Latest News Regarding COVID-19
As the COVID-19 pandemic continued and more churches shifted to or increased their digital ministry, United Methodist Communications began developing a series of Local Church Learning Sessions. All have been developed specifically to support local United Methodist churches during this extraordinary time. New sessions will be added here as they are produced..
As we approach All Saints Day, we want to pause to remember the Saints we’ve lost this year in our churches, in our communities and in our world. The pandemic has impacted every aspect of our lives including death, dying and how we celebrate life and find ways grieve together. How do we balance sacred and safety in our rites surrounding death? Melissa McGill talks with Kay Morrison-Sanders, a cemetery bereavement counselor and lay member of St. Mark’s United Methodist in Charlotte and the Rev. Carter Ferguson, who pastors Prospect UMC in Archdale and Pleasant Hill UMC in Thomasville.
On the Sunday after Christmas, the Western NC Conference will offer a conference-wide virtual worship with a homily from the Bishop, music and liturgy from pastors and churches around our conference. Clergy and worship leaders, take a much-needed break after the Advent season and worship with friends around the conference. More information to come soon.
We scanned the internet for resources that will be of interest and value to you and your ministries. This week's roundup includes: Discipleship Ministries 2021 Revised Common Lectionary Calendar, Illustrated Ministries pre-recordable, Zoom-able Virtual Christmas Pageant, best ways to distribute weekly bulletins to your congregation, and more.
The Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions (HOPE) Program is a new statewide initiative that may provide rent and utility assistance to eligible low- and moderate-income renters experiencing financial hardship due to the economic effects of COVID-19. The new program will help prevent evictions and utility disconnections in order to promote housing stability during the ongoing pandemic.
The United Methodist Rural Advocates would like to offer some help to churches who are struggling with worship in these tumultuous times. As churches decide to move back to indoor worship it is important that this decision be arrived at with much prayer and interactive planning. The virus is serious, as is the need for gathering as the body of Christ. Safety must be of utmost concern as we endeavor to do no harm, do good and stay in love with God. Our hope is to offer at the very least hope and acknowledgement that you are not alone. Here is some of the collected wisdom, as well as some advice from rural pastors.
“We are using the oxygen for the patients who have respiratory distress including patients with COVID. We receive a lot of patients with respiratory distress at this period of time. We suspect this may be due to COVID. Usually we refer those patients to another facility since we don't have enough oxygen available at the hospital. Now, we are better able to serve the Haitian people.” - Eugene Maklin MD.
If you’re looking for the best camera for your church’s stream, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve listed down the top webcams and cameras that are suitable for your church’s live stream.
The COVID-19 era has closed public gatherings, but social media and streaming has likely brought new virtual worshipers to your services. How do you form a lasting relationship with the people behind the screens? Strengthen ties with members who may opt to worship virtually even when buildings reopen?
We scanned the internet for resources that will be of interest and value to you and your ministries. This week's roundup includes: Advent devotionals, free youth worship lessons, spiritually healthy ways to take a break, and more.
In this episode, we take a trip to Simpson Gillespie United Methodist where the Rev. Darryl Dayson and his church gather in the parking lot for Park & Praise Worship. They’re in the midst of a sermon series entitled Reset and we can all benefit from pondering this question with them – will we resume or will we take this time to reimagine and reset to create something better than what we had before? For more information on the church and worship times, visit their website at https://www.simpsongillespie.com. Join them on Sundays at 10am online on Facebook and YouTube or in the parking lot on third Sunday of the month.
In an effort to “Do No Harm” as well as to ensure that the Ordering of Ministry Service be the high and holy moment that we all desire it to be, the Bishop and Extended Cabinet have made the difficult decision to cancel the service planned on October 11, 2020. Both the 2020 and 2021 classes will be commissioned and ordained next June at Lake Junaluska.
We scanned the internet for resources that will be of interest and value to you and your ministries. This week's roundup includes: Pandemic-proof ways to celebrate Pastor Appreciation Sunday, ideas for building and maintaining relationships with virtual worshippers, resources for Advent planning & marketing, and more.
In this episode of Means of Grace, Brian Mateer is joined by Camille Roddy, the chair of the Western North Carolina Conference Congregations 4 Children initiative and the Rev. Ed Jones, pastor of Trinity United Methodist in Houston, Texas for a conversation how churches can partner with schools in their communities to meet the needs of students and families during the pandemic and beyond.
As faithful disciples of Jesus Christ in the midst of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we remain committed to our Biblical mandate to "love our neighbors as ourselves" and our Wesleyan call to “do no harm.” In doing so, we seek ways to engage faithfully in worship, study, and ministry while ensuring the health and safety of our members and communities. We advise that all churches continue following CDC, state and local guidelines for indoor and outdoor gatherings, including handwashing, wearing masks, and observing physical distancing rules and group size limits.
Raushawna Price, international author, coach, speaker, trainer, and radio personality, is facilitating a free, 3-hour workshop to address internal and external obstacles that work against Pastors and Ministry Leaders causing them to slip, diminish their mental health, interfere with their relationships, etc. You won't want to miss this engaging event! This is a ministry safe space which means complete confidentiality and, if you wish, anonymity. Let's explore what happens as we react to difficult times and stress-filled situations. Equip yourself even as your cup feels like it is almost empty from pouring out so much to others.
"How do you plan for Advent and Christmas music when you don’t know what to plan for? Who to plan for? Where to plan for? What we do know is why we plan for the Advent/Christmas/Epiphany season."
COVID-19 shut down many parts of our lives - but certainly not all parts. The needs of our friends and neighbors and our own needs to both be in community and to help one another will never shut down. Since the needs are still there - and we want to meet the needs safely - we have to be creative about how we serve one another during a pandemic. Thankfully, there are some great examples of ways people have maintained social distancing while extending care, comfort and justice to their neighbors.
"COVID-19 has disrupted United Methodist life in many ways and it’s done a number on congregational and choir singing, causing music ministers to scramble to keep music going and keep sidelined choir members engaged."
Six months into stay-at-home orders, every church has had to make significant shifts in their ministry. In this episode of Means of Grace, Jesse Enniss talks with Rev. Dr. Andrea Smith, pastor of West UMC in Mooresville, NC, and Rev. Dan Hester, pastor of Skyland United Methodist Church in Asheville, NC about leadership in this time of change. They discuss how they have adapted their use of technology, their engagement with their communities, how they, as leaders, have been making decisions, and so much more! Listen for free at www.wnccumc.org/meansofgrace or wherever you get your podcasts!