Blogs/Columns


Latest from the Bishop

A prayer for the harvest

10/29/2018

During this difficult harvest season, Bishop Ough prays that joy and gladness be restored to our orchards and farms and ranches.


How is the conference budget planned?

12/31/2010

All Minnesota United Methodist churches have a voice and vote (through their clergy and lay members to conference) on how they will fund the mission and ministry that they share. Before that vote is taken, a number of people engage in several careful steps to propose a budget. First, the Budget Process Team meets in September, 15 months before the budget will go into effect. On the ...


How does our conference steward funds in this lean economy?

12/3/2010

If you have a hard time remembering to write the new year on your checks each January, think about how confused I get when working on three different years’ of Minnesota Conference financial books at the same time. That is what we are doing now. We must close out 2010 and get ready for the 2010 audit. We are preparing to enter 2011 information in our accounting software. And we have ...


E-mail etiquette: The medium is part of the message

11/5/2010

By Sheilah Kyburz Moses lifted stone tablets. Disciples drew in the sand. John Wesley rode the circuit. Bishop Clymer typed letters. And in 2010, we send e-mail messages through cyberspace. Though the media have changed, the purpose remains the same: sharing a message—sometimes the message! Crafting e-mail messages carefully can help church staff communicate clearly the content and ...


What if…

11/5/2010

I was with a group of congregational development leaders in other annual conferences. We are responsible for new church starts. We are always considering new ways of being church and moving toward the edge of what might be possible. But even among that group of creative thinkers it happened. Someone suggested an approach to church planting that was radically new. About as soon as it was ...


How does federal healthcare reform affect the MAC Plan?

10/8/2010

By Barbara Carroll and Jean Edin The Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act was passed in Congress and signed by President Obama in March 2010. The provisions of the Healthcare Act will be implemented over a period of years. Many of the regulations that will govern these provisions are yet to be written. It is difficult to tell at this point how the conference’s self-funded ...


Why?

9/3/2010

I have listened to hundreds of sermons and have preached even more than that. Too many of them—including my own—focus on telling me what to do: a good Christian tithes, prays, reads the Bible daily, works to eliminate poverty, recycles, forgives . . . you get the idea. These are all good things. But what is often missing is demonstrating why I should want to do these things and how I can...


Secretaries: find help at www.minnesotaumc.org

8/6/2010

By Carol Johanneck New to a church office—particularly a United Methodist church office? Or are you an experienced church office worker who is occasionally stumped by a request? The Minnesota Conference web site, www.minnesotaumc.org, has answers or guidance for many of the tasks you face. Cleaning? You may discover filing cabinets full of old worship bulletins, fliers, newsletters, ...


Learning from our new church starts

7/2/2010

Church planting is a contact sport. I heard that over and over from Jim Griffith, a coach/consultant who trains church planters. Proverbs 29:18 says that without a vision, the people perish. Griffith says the corollary for church planters is that without people, the vision will perish. It is all about people, making contacts, and finding and keeping people. Without people you do not have...


Generous God vs. cheap church

5/7/2010

I am calling for a ban the following practice that I observe in many of our churches: the free-will offering basket placed at the refreshment table during coffee time. At a stewardship seminar I recently attended, Nelson Searcy of the Journey Church in New York City said that a theology of abundance underlies everything his church does in terms of stewardship. If we expect people to be ...


What does an audit have to do with ministry?

5/7/2010

We have auditors in our office this week. At my mere mention of “We have auditors . . .” people respond with sympathy, ask how they can help, recommend I go out for a latte. The auditors themselves are not a problem. They are nice people doing important work. Their work—to determine if the conference financial statements “present fairly, in all material respects, the consolidated ...


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