New Web site offers Rethink Church resources for churches, annual conferences

United Methodist Communications
Office of Public Information
810 12th Avenue S.
Nashville, TN 37203
www.umcpresscenter.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 3, 2009

New Web site offers Rethink Church resources for churches, annual conferences

Nashville: United Methodists can find resources for Rethink Church at a new Web site, www.rethinkchurch.org. As the next evolution of the denomination's "Open hearts" advertising and welcoming campaign, Rethink Church seeks to redefine the church experience beyond the church doors and invite people to become engaged in the world.

"We hope Rethink Church will cause people inside the church to reassess what it means to be people of faith," said the Rev. Larry Hollon, chief executive of United Methodist Communications. "This campaign is an invitation to a revolutionary conversation about what it means to be people in mission. It's more than rethinking. It's a radical return to understanding what the Gospel is for us in our day."

National advertising will begin on April 20, though the campaign's official launch date is May 6.

The Web site offers both annual conferences and congregations resources for getting started, including a bishops' task list, a Rethink Church 101 guide, an FAQ, and a conference-level launch strategy. The site also describes Rethink Church training opportunities available in the areas of welcoming, connecting, and identifying.

In addition, rethinkchurch.org offers downloadable tools, such as videos and graphics. A lectionary resource provides thematic ideas, along with Scripture verses to use in exploring those themes. Ideas also include how to illustrate themes with worship visuals, décor, video clips, and activities.

Also accessible through rethinkchurch.org is United Methodist Communication's Igniting Ministry Team, which, in addition to coordinating advertising content and training, continues to manage the matching media grant program.

"Many churches are already outward focused and inviting people to become engaged in the world as an expression of faithful discipleship as a follower of Jesus," said Hollon. "The church is a base of operation for expressing faith. Rethink Church extends an invitation for all of us to consider moving out of the doors and into the world and being a part of the co-creation with God who is transforming the world."

Rethink Church products are also available at www.umcom.org/store, including free Rethink Church brochures and DVDs. Red Rethink Church T-shirts are available for $10 in sizes small to 2x. Rethink Church buttons are available in quantities of 20 for $10.

Media Contact: Diane Degnan
(615) 742-5406 (office)
(615) 483-1765 (cell)
ddegnan@umcom.org

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