News


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 ...

January 31, 2014

Letter from the Editor

By Fred Koenig  We update the mailing address for the Conference publication twice a year (January and July), so you may be receiving this magazine for the first time. This monthly magazine replaced the Conference ...

January 31, 2014

Message from the Cabinet

By Bart Hildreth We Methodists have it in our D.N.A. to know that there is something about governance (method), which matters to missional effectiveness. But it’s not just about our heritage, it’s critical to our ...

January 31, 2014

Missourians on a Mission in the Congo

By Fred Koenig Larry and Reverend Kristen Schmitz are Global Ministries missionaries from Missouri who have been serving in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for just over a year. Perhaps you saw the article ...

January 31, 2014

New Songs for the New Year

By Mark Roach I don’t know about you, but when a new year comes around, I sometimes find myself surrounded by people who get anxious for newness. New year, new budget, new platform setup, new approaches… “let’s not just...

January 31, 2014

Overflow: Increase Worship Attendance and Bear More Fruit

By William Willimon This book came to me just when I needed it. This past June, the bishop appointed me to a church. The congregation had previously suffered decline but had recently experienced some modest growth. A ...

January 31, 2014

Scholarship Applications

By Fred Koenig We are in the midst of that lovely quiet season on the church calendar between Christmas and Easter.  Although the weather may suggest that hibernation would be a good use of this time, students – and ...

January 31, 2014

Small Churches Can Grow

By Dr. Royal Speidel  The average age of the congregation was 58, and worship attendance had plateaued for the last five years ending 2011 with 97. The HCI Consultation Team gave the church five prescriptions to work ...

January 31, 2014

Snow Day

By Fred Koenig 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 ...

January 31, 2014

Web Design Trends for 2014

By Gavin Richardson Mobile Responsive An extension of design trends from 2012 and 2013 is to build your websites to be mobile responsive. From 25 to 35 percent of many websites’ total traffic will come through mobile ...

January 31, 2014

Wesley in the World Today

By Hal Knight In John Wesley’s day, there was a dispute over how often people in the Church of England should receive the Lord’s Supper. The “High Church” view was to receive it frequently. In contrast, the “...

January 31, 2014

What About the Main Thing?

By Brian Hammons Do you ever get distracted and lose focus from something important? It happens a lot in our lives with the constant barrage of tasks, demands, and changes.       It also happens in organizations of all ...

January 15, 2014

Faith Vessels

A full-time potter and part-time pastor, Parnell crafts pottery for sacred moments. Hue Parnell, pastor of Fairview UMC near Springfield, found the vessels being used by many churches to be lacking. When it comes time ...

January 03, 2014

Imagine No Malaria via Basketball

“I started going to the YMCA about four months ago, and asked them what I could do to prepare,” Rawley, pastor of Rogersville UMC, said on the day of his event. They were helpful at the Y, and put Rawley on a regime of ...

January 01, 2014

A Letter From The Editor

By Fred Koenig  A few years ago I lost my Aunt Marilyn. She hadn’t died; I just couldn’t find her. In the preceding five years, nine of my aunts and uncles had died, so I really needed to keep track of the few that I ...

January 01, 2014

An Open Letter to Worship Leaders

By Mark Roach Well, here it is. 2014. Another year in the books. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably still a bit out of breath from the Christmas season. If you’re anything like me, you’re thankful that Easter ...

January 01, 2014

Church @ the Center

By Fred Koenig Church @ the Center in Springfield is a faith community centered on new generations of non-religious people finding life change through following Jesus Christ. It’s a missional church, very focused on ...

January 01, 2014

Communicating fir a Change

By Geoff Posegate Church leaders do well to pay attention to anything offered for public consumption by Andy Stanley, founding and lead pastor of North Point Church in Alpharetta, Georgia. Andy simply is one of the most...

January 01, 2014

Diverse Group of Young Adults Consider God's Call to Ordained Ministry

By Vicki Brown Speaker after speaker told the 429 young adults gathered to explore ordained ministry in The United Methodist Church that God is calling them to go change the world and the church.       “This is not your...

January 01, 2014

Faith Vessels

By Fred Koenig Hue Parnell, pastor of Fairview UMC near Springfield, found the vessels being used by many churches to be lacking. When it comes time for the sacraments, some pastors are essentially using items from the ...

January 01, 2014

I Am The Missouri Conference

By Fred Koenig Some students drift away from church when they get to college. Julia Buchholz let her church choice guide her  college choice.  “I had grown up in Wesley UMC in Springfield, but then I moved to Kansas ...

January 01, 2014

Imagine No Malaria via Basketball

By Fred Koenig      "I started going to the YMCA about four months ago, and asked them what I could do to prepare,” Rawley, pastor of Rogersville UMC, said on the day of his event.       They were helpful at the Y, and...

January 01, 2014

Involving Everyone in Advent

By Fred Koenig There are a lot of different ways to go about preparing for Advent. This year Ashland UMC in the Midstate District kicked it off with a meal, and a way to keep it going at home.       After worship on ...

January 01, 2014

Leadership Development

By Ken Willard Welcome to 2014! Now what? Well this just might be the year for you and your church to take leadership development up to the next level.       We read in Romans 12 that leadership is one of the spiritual ...

January 01, 2014

Were Jesus, Mary & Joseph Alone in the Stable?

By Jerry Wrenn Welcome, Holy Child. Welcome, Holy Child. Hope that you don’t mind our manger. How I wish we would have known. — “Welcome to Our World” (Words and music by Chris Rice)      With Christmas comes winter. ...

January 01, 2014

Wesley in the World Today

By Hal Knight It has been said that for all of John Wesley’s impact in his own day and ours, it is the words of his younger brother Charles that are more familiar to Christians throughout the world. This is because we ...

January 01, 2014

What is the Future of Faith?

By Fred Koenig Used to be that a sermon would be developed and dreamt in the solitary book-filled office of the pastor, only to be revealed on Sunday morning. Used to be that a church program would be planned in the ...

January 01, 2014

Wilderness Retreat & Development Center Begins Celebration of 50th Birthday

By Brittanee Jacobs Almost 50 years ago, what is now the Missouri Conference purchased 320 of acres in northwest Missouri to create a camp. Little did they know that Wilderness Camp would turn into a year-round, ...

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