February 2021 Newsletter
posted on February 04
February 2021 Yadkin Valley Newsletter
Ponderings from Sam Moore
Reverend Samuel H. Moore, Jr. D.Min., District Superintendent
February is Black History Month. Now, I do not have the opportunity to celebrate Black History Month as I have in the past. Local churches that I have served have done varied activities to celebrate the month.
These programs range from sharing the history of the celebration of Black History Month, having Black History Trivial contests that included the inventions of Black persons and other achievements, Black History moments shared during the Children Sermon in which members of the congregation were celebrated. These dramatic celebrations included skits, dance, songs, and always singing the Negro Anthem which brothers, James Weldon Johnson wrote, and John Rosemond Johnson.
Some may ask, why the big deal? The answer to this is that the achievements of Black persons have been left out of the larger narrative of United States History. This is behind the current debate about how history is taught in the public schools of North Carolina. As a Black person, I have done all I could to share with people younger than me the history of my ancestors. I stand on my ancestors’ shoulders. They worked, struggled, suffered, sacrificed so that my life could be better. I pray each morning that I do not bring dishonor to my ancestors nor to God. I ask you to join me this February in surfing the websites of African American United Methodist churches in our district and annual conference so that you may participate and celebrate the heritage of your fellow United Methodists. I also invite you to sing the Nero anthem. You know it, the late Reverend Joseph Lowery, a founding member and former president of the SCLC, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and a retired United Methodist pastor, quoted portions of it during former President Barack Obama’s first inauguration as the benediction. It is in the Hymnal number 519, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”
Resources for COVID-Safe Ash Wednesday & Lenten Observances
As the Lenten season approaches, we find ourselves still in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we have witnessed this past year, however, even COVID-19 cannot keep the Church of God down.
As you make plans to observe this season of remembrance and reflection, we have compiled a list of resources that can help you have a COVID-safe Ash Wednesday and Lent.
Yadkin Valley District Library
The Yadkin Valley District Library will be closed from February 26 - March 21 for organization and renovations.
If you would like to check something out or check something in during that time, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any items needed.
De-Colonizing the Church: A Commitment to Anti-Racism
A team of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) pastors and church planters developed a five-week webinar in the hopes that judicatory leaders, pastors, and laity could learn more about the inherent racism in the church and commit to de-colonize The United Methodist Church in America.
We invite you to join Path 1 on a journey to name and explore our own history of racism and what it means to be intentionally anti-racist as we start new ministries and faith communities in the UMC.
Join this five-week event every Thursday from 1-2:15 p.m. Central time beginning February 18.
Learn more and register here.
School of the Spirit
School of the Spirit is an online and in-person twelve-month journey into contemplative practices that bring the seeker closer to God. The focus of this structure is not on the last fad but on centuries-old practices that will renew our encounter with Christ, grounded in the vitality of a committed community to hold each participant’s journey.
Registration is open - please register here.
"Developing and Implementing an Outward Mindset" Workshop
Changing the culture in our communities where people shift from an “inward mindset” (self) to an “outward mindset” (others) and experience growth in relationships, collaboration, engagement, and accountability.
In each workshop, participants will learn the difference between inward and outward mindsets. They will discover where they have been inward and how to turn more outward. They will learn how to turn their mindsets and behaviors outward by applying the following toolsets: self-awareness tools, mindset change tools, accountability tools, and collaboration tools.
Registration is now open for March and April virtual workshops!
Learn more and register here.
Racial Healing and the Gospel of Reconciliation:
A Workshop on the Ministry of Reconciliation
Rooted in 2 Cor. 5:16-20, this workshop will teach reconciliation as spirituality, highlighting biblical examples of reconciliation and our call to be ministers of reconciliation as followers of Christ. With this theological foundation, participants will learn practical strategies for the Church to live out our role in the reconciliation process. Using racial healing as our focus, participants will learn a 6-step process of reconciliation that can be taken back to congregations as a resource tool for further healing and reconciliation in their communities.
Our facilitators are Rev. Vincent Howell, Centenary UMC, Clemmons, NC, and Cindy Thompson, Boundless Impact, and Christ UMC, Greensboro, NC.
- Thursday, February 18, 2021
- Sunday, March 7, 2021 *Afternoon session*
- Tuesday, March 16, 2021
- Saturday, April 24, 2021
Each workshop will be held via the Zoom platform.
Primary session: 9:00am - 12:00pm
Optional conversation on implementation: 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Register and learn more here.
Dear Fellow Methodist:
Without a doubt, COVID-19 has affected everyone. Adapting to a new way of life has certainly been a challenge, but our church family and community's safety and well-being have been a top priority. The pandemic forced many businesses and organizations, including our Church, to be creative and devise new ways of being in ministry with you, your church family, and the community. Our buildings, for the most part, are closed to the majority of us. We are encouraging each of you to develop new ways to stay in touch and make sure no one who needs our ministries is left out. Each one is of vast importance to each other and your Church family.
I am encouraging each of you to do the following:
HERE ARE THE FACTS, Social isolation can lead to loneliness in some people, while others can feel lonely without being socially isolated.
HOW THE COVID CRISIS IMPACTS AN EXISTING PROBLEM, for those of all ages who have experienced social isolation during the pandemic, half (50%)report this isolation caused them to lack motivation, slightly more than usual and slightly more than a third (37%) report it has made them feel depressed. Yet only 11% turn to a medical professional when feeling sad or down, and almost a third of the population reported that they did not reach out to anyone for help or support during this pandemic.
WHO NEEDS HELP? All of us need help in some form many times during our life, and our church family is a good place to start.
SOCIAL ISOLATION RISK ASSESSMENT (ASK THESE QUESTIONS OF YOURSELF OR ABOUT SOMEONE YOU FEEL MIGHT BR AT RISK)
- Do you participate in social activities or organized groups at least once a week, either virtually or in-person?
- Do you see or talk to a family member or friend at least once a day?
- Under normal circumstances, do you ever have trouble finding transportation to get to where you need to go?
- Is it difficult or impossible to leave your home without assistance?
- Do you avoid socializing because it's hard for you to understand the conversation, especially when there's background noise?
- Do you often feel isolated from others?
- In the last few months of our current pandemic, have you experienced a major loss or change, like moving or the death of a loved one or the loss of a pet?
If you answered "no" for questions one or two or "yes" for any of the questions 3-7, you or the person you are assessing may be at risk for social isolation.
WAYS I AM ASKING FOR YOUR HELP:
Send at least three care cards a week (two to someone you do not know well in your church family or community and one to someone you know well in your Church Family or community) if it is inconvenient for you to send them, let your Church know, and I am sure they will pick them up and make sure they get them delivered to the proper person.
Make visits outdoors or through the storm door while wearing a mask and practicing social distancing. If possible, take a simple gift or other surprises.
A short phone call, just to see how they are doing or if there is a need you can help with.
Take them a care package or ask if you can help them by picking up food or mail or any other need.
Take them a current copy of The Upper Room or an appropriate Devotional like Pockets.
Just let them know you care and that they are loved by their church family.
If you discover a need you cannot resolve, contact your church office. Any and all staff members are willing to help in any way feasible during this pandemic.
Remember to practice the "W's" and get your Vaccine ASAP.
We are all children of God who loves us unconditionally. Let us share that Love with others.
J. Dwight Cartner, Older Adult Coordinator
Yadkin Valley District of the United Methodist Church
Free Legal Information
North Carolina lawyers are volunteering free legal information Friday, March 5, 2021, at call centers statewide. This event is a public service of the North Carolina Bar Foundation.
Learn more here.