GCFA Ministry Partners Offer Services to Local Churches

GCFA Ministry Partners Offer Services to Local Churches

gcfa logo

Nashville, TN – The General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) Ministry Partner Program recently added two new companies: Subsplash and Ecolab/Guest Supply (Ecolab). Ministry Partners are vetted to assure they adhere to the Social Principles of The United Methodist Church and are researched to respond to needs expressed to GCFA by members and congregations of the Church.

SUBSPLASH

The Subsplash platform is the complete solution for connecting with your community on Sunday and beyond. Subsplash is a multi-function, multi-media company that offers an online giving platform developed for use by churches of all sizes. The platform is designed to provide churches with a quick set-up process to receive online, text-to-give, and app-based donations. Subsplash offers affordable live streaming services and also hosts video streaming. Church administrators can easily manage giving, live streaming, and all the products available with the Subsplash platform.

“At Subsplash, our desire is to equip every church with world-class tools that further enable them to share the Gospel and make more and better disciples. We’re excited to serve the churches and ministries of The United Methodist Church in this effort”, said Chris Sharp, Subsplash Chief Revenue Officer.

Subsplash will host a webinar Wednesday, September 16, 2020 11 am CT. The webinar will cover information on the Subsplash apps, eGiving, live streaming capabilities and more. Register today at to find solutions to common church administration frustrations and how to improve current situations.

ECOLAB

Ecolab is an industry leader in providing hygiene and technologies to protect church properties and the people attending events/services. Ecolab products can help churches keep worship and meeting spaces a clean and safe environment. Ecolab provides everything from cleaning supplies to sanitize surfaces where church members gather, to safe food handling supplies.

Paul Martin, Senior Corporate Manager for Ecolab said “Ecolab and Guest Supply are excited to partner with The United Methodist Church. With representatives in every area across the nation, we are committed to delivering the products and training you need to reopen and maintain the safety of your churches. All of this is to help protect what matters most, your parishioners and employees.”

For more information on the GCFA Ministry Partner program, contact Kellie Schmeal, Relationship Director, at GCFA: 615-369-2408 or kschmeal@gcfa.org.

# # #

The General Council on Finance and Administration coordinates and administers financial resources, safeguards the legal interests and rights of the Church, and provides administrative resources to enable the fulfillment of the mission of The United Methodist Church.

Extending Permission to Use UMPH Resources for Online Worship through December 31, 2020

Nashville, September 2020 – The United Methodist Publishing House (UMPH) is extending full permission to all churches for use of UMPH copyrighted worship materials through December 2020. UMPH recognizes the need for easy access to key worship aids as the COVID-19 crisis persists and local churches strive to serve their communities.

The copyright page in the 1992 United Methodist Book of Worship grants permission as follows:

“United Methodist congregations may reproduce for worship or educational purposes any item from The United Methodist Book of Worship for one-time use, as in a bulletin, special program, or lesson resource, provided that the copyright notice and acknowledgment is included in the reproduction.”

Each worship service is a one-time use. Therefore, churches are free to reproduce the liturgical text as needed (with the obvious exception of the copyrighted service music on pages 173-223). Further, during the COVID-19 crisis, UMPH is waiving the need to ask permission to livestream and/or record worship services which read, perform, or display liturgical text from the UM Book of Worship. UMPH encourages churches to utilize streaming licenses from OneLicense or CCLI to stream copyrighted service music.

No additional permission is required for any United Methodist congregation to reproduce the liturgical text in the context of an online or physically gathered worship service or, during the COVID-19 crisis, to livestream worship services and/or record and post them on a private site during this period.

This permission does not extend to events other than worship services or events where admission is charged or registration fees are collected or copies are duplicated in a resource for sale.

When quotations from the Common English Bible (CEB) are used in non-saleable media, such as church bulletins, orders of service, posters, transparencies, or similar media (which includes one-time use during live audio or video streaming), the initials (CEB) may be used at the end of each quotation.

The CEB text may be quoted up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without express written permission of the publisher, provided the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible nor account for twenty-five percent (25%) of the written text of the total work or live event in which they are quoted.

“The preface of the Book of Worship entreats, ‘May God’s grace be with all who use this book,’” said Rev. Brian Milford, President & Publisher. “As we gather online for encouragement and worship while physically separated, the Publishing House wants every congregation to know that they are authorized to use this treasure trove of resources.”

###

ARUMC Stage 2.5 GuidanceUpdated Guidance from Bishop Mueller

ARUMC Stage 2.5 Guidance
Updated Guidance from Bishop Mueller

September 13, 2020

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

I continue to be grateful for the outstanding and responsible leadership you have given your congregation and community since early March. The Covid-19 pandemic has stretched and stressed you, unleashed your creativity and exhausted you, and been difficult and demonstrated that being the Body of Christ matters more than having Church. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I am writing to offer you my latest guidance concerning indoor in-person gatherings.

As you know, ARUMC Stage 2 has allowed for a maximum of 50 people utilizing the “36 sq. ft. bubble”. I now believe it is appropriate to implement ARUMC Stage 2.5. This keeps all previous guidance in place, including mandatory “36 sq. ft. bubbles,” masks, and sanitation. However, there will no longer be a maximum number of people allowed to gather. Rather, the size of the room will now determine the number of people that can attend indoor in-person gatherings.

  • Calculating the number of “bubbles” in rooms. Calculate the number of “bubbles” you can fit in a room by taking the square footage of a room and dividing it by 36, which provides for 6 ft by 6 ft physical distancing. This is the maximum number of people who can attend in-person events in this room.

  • Calculating the number of “bubbles” in sanctuaries and worship centers. This involves two separate calculations. First, calculate the number of 36 sq. ft. “bubbles” that can be fit in the area where worship leaders are located. This is the maximum number of pastors, liturgists, musicians, and worship leaders who can fit in the chancel or on the stage. Second, calculate the number of “36 sq. ft. bubbles” that can be fit into the sanctuary or worship center seating area. This is the maximum number of worshippers who can attend worship at any one time.
  • Adjusting your calculations for family units of two or more. You will have to make two adjustments because of families that want to sit together. The first is to create a bigger “bubble” to accommodate more people. The second is to make sure you have six feet in every direction between “bubbles.” You may want to create bigger “bubbles” as you plan for in-person events. This adjustment may result in fewer “bubbles” in the room, but allow more people to attend.

I continue to pray for you. Let me know what the Conference Staff, District Mission Strategists and I can do to support you as you make disciples of Jesus Christ, who make disciples equipped and sent to transform lives, communities and the world.

Grace and peace,

Gary E. Mueller
Bishop

Rev. Rashim Merriwether Appointed to Special Assistant to the Bishop on Ethnic Concerns and InitiativesNew Cabinet Position Will Bring Forth Conversations on Ethnic Issues

Rev. Rashim Merriwether Appointed to Special Assistant to the Bishop on Ethnic Concerns and Initiatives
New Cabinet Position Will Bring Forth Conversations on Ethnic Issues

rashim merriwether

The Arkansas Conference is proud to announce that the Rev. Rashim Merriwether has been appointed as the Special Assistant to the Bishop on Ethnic Concerns and Initiatives, a newly created Cabinet-level position within the Conference leadership.

In his new position, Merriwether will be tasked with bringing forth conversations on ethnic issues and how they relate to the Arkansas Conference.

“This will come through work in connectional ministries, dismantling racism and collaborative efforts with BMCR, ELC, and other ministry efforts along with initiatives identified by the Bishop,” Merriwether said.

Bishop Gary Mueller said that he is excited to have Merriwether on the Cabinet and looks forward to the conversations and ideas that he will bring to future meetings.

“Rashim has many years of experience working with communities of all different backgrounds. I’m so grateful to have his wise counsel on the Conference Cabinet to help United Methodists in Arkansas dismantle racism in our communities and build stronger relationships between our diverse churches.”

“I feel the weight of both necessity and responsibility in this position,” Merriwether said. “The General Commission on Religion and Race was created in 1968. GCORR was established inviting conversation at a common table to address systematic and systemic racism, while seeing the importance of conversation on dismantling racism and its effects and mechanisms ( i.e. segregation, Jim Crow laws, and any exclusionary tactics), with an intentional purpose and timeline. The goal was, and still is, to be an authentic, responsive, and vital church.

“It is my goal to add relevant conversation and experience to this initiative begun in 1968. I look forward to working towards dismantling racism, working to make the experiences, calls, and service of all ethnic people relevant and connective in the work and goals of The Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church.”

Merriwether is currently the senior pastor at Hunter UMC in Little Rock. He previously served as senior pastor at St. James UMC in Fayetteville, and the Director of Ethnic Faith Communities in the Arkansas Conference.

To get in touch with Rev. Merriwether, contact him at rashim.merriwether@arumc.org.

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare Celebrates Third Annual MLH Sunday

For the third consecutive year, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare (MLH) encourages local congregations to observe MLH Sunday as a day of reflection and to celebrate the strong relationship between the healthcare system and local faith communities.

“Since beginning in 2018, which was our Centennial year, hundreds of Mid-South churches have recognized MLH Sunday with special prayers, music and scripture,” said Rev. Dr. Jonathan Lewis, Director of Community Partnerships for MLH’s Mission Integration Division. “Leaders across our health system have also attended worship services, delivered sermons and offered messages to local congregations.”

Unlike in past years when MLH Sunday was designated on a specific day, churches can select any Sunday before the end of the year to observe as their own MLH Sunday.

There’s an additional component to MLH Sunday this year. With many Memphis children struggling with their return to school, MLH is also asking congregations to assist the children of Shelby County whose education has been interrupted by COVID-19. Congregations can support BookNook, an innovative, effective technology-based literacy platform that improves literacy skills of thousands of children in our community.

In partnership with The Urban Child Institute, Shelby County Schools and the Methodist Healthcare Foundation, MLH launched BookNook learning sessions at sites across Memphis last year. These sessions, which are offered in after school programs at churches and community centers, will expand to Shelby County Schools this fall.

“The results are very encouraging,” said Lewis. “Last summer, ninety five percent of students who used BookNook either improved or maintained their reading level. During the school year, the average student gained the equivalent of 1.3 grade levels in reading aptitude. Now, with all the interruptions to school, it’s more important than ever to support our children. MLH is expanding this successful program to meet this unprecedented need, and we hope that congregations will join us in this ministry.”

For more on MLH Sunday, please visit methodisthealth.org/MLHSunday or contact Rev. Dr. Jonathan Lewis at jonathan.lewis@mlh.org.

To support BookNook with a donation, text MLHSunday to 41444.

48 Students Receive 2020 Dollars for Scholars Grants

LITTLE ROCK, ARK. (August 17, 2020) – The Methodist Foundation for Arkansas is proud to make $48,000 in scholarship contributions to 48 students receiving 2020 Dollars for Scholars awards to begin or continue their education at United Methodist colleges, universities, and seminaries.

For each recipient, the students’ local churches gave $1,000 and the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation matched that contribution. The Methodist Foundation for Arkansas gave $1,000, along with the student’s selected college contributing $1,000 for a significant $4,000
scholarship award to each student.

Undergraduate Students Home Church College
Mr. Lincoln G. Pritchard Asbury United Methodist Church. Little Rock, AR Hendrix College
Mr. Benjamin L. Cogbill Asbury United Methodist Church. Little Rock, AR Hendrix College
Mr. Maxwell Dawson Central United Methodist Church, Fayetteville, AR Hendrix College
Ms. Makala J. Strang Fairfield Bay United Methodist Church, Fairfield Bay, AR Hendrix College
Ms. Hannah N. Cozart Faith United Methodist Church, Little Rock, AR Oklahoma City University
Ms. Sydney R. Wagner First United Methodist Church, Bentonville, AR Hendrix College
Ms. Lauren Seckington First United Methodist Church, Bentonville, AR Hendrix College
Mr. Adam P. Kerr First United Methodist Church, Bentonville, AR Oklahoma City University
Ms. Allison M. Epperson First United Methodist Church, Bryant, AR Hendrix College
Mr. Tyler J. Odell First United Methodist Church, Clinton, AR Hendrix College
Mr. Lawson B. Points First United Methodist Church, Conway, AR Hendrix College
Mr. Joseph S. Winningham First United Methodist Church, Conway, AR Hendrix College
Ms. Gwen T. Boone First United Methodist Church, Conway, AR Hendrix College
Mr. Joseph R. Coker First United Methodist Church, Conway, AR Hendrix College
Ms. Rebekah L. Dodson First United Methodist Church, El Dorado, AR Hendrix College
Mr. Silas B. Myane First United Methodist Church, Farmington, AR Hendrix College
Mr. Robert C. Parker First United Methodist Church, Fort Smith, AR Southern Methodist University
Ms. Katherine G. M. Delony First United Methodist Church, Fort Worth, TX Southern Methodist University
Ms. Anna E. R. Delony First United Methodist Church, Fort Worth, TX Oklahoma City University
Ms. Lacey N. Crosby First United Methodist Church, Greenbrier, AR Hendrix College
Mr. Kyle A. Bounds First United Methodist Church, Greenbrier, AR Hendrix College
Mr. John M. Mathis First United Methodist Church, Greenbrier, AR Hendrix College
Ms. Madison R. Connaway United Methodist Church, Hot Springs, AR Hendrix College
Ms. Alexis S. Tanner First United Methodist Church, Russellville, AR Oklahoma City University
Ms. Alyssa M. Savage First United Methodist Church, Sheridan, AR Hendrix College
Mr. Creighton M. Polk First United Methodist Church, Wooster, AR Hendrix College
Mr. Samuel E. Adkisson, IV Lakeside United Methodist Church, Lake Village, AR Millsaps College
Ms. Lexie N. Burleson Lakewood United Methodist Church, North Little Rock, AR Hendrix College
Ms. Stephanie J. Rodriguez Paris United Methodist Church, Paris, AR Central Methodist University
Ms. Gracie L. Singleton Portland United Methodist Church, Portland, AR Millsaps College
Ms. Jessalyn E. Hoskyn Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church, Little Rock, AR Hendrix College
Ms. Lauren L. Berry Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church, Little Rock, AR Hendrix College
Mr. Reece C. Forrest Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church, Little Rock, AR Hendrix College
Mr. Robert P. Shannon, II Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church, Little Rock, AR Hendrix College
Ms. Emma K. Piercy St. James United Methodist Church, Little Rock, AR Hendrix College
Mr. Darryl D. Swinton, Jr. Theresa Hoover United Methodist Church, Little Rock, AR Clark Atlanta University
Ms. Annabelle N. Neilson Village United Methodist Church, Lake Village, AR Hendrix College
Mr. Jo’Nathan Yow Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church, Little Rock, AR Philander Smith College
Mr. Sandarius S. Gillisipe Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church, Little Rock, AR Philander Smith College
Ms. Valricka J. Mitchell Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church, Little Rock, AR Philander Smith College
Mr. Mark T. Ricard, II Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church, Little Rock, AR Philander Smith College
Ms. Myicara A. Spencer-Cole Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church, Little Rock, AR Philander Smith College
Mr. Jawan Wright Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church, Little Rock, AR Philander Smith College
Mr. Robert L. Nichols, III Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church, Little Rock, AR Philander Smith College
Ms. Paulina C. Webber Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church, Little Rock, AR Dillard University
Ms. Kelly J. Murray-Norman White Hall United Methodist Church, White Hall, AR Hendrix College

 

Seminary Student Home Church Seminary
Mr. Samuel M. Coker First United Methodist Church, Conway, AR Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

“The board of the Methodist Foundation for Arkansas is pleased to award $48,000 in grants to Arkansas students attending United Methodist colleges and universities during the 2020-2021 school year,” said MFA President and CEO, Rev. J. Wayne Clark.

The United Methodist Higher Education Foundation is committed to helping students achieve their dreams by providing scholarship aid for United Methodist students attending 122 United Methodist-related institutions. The Methodist Foundation for Arkansas is one of the largest United Methodist Foundations in the country. Founded in 1963, MFA is responsible for over 800 funds with combined assets over $175 million.

###

For more information, contact:
Haley Walker Klein
501.664-8632 or hklein@methodistfoundationar.org