Awareness first step to improving women's health globally
By Marvé Ralston, special contributor
A recent three-day training event in Fort Worth, Texas, provided an opportunity for 27 women to become better educated about women’s maternal health in the world.
The Healthy Families, Healthy Planet project is a program initiative of the General Board of Church and Society and is funded through a grant from the United Nations Foundation. The goal of the training was to educate and mobilize an additional group of advocates for international...
Churches come together to aid Harveyville UMC's reconstruction
By Susan Cooper, Kansas communications associate director
After Harveyville United Methodist Church was destroyed by a deadly tornado in February, the people in nearby communities were quick to help. But the pastor and members of Auburn UMC wanted to extend their assistance.
What resulted was a dinner dubbed “Unity in the Community” held Sept. 22 at the Auburn Community Center.
The event was attended by more than 350 people, four Christian-music acts performed, and $2,200 was...
Heritage UMC goes camping for Cross-Lines
Heritage UMC member Mark Edwards, left, and Rev. Russell Brown try to get the attention of passing drivers to encourage donations to a clothing drive for Cross-Lines. (photo by Cindy Svec)
A banner in front of Heritage UMC about the clothes collection for Cross-Lines. (photo by Cindy Svec)
Homeless pastor to speak at Come Celebrate
Rev. Lorenza Andrade Smith, a homeless and poverty advocate, will be the featured speaker at the Come Celebrate event Aug. 4 at Lawrence First United Methodist Church West Campus.
Rev. Lorenza Andrade Smith, left, visits with Lester, a homeless man taking shelter inside a culvert beneath a busy street in El Paso, Texas. (UMNS photo by Mike DuBose)
Smith is a United Methodist pastor currently serving in the Rio...
Small congregations work to 'change the world'
Belvue UMC members assemble kits to be donated to UMCOR. (photo by Rev. Angela DeFisher)
By Rev. Angela DeFisher, special contributor
The Belvue, St. Mary’s and Emmett United Methodist congregations each participated in Change the World, a weekend connecting United Methodists around the world in service May 19-20.
In Belvue, church members met at their regular worship time and participated in a brief...
Tiny Nortonville UMC congregation impacting lives in Africa
At Nortonville United Methodist Church, every dollar that is dropped into the plate during a special monthly collection changes the lives of two young African girls living in poverty.
For nearly eight years, the small congregation in Nortonville has been sponsoring young girls in Africa who, without their support, might never receive an education.
It all started when Dorothy Dunn, a member of Nortonville UMC, met someone who made a special impression on her.
College Avenue UMC group distributes birthing kits
By Brandy Webb, special contributor
Nine members of the College Avenue UMC Church Ladies group pose with the birthing kits they assembled. Back row from left, Laura Hohenbary, Suelen Gayle, Sheryl Fjell, Heather Lansdowne, Jenny Hutchinson and Amy Hageman; front row from left, Sarah Williams, Joy Wade and Courtney Fowler. (photo by Mia Wade)
In March, nine members of the group called “Church...
Hoyt UMC members stretch comfort zone with outreach project
By Debbie Taylor, special contributor
Being a committee in a small-membership church can be challenging, perplexing and routine. Often the programs and projects the committee works on are on a rotating basis circling year after year. Some of the events may define the mission of the whole church so you want to keep them intact. But others are fluff. These are the energy drainers that can be reformed into amazing opportunities.
Trying to break the chain of familiar, build a new platform and...
Moving toward sustainable development in Haiti
By Marvé Ralston, special contributor
Rev. Jim Gulley, consultant to United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), gave a workshop focused on “sustainable development” in Haiti at the Global Missions Experience Feb. 25.
Rev. Jim Gulley, UMCOR consultant, shares information about creating long-term change and sustainability in Haiti. (photo by Marvé Ralston)
Gulley works with...
Local churches urged to connect with Haiti
By Marvé Ralston, special contributor
The 2012 Global Mission Experience was Feb. 25 at Grace United Methodist Church in Olathe. The theme for the quadrennial event was “Connecting with the Haiti Covenant.” The Kansas East Conference has a covenant relationship with Haiti.
The emphasis throughout the worship, plenary and workshops was working in connection with the Haitian people for sustainable progress in all areas of our work with Haiti.
Caycee Stapp, who serves...
Kansas East churches report good results from Souper Bowl
By Susan Cooper, Kansas Area communications associate director
Each year in conjunction with the big NFL game, churches and other organizations conduct Soup Bowl of Caring challenges to collect food for the hungry.
At McLouth UMC, Rev. Jeff Clinger promised the congregation in January he would have his head shaved if the congregation collected 5,000 cans of soup.
He also challenged the Tonganoxie UMC congregation to a soup collection competition.
“In a three-week period, our two...
Bringing clean water to El Pavon
By Scott Groth, special contributor
[St. Paul’s United Methodist Church’s] first mission team of 2012 journeyed to the community of El Pavon, Nicaragua, in January. The project team included six members of St Paul’s UMC and four from Old Mission UMC.
Working through El Porvenir, an organization whose...
Heritage UMC turns anniversary celebration outward
By Susan Cooper, Kansas Area Communications associate director
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Heritage United Methodist Church, the Overland Park congregation participated in a program dubbed “25 Ways of Giving and Serving.”
The actual anniversary date was Oct. 16, but the program began in July and is concluding in January.
“The 25th Anniversary Team asked me to come up with a project that the church could support in celebration of the anniversary,” said...
Rossville UMC steps up to help area food bank
Rossville UMC members Larry Ross and Lois Lacock help hand out food at the Harvesters distribution in Rossville Dec. 28. (photo by Lori Schwilling)
Rossville is one community served by Harvesters, a Topeka-area food bank. Last November, it appeared that food distribution in Rossville would be suspended during the winter months because of a lack of volunteers.
Ray Kahrs, a Rossville resident and Harvesters...
Topeka churches help family become first-time homeowners
A Topeka family will have their own home for the first time thanks to the efforts of a dozen Topeka area United Methodist churches. The home is the first rehab project of Topeka Habitat for Humanity.
Participating Topeka churches included First, Countryside, Big Springs, Berryton, Highland Park, Stull, Lowman, Susanna Wesley, Kansas Avenue, University, New Hope, St. Peters and Meriden UMC.
The house blessing for the home of Steve and Loretha and their grandchildren was Dec. 10. Mayor Bill...
Emmett UMC pastor gets pie in face for good cause
The small Emmett UMC congregation collected items and assembled 20 kits for children and youth going into foster care through Youthville. (photo by Dorothy McNinch)
At the celebration of assembling the intake kits for Youthville, Harlan McNinch puts a pie in the face of Rev. Angela DeFisher. He was given the honor by top bidder Alice Brees. (photo by Dorothy...
Independence First helps preschoolers develop better motor skills
By Sandy Nelson, special contributor, and Susan Cooper, Kansas Area communications associate director
The focus of the Independence First United Methodist Church’s Leadership and Faith Transforming Communities (LFTC) program is to help children succeed in school.
The Early Prevention of School Failure assessment of students entering kindergarten in USD 446 indicated that 94 percent of the Independence kindergarten students were moderately or considerably below expected ability in...
Stull UMC helps kids in need go back to school
By Susan Cooper, Communications associate director
Stull United Methodist Church hosted a back-to-school day to help provide clothing and school supplies to families in need. The event provided clothing for 60 children.
Stull UMC member Rita Lesser hugs a woman getting clothing for her children at the church’s back-to-school event. (photo by Randy Kern)
Families were able to choose from new and used...
Ives Chapel launches clothing ministry
By Marvé Ralston, special contributor, and Susan Cooper, associate communications director
Working for the school district, Cathy Gilges saw a great need for a local clothing closet in Baldwin City and had been pondering the details for several years. Gilges is a member of Ives Chapel United Methodist Church.
She began thinking seriously about an Ives Chapel-sponsored clothing closet after a break-out session about community missions during the 2010 Kansas East Annual Conference....
El Dorado Trinity reaches out through Adopt a Senior Program
By Steve Pershall, special contributor
The Adopt a Senior Program was initiated in May 2010 by the Trinity United Methodist Church in El Dorado to extend the church ministry to those who are unable to attend church activities on a regular basis. The program matches a church volunteer with a home-bound senior.
The volunteer contacts the senior on a regular basis, either by telephone or in person. This fellowship allows the senior to remain informed about church activities. It also provides...