Communiqué 348 – Aug. 25, 2010
From Katey Zeh, General Board of Church and Society speaker at the 2010 Kansas East Annual Conference:
I had a wonderful trip to Kansas, and speaking on the floor was a real treat! I'm grateful for the letter to Sen. Brownback, even if he remains unsupportive of women's health. No matter what, it is a good thing for him to hear from United Methodists in Kansas.
I wanted to give you a quick update on appropriations. We have had some wonderful success in both the House and the Senate appropriations subcommittees this summer. The House subcommittee approved $735 million, and the Senate subcommittee approved $700 million for international family planning. As you may recall, President Obama’s request was around $716 million. These proposed increases are remarkable given that the President’s overall budget for foreign assistance was cut by $4 billion. Congress will still have to adopt these funding levels, most likely in an omnibus bill later this year, but I think we can expect the final funding to be close to the President’s original request and perhaps even a bit higher.
The General Board of Church and Society has applied for a second year of funding to continue the Healthy Families, Healthy Planet project for an additional year. Although we will not hear until next month, we are very hopeful about continuing the project an additional year.
Healthy Families, Healthy Planet
The Healthy Families, Healthy Planet initiative, funded by a grant from the United Nations Foundation, works to educate and mobilize United Methodists in the U.S. on the importance of maternal health and international family planning.
Five key reasons for undertaking the initiative:
- Every minute a woman in sub-Saharan Africa dies from complications during pregnancy or childbirth. Nearly all of the annual 536,000 maternal deaths worldwide occur in the developing world.
- More than 200 million women want to avoid pregnancy worldwide, but lack a family-planning method.
- Investing in family planning reduces unintended pregnancy and increases health.
- When a woman delays pregnancy at least two years after the birth of her previous child, she is much more likely to have a healthy pregnancy and birth.
- By empowering women and men to make healthy decisions about how to space their children and determine their family size, family planning helps create healthier lives for themselves and for their children.
Get more information at http://kansaseast.org/pages/detail/1350.
Yates Center UMC reaches out to community
“What if?” It was not a very complicated question posited by the United Methodist Change the World campaign back in April of this year.
“What if … on one weekend all around the world, 11 million United Methodists came together to work in their local communities?” “What if ... we unite globally to fight a preventable, treatable disease that kills one child every 30 seconds?” “Would you help?”
The Yates Center United Methodist Church members decided to answer the questions. The congregation decided to reach out with the love and compassion of Jesus Christ into the community
Read more at http://kansaseast.org/news/detail/617.
Episcopal area transition listening events, Aug. 28
Two events to give people an opportunity to share their thoughts on the upcoming transition to a Nebraska-Kansas Area under one bishop will be:
- Aug. 28, 10 a.m.-noon, at Topeka Countryside UMC
- Aug. 28, 3-5 p.m., at Parsons Wesley UMC
For more information, see the event descriptions on the conference calendar at www.kansaseast.org/calendar.asp or contact your district superintendent’s office.
Safe and Sacred Space trainings, September
There will be several Safe and Sacred Space training opportunities during September:
- Sept. 2 at Stilwell UMC
- Sept. 11 at Hiawatha First UMC
- Sept. 16 at Church of the Resurrection in Leawood
- Sept. 18 instructor training at Wesley UMC in Parsons
- Sept. 23 at Old Mission UMC in Fairway
- Sept. 26 at Lenexa UMC
For more information, see the event descriptions on the conference calendar at http://www.kansaseast.org/calendar.asp?eChurchID=&DistrictID=&AreaID=&nd=9/25/2010.
September is National Hunger Action Month
The Society of St. Andrew (Advance #801600) provides free, ready-to-used resources to motivate church congregations to step out on faith to follow Jesus' commands concerning the poor and hungry. These resources can be used in September or anytime during the year.
The resources include scripture readings related to hunger, poverty and justice; sample sermons; prayers; a prayer calendar; litany; dramatic reading; bulletin insert; “feed my sheep” art; U.S. and world hunger fact sheets; and steps to fight hunger.
All of these resources are available for free download at www.endhunger.org/hunger_action-month.htm or by contacting the Rev. Jennifer Vestal Moore at the Society of St. Andrew at 800-333-4597 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leadership Institute early bird deadline Sept. 10
The early bird deadline for Leadership Institute 2010, Oct. 7-8, is fast approaching. To get the best rate, you must register by Sept. 10.
Registrations are outpacing last year’s numbers significantly, so register as soon as possible because the limited number of spaces allocated to each workshop is available on a first-come basis.
“Preparing for a Future with Hope” will be the theme for this year’s event. More information and online registration is available at www.cor.org/li2010.
Event planned to lure back former churchgoers, Sept. 12
United Methodist congregations have been invited to participate in Back to Church Sunday Sept. 12. Participating churches agree to send out invitations and hold special services to welcome back people who once attended church but not recently.
Outreach Inc., a California-based church marketing company that supports the initiative, found last year's participating churches increased their weekend attendance on average by 19 percent.
Resources for planning Back to Church Sunday are available at www.backtochurch.com.
Tallgrass Retreat Center, September
The following retreats will be offered during September at the Tallgrass Spiritual Retreat Center near Matfield Green:
- Body and Soul, Sept.10-12, $150
- Sensing the Sacred, Sept. 14, $40
- 10 Billion Beats, Sept.17, free-will offering
- Quiet Day Away, Sept. 20, $15
- Praying on the Prairie, Sept. 28, $40
More information is available online at www.tallgrassretreats.com, or call the center at 620-753-3465.
Upcoming events at Saint Paul School of Theology, September
The 52nd Opening Convocation will feature Saint Paul School of Theology President Myron F. McCoy speaking on “Deep River to Cross Over” based on Joshua 3:7-17. The convocation will be Sept. 7 at 11 a.m. in Kresge Chapel, 5123 E. Truman Road, Kansas City, Mo.
One God, One Day, One Love, an event for high school youth, will be Sept. 18 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. This will be a day for all freshmen through seniors to come to worship, learn and serve with youTheology. The fee will be $5 for preregistrated or $7 for registration at event. Registration includes lunch. Details are available on the youTheology Web site at http://www.youtheology.com/SiteResources/Data/Templates/t2.asp?docid=670&DocName=One%20God,%20One%20Day,%20One%20Love.
Laity School of Theology’s Revelation: Unraveling the Mystery will be Sept. 18 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with Dr. David May, professor of New Testament at Central Baptist Theological Seminary. The cost is $50, lunch included. Details at www.spst.edu/laity.
The Oleta Adams Benefit for youTheology Concert will be Sept. 25 at 6 p.m. at St. James UMC, 5540 Wayne, Kansas City, Mo. Admission is $25. Get more information at http://www.youtheology.com/SiteResources/Data/Templates/ContentLayout007.asp?docid=665&DocName=Oleta%20Adams%20youTheology%20Fundraiser.
The movie, “Papers: Stories of Undocumented Youth,” will be shown Sept. 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the Dunlap Dining Hall at Holter Center, 5123 E. Truman Road, Kansas City, Mo. The movie highlights the stories of undocumented youth and the challenges they face as they turn 18 without legal status. The screening is free and open to the public and will be followed by a panel discussion. For details about the film go to www.papersthemovie.com.
Donors respond slowly to Pakistan floods
The outpouring of donations following the Jan. 12 earthquake that rocked Haiti is not being repeated for the people of Pakistan fighting for survival in the wake of massive floods.
The United Nations blames donor fatigue and the fact the magnitude of the humanitarian crisis is unfolding slowly. Yet, a massive financial response is necessary because the devastation is many times worse, said David Sadoo, an executive with the United Methodist Committee on Relief.
Donations needed to help Pakistan flood survivors
Resources to bring attention to the need in Pakistan, including bulletin insert and a poster, are available for downloading at http://new.gbgm-umc.org/umcor/getconnected/resources/cbi/archives2010/?C=6526&i=35593.
Donations to support the work of UMCOR partners in Pakistan can be made through Pakistan Flash Floods UMCOR Advance #982450 online at http://secure.gbgm-umc.org/donations/umcor/donate.cfm?code=982450&id=3019041.
GBHEM announces online consortium with 13 UM theological schools
The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry has introduced the Online Continuing Education Consortium in collaboration with the 13 United Methodist Theological Schools.
The goal to provide theologically sound, financially affordable and easily accessible continuing education programs to clergy and lay Christians around the world so they may grow in their theological understanding and leadership skills.
These non-academic credit courses are designed by the providing theological school, which handles registrations and payment. The cost of the courses will vary.
Access the online consortium catalogue at for more information.
Visit the conference Web site at http://www.kansaseast.org for more news and events.