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Wichita West District
Saint Mark job fair helps those with criminal past

Saint Mark job fair helps those with criminal past

10/31/2016
The search for a job can sometimes be difficult. It’s even more so when the job seeker has a criminal background. Helping to bridge that gap is the prison ministry of Saint Mark United Methodist Church in Wichita, which conducted its fourth biennial Job Fair Expo on Oct. 27. “They feel encouraged,” said David Wilkinson, a member of the prison ministry team since it began in 1999. “I think it plants a lot of seeds in people’s hearts.” About 150 people attended the October job fair, which ...

Conard remembered for leadership in Great Plains, Zimbabwe

Conard remembered for leadership in Great Plains, Zimbabwe

10/20/2016
The loss of the Rev. A. Mark Conard is being felt by United Methodists in both the Great Plains and in an African nation where he helped establish a partnership. “He was loved by both people in Zimbabwe and in the Great Plains Conference,” said the Rev. Kalaba Chali, Mercy and Justice coordinator for the conference. “He will be missed by a lot of people,” Chali added. A retired pastor and former district superintendent, Conard died Tuesday, Oct. 18, at a Wichita hospital. He was 68. Funeral ...

UMC crews make progress in Mulvane

UMC crews make progress in Mulvane

9/6/2016
Ten days after massive flooding struck the south-central Kansas town of Mulvane, crews from the Great Plains Conference of The United Methodist Church have concluded their early response to disaster relief in the area and are ready for long-term recovery. Volunteer David Rayson hauls flood buckets from the Mulvane Public Library. The buckets contain cleaning supplies homeowners need to start the clean-up process after floods. Photo by David Burke “We’ve got to do a ride-around, but it looks...

Young adults provided with Exploration scholarships

Young adults provided with Exploration scholarships

8/13/2015
If you know a young adult, ages 18-26, who have sensed God might be calling them to ordained ministry, have wondered what ministry in The United Methodist Church is all about, would like help sifting through issues involved in an ordained vocation, or want to learn more about The United Methodist seminaries and theological schools, tell them about Exploration. Exploration is a three-day event for young adults to hear, discern and respond to God’s call to ordained ministry and to explore their ...

Wichita University UMC dedicates new roof-top solar array on Earth Day

Wichita University UMC dedicates new roof-top solar array on Earth Day

4/23/2015
“Wichita University United Methodist Church is a tree-hugging, cat-loving church,” the Rev. Charles Claycomb said. “We believe ecology is at the heart of the Christian faith and practice. God finds intrinsic value in the Earth and all its creatures.” To celebrate Earth Day 2015, the University UMC dedicated the church’s new roof-top solar array. The $70,000 installation cost was funded through Westar Energy’s Solar Photovoltaic Project. Read more here and in the Wichita Eagle. See below how much...

ESL allows Pleasant Valley UMC to reach Hispanic community

ESL allows Pleasant Valley UMC to reach Hispanic community

4/6/2015
The ESL (English as a Second Language) program at Pleasant Valley United Methodist Church in Wichita, Kansas, is dedicated to serving the Hispanic community by providing quality language instruction to Spanish speaking people. The ESL program is one of the primary outreach ministries of Pleasant Valley UMC. Each spring and fall semester, Jennifer Jepsen along with her husband, Tim, hosts the ESL program every Thursday. The program lasts for eight weeks in the fall and nine weeks in the spring. ...

Summer internship program application deadline is Sunday, March 8

Summer internship program application deadline is Sunday, March 8

3/4/2015
Young adults interested in growing their faith and leadership skills now have a one-stop shop when it comes to finding the right fit. The Summer Internship Program of the Great Plains Conference gives young adults a chance to explore hands-on ministry and leadership in a variety of fields. While combining the previously offered summer offerings (Micah Corps, vacation Bible school and camp counselors) into a clear leadership development system, four new internships – pastoral leadership, ...

Cost of Poverty Experience expels myths through understanding

Cost of Poverty Experience expels myths through understanding

2/25/2015
Wichita Circles Network is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families and individuals make the journey out of poverty. Circles is a community driven solution to addressing the underlying causes of poverty and supporting families with their efforts to reach and maintain economic stability. The Wichita Circles Network strives to build bridges between social classes in order to foster relationships that will help strengthen the Wichita community. The Wichita Circles Network sponsored a...

GraceMed: providing compassionate, accessible, high-quality health care

GraceMed: providing compassionate, accessible, high-quality health care

2/19/2015
GraceMed Health Clinic is a Christ-centered, non-profit community health center that provides access to affordable quality health care for the residents of south central Kansas. Its goal is to provide high quality health care services for uninsured and underinsured residents in Wichita and the surrounding areas. GraceMed’s mission is to show and share the love of Jesus Christ by providing compassionate, accessible, high-quality health care for those who are in need. “We currently have eight ...

The OneEvent: Becoming fearless through God's love

The OneEvent: Becoming fearless through God's love

1/14/2015
Keynote speaker Rev. Kirstie Garnes brought the theme of The OneEvent to life with her insight on dealing with fear. Her strategy has three steps: name it, face it, and defeat it. She prepared for The OneEvent months in advance by asking dozens of youth to identify their fears. She compiled their answers into a list of twenty main fears which she went through during the first general session, asking youth to point their two thumbs up for every fear that hit a chord for them. If they weren’t sure...

Youth learn to defeat fear at The OneEvent 2015

Youth learn to defeat fear at The OneEvent 2015

1/14/2015
Once again The OneEvent was a memorable weekend of celebration, worship, learning and fellowship for Great Plains youth and youth leaders. More than 1,200 people braved harsh winter weather to gather in Grand Island, Nebraska, to kick off the new year Jan. 3-4. Eihusen Arena was rocking to the head-banging sounds of Colton Dixon and worship led by The Digital Age, a four-piece band from Waco, Texas. Ground Zero Master’s Commission kept the attention of youth and adults with their innovative ...

Kansas churches invited to participate in Summer Feeding Program Summit on Jan. 26

Kansas churches invited to participate in Summer Feeding Program Summit on Jan. 26

12/17/2014
In Kansas, nearly one in four children live in poverty. During the school year, many children receive two square meals a day, but in the summertime, too many of our Kansas children go hungry. However, the Federal Summer Feeding Program provides funding for communities to host sites where kids can be guaranteed a meal during the summer months. Unfortunately, Kansas ranks 50th in the nation for the percentage of children served by the summer meal program. Congregations in the Great Plains ...

Bishop Scott Jones, Stephanie Caro preach at Small Wonders conference

Bishop Scott Jones, Stephanie Caro preach at Small Wonders conference

10/27/2014
The following was written by Sam Fisher, DSA, Olive Crest UMC, Omaha, Nebraska. Small membership church development rose to the top of the conversation this past weekend as the first Great Plains Conference Small Wonders event was held in Salina, Kansas. In the Saturday morning worship service, Bishop Scott Jones urged clergy and laity from small membership churches to start looking at the whole picture. As he reflected on the story of the prodigal son, three words rang in Sam’s Chapel at Kansas...

News from the Big Hairy Audacious Education Caravan

News from the Big Hairy Audacious Education Caravan

10/8/2014
Education Caravan completes 2014 tour The Education Caravan concluded its 2014 tour in Lincoln, Nebraska, at Saint Paul UMC, on Oct. 2, with about 115 in attendance. The grand total for attendance at all six events is close to 700 people. The Lincoln program, which was also webcast, is recorded and available for viewing.  Common discussions centered on the realization that there is so much poverty in the midst of our small towns and cities. Guest presenters offered many ways churches are already...

Cabinet and clergy do mission work in Beaver Crossing

Cabinet and clergy do mission work in Beaver Crossing

9/18/2014
The Great Plains Cabinet and second year provisional clergy are spending several days this week working in Beaver Crossing, Nebraska. The community suffered extensive damage from a tornado on May 11, 2014, which also happened to be Mother’s Day. The group has been busy removing many downed or damaged trees, replacing windows in two homes, rebuilding a garage and sprucing up the United Methodist church. Team members have also been cleaning cement blocks that will be used to rebuild an archway ...

Bishop's Bicycle Challenge raises more than $11,000 for Open Door

6/25/2014
On the morning of Saturday, June 21, 2014, 110 cyclists took off from Andover UMC in Andover, Kan., for the 5th annual Bishop's Bicycle Challenge. Riders chose between three routes around Butler County, 100K (62 miles), 50K (35 miles) and 20 miles, all starting and ending at the church. The weather was perfect with little wind and no rain. Final numbers are not available yet, although current estimate is $11,000 for the amount of funds raised from the event to support the ministry of Open Door, ...