This newsletter was sent on: 2/25/2009

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Communique 274 – February 25, 2009


In Step with Bishop Jones: Methodists pray the hymns
Hearing music sung in worship can be a moving experience, but it also can be a form of prayer. A quote attributed to St. Augustine says, “He who sings prays twice.”


Read other recent postings from the bishop, including “Good $ense makes sense” and “Christian life is counter-cultural,” at

Appointment announcements for Kansas Area clergy posted online
Announcements of clergy appointments as released by the dean of the Kansas Area Appointive Cabinet are posted in the News & Events section of the conference website at Appointments may be sorted by name, date of move or date of posting.

KAUMRF banquet, grant information announced
The speaker at both 2009 Kansas Area United Methodist Rural Fellowship banquets will be Paul Johnson, legislative liaison for the Catholic Church at the Kansas Legislature. He also is a Kansas Truck Farmer.

The KAUMRF will be presenting a $250 grant for emerging ministries at the banquet this year. Funds are provided from the Rural Life Sunday offerings taken by individual local churches of the Kansas East Conference. Designed to encourage small-membership (fewer than 100 average attendance) and rural churches within the conference, grants help develop new or emerging ministries that respond to specific needs of local church communities.

Applications for the KAUMRF grant are due April 1, and the forms can be found on the Kansas East website at

The Rural Life Sunday offering for Kansas East Conference in 2009 will be dedicated to grants given to small churches for emerging ministries in 2010.

Childcare training workshops and grants offered to church-based programs
Healthy Kansas Kids (HKK), a promising Kansas project aimed at integrating more physical activity and quality nutrition into childcare programs is being made available to childcare programs provided by Kansas United Methodist churches at no charge.

With grant support from the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund, the Kansas Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies has agreed to make its Excellent Care for Early Learning training available to church-based programs, which would then be eligible to receive $500 grants for program improvements related to nutrition and activity. HKK was developed with the support of Health Fund grant funding.

Find out more about the grants at

Uplifting video program available for checkout
“Celebrate What’s Right with the World,” with National Geographic photographer Dewitt Jones, encourages us to celebrate the things that are right with the world and recognize the many possibilities before us.

Nonprofit organizations may borrow the video free of charge by contacting the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund at, 620-662-8586 or 800-369-7191.

Health through Faith and Community study curriculum and resource website available
The curriculum, “Health Through Faith and Community: A Study Resource for Christian Faith Communities to Promote Personal and Social Well-Being,” produced through a Health Fund grant and written by a team led by KU social work professor Ed Canda, Ph.D., consists of eight study sessions which can be used individually or together as a whole. The book provides information and learning activities on the many interrelated aspects of overall health from an ecumenical Christian perspective. Supplemental materials and electronic versions of the handouts and overheads are available at

‘A call for courage and repentance,’ a UMNS commentary
“We must learn and come to grips with the prevalence and pain of insulting racist stereotypes and denigrations, whether they present blacks being likened to chimps and apes or Native Americans being denigrated through sports team names and mascots,” writes John Coleman. His commentary responds to the Feb. 18 cartoon in the "New York Post" that shows police officers shooting and linking a chimp to the stimulus bill signed by President Obama.

Read more of Coleman’s commentary at


Festival of Living Faith, Feb. 28
The ‘Festival of Living Faith,’ February 28 at Lowman UMC in Topeka, is about how 21st-century Christians share faith in meaningful ways in our relationships.

The event 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 three to four people, including youth, evangelism members, pastor and key lay people.

The cost is $20, which includes lunch and supplies. Childcare is available at a cost of $5 per child, but they will need to bring a lunch.

The registration deadline has been extended to Feb. 26.

Get more information from the conference calendar at

Tallgrass Retreat Center March offerings
The following retreats will be offered during March at the Tallgrass Retreat Center near Matfield Green:

  • Quiet Day Away, March 2, $12, includes lunch
  • Lenten Day Away I: Collage from the Soul, March 3, $40, includes lunch
  • Healing Touch, March 6-7, $75
  • Lenten Day Away II: Prayer Flags, March 10, $40, includes lunch
  • Soul Strings, March 13-15, $120
  • Quiet Day Away, March 16, $12, includes lunch
  • Lenten Day Away III: Collage from the Soul, March 17, $40, includes lunch
  • Lenten Day Away IV: Letters from the Soul, March 25, $40, includes lunch
  • Dance of the Prairie Chickens, March 27, $50, morning only viewing
  • Dance of the Prairie Chickens, March 27-28 and 28-29, $78, overnight stay
  • Lenten Day Away V: Collage from the Soul, March 31, $40, includes lunch

More information is available at, or contact the center at 620-753-3465.

Clergy Conversation: Workers’ Right to Organize, March 3
Bishop-in-Residence Fritz Mutti will host a Clergy Conversation, Workers' Right to Organize, March 3 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. at the Saint Paul School of Theology Kansas City Holter Center.

Representatives will discuss the following topics:

  • Bishop Fritz Mutti--United Methodist Social Principles
  • Registered Nurses from Centerpoint Medical Center--Local Case History
  • AFL-CIO representatives--The Employee Free Choice Act

The conversation is free and open to all.

Rising Lecture: Bishop Richard Wills, March 8
The First UMC in Pittsburg will host the 2009 edition of the Rising Lecture Series. This year’s Rising Lecture will be March 8 at 3 p.m. in the sanctuary. Giving the lecture will be Bishop Richard Wills of the Tennessee Conference of the United Methodist Church.

The Rising Lectures are made possible through gifts in honor of the Rev. Lloyd Rising, pastor of First United Methodist Church from 1950 thru 1967. Their intent is to bring lecturers of note to southeast Kansas to address theological issues in the daily life of the church. Bishop Wills will be speaking on the theology of spiritual leadership and church renewal.

Expand Your Ministry with Social Networking, March 24, 26
Kansas area pastors are invited to attend a workshop on the use of online social networks, such as Facebook, as a tool for ministry. The Pew Internet and American Life Project recently reported that the number of adults using online social networks such as Facebook has quadrupled in the past four years and that more than half the adults in the 25-34 age group have a profile on a social network site.

Expand Your Ministry with Social Networking will be offered March 24 at Lawrence First UMC and on March 26 at Emporia First UMC.

Dr. Daniel Roland, assistant professor at the School of Library and Information Science, Kent State University, and a member of the Kansas East Annual Conference, will lead the workshop, which will cover the essentials of social networking including:

  • Using social networking sites such as Facebook to enhance communication within congregations
  • Using social networking sites to expand outreach into the community
  • Creating a private social network for a congregation that focuses on mission, ministry and community
  • How to start and use a blog
  • How and why ministers should use Twitter

The workshop is $40 if paid before the event and $50 at the door.

More information and online registration is available at

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