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October 2016

October 2016

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Making Room for Who's Next

One of the biggest construction projects in the Missouri Conference is taking place at a church that was already large.       “This congregation is amazing,” Rev. Stephen Breon said of Platte Woods UMC. “They demonstrate real wisdom in planning for the future and trying to reach the next...

Reaching the Summit

The walls are up at The Summit as the new church location over a decade in the making begins to take concrete form. But the story of First UMC Lee’s Summit isn’t about a church move or church growth. It’s really about church turnaround.      When Senior Pastor Jim Presig first came for ...

Rural Church or Small Membership Church Online Resources

Duke Divinity School The Seminary provides this link to resources for the rural church: Rural Faith Development Rural Faith Development Community Development Corporation serves as a catalyst for well-being by providing leadership in ...

Rural Ministry Now

Rev. John Pinkston is a full-time licensed local pastor serving the Pike Country Larger Parish. He considers himself committed to rural life. He grew up in the Pleasant Hill UMC in the Heartland District. He went to Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Texas, and ...

News and Updates

Boundaries Training

In keeping with its Highest Ideals, the Missouri Annual Conference provided continuing education for all appointed part-time and full-time clergy and laity serving under appointment in the area of boundaries and clergy sexual ethics. This training offered clergy the opportunity to stand in...

Missouri Iowa Send 1,500 Cleaning Buckets to Louisiana

The Missouri Conference and the Iowa Conference teamed up to provide 1,500 Cleaning Flood Buckets to Louisiana to help in the recovery efforts. The Missouri Conference sent about 1,100 buckets, and 400 buckets that were brought to the Missouri Conference Center from Iowa were also sent ...

Mozambique Initiative Covenant Partnerships

A linchpin of the Mozambique Initiative is our covenant church partnerships. Beginning with our first Mozambique Initiative Coordinator Carol Kreamer more than 18 years ago – you – as our churches, provide salary support, build parsonages and chapels, and provide tools for ...

Understanding the Next Generation

Lauren Miers
The Next Generation is a vital part of churches across Missouri, and on November 5 Next Generation Ministries hopes to provide resources and inspire those leading it.      Rev. Bruce Baxter first attended the conference in 2011 when he was the lead pastor at Wesley UMC in Springfield. He ...

Laity Voices

Witness of the Laity

Amy Thompson
By Amy Thompson As our former conference lay leader, Brian Hammons, mentioned at Annual Conference in the laity address, the UM Book of Discipline Paragraph 127 reveals the key to the renewal of the Methodist movement is the witness of the laity. What does that mean? It means a challenge ...

Letters from the Editor

Letter from the Editor: The Rural Church

In case you’re wondering where Bishop Robert Farr stands on the rural church, I had the privilege of hearing him answer that question in the few hours that elapsed in the time between his election, but before he was assigned to Missouri.       Immediately after being whisked away backstage...

From Bishop Farr

Moving On and Staying Home

I’m excited, nervous, humbled, scared and joyful to become the new Bishop of the Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church.       My wife Susan and I were as surprised as everyone else that we were assigned back to my home Conference of Missouri. We had talked, teased and wondered...

Missouri United Methodist Foundation

‘Tis the season ... to get ready for the season!

Although the church finance committee may wish that the congregation members would provide gifts in twelve equal monthly installments, that is not how most people behave. Church giving ebbs and flows over the course of the year, and the last quarter of the year is usually when giving hits ...

Music Matters

Special Music

Ryan McLouth
By Ryan McLouth In the last couple of issues, we have discussed performance, stage presence and delivery. This month I would like to talk with you about “special music.” In our contemporary era of ministry, worship style, and religious music, we tend to put a distinct emphasis on ...

Wesley in the World Today

Why do we pray?

Hal Knight

Why do we pray?

By Hal Knight There are many people who see prayer as a diversion from doing something useful. Their plea to others is, “don’t just pray, do something!” Others value prayer as a means to enlist God’s help to attain things we want. The effectiveness of prayers is then judged by how well it...

Parting Shot

Parting Shot

Eric Mattson

Parting Shot

What comes from a life of total surrender and abandonment to God? Self-sacrifice as we lay down our life for Christ. This picture is from a major project where I took a number of photographs with hands positioned as if coming empty handed to the Lord’s Table. These hands are reaching out ...