News


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...

March 31, 2014

Missouri United Methodist Foundation

By Fred Koenig Doors Open, Lives Changed “Marvin and Bettyrae Fluke have been the kind of church members that pastors pray for; always actively participating in worship and anything else that was happening here,” shared ...

March 31, 2014

Now Read This

By Fred Koenig Missouri Bishop Robert Schnase’s newest book, 7 Levers, addresses how we must pry loose the many ‘stuck’ places in our connectional system, so that the church structure supports positive movement. He here...

March 31, 2014

Spiritually Engaged Laity

By Brian Hammons During this season of Lent, Holy Week, and Easter, I’m pondering this question: “What would it be like if my entire congregation were filled with Spiritually Engaged laity?” I invite you to ponder that ...

March 31, 2014

St. Louis Bar becomes Worship Space on Sunday Nights

By Linda Gastreich For some time, Sunday nights at a popular college hangout in St. Louis have been pretty quiet. That was then. Now a band starts warming up around 6:30 pm. At the same time, some tech equipment is set ...

March 31, 2014

What Happens to Our Apportionment Check?

By Nate Berkneking When I was serving as the pastor of a local church, I was highly committed to ensuring that we paid our apportionments. I always felt that being part of the greater connection was a privilege and ...

March 31, 2014

You Can't Share What You Don't Have

By Kendall Waller Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on Religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. ...

March 21, 2014

Bishop Schnase's Latest Book: Seven Levers

Missouri Bishop Robert Schnase’s newest book, 7 Levers, addresses how we must pry loose the many ‘stuck’ places in our connectional system, so that the church structure supports positive movement. He here answers several...

February 28, 2014

Cultural Trends You May Have Missed

By Gavin Richardson The Rise of the Media Device Tablet and smartphone devices continue to become more the norm than the exception. In 2013, more than a third of all American adults (18 and older) owned a tablet device ...

February 28, 2014

Find a Day to Serve a Way

By Fred Koenig Since 2011, the people of the Missouri Conference have participated in Serve, a state-wide service event the first weekend of September. Through Serve, our churches have touched thousands of lives in ...

February 28, 2014

Giving Your Christmas Gift to Mission

By Fred Koenig Some churches already had plans other than Imagine No Malaria for Christmas, and did some radical giving in a different direction.       Living Word Church in Wildwood collected $253,893.19 in December ...

February 28, 2014

I Am the Missouri Conference

By Fred Koenig Greg DeCamp came to North Star UMC in Liberty through a small group. He and his wife had a baby and a toddler, and friends invited them to a parenting small group. They really enjoyed it, and after ...

February 28, 2014

Imagine No Malaria: Advent & Christmas Giving

By Fred Koenig Christmas in a time of giving, and this year many Missouri Conference churches chose to make the Imagine No Malaria campaign the primary recipient of their gifts. Missouri Conference churches have now ...

February 28, 2014

Letter from the Editor

By Fred Koenig My friend Mike is a former Marine, he’s from my hometown and he served with me in the National Guard several years ago. He was one of the sharpest guys in the unit. You could always count on him to get ...

February 28, 2014

Methland: The Death & Life of An American Small Town

By Fred Koenig If you live in rural Missouri, you probably read your hometown newspaper. Chances are, a new regular feature that has developed in your newspaper in the past decade or so has been stories about ...

February 28, 2014

More Ideas for Raising Money for Imagine No Malaria

By Jill Wondel We’re making great progress! Because of your generosity, the people of the Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church have already saved almost 50,000 lives!       Because of the faith and work of...

February 28, 2014

Shift Happens: Hope in the Midst of Transition

By Fred Koenig A Time of Change The first iRun Conference was conducted January 16 – 18 in Houston, Texas. The International Rural and Urban Network is a new combination of ministry put together by the General Board of ...

February 28, 2014

Slowing As A Spiritual Practice

By Fred Leist One of my favorite stories is of two rabbinical students who were caught by the Rabbi gambling and drinking in the company of undesirable characters – even before the sun set on the evening of the Sabbath....

February 28, 2014

The Gondola Training Center in Mozambique

By Sarah Bollinger March 6, 2014 marks the official grand opening of The Gondola Training Center (GTC) in Mozambique!  The GTC is an educational training center strategically positioned in the North of Mozambique, in an...

February 28, 2014

Wesley in the World Today

By Hal Knight When we hear the word “discipline” in United Methodist Church we tend to think of the Book of Discipline, which contains rules for organizing local churches, conferences, boards and agencies. That was not ...

February 28, 2014

Why I Give

By Shannon Meister I was recently asked to provide a testimony about why I give my resources and my gifts to the church. I’ve grown up in the United Methodist Church and have always been taught about giving and tithing....

February 28, 2014

WOW

By Fred Koenig Beverly Boehmer has referred to WOW, the January Missouri Conference youth rally, as being the most aptly named event in the Conference. Wow is the word people respond with when you tell them about it.  ...

February 27, 2014

Sociology Professor Talks about the Rural Difference

Rural sociology Professor Dave Ruesink grew up in Michigan, and is now at College Station, TX, part of Presbyterian Church. He knows that more than half of seminary graduates go to rural areas for their first fulltime ...

February 27, 2014

The Mission Field: Urban & Rural Settings

How well do you know your mission field? Should mission strategies differ in rural and urban settings? As I considered these questions I realized that much about mission service and outreach is the same regardless of ...

February 27, 2014

Asking the Tough Questions - 10 Points for the UMC to Thrive

Joe Connelly ran with the shift analogy, telling those gathered that if they have automatic, you just get in the car and go, and churches can run the same way. “The pastor opens the church, the choir sings, and the ...

February 27, 2014

Love Period

Rudy Rasmus grew up near the restaurant where Bishop Swanson recalled working in Houston, but it was an earlier time. He remembers when oil money transformed that neighborhood, and it was time for all the black people to...

February 27, 2014

Preaching Hope in the Midst of Transition

In 1968 James Swanson worked in the Tokyo Gardens Japanese Steak House in an all white neighborhood. Working late, he had missed the last bus home. A police cruiser approached him as he walked down the sidewalk, and the ...

February 27, 2014

Seeking Help for Ministry as a Non-Profit

When Diane Johnson was director of Metro Ministry (now Shalom House) in St. Louis, she partnered with the city of St. Louis, three universities and a shelter for men, and was able to leverage that partnership to receive ...

February 27, 2014

Shift Happens: A Time of Change

The first iRun Conference was conducted January 16 – 18 in Houston, Texas. The International Rural and Urban Network is a new combination of ministry put together by the General Board of Global Ministries. It opened with...

February 05, 2014

Snow Day

The snow was so powdery that in places on the church lawn you could still see the grass, and in other spots it was drifting three feet deep,” Osiel said. “That’s something we’re not used to here in Southwest Missouri.” ...

January 31, 2014

Church Partnership Grants Say, "Send Me"

By Dan Steska All hands were raised and waving in unison as Mrs. Mitchell’s 4th grade class responded to her question, “Would anyone volunteer to...”       That’s all the further she spoke before being interrupted by 25...

January 31, 2014

Churches Work Together to Provide Room at the Inn

By Fred Koenig Columbia’s emergency winter shelter for the homeless continues to evolve, and support from United Methodist Churches remain at its core.       The Room At the Inn ministry started as a temporary shelter ...

January 31, 2014

Garrett Drake: Missouri Conference Catalyst for Next Generation Ministry

By Fred Koenig Garrett Drake has been named the new Missouri Conference Catalyst for Next Generation Ministry. He started January 15.       “The Catalyst for Next Generation Ministry is a newly organized position which ...

January 31, 2014

Heraldic Banners Introduce Liturgical Seasons

By Kimberly Jenne The community of Webster Hills recently unveiled a series of heraldic processional banners representing each of the seasons in the Christian liturgical year crafted out of repurposed chapel pews and ...

January 31, 2014

I am the Missouri Conference...

By Fred Koenig June Ungles has been part of three United Methodist Churches in the Pony Express District, and they’ve shaped her life along the way. Her parents were farmers near Skidmore, and were active in the ...

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