The Latest Edition of E-News - Diversity Initiative, Retiring Well, Preaching Cohorts, and more


E-News - August 1

E-News is a bi-weekly newsletter sent out by the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. It contains important news, stories, and events from around our conference. Submit articles for the next e-news. Submit events.


Dr. Otto Harris to Lead Diversity Initiative
Dr. Otto Harris will lead the Comprehensive Plan of Inclusiveness, a conference-wide initiative centered around promoting diversity in Western North Carolina. This effort is the result of a grassroots movement emerging from a variety of places...
Retiring Well 2019 - September 23-24th - Sign up now!
Now is the time to plan for retirement! September 23-24, 2019 There are many aspects of retirement that require planning at different stages of a clergyperson’s ministry. This two-day seminar provides vital information regarding the needs of clergy ...
Three Preaching Cohorts this fall
The WNC Leadership Development Team is offering three preaching cohorts this fall, led by WNC clergy: Ashley Crowder Stanley, Michael Brown, and Jan Brittain.  They will each start in September and run into the spring.
Reporting Historical Changes for the 2019 Journal
The Conference Office is working to pull together information for the 2019 Journal, and as in years past, is requesting churches to report data on church and parsonage renovations, remodeling, new buildings, dedications, etc. that took place over the past year (July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019).

Back-to School Letter 
From the United Methodist Advocates for Public Schools
We hope you and your churches will celebrate educators and students with Back to School activities and recognitions in August. UMAPS is a joint advocacy committee of the North Carolina and Western North Carolina United Methodist Church Conferences. In the WNCCUMC this falls under Congregations for Children (C4C). UMAPS focuses on advocacy for public education and strives to engage in support of students and educators for the crucial work they do.

Renfro Trust Grants
The Renfro Trust Fund awards annual bricks-and-mortar grants to small rural United Methodist congregations in the Southeastern Jurisdiction. The deadline for submission is September 1, 2019. Completed applications should be returned to Caroline Wood in the office of Connectional Ministries.


Dinner Church Grants
The Western NC Conference Vitality Team is offering $2,500 grants to 25 churches who want to start a dinner church and $1,000 to 20 churches with an existing dinner church. Grants can be used for food costs, interior design and/or tech updates to ...
Provocative Hope: Using Appreciative Inquiry to Reclaim God’s Dream for your Church
Provocative Hope is a 16-week course to develop leaders’ capacity to lead their churches using Appreciative Inquiry so that their churches would reclaim God’s dream for their congregation and begin to live into that dream.
Mentoring Pew Sitters into Servant Leaders
It can be discouraging finding a church of pew-sitters when we need servant leaders. Too often persons are content to sit and absorb rather than to rise up and serve. Both our human nature and our consumer culture resist sacrifice, commitment, and service. There must be a different and a better way to inspire, enlist and retain active and ample ministry volunteers from what is often the congregational scarcity status quo. There is a better way. The way involves a relational and vocational approach through a mentoring ministry. You are invited to participate in this workshop and engage in a dialog that seeks this better way.
Online Reporting Workshop
Are you prepared to submit all of your charge conference forms online? If not, this workshop is for you! The WNCC PAUMCS organization (Professional Administrators of The United Methodist Connectional Structure) is hosting a workshop on Friday, August 16, at First UMC in Conover that will provide instructions on how to complete and submit the 2019 charge conference reports online.


Director of Communications: Melissa McGill
Director of Web and Database Administration: Chris Hampton

Resources for Vital Congregations



Lewis Center for Church Leadership

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Books

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Serve Your Neighbor

GBHEM Leadership Resources


Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church

Englewood Book Review

Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations

Ted Talks: The Golden Circle

Ted Talks: The Power of Vulnerability

Ted Talks: The Price of Invulnerability

Design Thinking

Meditations on the Ministry of All Christians


Be A Disciple

A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Adult Christian Studies from the Wesley Ministry Network

Traveling Together: A Guide for Disciple Forming Congregations


Living As United Methodist Christians

Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials

Reclaiming our Wesleyan Tradition: John Wesley’s Sermons for Today

John Wesley Sermons: Anthology


Get Their Name

Evangelism & Theology in the Wesleyan Spirit

Canoeing the Mountains

Fresh Expressions

Fresh Expressions: Dinner Church

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Reach New Disciples

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: 50 Ways to Reach People

Community: The Structure of Belonging


Institute for Emerging Issues

Congregations 4 Children


The Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund Grants

The Duke Endowment


The Appalachian District Church Vitality Team has been prayerfully seeking ways to help support you and the ministries of your local congregation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Together they have diligently researched and connected with others throughout the conference and our denomination to identify resources and offer them to you. We hope they will be helpful to you and bless you greatly in leading your churches and communities through this unprecedented time. We are very grateful to the District Vitality Team and other contributors for their great work on this resource.
This faithful team has created three documents, two of which you are receiving today. They include:

  • Family Home Worship – designed to help families establish a regular worship space within their homes as well as a time where they can worship together.
  • Tech Strategies – to help guide you in selecting effective tools and resources within your budget to best communicate in the digital world.

We believe these resources will be of great benefit to you. Also know that the District Vitality Team is available to answer any questions you might have in regards to the documents attached. If you have questions, you may email Rev. Howard Fleming at