Blog Posts

NUMB, Wednesday, July 2


Ends with a breeze ... The day started with riders enjoying another fine meal at the Gibbon UMC. Egg casserole, fruit, muffins and pastries sent riders off happy and satisfied. And with SAG support not far off, no one ever goes without proper carbo-loading on a NUMB Ride. Not all NUMB Rides end as well as today's. Today really could be described as a perfect day for a ride. Temperatures were unbelievably mild for July. The wind was negligible the first half of the route and very tolerable for ...

NUMB, Tuesday, July 1


The wind to our backs ... for awhile   With the promise of the wind to our back, riders were off early on Tuesday. A great breakfast provided by the Broken Bow church volunteers sent riders off with nutrition to start the day. The ride seemed more social today or perhaps the conditions made it possible for more riders to keep up a more rapid pace. I found SAG stops to be busy hubs of food and fellowship along with the occasional repair need. We rode through incredible agricultural lands which ...

Bringing change to the small membership church

Micki McCorkle


A clergy perspective In some ways, change is change, and change can be difficult no matter what size of congregation we are in. Church growth people tell us all the time that we need to do things like the following to bring creative change: Prayer for all and at all times – before, during and after Know your context – who is really in the community and what are their needs? Don’t do stuff for yourselves, do things for the community – outreach Have a vision/mission and stick with it.  Focus and ...

Celebrate recovery program shows promise in Five Rivers District


What is the outcome or result of one changed life? I think that is what “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the well known, 1946 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 of people. How do you measure ...

Change is coming


No matter what, congregations change. The only question is how. All organizations, including churches, have a natural lifecycle. Just as a human being is born, develops, grows, declines and dies, so goes the life cycle of a congregation. Our faith, however, teaches us that, in Christ, death has been defeated. By the power of the Spirit working in our midst, this is just as true for congregations as it is for individuals. Congregational lifecycle When a congregation is born, the community is ...

NUMB, Monday, June 30


Monday a challenge even with the route change The Sunday evening announcement to shorten the Monday ride in order to avoid 20+ mph headwinds was welcome. Even reduced to 53 miles, riders were faced with slow speeds as they rode straight up highway 21 towards Broken Bow. The slow speeds enabled riders to take in more of the scenic drive. Located in the midst of the Sandhills -- hills, canyons and valleys were lush with tall grasses. The skies offered a full range on Monday from cloudy and misty...

Acknowledging the Call

Maria Niechwiadowicz


Receiving my call to China last week can only be described as a whirlwind! Within 48 hours I had received my placement, interviewed with Amity, responded to this call, and then hopped on a flight to North Carolina. The serenity of the Appalachian Mountains was just what I needed to center my heart. As I met new faces in North Carolina, conversations usually went like this: Person: So you are in school? Me: I actually just graduated in May! Person: Oh, congrats! What are your post-grad plans? ...

NUMB, Sunday, June 29


Blue afternoon skies saved a cloudy, rainy riding day Heavy clouds greeted riders on Sunday morning. After a hearty breakfast at the Holdrege UMC, riders streamed out to the road in a spread-out fashion today. Early riders, late riders and everything in between. Depending on when you left Holdrege determined when you ran into rain. It was never a nasty windy rain as in some years, this was just a nice steady rain that provided a good soaking. Once the rain passed the sun came out and began what...

NUMB, Saturday, June 28


There are 144 riders represented in the group. Thirty-six are riding NUMB for the first time. There are 56 women riding this year. Now in its 19th year, to date more than $650,000 has been raised for hunger projects. Ride Director Bill Ritter told about delivering the checks to the Heartland and Lincoln Food Banks last year and noted that the food banks serve all 93 counties in the Nebraska and that the ride has covered all 93 counties in its many-year history. Additionally Bread for the World,...

After the moving truck leaves


After the moving truck leaves, the real work of building relationships between a new pastor and the congregation begins. The first three months of a new appointment are crucial to the future of the ministry of the congregation. Church consultant, Alice Mann, has said that the most important work of a new pastor is to “excavate the culture of the congregation.” What does that look like? Both the pastor and the congregation have a role to play. Traditions First, the pastor needs to learn about ...

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