In From Mark
By Mark Statler
On 19, Sep 2016 | In From Mark | By Mark Statler
Saint Paul’s UMC took the next important step in ministry to the Carl Junction community on Sunday, Sept 18th. The launch team for the CJ site has been working since January to build relationships, make connections, and start new ministry in the Carl Junction area. On Sunday, 143 adults and 38 children came to celebrate the official beginning of weekly worship. . The launch team was pleased to see many new folks from the community in addition to a mix of former CJUMC members and regular attenders from Saint Paul’s Joplin campus, according to site pastor, Ben Bainbridge.
The worship included a special celebration of infant baptism and an adult came forward at the close of the service to schedule a baptism in two weeks.
Worship (at 9:15 and 11:00 a.m.) is temporarily being held at the Student Ministries building, located at 206 N Main in Carl Junction. As soon as construction is completed on the Well Street location, many ministries will be relocated to the new building, including worship. The student ministries building on Main St. will continue to serve as the hub for youth ministry.
We praise God for a wonderful new start in Carl Junction!
On 19, Sep 2016 | In Laity | By Mitch
Inevitably, when I talked to church members about the mission of the local church, someone feels the burden of what must be done to actually be the church and in a wave of inadequacy they exclaim, “…but I am only laity.” In this context, “only laity” implies amateur, non-professional, unskilled, unworthy or incapable. It’s self- deprecating – and it’s a myth.
The laity must not feel apologetic or inadequate. They are not always well equipped, but are always Christ’s ambassadors. Fueled by the Holy Spirit, just as they are, and without apology, the laity witness, obey, love, lead and reach-out to one another with the full measure of Christ’s empowerment.
I credit Pastor Eugene Peterson for planting this thinking in me. He says it bluntly: “Where do all these Christians, who by definition are ‘new creatures in Christ’ … pick up this deprecating self-understanding? They certainly don’t get it from the Bible or the gospel. And certainly not from Jesus. They get it from the culture, both secular and ecclesial.” The Jesus Way, Eugene Peterson, p. 13.
No laity doubt or challenge the role of clergy, those blessed men and women who answer the call to full time service to the church. In partnership, laity share common ground with clergy. We are baptized to the same salvation. Together we form the priesthood of all believers, kingdom of priests and saints. These biblical phrases are not arrogant scriptural claims but are confessions of our mutual commitment to the Kingdom of God.
When Jeremiah complained to God, “…but I am only a boy” God’s response (paraphrased but still accurate) set him right, “Don’t say that. Do what I tell you. I am with you.” What more can we ask for? We laity should hear the same words from the same God when we exclaim, “I am only laity.”
Methodist teaching is plain, “The witness of the laity, their Christ-like examples of everyday living as well as sharing their own faith experiences of the gospel, is the primary evangelistic ministry through which all people will come to know Christ and The United Methodist Church will fulfill its mission.” – UMC Book of Discipline, ¶127
We laity are the Church, the body of Christ, empowered to carry on the business of our heavenly Father and live lives as directed by the Holy Spirit without excuses for our sufficiency. Christ says we are up to it. Why second guess him? You go laity!
On 19, Sep 2016 | In Events | By Rebecca
2016 Charge Conferences have been scheduled. All conferences will be held from 3-5 pm. We are planning to hold several one hour breakout learning sessions for both clergy and laity on a variety of topics. More details on those will be coming as we finalize plans. We would ask each church to bring several laity to take advantage of the training that will be offered. Please watch for more information on that as we finalize details.
Please also remember that in order for group conferences to run smoothly you must get your salary information into the district office for review and then meet with your ad council to get prior approval for items requiring a vote. Please see the dates below so that you may begin to prepare for your conference. Dates are finalized though there may be some change in host churches.
Forms are available at
Oct 23. – Nevada UMC
Nov 6 – Monett UMC
Nov 13 – Byers Avenue UMC, Joplin
Recent Changes to Overtime Pay Requirements: The Department of Labor is reducing the number of employees who do not have to record time and who are not entitled to receive overtime pay. This reduction means that many employees, including employees of local churches, may now be covered by the overtime rules. Director of Finance & Administration, Rev. Nate Berneking, will conduct a lunch hour webinar on Wednesday, September 21, at 12:00 p.m. to discuss all of the recent changes. He will walk churches through the new rules, attempt to clarify who might be exempt and who must be paid overtime, and answer any related questions. The webinar will conclude no later than 1 p.m. Learn more about the webinar and how to watch it here: http://www.moumethodist.org/eventdetail/fair-labor-standards-act-the-church-webinar-5558583?month=9&year=2016&day=1&display=m
Open to All Clergy
All clergy are invited to attend the Clergy Benefits Academy hosted by the General Board – Pension and Health Benefits of the United Methodist Church. The Clergy Benefits Academy will be presented October 24-26, 2016, in Branson, Missouri at the Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel. The Missouri United Methodist Foundation would like to reimburse clergy attending the academy for two nights of hotel room at the Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel. The Clergy Benefits Academy is for all ages and stages of ministry — new ordinands, early-career clergy, mid-career clergy, ready-to-retire clergy, district superintendents, clergy in extension ministries — and spouses. There is something for everyone! This event is an opportunity to learn about the many benefit issues that affect your life and ministry. You can even earn continuing education units (CEUs) for attending. Register for the Academy and reserve your hotel room. Once registered, call the Foundation Office at 800-332-8238 to let us know you will be attending the event. After the event, email (email@example.com) or mail (PO Box 1076, Columbia, MO 65205) your hotel receipt, name and mailing address to the Foundation, and a reimbursement check will be mailed back to you. For more information about the Clergy Benefits Academy and a link to register, visit www.mumf.org/2016/clergy-benefits-academy.
For questions regarding the hotel reimbursement process, call the Foundation office at 800-332-8238.