5 New Ideas From GBOD

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Every month we send you just 5 ways you can better equip Vital Congregations and make disciples of Jesus Christ. Here’s this month’s issue!

Idea 1Experience the Christmas story in a fresh and transforming way. Participate in Taste and See, The Upper Room’s 2014 online Advent eRetreat, beginning Nov. 30 through Dec. 27. Engage your imagination and become a part of the events surrounding the birth of the Christ child. This eRetreat includes a live session with author Jan Johnson, audio recordings of scripture passages, video introductions to each week’s theme, a guided group discussion and more. The cost is $50. For more information and to register, go to

Idea 2Learn more about serving special needs children and families. Participate in a one-hour, interactive webinar on Nov. 18 led by Melanie Gordon of Discipleship Ministries and Elizabeth Christie of the New York Annual Conference. The webinar will present a broad overview of children and families who come with special needs and will offer tips for setting up classrooms and activities so that everyone is successful and engaged. For more information and to register, go to

Idea 3Register early for YOUTH 2015 and get a reduced rate. Registration begins on Nov. 24 for YOUTH 2015, the national event for United Methodist youth in grades 6 through 12 and their leaders next June 24-28 in Orlando. With a 25 percent deposit per person, youth leaders can register their groups at the early bird rate of $420 each, which includes four nights lodging and dinner three nights. The event will feature major concerts each night, special speakers and an event-wide focus on John Wesley’s “means of grace.” For more information and to register, go to

Idea 4Learn about the best practices for church planting. The United Methodist Church has engaged in a new wave of church planting since 2008. Over these years, we have learned that certain best practices seem to produce more fruit as we find leaders, equip them for effectiveness, plant new communities of faith and multiply. To learn from this list of 23 practices, read more at

Idea 5Begin the coming church year with a new planning calendar. Pastors, worship leaders and planners, musicians, choirs, committee members, Sunday school teachers and others will use the 2015 Worship & Music Planning Calendar throughout the year. It includes seasons, special days, celebrations and observances from both the church and civil calendars, plus lectionary reading citations for the entire year. To download the free calendar from Discipleship Ministries, go to

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