United Methodist Church offers the gift of hospitality with a warm welcome
Nashville, Tennessee: The United Methodist Church is taking to the streets of nine major U.S. cities to offer the gift of hospitality this Christmas with a warm invitation and a hot cup of cocoa.
As commuters, holiday shoppers and eventgoers crowd the most trafficked areas of Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Portland (Ore.), Philadelphia, Baltimore, Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland and Washington, D.C., United Methodists will be among them -- hoping to warm their stomachs and warm their hearts.
Street teams will be wearing what look like bright red jetpacks, but they’re actually bearing gifts - tasty cups of hot cocoa served from state-of-the-art backpack drink dispensers. The paper goblets filled with chocolate-y goodness exhort cocoa drinkers to “Rethink Church” and point them to a website – rethinkchurch.org/find-a-church
– where they can find a local church in their area.
Mobile billboards cruising the streets will do the same. National advertising is also running on digital media and cable television.
“We think that church can happen anywhere where people experience the spirit of Christmas," said Dan Krause, chief executive of United Methodist Communications. "We want to carry a message of hospitality out into our communities and welcome everyone to attend a United Methodist place of worship as Christmas nears.”
The unique outreach program from The United Methodist Church, which takes place December 15-18, comes at a time of the year when many people are particularly lonely or feeling that something is missing from their lives.
In fact, research
shows that twice the number of U.S. adults say they are lonely compared to 10 years ago. That’s despite being continually connected more than ever before through texting, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat etc.
“We’re offering an invitation to come into our community where we continue to explore the true meaning of Christmas,” said Krause.
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
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: 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
RESOURCES TO CONNECT WITH THE COMMUNITY:
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 email@example.com.