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Pastor's Note

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If someone asked you, what’s special about your church, how would you answer? Read More
We welcome our new Director of Missions, Autumn Dennis. Read More
I'd like to call your attention to two very important items regarding our church. Read More
We're moving the Modern Worship service to Fellowship Hall during the month of April. See you there at 9:30 a.m. Read More
It's been my lifelong quest to develop a faith that can stand the test of both reason and experience. In my new sermon series, we'll look at both sides of faith and atheism. Read More
Children have an important place in worship. That's why we're starting PRAYground, beginning April 8. Read More
In 2013, our church adopted a single board model of governance. This model enables a congregation to focus on discerning and achieving its mission. Read More
I am always amazed that our church can present the Gospel in varied, creative, and excellent ways: this is what I think of whenever the amazing Music Makers present their musical! Read More
Recently, our Leadership Board approved some key priorities for our church over the next four years. I want to share one of these priorities now. Read More
Last Sunday marked the conclusion of my five-part Boot Camp Discipleship Series. I hope you've joined me in taking the challenge of spiritual discipline, intensive faith formation, risk-taking mission, and compassionate congregational care. Read More
I'm very much looking forward to beginning our Lenten journey with these special worship opportunities. Read More
To give us an overview of our caring ministries, I've asked Rev. Stephanie Lendt, Pastor of Congregational Care, to be our guest writer today. Read More
In Fellowship Hall this past Sunday, we held an event that reflects one of our most important strengths: the diverse and impassioned ministries of our committed laity. Read More
I hear from boot campers (i.e., my son) that they go through exhaustive 'PT,' or physical training. Similarly, Jesus gives us some clear-cut 'stretch' goals to get in shape spiritually. Read More
If you are following Christ down the path of deeper discipleship, what are your special gifts and talents? Read More
As I reflected over the past year, some possible resolutions came to mind that might interest you. Read More
A full listing of Pastor Greg's eNotes for 2017. Read More
A full listing of Pastor Greg's eNotes for 2016. Read More
It used to be that designing a worship service was cookie-cutter... Read More
I can’t think of many things more important than building bridges between people... Read More
Get ready for a whole new small group experience at MUMC... Read More
Last week I talked about the “Deeper Discipleship” sermon series, where we’ll take the challenge of taking risks... Read More
The “lure” of fishing is never knowing what you’re going to pull up [Read more] Read More
One of the most fun things I do as Senior Pastor is team-teach the New Member Class... Read More
I was at my second office (Bread Co. in Winchester Plaza) recently... Read More
Well, that title is an attention-getter, isn’t it? Read More
According to one report, there are six living generations making up America... Read More
I’m sure we’re all feeling the aftershocks from last week, with the anger and grief flaring... Read More
As I hope you know by now, tonight (Tuesday, June 28) we host our Prayer Vigil for Peace, Unity, and Healing... Read More
It’s becoming a sad, frightening commentary that what has been commonplace in the Middle East is becoming more common over here.. Read More
Throughout this summer, several of our staff will be engaging in a variety of continuing education experiences... Read More
A few activities and an update on last week's conference... Read More
The Young Adult Ministry has a few different areas of focus: small groups, fellowship, missions, and overnight trips... Read More
With many things having happened or currently happening, I thought it would be helpful to devote this eblast to sharing some updates... Read More
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
Two BIG events are about to take place, and I want to give you a preview... Read More
Recently, our Pastor of Administration finished a quarterly report detailing where we are financially as a church... Read More
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
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
Probably THE comment I most hear from guests and new members is this: “This is a friendly place!" Read More
If that’s not a catchy title, I don’t know what is!... Read More
Holy Week, beginning with Palm Sunday and ending with Easter, is one of the most moving times of the Christian year... Read More
The traditional phrase associated with Holy Week is, “Journey with Jesus through the events of Holy Week, and on to his Resurrection.” Read More
The increase in participants in small groups, in outreach ministries, and in missions giving reflects the heart and generosity of this congregation... Read More
I sincerely hope you saw the Music Makers’ “Side by Side” musical this past weekend... Read More
How do we find common ground in a world that delights in separating us into “us” and “them” groups? Read More
One of the greatest perks of my job is seeing the children of our church! Read More
I’m VERY excited about guests from Mozambique we’ll be welcoming this weekend! Read More
Sometimes it’s refreshing to hear from folks new to our faith community... Read More
We have well over 100 laity-led ministries in our church. What a tribute to the talent and dedication of our congregation! Read More
We are delighted to welcome to our pulpit this weekend our Episcopal leader for the Missouri Annual Conference, Bishop Robert Schnase... Read More
I’d like to highlight two things that are happening this weekend that are very important... Read More
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
I’m very much looking forward to the sermon series I’m preaching to start the new year... Read More
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
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
How appropriate we began the season of Advent this past weekend with the decorating of our chapel and sanctuary! Read More
Yesterday morning’s worship services were led by a team of youth and young adults... Read More
ONE commitments progress report and special upcoming worship services... Read More
As you saw in last week’s e-note, our ONE celebration on the 25th was fantastic... Read More
What a joyous celebration as ONE worshipping community! You can see from the photos the excitement we shared... Read More
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
Recently I completed my sermon retreat, where I sketch out worship/sermon themes for the upcoming year... Read More
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
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
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
Recently I shared in worship something that leaders and members in the church have been working on over the last several months... Read More
The premise of this sermon series is simple... Read More
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
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
I’ve invited our Director of Music, Kevin McBeth, to share his thoughts as our guest writer this week... Read More
Yesterday Rev. Phil Estes presented a financial update during worship... Read More
To celebrate our 25th anniversary, Barbara and I went on a cruise to Venice and the Grecian Isles... Read More
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
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
Yesterday, our Leadership Board spent the afternoon at the Mercy Retreat Center on its annual retreat... Read More
Later this summer, I’ll be doing a series of sermons titled, “FAITH, SCIENCE, AND TECHNOLOGY: A Celebration of Creation"... Read More
Having just returned from Annual Conference, with a new Conference budget approved, I thought it might be informative to talk about apportionments... Read More
I’m putting the finishing touches on this today from Springfield, Missouri... Read More
Here’s a look ahead at some sermons and series I’ll enjoy sharing with you this summer... Read More
As I wrap up year number seven of my pastoral appointment here at Manchester UMC... Read More
This coming Sunday I’ll deal with the question, “WHO Is the Holy Spirit?” ... Read More
My current sermon series, “Frequently Asked Questions,” lends itself to some controversy... Read More
Here are three “news briefs” that I think you’ll find relevant and interesting... Read More
You may recall that one of our emphases in the ONE Initiative was making a strong effort in reaching young adults... Read More
This past weekend, Kiersten Rose, our new Director of Contemporary Music, shared with us her vision for 9:30 contemporary worship... Read More
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
The Easter celebration yesterday was a celebration of pure joy! Read More
We view Holy Week as a sacred journey... Read More
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
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
Since November, we’ve been searching extensively for a Director of Contemporary Music... Read More
Occasionally someone will ask how this or that decision was made... Read More
Some churches offer to impose ashes early on Ash Wednesday morning... Read More
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
On January 24, ninety-three laity and staff gathered in our Fellowship Hall for the 2015 edition of this special time... Read More
A perpetual challenge for a church our size, with people of all ages, is communicating... Read More
Since New Year’s resolutions are in full swing this time of year, here are some things that came to mind. Read More
I thought you all might enjoy an update on the latest in the area of worship... Read More
As 2015 begins, I’d like to bring to your attention a few upcoming happenings... Read More
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
This is the name of a beautiful anthem written by Joseph Martin. Read More
As you may recall, one of our key ONE initiatives was enhancing our worship experiences... Read More
This is the title of my sermon series kicking off 2015. Read More
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
I am beginning to think that November is "International Month" around here. Read More
Last week I spent away from the office, planning sermon themes for next year. Read More
Celebration weekend and more. Read 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. Read More
This past weekend was a CELEBRATION! Read More
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
An update on another part of the ONE initiative. Read More
A deeper look into Young Adult Ministry Read More
This past weekend kicked off the public phase of our exciting faith-generosity initiative called “ONE.” Read More
Victoria Osteen said some things recently that stirred up quite a controversy within evangelical Christianity. Read More
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
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
What is a defining moment you’ve had at MUMC? Read More
Like you, I’ve been thinking about and praying over the Ferguson tragedy and its aftermath. Read More
Pastor Greg's first e-blast back from his sabbatical. Read More
Phil Estes pens the last guest e-blast of the summer. Read More
Rev. Stephanie Lendt shares about her team members. Read More
Rev. Beth Elders guest e-blasts to tell about the missions team at MUMC. Read More
Kevin McBeth guest-writes this week's blog post. Read More
Debbie Irving guest e-blasts this week! Read More
Let it never be said that Manchester UMC takes the summer off! Read More
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
Our United Methodist clergy and laity met in Springfield earlier this month... Read More
This is the name of a book I've written that has been an ongoing labor of love... Read More
Wasn’t it yesterday we were complaining about an “arctic vortex”? Read More
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
My next two sermons are going to deal with lessons learned from Catholicism. Read More
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
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
I’m writing this a few days before Easter, and anticipating what lies ahead. Read More
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
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
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
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
Last November I wrote the first installment in this “gossip column” series. Read More
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
Lent is just around the corner. Ash Wednesday is just 2 days away... Read More
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
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
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
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
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