The Circuit Rider Nov./Dec. 2023

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Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church

TheCircuitRider Monthly Newsletter


Bishop Lewis’ Thanksgiving Greeting

hanksgiving is a day full of fun, family, friends and fellowship. It’s also a wonderful season to reflect on the goodness of God you’ve experienced all year long. The apostle Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice! Rejoice always, pray without ceasing. Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Paul reminds us that every day is a day of Thanksgiving. Do you know what Bishop Lewis is thankful for? Click here and watch her Thanksgiving greeting to the Mississippi Conference to find out. You can also click here to download the video and share with your congregations.

Maples Memorial Big Serve Sunday Blesses the Community Matthew Johnson, Connectional Ministries and Communications Assistant

Maples Memorial UMC members fill sanitation kits. Photo courtesy Gail Ross

Spread Joy by Supporting Methodist Children’s Homes this Christmas Matthew Johnson, Connectional Ministries and Communications Assistant

Mississippi United Methodists can be a blessing to the Methodist Children’s Homes, MCH, this holiday season. Through the Little Light of Mine special offering and Adopt a Child gift drive, Methodist congregations can help sustain facilities and operations, and make sure children in the care of MCH have a Merry Christmas. Read More


Is the UMC Really...? Part 10 page 2 | Native American Heritage Month page 2 | Conference Prayer page 3 | Thank You from Bishop Lewis page 3 | Treasurer’s Notes page 3 | Cares and Concerns page 4

Nov./Dec. 2023

Maples Memorial United Methodist Church in Olive Branch recently left the pews to do community service projects. The church’s Big Serve Sunday event placed teams of church members into the community to do projects including cleaning, packing hygiene kits and yard work. Their passion for demonstrating God’s love helped them exemplify the gospel to those outside the church walls. Read More

Connection News Native American Heritage Month

Support UM Students through UM Student Day Offering U nited Methodist Student Day is Sunday November 26. Every

dollar from offerings collected on this Special Sunday supports United Methodist students pursuing higher education. Click here for the United Methodist Student Day pastor and leader kit. Click here to learn about Dollars for Scholars, which supplies matching funds for

November is Native American Heritage Month. During this month, United Methodist Conferences and churches take time to learn more about Native American history and culture and raise awareness about Native American ministries. Click here for Native American Heritage Month worship resources that can be used in your church.

United Methodist churches that provide scholarships to students in their congregations.

Methodist Foundation Scholarships Support Miss. Methodist Students Scholarships offered through the Methodist Foundation of Mississippi help United Methodist students fund their higher education goals. Click here to read about one such scholarship founded in memory of Leavell Woods United Methodist

Emily Lambert, scholarship recipient; Photo courtesy of the Methodist Foundation of Mississippi

Church lay leader, Bert Jordan. Applications for scholarships open January 2, click here to view application guidelines.

2 The Circuit Rider Monthly Newsletter | November/December 2023

Is The United Methodist Church Really…? [PART 10] The 10th article in the Ask The UMC series answers whether a re-vote on disaffiliation is allowed, do United Methodist seminaries teach doctrines contrary to those of The United Methodist Church, will local churches be compelled to host same-sex weddings and if The United Methodist Church endorses critical race theory. Click here to read the article and click here to read the entire series.

Mississippi Conference News Mississippi Conference Congregational Prayer The office of spiritual leadership is seeking one sentence prayers

from the people and churches of the Mississippi Conference. These sentence prayers will be gathered, prayed through and used to create a corporate prayer which will be presented to the Mississippi Conference at the December called session. The purpose of the prayer is to celebrate and uplift our Mississippi connection as the conference moves forward. Click here to share your one sentence prayer.

Rest, Renewal and Revival After a season of disaffiliation, Mississippi Conference clergy need rest, renewal and revival in order to move forward shepherding God’s people. In 2024, the office of spiritual leadership is offering opportunities for clergy to heal and recharge. Click here to read about spiritual leadership’s 2024 events from director Rev. Trey Harper.

Conference Treasurer’s Notes

Thank You from Bishop Lewis Bishop Lewis is grateful for all the ways you, the Mississippi Conference, serve the Kingdom of God, and wanted

In his latest notes, conference

to show her appreciation for your

treasurer, David Stotts, offers

resilience as you remain committed

end of year business reminders

to the mission and ministry of The

to churches. These reminders

United Methodist Church. Click here

include information on mission

and view her message of gratitude and

shares, property insurance, open

excitement for our future. You can also

enrollment and submitting end of

click here to download the video and

the year financial information to the

share with your congregations.

conference office. To read his notes, click here.

November/December 2023 | The Circuit Rider Monthly Newsletter 3

Finishing Strong: 2023 Bible Challenge As the 2023 Bible Challenge reaches a close, we are thankful for your diligence in journeying through the Word of God together these past 12 months. Click here to view November and December scriptures, graphics and reading plans at the 2023 Bible Challenge headquarters.

Share your Bible Challenge experiences at news@!


Offices Close for Christmas and New Year’s Day – Dec. 22-Jan. 2

Collaborative Leadership Healing Conference – Feb. 10, 2024

Thanksgiving Office Closure – Nov. 23-24

The conference and episcopal offices will

The Collaborative Leadership Healing

close Friday, December 22 as we celebrate

Conference will be Saturday, February

The conference and episcopal offices will be

the Savior’s birth and welcome in the new

10 at Crossgates United Methodist Church

year. Offices will reopen Tuesday January 2

in Brandon. The conference will focus on

at normal business hours. Click here to find

healing in this time of transition. Rev. Romal

Advent, Christmas and New Year’s outreach

Tune will be the keynote speaker for the

and celebration resources that you can use in

event. The cost will be $100 for clergy and $35

your church.

for laity, and there will be 1.0 CEU available

closed Thursday and Friday, November 23 and 24 as we take time to fellowship with friends and family in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. Offices will reopen Monday, November 27 at normal business hours.

for clergy who attend. Click here for more

Human Relations Day – Jan. 14, 2024

The 2023 Called Annual Conference Session – Dec. 9

Human Relations Day is Sunday, January

The 2023 Called Session of the Mississippi

before the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. birthday

Annual Conference will be Saturday, December 9 at Anderson United Methodist Church in Jackson. Registration opens at 8:00 a.m., followed by the clergy session at 9:00 a.m. and the called annual conference session at 10:00 a.m. Click here for more information on the special session.

information and to register.

14, 2024. Always observed on the Sunday celebration, the offering received on this Special Sunday supports social justice

Publication Note: The next publication of The Circuit Rider will be released January 2024.

ministries and outreach through community developers, volunteer service and youth offender rehabilitation programs. Click here for the Human Relations Day pastor and leader kit.

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES As a courtesy to the Mississippi Annual Conference, job announcements from across the United Methodist connection are featured in The Circuit Rider. To submit an employment notice, send an email to Postings are not guaranteed to appear more than once in Mississippi Conference publications. To read a description of job opening(s) listed below as well as other listings, click here. • Part-Time Children and Youth Coordinator, Wesley UMC (Columbus, MS) • Director of Youth Ministry, First UMC (Clinton, MS) • Director/Pastor of Discipleship and Fisk University Wesley Foundation Campus Minister (Nashville, TN) 4 The Circuit Rider Monthly Newsletter | November/December 2023

CARES AND CONCERNS As you pause to pray this week, take time to ask for strength, peace and comfort for the families and friends of those listed below who have joined the Church Triumphant: • Please pray for the family of Rev. William Johnson who passed away on October 14.

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