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This Week @ Dakotas | May 5

"To be lukewarm is to attempt to live in two worlds at once... to waste our God-given distinctives and gifts that God wants to use to bring healing and refreshment to the world around us.
Jesus says to John in the vision:  'I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth...' Rev. 4:15-15 NRSV
Now I don’t pretend to be a great theologian, but it can’t be good for Jesus to want to spit me out of his mouth! I believe this is a great challenge for a life-long walk with God. How do we stay passionate in a lukewarm world that constantly attempts to compromise our temperature and make us useless to the higher calling of God?"     -Rev. Roger Spahr

Rev. Roger Spahr currently serves as the Southeast District Superintendent for the Dakotas Conference, and will retire on July 1, 2020. Read more about Rev. Spahr's ministry journey here. Read a pastoral message from Rev. Spahr here.

Photo Illustration by Gerbera

Pray With Us | May 5-11
     Lord, give us strength in our weakness. Give us faith in our fear. Give us power in our powerlessness. We are trusting you. We pray for all of God's people, but especially these persons.

Investing in Leaders Resource Grant | Applications due August 1
     Our Area’s financial well-being initiative (funded by our grant from Lilly Endowment) is launching the Investing in Leaders Financial Well-being Resource Grant effective May 2020.  The grant offers up to $5000 towards education debt reduction. Eligible clergy will have been under appointment for at least one year on August 1, 2020, which is the deadline for the application. Direct questions to Diane Owen, area program director, here.

Clergy Day Apart Cancelled | May 18, 2020
     Location: Dakota Event Center, Aberdeen, SD –  Date: May 18, 2020
     UPDATE 3/23/20:  This event has been cancelled in response to the  COVID-19 pandemic.
     Please contact the Conference office with any questions at 605-990-7791 or e-mail Bea Stucke here.

Annual Conference Dates | New date: Oct. 9-10, 2020
The 26th session of the Dakotas Annual Conference will take place on October 9-10, 2020, at Legacy United Methodist Church in Bismarck, North Dakota. The cancellation of the joint Dakotas-Minnesota Annual Conference, scheduled for June 10-12, 2020 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, was announced April 29th. 
     The plan is to meet for 24 hours, beginning at noon on Friday, October 9, 2020, and concluding at noon on Saturday, October 10. The shortened timeframe will require an abbreviated agenda for the annual conference session, covering only the necessary items on the agenda. The sessions committee will continue planning and will announce details—registration, hotels, and schedule as soon as possible. 
     A clergy session will be held virtually on June 11, 2020.

Higher Ground Soul Fill-up and Lunch Chat | May 6th
     A team, known as the Total Well-Being Team, has gathered some resources for you and invites you to take some time for yourself. Each Wednesday, come and join your colleagues in a time away from your busy life for spirituality and wellness.
     Soul Fill-up: Each Wednesday at 9 a.m. Central, 8 a.m. Mountain, connect with UMConnect (BlueJeans) here.  This will be a time to stop, relax and be in a time of worship. It is a devotion created especially for you by the Higher Ground spiritual directors. We want you to take a moment to breathe, be still, and feel how much we care about you. There is nothing that you need to prepare, nothing you to do, and no homework. Just come, be present, and soak it in.
     Lunch Chat: Each Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. Central Time, 11:30 a.m. Mountain Time, connect with UMConnect (BlueJeans) here.  Join us for a time of learning, chat and discussion. Each week, one of the Higher Ground consultants will facilitate a time of learning, discussion, and answer questions. The topics be around the five wellness components of Higher Ground financial, physical, mental, spiritual, and social.

Camps suspended for summer | Announcement here
     This is difficult news for [camping staff] to share, and we know it is tough news for you to learn. It is hard to imagine a summer without camp. For many of us, camp is the thing we look forward to most about summer. The ways we experience Christ, creation, and community at camp is what we all want right now. We wish we could be together at camp, but at this time our team feels it would be difficult to safely and effectively offer summer programming during the COVID-19 pandemic.  -Keith Shew, director of Dakotas-Minnesota Area Camp and Retreat Ministry.

Financial Foundations webinar | May 11: Old money, new opportunities
     Join this quarter's Financial Foundations webinar, "Old Money, New Opportunities", May 11, from 7-8 p.m. CDT, 6-7 p.m. MDT.  Jeff Pospisil, who serves as executive director for Finance and Administration for the Dakotas Conference, and Sheri Meister, president and CEO for the Dakotas United Methodist Foundation, will share ideas on how to end the struggle and look at ways to make the most of endowments or investments and look at ways to connect these funds to the ministry of your church.  Details here.

Job Announcements| Piedmont Grace UMC
     Grace UMC in Piedmont, SD is in search of two gifted and passionate individuals for a Children's Ministry Coordinator position and a Youth Ministry Coordinator position. These two ministry areas have seen exciting growth, transformation, and fruit in recent
years. For more information or to apply, contact Pastor Karl Kroger or visit Indeed.


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