Blog Posts

Omaha church opens city's first culturally appropriate food pantry


The first culturally appropriate food pantry in Omaha has opened at Hanscom Park UMC. “The All People’s Pantry idea is a community idea, and being a community idea was just listening from people,” said Peter Karanja, associate pastor for community engagement. The All People’s Pantry provides food for anyone in need, focusing on items from other countries that are hard to find in traditional grocery stores. See video from KMTV.

Praying for a miracle

Rev. Shelly Petz


Tell me your story. Or sit in silence. Ask your questions. Or weep and gnash your teeth. Your grief is real and deep. And may look very different than your neighbor’s grief that is real and deep too. When Lazarus died there were Marys. And Marthas. Family members, friends, and strangers.  And Jesus. Jesus wept.  He showed up later than some wanted him to show up.  Yet he showed up. He wept. A miracle unfolded. Today I pray for a miracle. I’m not expecting a miracle in the way it happened then. I...

Bike Share in a Box provides transportation, fitness opportunities


If your congregation is passionate about breaking down transportation barriers and providing a fun alternative for physical activity, consider applying for the Bike Share in a Box special grant opportunity. In partnership with Thrive Allen County, the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund is excited to offer this special grant opportunity for Healthy Congregations churches. This grant works especially well when run in partnership with other organizations, such as community colleges or ...

Mental Health First Aid Training

Rev. Shelly Petz


I took my very first First Aid Training when I was 13 years old.   I took my very first Mental Health First Aid Training last month.   I’m not sure why it took me so long to take the Mental Health First Aid Training. Probably a multitude of factors. I did not know about it. It did not seem as widely available or acceptable. The stigma of mental health. I thought I knew just enough about mental health issues that I knew when to refer congregation members to mental health providers.   What I ...

I’ve Been Thinking About It

Lay Servant Ministries


The phrase I hear most often when I suggest Lay Servant Ministries is, “I’ve been thinking about it!” Too many people still believe LSM training means pulpit supply, which scares many away from a call to LSM. While the program began with that one purpose in mind, folks quickly realized that lay persons can do so much more and the need for training in other areas was needed. Often an individual only needs a little nudge to go from “thinking about it” to “acting about it.” Where do those little ...

Lincoln church volunteers help clean up after winter weather


Sure, the snow looks beautiful when it’s falling – but eventually it needs to be cleared up. That’s where the Snow Angel program from Lincoln St. Luke UMC comes in. For the past 10 years, the volunteers help clean the sidewalks and driveways of those who might not be able to do it themselves. “We help a lot of people, again mostly elderly and disabled folks, that need help anywhere from this inch snowfall or inch and half snowfall, all the way up to a foot,” volunteer Scott Opfer told KOLN/KGIN....

Christmas Eve offering raises $2,000 for affected farm families


Donations from Great Bend First UMC’s Christmas Eve services were used to help farmers who were impacted from what the National Weather Service called “a record-breaking, and historic, wind event” on Dec. 15. According to reports, approximately 366,000 acres burned in Ellis, Osborne, Rooks and Russell counties. Farmers lost fencing, as well as cattle, barns, other outbuildings and homes. One farm family was left with the clothes they were wearing, a small outbuilding and a few cattle, having ...

Look for change in the daily devotion email

Todd Seifert


Romans 8:28 says this: "We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose." We'll come back to the scripture in a moment. But first, I want to talk about engines — how I’m amazed by them, and how I am utterly confused by them. My dad has a great mechanical aptitude. My brother is pretty good at mechanical things as well. I most definitely am not, but I am still fascinated by them. All sorts of pieces and parts of different shapes and...

Advent Reflection

Lay Servant Ministries


Advent started a new church year and soon the calendar will also turn to a new year -2022. Amid this continued unsettling time of pandemic, as divisions run deep and as we are all experiencing a multitude of emotions, let’s pause once again, before this Advent season ends and listen for God’s voice calling us forward into 2022 and new ways of caring for each other and for all of God’s creation. Advent is a time when… A nticipation builds D ays shorten V aried activities are offered E arth rests...

Williamston among those leading effort to recognize lynching victim


The Rev. Dee Williamston, clergy excellence director and assistant to the bishop, is one of three women who led a drive to get a memorial marker for Dana Adams, a Black man who was lynched by a mob in Salina in 1893 for refusing to leave a train depot when a white man told him to. According to the Kansas Reflector, Williamston told the crowd about her trips to Gypsum Hill Cemetery, where a headstone for Adams had been placed on Juneteenth 2009. “I would always stop and say, ‘We’re not done with ...

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