Advent outreach resources available for local churches


Nashville, Tenn.: New resources that support local church Advent outreach efforts are now available. The resources carry the theme, “Unwrap the true meaning of Christmas,” and complement The United Methodist Church’s national Advent advertising campaign, which will feature children sharing about their faith and what Christmas means to them. “These tools will support United Methodists as they reach out to their communities with a message of hope and invitation during the holiday season,” said Jennifer Rodia, chief communications officer at United Methodist Communications. “We have added new, turnkey elements that will make Advent outreach easy and fun.” Available resources include:
  • Postcards, customized with information about the local church and mailed within a radius of the church’s address (four design options or churches can upload their own).
  • Door hangers with customizable space, offering a welcoming front door greeting from the local church (four design options or churches can upload their own).
  • Invitation cards that provide a simple, yet heartfelt way for church members to invite friends and family members to attend a worship service or church event (four design options or churches can upload their own).
  • A selfie stand to encourage fun photo opportunities for social media posts (one design option).
  • An outdoor banner to welcome people driving by (one design option).
While supplies last, churches can receive a $400 credit toward their print product purchase by utilizing the coupon code found at Further details about the resources and the offer are available at Free downloadable files are also available, which include a how-to guide as well as:
  • Advent sermon starters with accompanying videos
  • Social media calendar, with pre-written posts and imagery
  • Bulletin and worship graphics
  • Videos for worship and social media
  • Website and social media graphics
  • January sermon series from Discipleship Ministries with accompanying videos and promotional flyer
To offer ideas and guide churches in their use of all of the tools, the Rethink Church team will offer a free webinar on September 26 at 11 a.m. Central time. In addition, United Methodist Communications has published church leader-specific content about the brand new resources as well as creative ways to engage congregations in outreach initiatives.

The denomination is also inviting churches to participate in its 16-state “True Meaning of Christmas Tour” during Advent. The tour will travel through 21 cities; at each stop, volunteers will offer invitations to a local United Methodist church, an opportunity to participate in a mission project, a chance share prayer requests and a video booth experience.

“We’ll be in high-traffic areas throughout December, spreading holiday cheer by extending warm invitations that will encourage people to connect with a local United Methodist church as they search for community and a faith home,” said Poonam Patodia, chief marketing officer at United Methodist Communications. Local churches can be a part of the tour, no matter where they are, by hosting a hot cocoa fellowship event. Tour-branded stickers will be available this fall so that churches can brand hot cocoa cups given out along with invitations to worship services and holiday events. More details and a step-by-step guide are available to support churches as they make plans.

The national advertising campaign will be present on multiple platforms during Advent, including digital and television, and will encourage viewers to visit to learn more about the denomination as well as locate a local United Methodist church.

Churches are encouraged to update their Find-A-Church profile with current contact and worship information so that potential visitors can learn more about churches in their zip code. To get started, church leaders should visit the Find-A-Church website, search for their church, select their church’s profile, scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Update Church Information.”

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