10 Considerations for Building Online Church Communities When the pandemic closed Sunday services, churches quickly (and adeptly!) moved online. Everyone I know has been immensely grateful for the work that pastors and church leadership teams have completed, enabling the people to be part of their worshiping community while safe at home. But how has this pandemic changed...Keep Reading
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The word “curate,” in its original sense, was a synonym for the word priest. It stems from the idea that parish clergy are charged with the “cure” (or care) of souls. In recent years the term has been applied more specifically to newly ordained priests serving as assistants to an experienced rector. Curacies provide experience and on-the-job practical training to equip the curates for their future ministries. In an effort to raise up more missional leaders, the Gulf Atlantic Diocese is partnering with congregations to develop three types of curacies: Church Planting Curates, Antioch Curates, and Missional Curates....
Crafting songs for worship is a process of inspiration, collaboration, and cultivation as the songwriter edits their ideas in community. But sometimes, an artist may be moved by the Holy Spirit to bring a prophetic word of encouragement to build up the Church. When the words come to a songwriter, they can come out as sung rhymes. Kim Allen first discovered her gift as she improvised on the piano after a prayer, her sermon notes sitting against the music stand....
If you follow Jesus, you have a story to share! Back in 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic, the Lord put it on my heart to collect stories from my fellow church members to learn more about each other, and also to see more widely who God is. Testimonies have the power to show that God is not only real but is always active in this world, even when we cannot see it. Where I attend, at Incarnation Tallahassee, the project was well-received, bringing great encouragement and a deeper connection between the members. I now want to make a wider call to the diocese for stories of what God has done in your life....
Would you pray for “vocations,” that is, pray that God would call people to ordination and so work in them and their communities so that they become ordained missional leaders? Also, I would ask our churches to do so, regularly and publicly, and especially during the four Ember Day weeks. This week happens to be one of those weeks....
My journey into Anglicanism was a complete accident. Knowing my background as a classically trained musician, my friends told me to visit St. Peter’s Cathedral in Tallahassee, at least once, to hear the music. My first Sunday, I was struck by the crystal clear tones of the choir, their luscious sound washing over me singing the Psalms. The beauty of the music affected me so much that I started to come every week with anticipation....
The need for the part of our diocesan mission, “Strengthening Existing Churches and Ministries,” has never been as important it will be in 2021. Last year had its set of challenges, to say the least. Much of the year was spent adjusting to new circumstances. Now is the time to get back to being proactive or, to use sports terminology, switch from defense to offense....
Camp Araminta continues to be integral to our diocesan discipleship of the next generation, even during a pandemic! This summer, approximately 30 leaders (mainly young adult counselors), coordinated and launched Camp Araminta Nights. Camp was held during the scheduled week, but virtually in the evenings. These counselors planned elaborate skits, worship, activities, and ga...Keep Reading
Phased re-entry has begun by now and many churches are already rolling out phase 1 and perhaps even phase 2. According to most guidelines, children's Sunday school is feasible for phase 3 and beyond. If you have read the most recent CDC guidelines for schools, however, you will quickly realize the implications for children's Sunday school programs are significant. Re-entry...Keep Reading
Those of you considering hybrid ministry following re-entry, consider how your plans might help to build an online community, rather than just offer online programming. For more about this distinction, read here. 10 IDEAS FOR HYBRID MINISTRY Here are 10 specific programming ideas for hybrid ministry, aimed at building an online community: Regarding live-streamed event...Keep Reading
We've already outlined the need for each ministry to have its own online ministry coordinator in and the importance tobuilding online communities, andnot just entertaining kids. Specific to family ministry, it is the church's role to come alongside parents as they are uniquely called to disciple their children. 15 IDEAS FOR HYBRID FAMILY MINISTRY Here are 15 ways to move...Keep Reading
One of the concerns many churches faced mid-March when the global pandemic shut our doors, was how to keep connected to those who do not utilize technology on a regular basis. This concern continued as families sought to be discipled without their children being exposed to unprotected technology, as well. As a result, here are a few ideas to help keep your households conne...Keep Reading
Very few people adapt to change easily. For most of us, change is uncomfortable and "doing things the way we've always done them" is easier. This pandemic has caused all of us to change and it hasn't been easy. But with change, comes the opportunity for innovation and improvement. Sometimes change brings surprising blessings, as well. We wanted to encourage you by sharing ...Keep Reading
by Rev. Dr. Jessica H. Jones This season in ministry has forced churches everywhere to move to an online environment, exploring video conferencing, live streaming, pre-recording and video editing segments for their website, and trying to navigate pastoral care for those not connected, as well as those already saturated with online content. Someone joked last week on our c...Keep Reading
by Rev. Dr. Jessica Jones As God's people, are we struggling with what to say during this time? Times like this have a way of disabling my speech, even sometimes to God. But expressing our emotions to God, all of our emotions, is exactly what he asks of us. The Psalms provide an outline for expressing our emotions to God, even during difficult seasons such as this. The...Keep Reading
by Rev. Dr. Jessica Jones,Canon for Next Generation Discipleship, Gulf Atlantic Diocese Director of Family Ministry, ACNA Next Generation Leadership Initiative byRev. Aaron Buttery,Associate for NextGen Leadership, C4SO Diocese Due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, we are in the beginning of a new season of ministry with young people. This season of challenges p...Keep Reading
by Rev. Jessica JonesCanon for Next Generation Discipleship Many of you may be facing the issue of how to best support your students and small groups during social distancing. This is a difficult time for many and when students face the unknown, or their routine is disrupted, it can cause anxiety and have ongoing ramifications. We have the opportunity during this time to...Keep Reading
Due to social distancing, our diocese went online almost overnight. Some churches will offer services virtually, but most will not have them temporarily. Below are some ideas for you as you seek to lead alternative options for worship during this difficult season. Please note: The Gulf Atlantic Diocese does not specifically endorse the individual websites or authors of th...Keep Reading