News


June 15, 2019

After the Cyclone, Faith Abides

Story by Kathy L. Gilbert, Photos by Mike DuBose With winds up to 125 miles per hour, the cyclone ripped tin roofs off houses and hurtled them like deadly missiles that killed and maimed. Otherwise placid rivers jumped...

June 15, 2019

Better Data, Better Services: C2FM Surveys Pastors

Take the survey will be the drumbeat over the next few weeks, including at the Annual Conference, from the Clergy and Church Financial Ministry (C2FM). Chris Bouchard, C2FM Director, hopes to get at least 80 percent of ...

June 15, 2019

Choosing Songs for the Right Reason

By Ryan McClouth Are you choosing music that’s right for your congregation? This is a question we should all be considering as church leaders. Are we choosing music for the right reasons? Sometimes we tend to make ...

June 15, 2019

Denomination Lay Leaders Meet

By Brian Hammons, SCJ Jurisdiction Lay Leader Conference lay leaders from United Methodist annual conferences all over the U.S. (and one from Africa) met in April for their annual meeting. This group truly represents ...

June 15, 2019

Finding Resiliency

Sarah Ciavarri, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America pastor, preached her first sermon after seminary 10 days after the terrorism attack on the United States on September 11. Her sermon was on resiliency. Resiliency ...

June 15, 2019

Having a Prayer

If I’m going to be gathering with a group of people with divergent opinions, I’m going to be all for everyone praying to be led by the Holy Spirit. This is tricky on my part. It’s almost like I’m cheating.  You see, I ...

June 15, 2019

I'm Doing a New Thing: Can You Perceive It?

Two thoughts have encouraged my spirits as we go through some very uncertain times in our church and in our world. The first is a prayer shared in cabinet this winter titled, “Slow Work of God” by Pierre Teilhard De ...

June 15, 2019

Laity Leadership: Grounded In Solid Faith That Includes Making Space For Discernment

By Amy Thompson In our society today we see many images of leaders. Amid all these images, it can be hard to determine who might be a good leader and worth following. In thinking about leaders and what makes them good, ...

June 15, 2019

Parting Shot

By Eric Mattson Presence is vital to both our relationship with God and with people. Presence requires an inner knowledge of what’s going on within us as well as an awareness and alertness to who and what is around us. ...

June 15, 2019

Pastors on the Move: Many Pastors on their Way to New Appointments in 2019

For pastors on the move, the 2019 appointive season has been a year of opportunity for Missouri Conference clergy. There are 64 full-time clergy that will be reporting to new churches this year.  Appointments changes ...

June 15, 2019

Seminary 2019

Saint Paul School of Theology is alive and well and very different from the seminary many Missouri Conference clergy remember. With campuses at Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, and at Oklahoma State ...

June 15, 2019

Take Care In What You Pack

Every spring the Missouri Conference offers Right Start to help pastors who are changing churches make a successful exchange of the baton in the “change-over zone.” The seminar provides nuts and bolts information ...

June 15, 2019

The Enneagram at Soul Connections

This year the Missouri Conference’s Soul Connections retreat embraced a tool that many people have used for growth for decades: the Enneagram. The Enneagram is a personality system that combines both psychology and ...

June 15, 2019

The Holy Spirit to All

By Hal Knight   Pentecost Sunday — which the Wesleys would also know as “Whitsunday” — is celebrated as the time of the coming of the Holy Spirit and the birthday of the church. Both are important, as long as it is ...

June 15, 2019

The Island Near the Island

Standing on the western shore of Haiti and looking out to sea, the large land mass looks relatively close. It is the island of La Gonave, farther away than it appears because it’s high country rises 2,500 above sea ...

June 15, 2019

UMC Next

On March 27 and April 4, 2019, leaders interested in a fully inclusive church from across The United Methodist Church gathered in Dallas, Texas and in Atlanta, Georgia. Facilitated by Gil Rendle and Bishop Janice Huie, ...

June 15, 2019

What's Next?

Missourians know Dr. Lovett Weems as a previous president of Saint Paul School of Theology, an author of many books relating to United Methodism and the current director of the Lewis Center of Church Leadership. ...

June 15, 2019

Where Do We Go From Here?

By Fred Koenig You could write a book about what people had to say about the special session of General Conference held in St. Louis in February. Kevin Slimp has done just that.  Actually, he didn’t really write it. ...

June 11, 2019

Floodwaters Reach Dalton

A persistently high Missouri River is taking its toll on nearby communities in central Missouri, as feeding rivers have nowhere to flow to when local rains fall. The town of Dalton is up on a hill, but the Dalton United...

May 29, 2019

Eldon Hit by Tornado

On Wednesday, May 22, at about 10:30 p.m. an EF-3 tornado hit the town of Eldon, causing extensive damage to the central business district and one residential area. There were no deaths or serious injuries reported. ...

May 29, 2019

First UMC Serves as Emergency Headquarters for Red Cross

Just before midnight on May 22 an EF3 tornado struck Jefferson City, causing damage in a three-square mile area. There were no fatalities and approximately 25 reported injuries. Within that area most of the 1,000 ...

May 29, 2019

New Disaster Response Coordinator Gets Right To It

Joyce Appel started as the new Missouri Conference Response and Readiness Coordinator on May 13. Initially she was focused on developing a plan for recovery assistance to areas in Northwest Missouri that have been ...

May 23, 2019

Spring 2019 Missouri Tornado and Flooding Response

There are three reported deaths in the Golden City area, some hospitalizations with minor injuries in Jefferson City and significant property damage around the state due to a series of storms in Missouri last night ...

May 23, 2019

Waiting on the Water: Northwest Missouri Looking Forward to Additional Dry Out

After a long, wet spring Northwest Missouri is beginning to dry out, and the people who live there are preparing to begin work on another recovery process. Flooding further upstream on the Missouri River and its ...

April 29, 2019

A Trail Forward

If you’ve ever been in New Orleans and found you wanted to get back to Missouri as quickly as possible, you may have found yourself taking a long drive across a lot of water. In 1956 a road was built straight through ...

April 29, 2019

Alice Fowler Named Southwest District Superintendent

If the name “Rev. Alice Fowler” sounds familiar, it may be because she was the preacher for the Sunday morning worship service at Annual Conference Session in 2015. It will soon be a name you hear more often: Fowler will...

April 29, 2019

Building Relationships

In a church conference room at Harrisonville UMC, a local business leader asked the high school student she was interviewing basic job interview questions.  “What have you accomplished that you are most proud of?” she ...

April 29, 2019

Common Causes

Archbishop Robert James Carlson of St. Louis and Bishop Robert Farr of the Missouri Conference sat together on a panel in St. Louis at the National Workshop on Christian Unity in the first week of April and discussed ...

April 29, 2019

Electing the 2020 Delegations

It is the season in the life of the church where leaders across the Conference along with Conference staff are preparing for Annual Conference. The residents of Springfield, Missouri will be invaded by laity and clergy ...

April 29, 2019

Filling In - For 50 Years

Ken Cleeton got a call asking him if he could do some pulpit supply at a local Methodist Church. He was born and raised Baptist but became a Methodist when he got married. He agreed and went to work on a sermon. He ...

April 29, 2019

From Fellowship to True Hospitality

A Message From Cody Collier:  If people visit your church once or twice but don’t return, you may have a “guest readiness” issue, according to Dr. Kim Pope-Seiberling, professor at Lindsey Wilson College and elder in ...

April 29, 2019

Leadership Excellence

Southwest District Superintendent Mark Statler is not leaving the Missouri Conference Cabinet, but he will soon be serving churches in Missouri in a new way. This June he will be appointed to Conference staff as the new ...

April 29, 2019

Making Arrangements

This month I would like to share some thoughts about arranging music. As many church musicians know, the challenge of leading music effectively can sometimes be the instrumentation of the worship team or ensemble. ...

April 29, 2019

Mozambique Hit Hard by Cyclone Idai

When disaster strikes in an underdeveloped country, reporting on the tragedy is often sketchy at first, as major media outlets aren’t on the scene. Days after the storm multiple news outlets were reporting that Cyclone ...

April 29, 2019

Parting Shot

My current daily devotional is Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day by Day by Peter Scazzero.   Today began with the scripture reading of 1 John 2:15-17. The entry includes a quote from Thomas Merton about the Desert ...

April 29, 2019

Progress in Puerto Rico

Around this time a year ago, a team of four college students and a pastor from Missouri began repairing damage from Hurricane Maria in Vieques, Puerto Rico. At that time the goal was to fix the roof of the guesthouse so ...

April 29, 2019

Stepping Out in Faith

It takes faith to push forward and try something new. For the people being honored at the Missouri Conference Award banquet on April 10, having the faith to take that initiative yielded great fruit toward their purpose ...

April 29, 2019

Victory Over Sin & Death

When we pray the Great Thanksgiving during the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, we often say these words together: “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.” This is the ground of our hope as Christians...

April 29, 2019

Yes You Can! Gift Planning in Uncertain Times

From time to time in Methodist publications, one encounters a typo: the letters in “United” are transposed into “Untied.” While this has always generated a knowing chuckle, it now seems like a plausible name for our ...

April 09, 2019

NextGen Ministries Launches New Place for New People

COLUMBIA, Mo. – April 9, 2019 – NextGen Ministries announced its intention to plant a new place for new people in Springfield with a focus on the college-age population. Bishop Bob Farr has appointed Rev. Tracey Wolff to...

April 03, 2019

A Commitment to Questions

As a delegate to the special session of General Conference, when I agreed to write this article, I thought I would write about my experience in St. Louis. But then, near the end of the Conference, someone made a motion ...

April 03, 2019

A Not-So Special Session

In 2011 and 2012, then Missouri Bishop Robert Schnase spent a lot of time and energy working on Plan UMC, designed to restructure the church at the General Church level (i.e., how we do General Conference and the General...

April 03, 2019

First-Time Delegate is Seventh Generation Delegate

As a first-time delegate to General Conference, Rev. Andy Bryan felt the presence of the saints that come before him when session commenced on February 23. The role runs deep in his veins – he is a fifth generation ...

April 03, 2019

GC2019 Maps Uncertain Way Forward

Beneath the Arch that symbolizes the U.S. Gateway to the West, more than 820 General Conference delegates worked to open a gateway in the denomination’s longtime homosexuality debate. But after four days of prayers, ...

April 03, 2019

Jon Thompson: The Next Ozarks District Superintendent

Rev. Jon Thompson will be appointed as the Ozarks District Superintendent this June. He will replace Rev. Lynn Dyke, who is retiring. Thompson was born in Geneva, Illinois. At age six he moved to a family farm near ...

April 03, 2019

Journey Through Lent

As we journey through Lent to the cross, it is beneficial to be accompanied by the verse of Charles Wesley. I want to look at hymn 374 in The United Methodist Hymnal, which is printed as a poem. It is a pleading by God ...

April 03, 2019

Missouri Delegation Reflects on General Conference

In 2016 when the Council of Bishops were asked to provide guidance on how the United Methodist Church could move forward regarding issues related to human sexuality, Missouri Conference lay delegate Margie Briggs thought...

April 03, 2019

Missourians at the Mic

There were 864 delegates at the Special Called Session of General Conference, and the nature of someone speaking on the floor was closely regulated. When a proposal was being discussed the debate was limited to three ...

April 03, 2019

Monitors: Finding the Balance

This month I’d like to discuss stage monitoring systems. There are many products available to you and your congregation, so which is best? Stage monitors are any type of device used to send the sound from your PA system...

April 03, 2019

Mozambique Initiative: Snapshot 2019

In August of 1999, a partnership bridging 8,000 miles, was born. The Mozambique Initiative began as relationships formed, at first by individual Missouri and Mozambique Methodists, and later through connections between ...

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