News


September 21, 2018

A New Place

By Fred Koenig The Gathering is certainly a New Place for New People. That’s the entire point. With The Gathering, that has always been the point. Their mission statement states that they exist to create a Christian ...

September 21, 2018

Hope for the Present

By Hal Knight Beginning in John Wesley’s day a new form of hope captured the imagination of the Western world. Instead of hoping to leave this world for a better one, more and more people began to want to make our world...

September 21, 2018

Keep the Beat

By Ryan McLouth For the last two months, we’ve been discussing the role of different instruments within the worship music ensemble. We began with the acoustic guitar, emphasizing the harmonic and rhythmic role of the ...

September 21, 2018

Kickoff Time: Churches Encouraged to Move Forward With Action Plan

By Fred Koenig On the second Saturday in September crowds gathered in Columbia and at locations around the state to see the big kickoff first hand or on their screens. It wasn’t the Mizzou football game, that kickoff ...

September 21, 2018

Let the Outsiders IN

By Bishop Farr In Acts 15, we find the Apostle Paul, Barnabas, and other apostles and church leaders at a church board meeting at the Jerusalem Church. They were advocating for their outreach mission when some of the ...

September 21, 2018

Next Generation Ministries Building to a Solid Future

By Sarah Dumas In 2017, Bishop Farr challenged Next Generation Ministries to host 10,000 campers in its three camping ministries: Ignite Mobile Camp, Infuse Core Camp and Impact Service Camp. Although that goal hasn’t ...

September 21, 2018

Parting Shot

By Eric Mattson Light and shadow are both part of a compelling photo. Light illuminates and shadow defines. The blending of light and shadow yields depth and texture. Light plays a god-like role in photography. And yet ...

September 21, 2018

Prayer

By Amy Thompson I remember one of my first small group experiences as a young adult was about prayer. Several members of the group wanted to learn how to pray, so our group leader found a book that would guide us in ...

September 21, 2018

St. Louie to Dupree & Back to St. Louie

By Fred Koenig This year when a group of United Methodist youth from the St. Louis area took a mission trip to an Indian Reservation out west, they went one step further. They brought the people they were in mission ...

September 21, 2018

The "November Nudge"

That busy season is upon us, and our to-do lists are growing. As you build your church’s list, remember to add this: Order Foundation Year-end Giving Brochures! It’s free, it’s online, and it’s just one more way to give ...

September 21, 2018

The Little Engine That Could

By Kim Lambeth “If you need to get something done, ask a busy person,” the old adage goes.  Often the most active church members are also active in community organizations. Central United Methodist Church in Webb City ...

September 21, 2018

Through Water & Spirit

By Fred Koenig At more than 180 years old, Smith Chapel United Methodist Church isn’t a New Place for New People. But in the past year this church, which has worship services every-other Sunday, has demonstrated it can ...

August 22, 2018

First EarthKeeper Commissioned in the Missouri Conference

By Cheryl Y. Marcum The Center for Mission Innovation at the General Board of Global Ministries launched the innovative EarthKeepers program in 2016. It nurtures and equips United Methodists, who discern a call from God...

August 21, 2018

Bass Talk

By Ryan McLouth Last month we started a series discussing the role of each instrument and voice in a contemporary worship ensemble, starting with the acoustic guitar. In this issue, we’re all about that bass. In the ...

August 21, 2018

Communicating via Art

By Fred Koenig Jewell McGhee describes herself as a community artist who uses diverse mediums to reach diverse communities. Sometimes that means employing her artistic talents to help pastors communicate with their ...

August 21, 2018

Costner-Fulton Mission Start Up Grants

By Fred Koenig Applications Due October 1 The Costner-Fulton Fund for Missions is a grant program of the Mission, Service & Justice Team. Tom and LaVerne Fulton shared a passion for social work in their professional ...

August 21, 2018

Cut

By Fred Koenig Tex Sample felt sorry for me. I don’t blame him. Sometimes I feel sorry for myself. I got him talking about the working class and class in America – his passion and life’s work. He had quite a bit to say....

August 21, 2018

Focus

By Bishop Farr As most of you know, I wear glasses. I have worn glasses since second grade. They have changed in size, shape and color over the years. They have gone from single focus, to bifocal and to trifocal over ...

August 21, 2018

Living Word Church Partners with Meramec Elementary School

By Kelly Vincent St. Louis Public School District developed a Faith Initiative program which partnered individual schools with local churches to assist in student achievement. Children’s ministry staff, Rev. Brenda ...

August 21, 2018

Parting Shot

By Eric Mattson This young rider is getting introduced to the cowboy/cowgirl wisdom which says life’s not about how fast you run or how high you climb, but how well you bounce. One thing which gives this rider ...

August 21, 2018

Pastoring in Partisan Times

By Fred Koenig “They are my people. It’s where I came from,” Sample said. Sample grew up in Mississippi. His father had a fifth-grade education. His mother completed school through the 10th grade. His dad worked various...

August 21, 2018

This Is My Body: Embracing the Messiness of Faith and Motherhood

By Fred Koenig Hannah Shanks always loved writing, and had a childhood dream of being a writer, but this isn’t the book she would have dreamed of. She wrote it out of necessity. “This is the book that I needed that didn...

August 21, 2018

Three Priorities

By Amy Thompson While at Annual Conference, the Bishop introduced to us the three conference priorities that have been affirmed by the Mission Council and Cabinet. During my laity address, I provided a brief ...

August 21, 2018

Tuesday Night Worship Express

By Fred Koenig Lawson UMC recognized that sometimes attending a Sunday morning worship service does not work out for people. They wanted to try to give the people who couldn’t come on Sunday morning an opportunity to ...

August 21, 2018

Wesley on Prayer

By Dr. Hal Knight Recently there has been a public debate over prayer. Persons have been criticized for offering “thoughts and prayers” for victims of things like gun violence while taking no action to address the ...

August 13, 2018

GC2019 Hospitality Leadership Team Announced

In preparation for the called session of General Conference February 23-26, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri, the Missouri and Illinois Great Rivers Conferences has assembled their hospitality leadership team. Both ...

July 27, 2018

5 Cups of Coffee

By Amy Thompson We are all called to be in relationship with God. We are called to be active in the world sharing God’s love with others. Sometimes it is difficult to respond to the second call. We sometimes do not know...

July 27, 2018

Advance Planning For Advent

By Fred Koenig It’s hot outside, and there’s still more than a month of summer ahead. Even though back-to-school time is closing in, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad to begin to think about ... Advent. Some Missouri ...

July 27, 2018

Gift Annuity Rates Are Going Up

By Fred Koenig For the first time since 2011, the American Council on Gift Annuities (ACGA) has recommended an increase in gift annuity rates for all new gift annuities, effective July 1, 2018. This is great news for ...

July 27, 2018

Keep Families Together

By Fred Koenig Francis Street First United Methodist Church in St. Joseph hosted a rally on June 30 on behalf of the Interfaith Alliance to show support for children and families who have been separated at the border. ...

July 27, 2018

Licensed To Lead

By Fred Koenig The licensed local pastor is a critical part of the United Methodist Church in the Missouri Conference, and the percent of clergy in this category is growing larger each year. A key step in becoming a ...

July 27, 2018

Meetings That Matter

By Cody Collier It’s August, and I have a feeling that many church leaders are looking at their calendars, working to find out through email or Google e-vite the best date/time for a meeting in the fall. Some of you, ...

July 27, 2018

Parting Shot

By Eric Mattson A God can reach into our brokenness if we sit prayerfully even if we can’t put our finger on what our need for healing is. Romans 8:26 tells us “… the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know ...

July 27, 2018

Summer Lunch Program at Saint Luke’s Goes into Neighborhood

By Fred Koenig Saint Luke’s United Methodist Church in St. Louis has a long history of doing acts of mercy to help the less fortunate. Often, this was collecting donations of things like books and coats that were then ...

July 27, 2018

The Role Of The Acoustic Guitar

By Ryan McLouth So, you’re a strong singer, you’re pretty good at accompanying yourself or others from the guitar or keyboard, and you have a gift for leading a congregation in song. That’s awesome, but do you know what...

July 27, 2018

What is a church?

By Dr. Hal Knight The New Testament is filled with many images of the church: people of God, body of Christ, temple of the Holy Spirit, household of God, bride of Christ and many more. It would be beneficial for local ...

July 26, 2018

Transition

By Fred Koenig I found this note on the back of an offering envelope in church one morning.  My first thought was perhaps it had been written by Senior Pastor Fred Leist and passed to one of the acolytes. It was his ...

July 12, 2018

Bishops seek declaratory decisions on three plans submitted to General Conference

WASHINGTON –  The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church is asking the Judicial Council for declaratory decisions on the constitutionality of the petitions submitted by the Commission on a Way Forward to the ...

July 09, 2018

UMC Bishops amend call for 2019 Special Session of General Conference

WASHINGTON, D.C. _ The Council of Bishops (COB) has amended its call for the Special Session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church (UMC) to be held February 23-26, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, in ...

July 02, 2018

Mozambique Initiative Announces Leadership Change

Rev. Tina L. Harris, Director of the Office of Mission, Service and Justice Ministries, announced today that after three years of service, Craig Stevenson, Associate Director of the Mozambique Initiative, resigned in ...

June 25, 2018

20 Years of Partnership

By Susan Sneed Craig Stevenson, the coordinator of the Mozambique Initiative, lifted up the 20 year partnership with Mozambique and celebrated that in a recent trip. The bishops of both areas renewed the memorandum of ...

June 25, 2018

50 Years, $100 Million in Assets: Foundation Celebrates Half a Century of Supporting Ministry

By Fred Koenig David Atkins, executive director of the Missouri United Methodist Foundation reported on the work that continues to grow the United Methodist church in Missouri on many levels. In 2017 the Foundation ...

June 25, 2018

A Church Alive

By Fred Koenig Each year Annual Conference session opens with the singing of the hymn “And Are We Yet Alive?” This year during Sunday morning worship, Rev. Jim Preisig answered the question in a quiet moment at the ...

June 25, 2018

Approaching the Way Forward

By Pam Ekey Remember the mission of the church as we consider how to move forward as a United Methodist Church, Bishop Bob Farr encouraged the Missouri Annual Conference. Friday afternoon he presented an update on ...

June 25, 2018

Celebration of Ministry

Commissioning, Licensing Retirement

June 25, 2018

Conference Gives to Festival of Sharing

By Fred Koenig Festival of Sharing would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who brought hygiene items to Annual Conference. "We nearly filled up the crates before lunch on Friday," says Sidney Owens, "We had to...

June 25, 2018

Connected

By Fred Koenig This issue misses the mark. I tried – I really did. I even had a lot of help from my loyal daily journalists, Susan Sneed and Pam Ekey, and this year we were joined by a new kid, Ken Rosenhauer, who did ...

June 25, 2018

Developing Leaders Follows the Example of Christ

By Pam Ekey  Recruiting and developing leaders is vital to the success of the congregation, said Rev. Mike Schreiner, lead pastor of Morning Star Church in O’Fallon. Not only that, the process of developing leaders is ...

June 25, 2018

Difference Makers

By Ken Rosenauer Amy Thompson, in her second year as conference lay leader, launched the laity address on the second morning of the 2018 Annual Conference and told lay members gathered that their presence acknowledges ...

June 25, 2018

Fierce Conversations

By Fred Koenig Fierce conversations may sound like a rough way to go at a topic, but you must consider the definition of fierce that Susan Scott uses in her book Fierce Conversations: robust, powerful, authentic, eager,...

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