As you are planning for the Spring, consider these new studies for adult small groups, youth, and children’s ministries.
All of these resources can be requested now and will be loaned to you through the mail when they are available. The NC Conference Media Center is open to anyone involved with a United Methodist Church in the North Carolina Conference, free of charge. More info on how to request resources is below.
For Online Groups: The streaming videos for most of these studies are included in an Amplify subscription, or they can be purchased from Cokesbury. Amplify is offering 50% off the first 3 months for new subscribers through 2/28/21. Enter promo code LENT21 when prompted during checkout.
Adult Bible Studies Spring 2021: Holy. If your small group is looking for a consistent, scripture-based, Wesleyan curriculum, you should give the Adult Bible Studies series a try. This popular quarterly series has undergone some recent updates including the addition of a DVD and suggestions for spiritual practices alongside its time-honored biblical background and exposition and suggestions for guiding group discussion. The Spring curriculum is focused on “Holy” with sub-units on Holy Living, New in Christ, and God Revealed.
The DVD is not necessary to use this curriculum, but it is a helpful supplement. The teacher will need the teacher book, and each student will need a copy of the student book. Additional free resources including a current events supplement, PowerPoint slides, and a reflection from the NC Conference’s own Rev. Belton Joyner can be downloaded at adultbiblestudies.com.
Courage: Jesus and the Call to Brave Faith by Tom Berlin. United Methodist pastor and author Tom Berlin challenges us to unlock the courage that we already possess as Christ-followers, and in doing so, we can begin to find the remarkable life Jesus offers us. By examining the life of Christ, we can begin to understand what true courage is and how God works in our lives when we exhibit a brave faith.
Coming Soon! Mysteries of the Messiah: Unveiling Divine Connections from Genesis to Today by Rabbi Jason Sobel. Rabbi Jason Sobel uncovers connections between the Old Testament and New Testament that are vital in giving us a complete picture of God’s plan for sending Jesus into the world as the Messiah. As Jesus did on the road to Emmaus, Rabbi Sobel explains what the Old Testament has to say about Jesus.
This six-session study uses a DVD and a study guide. Note: The videos for this study are not available on Amplify.
1 Corinthians: Searching the Depths of God by Jaime Clark-Soles. 1 Corinthians is basically a letter Paul wrote to a people who were trying a wild new social experiment known as a Christian community. Centuries later, our churches deal with many of the same issues Paul addresses: factions, sexual immorality, gender issues, money concerns, theological questions, lawsuits, problems in worship, and problems in leadership. New Testament Professor Jaime Clark-Soles explores these topics and the awe-inspiring, breathtaking world of the first-century church.
Scripture and the Skeptic: Miracles, Myths, and Doubts of Biblical Proportion by Eric Huffman. If, as Christians believe, the bible is the word of God, why is it so complex and difficult to interpret parts, yet simple enough for even children to understand in others? Huffman helps readers understand and cope with confusion about the bible and provides answers to questions by reframing it as a perfect and seamless story. Huffman illustrates how the bible, even the parts some consider ungodly, presents the beautiful story that God intended to tell.
All you need for this study is the book which includes resources for personal reflections and group discussion.
Spiritual Growth for All Ages
These books are the United Methodist Women 2021 Spiritual Growth studies for adults, youth, and children. These excellent, thought-provoking studies are not just for women’s groups. They are open to all and highly recommended.
Bearing Witness in the Kin-dom: Living into the Church’s Moral Witness through Radical Discipleship by Darryl W. Stephens. The United Methodist Church and its predecessors have a sometimes-uneven history of resisting the evil and violence that damage the world. This book explores this history, empowering us to imagine God’s justice and to lead with compassion. Together, we bear witness to God’s gracious presence in ways that make a material difference to all of creation, all persons, especially victims of injustice, and those who are most vulnerable. This is the moral witness of the church.
Becoming Peacemakers in a Culture of Violence: A Curriculum for Youth Leaders by Jay Godfrey. This book leads youth through eight one-hour sessions that explore our experience with violence at all levels of our society and how youth can become peacemakers as an expression of their faith. As children of God, we are compelled to counter the forces of violence in our communities and in our world with actions grounded in love of God, neighbor, and self. What that looks like for us individually and collectively is the question at the heart of this curriculum. Adaptations for conducting the sessions on a virtual meeting platform are provided throughout.
Responding to Violence: A Curriculum for Children’s Facilitators by Sue Raymond. This curriculum will help prepare children for the violence that they will, unfortunately, encounter over the course of their lives. Throughout the four sessions, children will examine violence within their families, including sibling rivalry; among friends; in their communities; and even within themselves. Each session is grounded in scripture and introduces concepts and skills to help children learn how to respond to the violence that they will, or have already, faced in their lives. Activities like games and role-play as well as crafts help underline what they are learning. Adaptations for distance learning are also provided throughout.
Celebrate Wonder for Children’s Ministries
Celebrate Wonder is the new United Methodist-endorsed quarterly children’s curriculum from Cokesbury. Honor the spiritual life of children—their natural sense of awe, wonder, imagination, and curiosity—and help shape their growing faith. Leaders will guide children through engaging experiences, spiritual practices, and opportunities for reflection, giving them a safe space to ask big questions and helping them claim their spiritual identity as children of God. Read more about the details of this curriculum and how to use it for virtual Sunday School.
Each quarterly curriculum includes a DVD and a Family Activity Book. The leader guides, activity sheets, and class packs are divided between ages 3-5, 6-8, and 9+. A separate curriculum for One Room Sunday School is also available. All of these resources can be borrowed from the NC Conference Media Center.
Request These Resources
These resources can be borrowed for free by anyone involved with a United Methodist Church in the North Carolina Conference. We will mail them to your home! All you need to do is fill out the Resource Request Form.