Blog Posts

Pastoral Leadership interns share experiences -- Ty Schissel

Great Plains Interns


The Pastoral Leadership internship program is for young adults aged 18-22.  This ten-week program will provide young leaders the opportunity to experience pastoral work in the most "hands-on" way possible while being supported by a mentoring pastor and a teaching congregation.  Ty Schissel served at Basehor UMC (Kansas City District) for the summer of 2017.   Got to help out with Children's Sunday School, found some very creative students during our lesson about Jonah. ...

Emergency Spiritual Technician

Lay Servant Ministries


Most of this blog is copied from a Facebook post that I know is true because one of the individuals is related to me. A quick background: Visiting missionaries to Kansas fell through a pond ice skating this winter. The mother and son died that day. This is what has transpired in the 6 months since that tragedy. The Surviving Father writes July 4: Part of me wanted to hold this and share it with just a few people. But there may be things in it for many of us. Who am I to hold it back? I had the...

Called to serve the Lord

Lay Servant Ministries


Romans 12:11 “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” (NIV)   Laity and clergy alike are called to serve for the glory of God. We all must admit, though, that we do lack zeal in serving the Lord from time to time. Read this verse backwards and break it into three parts. Serve the Lord. Keep your Spiritual fervor and you will never be lacking in zeal! How do we serve the Lord? Lay Servant Ministry classes are a great place to explore how the Lord is calling...

Path to a hopeful future begins with children

Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr.


Robert Fulgrum, in his poem “All I Really Need to Know I Learned In Kindergarten,” says that wisdom for living, doing and being was not found at the top of a graduate school mountain, but rather in a sand pile at Sunday School.   In kindergarten, Fulgrum learned to share, play fair, not to hit people, put things back, not to steal, ask for forgiveness, be creative, find time for rest, be aware of his surroundings, stick together and to be aware of wonder. Children that learn and internalize the...

Opportunities abound as laity prepare to serve enhanced roles

Lay Servant Ministries


The following is a summary of the message I gave to Great Plains Conference laity during the annual conference session, June 8, 2017: I am very proud to stand before you, representing the more than 600 certified lay servants of the Great Plains Conference. We are challenged to become an integral part of the mission based concept which our bishop is leading us toward. Bishop Saenz had identified Lay Servant Ministries as the training arm of the laity of our conference. Our purpose is to ...

The Path - 'El Camino'

Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr.


This is my first blog … ever. I can’t help but think that Mrs. Imelda Trevino my eighth-grade English teacher and Mrs. Hortencia Pena, Virginia Van Nest, Ernestina Trevino and Elma Doyno, my high school English teachers, would be gratified by my attempt at writing for publication. The truth is that I sat in their classes but did not pay too much attention to what they were trying to teach me – my loss. So, if my writing does not come up to par with that of good writers, I hold my English ...

Summer in Sarpy County by Spenser Johnson

Great Plains Interns


           As summer began, and I was starting my internship as a Pastoral Intern at Springfield First United Methodist Church in Springfield, Nebraska, I was not prepared for the experiences God was about to bless me with. I distinctly remember requesting to be placed with a church in an inner-city area with an urban environment. I have a degree in criminal justice and sociology so I was so ready to work with a marginalized group in society like the impoverished, homeless, gang members, and ...

That still small voice

Lay Servant Ministries


When you hear that small still voice calling you to do more to serve God and your church, where do you begin? Starting with your pastor is a good start.  Don’t be embarrassed; you’re not the first person to experience this. Your pastor can direct you to the Lay Servant Ministries (LSM) webpage, Answering God’s call can take so many forms. Everyone is not called to be a lay speaker, but we are all called to serve. There are people waiting to help you ...

Tips for a successful lay ministry

Lay Servant Ministries


What does it take to be successful in lay ministry?   Willingness to be inconvenienced – Neither training nor serving are going to conform to each person’s specific, customized needs.  Travel should be anticipated. This is what it means to be itinerate.  Serving takes time, so clearing your calendar to allow for ministry is essential.  This is what it means to deny self.  Initiative – Having the motivation to seek training, to meet with your pastor and to answer every email, every day are all ...

Have faith to get started with basic course

Lay Servant Ministries


When I go shopping for clothes to wear for my work as a school bus driver and custodian for the Moundridge school district, I always look to make sure there are deep pockets.  I carry keys for the 54-passenger bus that I drive on a morning and afternoon route and to the shed where keys for all the other busses are kept in case I need to check some of them.  In the past as a custodian, I had a ring with 12 keys to various doors, light switches, paper towel holders, etc., inside the school ...

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