Now, more than ever, it is important for people of faith to continue to dialogue together. GBHEM has created an accessible, digital platform for lay and clergy leaders to have rigorous academic discussions, share practical advice and join together in thoughtful contemplation. We offer regular e-panel discussions with thought leaders within the United Methodist Church and outside it—and invite you to join in the discussion!

All previously aired e-panels are available below and we recommend that you check back regularly for information on new topics and speakers. GBHEM e-panels are streamed live to GBHEM’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. Full recordings of each e-panel are also archived on those platforms.

2020 E-Panel Series

GBHEM launched its first e-panel series in April 2020, just as the global coronavirus pandemic forced many church leaders to scrap their regular operating procedures. Throughout the year, all e-panel discussions have focused on addressing different leadership challenges in this uniquely uncertain time. In order to do this, panels were split into three distinct categories. Explore all three and access the full panel recordings below.

Leading in Crisis

Our “Leading in Crisis” e-panel series is presented in partnership with the Council of Bishops’ Leadership Development Team and focuses specifically on the work of church leaders in addressing the impact of COVID-19 and the pervasive violence of systemic racism in 2020. Learn more about each discussion:

This panel featured Bishop Grant Hagiya of the California-Pacific Annual Conference and Bishop Ken Carter of the Florida Annual Conference. In the discussion, Carter and Hagiya addressed topics like what congregants need to see from leaders during times of crisis; how all clergy can better support communities of color; the importance of social justice and active antiracism as a part of any ministry; and the need for leaders to practice rest and self-care. Watch the full panel.

As clergy confront 2020’s twin pandemics of coronavirus and systemic racism, it may be difficult to discern the right path forward for their ministry. Panelists discussed how church leaders can keep moving forward during this difficult time and how they can lower their risks for burnout and exhaustion. Featured speakers included Bishop LaTrelle Easterling of the Baltimore-Washington Conference, author Susan Beaumont and Rev. DJ del Rosario. Watch the full panel.

This panel addressed three primary topics: keeping your mission alive in difficult times; driving greater engagement and dialogues with your community; and how to continue witnessing the Good News when today’s news seems so bleak. It featured Council of Bishops President, Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey, Rev. Dr. Doug Powe of Wesley Theological Seminary, and Rev. Ted Henry, the chaplain for Lees-McRae College in North Carolina. Watch the full panel.

Many colleges and universities have had to take education entirely online in order to safely keep teaching during the pandemic. In this e-panel, participants shared what they’ve learned from the virtual transition, and what they’ve done to help vulnerable students who face barriers to digital education. The panelists were the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Africa University, Professor Peter Mageto, and President Suzanne Walsh of Bennett College. Watch the full panel.

Coronavirus at the Crossroads of Faith and Science

“Coronavirus at the Crossroads of Faith and Science,” brings experts in faith and theology together with leading scientists and researchers to discuss the full impact of the health crisis and how we, as United Methodist leaders, are called to respond. Each panel featured physicians with different specialty expertise and leading theologians from our United Methodist seminaries.

During the pandemic, one of the most troubling questions we’ve heard from faithful people all over the globe is, “Is the pandemic a punishment for sins?” GBHEM decided to ask this – and other questions about the disease’s cause and effects – to two experts. Dr. James E.K. Hildreth of Meharry Medical College and Professor Randy L. Maddox of Duke Divinity School explained why it’s wrong to see the pandemic as divine retribution and offered clear advice on how people ought to address it. Watch the full panel.

In this panel, GBHEM asked how pastoral care for the sick and dying fits into the framework of “essential work” during the pandemic. Panelists discussed options for caregivers and clergy navigating the need to provide comfort and spiritual care when in-person visits are not possible. Dr. Austin Dalgo, a palliative care specialist at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, and Rev. Dr. Trina Armstrong, an assistant professor of pastoral care and counseling and pastoral theology for Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, shared their expertise. Watch the full panel.

The GBHEM Virtual Book Club

GBHEM held its first virtual book club in 2020! Participants were encouraged to start the book beforehand, but this event was open to anyone and included helpful “how-to” information on managing church finances. Click to view the full discussion below.

GBHEM author Bonnie Marden discussed her book “Church Finances for Missional Leaders: Best Practices for Faithful Stewardship” and gave financial guidance on how to keep church budgets funded in an economic downturn. She shared practical tips on how to create a budget, initiate difficult conversations about money, set up successful online giving and much more. Watch the discussion.

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