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Courageous Conversation about the Way Forward

Suggested outline for how to plan and conduct a Courageous Conversation about the Way Forward report including four sessions with PowerPoint presentation templates. The resources also include links to support materials and videos produced by the Way Forward Commission and Council of Bishops.

Faith and Race

The Faith and Race Podcast is designed to help churches of all colors host constructive dialogue about faith, race, and the church. Every episode has a specific focus to help us intentionally think about the intersection of history, institutions, scripture, prayer, race, and justice. The audio recordings will bring diverse insights and experiences into churches, homes, and hearts across Missouri and beyond.

Healthy Churches, Faithful Pastors: Covenant Expectations for Thriving Together by David Keck

Presents fifty expectation statements examples of what pastors and congregations can expect of one another; a vital resource to anyone who seeks to initiate a discussion of expectations in their own church.

Healthy Disclosure: Solving Communication Quandaries in Congregations by Kibbie Simmons Ruth (Author), Karen A. McClintock

The authors discuss the ways knowledge is shared in a congregation that can build up or break down community. Unfortunately, congregations can easily fall into patterns of communication that lead to disastrous interpersonal and organizational outcomes. Even in times of crisis, however, congregations can learn and practice new skills and healthy communication management

Rising Strong by Brené Brown

This book details Brown's pioneering work that uncovered a profound truth: Vulnerability—the willingness to show up and be seen with no guarantee of outcome—is the only path to more love, belonging, creativity, and joy. But living a brave life is not always easy: We are, inevitably, going to stumble and fall.

Saying No to Say Yes: Everyday Boundaries and Pastoral Excellence by David Olsen and Nancy G. Devor

An essential guide for pastors seeking to avoid the dual pitfalls of entanglement in congregational drama and burnout. It provides pastors concrete guidance on how to draw boundaries that facilitate community engagement while still maintaining the crucial distance that fosters enduring leadership.

Sex in the Parish by Karen Lebacqz and Ronald Barton

Examines the gift of sexuality in relation to the parish and the dynamics of sexual desire and temptation.

Wholeness After Betrayal: Restoring Trust in the Wake of Sexual Misconduct by Robin Hammeal-Urban

Offers an understanding of the brokenness and divisions created following sexual misconduct in a congregation. This specialized instruction is tested and proven, having been used effectively many times in a variety of congregational settings. It holds tremendous value for institutional healing, both immediately following misconduct or even decades later.

Boundary Training for PPRCs

This series is designed as three 45-60 minute training sessions or they can be combined for a 3-hour training session for church leaders. Based on the book, Saying No to Say Yes: Everyday Boundaries and Pastoral Excellence by David Olsen and Nancy G. Devor, it is great for use with lay leadership and paid and unpaid church staff.

Confessional Small Groups in the Style of the Wesleyan Band Meeting

The Band Meeting was a very small group of approximately five people who would confess their sins and struggles together. Members would talk specifically about their temptations, successes and failures. Creating a safe space for confession and accountability was a part of growing in personal holiness. Not every Methodist was part of a band. This was always a smaller subset of Christian community. It is not intended to be for everyone.

Dealing With Small Group Killers

We’ve all been there. A new group has formed, and its members are excited about its potential. But, before the group realizes it, it becomes hijacked by someone who uses the group as their personal therapy session. This guide will help your group tackle the issue of small group killers.

Learn + Lead Webinar: Social Entrepreneurship with Revs. Dave Warner and Brad Aycock

Revs. Brad Aycock and Dave Warner from the West Ohio Annual Conference share why and how to change the world through social entrepreneurship.

Transformational Small Groups in the Style of the Wesleyan Class Meeting

Wesley understood Christian discipleship more like an apprenticeship to Jesus than a scholarly endeavor where one masters a body of knowledge. So, Wesley developed a process by which Methodists cultivate this kind of discipleship. A process that allowed people who desired this kind of character to be challenged and held accountable for the sake of fleeing the wrath to come. Use this guide with your small group to discuss the class meeting model.

5 Cups of Coffee Group Conversation Facilitator Guide

A facilitator guide for designed for a small or medium-sized group to engage in the 5 Cups of Coffee resource.

Learn + Lead Webinar: Narrative Budgeting with Revs. Monica Jefferson and Tracey Wolff

Rev. Monica Jefferson, St. Andrew UMC (Florissant), and Rev. Tracey Wolff, pastor at North Hills UMC in St. Louis, lead our conversation on stewardship best practices, tips, and tools that they're using at St. Andrew and North Hills individually and as a cooperative parish.

Freed-2-Lead Sermon Series

Sermon planning materials based on our 2018 Annual Conference theme, Freed-2-Lead.

Small Vital Church: El Dorado

El Dorado Springs has new life as a video venue for a suburban church 90 minutes away.

5 Cups of Coffee Sermon Series

A 5-week series on discipleship and call designed to help us understand who we are individually and collectively as God’s children, how we encounter God and what God calls us to do in response.

In the Wake of Violence: Resources for Sunday

ADDRESS AND ACKNOWLEDGE Address God through daily prayer asking for peace and guidance about our continuing struggle to live out the vision of God’s kingdom. Acknowledge through your preaching and teaching our complicity in the sin of institutional racism, which denies the inherently sacred nature of every person. As you seek to lead your congregation through this weekend’s services, you may find the following liturgical resources helpful. Call to Worship and Litany of Lament and Confession ...

Radical Hospitality Sermon Series

Tools to plan a 4-week series on “Radical Hospitality" including weekly themes, key scriptures, sermon building points and weekly sample worship order.

Small Groups for the Rest of Us: How to Design Your Small Groups System to Reach the Fringes by Chris Surratt

Small Groups For The Rest Of Us provides practical, proven strategies on moving people from the fringes into biblically based communities.

Learn + Lead Webinar: Why and How to Start a New Small Group

Why and how to start a new small group with Angie McNeil and Robyn Miller of Woods Chapel UMC

Effective Relationships for PPR Teams and Pastors

Amy Thompson, LCSW, offers insight into building an effective relationship between Pastor Parish Relations Committees and their pastoral staff.

Steps to a Vital Pastor/Parish Relations Committee

Rev. Kendall Waller guides Pastor Parish Relations Committee (PPRC) members through steps that are key to a vital relationship between the committee and the pastor.

Anatomy of Peace by Arbinger Institute

An international bestseller that teaches concepts of reconciliation and conversation to transform personal, professional, and even global conflict through a fictionalized story of parents who are struggling with their own children and with problems that have come to consume their lives.

Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown

Being true to who we are can be difficult in a diverse community, but true belonging is not something we negotiate or accomplish with others; it’s a daily practice that demands integrity and authenticity. Learn from Brown’s approach to being authentic without alienating yourself from others, especially those with whom you disagree.

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, Second Edition by Kerry Patterson et al

This best-seller has taught millions how to transform anger and hurt feelings into powerful dialogue. With practical ideas, this resource imagines it is possible to make it safe to talk about almost anything.

Faultlines: Holy Conversations about Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church by Abingdon

A collection of resources—including small group studies and books—intended to inform the conversations around human sexuality within the United Methodist Church as the denomination prepares for the General Conference.

Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Time by Susan Scott

A guide to transforming everyday conversations at work and at home with effective ways to overcome barriers to meaningful communication, enrich relationships, increase clarity and improve understanding, handle strong emotions, and connect more deeply with others.

Finding the Sweet Spot: Holy Conversation by The Missouri Conference

Four devotional sessions with video and discussion guide support on holy conversation as a means of grace designed for use with small group or leadership training. Great for church councils and leadership teams.

Is It Time? Helping Laity and Clergy Discuss Homosexuality One Question a Time by Adolf Hansen

From the Faultlines collection, this resource contributes to the conversation by presenting questions for laity and clergy to explore as they engage in open dialogue in an atmosphere of mutual respect, even when the conversation partners disagree.

Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church by Abingdon

From the Faultlines collection, this four-week study will help you grapple with various views about the ministry and teaching of The United Methodist Church around issues of human sexuality. And it will help you discern, in prayer and conversation, how you can respond faithfully in love of God and neighbor.

Missio Day Small Group Discussion Questions

Small group discussion questions set in a PowerPoint slide show for use in aiding discussion and study of Missio Dei and the United States: Toward a Faithful United Methodist Witness.

Missio Dei and the United States: Toward a Faithful United Methodist Witness by General Board of Higher Education

Suitable for a six-to-eight week study, the resource will help you take stock of the Wesleyan heritage and ask how we can best participate in God's mission for the church.

Unafraid and Unashamed: Facing the Future of United Methodist by Wil Cantrell

Developed to aid local pastors in effectively communicating the issues facing the denomination on human sexuality that threatens the unity of the church in a manner that strengthens and nurtures.

Unity in Mission: A Bond of Peace for the Sake of Love by C. Andrew Doyle

A book and study guide to understand how The Episcopal Church, its churches, and congregations and diocese across the Anglican Communion may stay together in the midst of division over same-sex marriage.

Unity of the Church and Human Sexuality: Toward a Faithful United Methodist Witness by General Board of Higher Education

This book represents the earnest conferencing by an international group of scholars who met to discuss human sexuality and the future of The United Methodist Church.

Unity Study Guide by General Board of Higher Education

Suitable for a 4-week study, this resource addresses how the church be a witness and provide for a diversified human community.

Amazing Grace by Jonathan Kozol

Amazing Grace is Jonathan Kozol’s classic book on life and death in the South Bronx—the poorest urban neighborhood of the United States.

AmeriCorps – Education

AmeriCorps and Senior Corps play a vital role in helping communities design and implement results-driven, cost-effective solutions, that support students from cradle-to-career.

Bright Futures

Bright Futures is a grass roots, community-based program that creates partnerships and utilizes community resources for the common goal of helping our kids and strengthening our families and community.

Census Bureau Poverty Data

A map that can be broken down by small geographic areas, such as counties, then searched by year.

Center for Family Policy and Research

A report on the state of poverty, education, and health of Missouri children in 2017.

Christian Community Development Association

A Christian organization dedicated to sharing the journey of seeing Christians fully engaged in the process of transformation in their communities.

Early Warning!: Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters

A report showing the effects of illiteracy entering fourth grade on high school dropout rates, America’s workforce, and the economy.

EdGap Map of ACT/SAT Scores

This map is a visualization of average high-school SAT and ACT scores, median household income, and other socioeconomic indicators.

Flood Gates by Sue Nilson Kibbey

Flood Gates is a practical “how-to” guide for pastors and church leaders who dream about releasing holy momentum in their current setting.

Free/Reduced Lunch Statistics and Percentages per County

A breakdown of statistics showing the number of children on free or reduced lunch plans in each Missouri county.

Just Say Yes!

Written for people whose passion has been simmering for years, who yearn to be told Yes! This resource examines the systems and attitudes that restrain and control ministry with real-church examples show how every church can unleash its people for ministry—encouraging, emboldening, and equipping them.

Missourians to End Poverty: 2018 Missouri Poverty Report Download

This report is a comprehensive and concise snapshot of poverty in Missouri.

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