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December 2016

December 2016

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Features

Benefits of Bible Journaling

By Lauren Miers Some of us would never dream of drawing and painting in our Bible; For Arden Ratcliff-Mann, the Word of God provided the perfect canvas for creativity and spiritual revival.      In January 2015, in the middle of both a literal and spiritual winter, Ratcliff-Mann ...

Election Day and the Church

Election Day and the Church

Campbell UMC in Springfield had a very serene Election Day communion service from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. It began with a prelude of Forward Through the Ages on the grand piano, with a little of My Country Tis of Thee mixed in. This was followed by a silent time of reflection and a soloist ...

Preacher Kids at CMU

When it comes time to start college, many look to it as a time for a fresh start. For the children of five United Methodist pastors in the Missouri Conference, they left home and left behind their status of PK or preacher’s kid. But they didn’t leave the United Methodist moniker behind. ...

Sharing the Light: 2016 Highlights

Sharing the Light: 2016 Highlights

By Angie Olsen As we have for 35 years, people from around the state joined together to worship at Festival of Sharing. Becky Matsiga read these words, “The darkness of hunger and poverty seeks to block the light of hope in people’s lives in Missouri and beyond.” In one voice all gathered...

The Four Corners Southwest

    Noel is one of the words you hear all the time at Christmas and only at Christmas. It is traditionally used as the French word, meaning Christmas carol. Go back even further, and its Latin origins relate to birthday, also appropriate for the season.       For the village of ...

News and Updates

Christmas in July

Christmas in July

Sometimes when Christmas comes around, people think “Where did the year go? It can’t have been a year since last Christmas. It seems like we just had it.”    If they have that feeling at Stanberry UMC, it’s justified. Its Christmas wasn’t a year ago, it was only about six months ago. But ...

Gateway Central on Wright Track

Gateway Central on Wright Track

You may know Rev. Londia Granger Wright from her work on one of the Conference teams or committees. If you’ve been to Annual Conference in the past several years, you know her as a former Conference secretary. In these roles you’ve probably seen her as a calm, quiet presence of serenity ...

Ministry of All

Ministry of All

Speaking on the ministry of all, Rev. Steve Pinnell began his story by explaining how he got to where he is, noting upfront that it was winding road.       Pinnell was officially installed as Mark Twain District Superintendent on October 23 at Macon UMC. The music was provided by The ...

Next Generation Leadership Conference

In what has become an annual event, about 100 Missouri Conference leaders came together at Missouri UMC in Columbia for the Next Generation Leadership Conference on November 3.      Keynote speaker Craig Jutila, who was on staff at Saddleback Church in California for 13 years, began the ...

S'Mores Club at North Cross UMC

S'Mores Club at North Cross UMC

By Jen Shelton As part of our Play, Learn and Share Summer Fun, North Cross United Methodist Church in Kansas City hosted its first S’mores Club on National S’mores Day, Wednesday, August 10, 2016. In preparation for this event, staff made over 40 S’mores kits which included invitations, ...

Working Together

University of Missouri Rural Sociology Professor David Obrien originally hails from Boston, but if you go back to his grandparents, they had a rural lifestyle, although it was in Ireland. Obrien was an urban sociologist prior to coming MU in 1987, but at that time the collapse of the ...

Laity Voices

The Gift of an Experience

Amy Thompson

The Gift of an Experience

By Amy Thompson I recently found myself involved in a conversation about gift giving. This individual was sharing the pressure she feels in selecting a gift for her children or family member. The conversation centered around seeking the perfect gifts to give and then a year later noticing...

Letters from the Editor

Letter from the Editor: The Four Corners

Fred Koenig

Letter from the Editor: The Four Corners

If you’re at church in Watson, and you decide you’d also like to go to Cooter, give yourself some time. The two Missouri Conference United Methodist Churches are about 8 ½ hours apart. That’s taking mostly four-lane highways, if you don’t hit traffic or road construction. It’s about 570 ...

From Bishop Farr

Spiritually Centered, Outwardly Focused

Bishop Farr
In an article written by Steve Beard, I read about an interview between Reverend Jorge Acevedo, senior pastor at Grace Church in Cape Coral, Florida, and his friend, Reverend Bill Hybels, founding pastor of Willow Creek Community Church outside of Chicago, Illinois. During the interview, ...

Music Matters

Worship Experiences: Stories & Testimonials

Ryan McLouth

Worship Experiences: Stories &  Testimonials

By Ryan McLouth Sometimes people ask me how I got involved with worship music. I love hearing other people’s stories, and I love sharing my own story as well. When I was a kid, I had three primary experiences with music. I played trumpet in the school band, played guitar and listened to ...

Wesley in the World Today

The Aftermath of the Election

Hal Knight
By Hal Knight The presidential campaign has taken an enormous toll. We were already a nation divided—now that division has become a chasm. Pre-existing conditions threatening the health of American society were not cured but worsened, were not alleviated but inflamed. It will take a long ...

Parting Shot

Parting Shot

Eric Mattson

Parting Shot

Lenses are of critical importance in the realization of a photographer’s vision. Today’s lenses are designed for a high degree of optical precision with minimal aberrations. Yet, they have gone so far in removing optical imperfections, the images can feel clinical and lifeless. Vintage ...

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December 2016