Resources for Worship Planning
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services released the following information for faith communities as you make decisions about the best way to keep your community and congregation members safe and well this winter.
Numerous churches across the conference are livestreaming their worship services, Bible studies, prayer services, bedtime Bible stories, and more. Connect with them here!
COVID-19 brought many new challenges, including checking in worship attenders for safety and contract-tracing protocols. In order to help you streamline this process - as well to keep it paperless and contact-free - the Western NC Conference is pleased to introduce Check Inz, a safe way to check people into your location or event that is easy, secure, and socially distanced approved! Sign up is now active to join the BETA test group. The app will be ready for full release in mid-January. For additional questions, contact Chris Hampton, director of web and database administration, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
We scanned the internet for resources that will be of interest and value to you and your ministries. This week's roundup includes: free resources from ShareFaith for a safe, social-distanced Christmas worship experience, a new free course form UM Communications on leading remote worship, 3 ways to encourage giving during a pandemic, 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: an Advent Playlist from the WNCC Resource Center, ways to safely add personal interaction to virtual Christmas celebrations, ideas to inspire a better financial start to 2021, and more!
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:
This video from the North Carolina Conference "is designed to be used with your church’s leadership team and those who help make decisions about worship gatherings over the next few weeks and months. Dr. Wallace gives a brief overview of the science behind the coronavirus and why practices like wearing masks and physical distancing make a difference and then moves into a discussion of the risks and considerations associated with various types of worship gatherings your church may be thinking about. We encourage you to watch the video and have some discussion with your teams as you prayerfully consider how you will gather as faith communities."
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.
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.
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.