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Updated: UMPH expands Book of Worship, CE Bible permissions; offers free resources

Bible study Photo by Greg Campbell for United Methodist Communications
Bible study Photo by Greg Campbell for United Methodist Communications

(Updated April 8, 2020)

As (the United Methodist Publishing House continues) to receive requests for clarification about use of copyrighted resources online during the crisis, UMPH is emphasizing full permission for churches to use worship materials, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

The copyright page in the 1992 United Methodist Book of Worship grants permission as follows:

“United Methodist congregations may reproduce for worship or educational purposes any item from The United Methodist Book of Worship for one-time use, as in a bulletin, special program, or lesson resource, provided that the copyright notice and acknowledgement is included in the reproduction.” 

Each worship service is a one-time use. Therefore, churches are free to reproduce the liturgical text as needed (with the obvious exception of the copyrighted service music on pages 173-223). Further, during the COVID-19 crisis, UMPH is waiving the need to ask permission to livestream and/or record worship services which read, perform, or display liturgical text from the UM Book of Worship. UMPH encourages churches to utilize streaming licenses from OneLicense or CCLI to stream copyrighted service music.

No additional permission is required for any United Methodist congregation to reproduce the liturgical text in the context of an online or physically gathered worship service or, during the COVID-19 crisis, to livestream worship services and/or record and post them on a private site during this period.

This permission does not extend to events other than worship services or events where admission is charged or registration fees are collected or copies are duplicated in a resource for sale.

“The preface of the Book of Worship entreats, ‘May God’s grace be with all who use this book,’” said the Rev. Brian Milford, president and publisher. “As we gather online for encouragement and worship while physically separated, the Publishing House wants every congregation to know that they are authorized to use this treasure trove of resources.”

The United Methodist Publishing House (UMPH) has revised and expanded its permissions for reproducing sections of the Common English Bible, The United Methodist Book of Worship and The United Methodist Hymnal and supplements during the COVID-19 pandemic.


(April 6, 2020)

A growing number of free UMPH-produced resources are also available to use in worship, for educational ministries and to provide congregational care.


Common English Bible (CEB): You can find the revised permission at the top of the terms page for CEB.

Citations should be carry this note: “Scripture quotations noted CEB are taken from the Common English Bible, copyright 2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

When quotations from the CEB text are used in non-saleable media, such as church bulletins, orders of service, posters, transparencies or similar media (which includes one-time use during live audio or video streaming), the initials CEB may be used at the end of each quotation.

The CEB text may be quoted up to and inclusive of 500 verses without express written permission of the publisher, provided the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible nor account for 25 percent of the written text of the total work or live event in which they are quoted.”

The United Methodist Book of Worship (BOW): At least through April 30, 2020, UMPH has granted blanket permission for use of all materials owned by UMPH and published in The Book of Worship.

The United Methodist Hymnal (UMH) and supplements: For hymns and tunes from The United Methodist Hymnal and other hymnals and songbooks, UMPH recommends churches use a license from OneLicense or CCLI, both of which administer music rights for multiple copyright holders. Much of the material in these resources is not owned by UMPH. OneLicense is granting free licenses for one month during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Purchased spring quarter curriculum: UMPH grants permission to churches and individuals who purchased the Spring Quarter 2020 curriculum to photocopy and/or use the curriculum (except music because we don’t own the rights) in livestream and post to private sites for use by your local church members through May 31. Specifically the permission covers Deep Blue Connects, One Room Sunday School, Bible Story Basics, Bible Lessons for Youth, Adult Bible Studies, Daily Bible Study or Lecciones Cristianas


Amplify Media

Amplify Media is a streaming service launched by UMPH to give churches unlimited streaming video access to discover, customize and share thousands of diverse resources. All of the resources come from a Wesleyan perspective that encourages deeper discipleship and equips churches to pursue their mission with greater impact. 

For a limited time, Amplify has made  several resources free and accessible for churches to participate in a church-wide or group study and children’s content to keep them engaged in the Bible. Churches can also use the platform to stream worship services and upload their own content. Both church and individual subscriptions are available with a 14-day free trial.

Ministry Matters

In this unprecedented time of uncertainty, isolation and fear caused by a global pandemic, Ministry Matters provides faith leaders with the resources and help to stay connected and active within their communities. Grouped by key practices for fruitful congregations, the articles and resources help you sustain and offer Christ’s love to a troubled world.

Scholars, teachers and worship leaders in The United Methodist Church developed Christian Worship and Devotion during Social Distancing for United Methodists. These guidelines and liturgies for worship and prayer provide instruction and guidance for church leaders and participants during the pandemic. It also includes many resources for worshipping from home online and private devotion during Holy Week and beyond.

Cokesbury Kids

Cokesbury Kids provides a single, trusted resource for engaging spiritual learning materials for kids from infancy through their tween years. We are offering free digital resources for you to share and use in your congregation and help stay connected, including access to free Deep Blue videos and simplified Sunday lessons and free youth and adult Bible studies and videos.


Adult Bible Studies

Check for resources to help adults grow their faith, refresh their spirit and equip them for ministry. During this time, churches are making tough decisions about how to remain close as a faith community. We understand how important it is for Sunday school classes and small groups to stay connected and want to help keep those connections strong. These free digital resources to share and use in your congregation include helpful articles, studies, blogs and more.