Retirees reflect on service, give thanks
As Missouri Conference clergy closed their careers at the Saturday morning retirement service during Annual Conference Session, many reflected back on how their service to the church began.
“Aren’t circles amazing things? This journey of faith has taken me full circle from Volunteer in Mission to becoming a missionary – from West Plains to Costa Rica and Kenya – as a Deaconess, and a Parish Nurse in Atlanta and New York – to Brazil and Nicaragua – from...
Mission comes first in appointments
The mission of the church comes first.
“We say that to ourselves, and repeat it constantly,” Missouri Bishop Robert Schnase said of the appointive cabinet meetings. “We have tried in a very conscientious way to make the appointment system more consistent, to make it more outward focused and to make it mission driven.”
Bishop Schnase spent the first hour of the last day of Annual Conference Session teaching how the Missouri Conference cabinet goes about making...
Cleaver: By God, things can change
Rev. Emanuel Cleaver addressed the Missouri Conference just before the service of sending forth on Monday morning, and reviewed some of the impressions he got in the past year while working part-time as the Assistant to the Bishop in African American Leadership Development.
He began by reading from Psalm 73.
“The voice of the psalmist is revealing paralyzing pessimism that has taken control. His soul, body and heart has suffered immensely. But right in the middle of his declaration...
High-Tech Chat: Dad joins confirmation from Iraq
One of my joys is seeing the way technology is changing wor- ship.
We confirmed 19 young adults Sunday, May 16. Gavin Schmidt’s father Lt. Colonel Paul Schmidt is serving in the US Army and currently is stationed in Basra, Iraq. I had e-mailed asking him to write a prayer and send pictures for us to use on the overhead. My goal was to have him participate someway in our service.
We had updated our media and technology four years ago as we funded new and emerg- ing ministries. Our media...
Bishop Schnase takes Five Practices to personal level
The learning time with Bishop Schnase was in his words “the biggest Sunday school class I’ve ever taught.” His goal for the morning was to introduce his approach of taking the message of the Five Fruitful Characteristics from congrega- tional understanding and practice to per- sonal practice. This takes the conversation to a whole different level.
“The word fruitful invokes a variety of Scriptural images,” said Bishop Schnase. “We read about vines, and...
Roderick: Let others see you searching
“Wake Up, Church, Wake Up!”, sung beautifully by the Asbury (Springfield) UMC Choir, prepared the members of Annual Conference for the Sunday morn- ing message delivered by Rev. Robin Roderick, senior pastor of First UMC, St. Charles. The choir selection followed a moving dramatization of Simeon meeting Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus in the temple.
Using a recording of the U2 song “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”, Rev. Roderick pointed out the...
Camps raise standards, continue to develop
Ron Watts and David Israel told the conference that in much the same way a car needs to be aligned to run smoothly, camping ministries has worked with their policies and bylaws to “align” camping ministries with the vision and mission of the Annual Conference. Much of their work involved property matters. The work has been ongoing since the camping ministries of the former Missouri East and
Missouri West Conference united before the Missouri Conference was formed. Standards for the...
Values Team helps monitor diversity
In the midst of team reports during the first plenary session, Michele Sue Shumake-Keller, Choong-Ho Kwon, and Kathy Morrison injected a little fun by presenting a skit about the work of the Values Team. The team is connected to the General Commission on Religion and Race and the Status and Role of Women. They portrayed the “ministry of monitor- ing”, ensuring inclusiveness in the midst of diversity.
The Values Team counts people because “all God’s people in God’s...
Ordination service brings 19 into full connection
The Missouri Conference has 18 new elders and 1 new deacon following last night’s ordination service at the Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts.
The number being ordained was higher than usual this year. This is due in part to a change in the length of service required from the time candidates are commis- sioned until the time they are ordained.
Bishop Robert Hayes of the Oklahoma Area was the preacher for the service. His scripture for the sermon was Matthew 16; 24-26....
Slaughter: Get church out into the world
There’s no point in churches spending any time debating the mission of their church.
“We can’t re-engineer the mission. Jesus gave it to us,” said Rev. Michael Slaughter of Ginghamsburg UMC. “The first words out of his mouth after the resurrection were ‘As the father has sent me, so I send you’.”
Slaughter led a time of learning and a workshop at Annual Conference Session. He spoke about changing the world, and he reminded people that the issue...
Proposed 2011 budget calls for no increase
Lynn Dyke, chair of the Conference Commission of Finance and Administration, presented a proposed 2011 budget that represents a zero percent increase over the 2010 budget.
“You and I live in a world that every day is screaming scarcity,” she said, “Every day you see ads that scream for us to buy more and bigger and different, ads to buy some new gadget that will help meet a need you weren’t aware you had.
“We believe that we don’t have enough money or...
UMW reports on Assembly
Mabel Unser (Gateway Central), Conference president brought her report to the Annual Conference, highlighting the international quadrilateral gathering in St. Louis this past April. Over 6,500 attended highlighted by worship and workshops. Past presidents of the Women’s Division were a part of the historical pre- sentation of the UMW.
“Our own Mai Gray, former president of the Women’s Division,” said Ms. Unser, “was a part of that presentation and passed away soon...
UM Publishing donates to imagine no malaria campaign
Jerry Ruth Williams, a member of the Board of Directors for the United Methodist Publishing House, announced that, in partnership with all those who purchase resources from Cokesbury, the publishing house has donated $50,000 to the Imagine No Malaria campaign. The publishers also raised $10,000 for Haiti earthquake relief this year. However, due to the economic conditions, they were unable to make a donation to the central conference retirement fund.
United Methodist Publishing House oversees...
Retirees honored, candidates commissioned
The Woods Chapel Church Jazz Band provided a smooth beginning to the Service of Retirement, Commissioning and Recognition. Of the 26 retirees, 14 were present to share reflections on their ministry. Here are some brief highlights:
Jim Bryan: “Amy (Gearhart), you will now be known as the pastor of the church across from Shakespeare’s Pizza. The first slice is on me.”
Steve Campbell: He started out by filling in for a pastor who was recovering from an illness, and then that...
Workshop focuses on growing children's ministry
Ms. Legler and Ms. Daugherty have successfully grown the children’s ministry by starting with prayer and the commitment of the congregation to designate both money and time.
Creating a church facility that is kid friendly is essential to attracting and keeping children and their families. This means not only cosmetic upgrades but repurposing space throughout the build- ing. Room uses are determined by what the curriculum will require.
A rotation system of curriculum has worked at West...
Deepening spirituality important for all leaders
Rev. Jim Simpson stressed that all spiritual development begins with the understanding that we are part of an ongoing story begun by and including God. Each of us in turn is a word in the story. It’s important for leaders to recognize that and to understand that the story God tells is not complete without all of our words.
Key points in deepening spiritual development is to cultivate serious conver- sation that builds and deepens relations. This enables leaders to help one...
Upper Room celebrates 75 years of publication
This year will mark the 75th anniversary of the Upper Room daily devotional guide. Sarah Wilke, publisher of Upper Room Publications came before the Annual Conference bringing greetings and pre- sented a video about the Upper Room’s history. This pocket-sized devotional has been written by men and women around the world since 1935, providing millions of people with a simple daily devotional.
“This little book is an act of faith,” said Wilke, “beginning even with its...
Large group to be commissioned, ordained
The Board of Ordained ministry con- ducted interviews for candidates to be commissioned in St. Louis, Kansas City and Columbia this past year. Steve Breon, Chair of the Board of Ordained Ministry, presented 17 candidates who had just been approved during the Clergy Session to be commissioned as provisional elders and deacons.
“We might soon need a larger stage,” Breon said.
Rev. Breon made a special point of thanking Trudy McManus, Conference Clergy Relations and Benefits...
Conference gathers around Tables of Grace
On Friday evening, the Missouri Conference gathered around the table for a family dinner. Bowls were passed and souls were shared, as people took a moment to share in a table of grace.
The meal and meditation was led by Bishop Sharon Brown Christopher. Each individual table also had a person desig- nated to lead discussion during the meal.
“We will sing, pray, have moments of silence and holy conversations,” Bishop Christopher said.
The scripture for the meal was from Mark,...
Farr charts progress in Congregational Excellence
Bob Farr, Director of Congregational Excellence, celebrated new initiatives to strengthen congregations in the Missouri Annual Conference while at the same time, he warned that there is much work to be done to turn around 50 years of decline.
Strengthening the church involves revitalization of existing congregations as well as new church starts. Three revitaliza- tion programs that did not exist at annual conference last year have been successfully launched. “When I stood here last year,...