This newsletter was sent on: 4/15/2009

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Communique 281 - April 15, 2009


Baker and Emporia State students retrace the civil rights movement
Students affiliated with the United Methodist campus ministries at Emporia State University and Baker University in east Kansas spent spring break tracing the Civil Rights struggle of the 1950s and 1960s. From Atlanta, where Martin Luther King, Jr. first became a public figure to Central High School in Little Rock, where forced desegregation began, and at various landmarks along the way, the students were engrossed by countless stories of heroism and horror.

They saw where four girls were killed by a bomb at the 16th Avenue Church in Birmingham. In Montgomery, they visited Dr. King’s home and his Dexter Avenue Church, headquarters of the Montgomery bus boycott that sparked the civil rights movement after Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat.


To view the related video, visit

UMs encouraged to ‘share the faith’
Evangelism was God’s idea. All need it, and Jesus told us to do it. That’s why Methodists should be sharing their faith, participants were told at the “Sharing Our Faith” event Feb. 28 at Lowman United Methodist Church in Topeka.

The event was led by H. Eddie Fox, world director of evangelism for the World Methodist Council, and George E. Morris, Hankey Senior Professor of World Methodist Evangelism. The event was sponsored by the Kansas East Commission on Discipleship, the Kansas City District Commission on Discipleship and the United Methodist Men of Kansas City Kansas.


UMCOR birthing kits needed
Joe and Pastor Shirley Edgerton, General Board of Global Ministries long-term volunteers in La Gonave, Haiti, would like to encourage members of the Kansas East Conference to make kits available for VIM teams now and for the Bishop’s Round-up for Hunger event in November.

On the island of Lagonav, Haiti, less than 10 percent of births are attended by a midwife or nurse; many mothers are younger than 17; and one out of 17 mothers die from blood loss or eclamptia, exhaustion and exposure. If the mother dies, generally the baby dies also.

The birthing kit, a recent item from UMCOR, provides all the necessary clean items needed to care for the infant at birth. These items are generally not available in remote settings.

The simple kit, contained in a gallon-size, zip-lock bag can be given to the pregnant woman to have available in her home, where 99 percent of births take place on rags on the floor.

The kits can be made available to midwives and provide a “training moment.” Some of the more experienced community midwives ask at clinics for gloves and antiseptic solutions.

There are many other countries just like Haiti, where the majority of births are unattended or perhaps only have a neighbor or grandma to coach and catch the baby.

To help Haiti mothers, kits can be assembled and sent to Central UMC, 1501 Massachusetts, Lawrence KS 66004. Contents of the birth kit are available at

Early registration for NAUMF Summer Stewardship Gathering approaching
The National Association of United Methodist Foundations’ fourth annual Summer Stewardship Gathering will be June 23-25, 2009, at Alamo Heights UMC in San Antonio. The gathering will feature outstanding presenters and resources specifically for stewardship ministry, including insights into helping leaders to be joyful, faithful stewards in these tough economic times.

A brochure outlining the event schedule along with a separate registration form can be found on the Kansas Area UM Foundation’s website at “Early bird” registration forms must be received by Thursday, April 30. Regular registrations will be received until Monday, June 1. A special one-day registration fee is also available.

Kansas PAUMCS members gain insight on church safety
The Kansas Professional Association of United Methodist Secretaries met on March 10at Trinity United Methodist Church in Salina, Kansas, for their semi-annual meeting and to learn more about church safety. At the event, secretaries learned several ways to keep themselves and their churches safe from intruders. Church secretaries are sometimes the only one in a church building during normal hours. Attendees also discussed the need for every church to have a policy about what kind of help they can give to people who come in off of the street.

PAUMCS provides continuing education and a supportive professional network. Those interested in PAUMCS membership can visit

Featured Events

Saint Paul Laity School of Theology seminar, April 18
The Saint Paul Laity School of Theology is hosting “Growing Closer to God: Some Advice from John Wesley” on Saturday, April 18, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The seminar will take place at Saint Paul School of Theology, Kansas City Campus, and will be led by Dr. Hal Knight, Professor of Wesleyan Studies at Saint Paul.
Attendees will examine Wesley's spiritual struggles, teaching and practices as he finds himself leading a movement for spiritual renewal to discover resources to aid their own growth in love and faithfulness.
Cost for the event is $35.

To register on-line go to or call Audrey Williams at 816 245-4815.

Soup-Salad-Sunday for Scholarships at camp Chippewa, April 19
Camp Chippewa will be hosting the first annual Soup-Salad-Sunday for camp scholarships.
All donations raised through the event will go towards the camp scholarship fund. The Richter Ramblers will be there to provide entertainment, and items will be available for a silent auction.

For more information visit the event description on the conference calendar at

Two online workshops from The Institute for Discipleship, April 20 & May 11
“How to Become a Disciple Online Facilitator” will be April 20 through May 1 and will help train those interested in leading online DISCIPLE courses. The second workshop, “Disciple Making 101” is a seven-session course that will run May 11 through June 7.

Learn more at

Free Lecture Sponsored by Saint Paul Evangelical Society, April 22
Dr. Estrelda Alexander, Associate Professor of Theology at the Regent University School of Divinity at Virginia Beach, Virginia, will present “Navigating the Landscape: Confessions of a Black Evangelical Charismatic Feminist.” The lecture will be Wednesday, April 22, at 11 a.m. at the Kresge Chapel on the Saint Paul School of Theology Kansas City campus.

For more information contact Dr. Hal Knight,

‘Youth Ministry in an Age of IM and MySpace’ seminar, April 24-25
The Interdenominational Youth Workers Gathering will be Friday, April 24 and Saturday, April 25, at Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City. The theme for the conference is ‘Youth Ministry in an Age of IM and MySpace.’ Keynote speaker at the conference will be Dr. Peggy Kendall, Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Bethel University.

For schedule and to register, go to or call Dr. Claire Smith at 816 245-4865
Registration fee $60. CEUs are available for this conference.

World Malaria Day, April 25
World Malaria Day, April 25, is an opportunity to support Nothing But Nets, a grassroots anti-malaria effort that allows anyone, for $10, to send a life-saving bed net to a family in Africa. Bed nets protect children and their families from the bites of malaria-infected mosquitoes.

“Malaria is a crisis that is threatening many of God's children across the globe,” said Bishop Thomas Bickerton, referring to malaria’s rank as Africa’s leading killer of children under age five. “Insecticide-treated mosquito nets are the most scientifically proven way to stop its spread.”

Bickerton, chairperson of the United Methodist Church’s Global Health Initiative, joins with the people of The UMC in urging everyone to forgo a lunch out and to direct that $10 savings toward the purchase of a bed net. A $10 donation covers the cost of the bed net, its distribution and education on its use.

“We’re asking people to ‘skip a lunch, send a net, save a life,’” said Bickerton.

New downloadable resources and a link for donations are available at

Native American Awareness Sunday, April 26
Native American Awareness Sunday, April 26, recognizes and supports the contributions of Native Americans to the church and our society. The observance, approved by the 1988 General Conference, is one of six special church-wide Sunday offerings.

Funds that are collected are split, with half going to the general church and half staying in the conference. The funds collected allow the United Methodist Church to partner with existing native ministries and create programs on behalf of Native Americans. Money collected also supports seminary scholarships for United Methodist Native Americans.

Resources for observance of this Sunday are available at

For additional assistance, contact the co-chairpersons of the Committee on Native American Ministries: Rev. Julienne Judd,, or Rev. Don Anderson,

For more information, visit the Native American ministries page of at conference website at

Two webinars offered by the Alban Institute, April 30 & May 14
The Alban Institute is offering two webinars in the coming months, both led by Joy Skjegstad. The first, offered on Thursday, April 30, is “Grant Search Strategies for Churches and Nonprofits.” The second, “Starting a Nonprofit at Your Church,” will be Thursday, May 14.

For more information on either of these webinars, visit

Rethink Church trainer’s training, May 1
The Rethink Church trainer’s training will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., May 1, at Pleasant Valley UMC in Wichita. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.

For more information, visit the event detail on the conference calendar at

Rethink Church training, May 2
What if we rethink church? What would it look like? What would it feel like? What would it live like? What if we rethink church, not in terms of what it is, but what it could be?

The Rethink Church training for the Kansas Area will be from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. May 2 at Pleasant Valley UMC in Wichita. The training will offer three ways to help congregations become more actively engaged with spiritual seekers through welcoming, connecting and identifying techniques.
Registration is $40 per church plus $10 per person for lunch.

Find out more at

Faithfully Fit Forever leader training, May 2
A Faithfully Fit Forever leaders’ training session will be May 2 from 2-5:30 p.m. at Rock Springs 4-H Center near Junction City. Faithfully Fit Forever is a non-denominational faith community-based exercise, devotion and health education program that focuses on the body, mind and spirit connection.
People who want to start or lead this program at their church are encouraged to attend.

The training and materials are $50 and $10 for each additional person sharing materials.

Get more information and a registration flier at or contact Susan Harvey at 316-775-6324 or

Living Justice Seminar, June 13-17
The Living Justice Seminar Program engages young adults (ages 20-30) in exploring new directions and issues of social justice. The 2009 event will be June 13-17 in New York City. The event is organized by the General Board of Global Ministries Office of Deaconess and Home Missioner.

The focus will be “Eradicating the Diseases of Poverty: Women, Children and the Struggle for Wholeness.” Participants will focus on the health of women and children in the United States and around the world. The seminar will explore issues of maternal and infant health, the effects of Malaria and HIV/AIDS on women and children, and the impact of sustainable agriculture on the health of women and children. Participants will look at the ways women and children work collectively to improve the health and wholeness of their communities. It will include Bible study, worship, conversation, reflection and an introduction to the theme of global health.

All costs, including travel within the United States, lodging and meals, will be covered by the event organizer.

Space is limited for the event and the deadline for application is May 1. Applicants will be notified if they are accepted by May 10.

The application and reference forms can be downloaded at, or call 212-870-3850.

Visit the conference calendar at for additional events.

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