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IN LAYMAN'S TERMS
25 minutes | 7 days ago
Advent 2020 — An Attitude of Hope
We celebrate the coming of the Christ child during Advent, but we sometimes forget to celebrate why Jesus came to earth in the first place. Many Christians recognize that He came to provide for our salvation and reconciliation with God. This holiday season, let's embrace Jesus' mission, and recognize that because of Jesus' arrival as a baby, we have hope.
52 minutes | a month ago
Ministry helps free innocent people from prison
Darryl Burton, a newly ordained elder in The United Methodist Church sat in prison for 24 years. Lamont McIntyre sat in prison for 23 years. Neither man actually committed the murders for which they were accused.A ministry in New Jersey helped exonerate them, but there was no assistance to help them reacclimate to society. So the two men joined forces in 2018 and launched Miracle of Innocence, a ministry meant to help innocent people find justice and regain their freedom, and then receive the help that Darryl and Lamont didn’t have available to them.You can help by taking part in a gala at 7 p.m. Oct. 28, 2020. Find out how by going to the organization’s website at www.miracleofinnocence.org.Hear their stories and learn more about this important ministry in the latest episode of the “In Layman’s Terms” podcast.
62 minutes | a month ago
Church of the Resurrection's 30th anniversary
In October 1990, a relatively small group of people met for worship for the first time — in a funeral home. With a name that was somewhat tongue-in-cheek because of its location but also a theological statement because of its dedication to Jesus Christ, United Methodist Church of the Resurrection was born.The congregation made a pitstop at an elementary school before settling in the first of what is now a five-campus church in Leawood, Kansas, campus. Led by a then 25-year-old pastor and now world-renowned author, Rev. Adam Hamilton, from that humble beginning started a congregation that is now the largest in the entire denomination.The congregation is celebrating its 30th anniversary in October 2020, so Hamilton and a few leaders in the congregation sat down with Todd Seifert for a new episode of the “In Layman’s Terms” podcast.
43 minutes | 2 months ago
Adapting Church: Virtual Choir
The worship team at St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Papillion, Nebraska, missed its choir. Like so many others, the church had to cancel choir amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But a group of lay people and the church's pastor worked together to figure out how to create a virtual choir. Now, with three songs under their belt, the people responsible talk to Todd to share what they learned as they took the journey down the path of musical innovation.
40 minutes | 2 months ago
Class Meetings: History as Future
In the third of a three-part series on class meetings, Todd explores how class meetings provided a model of growth and evangelism in the past and how they can be a sustainable force in the present. Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. is the featured guest who shares a vision for how class meetings can sustain a United Methodist witness in smaller churches but also can bolster discipleship in larger congregations by enhancing spiritual disciplines and introducing accountability among believers.
50 minutes | 3 months ago
The Color of Law
Richard Rothstein started exploring how segregation impacted education. What he discovered was how detrimental policies set by federal agencies deliberately held down African Americans regarding housing. As a result, Black Americans have not been able to build wealth, they live near more environmental hazards and have continued to be treated as second-class citizens.Rothstein records his findings in "The Color of Law," and he sits down with Todd in this episode to walk through the major themes in his sobering yet easy-to-understand explanation of how the U.S. government carved out such a divide among people of different races.You can learn even more about his book and find links to where you can buy it from the Economic Policy Institute, where Rothstein is a distinguished fellow.
67 minutes | 4 months ago
Let's Talk About Race
We may never be able to conquer racism if we don't start openly talking about racism and the way it impacts our entire society.In this episode, Todd talks with the Rev. Kathy Williams, an African-American pastor serving a small town in Kansas, who talks about the silence she observed after the death of George Floyd. She shares how she dealt with the silence and got people talking — in a loving way — about racism.He also talks with Garlinda Burton, who will begin serving as interim general secretary of The United Methodist Church's General Commission on Religion and Race starting Sept. 1. She shares GCORR's mission, its goals and talks about addressing white privilege and how white Christians can put their privilege to use as advocates for people of color.And Todd talks to the Rev. Adam Barlow-Thompson and the Rev. Ashley Prescott Barlow-Thompson, who lead the Neighboring Movement. This relationships-based ministry may be a key to helping people reach outside their usual circle of friends to build real bonds with people regardless of skin color or economic status.
35 minutes | 4 months ago
Class Meetings: Laity as the Key
We continue our look at class meetings and class leaders by taking a look at a pilot project in the Great West District in Nebraska, where Pastor Mark Baldwin is helping mentor a class leader. We also talk to Lisa Maupin, Great Plains Conference lay leader, about the way the class meeting model can help shift the story from one of scarcity to one of abundance.
39 minutes | 4 months ago
Class Meetings — Why Now?
Class meetings — with strong class leaders — were among the ways the Methodist movement spread westward and through the prairies of the United States. But could looking to the denomination's past help laity and churches pave the way to a brighter, more vital future?In this first of several episodes about class meetings, host Todd Seifert talks with District Superintendents Cindy Karges and Don Hasty, as well as retired elder, author and Methodist historian David Lowes Watson. They share why class meetings show promise for helping churches of all sizes — but especially small, rural congregations — boost discipleship, promote leadership and provide churches the tools they need to better serve their communities.
53 minutes | 5 months ago
Response to Racism
In the aftermath of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis — and following our previous episode titled "Black Lives Matter," we explore how people can respond to help end racism. In this episode, we talk about white privilege, how to educate ourselves and other ways to help bring about change — from stopping racist chatter at the water cooler to speaking up to casting ballots.Our featured guests are the Rev. Junius Dotson and the Rev. Steve Spencer. We also talk to the Revs. Kyle Reynolds, Portia Cavitt, Dee Williamston and Pastor Ronda Kingwood.
62 minutes | 6 months ago
Black Lives Matter
The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on Memorial Day weekend 2020 sparked outrage. Video of the incident shows a police officer with his knee pressed down on the man's neck for almost nine minutes.In response, people have taken to the streets in protest. They are voicing their anger and telling their stories.This episode aims to tell the story of the African-American experience through the words of six black pastors in the Great Plains Conference: Rev. Dee Williamston, Rev. Dr. Kevass Harding, Pastor Ronda Kingwood, Rev. Robert Johnson, Rev. Portia Cavitt and Rev. Kirstie Engel.A warning this episode does include some of the recording of Mr. Floyd asking officers to allow him to move so he can breathe.
27 minutes | 7 months ago
Adapting Church: Worship & Counseling to Stay Connected
The Rev. Dr. Kevass Harding had to adjust quickly when stay-at-home orders went into place in Wichita, one of the original hot spots for the coronavirus in Kansas. But he and his congregation at Dellrose United Methodist Church adapted quickly.Now, Dellrose UMC has online worship, online Bible studies and counseling for people who need it. Kevass shares about the struggle it was to get used to preaching to an empty room, and he provides some thoughts on how the COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately striking the African-American community.
24 minutes | 7 months ago
Adapting Church: Piano Side Sundays and Daily Snow Domes
The Rev. Stephanie Ahlschwede knew worship wouldn't look the same during our time of sheltering in place. So she chose to embrace a different look and feel. With the Rev. Jerry Brabec on piano and others joining in helping with the worship time as needed, a "piano side" service was born.Then, for a daily devotion, Stephanie decided to use her husband's collection of more than 3,500 snow domes as the inspiration for sharing a thought or two each day with her congregation.
20 minutes | 7 months ago
Traits for Being a Good Shepherd
In this reflection on John 10:1-10, Todd shares his thoughts on what he sees as a choice we have to make: Be a bandit and continue to put ourselves first, or strive to be a good shepherd who leads our personal flocks toward The Good Shepherd.
18 minutes | 7 months ago
Adapting Church: Getting People Involved Amid Social Distancing
The Rev. Stefanie Hayes of Sargent and Ord First United Methodist churches in Nebraska shares how she decided to get more people involved in recordings of online worship. Instead of just recording herself giving a sermon at her kitchen table, she recruited others in her congregation to record themselves saying prayers, reading liturgy or reading scripture. From those smartphone videos, she stitches together a worship service each week while she and her congregation shelter in their homes using just her iPad. Hear how she started this way of worship and how she has continued to do so each week amid the pandemic.
25 minutes | 8 months ago
Easter: A Discussion with Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr.
In the conclusion of a series on the seven final sayings of Christ from the cross, special guest Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr., episcopal leader of the Great Plains Conference of The United Methodist Church, provides some reflections on why the resurrection of Jesus Christ was such a powerful story in the first century and how it provides hope for people even today.
17 minutes | 8 months ago
Adapting Church: Learning New Tools for Spreading the Gospel
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced churches and pastors to do some things they had never before tried. The Rev. Gary Brooks, lead pastor at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Wichita is one of those people. His church, which has about 500 people in worship on a typical Sunday, had never livestreamed a service before the shelter-in-place order. But when it became necessary to do so, he and some of the staff at Aldersgate figured out a way to stream to Facebook Live. Now Sunday school classes, youth groups and more are using technology to stay connected and to continue to worship and study about Jesus Christ — all from their homes.
36 minutes | 8 months ago
Jesus on the Cross: "... I commend my spirit"
In the sixth of seven special episodes focusing on the final sayings from Christ on the cross, Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. shares his reflection on Luke 23:36, "Father into your hands I commend my spirit."The bishop shares his thoughts on how Jesus turned over His spirit to God after being beaten and mocked and tortured by his captors.
33 minutes | 8 months ago
Jesus on the Cross: "I thirst" and "It is finished"
In the fifth of seven special episodes focusing on the final sayings from Christ on the cross, Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. shares his reflections on John 19:28 and John 19:30, "I thirst" and "It is finished," respectively.The bishop provides his reflections on these two verses and provides guidance of why the writer of the Gospel of John may have included a statement about thirst and in what tone was Jesus speaking when He declared His work on earth "finished."
22 minutes | 8 months ago
7 Sayings of Jesus from the Cross: 4th in the Series
In the fourth of seven special episodes of the “In Layman’s Terms” podcast focusing on the final sayings from Christ on the cross, Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. shares his reflections on Mark 15:34, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me.”The bishop explains how these words from Jesus shouldn’t necessarily be looked at as words that reflect Jesus feeling abandoned, but rather how they teach us that even in the worst of circumstances, God never leaves us alone.
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