It used to be that designing a worship service was cookie-cutter...
I can’t think of many things more important than building bridges between people...
Get ready for a whole new small group experience at MUMC...
Last week I talked about the “Deeper Discipleship” sermon series, where we’ll take the challenge of taking risks...
The “lure” of fishing is never knowing what you’re going to pull up [Read more]
One of the most fun things I do as Senior Pastor is team-teach the New Member Class...
I was at my second office (Bread Co. in Winchester Plaza) recently...
Well, that title is an attention-getter, isn’t it?
According to one report, there are six living generations making up America...
I’m sure we’re all feeling the aftershocks from last week, with the anger and grief flaring...
Over the last several months our leadership has undertaken an intensive study of our overall ministry...
As I hope you know by now, tonight (Tuesday, June 28) we host our Prayer Vigil for Peace, Unity, and Healing...
It’s becoming a sad, frightening commentary that what has been commonplace in the Middle East is becoming more common over here..
Throughout this summer, several of our staff will be engaging in a variety of continuing education experiences...
A few activities and an update on last week's conference...
The Young Adult Ministry has a few different areas of focus: small groups, fellowship, missions, and overnight trips...
With many things having happened or currently happening, I thought it would be helpful to devote this eblast to sharing some updates...
In my March 14th eblast, “By the Numbers,” I documented several statistics, ranging from number of baptisms and new members to faith formation participation...
Two BIG events are about to take place, and I want to give you a preview...
Recently, our Pastor of Administration finished a quarterly report detailing where we are financially as a church...
At our last full staff meeting, Debbie Irving asked the staff what they were happiest about regarding ministries/activities that took place in the first quarter of 2016...
Sometimes people don’t say “Let’s go to church” with the same enthusiasm with which they might say “Let’s go to a movie..."
Probably THE comment I most hear from guests and new members is this: “This is a friendly place!"
If that’s not a catchy title, I don’t know what is!...
Holy Week, beginning with Palm Sunday and ending with Easter, is one of the most moving times of the Christian year...
The traditional phrase associated with Holy Week is, “Journey with Jesus through the events of Holy Week, and on to his Resurrection.”
The increase in participants in small groups, in outreach ministries, and in missions giving reflects the heart and generosity of this congregation...
I sincerely hope you saw the Music Makers’ “Side by Side” musical this past weekend...
How do we find common ground in a world that delights in separating us into “us” and “them” groups?
One of the greatest perks of my job is seeing the children of our church!
I’m VERY excited about guests from Mozambique we’ll be welcoming this weekend!
Sometimes it’s refreshing to hear from folks new to our faith community...
There is one immutable law that governs all churches...
We have well over 100 laity-led ministries in our church. What a tribute to the talent and dedication of our congregation!
We are delighted to welcome to our pulpit this weekend our Episcopal leader for the Missouri Annual Conference, Bishop Robert Schnase...
I’d like to highlight two things that are happening this weekend that are very important...
You’ll see below some of the things you can look forward to regarding our worship services as we begin a new year...
I’m very much looking forward to the sermon series I’m preaching to start the new year...
In my first solo church as pastor, I decided one Christmas to send cards to all the member families, personally addressed and signed by me...
Rev. Nick Nicholas writes an introduction to his ministry in today's eblast...
I’m always amazed at the pile of white-wrapped items, of all shapes and sizes, that grace our altar on this special weekend...
How appropriate we began the season of Advent this past weekend with the decorating of our chapel and sanctuary!
Yesterday morning’s worship services were led by a team of youth and young adults...
ONE commitments progress report and special upcoming worship services...
Our ONE service on October 25 debuted two very special additions to our worship. Here are some updates/reflections on each...
As you saw in last week’s e-note, our ONE celebration on the 25th was fantastic...
What a joyous celebration as ONE worshipping community! You can see from the photos the excitement we shared...
This is the only title I could come up with, and it sounds like something a kid waiting for Christmas would say: “It’s almost here!”...
Recently I completed my sermon retreat, where I sketch out worship/sermon themes for the upcoming year...
Last week I mentioned how special it was to have Apple Butter and the Fall Festival held the same weekend—it was a "yesterday-and-today" sort of thing...
This phrase came to my mind as something that would be a very apt descriptor of what’s happening this coming weekend at MUMC...
Since our organist, John Cargile, is our resident expert, I’ve asked him to fill you in on where we are in the project...
Recently I shared in worship something that leaders and members in the church have been working on over the last several months...
It’s obvious that children are VERY important around here!...
The premise of this sermon series is simple...
This is the name of our mission team’s latest pamphlet of ways you can make a difference for Christ through Manchester UMC...
I’m typing this on a miracle of science called a computer. It will be sent to you invisibly and somehow show up on your screen...
I am delighted that Chessey Brenton is our new Director of Children and Family Ministries! [Read more]
I’ve invited our Director of Music, Kevin McBeth, to share his thoughts as our guest writer this week...
Yesterday Rev. Phil Estes presented a financial update during worship...
To celebrate our 25th anniversary, Barbara and I went on a cruise to Venice and the Grecian Isles...
This is a title for my new sermon series that starts this coming Sunday, and I think it’s relevant for us in many ways...
Rev. Hamilton has taken on additional hours and responsibilities with us, and I wanted to give her an opportunity to share her excitement with us...
Yesterday, our Leadership Board spent the afternoon at the Mercy Retreat Center on its annual retreat...
Later this summer, I’ll be doing a series of sermons titled, “FAITH, SCIENCE, AND TECHNOLOGY: A Celebration of Creation"...
Having just returned from Annual Conference, with a new Conference budget approved, I thought it might be informative to talk about apportionments...
I’m putting the finishing touches on this today from Springfield, Missouri...
Here’s a look ahead at some sermons and series I’ll enjoy sharing with you this summer...
As I wrap up year number seven of my pastoral appointment here at Manchester UMC...
This coming Sunday I’ll deal with the question, “WHO Is the Holy Spirit?” ...
My current sermon series, “Frequently Asked Questions,” lends itself to some controversy...
Here are three “news briefs” that I think you’ll find relevant and interesting...
You may recall that one of our emphases in the ONE Initiative was making a strong effort in reaching young adults...
This past weekend, Kiersten Rose, our new Director of Contemporary Music, shared with us her vision for 9:30 contemporary worship...
A church member told me that she was impressed by a church email she’d received a day earlier. It stated that we had collected, to date, $47,000 for building schools in Mozambique...
The Easter celebration yesterday was a celebration of pure joy!
We view Holy Week as a sacred journey...
You’ll recall that in our ONE Initiative, there are three key priorities: enhancing all worship services; reaching out to the younger generation; and eliminating our debt.
I’ve recently discovered the “BuzzFeed” site. As it says on its website, it “has the hottest, most social content on the web...
Since November, we’ve been searching extensively for a Director of Contemporary Music...
This past weekend, despite the snow, I witnessed one of the most moving worship experiences in recent memory—and it came from 4th and 5th graders...
Occasionally someone will ask how this or that decision was made...
Some churches offer to impose ashes early on Ash Wednesday morning...
I don’t recall being impacted as much from a group of Scriptures as I have in the passages that comprise Jesus’ words from the cross...
On January 24, ninety-three laity and staff gathered in our Fellowship Hall for the 2015 edition of this special time...
A perpetual challenge for a church our size, with people of all ages, is communicating...
Since New Year’s resolutions are in full swing this time of year, here are some things that came to mind.
I thought you all might enjoy an update on the latest in the area of worship...
As 2015 begins, I’d like to bring to your attention a few upcoming happenings...
This coming Sunday kicks off a sermon series that will encourage you to reflect on incidents in your life and how God has moved through them.
This is the name of a beautiful anthem written by Joseph Martin.
As you may recall, one of our key ONE initiatives was enhancing our worship experiences...
This is the title of my sermon series kicking off 2015.
As we move into the joyous Advent season, I wanted to express appreciation to all of you for your support of our ONE initiative.
I am beginning to think that November is "International Month" around here.
Last week I spent away from the office, planning sermon themes for next year.
Celebration weekend and more.
I thought it would be helpful to list some of the activities that will be happening as we journey together into Advent and Christmas.
This past weekend was a CELEBRATION!
In yesterday’s ONE moment, our Co-Chair of the ONE initiative, Jerry Fritz, talked about the excitement of an advance commitment evening we had on Oct. 13.
An update on another part of the ONE initiative.
A deeper look into Young Adult Ministry
This past weekend kicked off the public phase of our exciting faith-generosity initiative called “ONE.”
Victoria Osteen said some things recently that stirred up quite a controversy within evangelical Christianity.
Over the last couple of years, the Camping and Retreats Board of our Annual Conference has been studying our United Methodist camping program and facilities in Missouri.
It strikes me that this is a great phrase for us in our personal lives, in dealing with societal issues, and in our church.
What is a defining moment you’ve had at MUMC?
Like you, I’ve been thinking about and praying over the Ferguson tragedy and its aftermath.
Pastor Greg's first e-blast back from his sabbatical.
Phil Estes pens the last guest e-blast of the summer.
Rev. Stephanie Lendt shares about her team members.
Rev. Beth Elders guest e-blasts to tell about the missions team at MUMC.
Kevin McBeth guest-writes this week's blog post.
Meet the talented people who put together faith formation programming for all ages.
Debbie Irving guest e-blasts this week!
Let it never be said that Manchester UMC takes the summer off!
As I’d mentioned in an earlier eblast, Rev. Dunlap, our Associate Pastor of Program Ministries, will be “retiring again” as of June 30.
Our United Methodist clergy and laity met in Springfield earlier this month...
This is the name of a book I've written that has been an ongoing labor of love...
Wasn’t it yesterday we were complaining about an “arctic vortex”?
A couple of weeks ago I requested prayers for our staff as we entered a day-long retreat to review and plan upcoming worship.
My next two sermons are going to deal with lessons learned from Catholicism.
I was thrilled to hear that once again we set a record with our Easter offering. Over $43,000 will go to local mission groups, as well as to Mozambique. Your generosity is inspiring!
In January I noted three priorities our church will focus on in 2014. I want to keep you up to date as to our progress in accomplishing them.
I’m writing this a few days before Easter, and anticipating what lies ahead.
I’m thoroughly enjoying teaching my Wednesday night class, “Early Christian Thought and Heresies.” Last week we dug into how the cross reconciles us to God, which is timely as we proceed through Holy Week.
MUMC makes a difference in the lives of over 10,000 people a year through our many and diverse missions ministries. Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes to make everything happen?
I think it might be good to note how you touch lives on a daily and weekly basis through your regular giving. Last year, on any given Sunday morning, 142 children learned about God’s love through materials you bought and volunteers/staffing you enabled.
A key priority for our church in 2014 is the development of a comprehensive ministry to a group of people we want to learn how to minister to better: college-aged and post college-aged young adults.
Last November I wrote the first installment in this “gossip column” series.
In January I noted three priorities our church will focus on in 2014. I want to keep you up to date as to our progress in accomplishing them.
Lent is just around the corner. Ash Wednesday is just 2 days away...
If you were to manage a sports team, it’s important to know who your players are, what talents they have, and where they can best use those talents. Only then would your team have a good shot at winning. Similarly for our church, we fulfill our mission when we know the skills of our players and invite them to “play ball.”
Do you have an idea for an exciting new ministry? Are you wondering what to do next? The process is pretty simple and it begins with filling out a “New Ministry Profile” form.
Last week Trish Gunby, our Leadership Board chairperson, talked about the new governance structure. Essential to making that work is to ensure there’s adequate communication that gives ideas, direction, and improvements.
After over a year in study and conversation, we transitioned into a new governance model for our church, effective January 1. I asked Trish Gunby, Board Chair, to be a guest “eblaster” today, so she can give some background and an overview
One of the emphases arising from our Master Plan’s Mission Development Team was the importance of engaging people to serve Christ using their talents and interests. But in a church with over 3,000 members, how do you do that?
Since 1856, we’ve always been a BOLD church! Building a chapel west of the Mississippi. Adding classrooms. Buying property. Building additional sanctuaries. Every bold initiative was no doubt thoroughly discussed before being approved. But what was behind these ventures?
The organ is an asset of this church. Just as you would address a roof or HVAC problem, so should this be addressed. Thus, it’s not a question of if it should be repaired; the problems and limitations are well-documented. Rather, the questions are when, how, and how much.
A disciple is someone who follows and imitates a teacher. The model our Master gave was very clear: "I have come not to be served, but to serve." (Matt. 20:28) So, a disciple starts with the question, "How does this church help me best serve God?"