The Church Responds to Syrian Refugees


Below are excerpts and links to news stories from The United Methodist Church and it's response to the Syrian refugee crisis. syrian+press01Churches ready to sponsor Syrian refugee families TOPEKA, Kan. (UMNS) — At least 35 United Methodist congregations in Kansas and Nebraska have agreed to sponsor one or more Syrian refugee families when immigration to the U.S. becomes possible, Bishop Scott J. Jones, Great Plains Conference, announced at a Nov. 20 press conference. Todd Seifert, the conference’s director of communications, reports. Read story  Religious leaders appeal to Mass. governor BOSTON (UMNS) — United Methodist Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar, New England Conference, was among the eight religious leaders who signed a letter written by the Massachusetts Council of Churches urging Gov. Charlie Baker to reconsider his statements regarding Syrian refugees. Read letter UMCOR helps refugees with winter chill in Jordan NEW YORK (UMNS) — As winter approaches, the United Methodist Committee on Relief is providing winterization kits — food parcels, blankets, and rugs — to some of the more than half a million Syrian refugees in Jordan. The kits are being distributed through UMCOR’s partnership with International Orthodox Christian Charities. David Tereshchuk reports for UMCOR. Read story Seeking refuge across the sea NEW YORK (UMNS) — Photojournalist Paul Jeffrey has heard stories from refugees making their way through Europe in recent months, but the United Methodist missionary wanted to see where many started that arduous journey. So he went to Greece, where a record number arrived by sea in October. Linda Bloom has the story. Read story and post a comment Speaking out for Syrian refugees DALLAS (UMNS) — Some United Methodists are protesting calls by U.S. governors to close borders to Syrian refugees after the Paris terrorist attacks. Bishop Gary Mueller of the Arkansas Conference agreed with the need for stepped-up security, but said “it solves nothing to categorically exclude a group of people whose lives have been torn apart.” Sam Hodges reports. Read story and post a comment

Resources for Vital Congregations



Lewis Center for Church Leadership

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Books

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Serve Your Neighbor

GBHEM Leadership Resources


Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church

Englewood Book Review

Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations

Ted Talks: The Golden Circle

Ted Talks: The Power of Vulnerability

Ted Talks: The Price of Invulnerability

Design Thinking

Meditations on the Ministry of All Christians


Be A Disciple

A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Adult Christian Studies from the Wesley Ministry Network

Traveling Together: A Guide for Disciple Forming Congregations


Living As United Methodist Christians

Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials

Reclaiming our Wesleyan Tradition: John Wesley’s Sermons for Today

John Wesley Sermons: Anthology


Get Their Name

Evangelism & Theology in the Wesleyan Spirit

Canoeing the Mountains

Fresh Expressions

Fresh Expressions: Dinner Church

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Reach New Disciples

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: 50 Ways to Reach People

Community: The Structure of Belonging


Institute for Emerging Issues

Congregations 4 Children


The Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund Grants

The Duke Endowment


The Appalachian District Church Vitality Team has been prayerfully seeking ways to help support you and the ministries of your local congregation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Together they have diligently researched and connected with others throughout the conference and our denomination to identify resources and offer them to you. We hope they will be helpful to you and bless you greatly in leading your churches and communities through this unprecedented time. We are very grateful to the District Vitality Team and other contributors for their great work on this resource.
This faithful team has created three documents, two of which you are receiving today. They include:

  • Family Home Worship – designed to help families establish a regular worship space within their homes as well as a time where they can worship together.
  • Tech Strategies – to help guide you in selecting effective tools and resources within your budget to best communicate in the digital world.

We believe these resources will be of great benefit to you. Also know that the District Vitality Team is available to answer any questions you might have in regards to the documents attached. If you have questions, you may email Rev. Howard Fleming at


  • Resources
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