50 WAYS to offer Christ: One Neighborhood at a Time

50ways

Check out these 50 WAYS to take church to your community throughout the year:

These 50 WAYS from our friends at the Lewis Center for Church Leadership include useful tips to:

  • Embrace an expansive concept of community
  • Get to know the community surrounding your church
  • Extend your congregation’s spiritual presence beyond church walls
  • Turn your existing ministries outward
  • Reach out through community events
  • Connect spiritual outreach to community service
  • Build authentic relationships
  • Prepare spiritually
  • Listen and learn

 

 


I’m thinking about reconciliation today…

1.jpg…it’s on my mind because this is Advent and we are on a journey to Bethlehem, a journey we take annually as a Church. There was a time when the Church began the season with a period of penitence and fasting. Perhaps these are practices that would serve us well in this current environment.

Have you ever wondered why purple is the liturgical color of Advent? It is to create a visual connection between Advent and Lent, the two periods of preparation for Jesus’ birth and death. For early Christians, it was essential to understand the link between the cradle and the cross—that Jesus came as the “Word made flesh.”

There will be great joy among us as we celebrate in our congregations in the coming days. We will celebrate the coming of Christ’s birth. Will we also hold before us the tension held within the reality that his life led to his crucifixion, resurrection and the promise of new life for all of us?

Kate Lasso, a member of the Eighth Day Faith Community suggests that during Advent we celebrate God’s invitation to reconciliation. To be reconciled to God is to be actively living what Jesus taught: Love God and love neighbor. Jesus’ invitation is also a call to discipleship.

Lasso continues: “The first ones to hear the news, and thus mark the advent of an age of reconciliation with God, were poor shepherds, some of the lowest ranking members of Jewish society. Their work made it impossible for them to observe the Jewish ceremonial laws and temple rituals, so they were considered religiously unclean and unacceptable. They weren’t considered trustworthy and were not allowed to give testimony in a Jewish court of law. They were social outcasts, yet they are at the heart of the joyous message—that Christ came for lowly shepherds, for all the forgotten people of the earth, for all of us.”

To be engaged in discipleship is to choose downward mobility. It is to take up one’s cross and follow daily our Leader. It is to be so in love with God that love for neighbor is the natural response. As you make preparations, make room. Make room in your heart, in your family, in your work, and in your re-creation. When you do, you will be ready for Christmas in the deepest places of your soul and you will be one with Christ and one with each other.

Advent Peace,
Bill McAlilly

> The TN Conference Children & Families Ministry is publishing an excellent daily Advent devotional via email, CLICK HERE to subscribe – I recommend it!
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Council of Bishops takes action following same-gender ceremony

wtm.jpgBrothers and Sisters in Christ,

Over the last several days the United Methodist Council of Bishops has been in session at Lake Junaluska, NC. Of the many topics on the agenda this week, none was more significant or more engaging than the discussion that resulted in this statement (posted below).

This statement from the Council of Bishops is a result of discernment, prayer, and deep reflection. It arises out of the recent actions of retired Bishop Melvin Talbert in the residential area of Bishop Debra Wallace-Padget.

Retired and resident bishops of The United Methodist Church throughout the world came to the Council of Bishops with widely different contexts, culturally and theologically, to craft the following points:
1. An acknowledgement of our dependence on God and our need for prayer
2. A recognition that United Methodists are not of one mind on the subject of human sexuality, and that there are deep divisions among Christians who read scripture in different ways and whose consciences move them to opposing convictions.
3. A direct response to the action of Bishop Talbert, which was in violation of the 2012 Book of Discipline by undermining the ministry of another.
4. A commitment to lead honest and respectful conversations around human sexuality, race, and gender in light of our theological convictions for the sake of our mission.

I ask you to note three facets of this development:
1. The General Conference, not the Council of Bishops, speaks for The United Methodist Church.
2. The Council of Bishops does not hold an individual bishop accountable; this practice is given by the General Conference to the (jurisdictional) College of Bishops.
3. The response of the bishops is a reflection on two subjects: a) the violation of the Discipline by a member of the clergy, b) the ongoing struggle of the church with our ministry with gay and lesbian persons.

As the resident bishop of the Memphis and Tennessee Conferences, I take seriously the calling to be a shepherd to the clergy and laity of the Nashville Area. I am aware that there are deep divisions among us on this subject. We are in a difficult time as we navigate the changing cultural landscape. We are also an incredibly diverse Church. I covet your prayers for all who are harmed by this action.

Peace and Deep Prayer,
– Bishop William T. “Bill” McAlilly

*For those who follow a number of bishops on these matters, Bishop Ken Carter was the chief architect of the above statement with slight variations for the Nashville Area. I am indebted to Bishop Carter for sharing his willingness to be collaborative. A small group of bishop colleagues collaborate on a number of issues of this nature from time to time.


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | Council of Bishops
Contact: Diane Degnan (email)

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C.: Following the action of a retired bishop to conduct a same-gender ceremony in violation of church law, the United Methodist Council of Bishops took a series of actions to address the issue during their annual meeting this week in Lake Junaluska, N.C.

The Council requested that Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, president of the Council, and Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett of the North Alabama Conference file a complaint regarding Bishop Melvin Talbert’s action, for “undermining the ministry of a colleague and conducting a ceremony to celebrate the marriage of a same gender couple.”

“When there are violations of the Book of Discipline, a response is required,” the bishops said in a statement.

The Council also voted to initiate a task force to lead conversations about human sexuality, race and gender in a global perspective. The goal of this effort is to come to a shared theological understanding amid diverse opinions in the church about these issues.

These actions followed days of prayerful discernment and conversation about the action it would take after retired Bishop Melvin Talbert conducted a ceremony on Oct. 26 celebrating the marriage of a same-gender couple in Center Point, Ala. – a chargeable offense for United Methodist clergy.

Church law says that, “Ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches.”

Both the presiding bishop of the North Alabama area where the ceremony took place, Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett, and the Executive Committee of the Council had requested that Bishop Talbert not perform the ceremony.

Under church law, the College of Bishops – which is constituted of the bishops in a jurisdictional or central conference – has authority and accountability for processing complaints against a bishop who serves (or served) in that area, which would be the Western Jurisdiction in this instance.

Earlier this week in the President’s Address, Bishop Wenner acknowledged there is diversity of opinion about many issues in the church. “We have to lead together although we are not one minded. We do not need to hide that we are diverse,” she said. In the address, she also noted, “Serious conflicts have to be brought to the tables where leaders are present,” an acknowledgment that supports the plan for further discussion of the issue through a task force.

In a statement, the Council said that when followers of Christ and people of conscience hold conflicting views, honest and respectful conversation and prayer are needed throughout the church. The Council expressed pastoral care and concern for all people. (Read the full statement online.)

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Council of Bishops meet at Lake Junaluska

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 | Council of Bishops
Media contact: Diane Degnan (email)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – United Methodist bishops from around the globe will gather in North Carolina at the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center for the Council of Bishops meeting, November 10-15, 2013.

“The clear priority for the Council of Bishops is to increase vitality in our congregations in all the regions where we are present,” said Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, president of the Council. “We will engage in prayer, theological reflection and visioning so that we help one another to train leaders, to create new faith communities, and to engage in ministries with the poor and health programs like Imagine No Malaria.”

On Sunday, November 10, a memorial service will be held at First United Methodist Church in Waynesville. Bishop Wenner will present the President’s Address at 9:45 am on Monday. On Wednesday, the Council will travel to the Qualla Boundary, which is part of the original homeland of the Cherokee Nation. The area is currently home to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, direct descendants of those who were able to avoid forced removal to the area that is now Oklahoma.

“We will spend an afternoon with our sisters and brothers of the Cherokee Nation, following up on Acts of Repentance at General Conference,” said Bishop Larry Goodpaster of the Western North Carolina Episcopal Area. “We will remember the start of the Trail of Tears 175 years ago and point toward our Council meeting in Oklahoma later this quadrennium,” he said, referring to the Council meeting scheduled for November 2014.

The Council will spiritually center itself in daily worship and communion, along with small covenant groups for prayer and reflection. Plenary sessions, held each morning Monday-Friday, as well as Monday, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, are open to the news media and the public. Among other reports, some of the items that will be discussed include:
• Objectives for the quadrennium: adaptive challenges and vital congregations
• Four Areas of Focus,  agency alignment, 2016 budget process
• Elections: President, President-Designate, Secretary
• Preparing for 2016 General Conference
• Imagine No Malaria
• 2016 Episcopal Address
• Theological foundations of United Methodist identity and mission

During the six-day meeting, the bishops will also have various small group meetings, including accountability groups which were created as part of a covenant to hold one another accountable as they work together to increase the number of vital congregations and engage congregations in mission and ministry in the Four Areas of Focus.

About the Council of Bishops
 | The Council of Bishops – made up of 46 active bishops in the United States, 20 bishops in Europe, Asia and Africa, and 97 retired bishops worldwide – provides leadership and helps set the direction of the 12 million-member church and its mission throughout the world. The bishops are the top clergy leaders of The United Methodist Church, the second largest Protestant denomination in the U.S.


Area-wide training event featuring Dr. Derrick-Lewis Noble, Jan. 18

January 18, 2014 – 8:30 am to 4:30 pm | Location: Brentwood UMC (MAP) | Please RSVP by Jan. 6, 2014

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Bishop Bill McAlilly has announced an Area-wide training event for all Memphis and Tennessee Conference local church clergy and lay leadership scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 at Brentwood UMC in Brentwood, TN.

The training event will feature Bishop Bill McAlilly and Dr. Derrick-Lewis Noble, a United Methodist pastor from Los Angeles, CA, who was also featured Bible Study leader at both the Memphis and Tennessee Annual Conferences this past June. The theme for the event is “Evangelism & Mission: Making Discipleship Possible.” The event will be an all-day gathering with registration beginning at 8:30 am. More details and an agenda will be released shortly.

Pre-registration is available online for $10, which covers lunch and materials. All registrations for the event will close on January 6, 2014.

REGISTRATION:
> Online registration: CLICK HERE
> DOWNLOAD mail-in registration form (.PDF)


Thanks Be To God!

Do not grow weary in well doing for in due season you shall reap if you do not lose heart. Galatians 6:9

Five months ago we placed before the Nashville Area of the United Methodist Church to challenge to raise $87,500.00 to assist in building an episcopal residence for Bishop Unda Yemba Gabriel. I am happy to share with you today that we have exceeded our goal!

As of today, October 29, 2013, we have these totals:
Memphis Conference:      $55,894
Tennessee Conference:    $34,862
Total: $90,757

vid.pngA special thanks goes to the Youth of Martin First United Methodist Church who raised $6,700!  Three youth delegates from Martin FUMC were delegates to Annual Conference came home and decided to tackle this challenge and did they ever! I’m convinced the Martin youth set the pace and helped us reach our goal.

I look forward to greeting Bishop Unda in November at the Council of Bishops meeting and sharing this great news with him. Additionally, we are having conversations with Bishop Unda about preaching for us at the 2014 annual conferences.  He has tentatively agreed to be with us. His God Story will touch you deeply.

In keeping with our desire to follow Jesus into the neighborhood, you are blessing our brother in Christ and his family even as they grieve the loss of his daughter and sister Kabibi. I can not thank you enough for making a way where there was no way.

As we continue to journey together, may the peace of Christ dwell richly within you.

Expecting Greater Things!
Bishop Bill


Please pray and display Christ-like spirit in midst of our disagreement

Notice: Below is an image of letter head and a letter from the desk of Bishop McAlilly. If you can not see the image/read text, please CLICK HERE.

Talbertfinal

More resources:
CLICK HERE to read “Bishops urge Bishop Talbert not to officiate same-sex union” by United Methodist Communications


The finish line in sight!

1.jpgSince Annual Conference, we have been drawing closer and closer to our goal of $87,500 to build the parsonage for the Bishop of the East Congo Annual Conference.

With the most recent tally, here is what has been contributed:

The Memphis Conference has contributed $52,136.66.
The Tennessee Conference has contributed $31,892.33.
The total raised as of this blog post is $84,023.99!!!

It would be great to be able to share with East Congo Bishop Unda Yemba at the Council of Bishops meeting in November that we have accomplished our goal. You will be reminded that in May when I last spoke with Bishop Yemba about this opportunity, he said, “I need a place for my family to live.” Bishop Yemba currently has no residence to lay his head, and remains separated from his family for long periods of time. This offering will build an episcopal residence which will also include permanent office space for the conference.

All we need is 35 churches to step up with a $100.00 donation. A special thanks to all who have gone the second mile to make this happen. Youth groups and many of our small membership churches have stepped up to make sacrifical gifts to help us reach our goal.

Expecting Greater Things!
Bishop McAlilly


Growing Community

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by Heather Heinzman*

2.jpgA few years ago, Highland United Methodist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina was contemplating using a portion of their precious green space to expand the parking for crowded Sunday mornings and highly attended special events. At certain times of the morning, a parking spot could not be found, and people were forced to park up and down the streets bordering the property. But was this really the best use for the land?

Highland UMC had hosted a weekday English as a Second Language (ESL) program for several years, and as some of the church leadership began connecting with the staff and students, a greater use for the proposed parking lot emerged—a community garden. Many of the students came from agricultural areas and not only missed farming the land, but could not afford to buy fresh, healthy produce at the grocery store. After gaining support from the congregation, including a member with a background in agriculture who agreed to head up the project, the Highland Victory Garden was born.

The results from the garden far exceeded expectations. Not only were church members and ESL students working side-by-side in the dirt, other residents in the community volunteered and joined in the effort. The garden also became a place of refuge. People driving by would stop to spend a moment on one of the benches interspersed between the beds, and family members of patients at the nearby hospital would come to the garden for some quiet time away from their loved one’s bedside.

Within a year, the Highland Victory Garden produced enough food to not only feed those who regularly worked in the garden, but provided hundreds of pounds of fresh, healthy food for the local food bank. As churches and community groups were inspired by the garden, at least forty other gardens were also started in the area.

– – –

Questions for Discussion

• How are your church’s resources utilized? Are you building bigger barns or seeking to use your resources to meet needs in the community?
• How is your congregation intentionally building relationships with its neighbors, particularly those who are the most vulnerable?
• Are you aware of the needs and hopes of your neighbors? What are you currently doing to be Christ’s hands and feet to bring hope?

*Heather Heinzman Lear is Director of Evangelism Ministries at GBOD. She can be reached at hlear@gbod.org. You can read more about the Highland Victory Garden at http://www.highlandumc.org.

– – –

About Romans 12 | Romans 12 is a project of the General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church to communicate effective principles and practices demonstrated by congregations that are actively making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

These congregations are marked by:
– Clarity around the mission and vision of the congregation.
– Practice of spiritual disciplines, both corporately and individually.
– Nurture of growth in discipleship through mutual support and accountability.
– Cultivation of intentional and mutual relationships with the most vulnerable–the poor, children, the imprisoned, the powerless.
– Consistent concern for inviting people into relationship with Jesus Christ, combined with wise practices for initiating them into the Body of Christ.
– Connectional relationships that facilitate participation in God’s mission of global transformation.
– Shared clergy and lay leadership.

Romans 12 Newsletter. Issue #174 © 2013 GBOD. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to copy this newsletter for use in United Methodist congregations. This newsletter is provided as a service of the General Board of Discipleship and is funded through World Service apportionment giving by local United Methodist congregations.To subscribe or discontinue a subscription contact Deb Smith at dsmith@gbod.org. For previous issues of the newsletter go to www.gbod.org/Romans12

GBOD | The United Methodist Church (www.GBOD.org)
Toll-free: 877.899.2780
PO Box 340003
Nashville, TN 37203


Rio Grande meets Tennessee River: Leaders participate in international retreat

by Joe Geary

How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity! Psalm 133:1 NRSV

1.jpgBishop McAlilly and leaders from the Nashville Episcopal Area met with their counterparts in Reynosa, Mexico, September 2-4, for an inter-conference and international retreat to plan ministry on both sides of the border. Participating from our region were the Bishop, Area Cabinet, Chairperson of the Area Pacto (covenant) Committee, Rev. Jim Clardy and the CMT Director of the Memphis Annual Conference, Rev. Tom Hazelwood. The theme of the event was taken from the Gospel of John that “they all might become one.”

At the Piedro Angular Campomento (Cornerstone Camp) in Reynosa, we were joined by Bishop Raul Garcia de Ochoa and the Cabinet of the Conferencia Oriental Anual (Eastern Mexico Annual Conference). Also in attendance were Rev. Roberto Gomez Reyes, the liaison for the Pacto to the Nashville Episcopal Area and Mr. Willie Berman who is the General Board of Global Ministries missionary assigned to minister along the corridor bordering the Rio Grande river.

Each Bishop introduced the participants from their respective areas. Opening worship sought the presence of the Holy Spirit to be with us during the retreat. Tables were made up of equal representation from both nations. The event continued with episcopal leaders presenting the flags of our countries. Each contingent then recited pledges of allegiance and sang national anthems.

The retreat continued with reports from both sides touting the progress of our covenant relationship and where each aspect stood in its development. Throughout the three days, worship was interwoven in the schedule. The three Annual Conferences rotated worship leaders, preachers and those offering devotions, testimonies and song. Language and cultural barriers faded away as strangers became colleagues and then brothers and sisters in Christ. Our time was concluded with a powerful celebration of the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

2.jpgThe bulk of our retreat experience was hearing a description of the 27 districts of the three Annual Conferences. Each District Superintendent gave a brief summation of their district including opportunities for mission and ministry. On Tuesday evening, Bishops McAlilly and Garcia asked Superintendents to identify a colleague from the opposite nation. Throughout the experience of the retreat, the Holy Spirit was already building fellowship and affinity amongst the cohort.

Having been paired up as partners, the Superintendents then identified priorities in each district for mutual support. Advance teams will visit one another’s districts in the next few months and then teams will go and work over the coming years. Opportunities exist for local churches to have a sister local church and the same for campus ministries or camping and retreat centers, hospitals and homes.

If you would like to know more, please contact your District Superintendent or Conference CMT Director to express interest and support.

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The Bald Bishop challenge

logo.pngJump to: Ways to give  |  Share, download, print resources

TN Conference Bishop to shave head if $20,000 is raised for YSF

Nashville Episcopal Area Bishop Bill McAlilly has officially issued the Tennessee Annual Conference a challenge…plus a bit of a reward if that challenge can be met or exceeded. After an offering of $1234.06 was given by TN Conference young people at  Summer Sizzler in Beersheba Springs this July for the Youth Service Fund, McAlilly called on the Conference to “expect greater things” and set a goal to raise $20,000 for YSF.

The reward? Bishop McAlilly has promised the Conference a “Bald Bishop” by getting his head shaved if the goal of $20,000 can be met by February 2, 2014. TN UMC Dir. of Young People’s Ministries Brad Fiscus was the lucky recipient of a youth-led head shaving ceremony at Summer Sizzler, the annual Conference young people’s gathering, after the initial $1,000 was raised by the students in time for the summer meeting.

The Feb. 2 deadline date falls in line with the closing of Warmth In Winter 2014 in Murfreesboro, TN, the TN Conference winter youth retreat and the largest Conference-wide event of the calendar year annually. DOWNLOAD a tracker poster on the resources page, keep track of your church’s an/or youth group’s donations, and bring your poster to be presented on the wall at Warmth In Winter.

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Want to experience our appointed Bishop getting the ultimate hair cut in front of an audience of 3,000-plus cheering Conference youth and guests? Please give toward the TN Conference Young People’s Ministries goal of $20,000 for the Youth Service Fund using the info below:

> DONATE ONLINE through PayPal (please remember a 2.9% service charge is applied when processed)

> Drop off a designated donation or mail one to:
TN Conference UMC
ATTN: Brad Fiscus
304 S. Perimeter Park Dr. Suite 1
Nashville, TN 37211
(checks payable to “TN Conference UMC,” memo: “Youth Service Fund” and/or “Bald Bishop”)

* All donations will receive a letter of acknowledgement. Donations of $500 or more will receive an autographed picture of the prospective Bald Bishop if the goal is achieved.

CHURCH RESOURCES:
> Digital materials for your websites and social media outlets
> Print materials for worship bulletins, newsletters, etc.
> Friendly URL: http://www.BaldBishop.tnumc.com
> Twitter: #baldbishopUMC

About Youth Service Fund | YSF provides grants to youth and young adults serving in mission throughout the world as it is described in Acts 1:8. Each year the Tennessee Conference Council on Youth Ministry meets in early May to distribute YSF grant money to youth and young adult teams who submit applications by April 15. Please visit TNUMCyouth.org/ysf/


Report shows older clergy bubble growing larger

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | Lewis Center for Church Leadership
Contact: Joe Arnold (email)

2013 Clergy Age Trends Report Shows Older Clergy Bubble Growing Larger

2.jpgWASHINGTON, D.C. – The number of older clergy continues to grow according to the Clergy Age Trends in the United Methodist Church report released today by the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary. The annual report is prepared with assistance from the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of the United Methodist Church.

Older Clergy Reach Historic High as Share of Elders
• Elders between ages 55 and 72 comprise 54 percent of all active elders, the highest percentage in history. This group reached 50 percent for the first time ever in 2010. This age cohort represented only 30 percent of active elders as recently as 2000. Previously their percentage of the total was even lower.
• This oldest cohort of active elders makes up 59 percent of elders in the Western Jurisdiction and 58 percent in the Northeastern Jurisdiction.
• The median age of elders remains at 55 in 2013, the highest in history, reached first in 2010. The median age was 50 in 2000 and 45 in 1973. The average age remains at 53, an historic high, and the mode age (the single age most represented) is now 61, also a high.

The Percentage of Middle Age Elders Continues to Shrink
• The percentage of elders aged 35 to 54 continues to shrink, from 65 percent of all active elders in 2000 to 39.81 percent in 2013. In addition, the total number of active elders decreased again in 2013 and all the loss took place in the middle age group, with modest increases in actual numbers for both young and older elders.

The Number of Young Clergy Stays about the Same
• There are more young elders, deacons, and local pastors than ten years ago, though the percentage of young elders remains low compared to historical patterns, though the trend line is up modestly but consistently.
• For example, there are more young elders than since before 2000, and the percentage of young elders is higher than since before 2000. Young elders as a percentage of all elders stayed in the 4 percent range in the first half of the 2000s and since then have made steady progress in the 5 percent range, moving closer to the 6 percent or higher range last seen in the 1990s.

Full Report Available for Download
Much more information is available in the complete Clergy Age Trends report, which is available as a free PDF download at http://www.churchleadership.com/clergyage. It shows the average and median ages of elders by United Methodist conference and features a breakdown of young, middle age, and older clergy by conference for elders, deacons, and local pastors.

The Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary is pleased to provide this report as a service to the church.

# # #

About Lewis Center | The Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary seeks to advance the understanding of Christian leadership and promote the effective and faithful practice of Christian leadership in the church and the world. The center is building a new vision for church leadership grounded in faith, informed by knowledge and exercised in effective practice. The center seeks a holistic understanding of leadership that brings together theology and management, scholarship and practice, research and application. The Lewis Center serves as a resource for clergy and lay leaders, congregations and denominational leaders. Through teaching, research, publications and resources, the center supports visionary spiritual leaders and addresses key leadership issues crucial to the church’s faithful witness.


Stewardship Seminar, Aug. 24

1.pngMy Brothers and Sisters,

August 24, 2013 at Calvary United Methodist Church we have an opportunity to deepen our understanding and commitment to our shared life by attending the Stewardship Seminar planned and offered by our United Methodist Foundation for the Memphis and Tennessee Conferences.

If you are looking for a seminar where practical tools will be provided which offer helpful ways to create congregations of generous people, you will not want to miss this opportunity!

Workshops will include:

  • Alternative ways of giving
  • Using traditional and emerging media,
  • Creating Christ-oriented year-round stewardship emphasis,
  • Fostering giving in the Wesleyan tradition,
  • Personal financial programs,
  • Gifts that keep on giving: endowments and planned giving,
  • Capital campaign: why, what, when, and how.

Registration will begin at 8:30 am in the Christian Life Center at Calvary UMC followed by the opening plenary at 9:00 am called “Creating Passionate Givers” by Bishop McAlilly. Address: Calvary UMC:  3701 Hillsboro Pike Nashville, TN 37215 (615) 297.7562

The closing plenary at 2:15 pm titled “Covenant to Start a Fire” will include an address by the new president of the UM Foundation, Rev. Dr. Phil Jamieson.

I am asking leaders, Lay and Clergy, to be in attendance Saturday, August 25 at Calvary.  We welcome lay and clergy from the Tennessee and Memphis Conferences to join us!

I look forward to greeting you,
Bishop McAlilly


Memphis Conference youth lead by example, raise $5k for Congo

Youth at Martin First United Methodist Church work to raise more than $5,000 for East Congo parsonage.

Youth at Martin First UMC show us all how it’s done! There is still time to raise $87,500 to build parsonage in East Congo.

Wow! The youth at Martin First United Methodist Church know how to respond to a challenge.

My request at the 2013 Memphis and Tennessee Annual Conferences in early June was for an additional $250 contribution per church to help us meet the Nashville Episcopal Area goal of $87,500 to build a parsonage (home and office) for the Methodist bishop of the East Congo Episcopal Area in Africa.

It seems youth delegates from Martin First UMC in the Dyersburg District were paying attention. Their youth pastor, Rev. Rebecca Alexander, reported to me this week that they raised more than $5,000 for this project!

Want to know how they did it? Alexander said the youth delegates heard me speak at Annual Conference in Collierville and then returned to Martin with “passion and conviction” to do their part … and more!

“(Martin First UMC) youth chose to raise $5,000 –  not only the $250 for our church, but also $250 for 19 other small congregations that might not have the means to give,” said Alexander.

In a span of 72 hours, the youth sold baked goods, washed cars and gave out bottled water for donations. They promoted their events via social media and on a local radio station. They even knocked on doors.

I am so proud of these youth. I want to thank them on behalf of Bishop Gabriel Unda Yemba whose East Congo Episcopal Area in Africa so desperately needs this parsonage to continue to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

As I’ve shared before, the East Congo Area includes three conferences, 17 districts and more than 349,000 members. By comparison, the Nashville Area is two conferences, 14 districts and 201,000 members. This $87,500 is obtainable. Unfortunately, as of July 31, our collective total is just $47,000. That’s an approximate figure based on money received and more gifts we know are on the way.

The youth of Martin First UMC have set a stellar example of hard work and devotion to a most worthy cause. I appreciate them and all who have made and will make contributions.

The Memphis and Tennessee Conferences have each been operating with different deadlines on this initiative, but today I want to announce we are extending the deadline for more donations through Sept. 15. Please, if you have not contributed so far OR if you are able to make an additional gift, read below how you may do so in your conference (online or by mail).

TENNESSEE CONFERENCE DONATION
Online: CLICK HERE
By Mail: Make out checks to “TN Conference UMC” with “East Congo Episcopal Area” in the memo line. Mail to Tennessee Conference Treasurer, 304 South Perimeter Park Drive, Suite 6, Nashville, TN, 37211.

MEMPHIS CONFERENCE DONATION
Online: CLICK HERE
By Mail: Make out checks to “Memphis Conference Treasurer” with “East Congo Parsonage” in the memo line. Mail to Treasurer’s Office, Memphis Conference-United Methodist Church, 24 Corporate Blvd., Jackson, TN 38305.  Churches should use line 50 of the remittance form. Personal checks should include church name to receive Advance Special credit.

~ Bishop Bill McAlilly


Area-wide retreat for Clergy Women, Sep. 26-27

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September 26-27, 2013 | Location: Beersheba Springs Assembly (MAP) | Please RSVP by Sep. 18

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Memphis & TN Conferences | Featuring Bishop Bill McAlilly
Delightful, interesting, thought provoking…moving”

> ONLINE REGISTRATION

THURSDAY
:
Arrive 5:30 pm for registration (either eat before you come or enjoy snacks provided)
7:00: Fun and games/get acquainted
8:00: Bishop McAlilly
9:00: Evening Devotional (Memphis)

FRIDAY
:
7:00 am: Breakfast
9:00: Morning Devotional (Tennessee)
9:30: Conversation
Noon: Lunch
1:00 pm: Local sights
2:30: Closing Conversation
3:30: Depart

> Cost: $60/room (2 per room covering Thursday evening lodging, snacks, and 2 meals on Friday)
Mail registration form and $25.00 deposit by 9/18 to:
316 W. Lytle Suite 101
Murfreesboro, TN  37130