New and Renewing Churches Newsletter - January 2022

January 13, 2022

A quarterly newsletter from New and Renewing Churches
North Alabama Conference

A Word From Our Director

Happy New Year! It’s 2022? Can you believe it? A brand new year. A blank sheet of paper. A second chance. What can we do with the gift of a new year?

Years ago, I was on a youth mission trip, and as our youth served at an inner-city mission, I inquired of the mission director, “What’s it been like to serve here for so many years?” He paused for a moment, then reflected, “It’s been hard, but it’s been good.”  I tucked his words inside my heart that day,   

His powerful words are worth contemplating as we work to rebuild “what was” in our churches knowing we must accept the hard truth that “what was” will never again be “what is.” It’s been hard. Can we acknowledge it?

Think of all the ways it’s been hard- gathering vs. not gathering, less than full sanctuaries, fewer volunteers, AWOL congregants, masks vs. no masks, etc. And that’s just church. It’s also been hard on our spirits and on the people we love. Yes, it’s been hard, but can we also acknowledge that it’s also been good?

We have survived. We have persevered. We have embraced new things. Can you believe we actually looked technology square in the face and continue to use it to reach people for Jesus?! We developed new ways to do new things, and in the process, we learned to live with new expectations.

We learned to rely less on ourselves and more on God. We learned the pandemic is not the end of our story; our story continues. The best ways of doing ministry are yet to be found. It’s been good for us to consider and embrace new ways to reach new people.

In the midst of the good, there are so many opportunities to do a new thing. There are so many people we have yet to reach. We do new things because we recognize there are so many people who have lived through hard things and are in desperate need of some good news- the good news of Jesus Christ. What will you do with 2022? What will your church do with 2022?

If God has laid a desire on your heart to do something new to reach new people for Jesus, please let us know so we can cheer you on, pray for you, and provide support. In 2022, we believe the best is yet to come.

Let us help you embrace the good as you overcome the hard by doing something new.

Praying for you as we do hard things and good things together,

Reverend Suzanne Katschke
Executive Director - New and Renewing Churches
North Alabama Conference
suzanne.katschke@umcna.org
256-797-1914

 

“We Do New” Spotlight

Dinner Churches

The gospel story is filled with stories of food shared around a table. We’ve all experienced the power of conversation uniting people as they share a meal with others. Dinner churches are a great way to do something new to reach new people. You can bring people of every age, race, and economic background together to discuss how their faith and lives intersect around the teachings of Jesus. Interested? Want to learn more? New and Renewing Churches can help. Contact us today.

What new thing has your church done recently? We welcome your submissions to share with others. Submit your “We Do New” stories to suzanne.katschke@umcna.org

 

How can we help?

Grants:*

New and Renewing Churches offers financial support to do something new. We offer New Church grants, Online Ministry grants, and “We Do New” grants.

Check out our grant opportunities here. ?

*Please note: our grants are not just for new churches; if your church wants to do something new to reach people for Christ, we want to hear about it.

 

Celebrate Recovery:

Your church can help reach new people through a Celebrate Recovery ministry - a program designed for anyone struggling with hurt, pain, or addiction of any kind. If your church is interested in starting a Celebrate Recovery ministry, contact your District Director of Celebrate Recovery Ministries or email us. Check out this video from our Conference Celebrate Recovery Director, Neal Fuller, on the pandemic’s effects on mental health.

Play Video ?

Training opportunities:

New and Renewing Churches offers trainings to equip you to do new things in your ministry context. Open to clergy and laity, upcoming trainings are listed below: 

New Churches for a New World

Saturdays in February from 9 a.m. to noon.

Want to learn how to do new things to reach new people? The Asbury Church Planting Initiative is offering a four week training that will empower you to do new things. Participants will engage with in this live virtual event led by world-class scholars and expert practitioners (Dr. Jay Moon, Dr. Winfield Bevins, Dr. Tony Headley, Dr. Emilio Alvarez, and Dr. Brian Taylor) over the course of four Saturday workshops.

Register Here ?

New and Renewing Churches have some scholarships available to attend this incredible training If you are interested, contact our Executive Director, Suzanne Katschke @suzanne.katschke@umcna.org.

 

Coffee Break

March 8 from 10 -11 a.m.

Want to do something new to reach new people, but need some ideas? Coffee Break is a quarterly informal Zoom discussion filled with ideas and conversation on new ways to do new things to reach new people. Grab your coffee and join us!

Sign up via email to our Executive Director Suzanne Katschke at suzanne.katschke@umcna.org.

 

MissionInsite

Want to learn about your community? MissionInsite is the place to start. MissionInsite is an effective and free tool sponsored by the Conference that churches can use to gain valuable demographic data about your community. Who lives there? What are their ages? How many people are unchurched? MissionInsite provides valuable data on income levels, education, ethnicity, and much more.

Contact our Church and Community Strategist Faith Hooper at faith.hooper@umcna.org.

 

Mosaics

After completing MissionInsite, churches can go deeper by utilizing Mosaics. Mosaics can answer questions such as: What kind hospitality are people looking for? What ministry or outreach are they in need of? What are their communication preferences? How do they best connect to a church? Mosaics can help your church find ways to better connect to your community, growth opportunities, and even identify potential new ministries to enable you to do something new.

Contact our Church and Community Strategist Faith Hooper at faith.hooper@umcna.org.

 

Social Media

In our ever evolving world, it is more important than ever for your church to have a quality website and social media presence. Are you struggling with where to start? Do you need help with what to post, when to post, or where to post? Are you unsure of how to organize your website? Or maybe you’d just like a fresh set of eyes to help you identify areas of improvement. Whatever the case may be we are here to help.

Contact Faith Hooper at faith.hooper@umcna.org.

 

Book Corner

Below is a recommendation to assist you as we strive to do new things to reach new people. We’d love to hear your recommendations!


Future Church

by Will Mancini

When most pastors enter vocational ministry, they are in tune with the mission of Jesus. But what if, over time, we've settled for something less than what Jesus intended for the church? There's no reason why we can’t accelerate the disciple-making mission of Jesus today. We simply need new imagination, new tools, and new conversations to help us design the Future Church. Let’s find new ways to reach new people for Jesus Christ.

   
   

 

 
   

 

 

Meet our Team

New and Renewing Churches is grateful for our New and Renewing Churches team. Each member is committed to our initiative, “We Do New,” as they live it out in their ministry contexts. Our team has expertise in doing new things. We are here to assist you. Feel free to contact them. They would love to have a conversation with you!

New and Renewing Churches Team:

New and Renewing Churches Staff:

 

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