Blog Posts

Congregational Excellence

Great Plains ERTs tackle hurricane damage in Florida


When disasters happen around the world, Great Plains is invited to help, and we respond! It is what our ministry is all about – serving with compassion and care as we are the hands and feet of Christ. It is our calling, not just something we do. The Florida Conference Disaster Response Coordinator extended an invitation to us soon after Hurricane Ian had left much destruction in the State of Florida. A group of eight ERTs (Early Response Team) joined together from all over the conference to make...

Join the adventure, join the journey

Lay Servant Ministries


The first time I heard the hymn “Jesus Loves Me” I was in my early 40’s, new to the Methodist tradition. We sang it during the children’s time. As you know, the words go “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” I didn’t know Jesus loved me from the Bible. I grew up Catholic and from the early days of Catechism the Sisters of St. Francis assured me that Jesus loved me. Certainly, the experience of my family reinforced Jesus’ love? No children’s song. No Bible. But how did I KNOW ...

My Garden

Lay Servant Ministries


In 2013, Laurel and I moved into our current house in town. Previously, we had lived out in the country on 15 acres, where we had trouble growing trees, let alone a garden. It was on a hill top with a lot of rocks. So when we moved into town we inherited a well-established garden plot. The first year we had a lot going on, so I bought a couple of tomato plants so we would have fresh tomatoes for sandwiches and salads. It produced only a few tomatoes, as I did not cultivate the garden enough to ...

Jesus Loves Me

Lay Servant Ministries


“Jesus Loves Me” (UMH 191) is one of the first lessons I learned in the church. It is one that has influenced me throughout my life. If we’re very fortunate, we learn this lesson early in our lives, in a nurturing, loving environment. This is foundational in our understanding of our relationship with God. If we stay connected with God, we continue to learn and know more about God. The lessons become more involved and complex as we open ourselves and let the Holy Spirit guide and direct us. I ...

What Kind of Flower are You?

Lay Servant Ministries


“All persons are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field.” Isaiah 40:6    One of the things I inherited from my mother was a love of flowers. When our first and only home was purchased, I began planting flowers and have continued since. I have learned a lot about them. Flowers are either annuals or perennials. Those that are annuals will live and bloom for only a season. This includes petunias, marigolds, and zinnias, to name a few. Occasionally, an annual like Sweet ...


Lay Servant Ministries


This past Sunday, my husband and I attended the Confirmation service for our 14-year-old grandson, Eric. How appropriate and special to have Confirmation on Pentecost Sunday. Pentecost is one of the three major holidays in the church. What are the three major Christian holidays? Easter, Christmas, and Pentecost. Most people remember Easter and Christmas, but many forget about Pentecost. Pentecost is the Christian holiday celebrated on the 50th day (the seventh Sunday) after Easter Sunday. ...

I Did It My Way

Lay Servant Ministries


It is with very mixed emotions that I resign as Director of Lay Servant Ministries for the conference. The experience has enriched my life and guided my spirit into new and exciting places. I have met many precious people and made many friends along the journey. I do, however, feel it is time for new leadership, ideas, passion, and energy. During the eight years I have served in this capacity, we brought this conference into compliance with the standards established by General Conference 2016. ...

Here I am Lord, Send Me

Lay Servant Ministries


… “Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.     I’ve called your name. You’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you… Because I am God, your personal God,     The Holy of Israel, your Savior. Isaiah 43:1-3, paraphrased from The Message   It is hard for most of us to find time to do extra study and make another commitment, even to God. Our lives are so busy, whether we are still working outside the home full time, working at home or are retired. And yet, God is calling, calling ...

3 R’s for the Laity

Lay Servant Ministries


As we enter the month of May we tend to think of the end of the school year, that time when grade cards tell how well students have done in the 3R’s—reading, writing and arithmetic. (Suggesting these all start with the letter R probably doesn’t set the best example for our youth as they study spelling…) We have also just passed the annual observance of Earth Day with its own 3R’s—Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. As stewards of God’s creation, we should all be observing these actions as well. Today, ...

The Name of Jesus

Lay Servant Ministries


Several years ago, I was reading an article about the church in South Africa. In the article was a story about the pastor of the local church. He took his friend, a new Christian covert, to a big rally in another town. Many renown preachers preached, musician performed and singers sang. The whole experience was successful and many people were saved. The man’s pastor was feeling very pleased with the weekend. As they were traveling back home, he noticed his friend was quiet. He asked him how he ...

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