News


Lattes, Ashes, Prayer & Conversation

News Article
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...

Linda Harris: Next Gateway Regional District Superintendent

News Article
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 ...

Missouri Conference Attendance Report

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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...

Missouri United Methodist Foundation

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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 ...

Now Read This

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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...

Spiritually Engaged Laity

News Article
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 ...

St. Louis Bar becomes Worship Space on Sunday Nights

News Article
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 ...

What Happens to Our Apportionment Check?

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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 ...

You Can't Share What You Don't Have

News Article
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. ...

Bishop Schnase's Latest Book: Seven Levers

News Article
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...

Spiritually Engaged Laity

Blog Post
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 question, too.

Cultural Trends You May Have Missed

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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 ...

Find a Day to Serve a Way

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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 ...

Giving Your Christmas Gift to Mission

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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 ...

I Am the Missouri Conference

News Article
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 ...

Imagine No Malaria: Advent & Christmas Giving

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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 ...

Letter from the Editor

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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 ...

Methland: The Death & Life of An American Small Town

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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 ...

More Ideas for Raising Money for Imagine No Malaria

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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...

Shift Happens: Hope in the Midst of Transition

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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 ...

Slowing As A Spiritual Practice

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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....

The Gondola Training Center in Mozambique

News Article
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...

Wesley in the World Today

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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 ...

Why I Give

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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....

WOW

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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.  ...

Sociology Professor Talks about the Rural Difference

News Article
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 ...

The Mission Field: Urban & Rural Settings

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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 ...

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

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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 ...

Love Period

News Article
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...

Preaching Hope in the Midst of Transition

News Article
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 ...

Seeking Help for Ministry as a Non-Profit

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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 ...

Shift Happens: A Time of Change

News Article
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...

Snow Day

News Article
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.” ...

Church Partnership Grants Say, "Send Me"

News Article
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...

Churches Work Together to Provide Room at the Inn

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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 ...

Heraldic Banners Introduce Liturgical Seasons

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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 ...

I am the Missouri Conference...

News Article
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 ...

Letter from the Editor

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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 ...

Message from the Cabinet

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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 ...

Missourians on a Mission in the Congo

News Article
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 ...

New Songs for the New Year

News Article
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...

Overflow: Increase Worship Attendance and Bear More Fruit

News Article
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 ...

Scholarship Applications

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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 ...

Small Churches Can Grow

News Article
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 ...

Snow Day

News Article
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 ...

Web Design Trends for 2014

News Article
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 ...

Wesley in the World Today

News Article
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 “...

What About the Main Thing?

News Article
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 ...

What About The Main Thing?

Blog Post
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.
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