"Numerous families explained how they actually preferred the outdoor service because many of them have children and it is easy for them to spread out." — The Rev. Jake Herron on continuing outdoor worship at Apison United Methodist Church in Tennessee.
NEWS AND FEATURES
Outdoor worship persists after restrictions lift
ALCOA, Tenn. — Even after getting their bishop's permission to resume meeting indoors, some Holston Conference churches are continuing to hold worship in parking lots and other outdoor settings. Bishop Mary Virginia "Dindy" Taylor has encouraged churches to meet outdoors while weather permits during the pandemic "because it is a safer way to gather." Annette Spence reports.
Higher Education and Ministry
Scholar hopes to help heal trauma
ATLANTA — While a love of music drew her to the church as a child in Seoul, South Korea, it was Hee Jin Lee's personal experiences that set her on a quest to better understand how churches and religious communities respond to human suffering and violence. Now, as an Angella P. Current-Felder Women of Color Scholar at Emory University's Candler School of Theology, she is developing a theology of pastoral counseling to help others heal from the trauma of violence. Jessica Love has the story.
Church memorializes COVID-19 dead
MADISON, Wis. — Fabric ribbons are being displayed at Trinity United Methodist Church to remember victims of the coronavirus in Wisconsin. Each ribbon represents one of the more than 1,200 people who have died because of the virus in the state.
Diaper duty becomes hurricane relief
GALVESTON, Texas — Shortly after Hurricane Laura made landfall, Moody United Methodist Church sprang into action. The congregation began collecting supplies and made a delivery to Orange, Texas. Included in the full truckload of donations were several cases of diapers. Little did the church realize that the diaper delivery would soon multiply — turning into thousands of diapers. Lindsay Peyton reports.
Brazil College of Bishops, UM-Forward
Group's letter critical of Brazilian bishops
NEW MILFORD, Conn. — Faced with rising violence against trans people in Brazil, the College of Bishops of the autonomous Methodist Church of Brazil has released a pastoral letter condemning violence while also denouncing homosexual practice. To show solidarity with LGBTQ Brazilians, the United Methodist advocacy group UM-Forward has sent an open letter to the bishops asserting that the idea of "'hate the sin, love the sinner' is insubstantial and indefensible." The Rev. Alex da Silva Souto, a native of Brazil, initiated the letter signed by about 200 United Methodists and Latin American Methodists.
Read Brazil College of Bishops letter
Read letter from UM-Forward
Reuters: Reported murders, suicides of trans people soar in Brazil
United Methodist Men
Budget concerns discussed by UM Men
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — United Methodist Men is planning for a decline in funding next year, said Gilbert C. Hanke, top executive of the church agency, during its first online national meeting on Sept. 26. Hanke described the funding for the agency as "complex and unpredictable."
Read press release
Thursday, Oct. 1