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This Week @ Dakotas | February 21


Beginning our journey of Lent: Bishop's Ash Wednesday message
    Bishop Lanette Plambeck brings us this Ash Wednesday message, full of hope for the challenges we face in lives and our faith journeys, and illustrates it with Jacob's "wrestling match" with God from Genesis 32, as well as the struggles that John Wesley, the founder of our United Methodism, faced in his life, calling, and ministry.

Prayer for Ukraine | Feb. 24
Friday, Feb. 24, 2023, marks one year since Russian forces invaded Ukraine. Friday, Feb. 24 will mark the one-year anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine. Please join Global Ministries General Secretary Roland Fernandes on Feb. 24 at noon for a responsive prayer, asking God to bring peace and comfort to the Ukrainian people. Here is the Facebook event link. Access a prayer as a downloadable resource.

Retirement Readiness for All Ages | Feb. 21 and 23
Do you think you are too young to think about retirement?  Or do you feel like it is too late to start preparing?  Are you worried about being a burden after retirement?  Whatever your age or state, this workshop will provide important considerations for retirement preparation.  Obtain an overview of key changes that you need to consider when you retire. Join Marcia Alexander, Financial Counselor, Thrivent, Tues. Feb. 21  6-7:15 p.m. or Thursday, February 23, noon-1:15 p.m.


Scholarships Available for United Methodist Students | Apply by March 1
Applications are now open for scholarships from the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation. Every year, UMHEF awards $2+ million to students planning to attend one of the 100+ UM-related colleges, universities, and seminaries across the country. Don’t let finances get in the way of achieving your dreams of a quality education! Apply by March 1 at (Scholarships from UMHEF are separate from those offered by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.)

Clergy Well-Being Grants
    The 2023 Clergy Well-Being Resource Grant is now accepting applications! The Dakotas-Minnesota Area offers our clergy this grant of up to $1,000 for first time applicants and up to $500 for those who received a grant in 2022. Funds could be used for a health coach, spiritual director, gym membership, hiking boots, a creative arts experience, a course on resilience or trauma, and more.

Meet with Bishop Lanette at one of the 7 gatherings | Starts March 4
    "I want to be where our people are, hear their hopes and dreams for our conference, and see the places they live, love, and worship,” said Bishop Lanette Plambeck, who began her assignment as resident bishop for the Dakotas-Minnesota Episcopal Area on Jan. 1, 2023. That’s precisely what our new bishop hopes to do at a series of upcoming gatherings in each district. Dakotas United Methodists are invited to choose a location and come to meet Bishop Lanette, hear some of her story, worship together, enjoy warm hospitality and good conversation, and leave with a renewed sense of hope for the future.

Lenten study | Luke: Jesus and the Outsiders, Outcasts and Outlaws
    Join Bishop Lanette Plambeck and the Dakotas Conference Cabinet in this six-week study on the Gospel of Luke, emphasizing Luke's unique insights about Jesus. In Luke: Jesus and the Outsiders, Outcasts, and Outlaws, pastor and bestselling author Adam Hamilton explores the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus as told in the Gospel of Luke. Through Luke's stories, we find Jesus' care and compassion for all as he welcomes sinners and outcasts. As we study Luke and see Jesus' concern for those considered unimportant, we hear an encouraging and inspiring word for our lives today. Read more here.

Builders Club Winter 2023 | Piedmont Grace UMC
Grace UMC in Piedmont invites everyone to join them on their journey in following Christ and discovering God’s grace. One way they want to do this is by installing a new digital sign that will help invite people to events and church, as well as share God’s love through scripture and messages of hope. Join the Builders Club and donate today.

Dakotas Foundation scholarships | Apply today
    Several scholarships are awarded to seminary students, clergy, and undergraduate students by the Dakotas Conference and the Dakotas Methodist Foundation including the Merit Scholarship, Excellence in Clergy Leadership Scholarship, United Methodist Dollars for Scholars and endowment scholarships. There are several due dates approaching. Get the details here.

Annual Men's Retreat | March 10-11
    Men, mark your calendars! Our annual men's retreat will be taking place at Storm Mountain Center on March 10 and 11. Friday evening we will gather to worship, learn, and fellowship with one another. Saturday we will have a work day serving the camp in a variety of ways. Register and get the details

Discernment Retreat | March 25 and April 29
    A discernment retreat is the entry point for those exploring a call to pastoral and lay ministry. Participants are equipped and inspired to serve as a leader in various ministry areas inside and outside your congregation. This Lay Servant Ministries Basic Course is a foundational course designed to equip new church leaders and renew current leaders in The United Methodist Church. It explores: personal spiritual gifts, servant leadership, each leader's role in developing future leaders, the importance of consistent spiritual practices, the core ministries of leading, caring, and communicating, and much more. Register here.
Dates and time:
Part I:  March 25, 2023, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. central time; 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. mountain time.
Location:  Conference Office, Mitchell, SD, and Zoom
Part II:  Saturday, April 29, 2023, 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. central time; 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. mountain time.
Location: Conference Office, Mitchell, SD, and Zoom

AC Call for Petitions, Resolutions, and award nominations | Due March 31
    It is time to gear up for the 2023 Annual Conference. Do you have a resolution, petition, or specific legislation you would like to have considered at the 2023 Dakotas Annual Conference, being held June 8-10, 2023, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota? All proposals for petitions and resolutions for the Dakotas Annual Conference Session must be submitted electronically, by March 31, 2023. Several awards will be announced at annual conference. Some are chosen by the cabinet, some by CCYM, and some via open nominations.

Camp Registration is open
    Registration is open for the 2023 camping season! Check out the upcoming camp sessions at Check at your local United Methodist Church for the 2023 camp flyer arriving soon. See you at camp!

Clergy women's retreat | April 30-May 2 
    Come and enjoy the serene surroundings, worship, conversation and company of other United Methodist clergywomen at this year’s retreat. Located outside Marvin, SD, the Abbey of the Hills. Bible women: Their stories of art will be the theme, April 30 to May 2, 2023. Get the details and register here.

Bishop calls special session | Aug. 15
    After consultation with the Dakotas Appointive Cabinet, Bishop Lanette Plambeck is calling a special session of the Dakotas Annual Conference for August 15, 2023, beginning at 7:00 p.m. central time and 6:00 p.m. mountain time. The session will be entirely virtual. This will be the final called conference for disaffiliation in 2023.


Youth Ministry Coaching Program coming to the Dakotas
    The Youth Ministry Coaching program is the premier coaching program for youth workers. It’s a yearlong whole-life leadership development program for youth workers. We've had more than 700 people go through it in cohorts of 10 (all over the country). outcomes are things like: growth in your depth of thinking about ministry, learning to create and lead from values, understanding and leading change, and growth in self-knowledge. We meet six times (every other month) for 2 days (all dates are collaboratively chosen by the group but are on weekdays). + participants get 10 1on1 coaching sessions, and a group of ministry friends that normally lasts well beyond the yearlong experience together. The program cost is $3000, but youth workers in Dakotas Conference UMC church can apply for a cultural of call grant to help offset the cost; And we're super flex with payment plans, including paying over two budget years. Location will be tentatively at Fargo First UMC in Fargo, ND. For more information, or to download an overview brochure look here
Questions? Contact Mark Oestreicher (, or Andrea Plueddeman (

Senior care resources for South Dakota is a leading senior care resource for family caregivers seeking information and support as they care for aging parents, spouses and other loved ones. We have been featured by AARP, The Administration for Community Living, The National Legal Resource Center, and Forbes, as well as referenced by many governmental agencies and organizations across the Internet.

Camp Sunday resources available 
The 2023 Camp Sunday worship resources are available online and ready for download! Updated resources include a new promotional video, worship service elements (call to worship, prayers, sermon and children's moments suggestions), song ideas and playlists, social media images, PowerPoint slides, bulletin covers, and decorating ideas. Check out Worship Resources here.


Dakota Wesleyan University | Campus Pastor
Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, SOuth Dakota (a university affiliated with the United Methodist Church) invites applications for the full-time position of Campus Pastor. Start date is negotiable, but a June or July 2023 start date is highly desirable. See the job description and application here

Watertown First | Children's Ministry Coordinator
    Watertown First UMC in Watertown, SD is hiring a Full-Time Children's Ministry Coordinator. See the Watertown First UMC website for more information: 

Sioux Falls First | Children's Ministry Director
Sioux Falls First is looking for a Children's Ministry Director. The Children's Ministry Director will be responsible for equipping children from birth-5th grade to know, love, and serve Jesus Christ, so the church will thrive in its mission of “making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” Apply here.

Sioux Falls First | Facilities Director
Sioux Falls First is looking for a Facilities Director. The Facilities Director will be responsible for the church building, grounds, and day-to-day facility and security needs. Get the details here.


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