This newsletter was sent on: 4/8/2009

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Kansas East Conference
4201 SW 15th Street
Topeka KS 66604

Communique 280 - April 8, 2009

From Rev. Gary Beach, director of Connectional Ministries:

The staff of the Kansas East Conference wishes you a blessed Holy Week and Easter! We pray that as you walk with Jesus through these significant events in his life that you will find greater meaning and purpose for your own life and faith.


Survey reveals misunderstanding of deacon’s role
Deacons believe they are accepted and valued but misunderstood, according to a survey of deacons, diaconal ministers and those certified in specialized ministry in the United Methodist Church.

Results of the survey were reported during a Division of Ordained Ministry session at the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s spring meeting. The presentation focused on demographics, appointments, salary level and job satisfaction of deacons – ordained, commissioned and candidates.


First sites for United Methodist pilot poverty ministry chosen
Three counties in North Carolina are the focal points of a new United Methodist Church pilot ministry to eliminate poverty. They will become training stations for the denomination in the United States.

The initiative is aimed at bringing out of poverty those whose families have been poor for at least two generations. The pilot goal is 75 families over a two-year period.

"This is the first of five global models for dealing with poverty that are part of our Ministry with the Poor priority," said Rachel Lieder Simeon, interim deputy general secretary and executive responsible for the Ministry with the Poor task force at Global Ministries. "We expect that the pilot in North Carolina will inform our work across the US and in other parts of the world."


Committee on Faith and Order meets for first time
The Inaugural Meeting of the United Methodist Church Committee on Faith and Order met in Arlington, Va., March 26-27. This committee was formed through legislation at the 2008 General Conference. Its purpose is to "give leadership to the United Methodist Church in reflecting upon, discerning and living out matters of faith, doctrinal teaching, order, and discipline in the midst of mission and ministry in the church and the world."

Kansas East deacon Rev. Rena Yocom is a member of the committee.

Learn more at

Feeding the hungry
Kitty Roberts knows from personal experience that without monthly boxes of Angel Food, some Emporians would go hungry.

Roberts organizes the Angel Food Ministry team at Grace United Methodist Church. The church and other churches in the area participate.

Read more about this ministry at

College Avenue UMC to celebrate 50 years of ministry
College Avenue UMC in Manhattan will celebrate its 50th anniversary April 25-26.

The church began as a campus ministry that was then supported as a new church development effort by the EUB conference. The congregation now supports campus ministry at K-State University and at Connections, a new United Methodist church begun this past year by the Kansas East Conference to serve the growing population due to the expansion of Ft. Riley. The congregation describes itself as, “A mission church that has become a church in mission.”

Several members of the original EUB college student group that began the congregation will be present to share stories of their early involvement. Former pastors Kelly Bender and Nancy Gammill also will be present at the celebration. A catered dinner will follow at 6 p.m. A presentation of the history of the church will begin at 7 p.m. The evening will conclude with a reception at 8 p.m.

On Sunday morning, the day will begin with breakfast in Fellowship Hall beginning at 8:45 a.m. Sunday school will be at 9:15 a.m. followed by the 10:30 a.m. service of worship that will feature Bender preaching. A covered dish dinner will follow the service. Out-of-town visitors will be considered guests and need not bring food to share. A fellowship time will follow the dinner.

To assist in the planning for the catered dinner on Saturday evening, the church needs to know the how many people will be attending. To add your name to the reservation list, e-mail by April 15.

Classified ads online
Classified ads are posted on the conference website, including:

  • Student leaders, Pittsburg State University UM campus ministry

See all the current classifieds in the News & Events section at

Featured events

Rural Life Sunday
All United Methodist churches are encouraged to observe a "Rural Life Sunday." In the Kansas East Conference, a Sunday in April is suggested.

Resources to assist with worship planning are provided at

For additional information, contact Ron Williams, Kansas Area United Methodist Rural Fellowship, at

Professor Levine presentation, April 24
Professor Amy-Jill Levine will speak on “How to Avoid Bearing False Witness or I Didn’t Mean to Sound Like a Bigot” April 24 at Community Christian Church, 4601 Main Str. in Kansas City, Mo.

Levine is the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies at Vanderbilt University’s Divinity School and author of “The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus.”

The schedule will be:

8:30-9 a.m. - registration and breakfast
9 a.m. - welcome and Introduction
9:15-11:45 a.m. - presentation by Amy-Jill Levine (there will be a break around 10:15)
11:45 a.m. - wrap-up and conclusion

Levine has offered to respond to any questions that are submitted in advance. You can send them to Rabbi Alan L. Cohen at, and he will forward them to her.

There is no charge for the event, but people who would like to attend should contact Rabbi Alan L. Cohen at or 913-327-8128 by April 17.

In addition, Levine will teach on Friday evening and Saturday, April 24-25, at Village Presbyterian Church, 6641 Mission Road in Prairie Village, as a visiting scholar. Go to for the full schedule, costs and other information.

Self-care workshop, April 28
The United Methodist Health Ministry Fund is sponsoring a free workshop April 28 at First UMC in Independence for Kansas clergy, their spouses and church staff. The workshop is designed to provide a structured opportunity for individuals to examine their current choices within the areas of mental/emotional, physical, social and spiritual health.

Learn more about the workshop and register online at

‘Cool Congregations’ workshop, May 3
Kansas Interfaith Power and Light are sponsoring a “Cool Congregations” workshop May 3 at St. Andrew's Christian Church, 13890 W 127th St. in Olathe. The workshop

Participants will attend a series of small groups led by a trained leader to:

  • Measure their carbon footprint
  • Explore ways to reduce their footprint
  • Make a faith-based pledge to reduce their footprint
  • Invest in energy efficiency
  • Celebrate successes and build community

The registration deadline is April 17. The cost to attend is $10 per person or $25 for a team of three people from the same church.

Get more information about the workshop at

Find out more about Kansas Interfaith Power and Light at

Retirement planning seminar, May 5
The annual career and retirement planning seminar will be May 5 at Lowman UMC, 4000 Drury Lane in Topeka. All active clergy are encouraged to attend.

There is no cost to attend, and lunch will be provided. The registration deadline is April 13.

Get more information at

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