UMNS Briefs

September 09, 2010

Second pastor is Crucial for New Churches
LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. (UMNS)—The appointment of a second pastor to a new church start is a crucial point in that congregation's survival, a United Methodist Board of Discipleship executive said. The Rev. Gary A. Shockley, executive director of the agency's New Church Starts Division, Path 1, spoke to 72 newly appointed district superintendents and 10 directors of connectional ministries attending an orientation session Aug. 29-Sept. 3. Shockley said agency staff in congregational development need to put more thought into providing guidance to bishops and their cabinets on those second appointments, too. "Keep checking on your new churches," he said. "Keep an eye on the handoff to the second leader."

Communities Revive Monastic Practices
DALLAS (UMNS) – New Day, a community of United Methodists, falls within a quiet but growing movement dubbed "new monasticism." The Christian communities vary, but most share a common rule of life that includes disciplined contemplation, justice practices, support for celibate singles among monogamous married couples and their children, hospitality, "humble submission to Christ's body, the church" and geographic proximity. You can read more about monasticism in the United Methodist tradition and other Interpreter articles at
Shane Claiborne: Fusing Faith and Practice
PHILADELPHIA (UMNS) - In 1998 at the age of 21, self-described "ordinary radical" Shane Claiborne co-founded a small monastic community, The Simple Way, in a row house in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Philadelphia. In an Interpreter Magazine interview, Claiborne shares his thoughts on what draws people to monasticism, how young people are changing the church and what "a wild guy" John Wesley was. You can read Claiborne's interview and other Interpreter articles at
Fund Supports United Methodist Archivists
MADISON, N.J. (UMNS) - Josephine Forman was so dedicated to preserving the history of The United Methodist Church that she fought for years to save what she considered to be the important records of the denomination's Southwest Texas Annual (regional) Conference. Now the late church archivist is being remembered through the Josephine Forman Dedicated Fund of the United Methodist Commission on Archives and History.
Income from the gift will be used for the training of conference archivists, with a small portion of the principal given each year as a scholarship for a person of color training to be an archivist, says the Rev. Robert Williams, the commission's top executive. The Society of American Archivists has consulted with the commission on the project.
Agency Offers Resources for Grandparents Day
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) – Grandparents Day, the first Sunday after Labor Day, is an opportunity to honor both biological grandparents and the elders who offer compassion, concern, wisdom and generosity. According to research reported by the United Methodist Board of Discipleship, children who have at least five caring adults in their lives, in addition to their parents, are more likely to thrive and less likely to become "at risk." The Board of Discipleship has worship resources for congregations to recognize the "grandmas" and "grandpas" who love and share their faith.
Alert: Upper Room Not Involved With Movie
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — A movie titled "I AM," which is scheduled for release this fall, currently is being promoted to churches in North America by its production company, "Upper Room Multimedia." The Upper Room, a division of the United Methodist Board of Discipleship, released a statement that it wants churches to know it is in no way affiliated with the California-based production company. The Upper Room Ministries is a Nashville-based ministry.