Praying Our Way Forward Phase 2 Commences January 1
Nashville, Tenn.: The second phase of the 'Praying Our Way Forward' initiative will be launched New Year’s Day with 75 weeks of focused prayer for The United Methodist Church. The effort will begin January 1 in the North Carolina Conference, and wrap up in the West Angola Episcopal area in June 2018.
"The aim of 'Praying Our Way Forward' is to ask and listen for God’s leadership at this critical time in the life of our church,” said Bishop Al Gwinn, who co-chairs the initiative.
Co-chair Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett adds, “In addition to participating in a designated week of prayer, individuals are invited to join the initiative by praying daily and fasting weekly for our church, mission and future.”
“Praying Our Way Forward” was created by the Council of Bishops as a part of their larger commitment to “lead the church in every part of the world in times of worship, study, discernment, confession and prayer for God’s guidance.” To achieve this mission, they invited The Upper Room to help engage every annual conference around the world. United Methodist Women, United Methodist Men and United Methodist Communications have recently joined the partnership.
Each annual conference will take one week to have intentional prayer for the mission of The United Methodist Church to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world and for the work of the Commission on a Way Forward, which begins meeting in January.
United Methodist Women and United Methodist Men will encourage their constituencies to pray throughout phase two, and especially during their annual conference sponsored week. Resident bishops are invited to reach out to UMW and UMM leaders in their areas to involve them in developing plans for the “Conference Week of Prayer.”
The Upper Room has developed UMCprays.org, a website where spiritual leaders and intercessors can share prayers, information and resources. The site has prayer resources for individuals, families, small groups, districts, and annual conference events, as well as promotional ideas and information about the Commission members and the weekly prayer schedule. There is also a place for the bishop of the annual conference scheduled to pray during the coming week to share a prayer.
This year, 5,000 people joined the website, formerly 60daysofprayer.org, to connect intercessors around the world to pray for the work of the 2016 General Conference. The group has continued to pray together and remains a valuable spiritual support network of The United Methodist Church.
During phase 1 of the new initiative, 84 bishops of the church spent 15 minutes each day for four months in prayer for the selection and initial work of the Commission on A Way Forward.
For more information, visit UMCprays.org.
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.