This newsletter was sent on: 1/28/2009

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Kansas East Conference
4201 SW 15th Street
Topeka KS 66604

Communique 270 - Jan. 28, 2009

From Russ Hinshaw, Kansas East Conference treasurer:

Your local church’s 2008 Statistical Reports are due no by Saturday, Jan. 31. You can find the instructions and forms at

When you are ready to enter your 2008 Statistical Tables, log in at and enter the appropriate amounts in each table.

After completing each table, remember to save and print a copy for your records before submitting the table.

Once all of the fields on a table are complete, you will then be able to submit the report. You must click on the “Submit” button at the bottom of each table to submit each table—three times in total.

If you have questions, please contact your district office or call the Administrative Services office toll-free at 877-972-9111.


Special votes due next week for all members of Annual Conference
All clergy and lay members of Annual Conference should have received a mailing about a recommendation from the Council on Finance and Administration (CFA) to cap apportionments in 2009 back to the 2008 level—unless a church’s apportionment went down in 2009, if so, it remains at that lower level—and pay for that by using money from the Growth Grants fund of the conference.

In addition to that vote, the bishop also asked for a vote indicating conference members willingness to decide this by a mail ballot, rather than calling a special session of Annual Conference on Feb. 14.

Remember that the deadline for this is either 1) that a mailed postcard be postmarked by Feb. 2, or 2) that the postcard be hand delivered into the conference office in Topeka by 4:30 p.m. Feb. 3 .

Votes on both issues will be tallied Feb. 4 after the mail has been delivered that day. The result of balloting on both questions sent out by e-mail to conference members on Feb. 4.

So, please return your ballot soon voting both on 1) the approval of the mail ballot process itself and 2) on the question regarding the capping of apportionments and the use of Growth Grant money to support that and avoid even deeper cuts to our spending plan for 2009.

In Step with Bishop Jones: Goal for appointments
Bishop Scott Jones shares his thoughts on the appointment-making season at

Conference scholarships available for upcoming workshops
The Kansas East Conference Board of Church and Society invites you to consider participation in several upcoming events. To encourage this they are offering up to two scholarships per event of up to half the cost of registration and lodging with a maximum of $250 per scholarship. They challenge a person’s local church to match what the board provides.

To apply for a scholarship, contact Gary Beach at as soon as possible.

The events include:

  • Addiction - How Will the Church Respond?, Feb. Mount Sequoyah Retreat Center in Fayetteville, Ark. Registration is $191 plus lodging. The deadline for registration for this event is Feb. 1. For more information or to register, go to
  • Caring for Creation, March 27-29 at Mount Sequoyah Retreat Center in Fayetteville, Ark. Registration is $60 prior to March 7 plus lodging. The registration deadline is March 13 or until full capacity is reached. For more information or to register, go to
  • The National Workshop on Christian Unity 2009, April 27-30 at the Hyatt Regency in Phoenix, Ariz. Registration by March 16 is $125, and lodging is $119 per night. For more information or to register, to

TARP offers youth mission opportunities
In response to the devastating damage in South Louisiana caused by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, First UMC in Baton Rouge, La., has created Terrebonne Area Restoration Project (TARP), a youth mission opportunity program.

TARP invites you to the home of Cajun culture and the heart of America's wetland, where homes and lives must now be rebuilt. TARP provides an opportunity for teens age 14 and older to participate in the home repair and restoration for one week. Youth volunteers will work to repair roofs, floors, siding and more. Through their efforts, multiple homes in the Terrebonne area will be restored this summer.

TARP volunteers will be hosted in the Terrebonne area and will work at one of several work sites recommended by Louisiana Conference Disaster Response Inc. TARP will run for seven weeks this summer, between June 14 and Aug. 1.

TARP is now accepting applications from interested youth groups. For more information, visit, or call 225-383-4777 ext. 255.

New age definitions for young adults
As of Jan. 1, 2009, new age definitions for young adults have taken effect. One of the outcomes of General Conference is that the age of young adults now varies depending on where you look in the Book of Discipline.

Here are some helpful places to find those definitions:

¶256.3 – Local Church age definition – approximately 18-30

¶602.4 – District age definition – for United States young adults – age 18-30, for Central Conference young adults – age 18-35.

¶649.2 – Annual Conference Councils on Young Adult Ministry (or equivalent structure) definition - The membership of the council shall be young adults (as defined by the Annual Conference).

¶705 – age upon election to General Boards and Agencies – age 17-28

¶1207 – age to be a member of the DMYP – 19-30

¶1210 – age to be elected to attend Global Young People’s Convocation and Legislative Assembly – age 19-30.

It isn’t necessary to check IDs at the door of every young-adult event, but there are some young-adult groups that will want to define their group by the official United Methodist definitions.

For more information, contact the young adult network at

Lilly offers clergy-renewal grants
Lilly Endowment Inc. has announced the details of its 2009 National Clergy Renewal Program. This program provides renewal grants to allow pastors to step away from the daily obligations of parish life and pursue an intentional period of exploration and reflection. The endowment plans to award as many as 120 grants of up to $50,000 each to congregations to support renewal programs for their pastors. Up to $15,000 of this amount may be used to help a congregation fulfill pastoral duties during the pastor's absence.

Applications are available at Completed applications must be submitted by May 14.

KC pastor Holland receives public service award
Rev. Mark Holland, pastor Trinity UMC in Kansas City, Kan., was given the Emanuel Cleaver II Public Service Award at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Worship Celebration Jan. 18. The Methodist Ministers' Fellowship celebration was at St. James UMC in Kansas City, Mo.

The fellowship includes African Methodist Episcopal, African Methodist Episcopal Zion, Christian Methodist Episcopal and United Methodist churches, as well as the Second Baptist Church, all located in the Kansas City metro area.

Holland was quick to share the honor with his wife, Julie, and said that she should be considered a co-recipient.

UMCOR responds to Gaza relief needs
With a tentative cease-fire holding between Israel and Hamas, humanitarian organizations are stepping up their assistance to Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.

Action by Churches Together, representing more than 130 church-based relief agencies, including the United Methodist Committee on Relief and Church World Service, has issued an appeal for $4 million to provide immediate relief there.

ACT estimates that 50,000 people are homeless and 400,000 are without running water. The coalition has targeted some 15,000 displaced people to receive food distribution and already has gathered nutritional biscuits, water, milk, milk powder and medicine.

Featured events

The free Good $ense Budget Course for clergy and spouses helps participants discover tools and develop skills that enable them to control their finances, rather than allowing their finances to control them.

Participants get practical help, including how to:

  • Prioritize financial goals
  • Develop a personalized spending plan
  • Identify action steps to reduce expenses
  • Reduce debt

It’s more than just a learning experience about budgets and finances. The course enables participants to reflect on their relationship to money and how it impacts their relationship to God and experience the joy of becoming financially faithful as well as financially free.

Download a registration brochure at or call the Kansas Area United Methodist Foundation toll-free at 888-453-8405.

The Craft of Discipleship, Feb. 21-22
On Feb. 21-22, Dr. Tex Sample, professor emeritus at Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, will give a series of presentations entitled “The Craft of Discipleship.”

The presentations will be at St. Paul’s UMC, 7740 Lackman in Lenexa. The cost is $25 if registered by Jan. 31 and includes meals and childcare.

Get more information and download a flier at

Mentor training events
Policy adopted by the Kansas East Conference Board of Ordained Ministry requires that mentors be trained every four years. Mentors must be recommended by their district superintendent and meet other requirements.

Because of changes in procedures and materials, new training has been implemented. The Board of Ordained Ministry is encouraging all current mentors participate in one of the new training events, regardless of when previous training was received.

Four training events will be offered this spring for new and returning mentors:

  • Feb. 23 at Topeka First UMC
  • Feb. 24 at Emporia First UMC
  • March 30 at Chanute Otterbein UMC
  • March 31 at Olathe Grace UMC

Contact your district superintendent’s office for more information.

Funding Your Congregation's Vision conference, March 21
The Lewis Center will present 2009 Funding Your Congregation's Vision March 21 in Burke, Va. The theme for the conference is “Enhancing Resources for Ministry in Challenging Times.”

Dr. Lovett H. Weems Jr., director of the Lewis Center, will be the keynote speaker during the plenary session. Workshop topics include preparing a spiritual foundation for giving, increasing annual commitments from members, establishing endowments, expanding the ways to give, monitoring giving in more realistic ways, and best practices when church facilities are rented for income.

The event is intended for both lay and clergy leaders. The cost for the conference is $30 per person.

For more information and registration, go to, or call 202-885-8757.

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