"People decide within 12 minutes whether they will come back to church again after this first experience. And the buzzer starts on that the minute they pull up on the property." – The Rev. Dale Locke, lead pastor of Community of Hope in South Florida.
Tracking professions of faith in Florida
LAKELAND, Fla. (UMNS) – Encouraged by reports of more people coming to Christ, Florida Annual (regional) Conference church leaders nevertheless say statistics don't reveal everything about church health. Bonnie Dyson in the Florida Conference Connection shares the experiences of three United Methodist churches.
Saint Paul expands offerings on Oklahoma campus
OKLAHOMA City (UMNS) – United Methodist-related Saint Paul School of Theology at Oklahoma City University has reached a milestone. A recent visit from the Association of Theological Schools has recommended the campus be authorized to offer in Oklahoma City all courses leading to the Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Christian Ministry, Master of Arts (Theological Studies), and Doctor of Ministry degrees.
Lenten Resources for 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) – Lent begins this year with Ash Wednesday, March 5 and extends until Easter, April 20. Below are Lenten resources to help you through this season of reflection on Christ's sacrifice and redemptive love.
- The Society of St. Andrew, which leads feeding ministries, offers the "Create in Me a Clean Heart" Lenten devotions program for churches and individuals.
- Abingdon Press, part of the United Methodist Publishing House, offers a number of choices for devotional and group study during Lent including
- The United Methodist Board of Discipleship offers worship resources and lectionary planning help
Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have an item to share, email firstname.lastname@example.org and put Digest in the subject line.
Free webinar "No More Volunteers: Reclaiming Christian Servanthood," Thursday, Feb. 13 – 5 p.m. CT, a new way for finding people with the time, skills, energy and inclination to serve the church. To register.
Deadline for legislative proposals at Global Young People's Convocation and Legislative Assembly, Friday, Feb. 14 – The gathering organized by United Methodist Young People's Ministries is July 16-20 in Tagaytay, the Philippines. Petitions considered at the legislative assembly could find their way onto the docket for the 2016 General Conference. Details
Deadline to sign up for pension board listening session, Friday. Feb. 14 – The United Methodist Board of Pension and Health Benefits invites interested plan participants and other constituents to address the board at 11:30 a.m. CT Feb. 27 in Kansas City, Mo. To place your name and topic on the agenda, contact Colette Nies at 1-800-269-2244 (extension 4296) or email@example.com. Details
Deadline for nominations for Wesley Theological Seminary's Society of John Wesley Award of Merit, Saturday, Feb. 15 – Nomination forms.
Early registration deadline for Lake Junaluska Peace Conference, "Faith, Health and Peace: Seeking the Basic Right to Good Health for All God's Children," Saturday, Feb. 15 – Thursday-Sunday, March 27-30 at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in Lake Junaluska, N.C. Partial student scholarships available. Details
Webinar "Get Their Name – Grow Your Church By Building New Relationships," Tuesday, Feb. 18 – 7-8 p.m. ET, offered by Practical Church Resources and led by the Rev. Bob Farr, director of the Center for Congregational Excellence at the Missouri Annual (regional) Conference. $10. Details
Free webinar "Leaders Learn: Shaped by God, 12 Essentials for Nurturing Faith in Children, Youth and Adults," Tuesday, Feb. 18 – 6:30 p.m. CT, a discussion of the book "Shaped by God," which explores the role of story, liturgy and spiritual practices in faith formation. Read the book before the webinar. To register.
Free webinar "Pastors Read: David and Goliath," Wednesday, Feb. 19 – 10 a.m. CT, discussion of Malcolm Gladwell's "David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants." To register.
The Well-Played Life with the Rev. Leonard Sweet, Thursday, Feb. 20 – 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT, Center of Excellence Innovation Studio, 1265 Union Ave., Memphis, Tenn., presented by the Clergy Coaching Network. $43.19. Details
Deadline to register for online course "United Methodism 101," Monday, Feb. 24 – Feb. 26-April 23, training from United Methodist Communications. Seating limited. $9.99. Details.
Deadline to register for online course "Moodle 300: Course Facilitation," Monday, Feb. 24 – Feb. 26-April 23, training from United Methodist Communications, Moodle Basc and Moodle Advanced are prerequisite. Seating limited. $119.99. Details.
Free webinar "Children's Ministry: Using Pockets Magazine in Groups, at Home and in Church," Tuesday, Feb. 25 – 10 a.m. CT, Lynn Gilliam, editor of Pockets, will offer suggestions and ideas for using this resource with the children of your congregation and community. To register.
Webinar "Does Your Church have a Personality?" Tuesday, Feb. 25 – 7-8 p.m. ET, finding out what Myers-Briggs can tell about a congregation, offered by Practical Church Resources and led by Julia Wallace, ministry coach and former staff member of the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. $10. Details
Transfiguration Sunday, March 2 – Resources from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship.
Creating Sacred Time for Your Family workshop, Sunday, March 2 – 6 p.m. CT, First United Methodist Church of Hurst, Texas. Details
Our Sacred Journey with Children workshop, Monday, March 3 – 7-8:30 p.m. CT, First United Methodist Church of Hurst, Texas. Details
Early-bird registration deadline for Engaging Local Schools Conference, Monday, March 3 – 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET, Saturday, March 22 , Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. $20-50. Details.
Early registration deadline for United Theological Seminary's "Light the Fire!" Church Renewal Conference, Friday, March 21 – May 8-9 at Ginghamsburg Church, 6759 S. County Road 25A, Tipp City, Ohio. Details
Ecumenical Advocacy Days, Friday through Monday, March 21-24 – Assembly co-sponsored by United Methodist Board of Church and Society, United Methodist Women, and other United Methodist ministries in Washington. The theme is "Jesus Weeps: Resisting Violence, Building Peace." Details.
Increase Generosity in Your Church Conference, Saturday, March 29 – 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET, Myers Park United Methodist Church, Charlotte, N.C. The Rev. Lovett H. Weems Jr., director of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership, will speak. $35-45. Details.
Community Organizing for Social Change & Church Development training, Monday-Friday, March 31-April 4 – First Grace United Methodist Church, New Orleans. The training will teach how methods of community organizing can be a tool in congregational development, community transformation and engagement in justice ministries. Jointly offered by United Methodist Board of Church and Society and Path 1 of the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. $295. Details.
Free webinar "Monitoring Reports: Increasing Participation through Gentle Mutual Accountability," Tuesday, April 1 – 7:30 p.m. CT, part of a series of leadership webinars offered by the United Methodist Commission on the Status and Role of Women. To see schedule and register
Deadline to register for the 2014 United Methodist Women Assembly, April 1 – April 25-27, Louisville, Ky. Details
The Professional Association of United Methodist Church Secretaries conference, Thursday through Sunday, April 3-6 – Asheville, N.C., Continuing education for Administrative Assistants and any office workers in United Methodist churches. Details
Live Well Event: A Different Kind of Women's Fair, Saturday, April 12 – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Wichita, Kan. United Methodist Church at the Well is also a sponsor. Tickets cost $5 for individuals, $8 for pairs. Details