SIX-MINUTE STUDY #207
July is typically PRIDE month for parishes in our Diocese who celebrate the LGBTQ2+ community. Here are a number of resources for worship and activity planning.
A PRAYER FOR PRIDE SUNDAY - from Trinity Church, Wall Street
LGBTQ PRIDE LITURGY - St. Mary's Episcopal Church, St. Paul MN.
EQUALLY ANGLICAN Facebook page - This is for LGBTQ friends and family
in the Anglican Church of Canada. Includes couples' stories on videos.
SONGS FOR THE HOLY OTHER - Affirming Hymns. A collection of hymns by, for, or about the LGBTQIA2S+ community — accessible to a wider range of congregations.
SIX-MINUTE STUDY #206
Online Worship Makes Evangelism Less Intimidating for Many
One apparent advantage of an online worship format is that people seem to be more inclined to extend and respond to invitations to check out church online. Virtual evangelism is proving easier, less intimidating, and more spontaneous than face-to-face evangelism. An article by Doug Powe and Ann A. Michel, from Leading Ideas (Lewis Centre for Church Leadership).
SIX-MINUTE STUDY #205
10 Questions to Ask Now - Parish leaders are prayerfully reflecting on the life and work of the church in the midst of a pandemic. Many are saying this is a perfect opportunity to engage in conversations about who we are and how we be church. Susan Beaumont in her June 1, 2020, article says, “moving from reactivity to reflection calls for three kinds of work: acknowledging our losses, exploring unstated assumptions, and noticing what wants to emerge. Good questions will create a holding space for this transformational work.” Read more in her post from The Congregational Consulting Group.
SIX-MINUTE STUDY #204
Seventy-three of our parishes are hosting some type of online worship these COVID-19 days.
Courageously our clergy and lay leaders have been exploring the finer practices of this virtual Sunday gathering.
Here is a great YouTube video and article called, Tips for Online Worship for Liturgical Churches.
It’s from Rev. Aaron Zimmerman, rector at St. Alban's Episcopal Church, Waco, TX.
SIX-MINUTE STUDY #203
Technology and the online world is impacting ministry.
Opportunities abound to connect with existing parishioners and new people through advancements in electronic communication. However, phone calls, visits and snail-mail greeting cards by congregants are also important ways to stay in touch as faith community.
Read, How is Shifting Technology Impacting Local Ministry by Greg Syler, posted in Episcopal Church Foundation Vestry Papers.
SIX-MINUTE STUDY #202
Coming out of annual meetings, many Church council members are asking questions about revitalization and missional ministry. How can we use what our generous God has given us to make a difference in the lives of our congregants, and most importantly, how can we positively impact our communities?
Councils (or sometimes called Vestries) have the responsibility to set priorities and make decisions about the direction of ministry. Read this article from the Episcopal Church titled, Five Ways to Become a Transformational Vestry, by Donald Romanik.
SIX-MINUTE STUDY #201
Can a declining congregation turn around?
It starts with these basics: Life, hope and a vision.
Read this inspiring story of an Anglican Church in Ontario that did just that.
An article by Rev. Stephen Drakeford called How a dying church came back to life.
SIX-MINUTE STUDY #200
Meaning, Belonging and Values.
The basic ingredients for any vibrant faith community.
Providing opportunities to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, being accepted as a part of the church family and reinforcing of important beliefs and practices, these can help newcomers integrate into a congregation.
Learn more in David R. Brubaker’s article, 3 Keys to Congregational Success: Meaning, Belonging, and Values.
SIX-MINUTE STUDY #199
Transition often leads to tension.
Every congregation in the Diocese is working through some type of change, especially related to engaging with the fast-changing culture around us. Others are welcoming a new priest or discerning a redevelopment of some sort.
How can congregational leaders support a Christ-honouring, loving approach to conflict?
Read Lawrence Peer’s article, Keep Calm and Drop the Rope, from Congregational Consulting Group.
SIX-MINUTE STUDY #198
WOW! Only a couple of weeks until LENT begins! Here are some ideas for seasonal worship and other activities. Pancakes to Ashes – An Ash Wednesday Service on Shrove Tuesday This may be helpful for those families who are able to share in pancake supper, but are unable to come to the church two nights in a row for Ash Wednesday worship. https://buildfaith.org/pancakes-to-ashes-an-ash-wednesday-service-on-shrove-tuesday/ READ MORE from “Build Faith”, including ideas for families for Ash Wednesday, devotional activities for home, Lent in a Bag, and more! This is a great resource site sponsored by Virginia Theological Seminary. https://buildfaith.org/lent/
SIX-MINUTE STUDY #197
End of life and funeral topics are of interest to many people these days.
Our faith tradition and our parish leaders also have a good deal of experience and expertise in helping people journey through this difficult life passage.
For example, recently the Parish of St. John the Evangelist, Middle Sackville, held a well-attended funeral planning workshop.
Several others have expressed an interest in hosting similar events. Read this article from Faith and Leadership (Duke University), called, Ministry on death and dying teaches people how to plan for the end of life, by Philip Martin.
SIX-MINUTE STUDY #196
Whether it’s a new start with a new rector, the establishment of a different ministry or reaching out to plant a new missional initiative, beginning well is critical. There are several important best practices to consider. Read this article called, Starting New Things: Two Essential Steps, by Episcopal priest, Jon Davis, to explore these founding principles of new starts.
SIX-MINUTE STUDY #195
Most of our churches host popular, well organized fundraisers.
How can we use these strengths to build relationships and respond missionally?
Read this article from Fresh Expressions US about how a small congregation of about 40 people
turned a flea market into something so much more.
Luke Edwards writes, Church in the Parking Lot: A Fresh Expressions Story.
SIX-MINUTE STUDY #194
A new year a new start.
How can church leaders set some basic goals to flourish in 2020?
Here are some holistically healthy and practical resolutions to consider.
Read Derwin Gray’s article, 5 NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS EVERY CHURCH LEADER SHOULD MAKE—AND KEEP from LifeWay’s Facts & Trends webpage.
SIX-MINUTE STUDY #193
Connecting Sunday morning worship with faith at home is a great way to help parishioners grow as disciples. Seasonal opportunities like the feast day of Epiphany are perfect for special activities. These spiritual disciplines can also help connect with younger generations and those who don’t actively participate in church life.
Here’s an idea from Virginia Theological Seminary, Building Faith resources: Intergenerational Epiphany With A “To Go” Bag.