Blog Posts

“Here I am, Lord….Maybe…”

Lay Servant Ministries


Do you ever hear a call to do more than fill a pew? Do you feel at a loss to know what else you can do to contribute to your church life? Ever wonder how the United Methodist Church (UMC) relates to other denominations? What about why the pastor you REALLY liked got transferred to another congregation? How about an organized way to built relationships outside of your own congregation? Where do you go for answers? Maybe Lay Servant Ministries has at least one answer for you. “But,” you say, “I ...

In Layman's Terms: Gaining some Fresh Expressions

Todd Seifert


First of all, I apologize for not having written in a while. But it’s been for a good reason. As most of you are aware, the three Great Plains Conference offices in Lincoln, Wichita and Topeka have been consolidated to a new, single conference office in Topeka. Toss in the upheaval that comes with moving your office, all the gear that comes with serving in communications ministry and your home, and writing had to move fairly far down the priority list. Well, starting today, I’m trying to get ...

Always with us

Lay Servant Ministries


The last month has brought more than its share of family challenges: a cancer scare with a child, a major heart attack of a family member, the death of another, and the effects of these events on us all. Our family is not unique, as we all deal with the challenges of life. What we are reminded of is that no matter the circumstance, God is always with us. We are surrounded and strengthened by his ever-present healing, comfort and peace. Help us remember to seek God in good times and trials, in ...

Members, not delegates -- words matter at conference


I’ve often been accused (sometimes even to my face) of caring too much about words. No doubt I should plead guilty. I’ve learned through experience that words have incredible power to shape our perception of reality in the same way that they have power to affect emotions. So it was, a few mornings ago, that a pre-coffee social media rant of mine set off a spirited discussion. The rant read: “UMC friends, you are only a ‘delegate’ if you are attending Jurisdictional or General Conference. Whether...

Narrative preaching: Who knew?

Lay Servant Ministries


Last month my preaching world was turned upside down by taking the Certified Lay Minister preaching course offered online by the Great Plains Conference.  The course was based on “The Homiletical Plot,” by Gene Lowry. This book is a classic for those who are seminary trained but was unfamiliar to most in the class. The purpose of the book was for readers to “lay aside cherished norms about sermon anatomy” to form a new image of the sermon. The homiletical plot is a narrative art form, “a sacred ...

Ministry not just reserved for the pastor

Lay Servant Ministries


What gives you strength?  Look back at your own life experiences.  In those times when you found yourself strengthened to face some difficult task, to speak a word you might have otherwise held to yourself, what gave you strength? Paul’s counsel to Timothy is to find strength in grace.  In 2 Timothy 2:1-3, he says, “You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.  And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to reliable men who will also be ...

On being a district director of Lay Servant Ministry

Lay Servant Ministries


Since having taken early retirement from the insurance industry (required, for self-sanity!) this has left me with time for things I once could not do, and being Lay Leader at Colby, Kansas, United Methodist Church for the past 25 years (“member of everything and chairperson of nothing”... the way I like it!) has left me thinking that serving in some way beyond the local church could be “interesting”. I was right.   I could name names to blame for how I got here (!) as your new Hays District ...

Our Journey to the Cross: March 31, 2018

Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr.


PRAYER Merciful and ever-living God, Creator of heaven and earth: As the crucified body of your Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy day, grant that we may await with him the dawning of the third day as he promised, and rise with him in newness of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.   READING 1 Peter 4:1-8 – Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same intention (for whoever has suffered in the flesh has finished with sin), so as to live for ...

Our Journey to the Cross: March 30, 2018

Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr.


The Twelfth Station: Jesus Creates a New Family John 19:25-27 Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.  When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.”  Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.   The Thirteenth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross Luke ...

Our Journey to the Cross: March 29, 2018

Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr.


The Tenth Station: Jesus is Crucified Luke 23:33-4, 47 When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots to divide his clothing. When the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God and said, “Certainly this man was innocent.”   The Eleventh Station: Jesus Promises Paradise to a Fellow Sufferer Luke...

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