Blog Posts

In Layman's Terms: Ensuring your songs are covered

Todd Seifert


As I shared in my last blog, I want to make sure our churches are getting the most out of their CCLI subscription so the people who put together worship slides are getting the most bang for their buck and so the church is protected. Last time, I shared how to display copyright information either on the first or last slide of a song. Today, I want to make sure you know how to find that copyright information in the first place. Once you have selected which songs or hymns you want to project for a...

In Layman's Terms: Displaying song copyright information

Todd Seifert


CCLI — Christian Copyright Licensing International —helps churches augment their worship services while keeping them compliant with U.S. copyright laws. And, yes, those laws are complicated. I spent 20 years in the Fourth Estate, also known as the news industry. Copyright issues came up all the time — from us wanting to be above board on republishing content we thought would be beneficial to our readers to protecting content such as our larger projects from being used elsewhere without our ...

Tidying Up

Lay Servant Ministries


Recently I was invited to preach at the close of a sermon series called The Gospel of Tidying Up (credit to Rev. Jeff Prothro, DeSoto United Methodist Church). The end of the series coincided with the church’s annual garage sale (brilliant!) and there was clearly excitement about the sermon series. I suppose by now just about everyone has heard about “tidying up” or has been asked the question, “does it spark joy?”…  Both expressions are the words of Marie Kondo, the author of two New York ...

The folded napkin

Lay Servant Ministries


On a shelf in my kitchen, I have a stack of paper napkins. When it’s my turn to be hostess for United Methodist Women’s meetings, I bring snacks and also try to find napkins for the occasion. And, of course, there are family gatherings that call for special napkins, so I end up with a mixture of napkins for many holidays or special days. I have a few that are from more formal occasions that I have left from weddings, anniversary celebrations, etc. Now that I’m usually the only one for meals in ...

Clergy Faith and Wellness: The Missing Piece

Rev. Shelly Petz


It was January 7. I only remember the date because it was the day after Epiphany when I had an epiphany moment. I was out walking around my neighborhood, basically to try and shake out some unsettled things within me. I had been stewing over my health, work stuff, family, life. I knew that often a walk really helps clear my head and gets me in a better space. It was a beautiful 60 degree day, so I headed outside. After awhile of walking and spewing out all the things that were taking my mental ...

In Layman's Terms: A prayer that a fire rekindles the Spirit in many

Todd Seifert


My news alerts started firing off on my phone and watch in fairly rapid succession Monday. The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was burning. I’ve never been to Paris. It’s on my bucket list, along with about a dozen other European sites to satisfy my craving to see the world with my own eyes. But the cathedral that lost its roof and its iconic center spire in a major fire apparently caused by construction is one of those structures that many people know by sight on television or in pictures before...

Fill Your Cup and Get To Work

Lay Servant Ministries


A couple of times of late I've felt compelled to Facebook post one of those "My heart is heavy" posts, and the UMC has certainly provided lots of opportunity of late. I'm not one to just throw stuff out there on a daily basis,  but rather I sit on it and stew for a while...sometimes as a way to verify if it is just my mood for the day or that it truly is something...discerning, praying, reflecting. In this Lenten season time of reflection I find myself reflecting. A lot.   This is not a blog ...

About Lay Servant Ministries

Lay Servant Ministries


What is the importance of Lay Servant Ministries? It is to better equip laity to help them serve in their ministry to help make disciples of Jesus Christ.     Who should take part in Lay Servant Ministries? Anyone who feels called to the ministry of making disciples of Jesus Christ.    Isn't Lay Servant Ministries just basically pulpit supply? There are many different paths for a Lay Servant to follow in this program. This is why we have many different types of classes. You can reach out to your...

In Layman's Terms: Nebraska flooding

Todd Seifert


It’s truly amazing how much damage water can do.   By now you’ve seen either with your own two eyes or via photographs the havoc being spread by water coming out of the banks of rivers and water standing because there’s simply no place for it to go. A much snowier winter than in recent years, accompanied by freezing temperatures, froze the ground up to two feet down from the surface. The rain that followed had nowhere to sink into, so it either sat and accumulated or ran into streams and rivers....

Servant-Leadership in the Local Church

Lay Servant Ministries


I have been giving the role of servant-leader some thought recently. I believe if one were to ask the pastors of our United Methodist Churches of the Great Plains Conference, “What is one of the greatest needs for the church?” the reply would be, “Leadership among the laity.” Lay Servant Ministries is all about training up servant-leaders for the church of Jesus Christ. Training courses in a variety of ministries and roles within the local church are offered in the Great Plains Conference on a ...

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