The United Methodist News Service article, "Partnerships Strengthen Black Churches," on the national church website, http://www.umc.org, spotlights Lennon-Seney United Methodist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, which has seen a re-awakening of once dormant ministries. Through a partnership with the Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century initiative – the denomination's primary African-American church development program – the 135-year-old black church has "come to life." Weekly offerings have doubled and the average number of worshippers has increased from 115 to 175.
"Rev. (Fred) Allen and SBC21 lit a fire under our folks, and it's still going," says the Rev. Angela Hardy Cross, who arrived at Lennon-Seney in June 2009. "Our future goals are no longer far-fetched dreams for us. We're excited about what God is doing in and through our church."
In recognition of March as Women's History Month, UMNS features the second in a series of articles on women in The United Methodist Church.
In the article, "Women Face Long Road to Change in Church," Bishop Charlene Kammerer reflects on the church and women and her path in The United Methodist Church. "The very connectional nature of our United Methodist Church has made a big difference in supporting and encouraging me along the way," she said. "The commitment to inclusiveness . . . has been a strong thread of passion for me."