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Download the printable version of the May 1 issue of GPconnect.

In this edition:

THIS WEEK'S NEWS
Bishop invites you to annual conference session, starting four weeks from today
Omaha First UMC youth say no to confirmation until LGBTQ acceptance
Central Kansas church baptizes 13 kids during Sunday services
Judicial Council rules on Traditional, disaffiliation plans

ANNUAL CONFERENCE
'Therefore Go: Serve Others' is theme of annual conference, May 29 to June 1
Volunteers are needed for hospitality duties at annual conference
Black pastors, laity to gather during annual conference
UMCOR truck ready to be filled at Annual Conference
Youth can get involved during annual conference sessions

EQUIPPING DISCIPLES
Ellsworth's 'Kids of the Kingdom' celebrates its 40th anniversary
‘Peace Works’ is theme of 2019 United Methodist Youth Institute
Deadline for this year's METour has been extended to May 15
Can you take some time to reflect for a daily devotional?

MERCY & JUSTICE
Miracle of Innocence founder to speak at mission lunch on May 30 

ACROSS THE CONNECTION
Lincoln pastors bring forgiveness banners to town for mall display
In other news
Newsletters 
The week ahead
Classifieds

 

Bishop invites you to annual conference session, starting four weeks from today

Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. has filmed a video inviting United Methodists in the Great Plains Conference to our annual conference session May 29 to June 1 in Topeka.

In the video, the bishop introduces viewers to our keynote and guest speakers, explains what you will see at this year’s annual conference and explains that this is a voting year to elect delegates to the 2020 General Conference in Minneapolis and the 2020 Jurisdictional Conference in Houston.

View the video.

Read the profiles of the clergy and laity delegates.

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Omaha First UMC youth say no to
confirmation until LGBTQ acceptance

While many in the congregation of Omaha First UMC were expecting to see eight youth become members of the church, they found the confirmation class saying "not yet" to joining the denomination until its acceptance of LGBTQ persons as pastors and same-sex unions was a reality.

Read more about their decision and the statement the youth made.

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Central Kansas church baptizes
13 kids during Sunday services

An interest in becoming a part of The United Methodist Church led 12 youth, from first through eighth grades -- along with an infant -- to all take baptism last Sunday at the UMC in Kanopolis, Kansas.

Read more about the baptisms.

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Judicial Council rules on
Traditional, disaffiliation plans

 
The denomination’s Judicial Council ruled April 26 on the petitions associated with the Traditional Plan and the disaffiliation legislation passed at the special session of General Conference.

The Judicial Council found some parts of the Traditional Plan to be constitutional under church law and others to be unconstitutional. The disaffiliation legislation was found to meet constitutional standards.

Read the United Methodist News Service story.

Download a single page, front-and-back chart with key details about the rulings.

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Annual Conference

'Therefore Go: Serve Others' is theme of
annual conference, May 29 to June 1

Registration is open for the 2019 Annual Conference sessions, May 29 to June 1 at the Expocentre in Topeka.

Here are some details about this year’s Annual Conference:

  • Meet and Greet will be 4-5:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 29. Clergy and laity will meet in separate spaces which make it easier to meet persons who have submitted profiles for election to the delegation.
  • Clergy and lay delegate profile documents will be available when the pre-conference workbook is released. Workbooks can be purchased at that time.
  • Register for the Therefore GO! 5K run on Saturday morning, June 1, when you register for annual conference – just follow the link.
  • Three offerings will be received at annual conference: Celebration of Worship and Table (Wednesday) -- GP Disaster Response. Money received in this offering will assist in the response to the spring flooding in Nebraska; Youth Worship (Friday) – Youth Service Fund (YSF). These funds are distributed by CCYM to projects planned and led by youth groups throughout the conference; Ordination (Friday) – Crounse Fund. The Crounse Fund is designated for critical or emergency needs of clergy and/or clergy families. The bishop and cabinet disperse these funds in response to grants requests received. If your congregation would like to take a special offering for any of these, please make a check out to  and include a notation indicating which offering the gift is for (DR – Disaster Response; YSF – Youth Service Fund; Crounse – Crounse fund.
  • Clergy are invited to robe and process in for the Memorial Service, at 7 p.m. May 30 at Topeka First UMC. Please bring a white stole if you will be joining in the procession.  Space will be provided at Topeka First for clergy to gather and robe.

View the welcome video.

Watch an interview with the Rev. Michael Mather, keynote speaker.

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Volunteers are needed for
hospitality duties at annual conference

Can you help provide hospitality during Annual Conference? Volunteers are needed to direct people through the Expocentre and Capitol Plaza Hotel, with registration, as arena host, taking lunch tickets, distributing bulletins, directing people to the sanctuary at Topeka First UMC for the memorial service, and to be a greeter for the opening worship.
 
Use this online signup form to select the times available and where you can help.
 
If you know of others in your congregation who might want to help please send them the link directly so they can sign up to provide exceptional hospitality in Topeka.

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Black pastors, laity to gather
during annual conference

A gathering of black pastors and laity and their families in the Great Plains Conference will be from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, May 30, at Asbury Mount Olive United Methodist Church, 1196 SW Buchanan, Topeka.

The evening will include a catered meal and time of fellowship and praise.

The gathering is hosted by the Rev. Dee Williamston, Salina District superintendent; the Rev. Kalaba Chali, mercy and justice coordinator; the Rev. Dr. Anne Gatobu, Kansas City District superintendent; and the Rev. Harry Christian, pastor of Asbury Mount Olive.

The cost is $12 for adults and $6 for 10 years and younger, payable to the Salina District Office, 100 E. Claflin Ave., KWU Box 101, Salina, KS 67401. The meal is not part of the Annual Conference registration.

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UMCOR truck ready to be
filled at Annual Conference

The UMCOR truck will be at annual conference this year, available from noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 29, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, May 30.
These kits will be accepted:

No other items will be accepted at annual conference this year.

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Youth can get involved during
annual conference sessions

Annual Conference is swiftly approaching, and registration is currently open for the 2019 Annual Conference sessions, May 29 to June 1 at the Expocentre in Topeka.

As we prepare for Annual Conference in the next coming months, it is important to remember that there are many opportunities for youth to contribute, both as voting and non-voting members. 

This is an amazing way for churches and districts to involve their youth at the conference level. There are countless opportunities for youth to take part, even if they are not voting members or do not typically engage in GPAC activities.

For more information, visit greatplainsumc.org/youthconference to learn more about how youth can get involved. 

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Equipping Disciples

Ellsworth's 'Kids of the Kingdom'
celebrates its 40th anniversary

What started as the idea of a group of stay-at-home mothers four decades ago has grown into a weekly tradition at Ellsworth United Methodist Church.

Kids of the Kingdom draws about half of the students of Ellsworth Elementary School, across the street from the church, for 100 minutes of music, recreation, crafts, Bible lessons, verse memorization and snacks every Wednesday afternoon after school for pupils in kindergarten through fourth grade.

Read more about Kids of the Kingdom.

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‘Peace Works’ is theme of 2019
United Methodist Youth Institute

For more than 100 years, young people have been coming to the Baker University campus for United Methodist Youth Institute.

UMY Institute is a great week of spiritual growth and faith formation. The theme this summer is "Peace Works" and our week of camp is June 24-29. Youth who have completed the 8th grade through high school seniors who have graduated are eligible to attend.

Spend a week of your summer making new friends, connecting with Christ, and living in an intentional Christian community.  UMY Institute has awesome small groups, powerful worship services, and great youth and adult leaders. Come check it out this summer! Your UMY Institute journey begins by registering at: www.campchippewa.org/institute. Registration closes Monday, June 10.

Watch a video about UMY Institute.

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Deadline for this year's METour
has been extended to May 15

The registration deadline for the 2019 Mission Education, or METour, has been extended to May 15.

METour is open to young women, ages 15-20, in the Great Plains Conference.

This year’s tour, from June 1-11, will begin in Topeka and go to the Sager Brown UMCOR Depot in Baldwin, Louisiana; Red Bird Mission in Beverly, Kentucky; Upper Room in Nashville; Cookson Hills Center in Cookson, Oklahoma, and more.

The cost is $450, and local UMW organizations have the opportunity to sponsor young women for the tour.

Learn more from the METour page on our website.

Download the registration packet and to-do list.

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Can you take some time to
reflect for a daily devotional?

Thousands of people across the Great Plains Conference are waking up every morning to the reflections and witness of their fellow lay and clergy members, thanks to our daily devotionals.

Here is today's, written by Lay Servant Ministries Director Mary K. Feit.

Would you like to add your thoughts and your prayers to our daily email? 

Use this link to view the available dates and suggested lectionary (although you are free to use whatever verse you wish). Once you have signed up and written about 300 words, email them to Lisa Soukup in the communications department.

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Mercy & Justice

Miracle of Innocence founder
to speak at mission lunch on May 30  

“Miracle Man” Darryl Burton was wrongly convicted of a murder in St. Louis in 1984. He was proven innocent and exonerated Aug. 29, 2008, after serving over 24 years in prison as an innocent man. He emerged with little hope and assistance to pick up the pieces of his shattered life.
 
Burton’s miracle story of how he rose out of this pit to become a pastor at the Church of the Resurrection, is the catalyst that founded Miracle of Innocence, a nonprofit organization seeking justice and comprehensive care for the innocent. Not satisfied to simply be grateful, Burton is giving back to help those still behind bars by raising funds and awareness, bringing about change, hope, and forgiveness. 
 
Burton will be the speaker at the Mission Lunch on Thursday, May 30, at the Kansas Expocentre. The final deadline to register for meals is May 22. Please come join us for an inspiring and challenging presentation.

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Across the Connection

Lincoln pastors bring forgiveness
banners to town for mall display

The Rev. Nan Kaye-Skinner and the Rev. Lew Kaye-Skinner were instrumental in bringing banners from The Forgiveness Project – sharing stories of those who have rebuilt their lives after hurt and trauma – to Lincoln for display in Gateway Mall.

Read more from Cindy Lange-Kubick’s column in the Lincoln Journal Star. Photo courtesy Kayla Wolf, Lincoln Journal Star.

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In other news


Newsletters 

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The week ahead

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Classifieds

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