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Getting Started

I moved to Wichita in November, was appointed LEIRN representative in December, and “accidentally” came across the ecumenical powerhouse in Wichita at the Martin Luther King Jr Worship Celebration. The Greater Wichita Ministerial League had planned an incredible two-hour worship service with music that brought the congregation to its feet and a preacher that provoked at least 100 “Amen”s. In the worship program was an invitation to join them so I did. At my first meeting, there were 5-minute speeches from at least 10 organizations who wanted to use the ministerial league’s network to share their information. In addition to education programs and a day of free medical care in the park, there were announcements of grants and scholarships. A woman from Wichita State University told the story of a young man whom the ministerial league had helped get started in school. We were encouraged to get involved in “Beyond Tolerance” dinners and a pulpit exchange program. It was a powerfully positive 90-minute meeting.

For those who don’t know where to start their ecumenical connections, this is so hopeful. Even in places where mainline congregations act as silos, ecumenism is happening. I love our mainline inter-denomination dialogues and partnerships, but I also understand that we don’t need to agree on our baptismal theology or even the ordination of women to break bread together and serve the community side by side. Unity does not require uniformity. I am happy to now be a member of TGWML: “serving the community of Wichita with the love of Jesus Christ.”

Mari Larson, Representative for Central States Synod
LEIRN Vice President


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Reformation 500 Commemoration Events

We are now posting sermons and bulletins from Reformation 500 commemoration services and events in the Reformation 500+ section above. If you have a sermon manuscript, a bulletin, or other material that you would like to share, email it to me at Let us see what you did and inspire us with your witness to Christian unity!

With thanks,

Chris Olkiewicz
Dear Members and Friends of LEIRN:

The National Workshop on Christian Unity fast approaches. During our LEIRN meeting on Monday afternoon we will be reflecting on the significance of the year past during which we commemorated the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. You are invited to bring something for show and tell! It might be an image, the worship folder from a local liturgy, the brochure or poster from a lecture or symposium — any physical item from a local event to give us a sense of the breadth and richness of activities from this significant year. If you prefer, you may email me a photo or file prior to the Workshop, and I will incorporate it into a slideshow to be projected during our meeting. Send any items to me at We will also ask you to say a brief word about your event.

If you are planning to register for the NWCU, be aware that registration fees and room rates increase after March 23. Act soon to take advantage of these discounts. I hope to see you n…