In the midst of COVID-19, Davidson UMC spreads joy


Each year during the Advent season, Davidson UMC hosts its annual Joy Store. In the gathering space outside the sanctuary, an Angel Tree is displayed where members can find angels listing the Christmas wishes of children in their community who may not experience a gift-filled Christmas due to their families' financial constraints.

In years past, those who selected an angel would purchase the gifts listed, as well as other toys and goodies, and drop them off at the church. Then, Davidson UMC elves would set up the Joy Store! Here, participants would be able to pick up the items they requested, or shop for gifts. This year, however, the annual event had to be re-imagined due to COVID-19; but that did not stop the members of Davidson UMC!

Using their creativity, they, like so many other churches, pivoted. The Joy Store was re-imagined and redesigned as a drive-thru. Participants were able to drive up to the church and pick up the gifts they requested. Additionally, each family received and extra burst of joy with a bag of cookies, hot chocolate mix, and wrapping paper for the gifts.
To make the magic happen, Davidson UMC partners with the Ada Jenkins Center in Davidson for this program, who helps the church determine the local needs and participants for the program.

Even in the midst of restrictions, Davidson UMC helped to share the abundance of God this Christmas season!

         (Pictured: Families driving through to receive their gifts; A car full of hot chocolate and cookie joy!)

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
Follow Jesus. Make Disciples. Transform the World.