By Laura Lea Williams, Mississippi Conference Staff
Spiritual leaders sometimes get worn down, stressed, and exhausted when the Sabbath comes around. Jackson, Mississippi churches Galloway Memorial United Methodist and Alta Woods United Methodist work together to help save the Sabbath.
Saving Sabbath: Reconnecting Children and Family Ministry to the Practice of Sacred Sabbath was a workshop provided by Galloway and Alta Woods. The program was also awarded the Mississippi Conference Office of Connectional Ministries Mission Grants. (Local church apportioned mission shares fund the annual grants available to United Methodist churches in Mississippi.)
Saving Sabbath was born out of the hunger of the founders Megan Snider's and Abigail Herrington's need and desire for spiritual rest. After noticing that exhaustion was a common theme amongst their fellow youth and family leaders, they began thinking about how to prevent these leaders from tiredness. They started researching various Sabbath practices and noticed that art, music and physical activity provided an abundance of creative, easy, and relaxing Sabbath practices.
The goal of Saving Sabbath is to take a step back from high energy children and youth events to help leaders focus more on the sacred rest that comes with the Sabbath. Their mission is to train other children and family ministry leaders to create and foster environments of spiritual and sacred stillness. Saving Sabbath allowed church leaders to participate in a day of learning how to refocus their energy into relaxing and reflecting on the creative spiritual arts during the Sabbath. Leaders were invited to attend, teach, and learn other meditative forms of spiritual renewal. By the end of the day, the children and family leaders left feeling nourished, enriched, renewed, and ready to help others save the Sabbath.
The Mississippi Conference Connectional Ministries Mission Grants are a matching grant available to United Methodist churches and United Methodist sponsored or related agencies in Mississippi. Grants range from $500 to $2,500 per project, with one award of up to $10,000. They are awarded to form spiritual leaders, new places for new people, connections through existing congregations and engagement in ministry with the poor; therefore, living out the four Core Values of The POWER of We.
The POWER of We funded in part by your apportioned mission shares.