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ONE
Some Good Reads
3-7-2017
I thought you’d be interested in some of the books I’ve been reading this past year. They come from a variety of sources, including the New York Times non-fiction bestsellers, suggestions from parishioners, and reviews in various journals. – Pastor Greg

THE STARS BENEATH US: Finding God in the Evolving Cosmos. Paul Wallace. Fascinating study on the interrelationship between faith and science, with a good dose of the Book of Job thrown in. (Dr. Wallace, an astrophysicist, will be a guest speaker here on April 22, and will join me in a dialogue sermon on April 23).

THE WRIGHT BROTHERS. David McCullough. Fascinating back story of how the Wright brothers pioneered aviation. Depicts their creativity and determination, along with society’s reluctance to change.

TRIBE: On Homecoming and Belonging. Sebastian Junger. A look at our fragmented world from the perspective of the human need for the security of safe, loyal, trusting groups. A good understanding particularly of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

THINK LIKE A FILMMAKER. Marcia McFee. A look at the development and crafting of worship services as if they were a movie. Our worship team studied this a few months ago.

THE NAKED NOW: Learning to See as the Mystics See. Richard Rohr. Rev. Rohr, an American Franciscan friar, writes this devotional book with keen insight as to how deepening our spirituality can bridge human divisions, moving to a celebration of our diverse human family.

DOGSPELL: The Gospel According to Dog. Mary Ellen Ashcroft. A light-hearted, heart-warming devotional book using experiences with our canine friends as a way to grasp Gospel truths.

THE HEART AND THE FIST: The Education of a Humanitarian, The Making of a Navy Seal. Eric Greitens. Autobiography of our new governor, with interesting insights into his experiences and personality.

ONE THOUSAND GIFTS DEVOTIONAL: Reflections on Finding Everyday Graces. Anne Voskamp. A nice daily companion to help you see blessings that might be too easily overlooked.
 
* * *
 
UPCOMING CONGREGATIONAL MEETINGS
 
These meetings explore possibilities for future priorities here at MUMC. They provide you with additional information as well as an opportunity to share your thoughts. All are welcomed!
 
INTERGENERATIONAL (MISSION)--A mission facility that allows us to continue to grow our bike and computer rehab ministries and allows expansion into life skills training for adults and after school programs for children.
MEETING: Monday, March 13, 7 p.m., Room 141.
 
SECOND SITE WORSHIP/MINISTRY--A satellite campus offering worship, study, and service opportunities, with a focus on young adults but open to all.
MEETING: Thursday, March 23, 6 p.m., Room 141.
Last Published: March 8, 2017 5:54 PM
9-13-16
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8-9-16
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7-26-16
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7-19-16
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7-12-16
I’m sure we’re all feeling the aftershocks from last week, with the anger and grief flaring... Read More
7-5-16
Over the last several months our leadership has undertaken an intensive study of our overall ministry... Read More
6-28-16
As I hope you know by now, tonight (Tuesday, June 28) we host our Prayer Vigil for Peace, Unity, and Healing... Read More
6-21-16
It’s becoming a sad, frightening commentary that what has been commonplace in the Middle East is becoming more common over here.. Read More
6-14-16
Throughout this summer, several of our staff will be engaging in a variety of continuing education experiences... Read More
6-7-16
A few activities and an update on last week's conference... Read More
5-31-16
The Young Adult Ministry has a few different areas of focus: small groups, fellowship, missions, and overnight trips... Read More
5-24-16
With many things having happened or currently happening, I thought it would be helpful to devote this eblast to sharing some updates... Read More
5-17-16
In my March 14th eblast, “By the Numbers,” I documented several statistics, ranging from number of baptisms and new members to faith formation participation... Read More
5-9-16
Two BIG events are about to take place, and I want to give you a preview... Read More
5-2-16
Recently, our Pastor of Administration finished a quarterly report detailing where we are financially as a church... Read More
4-25-16
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... Read More
4-8-16
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..." Read More
4-11-16
Probably THE comment I most hear from guests and new members is this: “This is a friendly place!" Read More
4-4-16
If that’s not a catchy title, I don’t know what is!... Read More
3-28-16
Holy Week, beginning with Palm Sunday and ending with Easter, is one of the most moving times of the Christian year... Read More
3-28-16
The traditional phrase associated with Holy Week is, “Journey with Jesus through the events of Holy Week, and on to his Resurrection.” Read More
3-14-2016
The increase in participants in small groups, in outreach ministries, and in missions giving reflects the heart and generosity of this congregation... Read More
3-7-16
I sincerely hope you saw the Music Makers’ “Side by Side” musical this past weekend... Read More
2-29-16
How do we find common ground in a world that delights in separating us into “us” and “them” groups? Read More
2-22-16
One of the greatest perks of my job is seeing the children of our church! Read More
2-15-16
I’m VERY excited about guests from Mozambique we’ll be welcoming this weekend! Read More
2-7-16
Sometimes it’s refreshing to hear from folks new to our faith community... Read More
2-1-16
There is one immutable law that governs all churches... Read More
1-24-16
We have well over 100 laity-led ministries in our church. What a tribute to the talent and dedication of our congregation! Read More
1-18-16
We are delighted to welcome to our pulpit this weekend our Episcopal leader for the Missouri Annual Conference, Bishop Robert Schnase... Read More
1-11-16
I’d like to highlight two things that are happening this weekend that are very important... Read More
1-4-16
You’ll see below some of the things you can look forward to regarding our worship services as we begin a new year... Read More
12-28-15
I’m very much looking forward to the sermon series I’m preaching to start the new year... Read More
12-21-15
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... Read More
12-14-15
Rev. Nick Nicholas writes an introduction to his ministry in today's eblast... Read More
12-7-15
I’m always amazed at the pile of white-wrapped items, of all shapes and sizes, that grace our altar on this special weekend... Read More
11-30-15
How appropriate we began the season of Advent this past weekend with the decorating of our chapel and sanctuary! Read More
11-23-15
Yesterday morning’s worship services were led by a team of youth and young adults... Read More
11-16-15
ONE commitments progress report and special upcoming worship services... Read More
11-9-15
Our ONE service on October 25 debuted two very special additions to our worship. Here are some updates/reflections on each... Read More
11-2-15
As you saw in last week’s e-note, our ONE celebration on the 25th was fantastic... Read More
10-26-15
What a joyous celebration as ONE worshipping community! You can see from the photos the excitement we shared... Read More
10-19-15
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!”... Read More
10-12-15
Recently I completed my sermon retreat, where I sketch out worship/sermon themes for the upcoming year... Read More
10-5-15
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... Read More
9-28-15
This phrase came to my mind as something that would be a very apt descriptor of what’s happening this coming weekend at MUMC... Read More
9-21-15
Since our organist, John Cargile, is our resident expert, I’ve asked him to fill you in on where we are in the project... Read More
9-14-15
Recently I shared in worship something that leaders and members in the church have been working on over the last several months... Read More
9-7-15
It’s obvious that children are VERY important around here!... Read More
8-31-15
The premise of this sermon series is simple... Read More
8-24-15
This is the name of our mission team’s latest pamphlet of ways you can make a difference for Christ through Manchester UMC... Read More
8-17-15
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... Read More
8-10-15
I am delighted that Chessey Brenton is our new Director of Children and Family Ministries! [Read more] Read More
8-3-15
I’ve invited our Director of Music, Kevin McBeth, to share his thoughts as our guest writer this week... Read More
7-27-15
Yesterday Rev. Phil Estes presented a financial update during worship... Read More
7-20-15
To celebrate our 25th anniversary, Barbara and I went on a cruise to Venice and the Grecian Isles... Read More
7-13-15
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... Read More
7-6-15
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... Read More
6-29-15
Yesterday, our Leadership Board spent the afternoon at the Mercy Retreat Center on its annual retreat... Read More
6-22-15
Later this summer, I’ll be doing a series of sermons titled, “FAITH, SCIENCE, AND TECHNOLOGY: A Celebration of Creation"... Read More
6-15-15
Having just returned from Annual Conference, with a new Conference budget approved, I thought it might be informative to talk about apportionments... Read More
6-8-15
I’m putting the finishing touches on this today from Springfield, Missouri... Read More
6-1-15
Here’s a look ahead at some sermons and series I’ll enjoy sharing with you this summer... Read More
5-25-15
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5-18-15
This coming Sunday I’ll deal with the question, “WHO Is the Holy Spirit?” ... Read More
5-11-15
My current sermon series, “Frequently Asked Questions,” lends itself to some controversy... Read More
5-4-15
Here are three “news briefs” that I think you’ll find relevant and interesting... Read More
4-27-15
You may recall that one of our emphases in the ONE Initiative was making a strong effort in reaching young adults... Read More
4-20-15
This past weekend, Kiersten Rose, our new Director of Contemporary Music, shared with us her vision for 9:30 contemporary worship... Read More
4-13-15
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... Read More
4-6-15
The Easter celebration yesterday was a celebration of pure joy! Read More
3-30-15
We view Holy Week as a sacred journey... Read More
3-23-15
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. Read More
3-16-15
I’ve recently discovered the “BuzzFeed” site. As it says on its website, it “has the hottest, most social content on the web... Read More
3-9-15
Since November, we’ve been searching extensively for a Director of Contemporary Music... Read More
3-2-15
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... Read More
2-23-15
Occasionally someone will ask how this or that decision was made... Read More
2-16-15
Some churches offer to impose ashes early on Ash Wednesday morning... Read More
2-9-15
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... Read More
2-2-15
On January 24, ninety-three laity and staff gathered in our Fellowship Hall for the 2015 edition of this special time... Read More
1-26-15
A perpetual challenge for a church our size, with people of all ages, is communicating... Read More
1-19-15
Since New Year’s resolutions are in full swing this time of year, here are some things that came to mind. Read More
1-12-15
I thought you all might enjoy an update on the latest in the area of worship... Read More
1-5-15
As 2015 begins, I’d like to bring to your attention a few upcoming happenings... Read More
12-29-14
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. Read More
12-22-14
This is the name of a beautiful anthem written by Joseph Martin. Read More
12-15-14
As you may recall, one of our key ONE initiatives was enhancing our worship experiences... Read More
12-8-14
This is the title of my sermon series kicking off 2015. Read More
12-1-14
As we move into the joyous Advent season, I wanted to express appreciation to all of you for your support of our ONE initiative. Read More
11-24-14
I am beginning to think that November is "International Month" around here. Read More
11-17-14
Last week I spent away from the office, planning sermon themes for next year. Read More
11-10-14
Celebration weekend and more. Read More
11-3-14
I thought it would be helpful to list some of the activities that will be happening as we journey together into Advent and Christmas. Read More
10-27-14
This past weekend was a CELEBRATION! Read More
10-20-14
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. Read More
10-13-14
An update on another part of the ONE initiative. Read More
10-6-14
A deeper look into Young Adult Ministry Read More
9-29-14
This past weekend kicked off the public phase of our exciting faith-generosity initiative called “ONE.” Read More
9-22-14
Victoria Osteen said some things recently that stirred up quite a controversy within evangelical Christianity. Read More
9-15-14
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. Read More
9-8-14
It strikes me that this is a great phrase for us in our personal lives, in dealing with societal issues, and in our church. Read More
9-1-14
What is a defining moment you’ve had at MUMC? Read More
8-25-14
Like you, I’ve been thinking about and praying over the Ferguson tragedy and its aftermath. Read More
8-18-14
Pastor Greg's first e-blast back from his sabbatical. Read More
8-11-14
Phil Estes pens the last guest e-blast of the summer. Read More
8-4-14
Rev. Stephanie Lendt shares about her team members. Read More
7-28-14
Rev. Beth Elders guest e-blasts to tell about the missions team at MUMC. Read More
7-21-14
Kevin McBeth guest-writes this week's blog post. Read More
7-14-14
Meet the talented people who put together faith formation programming for all ages. Read More
7-7-14
Debbie Irving guest e-blasts this week! Read More
6-30-14
Let it never be said that Manchester UMC takes the summer off! Read More
6-23-14
As I’d mentioned in an earlier eblast, Rev. Dunlap, our Associate Pastor of Program Ministries, will be “retiring again” as of June 30. Read More
6-16-14
Our United Methodist clergy and laity met in Springfield earlier this month... Read More
6-9-14
This is the name of a book I've written that has been an ongoing labor of love... Read More
6-2-2014
Wasn’t it yesterday we were complaining about an “arctic vortex”? Read More
5-26-14
A couple of weeks ago I requested prayers for our staff as we entered a day-long retreat to review and plan upcoming worship. Read More
5-12-14
My next two sermons are going to deal with lessons learned from Catholicism. Read More
5-5-14
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! Read More
4-28-14
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. Read More
4-21-14
I’m writing this a few days before Easter, and anticipating what lies ahead. Read More
4-14-14
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. Read More
4-7-14
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? Read More
3-31-14
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. Read More
3-24-14
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. Read More
3-17-14
Last November I wrote the first installment in this “gossip column” series. Read More
3-10-14
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. Read More
3-3-14
Lent is just around the corner. Ash Wednesday is just 2 days away... Read More
2-24-14
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.” Read More
2-18-14
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. Read More
2-10-14
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. Read More
2-3-14
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 Read More
1-25-14
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? Read More
01-21-14
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? Read More
01-13-14
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. Read More
1-6-2014
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?" Read More
12-30-2013
This sermon series that will kick off the first six weeks in 2014 is designed to encourage you to ask some deep questions about your faith, and grapple with issues that will help you come up with answers that make sense Read More