Monday, June 28, 2010

You know you're living in 2010 because ...

  1. You accidentally enter your ATM pin number on your microwave touchpad.
  2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.
  3. You have 15 phone numbers to reach your family of four.
  4. Your excuse for not staying in touch with family and friends is that you don't know their e-mail addresses.
  5. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to find out if anyone is at home to help you carry in the groceries.
  6. When you get a recommendation for something, you immediately Google it to find out the real scoop.
  7. Leaving the house without your cell phone (which you didn't have for the first several dozen years of your life) is a cause for panic. You immediately turn around to retrieve it. If it's too late, you later apologize to someone that you were out of reach.
  8. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.
  9. You don't know when your favorite television programs come on, because your Tivo takes care of everything.
  10. You don’t understand why they say, “Turn to hymn #373,” because the words are on the big screen.
  11. When you wake up in the middle of the night you check your Blackberry to see if you have a message from anyone.
  12. You go online in the morning before your coffee is ready.
  13. When the minister reads the Bible in worship you follow along on your iPhone.
  14. You tell your friends to “Facebook me later.”
  15. You start tilting you head sideways to smile. :)
  16. You are reading this and nodding and laughing.
  17. Even worse, you know exactly who you are going to forward this message.
  18. You are too busy to notice there was no # 9 on this list.
  19. You actually scrolled back to check that there was no #9 on this list.

--adapted from North Georgia e-newsletter

God Is Still In Control!

Miss Lladale Carey
Web Producer
United Methodist Communications

Monday, June 21, 2010

Stewarding Church Technology

Amid the fallout from the economic recession, forecasters indicated that this recession is different from previous ones. One of the key differences is the advancement of technology. Cable news reported that technology has changed the “playing fields” of the financial markets and indexes. Moreover, these reports concluded that nations with predominant populations of persons educated in the use of technology will experience a quicker overall financial recovery.

Technological change in the financial world is rapidly impacting the average person. We have been launched into an age of the global economy. Multinational companies, political alliances, and distribution of natural resources are changing our economic landscape in ways not previously imagined. Even now as some economies are beginning to show a glimmer of recovery, firms and political systems are repositioning to maximize potential benefits.

Society has always experienced change, but perhaps the speed of change has achieved a revolutionized pace – the nanosecond. Technology changes are a leading indicator that rapid change is the new constant. The mass ownership of computers has revolutionized our interaction with people as well as information. E-mails, instant messages, electronic transactions, webcasting, and videoconferencing are among a few of these typical interactions. Consider some others: Do you read your church newsletter on-line? Does your church have a Facebook page? Do you Twitter about Bible studies, sermons, or other church-related activities? Do you stop at a giving kiosk to contribute your offering prior to entering the worship service?

Some churches are hesitant to embrace technological change. For instance, while many growing churches offer worship experiences interspersed with various technologies, other churches are hesitant to expand beyond its historic tradition. How do stewards of God’s resources manage this change without losing focus on making disciples of Jesus Christ?

First, we recognize that technology, like money, is not inherently good or evil. An electronic fund transfer, a giving kiosk, or a computer is not designed with a pre-determined moral code! The use of the technology is the key to unlocking whether or not the technology may advance God’s Kingdom through the Church. Many types of technology may, in fact, encourage discipleship and draw younger generations deeper in their spiritual journeys.

However, we continually are to rely on our daily, humble walk with God. The use of technology may enhance, but will not replace, our stewardship of prayers, presence, gifts, witness, and service. Daily prayer, Bible study, devotion, and meditation remain steadfast practices leading to spiritual wholeness. Worship services are opportunities for us to be stewards in a communal way. We are called to be stewards of the Gospel! As Paul wrote, “They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous and ready to share . . . so that they may take hold of the life that really is life.” I Timothy 6:18-19

Second, we become stewards of technology in order to reach new generations. Churches often lag significantly behind other organizations in their use of new technology. Some of this lag time is due, in part, to fear of change, perceived financial limitations, and lack of vision. Yet, increased technology may attract new parishioners. It may facilitate enhanced pastoral care or streamlined office services. In fact, it may even lead to increased giving.

Third, we confront our self-serving desire for new technology. If we begin purchasing the latest technology simply for the pleasure of having it, we are absorbed by the hyperconsumer culture. This self-indulgent behavior does not further our spiritual growth. It leads to the misconception that our wants are really needs. This unbalanced perspective nudges us closer to the challenge: “Choose this day whom you will serve . . . as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

Finally, church leaders seeking to nurture people in their faith development will intentionally embrace new technologies. These technologies will not be considered incompatible with faith practices. Rather, they will be considered enhancements to ministry. Growing congregations that are reaching new generations will initiate these technological advancements at a rapid pace. They will encourage electronic fund transfers, blogs, downloadable sermons, online learning communities, image-driven worship, and a wide assortment of other technologies.

If these technology changes seem too fast, remember that regardless of the pace, God remains constant throughout every nanosecond of eternity!

---Written By David S. Bell
God Is Still In Control
Miss Lladale Carey
Web Producer
United Methodist Communications

Monday, June 14, 2010

Advocate for Native American Ministries Sunday, World Communion Sunday, and United Methodist Student Day

Nurture. Advocate. Give.

As a member of your local church or annual conference you can help champion the cause for the churchwide Special Sundays by becoming an advocate.

As an advocate, you would have three primary tasks:
  1. Speak with your pastor about collection of each Sunday.
  2. To lead the effort to celebrate and give to the Special Sundays offerings year-round, either through the local church or by encouraging your friends to give to these ministries online.
  3. To speak to other congregations to garner support for the Special Sundays offerings.
Advocates will be provided with presentation information and a planning guide. These materials may be adapted to fit your audience. To become an advocate, please email us at with your contact, local church and conference information. We will schedule a telephone session to allow you to ask questions and receive additional information about your role as an advocate.

Native American Ministries Sunday gifts help to develop and strengthen Native American ministries within the annual conference, provide scholarship for Native Americans attending UM schools of theology and other approved by the University Senate of the UMC and expand the number of target cities in the Native AMerican Urban Inititative.

World Communion Sunday gifts result in scholarships distributed by General Board of Global Ministries with at least one-half of the annual amount for ministries beyond the US; the Ethnic Scholarship program and the Ethnic In-Service Training Program.

United Methodist Student Day gifts support United Methodist scholarships and the UM Student Loan Fund, administered by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Annual conferences participating in the Rebate Program may award one or more merit scholarhips to UM students. Participating conference may awared scholarships to UM students who reside in the conference and who attend or will attend a United Methodist-related college or university.

How to help
1. Give online or through your local church.
2. Give a gift in someone's honor. (birthday, anniversary or a memorial)

Native American Ministries Sunday
World Communion Sunday
United Methodist Student Day

God Is Still In Control!

Miss Lladale Carey
Web Producer
United Methodist Communications

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Giving means thinking positively

“Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times.” (Ephesians 5:16 The Message)

Tax time has passed. Aside from the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, it can be one of the most stressful times of the year for many people. For many it means paying at least a bit more to pay that bill in full. Still others are excited to finish the task because they’ve been planning and looking forward to the “gift” they’re receiving with their refund.

The number one reason for marital breakdown is financial conflict. Therefore, tax time is also the time to take extra care in your relationships as you review receipts, checkbooks, and 1040 forms.

Even if you didn’t lose your job in the recession, chances are you’re worried about the economy and how it may affect you and those you love. What about your church? How are those in your church weathering the financial storm of the last few years? Has the recession provided new opportunities for spiritual growth and ministry? Or, has it encouraged conflict and “blaming” to run rampant in meetings and parking lot conversations?

Remember that when finances are tight, tempers tend to be short. How can we be care-full in our ministry? Let’s remember that the primary mission of the church is to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”

Perhaps in these difficult times, we might do as Paul instructed the Ephesians to “make the most of every chance we get” to live the love that is ours through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. These are “desperate times,” so let’s outdo one another in love when we’re tempted to give in to the “crabby bug.” Pastors and leaders can only work with the resources at hand. Whether you still have a well-paying job, you’re unemployed, retired, or you’ve settled for a lesser-paying job, together let’s find a way to give our time, talent, and treasures to say “THANK YOU” to God for the blessings we’ve received.

--adapted from WI ann conf newsletter
God Is Still In Control!

Miss Lladale Carey
Web Producer
United Methodist Communications

To Learn how you can be good stewards in the United Methodsit Church, click here.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

2009-2012 UM Handbook Jeopardy Game

Want a FUN way to learn more about the United Methodist Church?

Try our "Jeopardy Game".

Created by Rev. Barbara Ross, North Royalton UMC, East Ohio

CATEGORY: The Church Today/General Information

Question #1

For 10 points:

The answer is . . .

*Developing principled Christian leaders for the church and world
*Creating new places for new people and renewing existing congregations
*Engaging in ministry with the poor
*Stamping out the killer diseases of poverty by improving health globally

Your answer must be in a form of a question.
Click here for a PDF of the complete game.