Keeping Christmas Despite COVID-19

How did United Methodist pastors and congregations cope with pandemic fatigue during the holiday season? The Rev. Sheron C. Patterson (MTS ’83, MDiv ’89, DMin ’96) was one of several pastors quoted in this UMNS story on the topic.

“It’s very challenging,” said Patterson, who is senior pastor at Hamilton Park United Methodist Church in Dallas. “People are fatigued with Zoom and webinars. Getting people in the Christmas spirit with the COVID is challenging.” Patterson worked to ensure that members of her predominately elderly congregation had access to technology. Sermons were available to hear via phone.  To help address some of the mental health challenges of the pandemic, the church also offered two Zoom seminars on “Beating the Holiday Blues,” featuring mental health experts teaching about grieving.

Connecting with College Students

While the COVID-19 pandemic forced Memphis Wesley Foundation to transition most of its ministries online, the pandemic the campus ministry is managing to reach even more students. Thanks to a new strategic initiative, Memphis Wesley has become a multi-campus student organization. The student leadership internship program at Memphis Wesley has continued to expand through a scholarship fund thanks to financial support from individuals and local churches throughout the Memphis Conference and beyond. Read an update from Morgan Stafford (MDiv ’18), Executive Director of Memphis Wesley Foundation, at the Memphis Annual Conference website, here.

New book by Roseborough

Cheryl Roseborough (M.A.M., ’20) has published a new book, The Gospel of Truth, a 7-week Bible study that addresses seven spiritual truths from the book of Luke. “This has been a true labor of love,” Roseborough said. “There were layers of healing that I had to walk through as well for this baby to be birthed. COVID allowed me the opportunity to make this happen.” For more information or to purchase, click here.

 

Obituary: The Rev. Brian McCarthy

The Rev. Brian McCarthy (Master of Sacred Theology ’76) died on November 17 at the age of 94 due to COVID-19. Born in Ireland, McCarthy entered the Dominican Order in 1946. He studied philosophy and theology in Rome and at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland, where he earned his degree in 1954. A passionate supporter of the reforms of Vatican II, McCarthy was deeply disappointed when those reforms were slowed or reversed. After arriving in the U.S. in 1973, and earning his degree at Perkins, McCarthy was ordained as an Elder by the Wisconsin Conference of the United Methodist Church in 1979. He served United Methodist and UCC congregations in New England and Wisconsin. Always politically vocal, McCarthy became a naturalized citizen of the U.S. in 1994 and lived to cast his ballot in the 2020 presidential election. Read his obituary here.

Obituary: The Rev. Sullins Marlin Lamb

The Rev. Sullins Marlin Lamb (BDiv ’55), a longtime United Methodist pastor and teacher, died on December 5.  He taught and preached more than 40 years as a member of the Holston Conference. While at Perkins, he met the love of his life, Susan Smyser. He began his pastoral career at Magnolia Avenue UMC in Knoxville then led and grew churches in Virginia and Tennessee. He is survived by five children, four granddaughters and a great granddaughter. A graveside celebration was held on December 11. Read his obituary here.