Congregations

Local Church
Asbury Memorial Church in Savannah, Ga., is leaving The United Methodist Church in support of LGBTQ inclusion. The church, with more than 300 members, is the first since 2016 to leave expressly in opposition to the denomination’s bans on same-sex weddings and “self-avowed practicing” gay clergy. Photo courtesy of Asbury Memorial Church.

Church exits denomination for LGBTQ equality

The United Methodist Church has seen multiple disaffiliations lately, but a Georgia church is the first in recent years to leave expressly in support of its LGBTQ members.
Congregations
Parishioners sit apart from one another during worship at Franklin (Tenn.) First United Methodist Church. The church, which recently returned to in-person worship, has adopted safety protocols, including social distancing, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.

Churches begin returning to in-person worship

Progress made with virtual worship will remain a part of the church experience as some sanctuaries reopen for Sunday services.
Mission and Ministry
Sarai Moreno, a rising seventh grader, does homework on a computer at Robbinsville United Methodist Church in North Carolina. The church has worked to provide access to remote learning in a rural county where more than half of households have no internet. Women in the church created the needlepoint Last Supper at right. Photo by the Rev. Eric Reece.

Churches step up to help salvage school year

United Methodist congregations use creativity and faith to help students, parents and teachers when there are no clear solutions to the dangers of COVID-19.
Local Church
Linda Dobbyn, a parishioner at Vincennes First United Methodist Church in Vincennes, Ind., uses a new service called Sermon by Phone to listen to a sermon by the Rev.  Matt Swisher titled “Leading by Serving.” Photo by Richard Dobbyn.

Churches weigh options to reach seniors

In some small or rural churches, snail mail and telephones are still playing a big role in staying in touch with members of the congregation.

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