Blog Posts

Lay Servants called to help those who are seeking

Lay Servant Ministries


Today, many of you across our conference and beyond will hear and experience the story of the woman at the well from the gospel of John Chapter 4. Reading and contemplating the verses which relate Jesus’ journey through Samaria brings to mind the words of the song by BeBe & CeCe Winans, American gospel music brother and sister duo: Like the woman at the well, I was seeking For things that could not satisfy. And then I heard my Savior speaking— “Draw from My well that never shall run dry.”  ...

In Layman's Terms: Using projection to make Easter guests feel welcome (part 2)

Todd Seifert


Last week, I shared some thoughts about how I like to set up slides for projection for song lyrics in worship services. I like to set them up not just for aesthetics but also for cadence so guests who don’t know our traditional songs have the best opportunity possible to know where the pauses are located, hopefully making them feel comfortable as they take part in our worship services. If you haven’t seen that blog, please check it out. This week, I’ll share some thoughts for displaying ...

In Layman's Terms: Using projection to make Easter guests feel welcome (part 1)

Todd Seifert


With Easter coming up next month, it’s important to use this time of Lent to prepare for one of our biggest visitor days of the church’s year. Many churches will focus on greeters, making sure there is a handout of some kind with information about the church and invitations to special events throughout the next 12 months prepared for people who visit our churches on what many consider to be our holiest day of the year. All of those things are important, but I urge you also to pay attention to ...

Add God to your morning coffee routine

Lay Servant Ministries


I picked up a package of coffee beans to grind for my coffee this morning and saw this printed on the back of the package: “Our Calling Your Coffee.” It struck me as interesting that we now talk about “Our Calling” to describe lots of thing in our everyday life. We are called to an occupation, what we do for fun, and, oh yeah, what we do for our churches. As a farmer, I do see my occupation as a calling. Being a good steward of the land and raising as much food to feed the world’s hungry is ...

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...

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