Deann Smith is the Executive Director of United Methodist Open Door Inc., a ministry site in Wichita, Kansas that is focused on Food, Clothing and Shelter for individuals or families. Amy and Ben reminisce with Deann about the history of Open Door, talk about where she got her start in ministry and what the future holds!
Justin Jamis is our guest for episode 18! Rev. Jamis serves at the director and campus minister for the Wesley Foundation at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. We explore the challenges of campus ministry, and get our very first guest-asked question! We hope you enjoy it!
Courtney Fowler is the Lay Leader of the Great Plains Annual Conference, head of our delegation to General Conference in 2016 and a dedicated worker for health around the globe.
Our guest for episode 16 is Marlin Brown, the Coordinator for the Volunteers in Mission (VIM) for the Great Plains Annual Conference. Marlin is a retired lay person who lives in Wichita, Kansas. His stories of life-changing work are an inspiration and we’re proud to bring you part of his story!
Recorded live at Mead's Corner in Wichita, Kansas on June 10th our first live show features interviews with Jim Reed, Rebecca Hjelle and Mary Lou Reece! We were also proud to have some amazing and talented musicians play for us, our great thanks to Brianna Brown, Josh Melcher and Jennifer Pettersen!
Thanks to all those who came out and laughed and cheered and all the folks who checked out the live video stream. We love doing this work and it was great to bring it to a live format!
Episode 14 is our conversation with Kalaba Chali who serves as the Mercy and Justice Coordinator for the Great Plains Annual Conference. He comes to the great plains by way of Missouri, Texas, Florida, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo and we’re honored to hear his story and his wisdom. We discuss his path as well as the conference’s work in Haiti and we muse together on the challenges of justice in a complex and hurting world.
Episode 13 features the Rev. Mike Chamberlain, who is currently serving as the Kansas City Area District Superintendent. We talk about his Army upbringing and career, his call into ministry and what he’s going to do during his impending retirement. Who knew that sitting in a shielded metal box doing spreadsheets could make you a DS?
Another first this week as we host our first clergy couple! Jack and Marilyn Gregory have served as co-pastors for most of their professional lives, including as co-District Superintendents and even now serve together in their retirement. We talk about how they met and their experiences in Seminary and how they navigated the waters of serving churches together.
We're excited to bring you our first laity interview with the wonderful and dedicated Sandy Simmons who lives and works in Leavenworth Kansas. We talk about her long career in gifted education, what happens when your 6 year-old asks you about church, her stunning work with the hungry and homeless in Leavenworth and her love of Graffiti. It was a wonderful interview and we hope you love it!
We celebrate breaking into double digits by sitting down with the wonderful Rev. Nanette Roberts who serves as the Senior Pastor of Grace UMC in Olathe, KS (Southwest area of Kansas City). We discuss creativity in worship, leading in the midst of unknowing, the amazing story of the outreach of Grace UMC and conclude with some poetry.
This week our guest is Bill Selby who is the Creator and Mentor for the Center for Pastoral Effectiveness of the Rockies. Bill is a retired Elder of the Rocky Mountain Conference and serves through the center in assisting Clergy in thinking and dealing with Anxiety. We talk about the Center, how Bill got his start in ministry, his childhood and way too many other topics to sum up! We also feature as a special guest Bill’s amazing wife Sherilee who joined us unknowingly for a moment or two.
While recording at St. Paul UMC in Lincoln, NE we enjoyed being serenaded by the choir in rehearsal and some very insistent students of Scripture as we interviewed Sam Fisher. As a recent college graduate Sam serves as a District Superintendent Assignment for Olive Crest UMC in Omaha, NE. We talk about growing up in western Nebraska and his faith background, his political aspirations as a youth and how the realities turned him back to the church and how Funeral Directors are often a Pastor’s best friend!
Our 7th guest on the podcast is Ashlee Alley, who serves as the Clergy Recruitment and Development Coordinator for the Great Plains Annual Conference based out of Lincoln. Ashlee is an ordained Deacon and came to her current role after serving in campus ministry at Southwestern College. We discuss her transition into this new role, her passion for discernment in vocational calling for others, and for her own path to ministry.
Originally from Nebraska, Michelle is part of the Transition into Ministry (TiM) Program and serves as the Associate Pastor at Emporia First UMC. We talk through her time being part of campus ministry at UNL and her education at St. Paul School of Theology and the transitions that she’s seen in both of those programs, her experiences in the first year of ministry, Ben’s terrible impression of Michael Caine (sigh), theology in movies and residency.
Our 5th episode features our interview with Kurt Cooper! Kurt is a United Methodist Deacon and the UM Campus Minister at Emporia State University. We begin our conversation with comic book characters (Kurt collects and sells comics) and once Ben finally calms down we talk about how started in his 23 years of campus ministry, vocational calling, why deacons are awesome, the history and his love for High School Institute, and the spiritual engagement of millennials and beyond.
Our guest is Greg Reed who serves Dawson UMC in Wichita, Kansas after making the trek south from Nebraska. We start by talking musical instruments, move onto Greg’s love of cycling and his different places of ministry in Nebraska. He talks about what’s it’s like to be half of a clergy couple and his passions in ministry.
We sit down with Cindy Watson who serves as the Head Pastor of West Heights UMC in Wichita, Kansas. Our conversation ranges from Cindy's work with GCCUIC (General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns) to the history of women in ministry and her passion for cooking.
In our second episode Co-Hosts Amy Lippoldt and Ben Hanne have a delightful chat with Lennie Maxwell who serves as Pastor for the First United Methodist Church in Great Bend, KS.