Found in the church newsletter ... July 2015

July 22, 2015

Church newsletters are packed with all kinds of useful information. From simple-but-helpful tips to ideas for innovative ministries, you can learn a lot from your church newsletter.
The only problem is, other churches don’t usually get to read your news and you don’t see theirs.
This feature will highlight some of the great ideas found in church newsletters and share them across the Conference.

June/July 2015

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Beth DiCocco
Director of Communications
New England Conference
276 Essex St.
Lawrence, MA 01842
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The summer worship theme at East Greenwich UMC in Rhode Island is “Faith in Film.”
Dr. William Trench, pastor, writes:
We won’t be looking at traditional religious films. … We will be looking at religious themes in secular films.  … When movies deal with the problems and possibilities of this world, they often say something quite profound about life, and when they do that they also speak to us about deepest matters of faith.
McFarland USA
Forrest Gump
Lord of the Rings
Epworth UMC in Worcester, MA , as part of the Worcester Area United Methodist Churhes (WAUM), offers an outdoor worship on Sunday evenings during the summer. The service, which is in addition to the Sunday morning service, is held on the church lawn at 6 p.m.
The benefits, as cited in the newsletter:
  • Many folks go away for the weekend and do not attend Sunday morning worship.
  • Sharing worship leadership means clergy can participate as a member of the congregation and be fed by one another.
  • We will be outside and a visible witness that “the UM denomination is alive and well in Worcester.”
  • This will give us a new setting to be led by the Holy Spirit and to try new ways and ideas of worshipping while holding onto fundamental truths.
  • The outside setting might be more inviting to those unfamiliar with a traditional church building and to those who are tired of traditional settings.
Rev. Travis Bonnette-Kim at Wilmington UMC in Massachusetts shared tips for including Sabbath time into your routine:
  1. Attend weekly worship. Worship isn’t another task on our ‘to do’ list, it is an opportunity to connect deeply with God, who is the source of your life.
  2. Unplug for a day each week. Don’t check your email, don’t use social media and sparingly use your cell phone or text.
  3. Spend 15 minutes a day sitting quietly. Taking some Sabbath time each day centers your spirit, strengthens your patience and restores balance.  Find a comfortable place to sit and spend time in silence. Start out with 3 minutes a day and add time each week until you reach 15 minutes a day.
Small gatherings
At Shelburne UMC in Vermont, all ages are invited to join the “Fall Kit Parties” to make health kits for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). They have planned two parties with a goal of assembling 600 kits total. Learn how to create UMCOR school kits.

Prayer and Pastry at Wakefield-Lynnfield UMC in Wakefield, MA: On the first Thursday of each month members gather at the home of someone in the congregation to lift up in prayer “individuals and situations in our church and community.” “The time spent in prayer has been meaningful and supportive to many in our congregation and community.”