"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!
Chenequa Walker-Barnes, PhD at the McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University, is closing out the Recover. Restore. Retreat. webinar series. She’ll be speaking on theories and praxis to COVID disparities in the Black community. You do not want to miss this!
COVID has been hard on leaders and many are exhausted, discouraged, and in need of time away. The Leadership Development Team wants to help nurture your spirit in order to be renewed and restored in life and in ministry. This could be possible through a private, renewal retreat or by engaging with a spiritual director. Ministry leaders (clergy and lay professionals) who sign up for an offering and pay a personal investment of $50, are eligible for up to $500. Funds are available because of the generosity of churches who pay their apportionments.
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.
The experienced AV staff of GCFA can help enhance and elevate your church’s ministry and worship encounters. We can provide you with tools and technology that help you carry out the vision and mission of your church in real and tangible ways.
A new advertising campaign from The United Methodist Church urges people to find hope together amid the challenges posed by this year’s COVID-19 pandemic and heightened racial tensions.
"With the number of coronavirus cases across the country, fall and winter holiday celebrations are likely to look very different this year. Adjust your church plans now for fall festivals, Halloween and Christmas. With a little creativity you can create celebrations that are fun and safe. Here are a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing."