Nashville, Tenn.: New resources that support local church Advent outreach efforts are now available. The resources carry the theme, “Unwrap the true meaning of Christmas,” and complement The United Methodist Church’s national Advent advertising campaign, which will feature children sharing about their faith and what Christmas means to them.
“These tools will support United Methodists as they reach out to their communities with a message of hope and invitation during the holiday season,” said Jennifer Rodia, chief communications officer at United Methodist Communications. “We have added new, turnkey elements that will make Advent outreach easy and fun.”
Available resources include:
- Postcards, customized with information about the local church and mailed within a radius of the church’s address (four design options or churches can upload their own).
- Door hangers with customizable space, offering a welcoming front door greeting from the local church (four design options or churches can upload their own).
- Invitation cards that provide a simple, yet heartfelt way for church members to invite friends and family members to attend a worship service or church event (four design options or churches can upload their own).
- A selfie stand to encourage fun photo opportunities for social media posts (one design option).
- An outdoor banner to welcome people driving by (one design option).
While supplies last, churches can receive a $400 credit toward their print product purchase by utilizing the coupon code found at outreach.com/UMC. Further details about the resources and the offer are available at UMCom.org/advent-resources.
Free downloadable files are also available, which include a how-to guide as well as:
- Advent sermon starters with accompanying videos
- Social media calendar, with pre-written posts and imagery
- Bulletin and worship graphics
- Videos for worship and social media
- Website and social media graphics
- January sermon series from Discipleship Ministries with accompanying videos and promotional flyer
To offer ideas and guide churches in their use of all of the tools, the Rethink Church team will offer a free webinar on September 26 at 11 a.m. Central time. In addition, United Methodist Communications has published church leader-specific content about the brand new resources as well as creative ways to engage congregations in outreach initiatives.
The denomination is also inviting churches to participate in its 16-state “True Meaning of Christmas Tour” during Advent. The tour will travel through 21 cities; at each stop, volunteers will offer invitations to a local United Methodist church, an opportunity to participate in a mission project, a chance share prayer requests and a video booth experience.
“We’ll be in high-traffic areas throughout December, spreading holiday cheer by extending warm invitations that will encourage people to connect with a local United Methodist church as they search for community and a faith home,” said Poonam Patodia, chief marketing officer at United Methodist Communications.
Local churches can be a part of the tour, no matter where they are, by hosting a hot cocoa fellowship event. Tour-branded stickers will be available this fall so that churches can brand hot cocoa cups given out along with invitations to worship services and holiday events. More details and a step-by-step guide are available to support churches as they make plans.
The national advertising campaign will be present on multiple platforms during Advent, including digital and television, and will encourage viewers to visit RethinkChurch.org to learn more about the denomination as well as locate a local United Methodist church.
Churches are encouraged to update their Find-A-Church profile with current contact and worship information so that potential visitors can learn more about churches in their zip code. To get started, church leaders should visit the Find-A-Church website, search for their church, select their church’s profile, scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Update Church Information.”
About United Methodist Communications
As the communications agency for The United Methodist Church, United Methodist Communications seeks to increase awareness and visibility of the denomination in communities and nations around the globe. Advertising efforts connect seekers with the denomination, helping them to find meaning and a faith community in a local United Methodist church. At RethinkChurch.org, visitors may interact, learn more about the church, and search for involvement opportunities.