Blog Posts

Reflection of year in the TiM program - Emmanuel Afful

Transition into Ministry Program


I look back into the past two years of my journey in the TiM program which started at Aldersgate UMC, Wichita, KS, [hereinafter Aldersgate] and what comes to mind is the word “PROCESS”.  As Wesleyans, we have a healthy and robust perspective on how God enables us to develop and live a God-shaped life.  We call this life long process of being conformed to the image of Christ Sanctification.  My strong conviction serves me: this process is not limited to just the  transformation of character and ...

God adores you

Lay Servant Ministries


I attended the installation of our new district superintendent on Saturday here in Lincoln. I have known Nancy for several years and wanted to celebrate her new role and offer my support. As part of the service, Nancy gave a very uplifting sermon describing our faith journey that can be stormy and challenging but always full of the Grace of the Holy Spirit. The new DS finished her thoughts with the reminder that “God adores you,” which is a phrase I have not heard recently. I thought you might ...

Pastoral leadership interns share their experience -- Abe Ruffcorn

Great Plains Interns


The Pastoral Leadership internship program is for young adults aged 18-22. This 10-week program provides young leaders the opportunity to experience pastoral work in the most “hands-on” way possible, while being supported by a mentoring pastor and a teaching congregation. Abe Ruffcorn served at Bonner Springs UMC in Bonner Springs, KS, for the summer of 2019. Below, Abe preaches his first sermon of the summer at Bonner Springs UMC. Abe leading worship at The Bridge, the Sunday evening worship...

A song to inspire your ministry

Lay Servant Ministries


Thank you for giving to the lord Song by Ray Boltz   I dreamed I went to heaven.  You were there with me.  We walked along the streets of gold, beside the crystal sea.  We heard the angels singing, then someone called your name.  You turned and saw a young man, he was smiling as he came.  He said friend, you may not know me now, but then he said but wait.  You used to teach my Sunday School, when I was only eight.  Every week you would say a prayer, before the class would start. One morning when...

Clergy Faith & Wellness: Weathering the storm

Rev. Shelly Petz


The Great Plains has experienced many storms, struggles, and disasters in the past year ... blizzards, floods, hail, tornadoes and earthquakes. Many of you have experienced these or know others who are living in the aftermath. There are also many clergy who have experienced storms of life in the past year ... death of loved ones, challenges in a ministry setting, health concerns, anxiety, questions of call. In the midst of storms and their aftermath, ministry needs and demands often continue, ...

New study helps reset the mind, body and soul

Todd Seifert


I sat down to read the new book “Soul Reset” by the Rev. Junius Dotson over the Labor Day weekend. I quickly found myself wishing he had written it about six years ago. I say six years ago because I was the guy that Dotson’s six-session Bible study and discussion guide is written to help. In 2013, I was a newspaper editor working incredibly long hours, taking barely a day off, and not taking good care of myself at all. My time with God was the minimal amount of time needed to prepare my Sunday...

In Layman's Terms: Network Benefits

Todd Seifert


I recently re-read the books of 1 and 2 Thessalonians, two letters from Paul to what was likely a group of small house-churches of new believers. What strikes me as I read these two books is how these people relatively new to the faith are trying to do the best they could in an environment that could be challenging at best and dangerous at worst for believers in the risen Christ. Paul obviously couldn’t be with them all the time, thus the two letters. In 1 Thessalonians 5:14-16, Paul gives some...

In Layman's Terms: Measuring the passage of time

Todd Seifert


I want to pause from the communications content this week to talk a little about time — particularly how it passes. As I write this, it’s only Aug. 13, and yet my Facebook feed is filled with parents posting photos of their kids as the youngsters head off to their first day of school. I recall that as a child I was jealous of the kids in school districts that returned to school after Labor Day. In Leavenworth, Kansas, we always started back in August, but it seems like it was always at some ...

Clergy Faith & Wellness: Help end stigma around clergy physical health

Rev. Shelly Petz


This is the faith and wellness blog I didn’t want to write. I have shied away from the topic of physical health, out of fear that I would hurt someone with whatever I would say. I feared that nothing I could write on physical health would be able to also express care for my clergy colleagues. I know too many who have experienced body shaming from other people, and I grieve this. I also believe that there is a stigma around talking about physical health for a variety of reasons. I would love to ...

Lay Servant Ministries: how will you develop your gifts?

Lay Servant Ministries


Can you believe’s almost August. I hope you had the opportunity to participate in some of the fun things of summer, swimming, camping, summer games, Vacation Bible School and maybe even some time away on vacation. August marks a time of new beginnings — kickoff to new programs at church, a new school year, fall sports, marching band competitions, fall festivals, cooler weather to name a few. As lay servants, it’s a time to review where you are in your journey as a lay servant. What do ...

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