Monday, Mar 18, 2019
Bishop Gregory V. and Mrs. Cynthia Palmer will be leading two educational trips to Europe, this year and next. First, from October 1-9, 2019, they will lead the Wesley Heritage Tour through England. Stops will include Epworth, Oxford, Bath, and of course, London. For more information, click here. Then in 2020, Bishop and Cynthia will lead the Alpine Odyssey, a nine-day European adventure to see the Oberammergau Passion Play, from July 27-August 4. Since 1634, t... (read more)
Wednesday, Mar 13, 2019
Beloved in Christ Jesus: I hope you are off to a good start in Lent. Lent for many is a time of reflection and preparation. We are invited to deepen our life in Jesus Christ and prepare for the feast of Easter. This year Lent came in on us on the heels of our Special General Conference. I think that is great timing for United Methodists individually and collectively. Since the General Conference adjourned, its effects are consuming lots of air, energy and even... (read more)
Tuesday, Mar 12, 2019
“Let me tell you how valuable a letter is to an inmate,” starts James Clay, former Horizon Ministry Initiative leader and new member of Grace UMC. Last July, James came to Grace UMC and stayed partly because he connected with a support group for families with incarcerated loved ones lead by Deacon-in-Residence, Rev. Amelia Boomershine. It was at this time that the H.O.P.E. group began to feel the itch to serve others walking on a similar path. James’ new presen... (read more)
Sunday, Mar 10, 2019
Bishop Gregory V. Palmer is appointing the Rev. Calvin Alston Jr. to serve as the Shawnee Valley District superintendent. This appointment is effective July 1, 2019. “Rev. Alston brings to this ministry a tremendous depth of faith in Jesus Christ and the church,” Palmer said. “His life is bathed in prayer. He has an extraordinary ministry tool box born of serving churches of varying sizes, urban and rural and culturally diverse. He has never had a flock he didn... (read more)
Wednesday, Mar 6, 2019
It is not unusual to hear a parishioner say, "We are a friendly church. Why don't visitors come back?" Many congregations struggle to understand why they get visitors who seem to enjoy their visit and say they are returning soon, but never visit again. This can be extremely frustrating, especially for a congregation seeking to grow. The question is, "Why don't they come back?" Lewis Center Director F. Douglas Powe says it's important not only to attract visitor... (read more)
Wednesday, Mar 6, 2019
Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent, a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. Although Ash Wednesday has ancient roots, it does not appear in the rituals of The United Methodist Church or our predecessor denominations until the 20th century. Ash Wednesday emphasizes two themes: our sinfulness before God and our human mortality. The service focuses on both themes, helpin... (read more)
Wednesday, Mar 6, 2019
Many of our youth are trying to navigate the next steps of their faith journey in relation to recent decisions made at GC 2019. Some lament, others rejoice. Some feel ostracized and disheartened while others feel supported and encouraged. Regardless, our youth are asking for a space to talk about the ripple effect of the Conference results. Here are some resources to start or continue the conversation:   Ministry with LGBTQ youth after GC 2019 Helping... (read more)
Wednesday, Mar 6, 2019
Several local churches and pastors from the Foothills District of The West Ohio Conference have joined together to promote healthy habits in their congregations through the new Walk with a Pastor initiative. In partnering with the Walk with a Doc program, churches in Morgan County and the Zanesville area are becoming healthier simply by taking a walk with their pastors. Pastor Elizabeth Reed from Malta United Methodist Church led the first walk on the first Thu... (read more)
Tuesday, Mar 5, 2019
Grace and Peace, Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus, on this Ash Wednesday. I want to begin with a huge thank you for your attentiveness to the work of the recent Special Session of the General Conference. Your interest in and prayers for the mission of The United Methodist Church are heartening. You showed up big for the simulcast. At this count, more than 2300 people went to one of 26 sites and over 1000 have viewed the archive of the event. Let’s keep lear... (read more)
Wednesday, Feb 27, 2019
Beneath the Arch that symbolizes the U.S. Gateway to the West, more than 820 General Conference delegates worked to open a gateway in the denomination’s longtime homosexuality debate. But after four days of prayers, speeches, protests and votes, it remains to be seen whether The United Methodist Church has found a way forward or remains stuck. “It was our aspiration that we would find a way forward beyond our impasse. That was to try to really listen to people... (read more)