical training opportunity launching this fall for anyone in ministry seeking to enhance their communications skills. Communications Learning Week: Communications that Transform will be held Oct. 16-20, and is designed with busy schedules in mind. All of the learning week content will be recorded and stored in a learning portal that participants will have access to for six months following the event. Registration is open until Thursday, Oct. 12.
During the learning week, church leaders and communicators will get access to a vast library of on-demand resources including recorded videos, tutorials and podcast episodes and self-guided eLearning modules curated by the UMCom training team. Workshops led by experts on a variety of topics will be presented followed by Q&A sessions with each facilitator. Opportunities for discussion and networking round out the week’s activities.
Find out more here.
Across the Connection
Bishop part of two ceremonies honoring Nebraska Native Americans
Bishop David Wilson was a part of two Nebraska ceremonies honoring Native Americans.
He was a part of the Indigenous Peoples' Day celebration at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln on Monday, and helped honor a Native American Nebraska state senator on Tuesday.
Video from each is from KOLN/KGIN.
Lord’s Acre celebration
continues for Brady UMC
A tradition since the mid-1900s continued for Brady United Methodist Church in Nebraska last weekend.
The Lord’s Acre celebration included dozens of people eating turkey, potatoes and gravy and pie at the Brady Community Center for a freewill offering.
It was named for the original days of the celebration, where farmers would donate an acre’s worth of food or profit from their farms to the church.
See video from KNOP..
In other news
- Ministry Matters, October 11, 2023
- Leading Ideas, October 11, 2023
- Discipleship Ministries: Children’s Ministry, October 2023
- Mission Link with Dr. David Upp, October 2023
- Discipleship Ministries: Worship Planning, October 9, 2023
- EmberHope Youthville, October 6, 2023
- GCFA Collaborator, October 2023
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