Blogs/Columns


Latest from the Bishop

The Joyful Journey: Autumn reverie

10/6/2022

We miss something deeply important if we neglect opportunities to slow down, watch the leaves change colors, and let a cool autumn breeze kiss our cheeks.


What should General Conference delegates know about pension and benefits legis

4/1/2011

Delegates to the 2012 General Conference will have hundreds of pages to read and understand as they prepare to vote on items that will have lasting implications for the church and individuals who serve the church. The items relating to pension and benefit changes for United Methodist clergy are among the most complex pieces of legislation that delegates will consider. During March I ...


A new frontier

3/4/2011

Since news came out about my new appointment, I’ve received responses ranging from “How far did they have to twist your arm to take that job?” to “Just as the whole nation cast Tina Fey as Sarah Palin for Saturday Night Live in 2008, so the entire Minnesota Annual Conference was pulling for you to be in this role in 2011!” While the energy for church growth probably falls somewhere ...


Bridging the we/they divide

3/4/2011

A business CEO who is also an active United Methodist presented five leadership pillars at a recent gathering I attended. With these five pillars, he has transformed every company he has led. He claims that they work in every setting. His second pillar really struck a chord with me: 100 percent trust. A key practice to building trust is to ban the word “they” from an organization. Within...


Does my church qualify for a small-business tax credit?

3/4/2011

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the health care reform bill passed in 2010, provides a tax credit to small businesses for health insurance premiums paid. Many Minnesota United Methodist churches may qualify for the tax credit, even though churches are tax-exempt organizations. Each church should make the calculations to see if it qualifies. Documents on the General Board ...


We are here for you

1/31/2011

When Bishop Dyck announced my appointment change from Minnesota Conference’s director of congregational development to its director of ministries, more than one person inferred that preaching and leading workshops in churches would not be a part of my new job; that somehow all my time would be consumed with running the machinery we know as the Minnesota Annual Conference. Yes, I have ...


What’s our budget for blessings?

1/31/2011

Yes, we face many challenges in funding the ministries we value. Still, we have many reasons to give thanks to God. Here are some of the things we have accomplished together: Minnesota Conference apportionment receipts through the end of August 2010 did not decline but are at a similar level as in recent years. Minnesota United Methodists contributed over $400,000 in 2010 to United ...


Detours from the familiar path

12/31/2010

Bishop Dyck and I spent two weeks this fall traveling around Minnesota, listening to clergy, seeking to understand the key challenges and realities they face. I invite you to consider with me these questions that our experience raised. I think they merit our further exploration together. What are the fruits of a faithful church? If we were living the life of faith instead of trying to ...


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 ...


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