United Methodist Communications to Celebrate Social Media Day

Nashville: United Methodist Communications will celebrate Social Media Day on Wednesday, June 30, 2021 with free learning opportunities throughout the day, featuring a special live learning session Q&A at 12pm CT – all at Facebook.com/UMCom.

United Methodist Communications (UMCom) seeks to equip churches with tools to effectively minister daily via social media platforms. Some of the ways the agency helps local churches are through providing social graphics, how-to-articles, social media training, grants and marketing assistance.

Additionally, the agency shares the messages and stories of the church and the Gospel through daily postings across multiple platforms, offering articles, inspiration, Bible verses and more. With more than 1.6 million followers, United Methodist Communications’ social media channels reach and engage nearly 90 million people inside and outside the church, create community and share messages of God’s love.

The immense power of social media is undeniable. As of 2021, the number of people using social media is over 3.96 billion worldwide – that’s more than 50 percent of the world.

“Social media has revolutionized the way we interact with one another, redefining our communication, interaction, and behavior. This is true for the church as well,” said Poonam Patodia, Chief Marketing Officer. “Social media is more than just being social, it’s ministry – and Social Media Day is a good time to celebrate how it can help churches reach out beyond their surrounding communities.”

UMCom has created a vast array of training and resources through informational articles, videos, Q&A, podcasts, and more. The following is just a small sampling of what’s available:

Live Learning Session: Social Media Day Q&A – Pre-registration is available online with question submissions accepted in advance
– Social Media Marketing for the Local Church
– Facebook Groups for Churches
– Social Media: Your Virtual Front Door
Language Options: Resources in Korean, Spanish, French and Portuguese
– Social Graphics: free and shareable images

Social media resources, along with a complete listing of planned activities, are available at www.umcom.org/socialmediaday.

United Methodist Communications is using the power of social media to share inspiring content, provide opportunities for dialogue and increase awareness of The United Methodist Church and our beliefs—and is resourcing local churches to do the same. To support the work of communication ministry in observance of Social Media Day, please visit resourceUMC.org/GiveUMCom.

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About United Methodist Communications
As the communications agency for The United Methodist Church, United Methodist Communications seeks to increase awareness and visibility of the denomination in communities and nations around the globe. United Methodist Communications also offers services, tools, and resources for communications ministry. Discover more about the agency at Resourceumc.org/Communications. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Media Contact:
Aaron Crisler
presscenter@umcom.org

When Life Gives You LemonsHow Two Little Disciples Showed Love in a Big Way

When Life Gives You Lemons
How Two Little Disciples Showed Love in a Big Way

lemonade stand
Alyce Read, Ellie Quick, Lawson Quick in front of Lemonade Stand for Drake. More than $1,200 was raised for Drake, who was recently diagnosed with acute leukemia. 

By Rev. Corey Tyson Read

Wesley Foundation at Southern Arkansas University

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade! A phrase most of us are familiar with and a motto that has been lived out after a recent college graduate was diagnosed with acute leukemia. Drake Souter, 23 years old and a member of Greers Chapel United Methodist Church in Magnolia, Arkansas, was stunned by the news that he would be facing the greatest challenge of his life, just six months before he is to be married in November 2021.

It wasn’t long after the community heard of Drake’s diagnoses that people started pulling together in support of Drake and his family. Ellie and Lawson Quick, two of the youngest members of Greers Chapel UMC, took the opportunity to set up a lemonade stand in support of Drake. In a Facebook post to help advertise the event, Kathryn Quick said, “Ellie & Lawson have chosen to raise money to give a family very near and dear to our hearts, the Souters. Drake was diagnosed with acute leukemia and we want his family to not have anything to worry about other than getting Drake better so this is just a small way that we felt led to love and support our friends!” 

On two of the hottest days of the summer, Ellie, 4, and Lawson, 3, set up their lemonade stand for a total of four hours to raise money for Drake. On the first day, they raised $200 and by the end of the second day more than 125 people showed up and a total of $1,200 was raised for Drake.

When Drake first heard of the Quick’s plans to set up a lemonade stand, he thought it was super sweet of them to think of him. “I had no idea it would raise that much money,” said Drake. “We have all been so heartfelt by what people have done. We live in the most giving community. It just shows how two little kids can make a difference,” said Kelli Souter, Drake’s mom. 

Drake Souter
Drake Souter, surrounded by cards of love and prayers.

When the Rev. Dan Read, pastor at Greers Chapel UMC, first heard of Ellie and Lawson’s lemonade stand he was, “particularly proud that some of Greers’ youngest members are leading the way” in showing love toward others. They led the congregation and community in an act of generosity for a beloved family of the Magnolia community. What a testament to how two of Greers’ youngest disciples can make a huge difference, of how we can all make a difference in the lives of others. 

As people continued to show up until the last second to grab a cup of refreshing lemonade, we were all amazed at the support of the community. Members of the First United Methodist CDC pre-school class even walked over with dollar bills in hand to give. “Drake’s going to be so rich,” said Ellie. In response to this, Ellie’s mom commented saying, “She’s not wrong, because Drake is rich in love and has so many people praying for him and that makes our hearts glad!”

North Little Rock FUMC Hosts Summer Social Justice Lunch and Learn Series

nlrfumc

The United Methodist Church has a long and rich history of concern for social justice, and North Little Rock First United Methodist Church is no different.  This summer, NLRFUMC is proud to offer its First Annual Social Justice Summer Lunch and Learn Series.  This series will begin on June 15 and will conclude on July 27.  Each Tuesday will offer a different speaker and a different topic relating to social justice.

“I am so pleased to be able to offer this social justice series at NLRFUMC.” says Rev. Lynn Kilbourne, Senior Pastor of North Little Rock First United Methodist Church.  “The topics are timely and important for all of us, regardless of our individual beliefs, in order to continue to live in loving community with one another.”

Each Lunch and Learn will begin at noon and conclude by 12:45, in order to accommodate lunch breaks.  The schedule is as follows:

June 15: Racial Reconciliation with Rev. Betsy Singleton Snyder

June 22: The School to Prison Pipeline with Former Senator Brenda Gullett

June 29: Climate Change with Dr. Steven Strode

July 6: Asian American Pacific Islander Issues in Arkansas with Joshua Ang Price, Founder of Asian American Pacific Islander Democratic Caucus of Arkansas.

July 13: Social Justice During the Time of Modern Immigration with Vince Insalaco

July 20: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church with Rev. Lynn Kilbourne

July 27: Pay Inequality with Sen. Joyce Elliott

“The range of topics and the expert speakers represent the best of the best to facilitate the discussion of these important subjects in today’s world.” Says Rev. Annie Lankford, Associate Pastor and facilitator of the series.  “Our hope is to attract individuals from around the community to be able to continue discussions on hard and sensitive topics, speaking truth in love.”

Participants are encouraged to bring their own lunch.  Bottled water will be provided.  Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling the church office at (501) 835-2201 or by emailing pastorannie@nlrfumc.org.

First United Methodist Church had its origin in a brush arbor on the North Little Rock banks of the Arkansas River in 1877. In 1886, with fewer than a hundred members, the first building was constructed for that Methodist congregation at Third and Main Streets and was named the Argenta Mission, later the Dye Memorial Chapel, in memory of the first pastor, Reverend John H. Dye.

In 1913, the growing membership built a much larger church just a block away on the corner of Third and Maple Streets. By the late 1940’s, the building had become inadequate for the growing Sunday School and insufficient parking space was presenting a problem.  In 1951, under the leadership of Rev. James Workman, the congregation completed the construction of a new church at 22nd and Poplar Streets. But the quiet hill upon which the Poplar Street church had been built became very noisy and busy when the freeway intersection of I-40 and I-30 was built nearby, and the congregation began to look again for another location.

As the Indian Hills community of North Little Rock developed, a new Methodist congregation was established in 1964, meeting first in the homes of church members, and later in a building on John F. Kennedy Blvd. In October 1977, in an effort to strengthen both church families, Indian Hills United Methodist and First United Methodist merged to form the “new” First United Methodist Church. To accommodate growth a new sanctuary, office wing, and fellowship hall were added in 1980. A two-story classroom/daycare building was constructed in 1994. Our church family now totals about 1,500 members.

For more information about North Little Rock United Methodist Church or the Social Justice Summer Lunch and Learn Series, please call Rev. Annie Lankford at 501-920-2778. You can also email her at pastorannie@nlrfumc.org.

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Obituary – Rev. Charles Olson Walthall

Rev. Charles Olson Walthall

Rev. Charles Olson Walthall age 96, of Stamps, AR. passed away May 20, 2021, one day shy of his 97th birthday. He was born May 21, 1924 in Minden, LA to Benjamin Edward and Elizabeth Walthall. He was a member of the United States Army Air Corps. He served in WWII as navigator on a B-17 and flew 34 missions over Germany which earned him a spot in “Lucky Bastards” Club. He also served as minister for the United Methodist Church for many years and earned the title of Pastor Emeritus. Rev. Walthall was a member of the American Legion and enjoyed hunting, fishing, hunting arrowheads and especially enjoyed singing. He was the leader of the Nursing Home Singers, but his greatest passion was spreading the love of God.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife of 75 years, Lurline Walthall, two brothers, Bernice Walthall and Kenneth Walthall, one sister Betty Jo Stevens and two grandchildren Richard Lee Harris II and Lucretia Harris.

He is survived by one son, Steve Walthall and wife Stephanie of Austin, TX. One daughter, Charlotte Harris and husband Richard of Lewisville, AR. One grandson, Robby Harris and wife Nicki of Lewisville, AR. Five great-grandchildren, Brittany, Colby, Molly, Gavin and Braxton and 5 great-great-grandchildren.

The family is very grateful for the staff at Dudneywood and Encompass health for their help, love, care and friendship also a special thanks to caregiver and special friend Sheila Beasley.

Funeral services will be held 2 P.M. Monday, May 24, 2021 at the First United Methodist Church in Stamps, AR. and interment following at Oak Grove Cemetery in Stamps, AR. with Rev. Phil Worley officiating and Steve Walthall and Gary Rivers speaking under the direction of A.O. Smith Funeral Home.

Visitation will be held from 12 P.M. until 1:30 P.M. Monday, May 24, 2021 at the United Methodist Church in Stamps, AR.

Two New Chairs Highlight Perkins’ Wesleyan Connections

Two New Chairs Highlight Perkins’ Wesleyan Connections

DALLAS (SMU) – Perkins School of Theology announces the appointment of two new holders of two endowed chairs: Dr. Rebekah Miles as the Susanna Wesley Centennial Professor of Practical Theology and Dr. Ted Campbell as the Albert Cook Outler Professor of Wesley Studies. Both appointments begin on June 1, 2021. The recommendations were made by Perkins Dean Craig C. Hill and supported by the unanimous vote of those holding chairs at the Perkins School of Theology.

“We are very pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Miles and Dr. Campbell to continue the legacy of these two prestigious endowed chairs,” said Dean Craig Hill. “These two professors have been leaders in the Perkins community as well as outstanding scholars and teachers, and their appointments underscore Perkins’ abiding commitment to Methodist and Wesleyan studies.”

Dr. Rebekah “Beka” Miles, Professor of Ethics and Practical Theology, was appointed Susanna Wesley Centennial Professor of Practical Theology, a chair recently vacated by Dr. Evelyn Parker, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, who retires this semester, and who was named inaugural holder of the chair in 2015. The chair was established in 2014 by a $2.5 million gift made by an anonymous donor through the Texas Methodist Foundation. It honors Susanna Wesley, frequently referred to as “the mother of Methodism.” Her sons, John and Charles Wesley, led a revival within the 18th century Anglican Church that sparked the emergence of global Methodism generally and the Methodist Episcopal Church in the American colonies. Historians point to the “practical divinity” embraced by Susanna and her sons John and Charles after her.

Miles is an ordained elder in the Arkansas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and has served five times as a clergy delegate to the United Methodist General Conference. A recipient of Henry Luce III Fellowship in Theology, Miles’ writes in the areas of Christian ethics, practical theology, and Wesley studies, including an edited collection of the works of Methodist practical theologian Georgia Harkness. She is now co-editing Volume 15: Domestic, Moral, Political, and Economic Writings in The Bicentennial Edition of the Works of John Wesley.

Dr. Ted Campbell, Professor of Church History, was appointed Albert Cook Outler Professor of Wesley Studies. Rev. Dr. William J. Abraham, who has held the chair since 1995, retires this semester. The chair was established in 1982 in honor of Albert Cook Outler (1908 – 1989), a longtime faculty member at Perkins as well as a distinguished Methodist theologian and philosopher. Outler made crucial contributions to the scholarship of John Wesley including a critical selection of John Wesley’s work published in the Library of Protestant Thought which led to his leadership in the Wesley Works editorial project, now The Bicentennial Edition of the Works of John Wesley. Funding for the chair was provided by the Texas Annual Conference. The chair is designated to promoting the study of John Wesley, as well as his brother Charles Wesley and other leading Methodist thinkers.

Campbell is an ordained elder of the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church; a former president of the Charles Wesley Society (1999-2003); and a delegate to the Faith and Order Commission of the National Council of Churches in the USA (1992-2002).  Campbell served as the American Convenor for the Oxford Institute of Methodist Theological Studies in 2013 and as co-convenor of the Wesleyan and Methodist Studies Unit of the American Academy of Religion. His writings in Wesley Studies include having edited the third volume of John Wesley’s letters, and he is now editing the fourth volume for The Bicentennial Edition of the Works of John Wesley.

Miles and Campbell have also worked closely together, including their co-authorship of Wesley and the Quadrilateral with Scott Jones, Randy Maddox, and Stephen Gunter.  They are also both John Wesley Fellows of A Foundation for Theological Education (AFTE).

Perkins is also saying farewell to Parker and Abraham, who are retiring after long and distinguished careers at Perkins.

Parker spent one of the last years of her Perkins career in South Africa as a 2019-2020 U.S. Fulbright Scholar, based at the Desmond Tutu Centre for Religion and Social Justice and the Department of Theology and Religion at the University of Western Cape in Cape Town. Her academic focus included religious identity and spiritual formation in African American adolescents, adolescents in sociopolitical movements and their understanding of vocation, adolescent resiliency and vocation. Parker helped spearhead the move of Perkins’s Houston/Galveston Program to the Houston Medical Center, where the program is now affiliated with the Houston Methodist Hospital (HMH), St. John’s UMC, and St. Paul UMC.  An active member of Kirkwood Temple CME Church in Dallas, Parker serves as a representative of the Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) denomination to the World Council of Churches. She has served in many roles throughout the CME connection.

Abraham has been a prolific author and sought-after lecturer. An ordained elder in the Rio Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church, he served on the General Commission on Unity and Interreligious Concerns of the United Methodist Church (1992-present). He was the recipient of Pew Evangelical Scholars Program Grant, Pew Charitable Trusts (1993-1996) and Joint Book of the Year Award from the Institute of Christian Studies for Canon and Criterion in Christian Theology (1999). In 2018, he was the recipient of the SMU Faculty Career Achievement Award for his remarkable career in teaching and scholarship with many contributions to Wesley studies, including a new edition of John Wesley’s Standard Sermons released in the last month by Wesley’s Foundery Books.

Following Bridwell Library’s acquisition of the massive resources of the World Methodist Historical Museum, and building on the existing Wesleyana and Methodistica collections at the Library, these appointments will make clear the commitment of Perkins School of Theology to leadership in Wesleyan and Methodist studies.

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Perkins School of Theology, founded in 1911, is one of five official University-related schools of theology of The United Methodist Church. Degree programs include the Master of Divinity, Master of Sacred Music, Master of Theological Studies, Master of Arts in Ministry, Master of Theology, Doctor of Ministry, and Doctor of Pastoral Music as well as the Ph.D., in cooperation with The Graduate Program in Religious Studies at SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

Original story published at https://blog.smu.edu/perkins/two-new-chairs/