Blessed to Be a Blessing During COVID-19


When United Methodist ministries shifted into a new way of being church because of COVID-19, video recordings on mobile phones were getting the job done. Many were soon asking, “Could we do it better?” A small investment in equipment or online capability could make a big difference. The United Methodist Foundation of Western North Carolina saw this need and offered grant support from its Reynolds Ministry Fund.
The Reynolds Ministry Fund was already widely-known from its annual ministry grants. The fund, generously entrusted to the Foundation by Royce and Jane Reynolds of Greensboro, supports initiatives that make disciples of Jesus Christ. Though the fund had awarded $371,500 during its regular 2020 grant cycle in February, the need to offer additional support for ministries as they adapted to the new reality was plainly evident.
With the full support of the Reynolds, the Foundation opened a special grant cycle specifically for churches adapting to COVID-19. $100,000 went directly to the Western North Carolina Conference to support various Conference-level ministries. An additional $102,000 in grants were awarded to 178 churches and related ministries to purchase recording and lighting equipment, online meeting software subscriptions, and expand local internet access and capacity.
“Thank you, sincerely, from the bottom of my heart,” offered Lee Rice from Rock Hill UMC in Stanley. “We are a small church with a mighty heart! This will help so much. I am all smiles.”
For the Foundation, these grants are about more than helping out. They’re about faithful stewardship over the resources entrusted to them.
“It’s an honor to be a part of a real-time response to an obvious and pragmatic need. Times of crises require that we all do what we can. The faithfulness and generosity of Royce and Jane Reynolds of Greensboro has, for many years, supported initiatives  in this Conference and beyond on an extraordinary level. Our gratitude for Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds cannot be overstated.” – Caroline Cox, Director of Reynolds Ministries and Programs, United Methodist Foundation of Western North Carolina

Learn more about the United Methodist Foundation of Western North Carolina at

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