This newsletter was sent on: 10/2/2008

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Communique 256 - Oct. 1, 2008

From Rev. Ronald Williams, vice chairperson of the Bishop's Round Up for Hunger Committee:

It can be difficult to run helping agencies and food banks these days. Last year, we had a 25 percent short fall in food at the Bishop’s Round-up for Hunger, which created problems for the Kansas East Conference agencies.

This year, Elie Foster at Pittsburg Wesley House tells me that their food demand has doubled from last summer, and Governor Mays says that the food demand at Ogden Friendship House has "significantly increased."

We need to keep these food needs in mind as we prepare for the Bishop’s Round-up for Hunger. Other items are important, but the food is vital.

Come to the Round-up in Lawrence and bring food. Please pray for the success of the Round-up this year.


Bishop's Message: Aid needed for Hurricane Ike disaster
With widespread damage in Texas caused by Hurricane Ike, Bishop Scott Jones asks churches in Kansas to respond with donations and volunteer teams.

Download a short video that can be played in worship services from the Video Archives page at

Election guide compares Democratic and Republican platforms with UMC positions
A 2008 election guide that compares the platforms of the Democratic and Republican parties with the United Methodist “Social Principles” and Book of Resolutions is now available. The guide was prepared by the Washington, D.C.-based General Board of Church & Society, one of the denomination’s four international program agencies.

It is available in a comprehensive 14-page version and six bulletin inserts that address specific subject areas:

  • Economic and Environmental Justice
  • Civil and Human Rights
  • Health and Wholeness
  • Peace with Justice
  • Women and Children
  • United Nations and International Affairs

The guide can be downloaded at

UM agency calls for financial crisis legislation that embraces whole society
The United Methodist General Board of Church & Society called on the U.S. Congress and the Bush Administration to “devise legislation that embraces our whole society” as it copes with the current financial crisis. The agency, one of four international program boards of the denomination, issued its statement after the U.S. House of Representatives failed to pass a $780 billion bailout plan proposed by the administration and Congressional leaders.

The GBCS statement quotes from the United Methodist Social Principles (¶163 IV. The Economic Community) that says all economic systems “should be under the judgment of God … and recognizes the responsibility of governments to develop and implement sound fiscal and monetary policies that provide for the economic life of individuals and corporate entities, and that ensure full employment and adequate incomes.”

The statement concludes with a call to prayer that U.S. officials will act with wisdom in this crisis. It also urges contacting your members of Congress to insist they devise a just and equitable response to the financial crisis.

Read the statement at

Scholarships, loans given to Kansas East students
In 2007, the Kansas East Conference received $21,049 in Student Day and World Communion offerings from local churches. This money was sent on to the General Church. That same year, Kansas East students received $25,000 in loans to six students and $51,174 in scholarships to 38 students.

So far in 2008, the following Kansas East students have been granted loans and scholarships from these same programs:

Jonathan Born from the Lebo UMC attending Kansas State University
Michael Brown from Emporia First UMC attending Emporia State University
Erin Bryan from the Lenexa UMC attending the University of Kansas
Elyse Byram from Leawood Church of the Resurrection attending Southwestern College
Ashley Fischer from the Robinson Zion UMC attending Baker University
Carolyn Freeman from the Lenexa UMC attending Kansas State University
Justine Greve from the Topeka Highland Park UMC attending Baker University
Grant Johannes from the Manhattan First UMC attending the University of Indianapolis
Jessica Lipp from the Lenexa UMC attending the University of Kansas
Nathan Love from the Topeka Countryside UMC attending Manhattan Christian College
Joseph McColligan from the Leawood Church of the Resurrection attending Saint Paul School of Theology
Alexis Pryor from the Overbrook UMC attending Baker University
Brooke Pryor from the Overbrook UMC attending Baker University
Anne Rahmeier from the Leawood Church of the Resurrection attending Saint Paul School of Theology
Ashley Snedeger from the Baldwin City First UMC attending Baker University
Kristina Stock from the Olathe Aldersgate UMC attending Kansas State University
Kaleb Stoppel from the Osage City UMC attending the University of Missouri – KC
Luke Wetzel from the Olathe Aldersgate UMC attending Emory University

For more information about UM loans and scholarships go to

You can provide more support to students by giving to the World Communion offering this Sunday, Oct. 5.

Kansas East seminarians part of national gathering planning team
Young seminarians from the Kansas East Conference are giving significant leadership in the United Methodist connection. The Standing Committee of the Young Adult Seminarians Network of the United Methodist Church will meet Oct. 2-4 in Nashville, Tenn., to discuss issues affecting YASN chapters and plan for the 2009 National Gathering.

This 19-member committee includes three members from the Kansas East Conference. Tiffany Baker of Olathe represents Illiff School of Theology in Denver, Colo.; Andrew Mitchell, pastor of Stull UMC, represents Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Mo.; and Cindy Heilman of Council Grove represents Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.

YASN is a network of United Methodist seminarians 35 and younger and those concerned with the issues of young seminarians.

Learn more about YASN at

‘Who is Visiting Small Churches These Days?’
When small church lay and clergy leaders gather, the first comments often reflect an understandable anger, defensiveness and dread of an imminent future. This is understandable given the challenges they face.

But if you listen long enough, you begin to pick up signs of hope—hope consistent with the empirical data showing that approximately 35 percent of small membership churches are indeed growing each year and hope consistent with the church’s own theological metrics for measuring the viability and vitality of a congregation.

So who needs a small church these days?

Lewis A. Parks believes there are five types of people who keep showing up as visitors to small churches, whether in cities, towns or rural settings.

Read Parks' entire article on small churches at

Baker enrollment surpasses 4,000 for first time
Baker University’s overall enrollment has surpassed 4,000 for the first time in the school’s 150-year history.

The university is reporting a record-high enrollment of 4,112 students with increased numbers at all four of its schools—College of Arts and Sciences, School of Professional and Graduate Studies, School of Nursing and School of Education.

Find out more at

High school visitation at Baker
Baker University has scheduled some days/events for High School seniors to visit for recruitment purposes. Visitation Information is available at

A Prayer for Domestic Violence Prevention Month: October
This prayer and hymn may be used for Domestic Violence Prevention Month anytime during October:

Featured events

Emergency Preparedness Fair
Church of the Resurrection will host the Emergency Preparedness Fair Oct. 11 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The classes are free and will include:

  • Basic Disaster Response for clergy and church staff
  • Early Response Team Training Overview: How to establish the presence of the church after a disaster
  • Hosting and Conducting a Volunteer Reception Center
  • How to Write Your Local Church Disaster Response Plan
  • Keep Your Church Operational After a Disaster
  • Preparing Your Congregation for Disaster
  • Chainsaw Safety and Use
  • CPR and AED Training
  • First Aid Training
  • Selecting and Equipping a Disaster Relief Trailer

There also will be booths and displays, with lunch available for $5.

Get more information and download a flier at

Cat-Hawk Challenge
The 2008 Cat-Hawk Challenge will be Oct. 18 at the Marriott Hotel in Overland Park.

The event features a competition to benefit United Methodist campus ministries at Kansas University and Kansas State University.

Tailgating and dinner will begin at 6 p.m., and the “game” will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Mary Lou Reece will coach the Jayhawks team, and Rev. Jim Reed will coach the Wildcats team. Cheerleaders and the band, A House Divided, will provide spirited atmosphere. Join the fun for a good cause.

To learn more and sign up for the challenge, visit

Gathering of Tents of Hope, Nov. 7-9
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Gathering of the Tents at the National Mall here on Nov. 7-9 is a call to compassion and action. The tents will create an extraordinary refugee camp in the U.S. capital to express solidarity with the people of Darfur.

On the same weekend as the Gathering of the Tents, hundreds of communities across the country will hold local events as part of the “Interfaith Weekend of Prayer and Action for Sudan.” For more information about worship and advocacy materials related to the Interfaith Weekend of Prayer, contact Rabbi Or Rose at

Sponsors of the Gathering of Tents ask you to come to Washington, D.C., or organize an event on Nov. 7-9 in your community so the message will be heard loud and clear by the president-elect and new Congress.

The program for the Gathering of the Tents is posted at Nonn said it will be updated regularly as additional speakers, performers and events are added.

Visit the conference calendar at for more upcoming events.

Communications Staff

Lisa Elliott Diehl
Area Director

Susan Cooper
Associate Director
Beverly Fanestil
Britt Bradley
Electronic Media Specialist

Area Communications Office, 9440 E Boston, Suite 110, Wichita KS 67207
866-915-3638 or 316-684-3638; Fax: 316-684-0044