This newsletter was sent on: 11/5/2008

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Topeka KS 66604

Communique 261 – Nov. 5, 2008

From Rev. Ronald Williams, vice chairperson of the Bishop's Round Up for Hunger Committee:

There is a real need for food to be given the Kansas East Conference agencies through the Bishop’s Round-up on Nov. 15. The need is becoming more and more critical. For many of our agencies, the food reserves are not there because the food goes out as soon as it comes in. It is frightening. Please do all you can to see that the food is there for those that need it.

I have been asked from time to time what are the semi-truck loads of boxes that go away from the Round-up site. They are all filled with clothing that goes to Salvation Army where they will sort the clothes and send the best to thrift stores and other purposes and even the worst will be turned into rags.

Please remember to bring food to the Bishop’s Round-up for Hunger at the Douglas Country Fairgrounds in Lawrence Nov. 15.


Bishop’s webcast to deal with faith and finances Nov. 17
A webcast by Kansas Area Bishop Scott Jones, “Faith, Fruit and Finance: Kansas United Methodism in Challenging Economic Times” will be Nov. 17 from 7 to 7:30 p.m.

Bishop Jones will speak for 20 minutes and then answering questions during the last 10 minutes. He hopes that the webcast will be a time of inspiration and information and plans to discuss the following:

  • Spiritual resources
  • United Methodist values
  • Ideas local churches can use
  • Steps being taken by the Kansas East and Kansas West conferences

To submit a question for the webcast, e-mail the question, in advance, to

You can watch the webcast by accessing the Internet with a high-speed connection from Click on the “Faith, Fruit & Finance” link.

Local churches may want to have groups of people watch the webcast together at the church to foster discussion in their congregation.

For those unable to watch the webcast live, it will be archived on the conference website later in the week under “Conference Videos” in the “Resources” section at

2008 local church audits
A new audit standard for local churches was adopted at Annual Conference, which is printed on page 339 of the 2008 Conference Journal and reads as follows:

As a minimum, every local United Methodist church shall conduct an audit (review) following the guidelines as outlined in the Local Church Audit Guide as published by the General Council on Finance and Administration. The local church audit team should read this guide and use the audit program checklist included in Addendum I of the guide. This guide book may be downloaded at

It is highly recommended that larger churches, those with budgets in excess of $500,000, should consider the benefits of having an annual audit performed by a certified public accountant (CPA) licensed by the state of Kansas to conduct independent audits. As a minimum, these larger churches shall have an independent audit performed by a CPA at least once every four years. In the intervening years, an audit (review) using the Local Church Audit Guide is sufficient.

Finally, the largest local churches, with budgets greater than $1,000,000 shall have an audit performed by a certified public accountant every year.

If you need help or assistance with understanding and performing an audit, please contact Russ Hinshaw, conference treasurer, at 877-972-9111 or

2009 Clergy Support Worksheets
Updated 2009 Clergy Support Worksheets have been loaded to the conference website. The updates include new lines for withholdings associated with optional dental and health insurance and for personal contributions to health savings accounts (HAS). Also, the tab that calculates taxable wages has been updated.

To download the latest version, go to

Alternative Christmas gift cards
Increasingly, people are searching for meaningful, alternative ways to share the celebration of the birth of Christ with their family and friends. The chaos that has become Christmas in the secular world is so “loud” it nearly drowns out the true meaning of this holy season.

The Society of St. Andrew saves perfectly good, nutritious, excess fresh produce that will go to waste for various marketing reasons and gets it distributed to service agencies across the country that feed the hungry, at no cost to the agencies or those they feed.

“The extraordinary popularity of this program continues to grow,” said Carol Breitinger, communications director for the Society of St. Andrew, “providing more and more servings of fresh food to the hungry each year. Last year over $105,000 was raised, providing more than six million servings of food nationwide! This year the need is even greater.

“This alternative Christmas card, which has a wonderfully meaningful message presented through a moving poem and illustrative art, is the perfect gift for someone who has everything,” offered Breitinger. “It’s a super stocking stuffer, too. No other gift can do so much for so many with so little! And you can finish your gift shopping and greeting card lists in just a few minutes.”

Learn more and order cards online at

Church court says legislation needed for structure changes, rejects Book of Discipline changes
The top court of the United Methodist Church has ruled that the denomination’s legislative body would need to enact enabling legislation in 2012 to change the church's structure in the United States.

The Judicial Council, in its first meeting since the election of five new members last spring, also remanded two cases on key issues—church membership and same-gender marriages—back to their respective conferences, citing an absence of official documentation needed to decide the cases.

In addition, the council rejected several changes in the Book of Discipline approved by the 2008 General Conference, including one designed to make it easier for laity to distribute Holy Communion in remote areas.

Learn more at

New Hymn for Christ the King Sunday, Nov. 23
This new text by hymn writer Carolyn Winfrey Gillette is especially suited for Christ the King/The Reign of Christ, the final Sunday of the church year before the start of a new year with Advent. Beginning with Jesus being judged by Pilate, whose rule was doomed to fall, the hymn goes on to observe that Jesus’ rule is not by sword or might but by truth and love.

“Our Lord, You Stood in Pilate’s Hall” is Carolyn Gillette's new hymn for Christ the King Sunday and celebrates the coming reign of Christ on Earth.

Download the hymn at,823.

A list of other hymns by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette are available at,1131.

Featured events

Bishop’s Round-up for Hunger, Nov. 15
The Bishop's Round-Up for Hunger is a project of Global Ministries in the Kansas East Conference.

Bring collected food and other items to the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Lawrence on Nov. 15.

The schedule for the day will be:

8-10:30 a.m.: Unloading, craft sale, exhibits
10:30-11:15 a.m.: Worship celebration
11:15 a.m.-1 p.m.: Lunch, complete reloading, craft sale and exhibits
1 p.m.: Clean up

Get more information at

Laity School Seminar features deeper learning for the everyday Christian, Nov. 15
Saint Paul School of Theology will offer its third Laity School Seminar on its Kansas City campus, Nov. 15 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. In this interactive presentation, Dr. Angela Sims will explore how scripture, tradition, reason and experience function as primary resources for Christian ethics.

Registration is $35, lunch included. Get more information and register online at

Christian music concert at Mayetta UMC, Nov. 16
Peter Lewis Whitebird will perform at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 16 at Mayetta UMC. Coffee and cookies will be served at 6 p.m. prior to the concert.

“My calling is not to make music or to simply entertain, but to communicate the true life message of Jesus Christ as a minister of the Gospel. Music is a vehicle, allowing me to cross barriers that would not otherwise be open to me,” said Whitebird.

Creative Ministry Conference, Jan. 6-9
The third annual Leadership Nexus Creative Ministry Conference will be Jan. 6-9 in Orlando, Fla. The event includes a day at the Disney parks. CEUs are available.

Some of the speakers will be:

  • Bill Barnes, pastor of St. Luke’s UMC in Orlando
  • Alice Bass, author of “The Creative Life: A Workbook for Unearthing the Christian Imagination”
  • Doug Pagitt, author of “A Christianity Worth Believing”
  • Len Wilson and Jason Moore, creators of Midnight Oil Productions
  • Jack Stephenson, pastor of Anona UMC in Largo, Fla.

It will be an opportunity to be with colleagues in workshops to learn and share ideas about creativity.

Find out more at

Visit the conference calendar at for more upcoming 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