This newsletter was sent on: 3/13/2008

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Kansas East Conference
4201 SW 15th Street
Topeka KS 66604

#228 - March 12, 2008

This Sunday is Palm Sunday. Despite the tragedy and trouble that life sometimes brings, Bishop Scott Jones sends a message about the hope that is inherent in the Easter season in a video now available on the conference website,

We?re now offering videos in QuickTime as well as Windows Media and a high-quality mpeg format.

Please note, when you click on a link for an mpeg file, you should be prompted to download it rather than to view it online. If you are not prompted to download it, please right click and ?save target as? or ?save link as? to download the file.

Lisa Elliott Diehl
Kansas Area Marketing and Communications director


Bridges to the Future update
Pledges are now at $2,802,751, which means the conference has reached and now surpassed the halfway mark toward the $5.3 million dollars for the Bridges to the Future Campaign! This is cause for excitement! Last week, pledges were received from Olathe Grace, Pittsburg First, Lawrence First, Wetmore, Emmett, Weir and Cottonwood Falls. Each of these churches gave their suggested tithe pledge or higher and have put the total over the halfway mark. Pledge cards continue to come into the campaign office on a daily basis.

Time line for the Bridges campaign for churches:

  • Presentations completed by March 30
  • Pledge cards returned to the campaign office by April 30

If you have concerns about your church fitting into this timeline, please call the campaign office at 913-393-4201 or e-mail

Devotional guide for General Conference
United Methodists are invited and encouraged to be in prayer for the nearly 1,000 delegates who will be attending General Conference April 23 - May 2 in Fort Worth, Texas. A free devotional guide, ?A Future with Hope,? is available for download from

Merit scholarship deadline
Kansas East Conference merit scholarship applications for United Methodist students attending a United Methodist-related college or university must be received at the conference office by April 1.

The nomination form is available to download at

The application form can be downloaded at

?Give Ye Them to Eat? sends thanks
A portion of the cash received at the Bishop's Round-Up for Hunger last November was sent to support the mission in Mexico, "Give Ye Them to Eat." This ministry sent a thank you to the conference for its gift. The missionaries, Terry and Muriel Henderson, took part in February?s Global Mission Experience.

Check out the GME 2008 video at

Learn more about the ministry at

The 2008 Bishop?s Round-up for Hunger will be Nov. 15 at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.

Free media tools
Eight packages of media resources from Igniting Ministry are available free from the Kansas East Conference Office. The packages - Prayer, The Journey, Faith and The Gift - feature the four commercials used in the 2005-2008 quadrennium for Igniting Ministry advertising with small group activities and materials that can be used to bring the ministries of hospitality and invitation to small groups within the church for study and prayer. The kits are free on a first come, first serve basis.

For more information on the kit contents, visit

Get $5 sent to your favorite Kansas UM agency or institution
The United Methodist Health Ministry Fund is interested in your opinion of current Healthy Congregations programs sponsored by the Health Ministry Fund and is willing to pay for it.

In appreciation for completing a short survey, the Health Fund will make a $5 donation to a Kansas United Methodist agency you select from the list at the end of the survey. The brief, online survey is available at

Free financial planning available
Free financial planning from Ernst & Young Financial Planning Services is available to eligible General Board of Pension plan participants. The service is offered to active pension plan participants, surviving spouses and terminated and retired participants with an account balance of at least $10,000.

Eligible participants now have unlimited phone time with Ernst & Young consultants and are encouraged to access this, which may be terminated if enough participants do not utilize it.

Ernst & Young?s service can help eligible participants determine how to minimize their tax liabilities, whether to pay off debt, how to save for retirement and whether it?s better to rent or buy a home. Clergy may find out if they should pay off a mortgage or if the housing tax exclusion makes other options attractive for them.

Participants may call Ernst & Young at 800-360-2539 between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Central Time, Monday through Friday.

Thinking about a new hymnal - What do we want?
The General Board of Discipleship has recommended to General Conference a new official hymnal for United Methodists in the USA following the completion of a four-year music and worship study. The full report is available at General Conference will consider the proposal when it meets April 23-May 2 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Dean McIntyre reflects on this process in his latest Music Musings available at,823. This article is the first of a series on this topic.

Featured Events

Sermon planning retreat
Kansas East clergy are invited to attend a self-directed, sermon-planning session March 26-28 at Mount St. Scholastica Monastery in Atchison. There will be opportunities to share ideas, pray and relax together and to discern future preaching texts.

Get more information at

Spiritual Spendover registration deadline extended
Spiritual Spendover is an overnight opportunity for mid-high youth from all over the Kansas East Conference to join together for spiritual learning and fun. This year?s event is April 4-5 at First UMC in Manhattan.

The registration deadline has been extended to March 17.

For a registration form and Health Waiver, go to

United Methodist Men spiritual rally
Registrations are due April 5 for the Kansas East-West and Missouri United Methodist Men Spiritual Rally, which will be April 19 in Lawrence. Joe Kelley, president of the South Central Jurisdiction United Methodist men, will be the speaker, and David Lomond?s Gospel Show from Branson, Mo., will perform.

For more information, visit

Learn more about David Lomond?s Gospel Show at

Native American Ministries Sunday
April 6 is Native American Ministries Sunday. Money collected for this special offering is used to provide scholarships to Native American students attending college and to support ministries with Native Americans.

For more information, visit

K-State Wesley Open House
Join K-State Wesley campus ministry for their version of K-State?s Open House. Potential students and their parents, alumni and football fans in town for the spring football game are invited to stop by the K-State Wesley House April 19 to hear about the ministry, and share a cup of coffee. Breakfast will be provided from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., and beverages and snacks will be available during the rest of the day. K-State Wesley will also have a table set up in the Student Union as a part of K-State?s organization fair.

For more information, go to

?Create Your Future Today? clergy retirement seminar
The Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits is sponsoring a seminar focusing on financial planning for clergy from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 13 at Lowman United Methodist Church, 4000 Drury Lane (15th and Gage) in Topeka. A representative from GBOPHB will be present to answer questions about health benefits and pension plans. Someone also will be present to answer questions about Social Security benefits, financial planning and health education.

A registration form is available at

Student Forum 2008
The United Methodist Student Movement?s annual Student Forum 2008 will be May 22-25 at American University, a United Methodist-related university in Washington, D.C. The theme is ?Be the Change: The Fruit of Love.?

The registration deadline is April 18.

To register for the event, go to

Event Calendar

Visit the Conference Calendar for additional information and events not listed below.

March 2008

VIM team leader training/disaster response orientation
March 15

Work Day at Camp Chippewa
March 15

Safe and Sacred Spaces Training - Council Grove UMC
March 25

Christian Educators Family Reunion
March 27-28

Lay speaking seminar
March 28-29

Safe and Sacred Spaces Worker Training - Topeka
March 29

April 2008

Spiritual Spendover
April 4-5

Passing on the Faith: Dwelling Together as Strangers, Hosts and Guests
April 5

Dinner theater evening
April 5

Native American Ministries Sunday with offering
April 6

The Emergent Church for the Existing Church Conference
April 8-10

Healthy Congregations Retreat
April 11-12

Faithfully Fit Forever leader training
April 12

Local church historians' workshop
April 12

Safe and Sacred Spaces Worker Training - Leawood
April 12

Sexual Ethics Quadrennial Update
April 12

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