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Click here for the Aug. 26 printable version of GPconnect.

In this edition of GPconnect:

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Churches reminded that Sept. 1 is workers’ compensation insurance renewal deadline
Nebraska UM Foundation announces scholarship recipients
Nebraska UM Foundation grant applications due soon
Bellevue church to celebrate 50 years of ministry
Kansas Wesleyan, Saint Paul partner to save M.Div.
students time, money

Early bird deadline approaching for Leadership Institute 2015

EQUIP DISCIPLES
Healthy Congregations training to be held in Lincoln
Wichita New Covenant to celebrate opening of new worship center
Elkhorn Valley District Family Fun Festival to be Sept. 26
Learn about new curriculum for kids at free event
UMW serves lunch with a smile

CLERGY EXCELLENCE
Exploration scholarships available for young adults
Register now for SCJ Clergywomen’s Consultation

MERCY AND JUSTICE
New roof thanks to Beloit UMM and GP Disaster Recovery grant
Lake Junaluska Peace Conference early bird deadline is Sept. 1
God has broken down the dividing walls

OTHER NEWS
Newsletters
Classifieds
Press Clips
 


Churches reminded that Sept. 1 is workers’ compensation insurance renewal deadline

Churches across the Great Plains have been notified that the deadline for renewal of workers’ compensation insurance is approaching quickly.

The forms for the following are due to insurance broker Schifman, Remley & Associates by Sept. 1.

Though the forms have been mailed to churches, the links are provided here as well.

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Nebraska United Methodist Foundation announces scholarship recipients

The Nebraska United Methodist Foundation Board of Directors has announced that it distributed more than $11,000 for scholarships to students pursuing the ministry.

The recipients for the 2015-16 academic year are:

Jonathan Poarch – Scahill Family Scholarship and the Albert R. Murcdoch Ministerial Scholarship.

Michael Evans – Cowles UMC Memorial Scholarship

Anne Gahn – Baldwin F. and Amy L. Kruse Scholarship and the Charles and Marilyn Humphrey Seminary Scholarship

Kayla Mangrich – Alice Kruse Ministerial Scholarship and Alice Kruse Seminary Scholarship

Nicholas Kuaffman – Verl and Sylvia Miller memorial Scholarship, the Myrtle E. Williams Seminary Scholarship, the Rev. Albert W. Winseman Scholarship, Atherton Memorial Scholarship, Andrew and Nevabelle Howe Scholarship, Cal Leeds Scholarship and the Ben and Martha Simmons Scholarship

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Nebraska United Methodist Foundation grant applications due soon

The application deadline is drawing near for Nebraska United Methodist Foundation grants.

Each year, the foundation awards a limited number of small grants to Nebraska churches and affiliated agencies of the Great Plains United Methodist Conference.

Through these awards of grant dollars, the foundation seeks to enhance and expand the ministries of local churches. The ultimate goal of these awards is to provide assistance, whether it be a one-time grant or a grant that will help a ministry become self-sustaining.

These grants are made only for programs and activities – including operating expenses and supplies – necessary for those programs or activities. They are not made for building repair, replacement or expansion.

Go to the foundation website to learn more and apply. Please review the Ministry Grant Criteria, Information and Application carefully before applying. Application deadline is Sept. 30.

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Bellevue church to celebrate 50 years of ministry

Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Bellevue, Nebraska, will celebrate 50 years of ministry during a weekend anniversary celebration Sept. 19-20. Events will include a Saturday evening concert and a special worship celebration Sunday.

The concert, set for 7 p.m. Sept. 19, will feature Nashville recording artist Billy Troy. The concert is open to the public and free of charge. After the concert the church will have an “open-mic” opportunity for members past and present to share their Aldersgate memories.

The 11 a.m. Sunday worship service will feature special guest preacher Rev. Larry Hollon, who recently retired as General Secretary of United Methodist Communications, the global communications agency of the United Methodist Church. Hollon served as Pastor of Aldersgate United Methodist Church from 1969 to 1975 as the second pastor in the church’s history.

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Kansas Wesleyan, Saint Paul partner to save M.Div. students time, money

Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina, Kansas, and Saint Paul School of Theology in Leawood, Kansas, have signed an agreement that will allow KWU students an opportunity to earn their undergraduate and master’s of divinity degrees in just six years. The agreement is thought to be the first of its kind to be established between a United Methodist-based university and a United Methodist seminary.

Learn more about the new partnership.

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Early bird deadline approaching for Leadership Institute 2015

The early bird deadline for Leadership Institute 2015 is fast approaching. Get your team together and register by midnight, Friday, Sept. 4 for this year's event.

Over the past 15 years, more than 20,000 leaders have returned to their home ministry settings ready to "Go and Lead" with impact, vitality, excellence, passion and boldness. Join nearly 2,000 ministry leaders from across the country and hear from guest speakers (such as Jacob Armstrong, Patricia Farris and Bishop Violet Fisher), Resurrection staff and Senior Pastor Adam Hamilton. Worship, prayer, fellowship and encouragement will nourish your soul and renew your commitment to ministry leadership.

Details can be found at li.cor.org. Contact catalyst@cor.org or 913-232-4157 with any questions.

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Healthy Congregations training to be held in Lincoln

Healthy Congregations (HC) will be holding a core training in at Trinity UMC in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Saturday, Oct. 10. The Healthy Congregations Program was developed by the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund (UMHMF) to promote health and sharing ministries in Great Plains United Methodist churches. The program reflects the connection between the health ministries of local United Methodist churches and the four dimensions of holistic health. HC teaches three courses in one day and participating teams will then be certified to receive additional funding in the program.

The schedule for Saturday, Oct. 10:

8-8:30 a.m. — Registration and informal breakfast
8:30-11:30 a.m. — Health Ministry 101
11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. — Lunch (provided)
12:15-2:15 p.m. — Outcomes-based planning
2:15-2:30 p.m. — Snack break
2:30-4:30 p.m. — Program evaluation and using data

Healthy Congregations provides $1,000 grant on signup, renewable annually. View the Healthy Congregations information and signup form that gives a thumbnail of the program and its benefits. On page four is the signup form that includes a team roster. Teams are composed of at least three lay members (clergy can participate in addition to the three lay members if they wish). You can complete the form by hand and mail or fax it to UMHMF (PO Box 1384, Hutchinson, KS 67504) or complete the form online.

The grant year is July 1 – June 30, so teams registering now will receive their first $1,000 for health ministry and they have until June 30, 2016, to complete the three core courses, complete their needs assessment, and develop and submit their plans for 2016-2017. Once their plans have been approved, they will receive another $1,000. This is an annual cycle that includes online reporting as well.

The core training is offered both face-to-face and virtually, using a computer and conference phone line. View the training schedule for the rest of 2015 at healthfund.org/hcctraining.php  It is recommend that teams train together so that they can work on their plans in training with help available. All training is offered at no cost to participants and teams can even use their grant funding to pay for travel expenses to attend training. Each individual team member must set up an “account” in the HC system and register for training courses. This allows the program to give them credit and certify teams for grant payment when they complete courses. 

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Wichita New Covenant to celebrate opening of new worship center

New Covenant UMC, in Wichita, Kansas, is having a Grand Celebration this weekend, Aug. 29-30, to celebrate the opening of their new worship center. The congregation has been meeting in a leased store front facility for the past seven years in the urban Delano District of Wichita. In 2014, the church was able to purchase that building and the one next door, thanks to a generous gift from a member's estate. Renovations on one building were completed in June, giving the congregation a greatly needed larger worship center. The other building is being used for classrooms and there is opportunity for non-profits to share space.

The celebration starts Saturday, Aug. 29 with a block party/wellness fair. Come out for free hamburgers, hotdogs, popcorn, sno-cones, live music, games and door prizes. Free immunizations, dental and eye screenings are just a few of the things offered at the wellness fair. Fun for the whole family! View flier.

On Sunday the celebration continues with a worship celebration at 11:15 a.m., following with a free barbecue lunch. Come as you are.

If you would like to know more about New Covenant UMC contact Pastor Cathy Holley at pastor@newcovumc.org. For an evening of inspiration and revival, consider hosting the "New Beginnngs Worship Road Show." New Covenant will come share the urban ministry they are involved in. A love offering would be taken for missions of New Covenant. Everyone can have a new beginning, and you will hear amazing testimonies of transformation from New Covenant members. 

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Elkhorn Valley District Family Fun Festival to be Sept. 26

Churches, family and friends in the Elkhorn Valley District are invited to the Elkhorn Valley District Family Fun Festival from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 26, at Camp Fontanelle, near Nickerson, Nebraska. Attendees are welcome to explore all Camp Fontanelle has to offer such as the corn maze, zip line, tree climbing and much more. View the full list of activities and prices.

There will be a pot luck meal 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., anyone who would like to participate is asked to bring a side dish or dessert and your own beverages. The Elkhorn Valley District will provide hamburgers and hot dogs, baked beans, potato salad and cookies. Beverages and snacks are available for purchase at the Camp Fontanelle’s concession stand.

Please RSVP to Leigh Ann Kramer, Elkhorn Valley District administrative assistant, at 402-371-1313 or elkhornvalley@greatplainsumc.org by Friday, Sept. 11, so the district can get an estimate of how many would like to participate. 

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Learn about new curriculum for kids at free event

Cokesbury is inviting churches across the Great Plains to a free event to introduce the “Deep Blue Crew,” a new curriculum for children’s Sunday school.

The event is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 1 at United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, 13720 Roe Ave., Leawood, Kansas. The presentation in Room B206 of Building B, will feature an in-depth review of each age group, a question and answer time with the Deep Blue team, a Deep Blue gift bag and sample pack, along with snacks.

Cokesbury urges participants to RSVP as soon as possible by sending an email to tstodsdill@cokesbury.com.

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UMW serves lunch with a smile

On Thursday, Aug. 13, as they have done for the more than 30 years during their workshops before the new school year, the administrators, teachers and support staff of the Central City (Nebraska) Public Schools and Nebraska Christian Schools gathered for lunch served by the United Methodist Women at the United Methodist Church in Central City. The group was welcomed by Pastor Tess Hufford and UMW President, Denice Dietz. The lunch committee, chaired by Shirley Newby, served almost 140 lunches with smiles and good wishes for a great school year.

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Exploration scholarships available for young adults

If you know a young adult, ages 18-26, who have sensed God might be calling them to ordained ministry, have wondered what ministry in The United Methodist Church is all about, would like help sifting through issues involved in an ordained vocation, or want to learn more about The United Methodist seminaries and theological schools, tell them about Exploration. Exploration is a three-day event for young adults 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. This year, Exploration will be held in Orlando, Florida, on Nov. 6-8.

The most pressing detail? There is a Sept. 1 deadline for a scholarship for first time attendees. There is no registration scholarship available for repeat attendees but it is suggested that the local campus ministry or local congregation cover all or part of registration fees that aren’t covered by scholarships.

Read more.

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Register now for South Central Jurisdiction Clergywomen’s Consultation

Clergywomen of the Great Plains are invited to attend the South Central Jurisdiction’s Clergywomen’s Consultation Sept. 28-30 in Houston, Texas, and explore stories of “Impact, Transformation and Hope.”

Featured speakers include Alyce McKenzie, Juanita Rasmus, Bishop Janice Riggle Huie and Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey.

Registration and accommodation information can be found at tellingourstoryclergywomen.com.

For more information contact the Rev. Stephanie Ahlschwede at sahlschwede@greatplainsumc.org or the Rev. Amy Lippoldt at alippoldt@greatplainsumc.org.

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New roof thanks to Beloit UMM and Great Plains Disaster Recovery grant

Editor’s note: the following was submitted by the Rev. James L. Brackett, pastor of Beloit United Methodist Church.

In August of 2014, Beloit, Kansas, was hammered with a severe hail storm that lasted about 30 minutes. Hail ranged in size from golf ball to tennis ball sized stones and were driven by gusts of wind that approached 70 mph. Most of the homes in the community experienced damaged roofs, broken windows and damaged siding.

Several weeks later, Royalyn Hayes, the Cub Scout master of the group that meets in the church, was in the church office with a news article for the church newsletter requesting supplies for her active group of youth. She mentioned in passing that her roof had been damaged by the storm and she had no insurance on the home. Royalyn is a disabled, single mother, dealing with multiple brain surgeries and complications with the healing process.

A short time later, Kevin Marozas, Beloit United Methodist Men (UMM) President, Charley File, SW Regional UMM President, and Curt Farwell, a local businessman, looked at the roof and agreed that it needed to be replaced. They applied for a Great Plains Conference disaster relief grant and were approved for the project.

By the time the funds were in place, it was too cold to put a seal-down type shingle on the roof, so the men waited until warmer weather. On Saturday, May 2, 15 men and boys in high school assembled and began the project. The old roof consisted of two layers of asphalt shingles over an original layer of Cedar Shakes. All of the old roof was stripped, new sheeting was laid as needed, and an attractive Heritage shingle roof was installed.

The grateful mother Royalyn Hayes said, “God has helped me so many times. I truly believe God is taking care of me so I can take care of my son.”

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Lake Junaluska Peace Conference early bird deadline is Sept. 1

The early-bird deadline for Lake Junaluska Peace Conference is Tuesday, Sept. 1. The conference runs Thursday-Sunday, Nov. 12-15 at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in North Carolina.

This year’s conference, “Longing for Peace/Exploring the Heart of God,” will feature three keynote speakers and focus on the spiritual roots and foundations that support the search for peace in the three Abrahamic faith traditions: Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Space is limited and early registration is recommended. Registration is $120 before Sept. 1 and $145 after Sept. 1. Students may attend for $60.

Peace with Justice Ministries of the Great Plains Conference is making scholarships available (up to $700 plus $100 when action is taken after the conference).  If you are interested, please contact Andrea Paret, Peace with Justice coordinator, at amparet08@yahoo.com.

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God has broken down the dividing walls

World Week of Peace for all in Palestine and Israel Sept. 20 - 26

Editor’s note: the following was submitted by Andrea Paret, Great Plains Peace with Justice coordinator.

Many church members across our conference are concerned and troubled by the continued violence and injustices in the Holy Land. At the Great Plains Annual Conference Session in June, a resolution was passed calling for a task force to get the conference more engaged with this situation. The task force had its first meeting and will start sharing information. The task force wants to encourage congregations to participate in the World Week of Peace through prayer and action. In the prayer written by Christian leaders in Jerusalem for this week, it says: “As we observe this week with our sisters and brothers around the world, we ask for the strong comfort of the Holy Spirit for all who seek justice in this land. Inspire us to not be content with mere words, but to engage in acts of costly solidarity. Inspire us to be instruments of your peace, the workers of your will.”

The World Week of Peace is organized through the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF) of the World Council of Churches. This forum “invites member churches, faith-based communities and civil society organizations around the world to join together in 2015 for a week of advocacy and action in support of an end to the illegal occupation of Palestine and a just peace for all in Palestine and Israel. Congregations and individuals around the globe who share the hope of justice shall unite during the week to take peaceful actions, together, to create a common international public witness.”

Participants will organize and join in events and activities around the following three principles:

  1. Praying with churches living under occupation, using a special prayer from Jerusalem and other worship resources prepared for the week.
  2. Educating about actions that make for peace, and about facts on the ground that do not create peace, especially issues related to prisoners.
  3. Advocating with political leaders using ecumenical policies that promote peace with justice.

View more information.

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Newsletters


Classifieds

View these and other classifieds at greatplainsumc.org/classifieds.

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Press Clips

Congregations across the Great Plains Conference are making the news in their local newspapers. View our newspaper clipping reports to see if there are stories, ideas and ministry happenings you can learn from to use in your own congregation. Press clips can be found at greatplainsumc.org/inthenews. You can see education partnership ideas at greatplainsumc.org/education.

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Editorial Policy: The content, news, events and announcement information distributed in GPconnect is not sponsored or endorsed by the Great Plains Methodist Conference unless specifically stated.

To submit a letter to the editor, send it to info@greatplainsumc.org.

 

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