connections: In ministry with young people
Bishop Ward calls to mind the clustering activities surrounding higher education and young people in the North Carolina Conference in this week’s edition of connections.
Unity Dialogue to gather Nov. 11
The Unity Dialogue continues the conversation, and all are invited to join at the table, as Rev. Laurie Hays Coffman and Rev. Paul Stallsworth lead the discussion about the Church and homosexuality on Nov. 11 from 2-4 p.m. The Unity Dialogue will take place in Dixon Chapel in The Methodist Building in Garner. The focus of this conversation is the book “Finding Our Way: Love and Law in The United Methodist Church” (Abingdon, 2014). Bishop Ward wrote the chapter titled “Emend” in this publication, which features eight United Methodist bishops.While it is not required that participants in the Unity Dialogue read the book in advance, one may engage in the discussion more deeply if familiar with the material.
Educating congregations about year-end giving
The UM Foundation has created a 2014 Year-End Giving Opportunities brochure for churches to use to encourage year-end gifts that will benefit the needs of your church. The end of the year is a time when people tend to feel more philanthropic. It is also a time when some people assess their tax situation and seek tax-wise ways of giving. The free brochure is available for download from the home page of the UMF website www.umf-nc.org. It can be used as a bulletin insert or as a direct mail piece with your own personal cover letter. There is space on the back panel for churches to personalize using a church stamp or a preprinted sticker with your church contact information. This is our gift to all the churches in the NC Conference and we hope it will be a useful resource for your church members.
Live-stream conversation on human sexuality
On Saturday, Nov. 1, there will be a live-streamed United Methodist panel on human sexuality from 8-10 a.m. (CT) on http://umc.org/connectional-table-webcast. The public event will include bishops who contributed to a book on human sexuality and church unity, “Finding Our Way: Love and Law in The United Methodist Church,” released by Abingdon Press. Participants also can ask questions on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #cttalks. More details
Two gatherings on Peace-Making in Palestine/Israel
There will be a gathering at the Methodist Building in Garner on Nov. 18 for conversation about peace-making in Palestine and Israel. Janet Lahr Lewis, recently retired UM missionary who served as United Methodist Liaison in the Middle East, and Ata Manasra, village economic project coordinator, will speak about peace-making, the loss of Palestinian land, and the United Methodist-supported ministry project at Wadi Fouqin, West Bank, Palestine. Following a short presentation, Janet and Ata will respond to questions and comments from the gathered community. The conversation will begin at 11 a.m. and end around 1 p.m. Lunch will be served and persons planning to eat should bring a $5 donation for lunch. To register for the lunch event, please email Kathy Duncan, email@example.com by Nov. 13.
Lewis and Manasra will also provide an evening presentation with conversation at Fairmont UMC from 7-8:30 p.m. on the evening of Nov. 18. Light snacks will be provided and no registration is required for the evening event. Fairmont UMC is located at 2501 Clark Ave, Raleigh, NC. For more information, contact Kathy Duncan at (919) 779-6115, ext. 256 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Evangelism Academy to Focus on Young Adults
What does it take to reach young adults? If your church is struggling with this question, get some help in answering it at the Commission on Evangelism’s Advanced Academy of Christian Witness to be presented Jan. 29-31at the Courtyard by Marriott in Carolina Beach. Dr. Elaine Heath is the scheduled presenter. She is the McCreless Professor of Evangelism at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. Hold the dates on your calendar and watch this site for more details and registration opportunities.
Ministry with families and children with special needs
There will be a free webinar on Nov. 18 on the subject of “Engaging Families and Children with Special Needs.” Beginning at 10 a.m. (CT), Elizabeth Christie of the New York Conference will present a broad overview of children and families who come to churches with special needs. She will offer tips for setting up classrooms and activities so that everyone is successful and engaged. Details
Begin planning now for Giving Tuesday, Dec. 2
Extend the spirit of giving thanks into the Advent season by participating in UMC #GivingTuesday on Dec. 2. Every gift made online through The Advance at www.umcmission.org/give on Dec. 2 will be matched up to $1 million. The General Board of Global Ministries will allocate the matching funds dollar for dollar up to the first $1 million in gifts to Advance projects received online on Dec. 2 between 12 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. EST. A maximum of $2,500 per individual gift to a project will be dispersed as matching funds. A project may receive a maximum of $25,000 in matching funds.
Last year on UMC #GivingTuesday, United Methodists collectively raised a record $6.5 million online through The Advance. UMC #GivingTuesday is part of an international movement which offers an opportunity to start off the holiday season by giving instead of receiving, by supporting organizations that are transforming the world. See more at Giving Tuesday.
Mission Seed Fund Applications Due November 3
Applications for Mission Seed Fund grants are due to the Office of Outreach Ministry no later than Nov. 3. Mission Seed Funds are designed to encourage and facilitate NC Conference United Methodist congregations in risk-taking ministry and radical hospitality. These funds are designed to be supplemental and specific to new outreach programs that offer hands-on ministry and witness beyond the church walls. Funds may be used to support ministry throughout or beyond the geographical boundaries of the NC Conference, providing these programs are outreach ministries through local churches. Program outcomes should be measurable and achievable, and ministry should demonstrate a plan for future sustainability. Seed Fund guidelines and application forms are available on the Outreach Ministry page of the Conference website.