This newsletter was sent on: 9/3/2008

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4201 SW 15th Street
Topeka KS 66604

Communique 252 – Sept. 3, 2008

We have received the following message from Debbie Vest, the South Central Jurisdiction Volunteers In Mission director.

United Methodist VIM conference coordinators in Louisiana and Mississippi have asked UMVIM volunteers to please wait several more days before calling them as to when they can start receiving disaster response teams following Hurricane Gustav.

Damage assessments are still taking place. Many people still don't have phone or electrical power.

Though Hurricane Gustav weakened before hitting land, there is still a great deal of damage.

Please remember flood buckets are invaluable at a time like this as well as giving to the UMCOR Advance 3019695 Hurricanes 2008.

Please direct your questions to me at 913-568-8826 or at the South Central Jurisdictional office in Austin, Texas.


'Bridges to the Future' campaign office update

As we celebrate the success of the “Bridges to the Future” capital campaign, the campaign office is being reconfigured into a part-time office.

To keep expenses down, the campaign office phone number will be discontinued. To reach the campaign director, Laura Murphy, e-mail or call the conference office at 877-972-9111 or 785-272-9111 or her cell phone at 913-908-6379.

Watch for updates in the “Communiqué” and at about wonderful things that are happening with new church starts, revitalizing churches, Camp Chippewa and Campus Ministry because of your commitment to “Bridges to the Future.”

All pledge payments are to be sent to the conference office at PO Box 4187; Topeka, KS; 66604-0187. Be sure to mark “Bridges to the Future” on the memo line of your check.

Murphy is still available for questions, comments and help with fund-raising for the Bridges campaign.

Conference Growth Grants application deadline nears
The deadline to apply for the Kansas East Conference Growth Grants is Sept. 30. The program provides funds to support the expansion and enhancement of ministry in local United Methodist churches. As the KEC engages in new initiatives to promote the expansion of ministry through the local churches, funds will be available to stimulate and support local church efforts.

To read the guidelines or download an application form, visit

UMCOR responds to Gustav
After a weekend of preparations and evacuations, communities throughout Louisiana and in parts of Mississippi and Florida took a direct hit from Hurricane Gustav and have experienced extensive damage. The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) continues to be in contact with those conferences, each of which is well prepared and assessing the situation.

Read about UMCOR’s efforts at

To help UMCOR respond to people affected by Hurricane Gustav, you can donate to UMCOR Advance #3019695 Hurricanes 2008, which will help provide immediate on-the-ground support to volunteers, annual conferences and interfaith response efforts. To donate online, go to

Katrina’s lessons helped Louisiana, UM church leader says
Louisiana residents spent Labor Day nervously watching trees and power lines fall as Hurricane Gustav lashed the state with high winds and rain.

The day after the storm, United Methodists in the church’s Louisiana Conference are assessing damage and preparing to make a tour of the state as soon as they get clearance from law enforcement officials.

“We were prepared. We contacted all our pastors and encouraged them to evacuate,” said Rev. Don Cottrill, director of connectional ministries for the Louisiana Conference.

Get the whole story at

Eudora UMC marks 150 years
The Eudora UMC congregation celebrated the church’s 150th anniversary Sunday, Aug. 31.

Watch a video clip about the special anniversary at A short advertisement precedes the video.

‘Grandma and Grandpa’s House’ ministry
For children who cannot enjoy the smell of freshly baked cookies at their own grandparents' home, Pat Frost and a band of silver-haired volunteers in Florida offer the next best thing.

G.G.'s House is a place where children from underserved areas can learn to bake, play games and, most importantly, find comfort and attention. G.G’s stands for "Grandma's and Grandpa's."

Inspired by a sermon at her church, Ocklawaha (Fla.) United Methodist, Frost set out to create a special place where at-risk children can feel special. Frost and other volunteers renovated a rundown house owned by the church and opened the doors to neighborhood kids last October. They estimate that more than 1,000 children and family members have visited the center since.

Find out more about this inspiring ministry at

Best projection practices
More and more churches are adding screens in worship to project hymns, liturgy, sermon points, and announcements. Members of the Methodist Musicians Listserv recently discussed what someone called “best projection practices,” with many offering helps and suggestions for making projected slides.

See 30 suggestions they offered at,823.

Featured events

Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15 – Oct. 15
There are many sources and resources to use in the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. For non-Hispanic and Latino congregations and for those who do not normally speak Spanish, the General Board of Discipleship has an abundance of prayers, hymns, songs, services, articles, books and free downloads on their website at

International Day of Prayer for Peace, Sept. 21
United Methodist churches worldwide are invited to pray for peace on Sept. 21. The International Day of Prayer for Peace offers an opportunity for church communities in all places to pray and act together to nurture lasting peace in the hearts of people, their families, communities and societies.

The idea was proposed in 2004 during a meeting between World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Samuel Kobia and U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and coincides with the United Nations International Day of Peace.

The Day of Prayer is one of the initiatives of the WCC's Decade to Overcome Violence. Congregations worldwide are invited to pray for peace in all participating churches on Sept. 21.
Learn more at

Camp Chippewa to celebrate 50 years
Camp Chippewa, a United Methodist camp and retreat center near Ottawa, will mark its 50th anniversary with a special celebration Sept. 27 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Food, fun and fellowship will be offered as well as a worship service led by Bishop Scott Jones.

For more information, go to or call the camp at 785-242-6797.

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