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19

Sep
2016

In Laity

By Mitch

Only Laity

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!

Mitch Ross

 

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19

Sep
2016

In Events

By Rebecca

2016 Group Charge Conferences

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
http://www.moumethodist.org/forms?formType=Charge%20Conference
Oct 23. – Nevada UMC
Nov 6 – Monett UMC
Nov 13 – Byers Avenue UMC, Joplin

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14

Sep
2016

In News

By Rebecca

Fair Labor Standards Act & The Church Webinar

On 14, Sep 2016 | In News | By Rebecca

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

14

Sep
2016

In News

By Rebecca

Foundation Opportunity for Clergy

On 14, Sep 2016 | In News | By Rebecca

 

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 (foundation@mumf.org) 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.

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14

Sep
2016

In News

By Rebecca

MO Methodist Foundation Grants

On 14, Sep 2016 | In News | By Rebecca

Ministry Grants Available From Missouri United Methodist Foundation

The deadline for ministry grant applications is October 1. To obtain an application form, visit the Foundation website or call the Foundation office at 800-332-8238. The Foundation’s Endowment is used to fund grant requests received from United Methodist churches, ministries and agencies across Missouri. The Foundation Board considers grant applications twice each year.

20

Aug
2016

In Events

By Rebecca

Breakthrough Prayer 2017

On 20, Aug 2016 | In Events | By Rebecca

Please watch for more information on an upcoming continuation of our Breakthrough Prayer session with Rev. Sue Nilson Kibbey.

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11

Mar
2014

In News

By the Office

Each Life Here Save a Life There

On 11, Mar 2014 | In News | By the Office

Each Life Here Save a Life There is a Southwest District Campaign to involve thousands of our folks in making a major contribution toward the eradication of malaria in a simple way.

How can your congregation help?

The idea is that with a simple invitation that will only take a few minutes in worship, we can save 4000, 5000, maybe even 6000 lives from malaria related deaths. On either March 23 or March 30, whichever works best for your church, let the people of your congregation respond to the challenge to give $10 for every one present that day. Maybe you could widen the impact even more by using your Facebook page to promote this event beyond the walls of the church. Invite your church that day during worship to post an invitation to all their FB friends to make a $10 text donation and save another life!

To make that day even simpler, invite your folks to get their phones out and use the text # to make their donations! Each text is a $10 donation. Already, churches in the Missouri Conference have raised over $580,000 and we are pushing toward the goal of $1M. That would be 100,000 lives saved by Methodists in Missouri! Simply text “malaria mo” to 27722 to make your $10 gift.

Look under the “How can I help” tab at imaginenomalariamo.org for worship, video, and promotional resources.

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14

Oct
2013

In Events
Reminder

By the Office

Meet The New DS

On 14, Oct 2013 | In Events, Reminder | By the Office

The Installation Service for our ‘new’ District Superintendent Mark Statler will be held this Sunday, October 20th, at the Saint James UMC at 4pm. Please announce this to your churches and invite your congregations to come and share in this time of worship and fellowship. Bishop Schnase will be present to officiate the service. A meet and greet fellowship time will be held immediately following.

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20

Aug
2013

In News
Reminder

By the Office

Eval Video Guide

On 20, Aug 2013 | In News, Reminder | By the Office

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30

Jul
2013

In News

By the Office

Annual Evaluation

On 30, Jul 2013 | In News | By the Office

Thank you everyone for the warm welcome into my new role here in the Southwest District.  I feel privileged and blessed to serve with you for the building of God’s Kingdom in our district.  I look forward to getting to know the churches, laity, and pastors of our district.  And I’m eager to help your church live out its mission for Christ in any way I can.

I have one important item I want to draw to your attention.  This is a required process for all part-time and full-time persons appointed or assigned to a local church.

ANNUAL EVALUATION PROCESS is upon us.  The Evaluation Process is about two things:

First, it is a tool to help your church evaluate your ministry in relation to your mission and the mission field that is your community, and the ways that your pastoral leadership is helping your church engage in ministry in the community.

Second, it is a tool that will help paint a larger picture (along with Charge Conference and Appointment Consultation at the end of the year) of the mission, strengths, and needs of churches and pastors of our district, which in turn will help us make better appointments – matching pastoral vision and gifts for leading congregations with the missional needs and vision of local churches.

 

Steps to do quickly:

  • Schedule SPR/PPR to meet in August
  • Run a Mission Insight Report and distribute it with the blank Mission Field Study Sheet (new this year) to SPR/PPR in advance.  If you need assistance with the Mission Insight Study, please contact Rebecca Courtney at the District Office (contact info is below).
  • At the SPR/PPR meeting, complete together the Mission Field Study and then allow the team to complete the Pastor Evaluation Form (which should be reviewed together).  Please be sure your SPR/PPR Chair completes and submits the form to the District Office.
  • Complete the Pastor Self Evaluation Form and submit it to District Office
  • Forms are available on the Conference Website and from the Southwest District Website.
  • DUE DATE for forms is ONE WEEK in advance of your interview appointment.  Interview appointment slots are available now from the middle of September into the first week of October.  Contact Rebecca Courtney or Susan Thomas (417-623-2382) to set up your appointment.

Thank you so much for your attention to these things.  I know that sometimes they may feel like more “to do’s” on your already busy schedule, and so I appreciate very much your assistance.  My prayer is that the process also bears fruit for you and for your congregations, helping you and your congregation to bear even greater fruit for the mission of Christ!

God Bless,

Mark

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