This newsletter was sent on: 10/22/2008

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Communique 259 – Oct. 22, 2008


Advent devotions with a mission emphasis
Finding Christ in the chaos of Christmas can be daunting. The Society of St. Andrew (Advance #801600) offers an Advent devotional program that will help you navigate the secular maze that envelops this holy holiday so that you and your family can find and put Christ in the center of the season.

Through the scriptures, daily devotions and prayers presented in the Society of St. Andrew’s Advent booklet, readers discover new ways to bring Christ to the center of their lives as well as reflect on and share in the work and mission of the baby in the manger, who is Emmanuel … “God with us.”

From the differing perspectives of contributing clergy and laity, this year’s theme, “Finding CHRISTmas,” focuses on ways to nourish your spirit. The program also provides an opportunity to feed your hungry neighbors, as directed by Jesus.

Find out more and get resource materials at

Got a Methodist question? Go to Archives and History website
The United Methodist Commission on Archives and History is beefing up its Web site—not only to help answer random queries, but also to provide quicker access of the denomination’s historical information to scholars, church bodies and the person in the pew.

Read more about this new service at

Mission agency reviews impact of economic crisis
While the global economic turmoil will not immediately affect operations of the mission agency of the United Methodist Church, the crisis does present new opportunities for the church to be in mission, its leaders say.

"Now is the time for the church to be the church," said Bishop Bruce Ough after his election as president of the Board of Global Ministries. He declared that those on the margins who will suffer the most "are the very people God has called us to minister to."

This year’s economic meltdown, triggered by a collapse in the housing market followed by mayhem in the investment and banking industries, dominated the headlines during the board’s annual meeting Oct. 13-17 in Stamford.

As a jittery stock market seesawed by hundreds of points each day, the financial climate was a concern for the mission agency. Continued decline in investments could "impact the board’s general operating fund significantly," according to a report delivered by Global Ministries Treasurer Roland Fernandes.

Get the full story at

Blog discusses young children issues
Melanie Gordon, director of children’s ministries for the General Board of Discipleship, has started a blog for people who care for and care about young children. It offers a variety of topics that will be useful for individuals and church communities.

The first post continues a conversation with people in children’s ministries who were looking for ideas for parents of newborns, so it is much longer than future posts.

Read the blog at

Virginia Theological Seminary Summer Collegium
Applications are being accepted for the Summer Collegium, June 24-July 1, a Lilly Endowment project in support of small congregations. Twenty-five clergy and their spouses/partners from all Christian denominations will be invited to spend nine days at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Va., focusing on Body, Mind, and Soul: Celebrating, Strengthening and Sustaining Clergy Wholeness in Small Congregations.

All expenses for the event, including travel, meals, lodging, books, pulpit supply and child care at home are paid for by the grant.

Applications must be postmarked by Dec. 15.

For more information and an application packet, go to or call Marilyn Johns at 703-461-1760.

New mission head makes poverty fight a priority
Rev. Edward Paup is convinced poverty can be eliminated.

As the new top executive of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, he expects the mission agency to provide denominational leadership toward that goal through networking with other organizations both inside and outside the church.

"We have the responsibility to work toward the kind of world where poverty can be eliminated," he said.

Learn more at

Caregiving clergy need to give self-care, too
Riding his bicycle in rural North Carolina, Rev. Chuck Cook works up a pretty good sweat as he leans into a 17-mile-an-hour breeze. At age 58, Cook works hard to be an exception in the United Methodist Church, where data from medical and disability claims indicate the church has a health problem among its U.S. clergy.

"My schedule just now allows me to focus on fitness," he says. "Generally, I think it's quite difficult for pastors to engage in regular physical activity." As a district superintendent overseeing 68 United Methodist pastors, Cook has begun facilitating Weight Watchers programs for colleagues and support groups for their physical, emotional and mental health.

Find out more at

Black gospel music and worship articles on GBOD site
Two new articles by Rev. Derrick-Lewis Noble of the Impact United Methodist Church of Port Arthur, Texas, have been posted on the General Board of Discipleship. Noble has published a number of articles concerning worship and music in the black church in a web-based magazine for the gospel music industry, “GospelFlava.”

“When in our Music God is Glorified” at
“The Ever-Changing Package” at

Featured events

Kansas Area Children in Poverty seminar cancelled
The Children in Poverty seminar that was scheduled for Oct. 25 at St. Paul’s UMC in Wichita has been cancelled.

Bishop’s Round-up for Hunger, Nov. 15
The Bishop's Round-Up for Hunger is a project of Global Ministries in the Kansas East Conference.

People are asked to collect:

Bring items to the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Lawrence on Nov. 15.

Get more information at

Worship, Preaching and Music from the Center, Jan. 15-18
The General Board of Discipleship is hosting a seminar for pastors, musicians and worship leaders Jan. 15-18 in Nashville, Tenn.

The event will feature 20 speakers and leaders from The General Board of Discipleship, The United Methodist Publishing House, Abingdon Press, The General Board of Global Ministries Global Praise Division, The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts, The Upper Room, Aldersgate Renewal Ministries, and more.

Participants will receive 1.5 CEUs.

For more information and registration, go to, or contact Jeannie Musterman toll-free at 877-899-2780 ext. 7070 or e-mail .

Certified Lay Minister courses
The Center for the Small Membership Churches is offering classes for people who want to learn more about pastoring a church.

The class schedule includes:

For more information, contact Carl Ellis at 785-827-5541 ext. 1315 or

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