Blog Posts

Winfield Grace UMC celebrates DOING Good Friday


Members of Grace United Methodist Church in Winfield gathered for an event to celebrate what they call “DOING Good Friday,” on April 15. This event is an alternative to the typically somber services which commemorate the day of Christ’s Crucifixion. “Instead of feeling sadness and loss on this day, we chose to help our congregation feel useful and productive. We believe Jesus taught us to worship with our hands and feet, as well as our hearts and minds,” said Kathleen Mason, leader of the ...

Church far surpasses goal for Ukrainian relief


Just before worship services at Fairway Old Mission UMC in early March, the Rev. David Livingston saw an email from Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. that the Great Plains Conference was donating $25,000 to UMCOR for Ukrainian relief. “I felt convicted that Old Mission ought to be able to do that too,” Livingston recalled. “For such a drastic situation, we ought to be able to give the same amount of money.” But by the time he reached the sanctuary, he changed his mind. Old Mission was in the midst of a $2 ...

Creation Care Lessons from My Grandmother


This week we observe Earth Day and Creation Care Sunday. I know that we can tend to politicize or spiritualize our relationships with Creation, and I know that warm-hearted Methodists can come to differ on what role environmental considerations have in our spiritual and daily lives. We can get overwhelmed by all the advice we get on what the best environmental practices are, and we may forget about the unintended consequences of new “green practice” that have their own, different impacts. I ...

Pittsburg’s Wesley House celebrates 40 years in mission


Wesley House in Pittsburg, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, has helped thousands of people through four decades. “It’s amazing how it’s changed over time, first it was just a little congregation and of course we’ve always had a Methodist minister working with them and then we realized what need there was,” said Mary Kate Sullivan, who has volunteered through Pittsburg First UMC since the opening. See video from KSNF, Joplin.  

The Name of Jesus

Lay Servant Ministries


Several years ago, I was reading an article about the church in South Africa. In the article was a story about the pastor of the local church. He took his friend, a new Christian covert, to a big rally in another town. Many renown preachers preached, musician performed and singers sang. The whole experience was successful and many people were saved. The man’s pastor was feeling very pleased with the weekend. As they were traveling back home, he noticed his friend was quiet. He asked him how he ...

Taking vacation time is part of self-care

Rev. Shelly Petz


Christ is Risen indeed! Clergy of the Great Plains Conference, thank you for your incredible ministry, and especially the intentional work of planning, preparing and leading for Holy Week. Thank you for the multitude of ways you allow God to work through you in all that you do.  I hope that you also have/will take Sabbath time following these Holy Days. Jesus knew the importance of drawing away from the crowds and all of the important demands of ministry to spend time with God. In doing so, he ...

"Little dresses" on way to Africa from Little River


Over the last several years there have been some busy hands and generous hearts providing fabric and labor hours to create some “Little Dresses” (also known as “Pillowcase Dresses”) at Little River First UMC. A project that was encouraged by a talk from Beth Goetzinger in a UMW program talk several years ago, took root and three ladies in the congregation started asking for donations of fabric and the donations started to roll in. Some of the ladies dipped into their own stash to help with the ...

Church knitting-crochet group comforts victims


Volunteers at St. Mark's UMC, Lincoln, knitted/crocheted 50 blankets for the Nebraska State Patrol and 650 hats and 75 scarves for elementary schools and non-profits. NSP Trooper Cook offered words of thanks on Twitter: "A big #shoutout & #ThankYou to the St.Mark's United Methodist Church-Knit & Crochet group for the very generous donation of quilts & blankets. These will be used to comfort crash victims, children & other types of victims of stressful situations."  

UMVIM volunteer featured in ‘Pay It Forward’ segment


Representing the Great Plains Conference Volunteers in Mission, Marlin Brown received the “Pay It Forward” award from KSAS-TV in Wichita. The work of Brown and others at EmberHope in Newton is shown in this video. “Our main goal is to help any and everybody we come in contact with that needs help, and do as much as God provides us with people and resources to do that help,” Brown says in the video. Watch here.

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.

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