Blog Posts


Water’s Edge makes church plant in Cuba


After three years of supporting missionary efforts in Cuba, Omaha Water’s Edge UMC has funded a church plant in the country. The Rev. Craig Finnestad, Water’s Edge senior pastor, said that since churches are not permitted to be built in Cuba, the ministry will be working from an existing building that will also include a laundromat. The church is on Isla de la Juventud, a small island south of the main island, which includes Havana. Finnestad has been in contact with Cuban pastor Leandro Perez ...

Wichita pastor aims for activism, advocacy, acceptance


Valecia Scribner has gone from social services to being a youth director to, for the past two years, pastor at Wichita Woodland UMC. “She’s been very well accepted,” church member Anita Martz said. “And I think it’s because she does have these beliefs and doesn’t just stand there and say, ‘God loves you, and have a good day.’ She’s got important things to talk about.” As part of its series called “Wichita’s Finest,” which highlights community leaders in the city, KWCH-TV sat down for a lengthy ...

Helping Ukraine from western Kansas


As a new pastor in western Kansas, Scott City to be exact, I was amazed to see signs around town which said, “Pray for Ukraine.” As I started to settle in, I realized there was a HUGE heart here in Scott City for Ukraine because of a local resident by the name of Anya. Anya met her American husband Joel as they both served as missionaries; I know there is more to their story and, over the coming months, I hope to learn more. They have lived in Scott City for around 11 years now. When the war ...

Emporia church offers ‘Garden of Grace’


Emporia Grace UMC’s La Bonita Garden of Grace is the only community garden in Emporia. It was established seven years ago under the direction of longtime member Lola Collinge. A grant provided initial funding, and church members provided the sweat equity as well as contributions of both materials and money. The brightly painted garden totem that commemorated the garden blessing service still stands amid the bountiful raised beds today. Extra produce is shared to the Little Free Pantry on the ...

Wahoo UMC reaches goal to erase medical debt


Nebraska’s Wahoo UMC set a goal for its 150th anniversary – to raise $15,000 for RIP Medical Debt, which erases the charges for pennies on the dollar. “They hit the goal to wipe out $1.5 million in medical debt for our neighbors,” Michael Carpenter, pastor of the church, told the Wahoo Newspaper. Read more here.

Disaster Response Team helps with tornado recovery


The Great Plains Disaster Response Team was on the ground in Andover, Kansas, as the sun rose showing the destruction from the EF-3 tornado on April 29. First responders from Sedgewick and Butler counties activated their search and rescue phase. By Sunday afternoon, our team was charged with overseeing the Volunteer Reception Center, which would be located at the Andover UMC. By late Monday all areas affected were deemed safe. Tuesday morning, our team arrived at the church at 6 a.m. ready to ...

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 ...

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.  

"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 ...

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