Lighthouse Congregations are local churches in the UMC that are particularly equipped to welcome anyone whose church has closed or disaffiliated. These congregations will open their doors to anyone looking for a church home whether it be temporary, transitional, or for a lifetime with no pressure to join or give. As a designated Lighthouse Congregation, Dalton FUMC is committed to being a safe space with caring relationships, listening hearts, and unconditional love for those in need.
Lighthouse Congregations will:
Be UMC. This is a promise of stability to those who were displaced because they want to remain United Methodist
Provide a welcoming space to belong during this time of grief and transition, which might be for a season or for a lifetime. This includes all forms of pastoral and lay-driven care and compassion. This may also include providing physical space for "remnant" groups to gather as they consider what it looks like to stay together.
Offer ministry opportunities without any immediate pressure to join, give, or lead.
- Worship: Provide worship opportunities, whether online or in person. These services should intentionally engage and welcome new people and include the sacraments of communion and baptism.
- Discipleship: Extend invitations to new and existing groups for spiritual formation and study. Share space and resources (e.g., study books, Amplify Media subscriptions) to allow displaced groups to meet.
- Mission: Invite fellow United Methodists to serve with you through hands-on service, outreach, evangelism and community engagement.
Organize efforts to reach out to individuals and groups who have expressed a desire to remain UMC.
Connect with other Congregations, the District, and the Center for Congregational Excellence to help displaced individuals and groups figure out their best next steps.
Whether you are an individual or a group of people who have become churchless because of closing or disaffiliation, Dalton First United Methodist Church will be there for you.