In this episode, Melissa McGill and Jeremy Coffey check in with the 11th grade youth small group they co-lead at Myers Park UMC. Four youth – Hayden, Nathan, Lucy and Bobby – share their thoughts on how faith, community and technology intersect for teens during the pandemic. We’ve pivoted in all areas of Church life this year – here’s what it looks like for this high school small group and how their Church continues to play an important role in their lives.
This year, because of COVID-19 and the inequalities it has exacerbated, adults are reporting considerably higher mental stress. According to the CDC, “younger adults, racial/ethnic minorities, essential workers, and unpaid adult caregivers reported having experienced disproportionately worse mental health outcomes, increased substance use, and elevated suicidal ideation.” Please join our therapeutic and pastoral experts as we discuss the practical and spiritual disciplines needed for surviving this season.
This Advent devotion guide was created for Church of the Resurrection members in 2020 to help them fully engage in the lighting of the Advent candles at home during online worship or on their own. Use this guide as a standalone piece, or as part of an Advent kit containing a wreath, Advent candles, Christ candle and invitation card to Candlelight Christmas Eve services.
Church of the Resurrection’s Children’s Ministry created a Family Experience Kit to help families engage more fully in Advent. These resources were created in 2020, while all worship was online at Resurrection, but these materials can be used by families any year or adapted as part of Sunday School curriculum.
With Governor Cooper’s extension of Phase Three, along with the implementation of additional measures necessary to protect public health, the Bishop and Cabinet have also extended their Phase Three guidelines for WNC United Methodist Churches. Please note, while worship guidelines remain the same, all other indoor gathering should be limited to 10 persons or less. In additions, The Bishop and Cabinet urge pastors and church leaders to use the NCDHHS COVID-19 Alert system to monitor their county and to reconsider their decision to hold indoor worship, particularly if their county is “red." All local churches are asked to use extreme caution in response to the recent rapid spread of the virus. 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.
We scanned the internet for resources that will be of interest and value to you and your ministries. This week's roundup includes "What to Consider Before Regathering Face-to-Face", Advent books and social media graphics, and creative ways to safely celebrate Advent and Christmas during a pandemic.
Although we won't be able to enjoy packed-full sanctuaries on Christmas Eve, there are a variety of ways to gather safely and to celebrate the coming of Jesus. Twin Cities District pastors recently shared some ideas with each other, and they are so creative that we want to lift some of them up to the whole conference:
Zoomed out? Tired of technology? Can't stand to look at a screen for one more minute? We get it. This Advent, go back in time and engage with ancient spiritual practices designed to help you find more hope, peace, joy and love in your life. Adventus: Ancient Practices for an Advent at Home - the latest resource from the WNCC Resource Center - includes five lessons: one for each week of Advent plus an extra lesson for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
Several churches across the conference have started house church networks since the onset of the pandemic and countless more are beginning to experiment with them in the coming months as the weather gets colder and outdoor worship gets harder. In this episode Luke Edwards sits down with Rev. Sam Burleson and Amy Cochran of Salem UMC in Bostic. We hear about the house church network that arose this year at their church and some of the lessons they’ve learned so far.
Living through a pandemic is very much a wilderness experience, and for the past eight months, pastors have been called upon to help their communities navigate the pain and loss of this season. Clergy, like Moses, are holding space for the people around them as the world dreams of life on the other side. But who’s holding space for clergy? Where are pastors finding manna in this pandemic wilderness? This Advent, the NCC Center for Leadership Excellence and the Rev. Lisa Yebuah will host a 3-session soul-tending platform for pastors to name and even grieve the realities of clergy life during these stressful times, while also acquiring spiritual practices to buoy their hope.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.