This newsletter was sent on: 2/4/2009

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Kansas East Conference
4201 SW 15th Street
Topeka KS 66604

Communique 271 - Feb. 4, 2009

From Bishop Scott Jones, president of the Kansas East Conference:

No special session on Feb. 14
There will be no special session of the Kansas East Conference in February. After the review of the mail ballots submitted by members of the annual conference, I have been advised that the vote count is as follows:

Total votes: 523
Approval of mail ballot process: 93.7 percent
Against mail ballot process: 6.3 percent

In favor of capping apportionments and using growth grant funds: 95.0 percent
Opposed to capping apportionments and using growth grant funds: 5.0 percent

Thus, I am declaring that the mail ballot was valid and that the proposal from the Council on Finance and Administration is approved.

I have been advised by the secretary of the annual conference that the number of votes received far exceeds the number of votes cast in any written ballot during the 2008 session of Annual Conference. In some ways I would have been happy to have seen all the members of conference on Feb. 14, but this means we may spend the day in other ways without the time and expense of addressing these issues in that way. Thank you for participating in this process.


In Step with Bishop Jones: Environmental care is Christian action
Christians should be leading the way in environmental awareness.

Four different events have conspired to show the way forward on caring for our environment in ways that make a difference.


New Healthy Congregations programs grants deadline is March 1
For 12 years, the Health Fund has supported health ministries through Healthy Congregations grants, annual retreats, and a recognition program.

The new Healthy Congregations programs offer three participation options, including $100 or $1,000 grants, to fit churches at different stages of health ministry development and commitment.

Find out more at or call 620-662-8586.

New service scholarship offered at Simpson for UM students
Simpson College, a liberal arts college in Indianola, Iowa, is now offering a new grant for United Methodist students.

The United Methodist Service to Community Grant ranges from $12,000 to $15,000. In return, students will perform 10-15 hours of service a week.

The new grant is an opportunity for incoming first-year or transfer students who are already involved in service or are interested in becoming involved in the community.

Get more information at

New leadership book available from Upper Room
A new book is available from Upper Room Ministries to help conference and church leaders in leadership development and job descriptions. "Job Descriptions and Leadership Training in the United Methodist Church, 2009-2012: A Leader Development Guide," by Betsey Heavner explores biblical roots and dimensions of leader development and includes new thinking based on field research in a variety of settings. Each job description in the book includes information on responsibilities, expected results, helpful spiritual gifts and qualifications, getting started, and resources.

For more information or to order, go to or call 800-972-0433.

UM agency announces 2009 legislative priorities
The United Methodist General Board of Church & Society (GBCS) has set its legislative priorities for the 111th Congress. The six priorities address issues as sweeping as overcoming global poverty to as specific as increasing spending for international family planning. Systemic reform, however, stands out as the lynchpin holding all of the priorities together.

The six legislative priorities for 2009 are reform of the U.S. health-care system; just, humane immigration reform; strengthening the social safety net; investing in a “green-energy” future; overcoming global poverty; and increasing levels of U.S. spending for international family planning.


Education scholarships available from GBHEM
The scholarships office at the General Board of Higher Education & Ministry is now accepting online applications for scholarships. In 2009 the Scholarships Office awarded more than $4.5 million to 3,200 plus students. A record number of applicants is expected this year, and students are strongly encouraged to complete the application process early, rather than waiting until the deadline date.

Go to to complete an application online.

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

Accompanist, Bristol Hill UMC in Kansas City

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

Featured events

Good $ense Budget Course trainings
As a part of the Kansas Area’s response to the current economic situation all clergy are invited, and strongly encouraged, to attend one of the six Good $ense workshops. Some of you have already participated in one of these and even have introduced the program in your congregation. But if you haven’t we want to encourage you to attend for two different reasons.

1) Many of us as clergy have been struggling with debt or with making ends meet even in a good economic climate, many more are struggling today. Here is an opportunity to learn how we can better manage the resources God has provided for us.

2) Even if your financial “house” is in order, we suspect that many of your church members and certainly others in the community around your church are not. We want clergy to be exposed to this program so that you might enthusiastically take it back into your church as a ministry option that could serve well the needs of many who are struggling.

Three one-day workshops, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., are scheduled in the Kansas East Conference:

Feb. 13 at Valley View UMC, 8412 W. 95th St. in Overland Park, registration deadline: Feb. 6

March 21 at Chanute First UMC, 202 S. Lincoln Ave., registration deadline: March 13

April 18 at Topeka First UMC, 600 S.W. Topeka Blvd., registration deadline: April 10

Continental breakfast, lunch and childcare are provided at no cost.

To register online for a workshop or to download a brochure, click on the link from the above calendar listing, or call the Kansas Area United Methodist Foundation toll-free at 888-453-8405.

Episcopal area reduction listening event, Feb. 21
The South Central Jurisdiction is part of a mandate from the 2008 General Conference to reduce the number of bishops in the jurisdiction by one. To accomplish this, the South Central Jurisdiction must restructure the areas its bishops serve. This could include combining two or more conferences or redrawing the boundaries between conferences.

Events are being held throughout the jurisdiction for Kansas United Methodists to share their views and concerns on this process. The Kansas East event will be Feb. 21 from 10 a.m. to noon at First UMC in Topeka.

For more information, go to

Faith-sharing event, Feb. 28
The Kansas East Conference and Kansas City District boards of Discipleship and UMMKCK are hosting an event on faith-sharing at Lowman UMC Feb. 28 in Topeka. Dr. H. Eddie Fox and Dr. George E. Morris from the World Methodist Council will present on the topic of Evangelism. Registration for the event is $20 for adults, and $5 for children 12 and under. The deadline to register is Feb. 14.

To learn more about the event and Drs. Fox and Morris, download a brochure at

Confirmation Retreat at Camp Chippewa, March 7-8
The Confirmation Retreat and Spiritual Spendover at Camp Chippewa will be March 7-8. Just as people in the outdoors use a compass to find their way home, Christians need to discover their "true north" in order to find their way through life's maze. This year’s retreat will center around compass activities to help youth find ways to use their Christian faith in living what they believe.

Read more about the event and register at

Small Church Leadership Institute, March 9-13
The Kansas Area Revitalization Task Force is co-sponsor of a special event March 9-13 at Mount Sequoyah Retreat Center in Fayetteville, Ark. The focus of the event is equipping laity and pastors of small churches with the knowledge and skills for leading their church into the future.

To encourage participation, the Kansas Area Task Force is $200 scholarships to each to the first five people in each conference who apply for them. Each of the five scholarships must go to individuals from different congregations.

To apply for a scholarship, contact Gary Beach, director of Connectional Ministries, at or 877-972-9111.

For more information and registration on the leadership event, go to the list of events at or call 800-760-8126.

Church Leadership & Effective Management Conference, March 24-27
Leadership Nexus will host a church leadership conference March 24-27 in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The event will feature national speakers, including Bishop Robert Schnase, author of “Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations.” There also will be workshops, panel discussions and visits to area churches and ministries. This event will earn 2.6 CEU credits.

Get more information at, or call 918-477-7549.

The 'Source, May 29-30
Young People's Ministries will host a series of leadership development workshops called The 'Source in each jurisdiction during 2009. “Spiritual Formation” is the theme for the events. The Source targets church leaders who work with youth and young adults.

The cost will be $59, which includes lunch, snacks, handouts and materials.

The two South Central Jurisdiction events will be May 29-30 at Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Mo., and Dec. 11-12 at Munholland UMC in Metairie (New Orleans), La.

The events begin on Friday at 6 p.m. and end Saturday evening at 5:30 p.m.

For more information and registration, go to or call Blake Thornell toll-free at 877-899-2780 ext. 1780.

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