News


Lay Servant Ministries: Helping at the pulpit and much, much more

Lay Servant Ministries: Helping at the pulpit and much, much more

7/27/2015
Lay servants fill the pulpits of many Great Plains Conference churches each week, sharing their thoughts on the scriptures and attempting to link the Word of God to the issues people face in today’s world. Kathy Uldrich preaches as part of her role as a lay servant. She assists with a three-church charge, helping primarily at Juniata United Methodist Church in the Prairie Rivers District in Nebraska. Lay servants do preach as one of their primary roles, but they also take on many more tasks ...

Disciple Bible Study makes God’s word available on the fast track

Disciple Bible Study makes God’s word available on the fast track

7/22/2015
Disciple Bible Study has changed lives. The 34-week study has been credited by many people over the years with helping them at least start down the path of fulfilling the United Methodist Church’s mission statement of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. In fact, more than 3 million people have participated since Disciple's inception in 1987. But at 34 weeks in length and with classes of 2½ hours each week, fewer and fewer people seemed to find the time to take ...

Big Garden makes big plans for Omaha campus

Big Garden makes big plans for Omaha campus

6/30/2015
The Big Garden, an effort by United Methodist Ministries in Omaha, Nebraska, is launching an ambitious effort to build a full campus over the next 18 months. This artist rendering shows one concept of what the Big Garden Campus may look like in North Omaha, Nebraska. The Big Garden, which started in 2005 with a goal of building 12 community gardens in Omaha, has worked with hundreds of churches, schools and non-profits to build gardens. Along the way, it has taught thousands of people how to...

Bishop's Bicycle Challenge celebrates 6th successful ride to support Open Door

Bishop's Bicycle Challenge celebrates 6th successful ride to support Open Door

6/24/2015
On the morning of Saturday, June 20, 2015, 97 cyclists took off from Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Wichita, Kansas, for the 6th annual Bishop's Bicycle Challenge. Riders chose between three routes through West Wichita and rural Kansas, 100K (62 miles), 50K (31 miles) and 20 miles, all starting and ending at Aldersgate UMC. The weather was sunny and humid with a bit of wind. 100 percent of funds raised from the event support the ministry of Open Door, a conference-supported mission ...

Bishop issues statement about same-sex marriage petition

Bishop issues statement about same-sex marriage petition

6/16/2015
Bishop Scott J. Jones has issued a statement to all clergy and lay members of the Great Plains Conference regarding Petition 7. This legislation, titled "Acknowledgment of Diverse Beliefs Regarding Homosexuality," passed during the Great Plains Annual Conference session Saturday, June 13, in Wichita, Kansas. The letter explains that the vote changes nothing about how the church operates today and that the vote moves the petition to The United Methodist Church's General Conference in May 2016 ...

Benefits of the Chabadza Partnerships Between the Great Plains Conference – Wichita West District & the Zimbabwe East Conference – Mutasa Nyanga District

Benefits of the Chabadza Partnerships Between the Great Plains Conference – Wichita West District & the Zimbabwe East Conference – Mutasa Nyanga District

6/7/2015
My name is Lloyd Chaukura. I am a church member of the Zimbabwe East Conference in Mutasa Nyanga District. I was born in 1988 on the 14th of January at Old Mutare Hospital. My father has worked for Hartzell High School as a general worker for 33 years now. We stay as a family at Old Mutare Mission. I am the only boy in a family of five children. I grew up at the Mission and have been attending church service at Ehnes Memorial church ever since l was 12. I have been a circuit youth president for ...

Haiti Partnership: Long-standing relationship yields new friends, fresh hope

Haiti Partnership: Long-standing relationship yields new friends, fresh hope

6/2/2015
Relationships are tricky. When people are in synch, relationships provide stability. However over time people can grow apart, becoming unaware of each other’s dreams and needs. When cultural and language differences make the situation more complex, relationships can shift out of balance. The Great Plains United Methodist’s Mercy and Justice Ministry – tasked with developing the relationship between the conference and Haiti – sent a team to La Gonâve to check our assumptions on how we can help ...

Looking back at Bridges to the Future

Looking back at Bridges to the Future

6/2/2015
Leadership in the former Kansas East and Kansas West conferences had a vision for what they wanted to become in the middle of the last decade. It was 2005 when Bishop Scott J. Jones encouraged the development of strategic plans that called for new church starts, improved camping facilities, campus ministry and a greater emphasis on multicultural ministries. A youth at Camp Chippewa prepares to fire an arrow. The camp, along with two others in Kansas, benefitted from funds raised in the Bridges...

Disaster response training events across the Great Plains

Disaster response training events across the Great Plains

5/27/2015
Early Response Team (ERT) Trainings have been updated on this list of Early Response Team (ERT) events scheduled to take place in the coming months. Lunch will be provided during the sessions and there will be a free will offering to help with cost. Saturday, June 6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Humboldt UMC, 806 N 9th St, Humboldt, KS 66748. For more information, contact Russell Anderson, Southeast Region coordinator at rev.russanderson@gmail.com. Cost is $25, register here. Saturday, June 6 from ...

Elkhorn Valley DS remembered for humor, love for missions, youth

Elkhorn Valley DS remembered for humor, love for missions, youth

5/16/2015
The Rev. Marvin Neubauer is remembered by friends for his infectious sense of humor, his caring for people, desire to help with missions and love for his family. The Rev. Marvin Neubauer Neubauer, 57, was serving as superintendent of the Elkhorn Valley District in the Norfolk, Nebraska, area for the Great Plains Conference of the United Methodist Church when he passed away unexpectedly Thursday, May 14. As the news of his death settled in for family, friends and colleagues, loved ones ...

Epworth Village continues its evolution, seeks new CEO

Epworth Village continues its evolution, seeks new CEO

5/4/2015
Epworth Village in York, Nebraska, has undergone many changes since its founding as an orphanage in 1889 under the name of Mother’s Jewels Home. But one constant to this day has been its commitment to preserving families whenever possible by following the teachings of Christ. Recreation that provides fun challenges is one staple of life at Epworth Village in York, Nebraska. The village that once accepted children from the orphan trains now provides a variety of services for kids who have ...

President of United Methodist Council of Bishops calls for prayer, healing

President of United Methodist Council of Bishops calls for prayer, healing

5/1/2015
BERLIN — Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr., president of the Council of Bishops, appealed to the people of The United Methodist Church on May 1 in a letter calling them to join together in prayer for the church and the world. The action came as the bishops of The United Methodist Church gathered in Berlin for the Council of Bishops meeting, which started May 1. In the wake of natural disasters and incidents of violence, Bishop Brown remembered those who are hurting and suffering under the weight of ...

East Heights UMC shows love for Wichita

East Heights UMC shows love for Wichita

4/27/2015
East Heights United Methodist Church joined with 40 churches on April 25 to clean, plant, paint and build during LOVE Wichita, a citywide day of service. Church members of all ages and skill levels served at the Robert Dole VA Medical Center, the Hilltop Neighborhood cleanup, the College Hill Pool and United Methodist Open Door. A team also cleaned up the grounds at Jefferson Elementary School, the church’s ministry partner. Improvements also were made to the church’s Natural Playscape ...

Wichita University UMC dedicates new roof-top solar array on Earth Day

Wichita University UMC dedicates new roof-top solar array on Earth Day

4/23/2015
“Wichita University United Methodist Church is a tree-hugging, cat-loving church,” the Rev. Charles Claycomb said. “We believe ecology is at the heart of the Christian faith and practice. God finds intrinsic value in the Earth and all its creatures.” To celebrate Earth Day 2015, the University UMC dedicated the church’s new roof-top solar array. The $70,000 installation cost was funded through Westar Energy’s Solar Photovoltaic Project. Read more here and in the Wichita Eagle. See below how much...

Spring Training for youth ministry knocks it out of the park

Spring Training for youth ministry knocks it out of the park

4/22/2015
*Plans are currently being made for Spring Training 2016 in April.* Great Plains United Methodists who work in any aspect of youth ministry were invited to a brand new training event called Spring Training which took place this past weekend. Each church was encouraged to send their Sunday School teachers, youth leaders, pastors, confirmation mentors and others to one of two locations to learn together how to have a great youth ministry. Darren Falk of Silver Lake UMC teaches junior high and ...

At Orders and Fellowship 2015, clergy challenged to develop leaders

At Orders and Fellowship 2015, clergy challenged to develop leaders

4/9/2015
The Orders and Fellowship gathering for clergy was held Jan. 21-22, 2015, at St. Mark’s UMC in Lincoln, Nebraska. The featured speakers came from a United Methodist congregation in Georgia where they have developed a discipling and leadership program for their congregation that begins intentionally with children in the fourth grade. They were invited to share how they developed the program and implemented it congregation-wide to inspire our clergy for developing spirit-led leaders in the local ...

Carrying the cross

Carrying the cross

4/8/2015
Thirty-five members of the Harlan Lake UMC Parish (Alma and Republican City, Nebraska) and friends experienced “Carrying the Cross” for the first time on Good Friday. Members met in Alma and took turns carrying the cross approximately three miles on the walking trail to Methodist Cove campground at the Harlan County Reservoir. Nine golf carts followed along for those who wanted to ride part or all of the way. Prior to the walk, bottles of water were placed by the trail with a sign that read, “...

Young Clergy Leadership Forum leaves lasting impact on Great Plains clergy

Young Clergy Leadership Forum leaves lasting impact on Great Plains clergy

4/7/2015
The Great Plains Mercy and Justice Team sponsored the Rev. Kirstie Garnes to attend the 12th annual Young Clergy Leadership Forum in Washington D.C. at the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS). Held Jan. 26-29 on Capitol Hill, the event was limited to 75 participants, age 35 or younger, usually provisional or ordained clergy serving in full-time appointments to local congregations. The theme this year focused on one question: “How can we come together to build a world where all people are ...

ESL allows Pleasant Valley UMC to reach Hispanic community

ESL allows Pleasant Valley UMC to reach Hispanic community

4/6/2015
The ESL (English as a Second Language) program at Pleasant Valley United Methodist Church in Wichita, Kansas, is dedicated to serving the Hispanic community by providing quality language instruction to Spanish speaking people. The ESL program is one of the primary outreach ministries of Pleasant Valley UMC. Each spring and fall semester, Jennifer Jepsen along with her husband, Tim, hosts the ESL program every Thursday. The program lasts for eight weeks in the fall and nine weeks in the spring. ...

Connecting Council considers budget to sustain new churches, redistricting, strategic plans

Connecting Council considers budget to sustain new churches, redistricting, strategic plans

3/31/2015
Randall Hodgkinson delivers the opening devotion during the Connecting Council's meeting March 20 at East Heights UMC in Wichita, Kansas. The Connecting Council voted to show support for a variety of mission projects, a fundraising plan for Camp Comeca and, perhaps most importantly, to support new churches during its spring meeting March 20 and 21 at East Heights United Methodist Church in Wichita, Kansas. The council, which meets twice annually to conduct the business of the Great Plains ...

Free training offered to build school-church partnerships

Free training offered to build school-church partnerships

3/24/2015
In this era of political battles over budget cuts for public education, now is the perfect opportunity for local congregations to reach out to their communities by providing support for our children – to energize the movement toward academic success. That’s the basis for the Energizing Education Partnerships program with the Great Plains Conference of the United Methodist Church. A series of free workshops has been planned to help move schools and congregations into partnerships that support ...

Immigration documentaries share the realities faced by our newest neighbors

Immigration documentaries share the realities faced by our newest neighbors

3/24/2015
The Great Plains Conference’s Mercy & Justice team –  together with Justice For Our Neighbors-Nebraska, Nebraska Appleseed and Kansas Appleseed – is inviting you to screenings of two immigration documentaries at different locations in our conference. The directors of the documentaries will be present.  ‘Trails of Hope and Terror’ A movie based on this book will be shown in Gering, Nebraska, as well as in Wichita and Dodge City, Kansas. The Rev. Dr. Miguel A. De La Torre will screen his ...

Congregational Excellence: Tornado destroys building, revitalizes church

Congregational Excellence: Tornado destroys building, revitalizes church

3/19/2015
The evening of Feb. 28, 2012, started off like any other Tuesday night in Harveyville, Kansas. Debris is all that remains above ground after a tornado hit Harveyville United Methodist Church in Kansas in 2012.   The small community about 35 miles southwest of Topeka was enduring an evening of rain, and a Bible study was taking place at the home of a Harveyville United Methodist Church member. But the storm that night would turn out to be far more than a simple rain shower.   “It really wasn’...

Grow spiritually with academies lasting 5 days, 2 years

Grow spiritually with academies lasting 5 days, 2 years

3/19/2015
Worship, with communion every day, is a key component to the Five Day Academy experience. Photos courtesy Jamie Steckelberg Scott/jamesAnn Photography Sometimes amid the hustle and bustle of modern life, we forget to take time to grow spiritually and to connect with others who are following Christ. The Five Day and Two Year academies, sponsored by Upper Room Ministries, provide opportunities for participants to do both amid the tranquility of retreat centers across the United States, ...

Great Plains Mercy and Justice team putting votes into action

Great Plains Mercy and Justice team putting votes into action

3/11/2015
Have you ever gone to Annual Conference and voted "yes" on a bunch of amazing petitions and resolutions that call us to transform the world – only to come home and have it tucked into a short Annual Conference report to your congregation?  Have you ever wondered what happens to those resolutions and how they get acted upon? Members of the Mercy and Justice Team meet in January in the Great Plains Conference Lincoln, Nebraska, office.   Well this year, stop wondering and start advocating – ...

Lyons youth get after game hangout

Lyons youth get after game hangout

3/10/2015
In rural communities such as Lyons, one of the largest complaints by youth is that there is nothing to do in the community. One woman and a group of supporters is looking to change that. Kari Troyer has worked for the past year at turning the upstairs area of Lyons UMC into a comfortable, safe environment for children to come relax at on Friday evenings. Troyer explained that the “after game party” was originally created to give Lyons and area youth a place to hold a post-game party after home ...

Author on tour to discuss the tragedy of gun violence

Author on tour to discuss the tragedy of gun violence

3/4/2015
An author, hunter and National Rifle Association member will tour Nebraska and Kansas later this month to share his vision of what the world would be like without gun violence. The Rev. James Atwood’s speeches and community events are scheduled for March 15-22 in Lawrence, Topeka and Wichita in Kansas and in Omaha, Lincoln and Grand Island in Nebraska. His visit corresponds with the National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath. Atwood, author of the book “America and Its Guns: A Theological Expose,...

Summer internship program application deadline is Sunday, March 8

Summer internship program application deadline is Sunday, March 8

3/4/2015
Young adults interested in growing their faith and leadership skills now have a one-stop shop when it comes to finding the right fit. The Summer Internship Program of the Great Plains Conference gives young adults a chance to explore hands-on ministry and leadership in a variety of fields. While combining the previously offered summer offerings (Micah Corps, vacation Bible school and camp counselors) into a clear leadership development system, four new internships – pastoral leadership, ...

Elm Creek United Methodist Women assist driver’s education students

Elm Creek United Methodist Women assist driver’s education students

3/3/2015
Before Meredith Keep retired, she would see the diagonal bruises across the chests of accident victims in the recovery room at CHI Heath Good Samaritan in Kearney, Nebraska, and knew that they were alive thanks to a seatbelt. “One of the nurses would lean in and whisper ‘thanks for wearing your seatbelt,’” said Keep.   It was these recovery room images, coupled with a United Methodist Women (UMW) lesson from Rhonda Knapp, which sparked the idea in 2008 for a driver’s education tuition assistance...

Epworth Village to open home for girls

Epworth Village to open home for girls

3/3/2015
Editor’s Note: the following is written by Melanie Wilkinson, York News-Times managing editor, and is printed courtesy of the York News-Times. Harrietta Reynolds, Epworth Village CEO, has announced that the entity will be opening a home for girls in two months.   Epworth Village has historically only housed boys – so this will be a major change for the agency. The last time Epworth provided even temporary residential services for girls was in 1990.   Reynolds describes changes at Epworth as ...

Cost of Poverty Experience expels myths through understanding

Cost of Poverty Experience expels myths through understanding

2/25/2015
Wichita Circles Network is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families and individuals make the journey out of poverty. Circles is a community driven solution to addressing the underlying causes of poverty and supporting families with their efforts to reach and maintain economic stability. The Wichita Circles Network strives to build bridges between social classes in order to foster relationships that will help strengthen the Wichita community. The Wichita Circles Network sponsored a...

GraceMed: providing compassionate, accessible, high-quality health care

GraceMed: providing compassionate, accessible, high-quality health care

2/19/2015
GraceMed Health Clinic is a Christ-centered, non-profit community health center that provides access to affordable quality health care for the residents of south central Kansas. Its goal is to provide high quality health care services for uninsured and underinsured residents in Wichita and the surrounding areas. GraceMed’s mission is to show and share the love of Jesus Christ by providing compassionate, accessible, high-quality health care for those who are in need. “We currently have eight ...

Congregational Excellence: Living Water UMC

Congregational Excellence: Living Water UMC

2/17/2015
Living Water United Methodist Church in Kansas City, Kansas, is proof that churches can have their own resurrection stories and be made new. The Kansas East Conference discontinued Stephens United Methodist Church in 2004. The building, in an area known as Piper among many residents of northeast Kansas but more accurately identified as Kansas City, remained vacant for three years before being used by a Nazarene church from 2007 to 2009. Congregants at Living Water United Methodist Church in ...

Confirmation students learn what it means to be Christian, United Methodist

Confirmation students learn what it means to be Christian, United Methodist

2/16/2015
More than 140 confirmation students got the chance to learn more about what it means to be a Christian and what it means to be a United Methodist during the first of three confirmation rallies Feb. 14 at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Rev. Bill Ritter, superintendent of the Blue River District, preaches during the closing worship of the confirmation rally Feb. 14 at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Nebraska.    “You are loved. You are accepted,” the Rev. Bill ...

Nebraska faith community learns about advocacy, social justice

Nebraska faith community learns about advocacy, social justice

2/16/2015
John Mackiel, who serves in the education administration at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, talks about poverty during a breakout session at the annual ecumenical legislature day at Christ United Methodist in Lincoln. United Methodists – in fact, all residents of Nebraska – can’t afford to sit on the sidelines with so much work to be done to ensure social justice for all people. That was a common theme shared by presenters at the Nebraska Ecumenical Legislative Briefing on Feb. 14 at ...

When disaster strikes, will you be prepared?

When disaster strikes, will you be prepared?

2/13/2015
When the weather forecast indicates a line of strong storms with potential tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding is 24 hours away from you, what do you do? For many of us today in our fast-paced, busy lifestyles, that is when we may begin to think about what preparations should be made to our homes, churches and businesses. We hurry off to the store only to find no wood, nails, or generators remain. By this point the storm is just hours away, bearing down on us. What now? When a storm is a...

Kansas faith leaders plead for repeal of Death Penalty

Kansas faith leaders plead for repeal of Death Penalty

2/11/2015
From the Topeka Capital-Journal: Leaders of Catholic, Lutheran, Mennonite, Episcopal and United Methodist denominations converged at the Statehouse yesterday to offer religious, financial and moral arguments for abolition of capital punishment in Kansas. The faith group acknowledged strong convictions and deep passions raised by political consideration of the death penalty as well as suffering of families made victims by heinous crimes, but they also put forth the proposition that ...

Paws and Play: therapy dog ministry fun for all

Paws and Play: therapy dog ministry fun for all

2/6/2015
Dare. Katy. Allie. They are the rock stars of volunteers at Jefferson Elementary School in Wichita, Kansas. Kids call out their names when they walk down the halls. Hands reach out to touch them. Dare, Katy and Allie are therapy dogs that visit the school every week. Sally Wilson brings Dare, a black Labrador, on Wednesdays, and Jeanne Forbes brings Katy and Allie, mini Labradoodles, on Thursdays. Sally and Jeanne, who are members of East Heights UMC, gather with their dogs and the kids in a ...

Celebrating the life and work of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Celebrating the life and work of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

1/18/2015
Great Plains clergy honored by The Kansas African American Museum Wichitans from throughout the community joined together at various venues this weekend to celebrate the life and work of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Christian Faith Centre started the celebration Saturday morning, Jan. 17, with a free pancake breakfast followed by a community-wide parade through downtown Wichita. The events provide an excellent opportunity to bring people together throughout the community, said the Rev. Wade ...

The OneEvent: Becoming fearless through God's love

The OneEvent: Becoming fearless through God's love

1/14/2015
Keynote speaker Rev. Kirstie Garnes brought the theme of The OneEvent to life with her insight on dealing with fear. Her strategy has three steps: name it, face it, and defeat it. She prepared for The OneEvent months in advance by asking dozens of youth to identify their fears. She compiled their answers into a list of twenty main fears which she went through during the first general session, asking youth to point their two thumbs up for every fear that hit a chord for them. If they weren’t sure...

Youth learn to defeat fear at The OneEvent 2015

Youth learn to defeat fear at The OneEvent 2015

1/14/2015
Once again The OneEvent was a memorable weekend of celebration, worship, learning and fellowship for Great Plains youth and youth leaders. More than 1,200 people braved harsh winter weather to gather in Grand Island, Nebraska, to kick off the new year Jan. 3-4. Eihusen Arena was rocking to the head-banging sounds of Colton Dixon and worship led by The Digital Age, a four-piece band from Waco, Texas. Ground Zero Master’s Commission kept the attention of youth and adults with their innovative ...

Car collides into a Green House Home at Asbury Park in Newton, Kansas

1/12/2015
At approximately 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 10, 2015, a car veered off Southwest 14th Street, drove over a frozen pond and up the embankment into the back of one of the Green House Homes that provides skilled nursing care, on Asbury Park’s campus. One resident was taken to the hospital and died the following day as a result of the injuries from the accident. The driver of the car was also taken to the hospital. No others were injured. The staff immediately evacuated all residents from the ...

Bishop’s Round-Up Against Hunger: Continuing compassion for the hungry

Bishop’s Round-Up Against Hunger: Continuing compassion for the hungry

12/30/2014
2015 Bishop's Round-up Against Hunger Information Instructions Report form Needs and Uses brochure Flier “Following Jesus is a way of life. When Jesus says, ‘Love God with everything you’ve got,’ that means all of your talent, all of your money, all of your time and all of the resources you have need to be focused on following Jesus, doing God’s will and living your life in such a way that you’re giving glory to God in every possible way.” With these words Bishop Scott Jones exhorted those ...

TiM program equipping future church leaders

TiM program equipping future church leaders

12/30/2014
By Said Ernesto Velazquez, communications intern The TiM (Transition into Ministry) program has changed the lives of nine clergy members in the Great Plains Episcopal Area since 2012, when the first Lilly grant was received. The TiM program is made possible through the Lilly Endowment. The Lilly Endowment strengthens pastoral leadership by funding a variety of projects that test new ways for helping new pastors move through the transition from student to pastor. “The TiM program is an ...

Hopkins Foundation donates $25,000 to Great Plains United Methodist camps

Hopkins Foundation donates $25,000 to Great Plains United Methodist camps

12/23/2014
Children in need will have the opportunity to enjoy Christmas camp thanks to a generous donation by the Hopkins Foundation to the Great Plains United Methodist Camps. The Hopkins Foundation presented a check for $25,000 to the camps on Monday afternoon at Grace United Methodist Church in Emporia, Kansas. Tom Krueger, Hopkins Foundation attorney and board member explained the meaning behind the donation. A donation he believes E.L. & Z. Irene Hopkins would be pleased with. “Bud and Irene went to ...

Camp Comeca undergoes staffing change

12/23/2014
Interim staff in place as site council seeks new camp director Cheri Wilson left her position as office manager at Camp Comeca, effective Dec. 18. Her work over the last six months was instrumental in establishing office procedures for the camp. Jennifer, Chris and Katlyn Sunde continue in residence at the camp. Under the direction of Sara Shaw, coordinator of camping ministries for the Great Plains Conference, they and Great Plains Camp Liaison Josey Hoyt will guide the ministry of the camp ...

Great Plains Hispanic Ministry celebrates 100 Partners

Great Plains Hispanic Ministry celebrates 100 Partners

12/17/2014
Para leer este artículo en español, haga clic aquí. More than one hundred leaders have renewed their commitment as “Partners” for United Methodist ministry with Hispanic/Latinos in the Great Plains Conference. These leaders expressed their desire to become partners during Annual Conference and then again this fall during regional prayer breakfasts held in two cities in Nebraska (Madison and Lincoln), and three locations in Kansas (Topeka, Wichita and Garden City). The group shares a vision to ...

Kansas churches invited to participate in Summer Feeding Program Summit on Jan. 26

Kansas churches invited to participate in Summer Feeding Program Summit on Jan. 26

12/17/2014
In Kansas, nearly one in four children live in poverty. During the school year, many children receive two square meals a day, but in the summertime, too many of our Kansas children go hungry. However, the Federal Summer Feeding Program provides funding for communities to host sites where kids can be guaranteed a meal during the summer months. Unfortunately, Kansas ranks 50th in the nation for the percentage of children served by the summer meal program. Congregations in the Great Plains ...

Camp Norwesca names new site director

Camp Norwesca names new site director

12/10/2014
The Camp Norwesca site council is pleased to announce it has hired a new site director for the camp. Katelin Gosser has been hired as the site director for Camp Norwesca, near Chadron, Nebraska. She succeeds Valerie Rahrs, who served the camp for several years before her resignation in June. Gosser comes to the camp from Shreveport, Louisiana, but she has extensive camping experience in Kansas. She plans to complete her bachelor’s degree at Chadron State College in outdoor recreation once she ...

Conflict in Beaver Crossing

Conflict in Beaver Crossing

12/1/2014
by the Rev. Tamara Holtz We are in the Church season of Advent rejoicing in “Hope, Peace, Joy, Love” as I remember the season of “The Mother’s Day Tornado of 2014!” The small town of Beaver Crossing, where just over four hundred people live, is one church in the rural ministry parish where I serve. Every residence was damaged by this F-3 tornado storm. Yes, conflict, clash and collision are very much a part of chaos following a natural disaster. This article celebrates a healing of a ...

Donations accepted to support Salia family

Donations accepted to support Salia family

11/16/2014
Dr. Martin Salia, Ebola-stricken surgeon from Sierra Leone, dies in Nebraska Statement from Bishop Scott Jones: The people of the Great Plains Conference are mourning the death of Dr. Martin Salia, along with the rest of the global community. We are grateful to God for his sacrificial service in caring for the people of Sierra Leone. The United Methodist Church continues its commitment to helping to eradicate the global Ebola epidemic and we pray for all of the victims and those fighting this ...

Little church gets big in little dresses

Little church gets big in little dresses

11/6/2014
Members of Antrim's little church spend their time making little dresses In the basement of a little church in the southern part of Stafford County a group of ladies work to clothe and comfort people they will never meet. The sporadic whir of sewing machines start and stop as pillow cases, sheets and bolts of unused cloth become girl’s dresses, receiving blankets and even cloth diapers as ladies from Antrim United Methodist Church are on a mission that continues to grow. “We started out making ...

Nigeria Partnership orphanage announces secondary school graduation of first class of students

Nigeria Partnership orphanage announces secondary school graduation of first class of students

11/5/2014
The orphanage home of the United Methodist Church of Nigeria (UMCN), Mile Six, Jalingo, Taraba State, celebrated the first set of orphans to graduate from secondary school on Nov. 1, 2015, at the orphanage multi-purpose building. The set of students who are all female include Rejoice Anthony, Rose John, Bukata Kefas, Feleciah Kuvah and Pennoh Isuwa. Nigeria Episcopal Area Bishop John Wesley Yohanna, who is also the chairman of the orphanage board of directors, encouraged the orphans to always ...

Hispanic ministry partners pray for one another

Hispanic ministry partners pray for one another

10/29/2014
The morning of Saturday, Oct. 18, First UMC in Lincoln, Nebraska, hosted the third Desayuno de Oración (Spanish for prayer breakfast) for the Great Plains Hispanic Ministry Partners. There were partners from the Lincoln/Omaha area as well as students from Nebraska Wesleyan University (NWU) in attendance. The gathering was aimed to reaffirm their commitment to ministry and to pray for one another. The meal started early in the morning and became a space where worship and prayer reinforced the ...

Bishop Scott Jones, Stephanie Caro preach at Small Wonders conference

Bishop Scott Jones, Stephanie Caro preach at Small Wonders conference

10/27/2014
The following was written by Sam Fisher, DSA, Olive Crest UMC, Omaha, Nebraska. Small membership church development rose to the top of the conversation this past weekend as the first Great Plains Conference Small Wonders event was held in Salina, Kansas. In the Saturday morning worship service, Bishop Scott Jones urged clergy and laity from small membership churches to start looking at the whole picture. As he reflected on the story of the prodigal son, three words rang in Sam’s Chapel at Kansas...

AC vote ends clergy health plan, replaced with allowance

AC vote ends clergy health plan, replaced with allowance

10/20/2014
Bishop Scott Jones has reviewed the tally of the votes cast by clergy and lay members of the Annual Conference. An overwhelming majority approved the use of the mail/email ballot instead of asking for a special session. The vote was also overwhelming to approve the recommendation of the Connecting Council to end the Conference health plan for clergy appointed to local churches and enrolled lay staff. (Remember that employees of the Conference and clergy appointed to our largest church will ...

Building bright futures

Building bright futures

10/15/2014
By Said Ernesto Velazquez, communications intern St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Omaha, Nebraska, is making a difference in the lives of hundreds of high school students on the road to academic and personal success. The congregation’s partnership with Burke High School right down the street has a seven-year track record of student engagement. The students that apply to be part of the after-school support program, housed at St. Luke’s UMC and often called the teen center, are eager to take ...

News from the Big Hairy Audacious Education Caravan

News from the Big Hairy Audacious Education Caravan

10/8/2014
Education Caravan completes 2014 tour The Education Caravan concluded its 2014 tour in Lincoln, Nebraska, at Saint Paul UMC, on Oct. 2, with about 115 in attendance. The grand total for attendance at all six events is close to 700 people. The Lincoln program, which was also webcast, is recorded and available for viewing.  Common discussions centered on the realization that there is so much poverty in the midst of our small towns and cities. Guest presenters offered many ways churches are already...

Partnerships in Minneapolis, Kansas

9/26/2014
by Rev. April Wegehaupt Partnerships between church and community can bring forth transformation and growth, but sometimes not in ways that the church has come to see and measure growth. I had the opportunity in 2009 to embark on a mission with a small group of members from the Minneapolis FUMC to try and ‘transform’ the community; this was through the educational opportunity ‘Faith and Leadership Transforming Communities’. After the initial training, my church group went back to Minneapolis ...

The Lord’s response to the Shipibo prayer

The Lord’s response to the Shipibo prayer

9/22/2014
My name is Dylan Roth, and I am a sophomore at Iowa State University. I am majoring in business economics." This article highlights my experiences from a recent mission trip to the jungles of Peru. I along with 19 others from St. Andrew’s UMC in Omaha, Nebraska, served in the Shipibo village of Palestina along the Ucayali River. Dusk had settled in, and the air began to chill. Our riverboat, La Evangelista (The Evangelist), slowed and approached the riverbank. However, this riverbank was ...

Communities come together to build boxes of hope

Communities come together to build boxes of hope

9/19/2014
This toy box, whose first item is a stuffed bunny, will be sent to a center for troubled youth as part of the Elm Creek, Overton and Williamsburg UMCs’ (in Nebraska) toy box ministry. By SAID VELAZQUEZ, communications intern In a 15-minute drive from Kearney, Nebraska, you will find a small town called Elm Creek with a population of 929 (2012 census information). On the town’s main street are a grocery store, a diner and an antiques store. However, there is an array of surprises at the end of ...

Cabinet and clergy do mission work in Beaver Crossing

Cabinet and clergy do mission work in Beaver Crossing

9/18/2014
The Great Plains Cabinet and second year provisional clergy are spending several days this week working in Beaver Crossing, Nebraska. The community suffered extensive damage from a tornado on May 11, 2014, which also happened to be Mother’s Day. The group has been busy removing many downed or damaged trees, replacing windows in two homes, rebuilding a garage and sprucing up the United Methodist church. Team members have also been cleaning cement blocks that will be used to rebuild an archway ...

Zimbabwe East - Mutasa-Nyanga District/Wichita West

Zimbabwe East - Mutasa-Nyanga District/Wichita West

8/20/2014
August 2014 brings partners together Fourteen Great Plains United Methodists traveled to Zimbabwe in August. After attending the Ebenezer Convention in Harare, members of the travel group divided up to visit their specific partnership churches. A directory of partner churches is currently being updated. Here is the partnership list as of January 2014. Bishop Scott Johns Blog Kathryn Witte's Trip Blog Pratt, Kansas/Honde North Standing in front of the nearly completed Honde North Circuit ...

Nueva Vida: uniting children with their families

Nueva Vida: uniting children with their families

8/6/2014
The Nueva Vida ministry team has been supporting an effort to unite children from Central America with their parents living in northeastern Kansas. The process has involved language translation, sending completed release forms and other documents back and forth to various agencies for approval, and finally, picking up children at the airport or bus station and delivering them to their families. We thank God for the opportunity to re-unite six children with their parents and families in just the ...

Bishop’s Round-Up Against Hunger to celebrate 37th year

Bishop’s Round-Up Against Hunger to celebrate 37th year

8/5/2014
The annual Bishop’s Round-Up Against Hunger is an event to celebrate all that the church does for the poor and hungry throughout the year. The Bishop’s Round-Up Against Hunger  is celebrating its 37th year. Formerly an event of the Kansas East Conference, the Bishop’s Round-Up Against Hunger is now celebrating Hunger Ministries throughout the Great Plains United Methodist Conference. The Bishop’s Round-Up Against Hunger event takes place in Lawrence, Kansas, at the Douglas County Fairgrounds on ...

Immigration crisis and God’s children

7/24/2014
Dear Great Plains United Methodist friends, Many of you have heard about the current crisis of unaccompanied minors coming into the United States. Some of you are already responding in several ways while others continue to discern the best way to address the issue. While we all hold different views on how to address the issue of immigration reform, as Christians and United Methodists our calling has always been to be in ministry with the most vulnerable among us. God continues to call us to ...

Business of the 2014 Annual Conference Session

7/10/2014
Churches close Two churches in the Great Plains Conference have made the difficult decision to close – Dresden UMC, in Dresden, Kan., and Emanuel UMC in Alta Vista, Kan. Both Dresden UMC and Emanuel UMC received approval for discontinuation during the Annual Conference Session on Wednesday, June 11. Episcopacy committee The Rev. Maria Campbell, episcopal committee chair, announced an episcopal residence task force to discuss and make a recommendation on the location of the episcopal residence to...

Bishop's Bicycle Challenge raises more than $11,000 for Open Door

6/25/2014
On the morning of Saturday, June 21, 2014, 110 cyclists took off from Andover UMC in Andover, Kan., for the 5th annual Bishop's Bicycle Challenge. Riders chose between three routes around Butler County, 100K (62 miles), 50K (35 miles) and 20 miles, all starting and ending at the church. The weather was perfect with little wind and no rain. Final numbers are not available yet, although current estimate is $11,000 for the amount of funds raised from the event to support the ministry of Open Door, ...

Northeast Nebraska devastated from tornadoes

6/17/2014
Updates: JUNE 23: Gleaning for field debris still urgent JUNE 20: Pilger area saturated with volunteers – Wakefield, other areas in need JUNE 18: Volunteers arriving along with more storms JUNE 17: Pictures posted, plans being made JUNE 17: Volunteers needed for early response JUNE 16: Tornadoes hit Stanton County Related: How the Great Plains Conference responds to disasters Photos from Great Plains Conference Disaster Response for 2014   Pilger early-response work winds down Agricultural ...

Connecting Council accepts bishop’s recommendation on process

6/14/2014
A resolution to reduce the conference to 14 districts in order to provide greater funding for campus ministries was brought to the floor on Thursday, officially considered on Friday, and referred to the Connecting Council on Saturday. The Connecting Council met at a special meeting at 8 a.m. in the Lied Center Johnny Carson Theatre on Saturday to hear Bishop Scott Jones’ recommendation on how to manage the referral. His recommendation read: --------- For Considering the Reduction of Districts ...

Members review finances, approve 2014 budget

6/14/2014
Approved 2015 budget totals $16,036,373 Carl Nord, chair of Finance and Administration for the conference led the financial discussion. He reaffirmed the Rev. Gary Beach as Conference Treasurer and thanked him for his service in times of great change and transition. Beach took the podium and recognized his own staff who have been putting in many hours to make the transition to the Great Plains Conference. He noted that about 30 businesses and pseudo-conference business were shut down during the ...

Institutions share progress

6/13/2014
The plenary meeting at 9:30 a.m., on Friday focused on new changes and the important connections between Mission Agencies and the churches and communities they serve. Nebraska Wesleyan University Larry Ruth, the representative speaking on behalf of Nebraska Wesleyan University, said that while traditional students and bachelor degrees are still the backbone of the university, changes are taking place. One of these changes includes a larger presence in Omaha, Neb., and the addition of the Rev. ...

Rev. Jorge Acevedo headlines Hispanic Ministry lunch

6/13/2014
Serenading by Hector and Sherri Sanchez blessed everyone approaching Saint Paul UMC in Lincoln, Neb., to attend the Great Plains Hispanic Ministry lunch on Friday, June 12. Colombian harpist William Sanchez further blessed attendees as they gathered and proceeded through the buffet of pulled pork, potato salad and fresh fruit. Cesar Garcia Rodriguez and Miriam Peralta de Garcia welcomed everyone, alternating between Spanish and English. Among the nearly 200 attendees were the Micah Corps ...

State of the conference - ahead of schedule

6/12/2014
Making something truly abundant – Great Plains Conference Lay Leader Courtney Fowler Courtney Fowler, conference lay leader, began by describing the first Great Plains Annual Conference laity session as a time of praise and good will; where seeds of friendship and common bonds were cultivated in the midst of diversity.   Courtney reminded attendees that while the ending of three individual conferences brought grief, this ending is also an opportunity for God to show us a new beginning. Sharing...

Thursday afternoon plenary features proposal to reduce districts to 14

6/12/2014
By Stuart Davis, Orchard-Page-Ewing UMCs, Neb. Taking a time of personal privilege during the Thursday afternoon plenary session, Andy Hargrove (Berryton, Kan.) notified the Great Plains Annual Conference Session members that a motion would be forthcoming to provide more money for campus ministries by reducing the number of districts in the conference from 17 to 14, as of July 2015.   “At the Uniting Conference we said we would be taking bold action to make disciples of Jesus Christ. This is ...

Spreading smiles through Vacation Bible School

6/10/2014
Five young adults from the Great Plains Conference are spending their summer strengthening their walk with God as they disciple children through Vacation Bible School. This internship program through the Small Membership Church ministry has the team in churches across Kansas and Nebraska, in small towns and larger cities, for nine weeks.   The first VBS for the summer was held last week in Axtell, Kan. The congregation anticipated 35 children to participate but attracted 78, which was a pleasant...

Superhero inspires community outreach

6/10/2014
On June 1, 2014, the Rev. Jeff Slater began a special sermon series that he hoped would be both spiritually rich and a lot of fun: Lessons from Smallville. As pastor for First UMC in Hutchinson, Kan., Slater wanted to connect with plans for a Smallville festival and share the gospel.   Slater had read in the Superman comics that Clark Kent was raised a Methodist in Kansas. He structured the sermon series to allow his congregation to “grow along with Superman,” starting the topic of dual ...

Some people just can't call it quits

6/9/2014
For most people, retirement means relaxation, a chance to travel or an opportunity to pick up a hobby. But for many clergy members, retirement means continuing their ministry in a slightly different way.   The Rev. Charlotte Abram officially retired in 2012. However, she has still been active and serving Tri-Community in Omaha, Neb. But now, the time has come for Abram to actually retire.   “Momma went ‘part-time in 2012, but has still been acting like she is ‘full time,’” Abram’s daughter, Noni...

Regenerate gathers Great Plains church planters for retreat, learning and connecting

6/4/2014
“We all want to grow in breadth and depth; and we don’t put a value on sizes,” said the Rev. Matt Miofsky of The Gathering, in St. Louis, Mo., in his opening remarks. Regenerate is part of the Five Touch program of the new church development process in the Great Plains United Methodist Conference. Each appointed pastor of a new church start was part of a two-day retreat that included worship, led by the Rev. Mitch Reece and Nathan Brooks of Church of the Resurrection (Rez) West; and ...

Beaver Crossing, Cordova, Goehner and Sutton: Disaster Recovery Updates

5/19/2014
Updates: JULY 16: Volunteers in Mission teams needed for continuing disaster recovery efforts MAY 27: Plans for long-term recovery in Seward County MAY 19: The latest - Beaver Crossing recovery efforts MAY 17: Beaver Crossing Recovery -- despair and relief MAY 16: Pastor Pat reports from the field MAY 16: Widespread damage will require long-term assistance for recovery MAY 15: A message from Prairie Rivers District Superintendent Lance Clay MAY 14: Volunteers needed as disaster recovery ...

Baxter Springs: Disaster Recovery Updates

5/16/2014
Updates: JULY 16: Volunteers in Mission teams needed for continuing disaster recovery efforts MAY 16: Long term recovery committee being formed MAY 14: Disaster response in Baxter Springs enters long-term recovery phase; Lin Harris named site manager MAY 1: Limited financial relief available to Baxter Springs tornado victims, Bishop Jones makes video appeal APRIL 29: Disaster response underway in Baxter Springs Related: Ian Beyer's Baxter Springs photos from April 27 How the Great Plains ...

Dr. Alyce McKenzie teaches final installment of Great Preaching for the Great Plains

5/14/2014
More than 50 pastors gathered for the last session of the Great Plains preaching seminars led by Dr. Alyce McKenzie and Dr. John Holbert, both from Perkins School of Theology. The final topic was on the delivery of a contemporary worship service. The session ran from 2 p.m. on Monday through mid-day on Tuesday, at Lincoln’s St. Mark’s UMC. The Rev. Evelyn Fisher, director of Congregational Excellence said the intent is to offer a similar forum for learning next year, most likely hosted in ...

How the kidnappings in Nigeria affect the Jalingo Orphanage

5/9/2014
The current situation in Nigeria is of great concern to Great Plains United Methodists, and many have inquired about the effect of the kidnappings on our friends at the Jalingo Orphanage. We continue to listen to our Nigerian friends and how we can support them. Here is what we know at this point. The Great Plains Conference of the United Methodist Church has maintained a partnership with the United Methodist Church in Nigeria since 1999. With the help of the General Board of Global Ministries ...

Many hands make light the work

5/7/2014
Three exciting reports from Hands on the Great Plains Perfect weather on May 3 for Hands on Topeka About 175 volunteers participated in the fifth annual Hands on Topeka work day, tackling projects that involved painting, landscaping and/or cleaning property. Partnering churches included Asbury Mt. Olive, Berryton, Countryside, Crestview, First, Grace, Highland Park, Kansas Avenue, Lowman, Oakland, Pleasant Hill, Shawnee Heights, St. Peter’s, Susanna Wesley and University UMC. Brenda ...

The story of #ReinventHorton

5/7/2014
When 88-year-old World War II veteran Kenneth Knudson, a resident and business owner of Horton, Kan., was jailed the day after Christmas in 2013 for repairs he could not afford to complete on his building. The story went viral. This is not the kind of headline news on Fox 4 News you wish for your city. However, the story caught the attention of Marcus Lemonis, host of The Profit on CNBC, who called the mayor of Horton with a desire to pay for the repairs on the man’s building. The mayor ...

United Methodist Mexican-American Ministries (UMMAM)

5/6/2014
The inaugural print edition of GPconnect, mailed to Great Plains United Methodists in early May, 2014, included a story on the work of United Methodist Mexican American Ministries (UMMAM) in southwest Kansas. Here's the rest of the story plus photos. Can't see the photo slideshow above? Check out the entire album of UMMAM photos on Flickr. UMMAM's History, Present and Future from Great Plains UMC on Vimeo. Sarah Trapp, the enabling services manager at United Methodist Mexican-American ...

Disaster response underway in Baxter Springs

4/29/2014
Click here for updates. Disaster response is underway in Baxter Springs, the southeastern Kansas town struck by a tornado on Sunday. Great Plains Conference disaster response coordinator, Linda Stewart, and our disaster response chair, Steve Burnett, are working with the Rev. Wayne Handle of First UMC in Baxter Springs and multiple agencies to coordinate rescue, relief and recovery efforts. Bishop Scott Jones is issuing a conference-wide appeal for contributions. Give through your local church ...

When disaster strikes, who do you call?

4/9/2014
Spring is here and we have already had turbulent weather: large hail, high winds and a few small tornados. In the Great Plains area how do we get involved in helping when a disaster has damaged properties and wounded lives? When a disaster strikes After a disaster strikes communication at all levels is extremely important. Whoever learns of the disaster first is encouraged to initiate the call and all persons called make sure others in this list are notified. Calls would typically progress as ...

Connecting Council recap: from becoming to growing

3/26/2014
Topeka District Superintendent Kay Scarbrough said it well when she said, "We need to change our language from becoming one, new conference to growing as the new Great Plains Conference." The Connecting Council met in the spirit of growing the conference and living into the new structure and Great Plains missional priorities. What is the Connecting Council? The Connecting Council held its spring meeting at Grace UMC, in Olathe, Kan., on Friday and Saturday, Mar. 21-22. The Connecting Council is ...

“Seeing is believing” at historic joint AU/GBHEM Board Meeting

3/25/2014
For the first time in the nearly 22 years since Africa University was founded by The United Methodist Church, the boards of the university and the agency that spearheaded the founding of the Pan-African educational institution met together on the campus in Old Mutare, Zimbabwe. “This is a historic meeting,” Bishop David Yemba said of the joint meeting of the governing bodies of the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry and Africa University. “This was a week very rich in events...

The Twenty Components of an Evangelistically Effective Congregation

3/12/2014
The Gretna United Methodist Church hosted Bishop Scott Jones on Saturday, March 8, to discuss successful evangelism in the fastest-growing area in Nebraska. Jones’ workshop, titled “The Twenty Components of an Evangelistically Effective Congregation,” focused on the United Methodist Church’s mission to reach out and welcome new members and strategies for churches to successfully grow. Missouri River Superintendent Dr. Dan Flanagan organized the event. A dozen members of the Gretna UMC attended ...

Bishop Scott Jones speaks out against discrimination

2/17/2014
In a letter addressed to Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle, Bishop Scott Jones, bishop of the Great Plains United Methodist Conference, suggests that House Bill 2453 be killed, as to not legitimize discrimination against gay and lesbian individuals. House Bill 2453 seeks to allow public or private employees to refuse service based on religious views about marriage. In his letter, Bishop Jones, commends Senator Wagle’s statement expressing her concerns about the measure. “It is hard to imagine ...

Burdett, Rozel youth group brightens children's Christmas

12/18/2013
Youth from Burdett and Rozel pack shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child as the group’s first mission project. (photos by Jolene McCoy) On Nov. 20, 16 members of the new G3 (God’s Good Gang) Youth Group from Burdett and Rozel had a party to fill shoeboxes with small gifts for Operation Christmas Child. Pastor Brad McCoy and his wife, Jolene, are the group leaders, and they had asked members from the United Methodist church in each town for donations to purchase items for the boxes. ...

College Hill UMC youth host annual Thanksgiving food giveaway

12/18/2013
By Brian Sutton, special contributor College Hill UMC youth packed 335 bags of food for a giveaway that included feeding breakfast to 320 people at the Wichita church. (photos by Brian Sutton) On Nov. 22, 26 youth gathered at College Hill United Methodist Church for the sixth annual turkey giveaway. During the evening after some fun and games, the youth put together 335 bags of food for the giveaway in the morning. At 7 a.m. as the youth and volunteers began preparing breakfast and ...

Celebrate Recovery program shows promise

Celebrate Recovery program shows promise

12/6/2013
By Marvé Ralston, special contributor What is the outcome or result of one changed life? I think that is what “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the well-known Christmas classic, was based upon. One life and all the people one life touches.   Sometimes we focus on the numbers, while many of the most dramatic changes we cannot see immediately. They begin one often-painful and time-intensive change in one person at a time. The changes continue producing fruit for generations and touching unlimited numbers ...

Kingman UMC works to 'strike out malaria'

Kingman UMC works to 'strike out malaria'

12/6/2013
By Rev. Patrick Broz, special contributor Members of the Kingman United Methodist Church converged on the Kingman Lanes bowling alley Oct. 26 for an event called Strike out Malaria. Kingman Lanes donated five lanes, two with bumpers, to the church to use for four hours to raise money for Imagine No Malaria. Twenty-seven bowlers laced up shoes and threw bowling balls down the lanes. Several of the bowlers were able to receive sponsorships from neighbors, co-workers, church members and friends to ...

St. Francis UMC uses thought-provoking obstacle course to raise money for Imagine No Malaria

St. Francis UMC uses thought-provoking obstacle course to raise money for Imagine No Malaria

12/6/2013
By Rev. Warren Cico, special contributor St. Francis United Methodist Church used the information on the Imagine No Malaria DVD to educate the congregation about the need to help fight malaria in Africa. The information was presented to the congregation, the Sunday-school classes and the UMYF.   Participants take on the challenges of an obstacle course at St. Francis UMC to raise money for Imagine No Malaria. (photos by Sherry Schultz) For the Oct. 20 fundraiser, we decided to have ...

December is a great month to 'Imagine No Malaria'

12/4/2013
Imagine No Malaria (INM) is an extraordinary ministry of The United Methodist Church, putting our faith into action to end preventable deaths by malaria in Africa, especially the deaths of children. Every 60 seconds, malaria claims a life in Africa. It kills an estimated 655,000 people each year, most of them children younger than five and pregnant women. Malaria is caused by a parasite transmitted through the bite of a female anopheles mosquito. However, malaria is preventable, treatable and ...

Saving a slowly dying church

Saving a slowly dying church

12/4/2013
By Susan Cooper, Kansas communications associate director The scenario at Epworth United Methodist Church in southeast Wichita was a familiar one to many mainline denominations — an aging, dwindling congregation in a changing neighborhood. Churches in this situation generally have two choices. They can change, or they can die. More than two years ago, their pastor, Rev. Jimmy Taylor, knew the church had to change. He encouraged the congregation to engage the people in the neighborhood. Epworth ...

Kansas West Conference among UMCOR disaster-response grant recipients

11/26/2013
By Linda Unger, General Board of Global Ministries The board of directors of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) approved on Oct. 11 nearly $700,000 in new grants to sustain long-term recovery efforts in localities across the United States still dealing with fallout from tornadoes, floods, hurricanes and an explosion. During their semi-annual meeting at UMCOR headquarters in New York City, the directors approved six grants for ongoing disaster- recovery work in five United Methodist...

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