Blog Posts

What does your Bible look like?

Lay Servant Ministries


Is your Bible a coffee table book setting at one end and big picture book at the other end? Or is it on a hutch with the family pictures? These are fine places to display and honor the word of God, but does it do your mind or heart any good? The only time it is open is to record a birth or death of a family member or to see when someone of the family died or were married. There are 66 books in our Protestant Bible, 39 in the Old Testament, 27 in the New Testament. Within the Old Testament we ...

#LoveStrong begins with Reconnecting

Nathan D. Stanton


Of all the things that have given me hope after my diagnosis of bulbar-ALS in August of 2020, it was the possibility of the world getting reconnected by getting vaccinated. The vaccination of the whole world was a hope last fall. By Christmas it was going to be reality. Now, on the cusp of summer, we’re working our way toward herd immunity. I was so grateful for stories within my family, work colleagues, and others, the opportunities they were looking forward to in order to reconnect with those ...

Harder than granite: Pastoral transitions in the shadow of the pandemic

Rev. Ashlee Alley Crawford


In any season, making a pastoral transition brings with it challenges and opportunities. In a pandemic (even one with a hopeful trajectory), those challenges and opportunities are amplified. Grief is always a part of leaving (and maybe even sometimes in going), and in the complications of COVID, that grief is compounded. Can churches adequately celebrate and say goodbye to their pastor when much of the last year has been distanced or virtual? Can pastors have personal conversations to help them ...

Clergy Faith & Wellness: What path will we take when our bodies break?

Rev. Shelly Petz


What Path Will We Take When Our Bodies Break? What path will we take When our bodies break? Not if, but when, For we are finite and human. It may be a leg or arm, Or something deep having harm. Bodies are fragile and strong Fantastic, awe-filled … and things can go wrong. If you ask me about mine I’ll seek to convince you mine’s just fine. In truth, there is more to the story, Will I use it to tell of God’s glory? I often wonder how much of you I know I wonder if there is more that doesn’t ...

Clergy Faith & Wellness: Lent for pastors who have given up everything already

Rev. Shelly Petz


They have given up hospital visits because no one was allowed in. They have given up time with family, friends, colleagues, parishioners, and community partners.  They have given up presiding over huge wedding celebrations because numbers for gatherings have been limited. They have given up funerals and grief work as they knew it.  They have given up rituals in their own lives and in their communities of faith that mark mountain top journeys and valleys of deaths. They have given up full ...

Clergy Faith & Wellness: Our roles as pastors, priests and prophets

Rev. Shelly Petz


How is it with your soul? I continue to find my soul needs more and more tending the more and more stress, change, anxiety, fear, chaos, and questions I experience.  I find in order to do this tending, I need more and more prayer, discernment, and intentional Sabbath. We are in a liminal season. Where we know what has happened but we do not yet know what is coming. This is true in terms of the pandemic, in terms of political divide, in terms of a multitude of things before us. Please give time ...

Want to Share my Tree?

Lay Servant Ministries


Do you know where God is calling you to go? Okay, let us get a bit more general. Do you know where you are going? More basic? Do you know where you are coming from? How about considering from a larger perspective? Can you answer these questions about your local church congregation? If not, read on and think about where these thoughts might lead. Like many others, I have a bit of curiosity about where I come from. What is my family origin? What is my family history? How did we get to northeast ...

Clergy Faith & Wellness: Seasons of health and wholeness

Rev. Shelly Petz


Thank you, Great Plains Clergy, for the multitude of ways you continue to live out your call to ministry. The stories of what is unfolding of how God is at work in and through you and those around you are incredible. Christ's light is shining in abundant measure because of you.   I also see some clergy who are exhausted. You have been putting in so many hours in your preparations for Advent, decisions that must be made, grief work that is before you, and ministering to and with your mission ...

Clifford is Called

Lay Servant Ministries


When God called Cliff Hall to service as a lay speaker more than 40 years ago, it may have been to prepare him for just this moment in time. As the horrible COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged our community, Cliff, at age 92, has been serving as essentially the acting chaplain inside the Kansas Masonic Home in Wichita. For years, he’s helped out as assistant to the facility’s part-time chaplain, acting as liturgist and fill-in preacher. But the ongoing safety of the residents, only essential care ...

For Granted

Lay Servant Ministries


This year, 2020, has been filled with so much stress, apprehension, and uncertainties. The pandemic has affected us all. It has permeated our health, education, and economic ways of life. I have also had recent health issues that have caused me to make lifestyle changes. We simply can no longer take things for granted. We can no longer assume that our jobs, health, social life, and practices of faith will be "as they always were." We must find new and innovative ways to meet our needs, and the ...

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