Praying Our Way Forward- February 19
You are our life, O Lord. Receive our prayers, offered not only in words but also in spirit, by which we come asking, seeking, and knocking for our hearts’ desires. Grant comfort to all who hope in you.
We give you thanks for the gift of your Church and for the mystery of your love in each other. Lord of the Harvest, “send out laborers into the harvest,” that we like the early church may minister in this beautifully diverse world as you consecrate our efforts to make new disciples of Jesus Christ.
Guide the hearts of those who have been selected and appointed at this time to exercise discernment on behalf of the church. Grant them knowledge, wisdom, and understanding, a spirit of counsel and strength, that their delight be the fear of the Lord.
May your Light direct our prayers, conversations, actions, and decisions so that we may be more closely drawn to Jesus, your Son, our Savior, the Light of the World. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us.
Blessed Consoler, Comforter, and Teacher, help us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus rather than being distracted by the storms that surround us, for we know he is with us in every tempest. Keep us faithful in all we do, especially in our work for unity, that we might be one in the faith of Christ. Amen.
Bishop Paul Leeland
Resident Bishop of Western North Carolina Conference
Read more about this prayer emphasis at 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.