Connections: August 2022

There is a lot happening with UMsConnected, including some new things you will want to tell others about…and…put on your calendar. Read on!

But first….if you have read the last two newsletters, you’ll see that “Wesley Windows” is not here this time. Why? Because we want our monthly newsletter to focus on…well…news–news about UMsConnected as a growing movement. We want the newsletter to provide “news you can use” to enhance your participation in the movement. “Wesley Windows” is moving to the Facebook page with a first Monday of each month afternoon post, beginning in September. This month it posts on the second Monday, August 8th.

So, now we move on to the things we are excited to share with you.

Welcome!!

(1) Kim Ingram is now the co-director of UMsConnected. She is a Deacon in the Western North Carolina Annual Conference, serving as the Director of Ministry Services & Leadership, as well as Conference Secretary. In addition to her WNC ministries, Kim serves on the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM), and as a member of the Southeastern Jurisdiction Episcopal Committee. She joins Steve Harper in the oversight of UMsConnected.

(2) Christy Holden joins the Ministry Team, launching “Kindred,” the new Young Adult ministry of UMsConnected (see additional info below). She is an Elder in the Florida Annual Conference, serving as Director of Gulf Coast Wesley Foundation.

(3) Studio Wesley…this media ministry brings its gifts and expertise to the UMsConnected movement, working to enrich our media and expedite our message. Under Derrick Scott III’s oversight, the studio’s assistance will initially focus on our website, and the creation of a UMsConnected channel on YouTube.


UMsConnected Launches “Kindred”

As we see, divisiveness in society and the church threaten to exclude people from
access to community and connectedness. Kindred, a brand-new faith community for
young adults, offers a time for spiritual growth, deep and open scripture discussion, and
access to meet people and develop relationships. We are a safe space for young adults
to explore Christianity from a progressive point of view. Young adulthood is often riddled
with seasons of constant change and transition. Kindred is a welcoming supportive
community that embraces the changes associated with that growth.

In this digital and diverse community, young adults can experience the United Methodist
Connection in a fresh way as they engage in worship, discipleship and friendship. If this
speaks to you, join our weekly conversations starting Monday, September 12th at 7pm
EST via Zoom. Tell others about Kindred so they can participate too.


Topic: Kindred
Time: Sep 12, 2022 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89527254110?pwd=bWEyL283YW9sck52R2V5UDVqTEJiQT09

Meeting ID: 895 2725 4110
Passcode: 475719

This is also the Zoom link you will use for every Kindred meeting.

To learn more about Kindred, contact Rev. Christy Holden at revchristyallenholden@gmail.com

Belonging

We are not two months old, and already people are asking, “How can I become more personally involved with UmsConnected? They are positive about our website, Facebook page, and podcast, but they want to move beyond media to relationships.

If you are a young adult, Kindred (see above information) exists to help you do that.

We are also launching a second live event in September called “Conversations.” It’s for everyone. Our first one-hour gathering will be on Thursday, September 15th at 7:00 p.m. (ET, USA). Each month, “Conversations” will connect featured guests with UmsConnected folks to talk about a variety of things. Our first meeting will engage UmsConnected leaders with our larger community, exploring “A Future Filled with Hope” (Jeremiah 29:11) as the New Awakening continues and the new UMC emerges. We will post the Zoom link for this gathering soon here on the website and on our Facebook page.


In addition to “Kindred” and “Conversations,” we have two more live ministries on the drawing board,

(1) “Epworth Group”—an online group that will reflect a Methodist-style Class Meeting to focus on spiritual formation in the Wesleyan tradition and “watching over one another in love.”

(2) “Living the Wesleyan Way”—an online group that will be hosted by Dr. Paul Chilcote. Combining the spiritual disciplines of common reading and holy conferencing, this group will experience spiritual formation through a reading-group experience.

We will update you on both of these live ministries here on the website, and on our Facebook page and podcast.

Well…at the top of the newsletter we said there is a lot happening at UmsConnected. We hope one or more of these things will benefit you. Please tell others about UmsConnected. And pray that this new movement will encourage and bless all who participate in it.

New Podcast Series Begins Tuesday

On Tuesday, our UMsConnected podcast moves into a five-part series entitled, “Believing.” We will explore our historic and current foundational theology, using Part III of the UMC Book of Discipline as our guide.

You will get the most out of these episodes if you have a copy of the Book of Discipline to look at as we go along. A free online copy is available from Cokesbury using the link below.

https://www.cokesbury.com/book-of-discipline-book-of-resolutions-free-versions

UMsConnected Podcast: “Connected: Resources” (24:36)

In this episode we look at some of the formative resources the Wesleys provided for the early Methodists. They knew that movements cannot exist over the long haul without resources (informational and structural) to sustain them. We show how UMsConnected aims to do the same today.

https://www.podbean.com/ew/pb-yb72e-1283134

P.S. Next week, we begin a five-part series, “Believing” using the 2016 Book of Discipline (Part III) as our reference. A free online edition is available from Cokesbury using this link: https://www.cokesbury.com/book-of-discipline-book-of-resolutions-free-versions

You can also order a hardcover edition from Cokesbury. Your local church will likely haveva copy that you can borrow.

You will get more out of this series if you have a copy of the Book of Doscipline to look at during the episodes.

Disaffiliations & Lawsuits

As news spreads across the UMC regarding the litigious approach being used by disaffilating churches in the Florida Annual Conference, an FAQ document has been prepared.

If you are in one of the disaffiliating congregations, the FAQ will shed light on your situation. The FAQ will also be useful if you or others you know in Florida (or any other Annual Conference) need to understand what’s going on. Here is the link to the FAQ….

http://www.flumc.org/newsdetail/frequently-asked-questions-regarding-the-disaffiliation-lawsuits-16572512

The Next Podcast Series

Two more podcast episodes (7/19 and 7/26) will continue the “Connected” series, showing how early Methodism created life-together, and how we aim to do the same through UMsConnected.

The next series (five episodes in the month of August) will be entitled, “This We Believe.” It is the next step in the Wesleyan formative flow: belonging, believing, and behaving.

The series comes at a crucial time–a time when lies are being told (e.g. “United Methodists don’t believe in the atoning work of Jesus”) about the United Methodist Church. It is a false indictment that equates individual variance with a denominational stance.

The podcast series, “This We Believe” will reveal the UMC’s theological position, using Part III of our Book of Discipline as the frame of reference. This is where we find our beliefs, where we correct false allegations, and where we make our witness to the world.

UMsConnected Podcast “Connected: Paradigm”

In this episode we use the spiritual formation paradigm developed by Richard Foster and the Renovaré ministry (Vision, Intention, and Means) to look at how early Methodism unfolded, and how we intend for UMsConnected to do so today…

https://www.podbean.com/ea/pb-swbug-126ee9f