"Have faith the size of a mustard seed and then step back and prepare to be amazed. What God's able to do through us is not based on or limited by what we're able to do on our own." - The Rev. Adam Weber, pastor of Embrace, one of top 50 fastest-growing U.S. churches.
Why S.D. church among 50 fastest growing in U.S.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (UMNS) - Asked to explain the remarkable growth of Embrace, the Rev. Adam Weber, the church's 31-year-old pastor, points to a focus on helping people start and strengthen a relationship with Jesus. Embrace is the only United Methodist church on Outreach magazine's recently released list of the top 50 fastest-growing U.S. churches in 2013. Embrace ranked 40th overall, and fourth in growth rate, having seen a 65 percent attendance rise.
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'5 things I've learned 5 years out'
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (UMNS) - "As the saying goes 'time flies when you're having crazy'&ellipsis; or something like that, right?" asks the Rev. Adam Weber, pastor of Embrace. He goes on to list five things he has learned in his first few years at the fast-growing Embrace.
California church rising once more from the ashes
SAN JOSE, Calif. (UMNS) - After 22 years, First United Methodist Church in downtown San Jose is about to return from a 1991 fire that gutted the church. But, as Joe Rodriguez explains in the San Jose Mercury News, adversity doesn't stop this church that has faced fires, earthquakes and the wrath of people who did not respect its stands for social justice.
How to protect your church
Faithful Filibuster ends, goal remains
WASHINGTON (UMNS) - The "Faithful Filibuster" ended Oct. 17 after House and Senate votes to end the government shutdown but with a note that the task remains unfinished. The filibuster was a religious effort to read the more than 2,000 verses of Scripture in the Bible to remind Congress that their dysfunction hurts the most vulnerable Americans and that we are charged with caring for the least among us. "We are grateful to God for ending these crises, but we cannot simply exchange one deadline for another," said the Rev. David Beckman, president of Bread for the World. "We need to address the looming threat of automatic budget cuts or sequestration. We have to stop sequestration, but not on the backs of the working poor and struggling families."
Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have an item to share with others, email firstname.lastname@example.org and put Digest in the subject line.
Free webinar "Intergenerational Activities for Children and Older Adults," Wednesday, Oct. 23 - 10 a.m. CT, focuses on children in intergenerational ministry and activities that can be replicated. To register.
Webinar "Breaking Through the Stained Glass Ceiling: Women Pastoring Large Churches," Thursday, Oct. 24 - 7 p.m. EDT, editors of a new book that offers a glimpse into the daily lives and spiritual journeys of clergywomen who lead large churches will discuss the Lead Women Pastors Project of The United Methodist Church, $9.99. Details.
Reformation Day at Emory: "Reformation Women," Thursday, Oct. 24 - 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET, event at Emory University's Candler School of Theology in Atlanta celebrates the contributions of women to the Reformation of the 16th century. $10 for optional lunch. Details.
Great Day of Service, Saturday, Oct. 26 - United Methodists and community partners, along with United Methodist Communications' Rethink Church, will work with the town of Wildomar, Calif., to restore and reopen Wildomar Parks. Volunteers welcome. Details.
"Catechesis: Why United Methodists Must Recover Their Doctrinal Heritage," Saturday, Oct. 26 - 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET, William J. Abraham and David F. Watson will speak about what some see as the collapse of doctrine in The United Methodist Church at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. Evangelical Fellowship of West Ohio is a sponsor. Details.
Deadline to register for online course "Tools for Increasing Your Church's Vitality," Wednesday, Oct. 30 - Nov. 6-Dec. 18, featuring "Vital Churches: Changing Communities and the World" by the Rev. Jorge Acevedo, from United Methodist Communications, $49.99. Details.
Deadline to register for online course "Communicating Faith in the 21st Century," Wednesday, Oct. 30 - Nov. 6-Dec. 18, designed to help Christians reclaim their voice to speak the good news using today's communications tools, from United Methodist Communications, $29.99. Details.
Deadline to register for online course "Web Ministry 100: What is Web Ministry?" Wednesday, Oct. 30 - Nov. 6-Dec. 18, foundational information and theological basis for creating and maintaining Web ministry, from United Methodist Communications, $49.99. Details.
Deadline to register for online course "Welcoming Ministry 100," Wednesday, Oct. 30 - Nov. 6-Dec. 18, leading local churches to practice radical hospitality, from United Methodist Communications, $29.99. Details.
Deadline to register for online course "Moodle Basic Training 100," Wednesday, Oct. 30 - Nov. 6-Dec. 18, learn how to design online Bible studies and other online courses, from United Methodist Communications, $89.99. Details.
Welcome Table at Wesley Theological Seminary, Monday, Oct. 28 and Thursday, Nov. 21 - 4 to 7:30 p.m. ET, prospective students can join a meal and attend a class at the seminary. Details.
"JustPeace101," Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 31-Nov. 2 - Event in the theory, theology, principles and practices of conflict transformation led by JustPeace, The United Methodist Church's Center for Conflict Transformation, in Nashville, Tenn. Details.
All Saints' Day, Friday, Nov. 1 - Worship resources for the day or nearest Sunday from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship.
Free webinar "Exploring the Bible through Multiple Intelligences," Tuesday, Nov. 5 - 6:30 p.m. CT, applying work of Harvard University's Howard Gardner to Bible study. To register.
In Mission Together, Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 7-9 - The United Methodist Board of Global Ministries will hold 50/50 Partnership Roundtable for United Methodists in the U.S., Eastern Europe and the Balkans. The gathering is at Cheviot United Methodist Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Details.
Red Bird Mission Appalachian Craft Fair, Saturday, November 9 - 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Bethel United Methodist Church-Chewsville, 21006 Twin Springs Dr., Smithsburg, Md. Details.
Spirituality of Advent Retreat, Saturday, Nov. 9 - 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. CT, Scarritt-Bennett Center, Nashville, Tenn. $25. Details.
"Day1," Sundays, Nov. 17 and 24 - The Rev. Amy L. Gearhart, senior pastor of Missouri United Methodist Church in Columbia, will be the featured speaker on the nationally syndicated radio program "Day1." To listen.
Online course "Behold! Cultivating Attentiveness in the Season of Advent," Dec. 1-25 - eRetreat featuring Pamela Hawkins's Advent resource "Behold! Cultivating Attentiveness in the Season of Advent," presented by Upper Room eLearning and BeADisciple, $40. Details.
Online course "The Uncluttered Heart: Making Room for God during Advent and Christmas," Dec. 1 Jan. 5, 2014 - eRetreat offers guided reflection through the weeks of Advent on through Epiphany. Each day provides a quotation, Scripture passage, reflection, prayer. This online retreat is presented by Upper Room eLearning and BeADisciple, $40. Details.