By Linda Green

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - The media distribution ministry of United Methodist Communications has released three new DVDs as the church responds to requests for learning materials in new formats about basic Christian beliefs and practices.

The Ecufilm releases include a three-part DVD to help acolytes, ushers and greeters understand their responsibilities; an updated DVD to trace the history of African Americans in The United Methodist Church; and a new video that explains the United Methodist position on baptism.

Acolytes, Ushers and Greeters familiarizes worship leaders with their responsibilities.

Viewers can learn theological rationale behind these roles, but also general information such as symbols used in Christian worship and the seasons and colors of the Christian year. The $19.95 DVD provides practical suggestions as well, including what an acolyte should do when the candle will not light to how ushers should seat latecomers to worship.

Black Methodism: Legacy of Faith-Revival celebrates the 40th anniversary of pivotal events in the life of The United Methodist Church.

The video explores the legacy of faith that sustained black Methodists through difficult periods and "the sons of thunder" who first exhorted the Gospel.

The $20 DVD is an update to "Legacy of Faith," a video first that was first broadcast in 1994 on Catch the Spirit, a former United Methodist television show.

A free leader's guide is available in the "study guides" section of Ecufilm's Web site at

Baptism in The United Methodist Church is a companion DVD to By Water and the Spirit, the denomination's official statement on baptism.

The new DVD responds to requests for an updated resource to inform and educate all ages about baptism in The United Methodist Church. Portions resemble an alternative-rock video that contributors say will appeal to confirmation-age youth.

The $79.95 DVD includes five segments for children, youth and adults that define the meaning of baptism, the understanding of baptism and why the practice has changed over time.

A free leader's guide is available through Ecufilm (

The DVDs may be ordered online at