connections: The Lenten Reflection
In this week’s connections, Bishop Ward describes a writing project for the Lenten season and invites you to share a personal story about when race began to matter in your life. [Share your personal story at Lenten Reflection.]
New opportunities for highlighting ministry at AC 2015
As the 2015 Annual Conference approaches, there will be many opportunities to embody this year’s theme -Serve. To ensure your ministry has the greatest exposure at Annual Conference, the Communications Office is prepared to utilize the extensive audio and visual technology available through the space and through partners like MCR. This is particularly important this year as we move to a new location, the Wilmington Convention Center. Local fire code standards will not allow the number of display tables we have been able to supply in the past. Because of this limitation, Bishop Ward, in collaboration with the Conference Secretary’s office, has discerned the best approach is to eliminate display tables altogether this year. Displays previously available through tabling will now be seen on the big screens! So, put away those tables and pull out your cameras!
In the weeks ahead, you will receive information on: 1) how to prepare your ministry photographs for digital display; 2) how to tweet your ministry photographs during Annual Conference; and 3) how to prepare your ministry videos for viewing on the big screens. As you prepare to tell about your ministries in digital format, please contact Mary Andreolli, email@example.com with any questions. We looking forward to serving with you!
Join in the conversation: Unity Dialogue, Feb. 25
The next Unity Dialogue will take place from 2-4 p.m. on Feb. 25 at the United Methodist Building in Garner. Two items have been suggested to be read before attending – information about the upcoming Jack Crum Conference on Prophetic Ministry at http://mfsancc.org/upcoming-event and a statement from the Good News Coalition which can be found at http://goodnewsmag.org/2015/coalition-issues-statement-on-talbert-case. The Dialogue is open to anyone who wishes to attend.
Jack Crum Conference on Prophetic Ministry
Love Your Neighbor Saturday April 18
The 2015 Jack Crum Conference on Prophetic Ministry will be from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 18 at Epworth UMC in Durham. The theme – Love Your Neighbor – will include conversation about welcoming LGBTQ brothers and sisters into the full life and ministry of The United Methodist Church. Advance registration is $25, $30 at the door and $10 for students. The cost includes a light breakfast and lunch. The keynote speaker will be the Rev. Frank Schaefer and the preacher will be the Rev. Gil Caldwell. There will be workshops about preparing for General Conference and how to become a Reconciling Congregation. For more information and to register click here.
Clergy Benefits Seminar registration now open
The Clergy Benefits Seminar will be held on April 23-24 at the Hilton Riverside in Wilmington. At this seminar, clergy and their spouses in their active years of ministry will build confidence in understanding their benefit plans and will learn how to maximize those benefits for their and their families’ financial and physical well-being. Clergy who have decided to retire at Annual Conference 2015 will have time at the seminar to complete the paperwork necessary to enact their pension and insurance benefits upon retirement. Visit the Treasurer’s Office Pension Page for event details and online registration.
Faith and Immigration Statewide Summit
Saturday, March 21 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church, 305 East Main St., Durham, NC 27701
The 2015 Summit promises to accomplish four main goals: 1) offer a unique statewide, ecumenical gathering for faith leaders who work primarily with immigrant congregations; 2) help equip these faith leaders to deal with the daily challenges faced by their congregations, especially related to their immigration status; 3) provide a space for networking and sharing of best practices; and 4) train immigrant rights allies, especially in faith communities, to organize and mobilize around immigration issues. In particular, this Summit will focus on issues affecting children, youth and their families who immigrate to this country. This event will be completely bilingual, with all sessions interpreted simultaneously (as needed) and all written materials available in English and Spanish. Workshops and additional details coming soon. Cost is free. Register online here.
Marriage Encounter Weekend March 13-15
The focus of Marriage Encounter United Methodist weekend is communication between husband and wife. It is an opportunity to spend time together, away from the distractions and the tensions of everyday life and to concentrate on and rediscover the spark that brought you initially together. The next Marriage Encounter weekend will be March 13-15 at the Hyatt Place Charlotte/City Park (Charlotte, NC.) There is a $100 registration fee. There is no other cost for the weekend, but a love offering will be received at the end of the weekend. To register, or to find out more, go to www.encounter.org. The weekend is open to all married couples, not just United Methodist. Marriage Encounter United Methodist is an affiliate member of the General Board of Discipleship.
Taize: Gathering towards a new Solidarity
From Aug. 9-16, thousands of young people from 18-35 years old will gather on the hill of Taizé in France. Commemorating the life of Brother Roger, they will look for ways of appropriating his legacy through a renewed commitment to inner life and solidarity. Bishop Ward, will be taking a group of young people from North Carolina to participate in this special global gathering.
This gathering in Taizé is an opportunity to pray with young people from around the world, listen to what God’s Word says about friendship among human beings, discover the love of God as the source of human solidarity, meet women and men committed to solidarity from around the world, think about alternatives for a fairer development of our societies, participate in art workshops with artists from different continents, meet people of other faiths, and prepare to return home to struggle against all forms of inequality. To learn more, please visit http://taize.nccumc.net/
Conference UMW offering scholarship opportunity for women
The NC Conference UMW is inviting women within the North Carolina Conference bounds to apply for scholarships to attend undergraduate or graduate school at Louisburg College, Methodist University, North Carolina Wesleyan College, Duke University or Duke Divinity School. The deadline for submitting an application is April 15. A complete packet of information is available at UMW scholarship packet.