Blog Posts

Think 'outside the box' like Jesus

Lay Servant Ministries


A number of years ago, we in the former Kansas East Conference were fortunate enough to have the Rev. Emmanuel Cleaver preach at our annual conference session. His topic was "Thinking Outside the Box.” I'll never forget how he ended his sermon.  He said “ … and our founder was so far outside the box that he wouldn't even stay in his own grave!"   In John Wesley's quadrilateral, he gave primacy to the scripture component. From what I read in the Gospels, Jesus didn't have any worries that the ...

Exciting things happening in Lay Servant Ministry

Lay Servant Ministries


Bishop Saenz’s recent announcement of administrative changes in the organization of the conference can have a beneficial impact on the Great Plains Conference Lay Servant Ministries. The stronger focus on mission fields and community service opens up all kinds of opportunities for lay servants to serve their churches and communities in new and exciting ways.  Empowering laity to utilize their skills and life experiences to lead efforts within their local church to make disciples has long been a...

Every church needs a social justice committee


I am a come-lately to the United Methodist Church. I was a member of another Protestant denomination who married a lifelong Methodist. My husband didn’t want to join my church, citing some of its positions on social issues, so I joined his.   As I came to know the United Methodist Church, I saw that its theology and values aligned more closely with what I believe than the church I grew up in. As I learned more about the United Methodists, I was proud of its long history of activism on social ...

In Layman's Terms: Amid turmoil, a prayer for leadership, peace and love

Todd Seifert


Well, it’s certainly been an interesting couple of weeks since President Donald Trump was sworn into office, huh? Some people have celebrated the series of executive orders that have flowed from the Oval Office. Others have lamented the rules those orders have put in place. It is kind of interesting how people cope with the change in leadership. Some people I know who voiced outrage in opposition to executive orders issued by then-President Barack Obama, often citing too much power in the ...

Consider how you were called to be a servant for the Lord

Lay Servant Ministries


“You were called by him to partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” - 1 Corinthians 1: 9 This verse is an important reminder to us as Christians.  It appeared in an online devotional that I receive each day.  The author varies each week, and the devotional’s target audience is high school- or college-age folks.  Even though I am into my “retirement” years, it is refreshing to read each day and to think of my faith through the eyes of a young person. On Jan. 14, 2017, the following ...

In Layman's Terms: Pastors put technology to work during ice storm

Todd Seifert


The ice storm that hit the two states of the Great Plains Conference probably couldn't have come at a more inconvenient time — OK, any time other than Christmas Eve, maybe — to disrupt the life of the church. The One Event youth rally in Salina, Kansas, may have been the most impacted, with more than 200 of the 1,100 or so registrants showing up to have a load of fun at concerts, worship settings, improve comedy and games. The energy in the Bicentennial Center there was tremendous. We have some...

New procedures for approving CLMs

Lay Servant Ministries


A major change in Lay Servant Ministry responsibilities occurred during the 2016 General Conference. In a nutshell, the responsibility of oversight of training and final approval of Certified Lay Minister (CLM) status was added to the Great Plains Conference Committee on Lay Servant Ministries (GPCCLSM). How this will change the process is yet to be determined.  While CLMs have always fallen under the Lay Servant Ministry umbrella, the reality was the District Committee on Ordained Ministry ...

In Layman's Terms: Key to handling a fast-changing world is trust in God

Todd Seifert


We just turned the calendar from 2016 to 2017. Some people look at new years with some trepidation. Others turn the page with a view of optimism. And, of course, many of us start the year with “resolutions.” Get healthy Get organized Live life to the fullest Learn new hobbies Spend less/save more Travel Read more Quit bad habits (smoking, drinking, etc.) It’s all meant to put us in a mindset of change – usually for the better. In the United States, every four years we go through a similar ...

In Layman's Terms: Mary and Joseph taught lesson of obedience

Todd Seifert


Obedience: It’s not a word we say often. I think in part that’s because the meaning of it scares us – at least a little. It means we have to be submissive. We have to give up some of ourselves to be obedient. We don’t necessarily do what we want to do. In fact, sometimes obedience requires us to do something difficult. Humankind has struggled with obedience almost from the very beginning. Think back to the Garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve lived in paradise, with God walking with them among ...

Former Micah Corp intern shares her reflections about Standing Rock


I stand with Standing Rock. This is a picture I took of Red Warrior Camp while there Nov. 4-6.  The camp is in Standing Rock Reservation directly south of the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).   At first glance, the mosaic of heritage, motives, tents, tipis, vehicles, campers, and horse trailers that stretched for miles seemed like chaos — with no rhyme or reason.  But as we entered Red Warrior Camp, a pathway of flags representing different tribes, nations, and beliefs ...

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