After 100 years of ministry in Standish, the Saganing Indian Mission is anticipating rebirth through the efforts of the Detroit Conference Committee on Native American Ministries.. MORE
As of 2011 women were 25 percent of U.S. UMC clergy, according to an analysis by the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women. Highest percentage is New England 38%; lowest Kentucky 11%. Detroit Conference stands at 28%. MORE
The Affordable Care Act, effective January 1, 2014, puts new restrictions on tax-favored health coverage for clergy. Here's a word from the Conference Treasurer. MORE
Bishop Cynthia Fiero Harvey prays with young adults considering God's call to ordained ministry. Students from the Michigan Area were among those gathered last month for Exploration 2013 in Denver, CO. MORE
Stop Hunger Now was in the process of setting up an office in Manila when Typhoon Haiyan struck in November.
Using already established relationships has made it easier for the United Methodist partner and hunger relief agency to respond, says the Rev. Ray Buchanan, Stop Hunger Now founder.
As of early December, Stop Hunger Now was in the process of shipping more than 1.8 million meals from the U.S. and its office in Malaysia, the agency announced. Hundreds of thousands of additional meals and other aid was being packaged and distributed through partners in Singapore and the Philippines.
A small group that included Buchanan and Allen Renquist, Stop Hunger Now’s chief program officer, also made a trip to the Philippines, arriving Nov. 17, to hand deliver 1,100 water filters in partnership with Wine to Water, a nonprofit devoted to providing clean water and sanitation to people in need.
Buchanan, who kept a blog of the trip, said he found the typhoon’s destruction in northern Cebu – roofless or destroyed homes, downed trees, damaged infrastructure – to be similar to if not as intense as Tacloban, which has received more media coverage.
Many were homeless and seeking shelter any place they could find it. Buchanan pointed out that burials in the area are above ground because of water table. “We saw numerous families living in the crypts…because it was shelter,” he said.
The government in Cebu has promised to restore power by Christmas, but many have lost their livelihoods. Buchanan believes there is still a great need for food and fresh water.
Part of the reason for the on-site visit, he said, was to verify that partners on the ground could receive as much aid as Stop Hunger Now was shipping and to encourage those partners to move forward with assisting typhoon survivors.
“The most exciting thing, for me, was working with our partners in Rotary (International),” he said. “They organized a meal packaging event in Manila in response to the typhoon. From start to finish, from organization to cleanup, they did the whole thing themselves.”
About 500 volunteers packaged 120,000 meals at the Nov. 22 event in Manila.
Buchanan said the experience of responding to Typhoon Haiyan has re-affirmed the organization’s plan to establish additional international offices. The office in Malaysia, for example, was able to ship 400,000 meals to the Philippines. “Already that strategy of trying to start offices in other parts of the world to respond to crises more immediately is paying off,” he noted.
Stop Hunger Now is an Advance Special #982795.
The people of The United Methodist Church are showing the world the light of Christ through a broadcast on ABC-TV. “RETHINK CHRISTMAS: Unwrap the Gift” is a worship service from Saint Mark United Methodist Church in Wichita, Kansas. United Methodist Communications collaborated with the church to produce the event that will be seen December 24th.
The Christmas Eve service will be an hour in which people can sing along to familiar Christmas hymns with a Gospel twist; see liturgical dancers; witness the lighting of the Advent candle, and hear a word about what Christ means to the world. Check ABC listings for the times for the broadcast in your area.
Ronda Kingwood: “Whenever I sing about Jesus, he just comes through.”
Members of Saint Mark United Methodist Church are rehearsing for the performance of a lifetime. On Christmas Eve, their church service will be broadcast across the U.S. on ABC-TV.
(Choir sings) “King of Kings, Lord of Lords, you are the greatest.”
Karen Wright, Saint Mark United Methodist Church:
“There are people that will be flipping those channels as I used to flip channels. I’m actually reaching someone, maybe someone like myself who used to sit at home and flip channels on Christmas Eve. And this is something that will give me an opportunity to touch someone just as someone touched me when I was at that place.”
Music is a big part of worship for this Wichita, Kansas congregation. Members say singing with others who share that passion gives this church family a special bond.
Karen Wright: “What touches your heart through music ministry can reach someone else’s heart. And that is a part of music ministry. It isn’t just attending a rehearsal and singing on a Sunday morning. It’s being available when someone calls you on a Saturday night just to have someone to talk with. That’s a part of music ministry.”
Choir: “You are worthy of the praise.”
Ginger Withers visited Saint Mark and says hearing made her a believer.
Ginger Withers, Saint Mark United Methodist Church:
“My son was looking for churches. And he called one day and he said, ‘Mom, I think you’d like Saint Mark’s music.’ So I came as a visitor and didn’t leave. I left my church of 35 years that I dearly loved. But there was such a welcoming atmosphere at Saint Mark’s that I just felt like I needed to be here.”
Saint Mark members hope that people watching on Christmas Eve will feel the love in this room and open their hearts to the Christmas story.
Speaker: “The third candle is the shepherd’s candle. It is a symbol of joy and in honor of the shepherds who were the first ones told of the Savior’s birth.”
Ugo Disasi, Saint Mark United Methodist Church:
“The fact that the service will be broadcast across the nation really means a lot because other people probably have never heard of Jesus Christ. Or they have a misunderstanding of what Christmas is.”
Karen Wright: “My holiday wish for the world is that individuals will no longer be so materialistic, but that we’ll realize that there is a purpose, a reason for this season. And whatever that reason is for you, ensure that you’re actually there to help someone else and not just giving something that’s materialistic or receiving something that is materialistic, but receiving comfort, receiving joy and receiving peace.”
Choir: “O Come All Ye Faithful, Joyful and triumphant, O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.”
Ronda Kingwood, Saint Mark United Methodist Church: “We have an opportunity to do what God has called us to do. And that is to go out and make disciples, to go out and spread the word of God outside these four walls. This is what God is calling us to do. It’s not about us. It’s not about inside these walls. It’s about going out. Someone will get to hear and they’ll see Jesus in us, and that’s just gonna touch lives.”
Choir: “Joy to the World” finale
Bishop Warner H. Brown Jr., who leads the California-Nevada Annual Conference, will be the next president of the Council of Bishops.
Germany Area Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, now the council president, said Brown “really sees church unity as very challenging but also very important as a sign of hope to the world.”
“He will help us to move on and journey together,” Wenner said. “He has a high sensitivity for the differences among people both in the U.S. and outside the U.S. I am very grateful he will succeed me.”
The late afternoon Nov. 13 brought a flurry of other elections. The council’s active bishops, by at least a two-thirds vote, also elected Dakotas-Minnesota Area Bishop Bruce R. Ough as the president-designate and Louisiana Area Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey as secretary.
By majority vote, they also elected Ohio West Area Bishop Gregory V. Palmer — a former Council of Bishops president — to deliver the episcopal address during the next General Conference. The denomination’s top lawmaking assembly will convene May 10-20, 2016 in Portland, Ore.
Brown will take office in May 2014, and Ough will receive the gavel during the 2016 General Conference. Harvey will begin her two-year term next summer.
Brown expressed joy at his election.
“It is my prayer that the work of the council be a place of faithfulness to the work of our mission (to make disciples),” Brown told the bishops. “Doing this involves all of us.”
He called on his fellow bishops “to build trust, to work together for the health of our church, to lead in ways that inspire and not just confuse.”
The council president is responsible for presiding over the bishops’ executive committee and the twice-yearly council meetings.
“I think the president of the council is really a servant of this body to remind us of the Christian conferencing that is at the core of our work together,” Brown said. He added that he hopes to help his fellow bishops as they pray for and strive to help the church.
Brown was elected bishop by the Western Jurisdiction in July 2000. He first served in the Denver Area, which encompasses the Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone annual conferences. Since 2008, he has served the San Francisco Area, which encompasses the California-Nevada Conference.
Ough leads the Dakotas and Minnesota conferences and The United Methodist Church missions in Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. For the next four years, he also serves as chair of the 59-member Connectional Table, which coordinates The United Methodist Church’s mission, ministry and resources.
“I did not see this coming,” Ough told the bishops after his election. Ough told his colleagues that he has been saying “yes” to God’s ever since his paternal grandmother encouraged him to become ordained. “I’ve also learned that we don’t travel on the way alone. This is not a singular journey. It is a journey of the community.”
Harvey has served as bishop of the Louisiana Conference since September 2012. She will be taking on the role as a parliamentarian and as an organizer who helps keep Council of Bishops gatherings on course. Upon her election, she joked that as new a bishop, she felt like she was still at the kids’ table.
“I am honored to be coming from the kids’ table to serve on this leadership team,” she said. “We are not here to save the church, friends,” she told her colleagues. “We are here to save souls.”
There are new restrictions on tax-favored health coverage.
Senior Editor/Writer MIConnect
Software, graphic design tools and music licenses can cost churches thousands of dollars. However, many programs have a free and open source equivalent. Check out these resources recommended by United Methodist Communications and start saving today!
1. Free Website Design Tool
WordPress is Web software you can use to create a beautiful website or blog. Thousands of plug-ins and themes are available. WordPress Driven Church has tutorials on how to use WordPress and offers many themes specifically geared towards Christian ministry.
2. Office Alternatives
LibreOffice gives you six feature-rich applications for all your document production and data processing needs. Support and documentation is free from their large, dedicated community of users, contributors and developers. It works on Windows, Macintosh and Linux.
Open Office can handle all your Office documents as well, however it looks and feels like pre-Office 07 and doesn't get updates like the newer LibreOffice.
3. Vector-Based Graphics Editor
Inkscape is an open source vector graphics editor. It does not have all the tools that Adobe Illustrator has, but it also doesn’t have a price tag. We’ll let you pick. Check out the Inkscape galleries to fully understand its power. Inkscape runs on Linux, Windows 2000/2003/XP, and OSX. Download it here. The online book on Inkscape will get you started.
4. Free Publishing App
Scribus is a desktop publishing application that is a great alternative to Microsoft Publisher. It has a fairly user-friendly interface and supports professional publishing features, such as CMYK color, separations, ICC color management and even PDF creation. You need to install Ghostscript for Scribus to work, but it is well worth it.
5. PDF Conversion
PrimoPDF works well and has an easy interface. It is not open source, but it is free.
6. Stock Photography and Images
Many Flickr users offer their work under a Creative Commons license. Search through content under each type of license.
Creation Swap offers royalty-free stock photos, church bulletin and sermon art, logos and more — all shared freely. Visit the network to connect with artists, view portfolios or post jobs at no cost.
7. Image Editing
Paint.NET is free image and photo editing software for computers that run Windows. It features an intuitive and innovative user interface with support for layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools. An active and growing online community provides friendly help, tutorials, and plugins.
8. Shared Music
Jamendo is a growing community of music artists who share music for download under a Creative Commons license. The site also allows listeners to donate to artists! Opsound is another growing community for shared music.
ccMixter is a community site, which features music samples and remixes licensed under Creative Commons. Here you can listen to, sample, remix or interact with music in whatever way you want.
9. Audio Recording
Audacity is free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. It is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux and other operating systems. Check out the Wiki and Forum for more information. Reaper is much more robust than Audacity, but does cost a little for the license. It is much more affordable than ProTools or other recording workstations.
10. Video Transcoding & Editing
HandBrake is an open-source program that converts DVDs into formats that can be viewed on most media players. It also performs many basic editing functions, such as producing subtitles, cropping and scaling.
11. Song Projection Programs
There are hundreds of song projection programs, many of which aren’t that great for the money. However, here are five free candidates that do the job pretty well. Easislides seem to have an edge if you research user reviews.
Possible conference call
It can’t be Advent already!
I received a Burning Question this week about “gifts”- specifically, gifts to pastors and parsonage families. The question was more about what to do with them and how to avoid the pitfalls around them than it was about how to encourage or secure them.
In order to answer this question, please let me start by taking you back to an earlier time in the life of the church – more than 40 years ago, to be specific. When Janice and I started in pastoral ministry in 1972 I was a student pastor, spending my weekdays in Seminary and my weekends as the pastor of a wonderful church in southwest Michigan called West Mendon.
We already had 4 young children when I answered the call to ministry and said “yes” to serving in this rural parish after a brief career as a school teacher and band director.
My starting salary: $4,500 a year – and that was a typical salary for someone just starting out.
One of the things that made it possible for me to feed our family was an old custom the parish people had brought with them from their EUB (Evangelical United Brethren Church) days before the merger in 1968. They used to “pound the preacher!” Every once in a while (I don’t remember how often after all these years) they would announce that they would all be “pounding” the preacher next Sunday. You can imagine that I was not too excited the first time I heard the expression! But on the next Sunday, the people would show up at our door with a “pound” of this and a “pound” of that. Sometimes is was sugar or flour, sometimes it was vegetables and sometimes it was meat, but always it was food. On more than one occasion, they filled our freezer and stocked our pantry to overflowing – and did all this on top of our salary and without asking for anything in return. Those “gifts” made a huge difference in our family’s health and well-being while at that parish and, despite what some people might say about “gifts,” I would have a hard time saying anything bad about those gifts or the people who gave them.
Last week I spent several days in Nashville helping to interview candidates for the position of the 2016 General Conference Worship Lead
er. All the candidates weinterviewed were amazing – any one of whom, I have no doubt, could guide General Conference well.
But in the course of those several days, I heard something I had never known, nor even heard of before.
This burning question has come in several forms over the last few weeks, but it almost always has the same basic thrust: “What is the role of the Pastor/StaffParishRelations committee from the perspective of the Bishop and/or the Superintendent?”
Well, the Bishop’s back and the Cabinets are hard at work and it feels like things are back to normal around the Bishop’s office. Even the Burning Questions have been coming in again, after a few weeks of not hearing from you, and that is also a welcome return to business as usual. One of the questions touched on something that I have written about before, but always bears repeating: “Can pastors vote at church meetings in their charge?”
The interesting thing about the answer to this Burning Question is that it depends on how we interpret the meaning of the term “ex officio.” Paragraph 244 of the 2012 Book of Discipline states: “All persons with vote shall be members of the local church, except where central conference legislation provides otherwise.”
Since pastors are not members of the local church (they are members of the Annual Conference) it would seem clear that pastors may not vote at church meetings. And that has been my personal practice over the years. I have not voted at church conferences and I have not voted at any meeting in the local church where church business was conducted. I just thought that made good sense.
However, a few years ago I read the above quoted disciplinary paragraph again and the very next sentence reads: “The pastor shall be the administrative officer and, as such, shall be an ex officio member of all conferences, boards, councils, commissions, committees, and task forces, unless otherwise restricted by the Discipline. ¶244 (footnote reads: See Judicial Council Decisions 469, 500).
Once again my heart is breaking as I have watched with horror and sadness the reports and pictures coming out of Syria. As I have seen the rows of the dead – men, women, and children – I hear the words of Jesus saying, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:40)
And I admit that my first reaction – a very human, emotional, and understandable reaction – is one of retaliation.
How else can we make it clear that this kind of incredible violence against some of the most innocent among us is wrong and cannot be tolerated? How else can we stop this kind of senseless killing?
And then I remember other words of Jesus which say, “You have heard that it was said, ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’. But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also.” (Matthew 5:38-39)
And I realize, once again, how Jesus’ message still turns the wisdom of the world upside down. An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth, seems to make sense. You took from me, and now I take from you. And yet, Jesus understood that a world where retaliation and revenge are the norm, can only breed more violence – more retaliation – more hatred – and more brokenness. And the cycle of killing and violence continues.
So – once again – I have been forced to dig deeply into my own faith and beliefs, and to consider how I must live out the words of Christ in a world that constantly pushes me to do otherwise.
And my faith tells me this: violence cannot be the answer. Christ came to this world as the Prince of Peace. I am not wise enough, nor politically savvy enough, nor educated enough to know exactly what the answer will be, but I do know that there must be another way. A way that leads to peace. A way that brings us closer to the vision of a world at one, as we read in Ephesians:
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace. ... So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.” (Ephesians 2:13-14a, 19)
So friends, as Christians and as followers of the Prince of Peace, let us do all we can to be peacemakers – in our lives, in our communities, and in our world.
Let us pray constantly and deeply:
For the people of Syria, whose loved ones have been killed or injured, and whose lives are most deeply affected by this time of violence;
For the leaders of our nation, and nations across the world, that their wisdom will guide us to a better future and a world at peace;
For our families and loved ones who put their lives in harm’s way everyday, as they defend us and do their part to keep our world safe;
That the vision of a world where there are no more dividing lines – no more strangers – no more “us and them” – might become a reality.
In the words of the Gospel of John - the 14th chapter:
"Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you."
May it be so, dear Lord – may it be so.
With you in the Work of Christ –
Northville First United Method-
ist Church is looking for an
individual to work as a Sunday
custodian and also as a “fill-in” to
cover vacations and other
absences. If interested or for more
info submit your resume to
or call Debbie @ 248-667-2263
Major Functions: The Director/Organist shall direct up to three choirs. Chancel Choir would be one of the three. Coordinate and maintain a regular rehearsal schedule for each choir. Work closely with the Pastor and musicians to coordinate the type of music the three groups will sing for worship services. Advise/coordinate with the Pastor and worship committee activities involving the Choirs/Chorus that take place outside of the church. Be available for church related activities that require a musician (i.e., funerals, and special services).
Job Qualifications: Must have expertise in organ and piano skills, and conducting choirs. Must be experienced in various types of church music including African American hymns and spirituals. Must be versatile and innovative in training techniques for choir and congregational singing. Must be able to read music.
Addition: The qualified candidate should have a personal devotion to Jesus Christ, be positive, flexible and have an overarching view of the role of music in church worship
To Apply: firstname.lastname@example.org (via email) or fax 810-238-3843
The New York Annual Conference has extended the application deadline to November 30, 2013 for a Coordinator of Congregational Development and Revitalization (CCDR) to provide visionary leadership in implementing strategies for planting new faith communities and revitalizing existing congregations. A revised job description is listed below. As a member of the Extended Cabinet, the CCDR will work with congregations in the Annual Conference as well as Parish Development, the Bishop and the Cabinet. Base salary is $65-75,000, depending upon experience. The compensation package includes a housing allowance, full benefits and a reimbursement account. Start date is negotiable, but preference is early in 2014.
The ideal candidate will have a master’s degree and 3-5 years of experience in congregational development (or equivalent experience). To apply, email a cover letter and resume to “CCDR Search Committee” at email@example.com. Please do not call the Conference office about this position. Candidates without relevant congregational development experience or who do not submit both a cover letter and resume will not be considered.
Full Details Click Here
Motown Mission Experience is hiring 10 young adults ages 18-24 to serve as Summer Staff for our 2014 season. An additional Kitchen Coordinator will also be hired. Summer training begins May 27 and service weeks continue through August 9, 2014. Housing in intentional community, stipend of $3000, training and certification, and moments for spiritual discernment and mentoring provided. College students connected with United Methodist campus ministries preferred. Application and more information at motownmission.org/apply. Please share with young adults you know!
Cokesbury is seeking a Community Resource Consultant for the Greater Chicago Area.
Mrs. Dean Hipwood, spouse of Rev. Billie J. Hipwood [Assembly of God Clergy, Retired From Serving in the Detroit Annual Conference], died Saturday, December 7, 2013.
Mr. Stephen Phillips, son of Rev. Harold V. Phillips and step-son of Rev. Kathy M. Phillips [Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Saturday, November 30, 2013.
Visitation will be held Thursday, December 5, 2013 from 3pm to 8pm at Kaatz Funeral Directors located at 202 N. Main Street; Capac, MI 48014 [810-395-2600].
Funeral Service will take place at 11:00am Friday, December 6, 2013 at Capac: Zion Community United Methodist Church, 14952 Imlay City Rd.; Capac, MI 48014 [810-395-2112]. There will be a time to visit with the family one hour prior to the service.
CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO [Spouse]:
Mrs. Karen Phillips
6739 Connell Road
Brockway Twp., MI 48097
Visitation is scheduled for Thursday, December 5, 2013 from 2pm to 4pm and 6pm to 8pm at the Henney Sundquist Funeral Home. The funeral home is located at 23720 Farmington Road in Farmington, MI 48336 [248-474-5200].
The Funeral Service will be held at 11:00am Friday, December 6, 2013 at Clarenceville UMC, located at 20300 Middlebelt Road; Livonia, MI 48152 [248-474-3444]. A visitation time will take place from 10:00am until the start of the service.
CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO [Niece]:
Ms. Diane Cary & Family
23123 Tuck Road
Farmington Hills, MI 48336
GIFTS IN MEMORY MAY BE GIVEN TO ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
Angela Hospice — 14100 Newburgh Rd; Livonia, MI 48154
Color of Joy Foundation - 46313 Swanmere Drive; Canton, MI 48187 (colorofjoy.org)
Frances Bernice McCumons Kalbfleisch, the mother of retired pastor Rev. Dr. Brent McCumons died November 25, 2013 The arrangements are:
Wednesday, November 27th
Visitation - Noon until the time of the service
Service - 2:00 PM
Marsh Funeral Chapel
2675 Main Street
Marlette, Michigan 48453
Condolences may be sent to:
Rev. Dr. Brent and Marlene McCumons
10805 Butler Rd
Cheboygan, MI. 49721
Janice and John Phelps
Sterling Heights MI 48312
Mrs. Ernestine Robinson, mother of Rev. William (Tom) Robinson [Retired Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Sunday, November 10, 2013.
Funeral Service will be held at 11:00am Monday, November 18, 2013 at Trinity UMC, located at 185 Boulevard St; Orangeburg, SC 29115 [803-534-7759]. A Visitation time will take place from 9:30am until the start of the service.
CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO:
Rev. Tom Robinson & Family
310 Corvair Lane
Saginaw, MI 48602
GIFTS IN MEMORY MAY BE GIVEN TO:
UM Black College Fund Or Africa University Fund
[Make check payable to Detroit Conference, Treasurer. Note which fund you are contributing to on the Memo line.]
Send check to: Detroit Conference Office, Treasurer
1309 N. Ballenger Hwy, Ste 1
Flint, MI 48504