Mission Information for Your Church as We Start 2018

1/16/2018

Rev. Scott Parrish shares the following important mission updates for your church. From preparation to training to dreaming, these are timely topics to be sure your congregation considers. 

Church of Excellence

Church of Excellence offers any size church, with any level of mission experience, a guide to create a strong United Methodist-approach to mission for their congregation. Find the criteria, with an accompanying link with more details, at https://www.ngumc.org/churchofexcellenceinoutreach.  Note that churches having met the requirements last year have until January 31 to submit their application. A special presentation is made at Annual Conference recognizing congregations who meet the criteria. Please encourage your church to use this format as you lead your congregation in mission this year. 

Disaster Response Training

We are offering 9 upcoming regional training events across North Georgia for Early Response team training. These classes are for people new to Early Response Team as well as renewals. Please help us get the word out, and recruit from your church, as we hope every congregation has one or two people who are currently badged as ERT as this is the entry-level disaster response training. 

See https://www.ngumc.org/newsdetail/save-the-date-ert-trainings-10530318 for locations and registration.

Last hurricane season revealed that many of us didn't have a plan, the preparation, or the network in place. Now is a great time to get training and develop a church team and congregational awareness of disaster response ministry. In addition to these regional events we can also offer a curriculum called "Connecting Neighbors" to assist in local ministry.

Disaster Response Teams

Please encourage church mission teams to send a group, or groups, to Florida as a mission priority at this time. This could be a group from a congregation, cluster or connection group of churches, or a district team. It is a great way to rally around a high need cause, and learn about disaster response while assisting others in their time of great need. See the appeal from Bishop Sue and Bishop Carter at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozZ__btdvAs&t=5s .  A team leader can sign up directly at https://www.flumc.org/disaster-response and would do all the coordination and receive the assignment directly from Florida.

Puerto Rico will soon be able to receive experienced ERT teams, but due to the challenges of the host sites and coordination in PR this is still delayed. In my role as conference disaster response coordinator, I am the best contact for the most experienced ERT teams who are interested in serving in Puerto Rico.

Of course, there are existing needs from previous disasters throughout the southeast and beyond. After churches take that first step in Fla., or have extra teams with requested skills, find the list for direct contacts at  http://umvim.org/go/disaster_response/disaster_response_projects.html  

Church & Community Consulting 

A personal favorite topic for me revolves around church vitality in the community. By this I don’t mean local mission, defined as every nonprofit in the area getting church member's time and funding, nor as a variety of disconnected activities and projects. Instead, I’m talking about the church members being a strong witness in the community, individually and collectively as the Body of Christ, and creating a strong flow of the church into the community and the community into the church.

Yet a lot of churches don't do much intentional evaluation, nor have ideas on models or strategies, and struggle to get beyond their old habits. I’m available for consultation in this and can join alongside your congregation in assisting with assessment and possible next steps. I'd be pleased to assist your congregation in this dynamic adventure for Christ. Contact me by email


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