Communique 272 - Feb. 11,
In Step with Bishop Jones: Enough really is
Everyone in the United States is aware that we
are in a financial crisis. Unemployment is going up, salaries are
being frozen, businesses are going bankrupt, churches are under
financial pressure, homes are being foreclosed, and endowments and
pension funds have dropped significantly. How should Christians
Read more at www.kansaseast.org/bishop_column_recent.asp.
Hunger grant applications due April 1
Kansas East Conference Board of Global Ministries awards grants for
agencies in the conference area doing ministry to alleviate hunger.
Each year, monies come in for the Bishop's Round-Up for Hunger. Out
of those funds, 40 percent goes to ministries in Haiti, 40 percent
to ministries in Mexico and the remaining 20 percent to agencies
related to the Kansas East Conference. In 2008, the board
distributed $8,000 in grants to 14 agencies.
If you are associated with an agency doing work with the hungry
in Kansas East, go to http://kansaseast.org/page.asp?PKValue=410#hunger
for information about the grants and to download a grant
application. Applications are due April 1.
Bridges to the Future funds Abide Program for
Thanks to funding through the Bridges to the
Future, churches have an opportunity for revitalization through the
“Abide” program. This program allows funding for churches to send
their pastor and several lay people to attend overnight retreats
encouraging faith and stirring vision, a year involved in the
Incubator process to develop leadership, learning and transformation
through a Ministry Action Plan, and on-going coaching by Abide and
Presently there are seven churches registered in the Kansas East
Conference to participate in the 2009 Abide Program. Those United
Methodist Churches are: Big Springs, Blue Mound, Stull, Richter,
Harveyville, New Hope, and Powhattan. There is so much interest in
this program from these churches that many churches are sending up
to ten people to this program!
To find out additional
information about the Abide program or how your church can benefit
from this revitalization opportunity, contact Lonnie Bailey at
785-272-9111 or firstname.lastname@example.org or
ask your district superintendent.
Read more about what’s happening because of the Bridges campaign
Women’s History Month bulletin inserts available
The General Commission on the Status and Role of
Women is again providing bulletin covers, liturgies and inserts for
March’s Women’s History Month celebration. These are available
online at no cost and can be downloaded and copied for March worship
Also available online is a free six-session study, “Women Called
to Ministry,” that’s suitable for local churches during Women’s
Download the bulletin inserts and/or study session at http://www.gcsrw.org/.
Iola Wesley returns to church
Wesley UMC in Iola is officially moving back
into the church building 14 months after a fire in November
The fire was primarily contained to the northeast corner and roof
of the church, but heat, smoke and water damage forced extensive
renovation throughout the building.
Read more about the congregation’s experiences at http://iolaregister.com/Local%20News/Stories/Wesleyworshipperscominghome.html.
Some local-church stats reports still need to be
District offices in the Kansas East Conference
have reported the following status of local-church statistical
Flint Hills: No
Kansas City: No report
a. 78 percent of all churches have completed all
b. 16 churches
a. 57 churches have
reported, with 54 verified by the district secretary
churches have not completed Table 1
c. 15 churches have not
completed Table 2
d. 16 churches have not completed Table
a. 56 churches have completed all
tables, with five verified
b. 10 churches have started but not
completed their reports
c. 6 churches have not started their
UMCdata.com will be available through Feb. 13, after which the
online site will no longer be available.
Please go to https://umcdata.com/dataHome.cfm?confPass=KSE to
submit your statistical report if you have not completed
If you are not able to complete your 2008 Statistical
Reports by that time, you will need to send paper copies to your
District Office for direct entry to Mission Base.
If you have
questions about your local church Statistical Report please call
your District Office.
Children of ministers wanted for informal
Amy Atkins, a seminary intern for the United
Methodist General Commission on the Status and Role of Women, is
requesting information about faith development from college-aged
(18-24 years old) children of ministers.
Ms. Atkins is
conducting an informal survey during the last week of February to
see how growing up as the child of a minister has affected their
personal relationship with God. This an informal survey will be
conducted either by phone or by email, depending on the preference
of the participant. It will be a short time commitment and should
require no more than 30 minutes.
Those interested in
participating in the survey can email Ms. Atkins at email@example.com.
Online course focuses on four areas of
A free online course is available on the United
Methodist Church’s four key areas of ministry. The self-directed
course, “Four Areas of Focus,” is offered by United Methodist
Communications from now to Dec. 31.
The four areas are developing principled Christian leaders for
the church and the world; creating new places for new people and
revitalizing existing congregations; engaging in ministry with the
poor; and combating the diseases of poverty by improving health
To register, go to the Online Learning Center at http://moodle.umcom.org/moodle/index.php?tr=y&auid=4478628
and select “Four Areas of Focus” from the United Methodist Basics
If you are a returning online learner, enter your user name and
password on the left side of the log-in page. If you are a new
online learner, complete the brief registration form on the right
side of the log-in page, and click “register.”
UMCOR promotes Eco-Palm Project for Palm
The United Methodist Committee on Relief is
partnering with the University of Minnesota to build support from
local churches for the Eco-Palm Project, which helps harvesters in
Guatemala and Mexico receive fair wages for their labor, provides
opportunities for leadership and incorporates environmentally sound
Last year, 582,900 palm stems were
purchased from 2,123 congregations nationwide, including more than
36,800 orders from United Methodists.
The deadline for ordering palms is March 2. Visit http://www.ecopalms.org/ or call the University of
Minnesota at 612-624-7418 to order.
Additional information is available at http://new.gbgm-umc.org/umcor/newsroom/releases/archives09/raiseanecopalm/?tr=y&auid=4458733.
United Methodists join forces to ‘turn worlds upside
The four areas of focus adopted by the 2008 United
Methodist General Conference were rolled out in earnest at the
quadrennial training event for annual conference leaders Jan.
29-Feb. 1. More than 1,200 leaders gathered for the “Living the
United Methodist Way: Turning Worlds Upside Down” event to learn how
their respective places of ministry can connect with others to
transform themselves and the world. The four areas – leadership
development, church growth, ministry with the poor and global health
– were introduced in plenary sessions, followed by workshops on each
Read more at www.umc.org/site/apps/nlnet/content3.aspx?c=lwL4KnN1LtH&b=2429867&ct=6750667&tr=y&auid=4489071
Theology of worship
Rev. Dan R. Dick, a
United Methodist pastor and author of the internet blog “United
Methodeviations” has written a new blog entry on the theology of
worship. In this entry, he writes about the importance of the
underlying beliefs and motivations about God and worship that shape
what the church offers.
Read the blog at http://doroteos2.wordpress.com/2009/02/09/theology-of-worship/#more-46
Hymns and Songs in Lead Sheets
McIntyre, Director of Music Resources at GBOD, offers some valuable
resources for those interested in lead sheets for hymns and other
songs used in worship.
Many lead sheets of hymns and songs are available for guitar
players and others who use chord symbols from the General Board on
Discipleship and Abingdon Press.
Over one hundred free downloadable lead sheet hymns and songs may
be found on the GBOD website at
Sweet the Sound, an excellent collection of lead sheets from
Abingdon, may be found at www.cokesbury.com/forms/ProductDetail.aspx?pid=442444
Other lead sheets and chords may be found through Google,
publishers’ websites, and most music retailers.
Listening event on the reduction of episcopal areas, Feb.
The second Kansas Area listening event on the
reduction of episcopal areas will be Feb. 21 at First UMC in Topeka.
The events provide opportunities to give input about how the College
of Bishops should reduce the number of episcopal areas in 2012.
For more information, view the event on the conference calendar
Festival of Living Faith, Feb. 28
Stebbins writes, “Many of us do well at caring for our existing
church membership, but do not do well at being open to strangers and
sharing our faith journey, even with those we those we trust. We are
good at being in mission and social ministry to our local
communities, but we fail to invite those we serve to worship and to
share why we are in mission. We know we are all called to make
disciples for Christ, but somehow we find ourselves at a loss when
it comes to opening up about what Christ means in our lives, or at
simply inviting someone to come to church with us.
“The ‘Festival of Living Faith,’ February 28 at Lowman UMC in
Topeka, is about how we as 21st Century Christians share our faith
in meaningful ways in relationships that we have already developed.
It is designed to help us confront our reluctance to share our faith
with others, to awaken within us the desire and possibility of
sharing our faith and giving us some tools and methods for actually
doing it. Until we are able to share what Christ's living presence
in our lives means to us and what it can mean to others, we are not
fulfilling our mission.”
Each church or pastoral charge is asked to send a team of 3 to 4
people, including youth, evangelism members, pastor and key lay
View more information about the event, including links to a
brochure registration on the conference calendar at www.kansaseast.org/event_detail.asp?PKValue=2294.