Parsons District raises funds with 3-on-3 tournament

The Parsons District Imagine No Malaria 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament was a great success.  We had 17 teams entered from seven different churches in the district.  Most teams brought along their own “cheering” spectators who supported them in their games.

The tournament raised $862.13 for Imagine No Malaria from team registrations, gate proceeds, and donations.

The District Youth raised $150 from their concession stand of which they donated 10% to the Imagine No Malaria.  The remainder of their proceeds will fund District Youth Events.

A big thank you to Jason Kearns, who came up with the idea and saw it through to the very end.  Thanks also to all in the District who helped leading up to and the day of the Tournament.  It would not have been such a success without the support of others.

The winners were:

Under 18:

  • 1st Place- Howard UMC ‘Yotes
  • 2nd Place-Erie Federated #2
  • 3rd Place-Erie Federated #3
  • 4th Place Frontenac UMC Confirmands


Over 18:

  • 1st Place- Chanute Otterbein “Guys”
  • 2nd Place-Nighthawks (A team of Labette County Community College students)
  • 3rd Place- Hamilton Chapel UMC Celtics
  • 4th Place- Team Spencer (A team of Labette County Community College students)

Basketball prowess raises funds for Imagine No Malaria

Kip_Ryherd_Shoot_for_No_Malaria_Feature_MVWLKZGFThe opportunity to play basketball brought a young boy to church more than 40 years ago. Today, the man, a pastor in the Kansas West Conference, is using those skills to save lives in Africa.

Rev. Kip Ryherd, pastor at Minneola United Methodist Church, issued a challenge to his congregation to guess how many free throws he could make out of 1,000 attempts. For each guess, the congregation was asked to donate $10 to Imagine No Malaria, the United Methodist campaign to end malaria deaths in Africa.

On Feb. 23, Ryherd put his basketball skills to work. He made 722 free throws and raised around $1,000 for Imagine No Malaria.

As a teen, Ryherd knew very little about God or the church. When a new church started a youth basketball team, Ryherd and his older brother joined the team.

“The church required us to attend three out of four Sundays each month, either Sunday school or a worship service, if we were going to play on their team,” Ryherd said. “After basketball season was over the first year, I quit going to the church.”

But Ryherd’s older brother didn’t.

“At first, I thought it was because of a girl he had met, but I began to see a change in his life,” Ryherd said.

On Sept. 12, 1966, Ryherd’s brother talked him into attending an event at the church where a family from out of town would be singing and sharing God’s word.

“I went because my brother showed me a picture of the girl that was going to be singing with her family,” Ryherd admitted, describing her as “hot.”

But as he listened to the music and to the simple gospel message, he was changed.

“I went forward that night and accepted Jesus as my Lord and savior. He changed my life completely,” Ryherd said. “His love and transforming power made me a new person.”

Basketball was a tool that God used to bring him to God’s saving grace, Ryherd explained.

“It was easy for me to take the challenge [Great Plains Area Bishop Scott Jones] gave,” he said.

Ryherd has been to Zimbabwe twice, once in August 2011 and again in December 2012. During his 2012 visit, Ryherd was part of an Imagine No Malaria net distribution in the Chimanimani area.

“We had the humbling experience of going out into the mountainous area to hang some of the [long-lasting insecticide nets] in the small huts that the Zimbabwe people live in,” he said. “We talked to a mother who had lost a son and a sister to malaria. She was caring for her two children and her sister’s two children. She truly appreciated us for hanging nets in her home.”

Minneola UMC set a goal to raise $5,000 for Imagine No Malaria and has already raised $3,800.

“Many new United Methodist churches are starting in areas where nets are being delivered,” Ryherd said. “Not only are lives being saved here on earth, but many are being saved for eternity.”

Share the love, save a life: Mother’s Day tribute

You can honor the mothers in your life with a gift to Imagine No Malaria this Mother’s Day. Watch the video below to learn more about how this disease affects mothers in Africa.

Eighty-five to 90 percent of deaths from malaria are women and children under five. Imagine No Malaria is launching a Mother’s Day campaign so that mothers in Africa will be able to fight malaria and nurture their children into thriving adults.

To make a donation in honor or memory of your mother, grandmother, aunt, sister or other nurturing woman, text the word MOM to 27222 or go to Those who donate $150 via the website will receive three special Mother’s Day cards as a gift of gratitude. The cards feature poignant photos of African mothers with their children. Donations of $200 will receive the cards and a poster.

Serving homes as far as 60 km (37.3 miles) away, Mutambara Mission Hospital in Zimbabwe is home to a “Waiting Mothers” unit where expecting mothers can come to receive care in the final trimester of their pregnancy.

The Waiting Mothers unit provides a safe, clean space where women can receive prenatal care such as dietary monitoring, prenatal vitamins, childcare counseling, and social support from doctors, nurses, midwives, and other expecting mothers.

Staying at the Waiting Mothers unit ensures that these women can have a safe hospital birth rather than giving birth alone in homes or traveling a great distance while in labor.

Recently, there were 67 women staying in the 48-bed facility. Many of these 8 to 9 month pregnant women were sleeping on makeshift mattresses between and under other beds.  Despite the cramped facilities, the women gave The United Methodist Great Plains delegation a very warm welcome – dancing and singing traditional Shona welcoming songs in a celebration of togetherness. – by Ashley Gish

Bishop makes 360 shots, raises more than $1,000

Bishop Scott Jones made 360 of 1,000 free-throw attempts Feb. 23 at Calvary United Methodist Church in Wichita, Kan. Jones took one hour and 40 minutes, with breaks at each century mark.

More than 100 guesses were submitted directly to the Bishop’s Free Throw Challenge, raising $1,150 for Imagine No Malaria. An additional $175 was raised through the website.

BishopTallyBoardJones will buy five nets in each winner’s honor. Brian Milford, district superintendent of Council Bluffs, Iowa, correctly guessed the number of successful free throws Bishop Jones would make.

The three closest “guessers” from each conference will be recognized during the spring Annual Conference Sessions, as well as the three top donors.

Those guessing the closest to the total number of free-throws made were Jenelle Erb of Nebraska, Charlie Cadwell of Kansas West and Pamela Farrant of Kansas East.

Jones pledged $10 for every airball, raising an additional $230 for the cause. His wife, Mary Lou Reece, pledged $100 for every time the bishop made five free-throws in a row, resulting in an additional $300.

Local churches and/or pastors were also encouraged to hold their own basketball-themed fundraiser, or to challenge the Bishop with their own free throw attempts.

Rev. Lane Bailey and his family pledged $1 for every free-throw the bishop made, raising another $360 in pledges for Imagine No Malaria.

Pledges are still coming in, and final totals will be announced later.