Connecting with “Those People”

SchottLeeWe often hear our friends, colleagues, strangers talk about those people as if they could some how contaminate us, our place of worship, our community. Maybe we have even joined in the conversation about those people. Yes, we talk about them but what can we do about them or for them?

Rev. Lee A. Schott, a United Methodist pastor of Women at the Well UMC, has a few ideas and suggestions. Women at the Well UMC is one of only two United Methodist churches in the U.S. that are within prison walls. Scott’s church is in the women’s prison in Mitchellville, Iowa.

Before you read Schott’s suggestions about how to meet, embrace, and assist people who are different from us, think about your church community. How open is your church to someone who looks, dresses, talks, acts differently from your members? Is your church welcoming and friendly to guests? What happens during the Passing of the Peace? How involved is your church family in the community around your church building?

If you could not answer those questions quickly with significant examples of connecting with brothers and sisters in your community, perhaps you and your members need to study and practice the suggestions that Schott offers in her article, Connecting with Those People. Here is her list of suggestions; you will have to read her article for the full explanation:

  • Watch
  • Wonder
  • Be a safe listener
  • Reduce your church’s barriers
  • Watch your language
  • Reach across the walls
  • Don’t just “do missions.” Build relationships
  • Maintain boundaries
  • Pray

You can read Schott’s entire article here:

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is evaluating your church’s participation in mission, outreach, and nurture in light of Schott’s comments and then re-commit your church family to truly see and connect with THOSE PEOPLE.

2015 Spouses’ Luncheon at Annual Conference

flip flopWear Your Favorite Shoesoxfords
to this year’s
Ministers’  Spouses Luncheon

Wednesday, June 10, 2015
11:00 a.m.
Florence Civic Center

Cost of the lunch is $15.00 per person
nikeMake checks payable to Florence District Ministers’  Spousesleopard pump

Mail check and registration form to
Florence District Office UMC
Attention: Carol F. Hipp
PO Box 408
Florence, SC 29503-0408

Click on this link (2015SCSPOUSELUNCHEON) to download the information flyer and the meal registration form.


Stop Hunger Now – 2015 Annual Conference Meal Packing Event

SHN-LogoTo: All Greenwood District Pastors

From: Rev. Steve Keck – Stop Hunger Now District Coordinator

Please keep Stop Hunger Now in your bulletins and speak of it weekly from the pulpit. This is a  good way for us to support our conference. A small amount of money can go a long way. If anyone has any great ways of raising money, please share it with the other Pastors in the district.

The other need for Stop Hunger Now is one person from each district to be in Florence on June 9 to help with coordinating the volunteers. We are also looking for youth groups to help with the packing of the food, so please let me know if you know anyone is taking his/her youth group to Florence to help with meal packing on June 9.

Basic Church Administration Workshop

Pastchurch administrationor Robert Cox will present the seminar “Basic Church Administration,” Saturday, May 16th, at 9:30 am, at Northside United Methodist Church, 435 Summit Dr. Greenville, South Carolina 29609.

The seminar covers the documents that churches are required to keep by the United Methodist Church, and by various governmental agencies. Most of this material is not covered or taught in seminary or church leadership workshops. These records pertain to membership, contributions, finances, personnel, and legal documents.

Persons who should attend include:

  • Church secretaries
  • Membership secretaries
  • Financial Secretaries
  • Treasurers
  • Chairs and members of the SPRC
  • Chairs and members of the Board of Trustees
  • Pastors
  • Church business administrators

The cost of the seminar is $25, and Includes lunch, refreshments, and all materials including a notebook full of material to take back to the local church. The fee may be paid at the door. Please make checks payable to: Basic Church Administration.

Deadline for registration is Thursday, May 14. Click here to register onlineYou may also download the information brochure which has registration information included.