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Mi Hyeon Lee
District Superintendent
Mi Hyeon Lee

Kyle Dryer
Executive Assistant
Kyle Dryer

Cathy Gibbs
Administrative Assistant
Cathy Gibbs

(573) 441-8878
3601 Amron Court
Columbia, Missouri 65202

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Sharing Creative Ideas

posted on February 14

We will use this to share creative ideas from church to church for engaging your community. If you would like us to add your idea here, please send Catherine Gibbs an email at the district office at

The Life Of A Single Mom Ministry at Wesley UMC (Jeff City) 
Posted 3/15/2023


This week’s Creative Ministry Idea comes from Wesley UMC’s The Life of a Single Mom (TLSM) Ministry. This ministry is ecumenically committed to seeing no single mom walk alone. In fact, this ministry exists to improve the lives of single mothers by providing support groups and education in three core areas: Parenting, Finances, and Health & Wellness. TLSM works to educate single mothers on the importance of their overall health & wellness by offering one-on-one counseling opportunities either online or in-person through their group mentors. In addition, TLSM promotes educating single moms by offering over 175 online, self-paced, life skills courses by enrolling in Single Mom University. Through online, self-paced video lectures, single moms can access their portal 24/7 to chose training resources in parenting, finances, or wellness. Under these three core areas, moms can learn about budgeting, overcoming abuse, homeownership, co-parenting, and dozens more.
The Life of a Single Mom Ministry at Wesley’s UMC meet the first and third Tuesday of the month, but also encourage the group participants to meet weekly to promote networking and relationship connections. Group meetings consist of Bible devotions, icebreakers, motivations speakers, games, and food & fellowship time. Three times a year, TLSM ministry plan retreat and pampering opportunities for the single mom ministry. For more information on this ministry, visit to find important information and resources.

Uplift Outreach Ministry at Mexico UMC
Posted March 8, 2023

Mexico United Methodist Church recently partnered with an outreach ministry, Uplift Mid-MO. This ministry was created as a non-profit in August of 2019 to help Christians in our community collaborate. The Uplift Clearinghouse was created as a service available to Audrain County churches and agencies to benefit those living in poverty or experiencing great challenges in our community. We seek to create personal, Christ-centered relationships between multi-denominational Christian volunteers and individuals in need. By doing this, the church community can now take an active role in being a part of the solution.

Churches need to be able to connect with individuals in our community who are in need. Many churches lack the infrastructure needed to address core issues behind assistance requests. By being the contact point for the Uplift Clearinghouse, churches are able to have face time with clients and remain involved in their experience from start to finish. When a person in need contacts a partner church, the church submits a referral to Uplift via the online system, prompting a staff member to contact the individual for a screening. Uplift will work with the client to determine eligibility and remove any barriers to sustainability. Oftentimes, the client requests a pastoral follow-up. In that case, Uplift will reach out to all church partners via email to give the opportunity to the first-available pastor to make a follow-up phone call. When a financial determination is made, the church can share the cost with Uplift if they have funding to do so.

The Uplift organization is unique in that it requires clients to be sustainable or have an adequate plan in place to become sustainable before funding is issued. They are interested in improving the lives of those they interact with and providing them with skills and resources to succeed long-term. Volunteers work one-on-one with clients to remove barriers and create a sustainable outcome, giving them a "hand up" instead of a "hand out." The programs consist of three major focus areas: career, housing, and budget coaching. During the interaction with clients, which typically takes place over a several-week period, immediate tangible needs such as hygiene items, clothing, transportation (fuel, vehicle repair costs), school supplies, baby/maternity care, some furniture, and prepaid phone services for career search are provided as need is identified. Through a network of church partners, Uplift offers spiritual support and gives clients an opportunity to speak with a local pastor, connect with a local church, and get involved later to help others and pay it forward. By working together and pooling resources, Uplift is  able to ease the financial burden on the church and provide a highly personal experience for  clients.

 You can visit the website, or contact Beth Lower ( for more information about the organization.

Senior Night Ministry at Trinity UMC
Posted February 28, 2023

This week's creative idea is shared from Trinity UMC in Moberly, MO. Trinity UMC's Third Thursday Senior Night offers those over 55 years of age an opportunity to gather for fellowship, a meal, a short message and some music on a monthly basis. This is a free event, however a donation jar is available. This ministry has been going strong for about a year now. There are around 40 seniors who attend regularly with about 1/3 of those in attendance being folks who are not members of Trinity. 

Flight Training Ministry at Chillicothe UMC
Posted February 22, 2023

Flight Training is a year-long ministry for High School Seniors at Chillicothe UMC. According to Kara Powell in her book “Sticky Faith” several studies indicate only 1 in 7 college freshmen feel adequately prepared for dealing with college life (friends, academics, parties, money, faith, etc), and only 1 in 2 “youth group kids” are likely to stick with their faith during or after college. Flight Training is our attempt to prepare our Seniors for adulthood, whether it be in college or the workforce.

Flight Training meets two to four times per month to look at different aspects of college/adult life. We discuss things like the importance of the first two weeks of college, finding and engaging in a church family or campus ministry, self-care, how to go to the doctor, car care, cooking, eating out on a budget, budgeting, taxes, credit cards, building credit, identity, greek life, time management, alcohol/drugs, homework, friendships, dating/relationships, balancing family and college life, laundry, boundaries, healthy eating, maintaining faith, applying scripture in daily life, dealing with doubt and new faith questions, and generally being a Christian in today's world.

We also visit four different churches to examine what to look for in a church and to practice finding a new congregation. Students enter the church alone, sit alone during the worship service, and determine how they could get involved in that church's young adult ministry. While they are anxious about this initially, they become confident and grow during the process, and are always thankful for the experience. Flight Training "graduates" often comment that this experience gave them confidence to go to church alone and try out various churches in their new towns.

During the one-year period, Seniors are required to attend 50% of worship services, 90% of Flight Training meetings, 75% of Youth Group meetings, and teach Sunday School or Middle School Youth Group 8 times each. Seniors also participate in worship services in the adult roles of providing an opening prayer and reading scripture before the message. This, along with teaching youth, provides a nice transition to serving in the church as an adult.

The culmination of our year is a week-long mission trip, where Seniors put their teaching into practice, serve others, and spread the gospel in a place of the group's choosing. Students pay a minimal deposit and host a couple fundraisers, with the majority of the trip funded by Chillicothe UMC. This year’s group will be going to Hawaii. Our church's commitment to encouraging and supporting youth into adulthood is felt by the Seniors, who often feel they exist in that "no man's land" between youth and adulthood.


* Flight Training is lead by Natalie & Michael Leamer and Dave Rogers.

** Large group photo is 2022-23 Flight Training Crew. Mission photos are from 2021-22 Flight Training mission trip to Alaska.

Hospitality Basket Ministry at Carrollton UMC
Posted February 15, 2022

This is a sample basket of an outreach ministry started by a faithful, longtime member, Kathy Long from Carrollton UMC. Kathy, founder of Hope Sisters, started this ministry (more info to come in a later post) with four other women from the church.

The hospitality baskets are designed as a Care Basket Ministry that is filled with gifts throughout the month by church member donations. Each basket is filled with unique gifts and delivered at the end of the month to area shut-ins and those who are home bound. This is a beautiful example of sharing the love of Christ by letting community members know they are loved.