A time of turning and transformation

This question begins Rethink Church’s ministry of online engagement for Lent at www.rethinkchurch.org/journeytohope. The eight-week series helps those for whom Lent is unfamiliar with Rev. Brian and Laura Rossbert engaging visitors on topics about real life issues. Participants can react to questions posed, listen to music that evokes reflection, and watch pre-recorded interviews of Brian and Laura talking with guests who’ve experienced difficulties in relationships, money, temptation and more. With the interviews as a starting point, conversation continues via social media and the site – offering a chance for online visitors to have authentic dialog with pastors and other Christians.

In the session on self-esteem, Laura and Brian interview their friend Rachel Harvey who spoke about learning for the first time that there were people of color in the Bible. “I learned through a footnote of my teen study bible that Samaritans were of mixed race…This book… was so important to me and had become central to who I knew that I was. This was the first time I had ever seen that I could be a part of the story.” Rachel (and other interviewees) will also engage visitors to the site based on questions and comments.

If you’ve long been a part of Lenten traditions, you may actively look for ways to live the faith more deeply during this sacred time. Rethink Church’s newest resource Journey to Hope is a church-wide series (sermon starters, children, youth/young adult and small group) that can help congregations move purposefully together. It offers ideas that go beyond Sunday morning involvement with social media recommendations and mission projects. The series (without multimedia) is free for download at www.umcom.org/journeythope.

Throughout the series, Rethink Church digital advertising will run, drawing new visitors to rethinkchurch.org and helping create a bridge from the seeker to the local church. Visitors can locate a church near them, send a prayer request (through Upper Room Living Prayer Center) and engage people of faith.

When you go to rethinkchurch.org and participate in discussion, you may just become the voice of hope that rings eternal in a stranger’s life.

For more information, contact rethinkchurch@umcom.org.

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