Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Missouri United Methodist Clergy

Missouri United Methodist Clergy,
Every four years we hold General and Jurisdiction Conference elections.  Annual Conference last year was one of the best I have ever attended and it just feels like significant progress has been made in making disciples for Jesus Christ.  Whether it be the HCI, PLD or something else, I feel a spirit of connection, mutual accountability and concern for each other.  There are many excellent options for the elections this year on both the clergy and laity sides.  
 In years past clergy have sometimes self-nominated, been put on lists, ran as groups, ran in groups and worked to see their friends and those they thought well of elected.  It's no different this year.  There are several lists floating around out there.  It is my hope and prayer that our elections this year not detract from the spirit of unity and fruitfulness that we have shared these past few years. 
So I offer all the lists that I have seen thus far, in the open for everyone to see.  I sadly must admit I do not know all the clergy on these lists.  You may not either.  Maybe it will inspire us to truly conference together, not just with our friends, but all our colleagues.  If any of you know of other lists, please send them and I will add them as soon as possible.    Feel free to share this note with anyone you like.  God bless and see you all soon. 

Centrist List
For General
Bob Farr
Cody Collier
Steve Breon
Ron Watts
Lynn Dyke
Robin Roderick
Emmanuel Cleaver III
For Jurisdiction
Bruce Baxter
David Bennett
Robyn Miller
Kendall Waller
Jeremy Vickers
Londia Granger Wright
Sandy Nenadal
Matt Miofsky
Sherry Habben
Rob Barringer
Sandy Schaller

Progressive List
Emmanuel Cleaver, III         
Cody Collier
Amy Gearhart                     
Sally Haynes
Matt Miofsky        
Carl Schenck
Yolanda Villa

Women's List
Jill Sander-Chali
Nora Jones
Amy Gearhart
Robin Roderick
Chris Dumas
Lydia Istomina
Sally Haynes
Yolanda Villa

Young Clergy List
Laura Blevins                     
Andy Bryan
Emmanuel Cleaver III  
Buck Cueni-Smith
Eric Huffman                    
Geovanna Huffman
Nora Jones                      
Michelle Mclendon McGhee
Matt Miofsky            
Angela Olsen
Rebecca Peak                  
Jill Sander-Chali
Jeremy Vickers  
Chris Williams

Friday, May 27, 2011

Joplin Response- Way to go Grace!

Thank you so much to everyone at Grace who has donated items for the Joplin relief.  Currently we have received over 500 diapers, 2880 bottles of water, 100+ health kits, 300+ kid kits and hundreds of other items.  We will continue to receive items over the next few weeks and we have already sent two shipments down to Joplin.  If you would consider a mission trip this summer down to Joplin, please contact Grace asap.  God bless you all and God bless the people of Joplin.
Go in peace and go with God.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Joplin Tornado Relief Response

Here is what we are currently collecting to send down next week.

NOT Bottled Water at this time here
NOT Clothing at this time
Small Shampoo
*Wet Wipes (adult and child)
Gallon Ziploc Bags
*adult socks
*plastic forks, spoons and knives
Fun Kits for kids- Coloring Books, Crayons, Card Games, Bubbles, Play Dough

*Immediate needs

Trucks Loads of Items can go to
Woods Chapel United Methodist Church
4725 NE Lakewood Way, Lee's Summit, MO 64064

For Clothing Drop off-
Abundant Life Baptist
414 Southwest Persels Road
Lee's Summit, MO 64081-2803
(816) 554-8181

Every organization in the Kansas City area is doing their part.  We are doing ours.  Please drop these items off during the following hours.  Go in peace and go with God.

This week
Tuesday- 9-12 pm
Wednesday- 9-2 pm and 6-8 pm
Thursday- 9-2 pm
Sunday- 7:30 am to 12 pm.

Week of May 30th
Tues- 9-2 pm
Wed- 9-2 pm
Thur- 9-2 pm

Monday, May 23, 2011

Grace UMC, Lee's Summit - Response to Joplin Damage

Many of you have already requested information on how to help those in Joplin who experienced a devastating tornado on Sunday.  Grace is working on putting together a plan of action and it will be sent to everyone in the next few days.  Here are some initial steps  you might take-
1. Pray for all of those who lost loved ones, who lost their homes, churches, schools and hospitals.  The path of destruction is wide and has cut deep.  We believe currently that the district office and two UM churches had major damage.
2. Consider making a donation the American Red Cross or UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief)
3. Consider bringing up items to fill some Red Cross Comfort Kits
Some of the items you can donate are:
Gallon Ziploc bags, small shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, comb, washcloth, kleenex, shaving items, batteries, bottled water, wet wipes, diapers.  Drop them off in the church lobby or main office
4. Start praying about future mission trips to Joplin in August and September.  Cleaning up will be a long process.
5. Do not attempt to drive down to Joplin to view the damage or try and help.  They are requesting certain groups come down and the Red Cross and City are contacting them personally.  Do not go to Joplin, please.
6. Pray about opening your home to anyone who might need to relocate for a few months.
7. You may also donate to the relief efforts through Grace by marking "Joplin relief" on your check on envelope. 
The size of this event is so vast, that we are partnering with Woods Chapel UMC to provide assistance to Joplin.  Look for updates on the church webpage, the church facebook page, Pastor Jeremy's blog, and through direct emails from the church account.  All church wide mission efforts to Joplin are being coordinated through the church office in consultation with Pastor Jeremy and our Mission Chair Carmen Kynard. 

Thank you and please pray for all those who are suffering. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I am a United Methodist Pastor

I am a United Methodist Pastor.  I do not delight or rejoice in the suffering or death of others.  My humanness may pull me away from my calling, but I seek, struggle and fight to stand firm on my faith in Jesus Christ.  The faith community I come from is inclusive of those seeking to fulfill their call from God.  Our focus on serving the needs of the poor is paramount to our service in Christ.  Our focus of sharing the good news in word and deed is  built into the structure of the denomination.  We help people, wherever they may be, connect with God and begin or continue their journey of faith.  We are not flashy, we do not seek the spotlight and rarely do we comment on the political realm, only if it serves and is connected to our purpose of fulfilling the Great Commission and Great Commandment.
I am not a manager of a building.  I would rather be in the community than in a committee meeting.
I continue to grow in God's grace daily, desperately seeking direction and a better understanding of God's will.  My daily prayers focus on my wife, unborn child, my family, my friends, our Bishop, our cabinet, my clergy colleagues, the church I serve, the churches in our community and world, those who are suffering, those who are far from God, the community I serve and many, many more.
The Lord's Prayer is never far from my lips and thoughts.
The Apostle's Creed informs my beliefs.
I am part of a connectional systems that encourages clergy to connect.
We struggle with fruitfulness and competition and yet we continue to conference together.
We have an Open Communion table.
The churches of the United Methodist Church are mission stations.
Every Sunday is a mini-Easter for us.
From time to time, we move to other churches to serve wherever we are sent.
We mourn with those who mourn, we rejoice with those who rejoice.
We do no harm, we do good and we stay in love with God.
I am a United Methodist Pastor.