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Mission Outreach


Great Plains United Methodists asked to help Louisiana flood victims

Great Plains United Methodists asked to help Louisiana flood victims

8/19/2016
Disaster Relief in Louisiana from Louisiana Annual Conference on Vimeo. The rain began late Aug. 11 and refused to let up, dumping more than 12 inches in as little as eight hours. In some locations, rain totals exceeded 15 inches and was tropical in nature as it stalled out over the greater Baton Rouge area. In fact, local forecasters quickly pointed out; had this system been over open water, it would have likely been classified a tropical storm. Schools, government offices and most local ...

Volunteers sought for SE Kansas flood relief

Volunteers sought for SE Kansas flood relief

1/11/2016
The disaster response coordinator for the Great Plains Conference of the United Methodist Church is seeking trained early response team members for work in Baxter Springs in southeast Kansas as the area recovers from flooding. “Two homes are identified that need to be mucked out at this time, according to emergency management,” the Rev. Hollie Tapley said Monday, with the possibility of as many as a dozen others in need of assistance in the Cherokee County town of 4,200. Tapley will meet ...

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 ...

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...

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 ...

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. ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Donations accepted to support Salia family

Donations accepted to support Salia family

11/16/2014
Dr. Martin Salia, Ebola-stricken surgeon from Sierra Leone, has died in Nebraska. His family needs our prayers and help with the costs associated to Dr. Salia's medical care.

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 ...

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 ...

Zimbabwe East - Mutasa-Nyanga District/Wichita West

Zimbabwe East - Mutasa-Nyanga District/Wichita West

8/20/2014
Lloyd Chaukura is the Mutasa-Nyanga District Chabadza communicator. The Great Plains Conference communications department is pleased to have Chaukura add news and information about his district's partnership with Wichita West. This a trial project for how we report on what is happening between Great Plains and Zimbabwe Area churches. Chaukura is a graduate of Mutare Polytechnic College with a certification in computer systems. We look forward to his reports and photos of the great things God is doing in Zimbabwe through Chabadza.

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 ...

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 ...

“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 ...

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. ...

Semitrailer and time donated to transport goods

Semitrailer and time donated to transport goods

11/20/2013
Throughout the year, United Methodists from Kansas and Nebraska create and donate care packages to be sent all over the world through United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). However, once the goods are donated, transportation can often create challenges. According to Mary Ann Bede, a former member of the board of directors and current volunteer for the Midwest Mission Distribution Center (MMDC) in Chatham, Ill., shipping containers cost a lot of money. In fact, the United Methodist Church...

Zimbabweans share disciple-making with Kansans

Zimbabweans share disciple-making with Kansans

11/5/2013
By Susan Cooper, Kansas communications associate director In the spirit of the Chabadza Covenant, four United Methodists from Zimbabwe travelled to Kansas to share how they make disciples of Jesus Christ. The trip was sponsored by the Wichita East and Wichita West districts.   Portia Kanoyangwa explains Zimbabwean section meetings at Wichita Woodland UMC. (photo by Susan Cooper) Daniel Mutidzawanda talks about the things Jesus commands Christians to do during the class meeting at ...

St. Paul's builds community garden in Lenexa

9/3/2013
  St. Paul’s UMC in Lenexa created a community garden to help feed the hungry and build community involvement. (photos by Rob Reiman) St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Lenexa was awarded a $5,000 grant through the Kansas Community Gardens Project, a joint initiative of the Kansas Health Foundation and K-State Research and Extension. St. Paul’s Lenexa Community Garden is one of 35 community garden projects in the state to receive this funding, which will help support the group’...