Want to submit a letter to the editor? Email Kathryn Witte at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about events going on around the Conference, visit the events calendar.
To view job openings and items for sale, or submit a listing, visit the Employment/Classifieds page.
Click here for a printable version of UMconnect.
The Nebraska-Kansas Episcopal Area Transition Team made its first recommendations for the new episcopal area and the possible new annual conference Oct. 3 and 4, at its meeting in Wichita.
After listening to the report of the 6-Issue Team, named to reflect the big issues they are working on*, the group agreed to recommend the new episcopal area be named the Great Plains Area when the three conferences come together under one bishop Sept. 1, 2012. The group also agreed to recommend a new annual conference be named the Great Plains Annual Conference. The conference name will be part of the legislation all three conferences will consider during sessions in May and June 2012.
The name recommendation, for the area and potential new conference, is an extension of The Great Plans for the Great Plains name selected by the Transition Team prior to the 2011 conference sessions. It is a geographic descriptor for the land mass both Nebraska and Kansas occupy. The name also honors the pride and pioneering spirit of those who first occupied and settled these lands.
Several other recommendations from the 6-Issue team were affirmed during the meeting.
The 6-Issue Team looked at the three conferences’ apportionment structure over the summer and, after discussion with the entire team, recommended that a subcommittee consisting of representatives from all three Councils on Finance and Administration meet to work on reconciling apportionment formulas and recommending a strategy that would accommodate the nuances of all three conferences.
Consultant Gil Rendle helped guide the meeting and called upon the group to keep articulating and talking about the missional purpose for the new area and for becoming one new annual conference. He said the missional focus will help provide a framework for what is likely to happen and will help create stability and security during a time of great change and transition. Several other groups provided reports at the meeting.
The Asset Allocation Team recommended that all six camps be organized under one oversight board as is currently done in Nebraska. They also recommended all campus ministries be organized in a similar way, keeping all of the current ministries intact, but placing them under one oversight board for the new area, similar to what is currently done in Kansas Area.
The Asset Allocation Team recommended all three conference chancellors and attorneys be briefed in order to guide the group through becoming one new entity. This team will be required to have an understanding of the “The Book of Discipline” and be aware of changes that might occur as a result of the 2012 General Conference.
The Asset Allocation Team will continue to review and aggregate information on all three conferences’ assets.
Other topics discussed with pending recommendations include an annual conference sessions strategy including locations and dates for 2014 and beyond. Several of the dream teams reported on formation work and will be reporting to the Transition Team at its January meeting. Dream teams have been assigned to work strategies and recommendations for small membership churches, clergy/young adult, youth, technology and racial/ethnic concerns. Other groups such as United Methodist Women and United Methodist Men have been meeting on their own.
The 6-Issue team will continue to work on recommendations for the future of the three conference offices, long-term structure and staffing needs.
A wealth of questions and comments resulted from the five-finger vote taken at all three annual conference sessions this past spring, indicating how likely delegates would be to vote for one new annual conference.
The Transition Team has been working hard to respond and to develop strategies for how the three conferences might also come together as one new annual conference. Recommendations will continue to be announced from the various work groups and teams; recommendations that will be a part of a vote for becoming one new annual conference, which is scheduled to take place during the spring 2012 annual conference sessions.
*A subcommittee of the Transition Team has been named to look at some of the more difficult technical issues the team will have to consider in the next six months in preparation for the 2012 annual conferences, including:
Photo: The Rev. Gary Beach team member from Kansas East, shares a report of the Asset Allocation Team.
NEW YORK (UMNS) — Food and medicine are most in demand after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake shook eastern Turkey on Sunday, leaving more than a thousand injured and at least 240 dead. The United Methodist Committee on Relief is in conversation with partner International Blue Crescent to help meet these and other needs, such as blankets, plastic sheets and hygiene kits for survivors. Donations can be made to International Disaster Response, UMCOR Advance #982450.
Click here to read more about UMCOR’s response.
Click here to donate now. Note: You can give your local church credit for your online gift later on during the checkout process. Just look for the checkbox on the page where you enter your Name and Address.
SEATTLE (UMNS) — More than 1.1 million children, pregnant mothers and working fathers are alive today because of gains in preventing and treating malaria. Since 2000, the malaria death rate has been reduced by 20 percent. United Methodists have played a role in that fight, and the church's work drew praise from philanthropist Melinda Gates on Oct. 18 during the Malaria Forum sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Click here to read the full story.
What started a year ago is continuing to grow. God's work is being multiplied in ways unimaginable.
Thanks to over 32,570 advocates, malaria deaths in Africa may be eradicated by 2015, people who have faced disaster are receiving vital support on their path to recovery, entire communities are benefiting from better healthcare, and so much more.
There is still time to be counted. If there are projects you haven't registered for, take a moment to do so now, or spread the word to family and friends who would be interested in helping out.
Recordings of the webcasts, videos, and resource materials are saved on 10-Fold.org for you to return to and share. If you missed any of the projects or want to take more time to explore, go to 10-Fold.org anytime day or night. The 10 days were just a beginning; the good works continue.
A group of 10 United Methodists were commissioned Oct. 11, in a ceremony webcast live from Flushing, N.Y. Among those 10 was Lisa Maupin of United Methodist Ministries of the Missouri River District (UMM), who was commissioned as a Church and Community Worker.
"It is a true honor to be commissioned as a Church and Community Worker for The United Methodist Church,” she said. “As a Church and Community Worker I have been challenged to take the church to the community and in turn bring the community to the church.”
Also in attendance from the Nebraska Conference were UMM Executive Director the Rev. Stephanie Ahlschwede, the Rev. Charlotte Abram, the Rev. Pauletta Lehn and Marilyn Zehring.
She continued, “To think that I will have the opportunity to take up that challenge in my home annual conference is an amazing privilege that I do not take lightly. The outpouring of support and love from the Nebraskans at the commissioning service in New York and those at home as I take these next steps has been wonderful. I am looking forward as the journey of practicing mission and seeking justice continues for me with United Methodist Ministries and the Nebraska Annual Conference."
Church and Community Workers are commissioned missionaries of the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church, who, in response to God's call, are devoted to uplifting the poor and disenfranchised in rural and urban areas throughout the United States. They work to change the social inequities of poverty, racial injustice, and domestic violence. As their name implies, they take the church into the community and bring the community into the church.
Click here to read Lisa’s official Church and Community Worker bio, or to make an online donation to support her ministry.
Photo: Bishop Bruce Ough (left) Thomas Kemper, the Rev. Stephanie Ahlschwede, and the Rev. Charlotte Abram, lay hands on Lisa Maupin, as she is commissioned to be a United Methodist missionary. Photo by Cassandra Zampini.
Interchurch Ministries of Nebraska (IMN), a statewide ecumenical agency that brings Christian denominations together to address social and human issues in Nebraska, marked its 40th anniversary Oct. 19, with a luncheon at Lincoln First United Methodist Church and an unveiling of its new People of Faith Wall of Honor.
The Wall of Honor features the names and stories of people who have been a faith inspiration to an individual, in their church, or in their community. Among the inaugural honorees were the Rev. Mel Luetchens (pictured above, at left) and the Rev. Carol Windrum (pictured above, at right). Luetchens is a retired United Methodist pastor who currently serves as assistant to the president for church relations at Nebraska Wesleyan University. Windrum is the director of risk-taking mission and justice for the Nebraska United Methodist Conference.
Luetchens said in a statement, “I am grateful and humbled by this recognition on the Interchurch Ministries of Nebraska’s Wall of Honor. Many people in Nebraska have a long, strong commitment to Christian Unity and ecumenical work, many longer than mine. This is never one person’s accomplishment — like an Olympic runner; the words, ‘ecumenical’ and ‘unity’ are team-centered. The very nature of the ministry implies that many people are working together to make the unity of the Church visible, to make a difference in the world. I hope when people see my name on the wall they will remember it is there only because of the hard work and commitment of hundreds of people. One of those people is Carol Windrum. Being ‘on the wall’ with her gives added significance. I am grateful for the visibility this honor gives to Christian unity. The Church is the gift of God to the world.”
Interchurch Ministries of Nebraska is a statewide ecumenical agency that provides planning and program support to cooperating denominations in Nebraska.
IMN was designed for Christian communions in Nebraska, in order that churches might come together for worship, teaching, service, and common witness to the faith. Read more about their work at www.interchurchministries.org.
The 2011 United Methodist Association of Communicators (UMAC) meeting was held Oct. 18-21, in Albuquerque, N.M. Those in attendance from the Nebraska Conference communications department were Kathryn Witte (director of communications and marketing) and Trisha Johnson (communications coordinator). The Rev. Stephanie Ahlschwede, Erin Eidenshink and Lisa Maupin, all of United Methodist Ministries of the Missouri River District, also attended. View additional photos on the Nebraska Conference Facebook page.
The gathering included an afternoon of mission work, numerous workshops, a panel session with communicators from the various general agencies, and an awards gala. The Conference Communications Team of Witte (pictured at left in the above photo) and Johnson were recognized for the weekly e-newsletter UMconnect, the umcneb.org website and the Church Has Left the Building logo.
The Rev. Larry Hollon (pictured at left), general secretary of communications for The United Methodist Church (and a member of the Nebraska Conference), was named 2011 Communicator of the Year. Two veteran communicators — Wally Athey and the late Rev. Ann Greene Whiting — were inducted into the organization's hall of fame.
Click here to read more about the 2011 UMAC Awards.
Clergy in Nebraska will join clergy in Kansas East and Kansas West for a joint called clergy session, Jan. 17-19, 2012, at the Ramada Convention Center in downtown Topeka, Kan. The Rev. Brian McLaren is the featured guest. McLaren is known as author, speaker activist and public theologian. He will address topics of change, leadership and discipleship as the combined session will offer clergy from all three conferences a chance to get to know each other. For more information on McLaren, visit his website, www.brianmclaren.net.
To view a flier with more details, including an agenda, click here.
Online registration is available only to those who use a credit card to pay online. If you do not plan to pay online please print the online registration form and mail *along with your check made payable to the Nebraska Conference Treasurer* to:
3333 Landmark Circle
Lincoln, NE 68504
**Registrations without payment will not be accepted.
Nebraska United Methodist Conference Communications will be printing business cards in the coming month. If you would like a "Nebraska United Methodist Conference" branded business card, please contact Roxie Delisi at email@example.com and provide the information you would like on your card, including church or agency affiliation, address, phone numbers, fax, e-mail, website, etc.
The cost is approximately $35 or less for 500 cards, depending on the number of people who choose to purchase cards. Deadline for submitting information is Friday, Nov. 4.
Attached below are additions and corrections to the 2011 Conference Journal.
Editor’s note: Samantha Lacey Johnson (pictured at right) is a member of the Pawnee City United Methodist Church and a student at Nebraska Wesleyan University (NWU). Below is a thank you letter she sent to the Rev. Mara Bailey, NWU campus minister. United Methodist support of student scholarships through the annual Student Day offering, Mission Shares, and various Advances all help young people have access to the education needed to achieve their goals and contribute to the vitality of the church.
Fear. It is something imbedded in us as humans. We all fear various things such as spiders or snakes, or big things like death and darkness. Me, I fear an occasional spider or two, but I’m also afraid of money. You may be wondering why, but it’s fairly simple. For lack of prettier words, I’ve been poor all my life. Being in a single parent house hold isn’t easy, and in spite of my mother’s hard work, love, and devotion we’ve always scraped by. My mother has never received a college education and besides my older sister, a UNO graduate of 2008, I will be a first generation college grad in my family.
Words cannot begin to describe how much college means to me. I get to gain a higher level of education and in the thing I love most, theatre. Yet instead of stage fright I have money fright, “Will I be able to pay for books and tuition this semester? Looks like I’m going to have to wait until the end of the year again.” It is these kinds of thoughts that truly haunt my dreams. Therefore, I am not able to express how grateful I am to be receiving this scholarship.
After watching my sister come back from her third tour in Iraq, I watched as her once catchy wit changed into haunted looks and I began to question if there really was such a thing as good people anymore. However, you showing me this kindness and support has proven me wrong and that is something I’m not afraid of. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Best wishes and God bless.
Samantha Lacey Johnson
United Methodist Student Day falls on Nov. 27 this year. Click here to order your free offering materials. If you cannot celebrate this offering on Nov. 27, you can observe this Special Sunday on any day of the year. When you give to United Methodist Student Day, you support students who are finding new ways to serve God in the world. Your contributions are needed more than ever.
You can give online to United Methodist Student Day at anytime.
Editors note: Sen. Lowen Kruse (pictured at right) served in the Nebraska Legislature from 2001-09 and is also a retired United Methodist minister.
We are hearing a wide range of voices on the values we express in our nation. We feel fracture instead of renewed consensus. “The government (that is us) should do something about problems.” “The government is doing too much.” Ideas run the gamut and arrows fill the space between.
Those trying to bring some sense and order from all of this often use the word “fair.” What is fair to our citizens? What takes into account the differences in income, in education, in need, in culture? What provides a balanced solution? Fair involves consideration of the differing gifts and abilities, as well as the circumstances of birth, to provide the basics to all of our citizens. It involves our Christian (and Jewish) imperative to “Do for others (or treat others) as you would have others treat you.” Mt. 7:12
Tex Sample, popular plain-spoken seminary professor who makes regular appearances in Nebraska, spoke of a “Justice of the common good.” We were discussing God’s action (through us) that changes the world to bring God’s new creation. Christians are to change the world. We do that, but we are not done! That is heavy basic language for how Christians treat others.
Are leaders inside Wall Street, or the protesters outside on Wall Street, primarily interested in the common good for our society? Probably both are missing the mark, as self-interest drives them and us. “Common good” pushes us to consider all of God’s children, whether rich or poor, urban or rural, working with hands or minds. Our faith pushes us to thoroughly respect others. Someone called it “Embodied spirituality.”
Common good is profoundly local. It is a process, a conversation. It is making sure everyone gets to the table. It deals with real people. It is not the greatest good for greatest number (most people). It is for all.
Dr. Vic Furnish, at our Perkins Seminary, wrote that Paul presents the common good as the Christian alternative for society. The uncommon love of God (known in Jesus) nourishes a concern for the common good. It is very close and practical. Relate to others outside your circle. Advocate for the well being of all within your circle.
Common good is intrinsic to our faith. Our challenge is to love and work for the good of others.
United Methodist Ministries (UMM) is collecting registrations for the University of What Works fall learning event to be held Saturday, Nov. 6, at Rockbrook UMC in Omaha . This learning-immersion is designed to educate and empower church members with tools to make a difference in our churches and in our world.
UMM is hard at work preparing workshops for the day including praying in color, community gardens, church outreach, intro to Volunteers in Mission, food policy, starting new ministries, and Fair Trade. The aim is to present simple yet dynamic program ideas that the average church member can implement and appreciate.
Individuals pay $10 for the full day; church groups pay a flat $50 regardless of the number of participants. Call Jaimee today at 402-898-9862 to get your church’s discount code. Go to www.bigmuddyumc.org to view full workshop and registration information. Pre-registration is required.
Final registration deadline is Thursday, Oct. 27. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Nebraska UM Global AIDS Fund Task Force has extended the deadline to submit "Working for an AIDS-Free World" grant applications from Nov. 1 to Nov. 15.
United Methodists worldwide are stepping up to provide a tangible response to the AIDS crisis through the UM Global AIDS Fund. In just five years, more than $3 million has been raised to support AIDS-related projects around the world. Currently, the Fund supports 175 projects in 37 countries.
The Nebraska Conference adopted the special offering in 2006. The Conference's Task Force was established in September of 2009, under the auspices of the Risk-taking Mission and Justice Team. In 2010, approximately $2,000 was raised Conference-wide. Twenty-five percent of the total offerings stay in Nebraska and go towards local AIDS projects.
Local United Methodist churches in Nebraska have an opportunity to apply for a "Working for an AIDS-Free World” grant. The grant is funded by the 25 percent of the Global AIDS Fund offering that stays in our Conference for local AIDS projects.
The Nebraska UM Global AIDS Fund Task Force decides how the grant(s) is awarded. See the application form below for more information. Also, see the SMART Goals form below to aid in your filling out of your application.
“We encourage local churches and groups to collaborate with the Nebraska AIDS Project (NAP) on your projects, as they are the missionaries out in the field in counties of Nebraska assisting those with HIV and AIDS,” said Maureen Vetter, co-chair of the Task Force.
There are five NAP centers located throughout the state; they are in Kearney, Omaha, Lincoln, Norfolk and Scottsbluff. Go to www.nap.org for contact information for each office.
On Wednesday, Nov. 2, Nebraska Wesleyan University will welcome Eboo Patel (pictured at right) to campus for the annual Curtis Lecture. Patel, founder and executive director of the Chicago-based Interfaith Youth Core (www.ifyc.org) will present “Acts of Faith: Interfaith Leadership in a Time of Global Religious Crisis,” at 7 p.m., in O’Donnell Auditorium at 50th Street and Huntington Ave. This program is free and open to the public. The goal of Patel’s Interfaith Youth Core is to bring young people from different faith communities together to build understanding and cooperation. Patel believes religion is a bridge of cooperation rather than a barrier of division.
Patel speaks often about his vision at places like TED conferences, the Clinton Global Initiative, and the Nobel Peace Prize Forum and is a regular contributor for the Washington Post, USA Today, National Public Radio and CNN.
Born in Mumbai, India, Patel is a Muslim-American who attended the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where he received his bachelor’s degree. He went on to Oxford University where he received his doctoral degree in sociology of religion studying as a Rhodes Scholar.
He is the author of the award-winning book, “Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation.”
He is an Ashoka Fellow, part of an elite network of social entrepreneurs with ideas that have the potential to change the world. He was appointed by President Barack Obama to the advisory council of the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Initiatives.
In addition to the lecture, area clergy are invited to an informal time with Patel from 2-3 p.m. on Wednesday Nov. 2. This event will be held in the lower level meeting area of the Student Center on NWU’s campus. Coffee and refreshments will be served. Please email the Rev. Mara Bailey, University Minister, at email@example.com if you expect to attend the 2:00 gathering.
The Gateway District will be offering another Lay Speaking Blitz on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 11 and 12, at Kearney Faith UMC, 1623 Central Ave., in Kearney.
Information/registration forms are attached. Deadline for registration is Nov. 1, but please submit as soon as possible so we can start planning for what we are hoping is another very successful “Blitz”!
Courses offered are as follows (click on each course to download the registration form):
If you have any questions after looking over the registration information, please contact Michelle Carlson, Gateway District Director of Lay Speaking Ministries, 308-293-1899 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Conference’s Young Adult Network is sponsoring a kickball tournament on Sunday, Dec. 4, at the Malone Center in Lincoln. The cost is $3 per person, groups are encouraged to form teams of 11 to 15; all proceeds benefit the Malone Center. The registration deadline is Saturday, Nov. 19.
This will be the first in a series of events to reach out to young adults in Lincoln and its surrounding communities. We are inviting churches who already have a Young Adult Network in place to encourage them to participate. For the churches that do not have a network, we invite them to bring materials to the tournament where they can advertise their church events so they can try to form a network for young adults. Note: The Young Adult Network is intended for those who are 18-35.
To download a promotional flier you can distribute, click here.
Pastors and Youth Coordinators,
As your high school seniors narrow their focus on the universities they will attend next fall, many will make the choice to stay close to home. For those planning to attend UNL, wishing to continue faith and fellowship, Time Out United Methodist Campus Ministry holds endless possibilities. In the continued support of our youth, please take a few moments during your Sunday announcements to ask your graduating seniors to complete an online questionnaire. We ask that you place the copy below in your Sunday bulletin. If you use projection for your worship service, an image (JPEG) is attached that can be inserted into a PowerPoint slide to promote Time Out UMCM. For more information, contact Sharese Bogguess at email@example.com.
Copy for bulletin:
Do you love church but are afraid to attend once you get to college? Where new faces may feel unwelcoming and intimidating? You are not alone; 65 percent of high schoolers stop attending church after they graduate and move on to college. UNL Campus Ministries is here to help you find the place where you feel safe and welcomed in a spiritual community.
The intention of college campus ministry is to help students, new to university life, realize that there is a continuation of spiritual growth and learning beyond the direction of parent support. The arena of the Campus Ministry group encourages young adults to explore their faith through dialogue and student interaction.
Come and be welcomed into weekly faith discussion groups where you can meet others who may or may not feel the same way you do, but who are willing to work together to find an answer.
Fill out the form found at www.umcneb.org/campusministries to let us know you are interested in joining us when you get to UNL.
The Missouri River District Hispanic Ministries, directed by Pastor Patty Gandarilla, was awarded a grant of $15,000 from the Omaha Community Foundation’s Futuro Latino Fund, at a presentation ceremony on Oct. 10. The United Methodist Hispanic Community Center in south Omaha was recognized for its outstanding development of Hispanic leaders in the community and educational opportunities made available, such as ESL classes, a type of GED program offered in Spanish in connection with the Mexican Consulate and youth after-school and summer programming.
“The grant will help further develop the after-school program with the addition of a tutoring program with a bi-lingual staff teacher,” a grateful Gandarilla said. “The Community Center offers a safe, structured environment for all the children in the community.”
Photo: Patty Gandarilla (second from left), shown with other recipients of the Future Latino Fund Grant and Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado, member of the Board of Directors for the Future Latino Fund of the Omaha Community Foundation.
You are most likely familiar with the Micah Corps, a summer internship program sponsored by the Risk-Taking Mission and Justice Team of the Nebraska Annual Conference. My name is Rachel Lee and I was a Micah Corps intern this past summer. Thanks to the RTMJ Team and your mission share dollars, I am continuing the Micah Corps internship this fall. Last summer I spent time working and learning at Nebraska Appleseed; my time there inspired me to learn more about immigration issues.
My interest led me to plan a two-day event on the Hastings College Campus where I am a senior, majoring in English and history with a minor in Christian ministries. The event takes the lead from a group of students at the University of Texas in San Antonio who fasted to raise awareness about the DREAM Act last November. Their actions inspired people throughout the country to participate in what is now known as the 365 Fast for the DREAM Act. You are welcome and encouraged to participate in and attend any or all of the events listed below; all events take place on the Hastings College campus.
— Wednesday Nov. 2
— Thursday, Nov. 3
Click here to learn more about the 365 Fast and involve your congregation.
Sabrina Miller (pictured at right) is a member of the Lewellen United Methodist Church, in Lewellen, Neb.; she recently took part in the Occupy Wall Street demonstration in New York City. Attached is her account of what she experienced, as well as a challenge to all United Methodists.
Many United Methodists are taking a stand. Click here to view a YouTube video of United Methodist Women (including Marilyn Zehring, a Women's Division board member and member of Columbus First UMC) from all over the country at Occupy Wall Street.
The following was submitted by Trent Meyer, site director at Camp Fontanelle.
Yesterday (Sunday, Oct. 23) we had the perfect storm for a day for the corn maze. Final numbers haven't been tallied, but we for sure had over 900 and possibly over 1,000 people at our corn maze and "Search for Treats" event in the maze on Sunday. This surpassed Camp Fontanelle's expectations and smashed our single day record of 450. We haunted the maze on Friday and Saturday with about 150 visitors each night plus about 450 at the camp Saturday afternoon even though there was rain west and south much of the day, we remained basically dry. All told, we had somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,700 visitors at the corn maze this weekend alone! Money has not all been counted, but economically that translates into $12,000-$15,000 of revenue for the camp.
This coming weekend is our last weekend with the maze in action, with hours of operation from 1-7 p.m. We have haunted maze extended hours on Saturday, from 7-10 p.m. A 5k race or 1 mile walk will begin at 4 p.m. About 75 people are currently registered. A person can still register online or walk-in the day of the race. With the $20 registration fee a person also receives a spaghetti meal following the race followed by campfire worship led by Pastor Jason Kennedy of Bellevue St. James UMC. Consider checking out the camp next weekend with weather projected to be in the 60s and dry. The jumping pillow was the new attraction this year. Three or four new attractions are already being planned for next year. Grow with us and consider supporting Camp Fontanelle next weekend and as you plan your 2012 fall youth group and church activities. Visit www.campfontanelle.com for more info on the races and the maze.
Ground will be broken in early November for the construction of new restrooms and a storm shelter, which will see use by both summer campers and our corn maze crowd. The restrooms are projected to be finished by the 2012 barbeque. A 30' x 60' picnic shelter will be added as phase 2 upon completion of the restrooms. The picnic shelter is projected to have a kitchen with serving windows, lots of electrical hookups for potlucks and family reunions, sliding doors to be opened and closed depending on the weather, and a built in two-way fire place so groups can enjoy a nice fireplace from both inside and outside on a patio.
Norfolk First United Methodist Church celebrated 140 years of ministry in the Norfolk community on Sunday, Oct. 23. Both morning worship services included music, colorful banners and testimonies, as well as an acknowledgement of all of the current ministries offered by the church and its affiliated organizations.
The congregation also kicked off its exciting “Living the Vision” campaign, an effort to add handicap accessibility and remodeled space in their building in order to live out their vision of “Open Hearts...Open Minds…Open Doors.”
Photo: The Norfolk First UMC enjoyed participating in the annual Fall Lion's Day parade on Sept. 17. Several members shared their gifts to decorate the float. Adults, youth and children enjoyed the time together on the parade route, some getting to know each other for the first time. It was also a valuable evangelistic tool for the church as they shared information about worship times, etc. Using this venue, the church was able to enjoy a fun family event and share the love of God with their community.
On Oct. 9, approximately 85 youth, youth leaders, and other adults joined together for the 2011 Stand Up Against poverty day of service, spending their Sunday in service at a variety of community agencies around the metro-Omaha area.
The day began with a gathering at Tri-Community United Methodist Church, where the Rev. Stephanie Ahlschwede, executive director of United Methodist Ministries, welcomed the groups and helped them frame the experience.
Teams of volunteers participated in a wide variety of volunteer projects including: preparing a number of community gardens for winter, organizing the Blue Flamingo thrift store, decorating a homeless youth shelter, participating in a neighborhood tour and clean-up, painting a community garden fence, and helping at the First United Methodist Church pumpkin patch. Churches that were represented include: Clair Memorial UMC, First UMC Blair, St. Paul UMC Benson, Hanscom Park UMC, Living Hope UMC, Auburn UMC, Murdock-Ebenezer UMC, and Gretna UMC.
At the day’s conclusion, teams returned to Tri-Community UMC for a closing advocacy activity, group photo, and meal provided by Tri-Community UMC.
United Methodist Ministries’ next service event will be the Martin Luther King, Jr. day of service in January. For more information about all of United Methodist Ministries’ events go to www.bigmuddyumc.org.
Lincoln-area Boy Scout Troop 12 will celebrate its 100th Anniversary with an event planned for Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. Troop 12 is the first unit within the Cornhusker Council to be able to celebrate this historic milestone.
The Boy Scouts of America was incorporated in February 1910. Troop 12 was organized at Lincoln's Saint Paul United Methodist Church in October 1911; the same year the first Boy Scout Handbook was published. Since 1911, Troop 12 has been led by 28 Scoutmasters and has helped 60 young men achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.
The anniversary celebration will begin at 3 p.m. with a social hour in the Family Life Center at Saint Paul UMC, 1144 M St. A formal program will begin at 4 p.m. in the sanctuary. Dinner will follow with a cost of $15 at the door. For more information, contact Nancy Price at 402-483-4856 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following was submitted by the Rev. Carol Jean Stapleton, pastor of South Sioux City Saint Paul UMC.
During the 2011 flood event, Saint Paul United Methodist church in South Sioux City collected cash and cleaning store supplies. Other United Methodist churches in the Elkhorn Valley District also contributed, including Norfolk First, Norfolk Westridge, Walthill, Chambers, Meadow Grove, Bloomfield, Amelia, and Dakota City.
Cleaning supplies were donated to the Salvation Army to be used for flood clean-up for our neighbors in RiverLand Estates in Sioux City. Many thanks to all who participated in this outreach effort.
Photo: (From left) Pastor Carol Jean Stapleton, Outreach Chair Gloria Oorlog and a Salvation Army representative, with the cleaning buckets that were collected.
The Loup City UMC was really shaking June 27-July 1, 2011, as more than 40 children attended VBS daily. Students ranged in age from 3 years to the 5th grade. One activity especially enjoyed this year was the discovery experiments and projects that applied the bible teaching to real life learning.
Every day was filled with learning, fun, and excitement. Bible lessons came alive with meaning and understanding and a challenge for living!
The mission of the Center for Legal Immigration Assistance (CLIA) is to provide quality, affordable immigration related legal services to immigrants and refugees in Nebraska. Your Mission Share dollars, through Risk-taking Mission and Justice ministries, help support CLIA’s work.The following is the story about one of its clients.
By Max Graves, CLIA executive director
Kim entered the United States approximately one year ago when her husband enrolled as a student at UNL. They, along with their two boys are from China and all made a legal entry into the United States. Because of her fear of persecution in China, Kim made an appointment with CLIA to discuss the possibility of applying for asylum here in the United States.
She had suffered persecution in China and was afraid that if she returned the persecution would continue because of that government’s one child policy which she vehemently opposed. Several years ago in China when she was pregnant with her first child, while asleep at night, several police officers stormed into their house and arrested her and her husband. When they resisted, the police officers began to beat both of them, tied her up, forced her into a van and transported her to a medical clinic, which she knew was well known for performing abortions. At the clinic she continued to resist and begged them not to force her to have an abortion, but they forcibly subdued her and performed the abortion against her will. Although this was the couple’s first child, they had not applied for a birth permit before beginning the pregnancy, which went against Chinese law, thus causing the forced abortion.
She was arrested a second time with similar circumstances: she and her husband were beaten and she was forced to have a reproductive device surgically implanted.
Since she has two children, the second child is considered illegal in the eyes of the Chinese government and she fears for him as well. As an illegal in China and without being properly registered, he would not be able to marry, get a good job or travel. Kim fears that he may even be kidnapped or simply disappear.
With great apprehension, as well as hope, Kim approached CLIA about asylum. She faced a dilemma in that she needed legal assistance, in which a great deal of research of case law was required to win her case. Yet as a wife of a student, she was not allowed to work and her husband’s visa only allowed part-time work at best. They barely had enough money to pay for the tuition and the necessities and could not afford an attorney. CLIA provided the family with an affordable option.
With collaborative help from our consulting attorney, we were able to argue the legal issues successfully and win the asylum case. Kim is now able to remain in this country without fear of persecution because she has more than one child. She and her husband now have work authorization to be able to support their family, and within one year, they will be eligible to apply for permanent residency.
After 10 years of medical missionary service at Maua Methodist Hospital and 14 years at Red Bird Clinic in Beverly, Ky., United Methodist family physicians Drs. Lynn and Sharon Fogleman have felt God’s call to serve as cross-cultural witnesses for Jesus Christ in the new country of South Sudan.
The couple recently spoke to a group of members from Falls City Bethel United Methodist Church, Pastor Richard Fairbanks said of the presentation, “It was very informative and very touching.”
The Foglemans’ goal is to help train Sudanese community health workers to educate villagers in basic health practices. They expect these village health workers to pass on live-saving skills for many years to come. They also seek to make disciples of Jesus who will, in turn, become disciple-makers.
If you would like to make a donation to help the Foglemans in their mission, tax deductible gifts may be sent to:
The Mission Society
P.O. Box 922637
Norcross, GA 30010-263
They also request your prayers. For more information, contact Sharon Fogleman at email@example.com.
Lincoln St. James UMC of the New Visions Community is once again selling pies for the holidays.
Cherry, apple and raisin pies are frozen and need to be baked. Pumpkin is baked first and needs to be thawed.
The cost is $10 per pie. Send orders to Beth Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org will be taken until Nov. 12. Pick-up time is 2-7 p.m. on Monday before Thanksgiving, Nov. 21 at St. James UMC 11th & Lake Street. (Use the south door.)
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