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Communique 224 - Feb. 14, 2008 This newsletter was sent on: 2/14/2008

The Communique
News of the Kansas East Conference # 224 - February 14, 2008

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Kansas East Conference
4201 SW 15th Street
Topeka KS 66604

In this issue:

  • Global Mission Experience - Last chance to register
  • Conference pays 99% of World Service apportionment
  • 2008 budget brochures available
  • Healthy Congregations Recognitions due March 1
  • Cokesbury store celebrates grand opening
  • Lewis Fellows Program Continues in 2008
  • Apply for a Lilly Clergy Renewal Grant
  • Four receive Healthy Congregations Grants
  • Healthy Congregations Grants available to Kansas churches
  • Black History Month - “There Is a Balm in Gilead”
  • Maximizing DISCIPLE in Your Church online course
  • How to Provide Your Workshop Online
  • Major League Disciple Making online course
  • Health Advocacy Day planned March 12
  • Emerging Church for the Existing Church event April 8-10
  • Healthy Congregations Retreat April 11-12
  • Effective Communication with Little or No Money online course
  • Tallgrass Retreat Center offers 2008 experiences

Dear Friends of the Kansas East Annual Conference:

The Global Mission Experience is an event put on by the conference Board of Global Ministries every four years and with each event participation and excitement has grown. I suspect all of us want to make a difference in our world and we want our church to make a difference too. At the Global Mission Experience you will meet mission leaders from around the world and persons from our conference who lead us into missions that make just that difference that we all desire. See how your mission dollars are at work changing lives. See how you can give, not only of your dollars, but your time, talent, and energy too.

Our caterer has graciously extended their deadline for lunch reservations to this Friday evening. But this absolutely must be the final cut-off if you want to have lunch on-site that day. You may still register after that time but you will need to eat lunch out rather than at the church. We will accept walk-in registrations that morning but because it will include making workshop choices it will be a time consuming process so please register in advance. In addition we will only be able to guarantee workshop choices for those registering in advance. By that Saturday morning we will have closed some workshops due to space limitations. So help us by registering in advance. See the article below and links it contains to the brochure about the event that includes a registration form or a link to a place where you may register online paying your fee with a credit card.

Gary Beach, director of Connectional Ministries

General News

Global Mission Experience: Honduras missions to be featured

At the Global Mission Experience scheduled for Saturday, February 23 at the Countryside UMC in Topeka you will have the opportunity to attend a workshop on our mission to Honduras. This mission encompasses both medical work and construction efforts and workshop leaders will address both. Leaders include: Betse Gage, M.D. and Rebecca Traub, R.N. both of whom are Medical Mission Team Leaders of Healing Hands Ministry and Norm Kolb, Construction Mission Team Leader. Hear what others are doing on our behalf and discover how you might become involved with financial support or serving as a volunteer yourself.

Register online HERE.

Conference pays 99% of World Service apportionment

The Council on Finance and Administration voted Tuesday to use $115,000 in excess reserves from 2007 to pay nearly all the Kansas East Conference’s World Service apportionment to the general church. The decision is based on the conference’s obligation in the Book of Discipline to pay the World Service apportionment and a 1999 decision of the Kansas East Annual Conference to use reserve over-funding to pay any deficit in the World Service Fund apportionment, said Russ Hinshaw, conference treasurer.

At the end of 2007, the conference was able to fully fund its reserve fund and reported an additional $115,000 in excess reserves, which will be used to nearly complete the conference’s World Service Fund obligation.

Learn more about the World Service Fund.

2008 Budget brochures available

The Finance and Administration Office still has about 2,500 of the 2008 budget brochures. If you would like to order some for your church, please contact Sherrie Antholtz at 877-972-9111 or Brochures are available on a first come-first served basis.

Healthy Congregations Recognitions due March 1

Healthy Congregations Recognition, a long-running program of the Health Fund, each year highlights activities Kansas United Methodist churches are doing to improve holistic health within their congregations and surrounding communities. Participating churches meeting the basic requirements of the program receive recognition and a choice of free health resource. Additionally, $1,500 Healthy Congregation of the Year awards are presented to six congregations demonstrating outstanding health and wellness ministries. Online report forms are available at and are due by March 1.

Cokesbury store celebrates grand opening

The Cokesbury Christian Store in North Regency Park, 7431 W 91st St., Overland Park, will have a three-day sale celebrating the store opening March 6-8. A 30 percent discount on entire purchases will be offered. A free gift will be given to the first 500 customers. Sale hours are 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Lewis Fellows Program Continues in 2008

The Lewis Center is currently receiving applications from young clergy persons interested in being considered for the 2008 cohorts of Lewis Fellows. The Lewis Fellows program is a post-graduate, post-ordination leadership development opportunity for young clergy - normally those under the age of 35 that have completed their ordination processes. The program is offered by the Lewis Center through a grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. Because there are many more qualified young clergy than can be accommodated in any one year, participants are selected in a manner that not only considers excellence in ministry but also promotes group diversity in terms of gender, racial/ethnic background, denominational affiliation, geography, educational experience, and theological perspective. Applications must be received by March 14, 2008. To learn more about the Lewis Fellows program or to download an application, visit

Apply for a Lilly Clergy Renewal Grant

For the past eight years, the Lilly Endowment Inc., has provided grants through its National Clergy Renewal Program to more than 1,000 congregations to support extended times of Sabbath rest and renewal for pastors and their families. The Endowment is now receiving applications for the 2008 program. Congregations may request up to a total of $45,000. Of that amount, up to $15,000 may be used for congregational expenses associated with the renewal program; the remainder may be used for the pastor's program expenses. A brochure and application are available at or by calling 317-916-7302. Applications must be postmarked by May 14, 2008.

Four receive Healthy Congregations Grants

Four Kansas United Methodist churches - Hutchinson First UMC, Kirwin UMC, Axtell UMC, and Kechi UMC -- have been awarded grants to establish or expand health and wellness programs serving the congregations and communities. Over $200,000 has been awarded through the Healthy Congregations Grants program since its beginning.

Learn more at

Healthy Congregations Grants available to Kansas churches

The Health Fund offers one-time grants of up to $5,000 to Kansas United Methodist churches to stimulate development of comprehensive health and wellness ministries. Healthy Congregations Grants projects emphasize wellness, prevention, volunteer caregiving, social support, and congregational health education and awareness.

Learn more at

Black History Month - “There Is a Balm in Gilead”

A balm is something that heals, soothes, or comforts. This Spiritual is among the best known and loved among American congregations. It appears in most of our hymnals and songbooks, including The United Methodist Hymnal (1989), Mil Voces Para Celebrar (Spanish United Methodist Hymnal), Come, Let Us Worship (Korean-English Bilingual United Methodist Hymnal), Songs of Zion, and Zion Still Sings in a variety of settings. It is often included in concert and recital programs and in numerous choral arrangements and recordings.

Here are three very different versions:

Read more Music Musings online HERE.

Upcoming Events:

Maximizing DISCIPLE in Your Church online course

This online workshop is intended for pastors and lay persons who already facilitate, or would like to facilitate, DISCIPLE Bible Study in their home church. The intent of the workshop is to assist currently trained facilitators and potential facilitators in the growth and use of the DISCIPLE program within their church. The course will be offered from February 18-March 3 at the cost of $100 which includes required texts and shipping. There is a class participant minimum set at 10 people. There are some places left, but please enroll quickly in order to receive texts in the mail on time.

Click here for more information or to register online.

How to Provide Your Workshop Online

Have a workshop idea that might transfer easily into an online format, so that it might be offered outside of your local area? The "How to Provide Your Workshop Online" course is a two-week online workshop designed to teach workshop providers about the use of Blackboard software and how to build an online workshop community. Upon successful completion of the course, participants will be certified to provide online workshops with the Institute for Discipleship at Southwestern College. The workshop will be offered online March 3-14.

To register or for more information visit

Major League Disciple Making online course

Offered by Dr. David Kueker, this online course course is a guided tour that will acquaint you with the best authors, books and Internet resources that explore this evangelistic phenomenon. Most United Methodist leaders will have never heard of these concepts, authors or churches, even though they are all inspired by John Wesley's life and early Methodist practices.

The class material will be presented in eight modules, one appearing each Monday, to allow plenty of time for reading, reflection and discussion in the following week. This course is designed to link busy pastors, faculty, seminary students and denominational leaders with the best resources in an online learning environment that adapts to their schedules and with a planned investment of three or more hours a week. It will begin March 3 and run through May 5.

For more information or to register online, click here.

Health Advocacy Day scheduled March 12

The Kansas Faith Alliance for Health Reform, Kansas Health Consumer Coalition, and Kansas Action for Children invite you to save the date for Health Advocacy Day, March 12 in Topeka. Persons interested in participating may contact Kansas Action for Children for more information or visit

Emerging Church for the Existing Church event April 8-10

The Emerging Church for the Existing Church conference will be held April 8-10 in Denver, Colo. Attendees will learn about reaching more people for Jesus Christ in the so-called postmodern world. Top writers and speakers will be present including Doug Padgitt, Dan Kimball, Tony Jones, Karen Sloan, Bob Whitesel, Lilly Lewin, and Janet Forbes. For more information and to register, visit

Healthy Congregations Retreat April 11-12

The 2008 Healthy Congregations Annual Retreat for United Methodists will be held April 11-12 at Rock Springs 4-H Center. Register online today and look forward to enjoying two days of relaxation, interesting and informational sessions, and networking with friends and peers in a beautiful and peaceful natural setting.

The event brings together United Methodists with shared interests in congregational health ministries and the promotion of holistic health and healthy lifestyles. The retreat features a variety of sessions covering the spiritual, mental, physical, and social components of health. Additional event information and online registration are available at

Effective Communication with Little or No Money online course

Effective communication is not a goal. Effective communication is a tool a church may use to reach a specific goal -- such as Making Disciples for Christ!

This two-week online workshop, led by seasoned communications director Scharmel Roussel, will provide the BASICS of communication outreach for a church with little or no money to spend. It will begin April 28 and run through May 9. The cost for the workshop is $100. CEUs are available.

For more information or to register visit the Be A Disciple website.

Tallgrass Retreat Center offers 2008 experiences

The 2008 retreat schedule is now posted on the Tallgrass Retreat Center website. Visit for information on experiences planned this year including the Lenten retreat series.

February 2008

Global Mission Experience registration deadline
Feb. 15

Comedy murder mystery fund-raiser
Feb. 15

Faithfully Fit Forever Leader Training
Feb. 16

Signs of Life Retreat
Feb. 22-23

Global Mission Experience
Feb. 23

Safe and Sacred Spaces Worker Training in Wellsville
Feb. 23

Safe and Sacred Spaces Worker Training in Caney
Feb. 23

Safe and Sacred Spaces Worker Training in Topeka
Feb. 24

March 2008

Disaster Response Training
March 1

Safe and Sacred Spaces Worker Training in Leawood
March 1

Social Principles Workshop
March 1

One Great Hour of Sharing
March 2

Sexual Ethics Quadrennial Training Update in Wichita
March 4

Sexual Ethics Quadrennial Training Update in Chanute
March 6

2008 Confirmation Retreat
March 8-9

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