News


May 31, 2014

A STAR is Born

By Fred Koenig Marjorie Atkins was a STAR at Smithville United Methodist Church. When she died just days after her husband in 2012, our church felt the loss as would any family. Marjorie and “Junior” Atkins had been ...

May 31, 2014

Advancing Outreach with Ministry Grants

“We never say ‘no’ to a child without a church home,” says Pastor Amanda Ross, “even though we keep telling ourselves we cannot handle any more children.” That is the spirit that has kept the Immanuel UMC in Canton, ...

May 31, 2014

Aurora UMC: The Church With an Impact

By Fred Koenig Aurora, MO is located 28 miles southwest of Springfield, and has a population of 7,000. Pastor Jan Bond led Aurora UMC through the HCI consultation process in March of 2012. The church reported an average...

May 31, 2014

Avondale UMC

By Fred Koenig It’s impossible to say exactly what the founding members of Avondale UMC each thought the future would hold for the church in the next century. But it’s pretty safe to say they didn’t envision the church ...

May 31, 2014

Be a Better Email Communicator in 2014

By Gavin Richardson Email has slowly become the primary communication channel for many churches. However, how effectively do churches use email? Are we guilty of assuming that people are receiving and reading our ...

May 31, 2014

Church By Size

By Fred Koenig What’s the difference in terms of the way a church functions based on its size?       What issues come up when hovering between 200 – 300 in that area in between?      Pastors serving churches ranging in ...

May 31, 2014

Empty Tomb, Full Churches

By Fred Koenig Easter is a huge day for nearly every church. It’s not unusual for a church to have double or more than it’s average attendance. For a small country church, that might mean going from 18 to 40. For a ...

May 31, 2014

Ground Breaking Conference Center Building Addition

By Fred Koenig On April 23 every parking spot was taken and people were parking on the street at the Missouri Conference Center. Most of those present had never been there before, and weren’t United Methodist. They were...

May 31, 2014

Heifer International Celebrates 70th Anniverary

By Mel West Fifty years ago Heifer introduced me to the exciting and satisfying arena of world missions. With a farm background and degrees in dairy husbandry and church administration I was eager to put those skills ...

May 31, 2014

I am the Missouri Conference

By Fred Koenig Rob King can articulate his faith story clearly. It started in line at the drive-up window at the bank. The car in front of him had a bumper sticker that said 107.9, so he tuned to it. It was the local ...

May 31, 2014

Letter from the Editor

By Fred Koenig Alright loyal readers, we’re a year into this thing. The June 7, 2013 issue of  The Missouri Conference Review was the last issue of the Missouri Conference newspaper, ending a 40-year relationship the ...

May 31, 2014

Living Inside the Kingdom of Heaven

By Ann M. Rathert “As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’” Matt. 10:7 (NRSV)       Coffee, warm yeasty breads, cinnamon. Smells swirl, music joins with voices of those huddled around ...

May 31, 2014

M'punzo Trio from Mozambique to Missouri

By Fred Koenig The Missouri United Methodist Conference and the Mozambique Initiative (MI) are thrilled to welcome the M’punzu Trio from Mozambique to Missouri in June. As part of the MI’s vision of "partnering to ...

May 31, 2014

Making Sense

By Rob Reardon The Bible is a wonderful and mysterious collection of books that chronicle the movement of God from the creation of the world through the return of Christ.       Written in various literary styles by an ...

May 31, 2014

Reflecting on Boston

By Brian Hammons The Boston Marathon. Those three words bring to mind tradition and endurance. For anyone who runs, the words carry a sense of awe, difficulty, and maybe ultimate accomplishment.      But this year, the ...

May 31, 2014

Show Me the Money

By Mark Roach I’m gonna go there. I’m gonna tackle one of those hot-button issues discussed among worship leaders. I’ve heard it discussed at conferences—entire breakouts built around the discussion—even books have been...

May 31, 2014

Wesley in the World Today

By Hal Knight The day of Pentecost is sometimes celebrated as the “birthday of the church.” This not wrong but it is far too limited. Pentecost is first and foremost about the coming of the Holy Spirit. We can better ...

May 31, 2014

Young Clergy

By Fred Koenig When Adam Hamilton spoke to young clergy from the Missouri Conference, he didn’t start by painting a rosy picture. Instead he went over some of the grim statistics of decline in the United Methodist ...

April 30, 2014

2014 Annual Conference Offerings

By Fred Koenig ORDINATION The Gondola Training Center GTC in Mozambique is a new educational center designed to train United Methodist lay leaders and pastors in theology, church leadership, development, microfinance, ...

April 30, 2014

21st Century Stewards: Foundation Growth Aids Vital Ministry

By Tom Hilton “We try to meet the needs of our churches and related agencies,” says Tom Hilton, the chair of the Investment Committee of the Missouri United Methodist Foundation. “Endowments and other long-term funds ...

April 30, 2014

3 Simple Rules of Social Media

By Eric Seiberling In his book Three Simple Rules: A Wesleyan Way of Living, retired United Methodist Bishop Rueben P. Job uses John Wesley's three general rules to give Christians a guide for living a faithful life. ...

April 30, 2014

Getting Better

By Mel West I am an optimist by nature, and have always thought that the world is, day by day, becoming better. At age 90 I would rather be alive on Earth today than at any time prior. Tomorrow promises to be even ...

April 30, 2014

I am the Missouri Conference

By Fred Koenig Sharon Bruner grew up Methodist, attending Brandon UMC near Windsor. Her husband Cliff married into it 49 years ago, when he and Sharon were married by a Methodist pastor in Sharon’s parents’ home.  When...

April 30, 2014

Imagine No Malaria

By Fred Koenig Last year at Annual Conference Session, Tom Bannon of Palmyra UMC came to the microphone and announced that his church was so moved by the presentation of the Imagine No Malaria campaign that they would ...

April 30, 2014

Laity Leaders in Kansas City

By Fred Koenig When the Association of Annual Conference Lay Leaders came together for their annual meeting in Kansas City March 20 - 23, they weren’t there to reminisce or celebrate. They were there to seek ways to ...

April 30, 2014

Lay Leaders Will Remember Missouri

By Brian Hammons “Remember the Future.” This was the theme for a recent gathering of United Methodist conference lay leaders from all over the country, and a couple from Europe and Africa. About 60 lay leaders, along ...

April 30, 2014

Leading Church Staff

How do we develop staff as leaders? If we are going to move in the direction God is calling us, we need staff to be leaders and not just doers.  By Fred Koenig With that sentiment, Doug Anderson opened his two-day ...

April 30, 2014

Letter From The Editor

By Fred Koenig I spend the vast majority of my time working on this magazine, but one of my side jobs for the Missouri Conference is putting out Net News. It’s an e-newsletter that is sent out as-needed, which ends up ...

April 30, 2014

Mana me Lagi: Miracle From Heaven

By Fred Koenig A new church has been having pre-view services in Independence, building to an official launch on May 18. The church meets at First UMC, and is known as Mana mei Lagi. It’s a fellowship of Pacific ...

April 30, 2014

Mid-State District Home to Diversity of Churches Living Their Faith

By Lynn Dyke Life takes each of us on all sorts of journeys, doesn’t it? Journeys with twists and turns, hills and valleys, ups and downs, the good and the not-so-good. Your life is like that, and mine has been like ...

April 30, 2014

Missouri Conference Gives Rebuild Joplin $150,000 Challenge Grant

By Fred Koenig A $150,000 donation will help Rebuild Joplin continue to bring families home. The Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church gave the check to Rebuild Joplin earlier today. The money will go a ...

April 30, 2014

NBSF Holds Annual Meeting in St. Louis

By Fred Koenig The National Black Staff Forum (NBSF), a membership organization comprised of active and retired black staff from annual conference and general agencies of The United Methodist Church, held its annual ...

April 30, 2014

Somewhere In-Between

By Mark Roach So...is yours a modern worship church? Or is it traditional? Are the messages there more relevant? Or more bible-based? Is your church based on a missional model? Or an attractional one? In your opinion, ...

April 30, 2014

Suburban, Urban, Rural Churches... We Are All Vulnerable

By Dan Steska “Find a champion within the church to be trained as a disaster coordinator--this helps in developing a disaster response policy, and keeping that in front of church leadership. Emphasize small group ...

April 30, 2014

The Water's Edge

By Fred Koenig The Missouri Conference Center has had a new role in recent months, as the location for a new church start. Rev. Jim Voigt was appointed to start a new church in Columbia last summer, with a focus on ...

April 30, 2014

Wesley in the World Today

By Hal Knight Holy Week and Easter take us to the heart of the gospel. For John and Charles Wesley, they take us to the heart of God.      Many in their day, just as in ours, saw the cross of Jesus Christ as the ground ...

April 30, 2014

You Heard What? Unhealthy Communications

By Fred Koenig Many congregations fall into bad communication habits – they aren’t bad people, it’s a strategy toward wholeness gone awry. We develop strategies that don’t work, but we keep trying them.       Healthy ...

April 24, 2014

Proposal to Reduce the Number of Districts

The Mission Council and the Cabinet have both voted unanimously to recommend that the Missouri Conference reduce the number of districts from twelve to nine. A proposal will be brought to Annual Conference, June 6-9, in ...

April 08, 2014

Conference Lay Leaders Meet in Kansas City

When the Association of Annual Conference Lay Leaders came together for their annual meeting in Kansas City March 20 - 23, they weren’t there to reminisce or celebrate. They were there to seek ways to help their ...

April 08, 2014

Share Your Worship With Us! A Call for Photos

Share your Worship Experience with us! A call for photos. Our theme for the 2014 Annual Conference is Loving God in Return: Practicing Passionate Worship. We’d like to showcase the many ways in which our Missouri ...

March 31, 2014

Ashes Outside the Church

By Fred Koenig The imposition of ashes is a Wednesday evening tradition for many, but others are now embracing the ritual as an opportunity to meet people where they are.       Rev. Mark Harvey of Harmony UMC in St. ...

March 31, 2014

Coffee Talk

By Mark Roach If I were being perfectly honest, one of the most effective elements in our entire ministry is a simple cup of coffee. No, I’m not urging the use of caffeine, endorsing any global warm beverage franchises ...

March 31, 2014

Cultural Trends You May Have Missed: Part 2

By Darby Jones Due to the popularity of last issue's article Cultural Trends You May Have Missed, we decided to dig a little deeper to uncover and inspire even more progression.  Peer-to-Peer Economy Increases ...

March 31, 2014

God's Creation in Crisis: Stockton UMC Responds

By Cheryl Marcum “God’s creation is in crisis.” This emphatic statement by The Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church conjures a similar word picture drawn by the prophet, Isaiah (Isaiah 24:5-NRSV) and the ...

March 31, 2014

HCI Brings Vitality to Wesley in Jefferson City

By Royal Speidel Wesley United Methodist church in Jefferson City had its commissioning service on January 9, 1966 as a daughter of First UMC in the Capitol City. It is surrounded by homes on 5.2 acres of land in the ...

March 31, 2014

Healthy Church Initiative

By Fred Koenig If you’ve been engaged in United Methodism outside of your own church walls in Missouri, and maybe even if you haven’t, you’re probably familiar with the Healthy Church Initiative. The process involves a ...

March 31, 2014

I Am the Missouri Conference...

By Fred Koenig When Shawn Kirby was picking up his kids from school, he was often approached by Rolando Quiroz, who was then pastor of Marionville UMC. Quiroz would invite him to come to church, and let him know that ...

March 31, 2014

Lattes, Ashes, Prayer & Conversation

By Yvi Martin Traditionally, the Ash Wednesday service in my church has been in the evening. People come for confession and repentance, carry the sign of the cross on their heads for 30 minutes, then go home and wash it...

March 31, 2014

Linda Harris: Next Gateway Regional District Superintendent

By Fred Koenig Linda Harris’s father and grandfather were United Methodist ministers. So it stands to reason, when she was in college at Dakota Wesleyan University, majoring in social work and psychology, that she was ...

March 31, 2014

Missouri Conference Attendance Report

By Nate Berneking The Missouri Conference has worked hard over the last several years to monitor and improve upon the attendance in our local churches. The number of people worshipping in a local congregation is a clear...

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