In Christ There Is No East Or West: Sharing your celebration with others
As you celebrate your heritage, celebrate your connection to The United Methodist Church, to other faith communities, and to your neighborhood.
The UMC and You
Be sure to invite the following persons to your major heritage events:
representatives from your annual conference Commission on Archives and History and/or conference Historical Society
the district superintendent
the bishop of your area
other United Methodist churches nearby.
What United Methodist ministries can you support through a heritage or anniversary project?
There are many general church and annual conference special offerings and outreach programs. Perhaps your church can give one dollar for every year of its history to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). Or you can honor or memorialize a special person in your congregation with a heritage gift to an annual conference benevolence.
Plan a tour!
Celebrate our heritage by joining with other United Methodist churches in your district to visit historic sites in the conference. Work with your annual conference Commission on Archives and History to identify appropriate places. (See the Resource Directory).
Compile a booklet:
Include historical sketches of United Methodist churches in your district. Each church can contribute a brief sketch and a photograph, along with a small financial gift towards the printing costs. This would make a fine gift for new pastors and superintendents.
Invite area United Methodist churches to a heritage picnic.
Hold the picnic at an area park. Share stories of your churches' history and make some new memories with a hymn-sing, outdoor communion, or a prayer service.
A Fellowship of Believers
Work with persons from other faith groups to plan a heritage event.
Stress the role played by church, synagogue, and mosque in the history of your town or city.
Host a lecture and discussion series at your church.
Invite clergy and/or historians from several backgrounds to talk about their history, beliefs, and religious outlooks.
Plan a community-wide progressive dinner.
Each course can be hosted by a different church. At each venue (homes or church halls), offer entertainment and inspiration through music and word. Stress the heritage you all share as members of the same town, city, or county.
Hold a heritage event with other Wesleyan-related fellowships in your area, such as:
the Wesleyan Methodists
the Free Methodists
and the Church of the Nazarene.
Discuss the many schisms and mergers that characterize the history of Wesley's children in the United States. Celebrate your shared heritage with the words and hymns of the Wesley brothers.
Is there an interfaith mission in your town?
The churches who share responsibility for that work can also share in a celebration of their cooperation. A heritage event can focus on the history of that cooperation with a dinner, personal reminiscences, an exhibit, and a tour of the mission. You can also hold a special heritage fund drive in support of that mission.
Neighbors and Friends
Create a float
Create a float for your town's Fourth of July parade celebrating your church's historic role in the community.
Prepare a slide show
Prepare a slideshow on the history of your church. Focus on the historic relationship of your church and your town. Advertise the program to the local public library or an area historical society. They will probably be eager to schedule your program for their next local history lecture series.
Hold public concerts, organ recitals, or other musical events
Hold events at your church during your anniversary year. Share stories of your church history as part of the musical performance.
Support local social programs.
A special heritage or anniversary project can highlight the work and the needs of such programs and agencies as Habitat for Humanity, a homeless shelter, after-school care for school children, or literacy education. Challenge the church family to give of their time as well as of their resources.
What about a community service award for someone in your church?
A special heritage certificate can be accompanied by a love gift to the work in which the recipient is active.