UMNS Briefs

September 02, 2010

Rethink Church Has New Web Address

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Congregational resources for the Rethink Church advertising and welcoming campaign have moved to a new website address: umcom.org/rethinkchurch. The website that previously housed congregational resources, RethinkChurch.org, will become the primary seeker site that is featured in Rethink Church advertising, beginning this fall.
 
"Research shows that RethinkChurch.org resonates most strongly with the seekers we are trying to reach with our denominational advertising," said the Rev. Larry Hollon, chief executive of United Methodist Communications. "This website address reinforces the message we want non-United Methodist seekers to take away from our advertising - that we are rethinking church."
 
Rethink Church Bible Welcomes Seekers
 
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Beginning in October, United Methodist Communications is offering a free New Testament to people visiting the Rethink Church campaign website.
The Rethink Church Common English Bible (New Testament) is a special edition that features a seeker-sensitive introduction to the Bible and to The United Methodist Church.
 
"The Rethink Church Edition is a powerful tool for evangelism," said the Rev. Larry Hollon, top executive of United Methodist Communications. "It introduces the Bible and denomination to seekers with sensitivity to their worldview, in welcoming language." Further information about the Rethink Church advertising and welcoming campaign is available here.
 
Agency Offers Resources to Honor Laborers
 
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Americans this weekend will celebrate such advances as the end of child labor and the 40-hour work week. At the same time, many Americans are still struggling with unemployment. The United Methodist Board of Discipleship has resources for churches to honor workers and all seeking work. The resources include a special blessing and suggested readings for "A Service of Holy Communion for Labor Day."
 
September is National Hunger Action Month
 
BIG ISLAND, Va. (UMNS) - September is "National Hunger Action Month," and the Society of St. Andrew has resources available to help congregations become more aware of the needs of the poor and hungry. The resources offered by the hunger-relief ministry include a prayer calendar, litany, bulletin insert, sample sermons and hunger fact sheets. They are available here.
 
Bread for the World Sunday Oct. 17
 
WASHINGTON (UMNS) - Bread for the World, a Christian organization supported in part through the United Methodist Advance, has resources for churches interested in participating in Bread for the World Sunday on Oct. 17. The group organizes Christians to write U.S. decision-makers in support of efforts to eradicate hunger in the U.S. and overseas. Resources include a study of Luke 18:1-8, a special litany, bulletin inserts and offering envelopes. Spanish-language resources also are available. Information is available here.
 
Workshop Focuses on Black Clergy Health
 
LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. (UMNS)—An opportunity for African-American clergy to evaluate their health and well-being is slated for Sept. 27-28 at the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center. With the theme "Wanting to Heal and Be Healed" (John 5:1-9), the self-care covenant workshop encourages pastors to care for themselves in order to bring healing to others. Participants will learn stress-management techniques, discuss recommendations for daily healthful living, assess current health behaviors and choices and develop a self-care covenant with an accountability plan. The program is coordinated by the United Methodist Board of Pension and Health Benefits.
 
Consortium Offers Online Theological Courses
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - United Methodist theological schools will offer 11 online continuing education classes for clergy and laity beginning in the fall semester. The Online Continuing Education Consortium aims to provide theologically sound, financially affordable and easily accessible continuing education programs. All 13 of the United Methodist theological schools are expected to participate. Five seminaries are offering classes this fall. An online catalogue and links to each theological school offering classes is available at www.gbhem.org/continuingeducation.