UMsConnected offers a variety of resources. Some already exist, and others will be produced by us in the future. We also link with other ministries that have beneficial resources for you.
Live Resources are offered through Zoom. Here are currently available opportunities…
“Kindred”—a weekly (Monday evening) Zoom group for young adults. Links to the meetings are posted on the website and Facebook page. For more about “Kindred,” see the “Belonging” icon on the website homepage.
“Conversations”–a monthly meeting with a featured guest with whom we visit relative to a specific theme. Participants suggest the topics for subsequent meetings, so that each one meets a real need. For more about “Conversations,” see the “Belonging” icon on the website homepage.
In the near future we will add the following live ministries via Zoom…
“Epworth Group”–a monthly spiritual formation group in the spirit of the Methodist Class Meeting, where people “watched over one another in love” and practiced the means of grace. The Class Meeting was also a ministry that reached beyond itself through a variety of services in the world. We aim for the same experience in our Epworth Group.
“Living Faith”–a group that represents the ancient disciplines of common reading and holy conferencing. Dr. Paul Chilcote will host this meeting.
Foundational Resources exist to ground you in Wesleyan spiritual formation…
(1) Available through Amplify Media (amplifymedia.com), we recommend a four-book, study experience. Each book is additionally supported by videos and leader/participant guides.
‘Three Simple Rules’ by Rueben Job
‘Five Marks of a Methodist’ by Steve Harper
‘Five Means of Grace’ by Elaine Heath
‘One Faithful Promise’ by Magrey deVega
(2) If your group is a Bible study group, we recommend that you use John Wesley’s ‘Notes on the Bible,’ available as an ebook, and ‘The Wesley Study Bible’ available from Abingdon Press. These two resources will weave distinctively Wesleyan perspectives into whatever else you are using to enrich your study.
UMsConnected is itself connected, joining with a larger network of spiritual formation and renewal ministries. Here are the current ones. We will add others along the way…
UMC.org. This is the all-around go-to website for resources and updates about the emerging UMC. The information it provides, including links to other ministries is a valuable tool. At this site, you can subscribe to receive a free bi-weekly email called “United Methodist Now” which will keep you updated on all sorts of things.
Amplify Media. The United Methodist Publishing House offers an innovative ministry with a growing number of resources that you can use in your group. In addition to the four resources noted above there are many others that facilitate spiritual formation in the Wesleyan tradition. Here are some examples…
‘A Disciple’s Path: A Guide for United Methodists’ by James Harnish with Justin Larosa.
‘Almost Christmas: A Wesleyan Advent Experience’ by Magrey deVega, Engrid McIntyre, Aoril Casperson, and Matt Rawle
‘All the Good: A Wesleyan Way of Christmas’ by Laceye Warner, Amy Barker, Jung Choi, and Sangwoo Kim
‘The Wesley Challenge’ by Chris Folmsbee
Revival: ‘Faith as Wesley Lived it’ by Adam Hamilton
‘Confirm: Approved United Methodist Confirmation’
‘Earn, Save, Give: Wesley’s Simple Rules for Money’ by James A. Harnish
‘Prayer and Devotional Life of United Methodists’ by Steve Harper (find and order at Abingdon Press site), available as a paperback book or ebook
The Upper Room. Since 1935, this ministry has resourced the spiritual formation of United Methodists (and other denominations) through a variety of ministries. Find out about them at upperroom.org. In addition to the well-known daily devotional guide, we recomnend the ‘Upper Room Disciplines’ for daily reflections that follow the Revised Common Lectionary.
Path 1 at Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church. This innovative ministry focuses on new church starts, but its vision and practices are relevant for existing congregations and groups. Within its larger mission, Michael Beck directs the “Fresh Expressions United Methodist” ministry. Check it out at umdiscipleship.org/equipping-leaders/church-planting
Here is a resource from Path 1 that is of value for laity whose congregations have closed or disaffiliated. Laity who stay in the UMC will have to form new communities where they live. “Lay Planting in Today’s World: Engaging All People with Jesus’ Love’ will help them do that. Here is a link to the resource: https://store.umcdiscipleship.org/product/lay-planting-in-todays-world/
Share Church. A ministry out of the Church of the Resurrection that offers a variety of resources aimed at church renewal and leadership development. See what they have to offer at sharechurch.com
Renovaré. Begun by Richard Foster in 1988, this ministry offers a design and resources for spiritual formation in congregations and groups. See all they have to offer at renovare.org.
Other Formative Resources
(1) The North Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church has a study entitled, “Wesleyan Roots.” The video sessions also have accompanying materials (in English, Spanish, and Korean). The study is available to any individual, group, or congregation. Here is the link to learn more and use it: http://www.ntcumc.org/wesleyanroots.
(2) The “Where Do We Go from Here, UMC?” podcast features conversations with UMC leaders on a variety of topics about the future UMC. Check it out here: https://wheredowegoumc.com/?mc_cid=3a340fd610&mc_eid=9b0897d522
(3) A seminar at Chapelwood UMC in Houston sounded the note of hope as the new UMC emerges. Adam Hamilton and a panel from the Texas Annual Conference explore the future UMC. Here’s the link to watch it: https://vimeo.com/734455031
(4) The “Means of Grace” podcast produced by the Western North Carolina Annual Conferences explores a variety of topics. You can see a list of episodes here: https://www.wnccumc.org/meansofgrace
We update this page when we learn of other benefical resources.
We invite your suggestions for future resources. Contact Dr. Steve Harper at email@example.com