When the COVID-19 pandemic began in March and we all started to quarantine, the Media Center began to offer online resources. Our lists of online resources for spiritual growth and Christian education for children were some of our most popular posts ever. When George Floyd was murdered, we recommended “9 Things Your Church Can Do to Fight Racism” which became our second most popular post of all time.
We continued to highlight online and anti-racism resources as we responded to the needs of our community. We re-designed our Online Resources web page to highlight study ideas for online small groups, Christian online subscription services, United Methodist online courses, and free United Methodist ebooks you can access through your local public library. We also created an Anti-Racism Resources web page and continued to feature new anti-racist resources that were added to our collection.
Through it all, we provided resource recommendations for supporting your congregation through the pandemic, solving your church’s pandemic problems, increasing giving, growing small groups, surviving the election year, choosing virtual children’s curriculum, and entertaining children and youth at home. We promoted several unique virtual opportunities, such as having authors Will Willimon or David Gira join your small group or viewing webinars on detecting disinformation. We co-hosted a webinar on the United Methodist video streaming service, Amplify.
Our Facebook page and Facebook group for United Methodist Small Group Leaders proved to be points of connection as we shared about virtual events, new resources, and began weekly giveaways that have been fun, built connections, and helped us move some of the items that we might normally share at annual conference. We also continued our weekly email newsletter that shared the posts mentioned above, as well as including a new section for an online resource of the week.
We continued to stay up-to-date and add newly published and older works of note to our collection, with 673 items being added in 2020. Although it was a very different year, our list of most borrowed resources was similar to other years, with a few notable exceptions. Adam Hamilton increased his presence on the list but made space for Amy-Jill Levine, James W. Moore, and Matthew Sleeth’s 24/6. New publications, Virus as a Summons to Faith by Walter Brueggemann and the new United Methodist financial discipleship program, Saving Grace, debuted in top spots.
Despite the closed churches, postponed small group meetings, and the Media Center being closed to in-person visitors, we added 72 new users to our database which is a few more than the previous year. We currently have 1,062 registered borrowers in our automated library system.
The NC Conference Media Center is open to all churches in the North Carolina Conference. There is no membership fee. We pay to mail items to you; you pay to mail them back. Contact us to let us know how we can help provide Christian resources for bible study, leadership, worship, and more to your congregation.