The West Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church is excited to launch a new conference-wide initiative called New Places • New People for 2023 and beyond.
New Places • New People is not an event or a program, but rather a way of engaging with our world, our communities, and our neighbors in the places they already are. More than traditional outreach, New Places • New People focuses on creating new discipling communities beyond the walls of our buildings.
We are currently scheduling workshops in each of our districts to introduce the New Places • New People initiative. Each workshop will offer opportunities for fellowship and learning about how your congregation can become a mission outpost for whole new ways of creating connections and building community.
The workshops will help you develop ministries that meet people where they are and help them create contextual expressions of church built around authentic friendships, discipleship, and God-size dreams for the world.
New Places • New People workshops are already scheduled for the following districts in the first and second quarters of 2023 (locations to be determined):
Little Kanawha: Feb. 25
Northern: March 4
Southern: March 11
Potomac Highlands: May 13
Registration information for these workshops will be available in early January 2023. More workshop dates will be announced as they are scheduled. All district workshops will be free of charge, but registration will be required for meal planning, pre-workshop requirements, and post-workshop followup.
The workshops are being coordinated by the Conference office of Congregational Vitality.
A missional calling
The global coronavirus pandemic created opportunities for our churches to consider new possibilities for the ways we connect the people of God in worship, discipleship, and service to our neighbors.
As we move into a post-pandemic reality, we’re learning more about shifts in culture, technology, and demographic trends that call for new methods of building relationships and nurturing faith communities.
Through it all, our mission hasn’t changed. The people called Methodists in the West Virginia Conference are still committed to discover, develop, and deploy passionate spiritual leaders who make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
We believe God is moving in new ways in our communities, creating openings for the kinds of authentic friendships that transform people’s lives.
And we believe the Church still has a part to play…all we have to do is listen.
Across the area served by the West Virginia Conference, there are hundreds of contexts within which new faith communities can spring up, supported by our existing churches.
Within each of our churches—no matter how large or small—there are passionate people we can equip and resource to bring new communities to life in the places where people are already gathering.
The West Virginia Conference is committed to helping our churches connect with new people in new places.
It may be a long road. But it starts here.
More to come!
In addition to scheduling district workshops, online learning opportunities, and new content for our Portico online learning system, we are developing a New Places • New People page on our Conference website, wvumc.org, where you can find workshop dates, resources, success stories, and more!