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This Week @ Dakotas | January 19

Bishop Laurie's blog, Leading from the Heart | Come be near us
    In her weekly blog posted January 18, 2021, Bishop Laurie Haller writes: I had just awakened last Thursday and was reciting my daily scriptures and prayers. They include my morning prayer, Psalm 23, the Lord’s Prayer, Wesley’s Covenant Prayer, and my personal mission statement. All of a sudden, a song came into my heart from out of nowhere. “Come, Be Near Us” is from a 1977 collection of sacred songs by Bert and Nance Carlson. It had been forty years since I both accompanied and sang this song. Listen to Bishop Laurie sing and play the song and read the blog here.

Pray with us | January 19-24
Lord, thank you for grace. Please help us move beyond the hurdles that trip us up and give us the strength and wisdom to look up and see the hope we run toward in Christ. We pray for all of God's people, especially these persons. 

Soul Fill-up | Wednesdays 8 a.m. mountain time, 9 a.m. central time
Soul Fill-up is a mid-week time for church leaders to slow down. Let us pour into your soul and refill your cup during guided scripture reading, prayer, and meditation led by the spiritual directors of the Higher Ground program. There is nothing to do or prepare - just set this 30-40 minutes aside for yourself and join us! Click here to join, Wednesdays at 9:00 a.m. central time, 8:00 a.m. mountain time.

Both/And with Jason Moore |  3 stratgies for hybrid worship
    Jason Moore recently presented a two-hour webinar with more than 100 participants titled, “Both / And: Maximizing Hybrid Worship Experiences for Online and In-Person Audiences.” “Online worship has allowed us to reach people that would have never walked into our church doors,” says Moore. He presented three strategies or approaches to providing worship experiences in-person and online: Pre-Both / And Worship, Real-time Both / And Worship, and Post-Both / And Worship. Here is a little more about each of them. Read a summary or get the link to view the webinar here.

Digital Campus Initiative | Janaury 24 application deadline
 Start your digital campus in 2021! COVID-19 has made digital church an option for many that will not go away. Even as we re-gather in our buildings we will need to be "both and" churches. This is an opportune time to grow virtual ministry and the Dakotas-Minnesota Area is creating a pathway for qualified leaders to start and formalize a digital campus in 2021. Apply for a  $3,000 grant, by January 24, 2021, to receive training, connect with leaders, grant funds to launch your digital campus. Training will take place on Saturdays during the month of February. Grants will be limited to 10 congregations from the Dakotas Conference. Get the details and application here

Advanced Lay Speaking online preaching course | Begins January 24
     Rev. Andy Bartel, who is a Dakotas Conference elder and the lead pastor at St. John's UMC in Anchorage, Alaska is offering a preaching workshop. The virtual workshop is the official Lay Servant Ministry Advanced class through the General Board of Discipleship. There are five modules, each two hours in length. The online course will take place Sundays from  5 p.m. - 7 p.m., mountain time, 6 p.m.-8 p.m., central time on:  January 24 , 31,  February 7, 21 and 28, 2021.

Breakthrough Ministry Grants | Applications due January 31
    Appy for a grant to reach the next person for Jesus. Breakthrough Ministry Grants include outreach ministries, church/school partnerships, young adult/campus ministries, and culture of call.  The next grant application deadline is January 31.  Get the application and instructions here. For questions about the application process, contact Diane Weller in the Foundation office.

Financial Foundations webinar | February 8, 7 p.m. central time
The topic for this quarterly webinar is, " Assessing your Church’s Financial Health." Most churches don’t really know how well they’re doing, and this tends to fill their leaders with a sense of fear and doubt. After years of working with churches and talking with leaders, we’ve put together some tests to assess your church’s financial health to give you the confidence of knowing. Sheri  Meister and Jeff  Pospisil will share these assessments with you, as well as give you some next steps depending on your church’s financial health.

Breaking through Gridlock |  Conflict resolution workshop
    Did you miss the first session on January 14? Join us to catch the second sesssion on February 11 . 
Whether you want to change the world in big ways, or just be able to have deeper relationships with people who don’t think like you, conversation is the key. And yet, especially these days, conversations quickly get stuck—entrenched into our own small worldviews, assured we are right in our thinking. Breaking Through Gridlock: The Power of Conversation in a Polarized World, is a four-session workshop, led by Mary Kay Duchene from LeaderWise. All Dakotas Conference clergy are strongly encouraged to attend virtually on February 11, March 11 and April 8, 2021 at 11:00 a.m.—1:30 p.m., central time, 10:00 a.m. —12:30 p.m. mountain time. Register here

Surprise the World | 2021 Lenten book study
    This Lent (February 17-April 4, 2020), the Bishop and Cabinet invite all Dakotas United Methodists to join an all-conference Lenten book study. Beginning on Feb. 10, 2029, each week in the Monday @ Dakotas e-newsletter, we will post a new video introducing these practices, based on Michael Frost’s book Surprise the World: Five Habits of Highly Missional People.  We will post a weekly video with a message from our district superintendents lifting up one of the habits of people who surprise the world, based on Michael Frost’s book, Surprise the World!  Bishop Haller will provide encouragement and inspiration for our Lenten journey with a special video for Ash Wednesday. We encourage you to get the book for your own study ( or Amazon) and form small groups in your church. Videos will be posted here for congregations or individuals to download or view. Small group study guides are posted here so churches can access them at any time. If you are looking for additional resources to supplement these, you can find more here.

Reach Again: Seeing opportunities larger than obstacles | View webinar
    This REACH! webinar was led by Rev. Dr. Ron Bell Jr., pastor at Camphor Memorial UMC in St. Paul, Minnesota. This session, recorded on January 7, 2021, focused on the challenges of this cultural moment and the need for the church to reclaim its place in the arch of hope. We still proclaim the good news, that Jesus Christ lives. Bell offered examples and tools to help us strategically reclaim our place and remember our first love. Access Power Point 

Elisha Intership | Apply by March 1, 2021
Applications open now. Are you a college student interested in vocational ministry?  The Elisha Project is an internship program that allows the opportunity for students to explore, discern their call and discuss with mentors and peers where God is calling them.  Students who have completed at least one year of college, completed the application process and selected by the Elisha committee will be assigned to a church and mentor.



 Job Announcement | Legacy UMC
     Legacy is seeking a Legacy Kids Assistant Director to lead the ministry from infants to 5th graders. The position is available to begin immediately. More information can be found at

Job Announcement | Watertown First UMC
     Watertown First United Methodist Church is now seeking a Director of Youth Ministry. This position is to be filled immediately, and can be full or part time with compensation dependent upon qualifications. More information and applications can be found here: 


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