“Faith is personal, but never private.”
I’ve spent the better part of the last couple of days clicking from one social media live video to another. Last Sunday I watched three consecutive online worship services. This isn’t typical behavior. It’s a symptom of social distancing and shelter-in-place orders. Despite being on the extreme end of the introversion scale, I’m craving some human contact.
I’m also keenly aware that faith flourishes in connection with other individuals. Without other people, my faith starts to wilt like the dried out lily I left on the sill of my now-closed office.
I know I’m not the only one feeling this. In fact, several groups are creatively responding--providing novel means of connection and spiritual activity. When you’re craving that personal and spiritual connection, too, check out some of these helpful online opportunities.
These churches are hosting worship services online. Many also host online discussions and prayer groups. Some even provide daily devotionals.
Other Online Gatherings
Cokesbury Kids hosts weekly online sessions for families.
Order of the Trinity invites participants into regularly scheduled prayer practices.
We’re posting videos nearly every day in hopes of fostering both spiritual and personal connection.
These churches are posting regular Bible studies and devotionals online (we'd love to add more, so if you're a part of a church hosting regular online devotionals, email [email protected]):
- The Upper Room
- Auburn First UMC, Auburn, WA
- North Cross UMC in Kansas City, MO posts daily Bible reflections on Instagram.
- Welborne UMC in Richmond, VA,
- Indian Springs UMC in Glen, MS,
- Sunset UMC in Pasadena, TX
- Lapwai UMC in Lapwai, ID
- Trinity UMC in Port Townsend, WA
- The Gathering in St Louis, MO
- Simple Church in Worcester, MA
- Country Club UMC in Kansas City, MO posts daily devotionals on Facebook
- Union Chapel in Indianapolis, IN
- Dyersburg First UMC in Dyersburg, TN, does midweek Taize services on Facebook
- Union City First UMC in Union City, TN offers an online study on the humanity of Jesus. Let them know you're interested.
- Ripley First UMC in Ripley, TN has short Wednesday night devotionals.
- Ross-Hughlett-Lighthouse UMCs in Dyersburg, TN host an Acts Bible study conference call. Contact Rev. Luvene at jamesluvene1955 (at) att.net
- West Lawn UMC in Reading, PA offers a podcast Bible study and daily devotionals on Facebook.
- Massac-Lebanon United Methodist in Paducah, KY, has weekly Bible study. Contact them for the info.
- Fox Hill Central UMC in Hampton, VA, hosts daily devotionals on Facebook.
- Belle Meade UMC in Nashville, TN, hosts a Wednesday night Bible study.
- Bethphage UMC in Bethphage, TN, hosts a Wednesday morning Bible study.
- Gordon Memorial UMC in Nashville, TN, offers Monday and Wednesday night studies.
- First UMC in Sparta, TN, presents a Facebook devotional Wednesday mornings.
- St Mark UMC in Birmingham, AL, offers a midweek message on Facebook.
- Walker Chapel UMC in Fultondale, AL, posts weekly messages.
The Open Pew released an episode with counselor Tony Caldwell talking about practicing self-love during quarantine.
Reports from the Spiritual Frontier hosts a series of COVID-19 based episodes.
Our own Compass Podcast recently released an episode regarding God moments in times of crisis, fostering online relationships, and communal online spiritual practices.
Ryan Dunn is the Minister of Online Engagement for the Rethink Church team. If you have more suggestions, or questions about Rethink Church, contact him at rdunn(at)umcom.org.