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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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.
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 ...
Volunteers at St. Mark's UMC, Lincoln, knitted/crocheted 50 blankets for the Nebraska State Patrol and 650 hats and 75 scarves for elementary schools and non-profits. NSP Trooper Cook offered words of thanks on Twitter: "A big #shoutout & #ThankYou to the St.Mark's United Methodist Church-Knit & Crochet group for the very generous donation of quilts & blankets. These will be used to comfort crash victims, children & other types of victims of stressful situations."
Representing the Great Plains Conference Volunteers in Mission, Marlin Brown received the “Pay It Forward” award from KSAS-TV in Wichita. The work of Brown and others at EmberHope in Newton is shown in this video. “Our main goal is to help any and everybody we come in contact with that needs help, and do as much as God provides us with people and resources to do that help,” Brown says in the video. Watch here.
The first culturally appropriate food pantry in Omaha has opened at Hanscom Park UMC. “The All People’s Pantry idea is a community idea, and being a community idea was just listening from people,” said Peter Karanja, associate pastor for community engagement. The All People’s Pantry provides food for anyone in need, focusing on items from other countries that are hard to find in traditional grocery stores. See video from KMTV.
If your congregation is passionate about breaking down transportation barriers and providing a fun alternative for physical activity, consider applying for the Bike Share in a Box special grant opportunity. In partnership with Thrive Allen County, the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund is excited to offer this special grant opportunity for Healthy Congregations churches. This grant works especially well when run in partnership with other organizations, such as community colleges or ...
Sure, the snow looks beautiful when it’s falling – but eventually it needs to be cleared up. That’s where the Snow Angel program from Lincoln St. Luke UMC comes in. For the past 10 years, the volunteers help clean the sidewalks and driveways of those who might not be able to do it themselves. “We help a lot of people, again mostly elderly and disabled folks, that need help anywhere from this inch snowfall or inch and half snowfall, all the way up to a foot,” volunteer Scott Opfer told KOLN/KGIN....