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an edition of the United Methodist Reporter THE MISSOURI CONFERENCE REVIEW

Leading congregations to lead people to actively follow Jesus Christ Ricatla

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Putting the squares to work for church. 2A


speaks at Sikeston

By Pat Marsh Amid a standing room only

crowd in the Family Life Center of First United Methodist Church on Dec. 11, lives were changed and God’s presence was felt during the testimony of Brian “Head” Welch, a tattooed hard- rock legend who with God’s help overcame drug addictions. Welch spoke for about an

hour to a mesmerized crowd of about 780 people during the 11 a.m. Journey service. (That church service is averaging 228 people this year.) In addition to those seated on chairs and bleachers, people were standing around the edges and along the walking track above the floor. Welch also stayed after the ser- vice for more than two hours to talk with people, sign autographs and pray with people! Many of those who came were facing addictions of their own.

Brian “Head” Welch

Some had not been in a church for many years, having been turned off by an experience in the past. Some had never been to a church, but yet courageously came to hear this co-founder of the “nu” rock band Korn, which was at the top of popularity in the mid 1990s. About 100 youth from the Mingo Job Corps in

See Head, pg. 6A

Mozambique sem- inary bears fruit. 4A


CMU players receive All American honors. 5A

024000 l Volume 158 Number 36 l January 6, 2012 Two Sections, Section A

Church relies on faith to provide lunch for children

Winter’s here, but it’s not too

early to consider how your church can engage it’s community when summer comes back around. One church in the Mark Twain District spent last summer making a real difference for local people in need. When summer school is over,

so are the free lunches at school. That can make for a long six weeks for some families who are living in poverty. When the churches of Palmyra met to dis- cuss continuing to provide “buddy packs” of groceries each week to the children, Tom Bannon had another suggestion. “I said I would feed the kids

once a week,” Bannon said. Later he met with Sharon Womack of First Christian church, who works with the local food pantry, she said she thought it should be five days a week, Monday through Friday. “I said OK, or rather the good Lord said it for me before I knew

Sharon Womack and Tom Bannon are shown here in the Palmyra United Methodist Church kitchen with a sample of items that were served for lunch to local children when the Palmyra R-1 School District's lunch program closed for the summer. Photo by Michael Kipley of the Quincy Herald-Whig.

what was happening,” Bannon said. Bannon, then checked in with

his pastor, Rev. Eric Anderson, to see if it was OK to host the meal

See Palmyra, pg. 4A

Sarah Bollinger named new Mozambique

Initiative Coordinator Sarah Bollinger, a member of

Churches urged to use new tool for goal setting

It is the time that people start

considering what their goals are for the coming year. Many people will decide to exercise more, eat less, drop bad habits or start good ones. But what about the church? Does your church have goals set for improvement to help guide it through the coming year? There is now a tool available on the Internet to help every United Methodist church do just that.

The Vital Congregations web-

site, found at www.umvitalcon-, already contains specific information on every United Methodist congregation. This function of the site is fueled by data from the General Council on Finance and Administration. At this time any church can see a graph of their trends in the past four years in the areas of average weekly attendance, professions

of faith, small groups, members in mission, and dollars given to mission. But the website does much

more than giving churches a look at the past. It provides them with a simple way to set benchmarks for the future. Churches can set their goals in each category, for specific years. “This came about from the

See Vital Congregations, pg. 3A

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the Gathering UMC in St. Louis, will be the next Mozambique Initiative Coordinator. Bollinger will begin the job part time while Carol Kreamer continues to work full-time, and will be full-time beginning in June. Kreamer will retire at the end of June. Bollinger grew up in St. Louis,

and was a double major in jazz piano and religious studies at Webster University. She then earned a Masters of Social Work from New York University, and worked for a hospice program in New York following graduation. Recently Bollinger has been

teaching courses relating to social work at Washington University, and is working on completing her PhD there.

Sarah Bollinger Bollinger became familiar

with the Mozambique Initiative through her church, The Gathering, where she serves as worship leader.

See Bollinger, pg. 4A

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