Congregations

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.
Mission and Ministry
The Rev. Paul Escamilla takes to the pulpit at Lauren Heights United Methodist Church, in San Antonio, on June 14. The church reopened for in-person worship that Sunday but closed again the following Sunday and has remained closed because of high COVID-19 case numbers locally. Photo by David Smith, courtesy of Laurel Heights United Methodist Church.

Virus spikes close doors again at some churches

Decision to reopen for in-person worship is being reversed in areas with sharply rising COVID-19 numbers.
Local Church
The Rev. John Edgar, executive director of Community Development for All People in Columbus, Ohio, adds a gallon of milk to a food box packed for one of the hundreds of customers who get food each day from the organization. Photo courtesy of Community Development for All People.

‘Triple whammy’ of issues challenges pastors

Pastors are trying to mix a little self-care into their busy schedules dealing with the coronavirus, economic hard times and racial issues.
Local Church
A view of the Granger, Ind., campus of Granger Community Church, which has left The United Methodist Church. It has been one of the denomination’s largest and best-attended churches, but leaders wanted to control who would be the next pastor. Photo courtesy of Granger Community Church.

Indiana megachurch leaves denomination

Granger Community Church, wanting to choose its own pastor, agrees to pay about $2.6 million to Indiana Conference.

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