“You really get to feel like you’re making a difference in people’s lives that you couldn’t at a larger church.” — The Rev. Stephen Lenzo, pastor of Sardis and Wacissa United Methodist churches in Florida.
Folklore and family form country churches
BRANDON, Fla. (UMNS) — Small churches form the backbone of the Florida Conference and much of The United Methodist Church in the U.S. They mostly are long-standing churches located in small towns or rural settings, with deep, rich histories that can go back more than 100 years. Joe Henderson, writing for the Florida Conference, shares the story of some of these small congregations.
Nigerian United Methodists absorb denomination
JALINGO, Nigeria (UMNS) — Nigeria Area Bishop John Wesley Yohanna has welcomed a 250-member church group that had been a registered denomination in Nigeria into the United Methodist fold. The move does not require General Conference approval, according to the Council of Bishops. The Rev. Ande I. Emmanuel, Southern Nigeria Conference secretary, reports on the welcoming of new United Methodists and other developments at the annual conference session.
Read Southern Nigeria Annual Conference report
Racial justice agency plans border crossing
WASHINGTON (UMNS) — Members of the United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race plan to cross the U.S. border into Mexico on Feb. 23 to demonstrate solidarity with and compassion for migrants.
Read press release
Pilot program for small churches
HOUSTON (UMNS) — The Texas Conference is partnering with Spiritual Leadership Inc. in a pilot program with a dozen churches averaging fewer than 50 in worship. The goal is to help them become more effective through training, coaching and peer support. The Texas Conference reports.
Boston University joins immigration lawsuit
BOSTON (UMNS) — United Methodist-related Boston University joined seven other Massachusetts universities in a federal lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration. The Associated Press reported that the Trump administration said in court documents that it wants a pause in the legal fight so it can issue a replacement ban.
Read Boston University press release
Read AP story
Digest on break
The UMNS Daily Digest will take a break on Feb. 20 in observance of George Washington’s Birthday. The next daily digest will be on Tuesday, Feb. 21.
Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have a United Methodist event to share, you can add it to the calendar with this submission form.
Tuesday, Feb. 21
Free webinar “Creating a Discipleship Process for Your Church” — 7 to 8 p.m. EST. This interactive webinar will cover signs your church needs a discipleship process; what a discipleship process is and what it is not; and the first six key steps to begin the process of developing a new pathway for your church. Ken Willard, a United Methodist author and certified church consultant, will lead the webinar for the ecumenical Practical Resources for Churches. Details
Sunday, Feb. 26
100 Guitars in Worship — At 9 a.m. EST, Rock Spring United Methodist Church in Rock Spring, Georgia, plans to have 100 acoustic stringed instruments in worship. The service will be streamed live. Details