The church has moved online. And this year has taught us that some aspects of church are harder than others to practice on the internet. Online worship void of community is not a complete picture of church. Church is not a production to be consumed (in-person or online), it is a people gathered around the risen Christ, worshiping God together. Luke Edwards, Associate Director for Church Development, helps us answer an essential question: how can we create community online?
Dave Leininger is a CPA whose church is part of the River Valley District of the Minnesota Annual Conference. He wrote the following piece to help churches who have participated in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) with their reporting – not just reporting back numbers but how to best tell the stories of ministry and impact that the PPP Loan made possible. Dave has graciously invited me to share this with the wider audience of church leaders. If your church secured a PPP loan, this is a “must-read.”
Your church is invited to celebrate Earth Day with resources from Global Ministries. Earth Day is April 22; churches typically observe Earth Day Sunday during the month of April. It is an opportunity to reflect on the goodness of God’s creation and the human responsibility to steward it through worship, education and action.
The Western NC Conference is pleased to offer a conference-wide virtual worship for the Second Sunday in Easter, led by the District Superintendents, with a homily from the Bishop, and music from churches around our conference. Clergy and worship leaders, take a much-needed break after the rush of Holy Week and Easter services, and worship with friends around the conference. All files can be downloaded to share from your own social media platform and/or website on Dropbox or viewed on YouTube and Vimeo.
In early April, FEMA will begin providing financial assistance for funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020 for deaths related to coronavirus (COVID-19) to help ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the pandemic. The policy was finalized on March 24, 2021, and FEMA is now moving rapidly to implement this funeral assistance program nationwide.
Yesterday, Tuesday, March 23rd, Governor Cooper issued an easing of Covid-19 restrictions. The Bishop and Cabinet remain committed to our biblical mandate to “love our neighbors as ourselves” and our Wesleyan call to “Do no harm. Do all the good we can. Follow the ordinances (stay in love) with God.” Using Governor Cooper’s Executive Order No. 204 as a guide, the Bishop and Cabinet make these specific recommendations for United Methodist Churches in the Western NC Conference.
As previously announced, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) passed in March 2020 contained an incentive that encourages employers to retain—rather than terminate—employees despite current economic constraints due to COVID-19. The recently passed Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA) extended the ERC into the first two calendar quarters of tax year 2021 and made significant changes, including increasing the credit amount and making it available to more employers. The ERC available for the first two calendar quarters of 2021 is summarized. The previously announced deadline of March 31st has been EXTENDED to May 31, 2021.
We find ourselves in a spiritual place where we need spaces and words of lament, while clinging to (and perhaps wrestling with) the hopeful promises of God. Rev. Stacey Lundy, associate pastor for adult discipleship and pastoral care, at First United Methodist Church - Salisbury, NC, offers us this grace-filled gift - a COVID-19 litany of lament.
Do you find yourself having a hard time remembering scripts for a sermon, or even just a speech? Thankfully, there are teleprompter applications that you can download on your devices. We’ve taken the time to gather some of the best teleprompter apps for churches. These come in handy to help you perform with ease, not worrying about forgetting your next line.
“How can I ask people to give to our ministry when they are struggling and there are so many life-and-death places to give?” one church leader asked me recently. Here are my five best ideas on how to ask people to give, even in the most uncertain of times.