Hello McFarland! Pastor Wayne here.
As we wade into the new year there are new challenges for us to consider. Changes to our website because of changes from our content providers is one more thing that we have to deal with. I want to tell you about a couple of things that have changed and how we are adapting to those changes. All of the changes that I am mentioning here appear in the “footer” (the bottom) of every page on our church website.
#1 – We are no longer providing a link to UMC news. Please understand that this is not a change that we wanted to make, especially as we approach the regular quadrennial meeting of the General Conference of the UMC in May (the decision making body that is the ONLY body that speaks for the United Methodist Church) However, sometime in December, the feed that we receive from the official United Methodist news source was only available in Mandarin Chinese. Now, since I highly doubt that any of you read Mandarin Chinese, I feel that this would not be helpful and would cause more confusion than it was worth.
The space allowed to United Methodist News has been replaced with a “Give Now” button that will connect you with our online giving interface through Tithe.ly. If you click on the “Give Now” button, you will be taken to a secure website that will allow you to give to McFarland via ACH transfer from your bank account or by Credit/Debit Card. You will also be able to set up automatic recurring giving from this form as well… in other words, giving to the church will not be affected by whether or not you are present – which benefits everyone. I urge you to consider online giving as part of your commitment to support the church with your prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness.
#2 – The Upper Room daily devotional changed their format on January 1 and is no longer available (at least as far as I can find) in a format that we can automatically share with you on the website. While I appreciate the Upper Room and its message of hope and encouragement, I have always been frustrated by the lack of continuity in study and scripture in the daily lessons.
To replace the daily content of The Upper Room, we have moved to daily content from Seedbed Ministries, an outreach of Asbury Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. Asbury is a Wesleyan seminary providing education to pastors across the spectrum of denominations having their origin in the work of John Wesley and the Methodists.
In contrast to the Upper Room devotional, the Seedbed daily devotional is organized as a continuous study (for a time) with a specific focus on theme or scripture and with links to the previous days studies in order to allow an online bible study to take place. I have been blessed by the Seedbed studies by daily email for several years. I share them with you on the website praying that they will be a blessing to you as well.
If there is anything that is constant, it is change. We will continue to look for ways to keep you updated on the changes happening in the Untied Methodist fellowship with a focus on informed and accurate information. My pledge to you is that as updates occur we will strive to get this information to you as quickly as possible.
Thank you for your support.