The Latest Edition of E-News - Litany of Lament for one year of COVID-19, Youth Ministry Survey, ReConnect NC Faith Gatherings, and more


E-News - March 17, 2021

E-News is an email 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.


Litany of Lament for One Year of COVID-19

After one year of the COVID-19 pandemic in America, we find ourselves in a spiritual place where we need spaces and words of lament. Rev. Stacey Lundy, associate pastor for adult discipleship and pastoral care at First United Methodist Church - Salisbury, NC, offers us this grace-filled gift.

WNCC Second Sunday of Easter Service

On the Sunday after Easter, the Western NC Conference will offer a conference-wide virtual worship led by our District Superintendents, with music and liturgy from pastors and churches around our conference, and a homily from Bishop Leeland. Clergy and worship leaders, take a much-needed break after the Lenten season and worship with friends around the conference.

Means of Grace: Wisdom for the Journey with Mary Ana Smith

In this episode, Melissa talks with Mary Ana Smith about her podcast for young women called Wisdom for the Journey. Mary Ana addresses topics like body image, perfectionism, social media, mental health and much more in an authentic, accessible way for teen girls. You’ll hear clips from several of her episodes and you may recognize some familiar voices – several WNCC clergy women have been guests on Wisdom for the Journey including Mary Ana’s mom Rev. Toni Ruth Smith, Rev. Sally Queen, Rev. Sarah Watkins Davis, Rev. Carrie Wright and Rev. Susan Heafner-Heun.

Youth Ministry Survey

Please take a moment to complete a very brief survey to let the Conference Council on Youth Ministry (CCYM) know what you'd like to see from them in the coming year.

Phishing/Spoofing Emails - Beware of emails asking for gift cards
IT Director, Chris Hampton, outlines how to spot a phishing/spoofing email and what to do if you receive one. A good general rule of thumb - don't open an email from any WNCC Conference Staff or Clergy unless it is from an email ending in,, or If you get one, report it as SPAM - Phishing Email and delete it promptly.
ReConnect NC Faith Gatherings

Join the Institute for Emerging Issues' ReConnect Faith Gatherings every Tuesday morning and Thursday afternoon in March/April. We're so excited to continue the themes from our ReConnect for the Future Forum that faith leaders asked for, including "Faith communities, COVID, & public health: vaccine distribution & re-opening" (March 23), "Digital Inclusion: IEI's BAND NC program and opportunities for faith communities" (March 30), and "Facilitating across lines of difference" (April 6).


Apply for Scholarship Funds - Deadline THIS Friday!
Scholarship funding is available through the United Methodist Foundation of Western North Carolina! The deadline to apply for Dollars for Scholars scholarships has been extended through March 19, 2021 for scholarships to help fund the 2021-2022 academic year.

Save money by activating your healthPERX/MDLIVE benefit today!
When you activate your healthPERX/MDLIVE benefits - now through April 30th - the Western NC Conference will send you a $25 gift card. Telemedicine with MD LIVE offers you 24/7 access to board certified physicians with NO COST consultations, no waiting rooms, no bills, and this benefit extends to your spouse and children, even if they are not on the conference health plan! The average family of 4 can save more than $1,100 a year! Learn more and register today.
United Methodist Seminary Fair
Are you a United Methodist who is applying to seminary? Are you interested in vocational ministry or further study in theology or religion? Register for this (FREE) virtual seminary fair with each of the 13 United Methodist theological schools. The event will take place via Zoom on Thursday, March 25th at 3 p.m.
Recognition of Anniversary Churches
As has been the practice for some years, the WNC Conference Commission on Archives and History will recognize all churches celebrating their 100th, 150th, and 200th anniversaries in 2021.  If your congregation is celebrating one of these anniversaries this year, please contact Jim Pyatt, Archivist, at by April 1, so that your church will be included in this year’s recognitions.


Amplify Live Webinar: The Courage of Jesus with Tom Berlin and Rachel Billups
Thursday, March 18, 3 p.m. EST

In Tom Berlin’s new study—Courage: Jesus and the Call to Brave Faith—he challenges us to unlock the courage that we already possess as Christ followers. Join Tom and Rachel for this live conversation as he shares what inspired him while writing Courage: Jesus and the Call to Brave Faith. There will be time at the end for audience questions.

WNCC Christians Engaged in Faith Formation (CEF)
Thursday, March 25, 10 a.m.- 12p.m.
We are excited to begin our work on intentionally connecting people who are leaders in faith formation, especially during our current times.  Be on the lookout for more information that is forthcoming.

Hood Theological Seminary Center for Chaplaincy March 2021 Didactic
Tuesday, March 30, 10-11:30 a.m.
The Center For Chaplaincy at Hood Theological Seminary, Salisbury, North Carolina, presents via online gatherings: “Keeping It Real: Mental Health In the Church and Community During the Season of Pandemic and Beyond.” 2 CEUs will be offered for the session. This didactic will be titled Sacred Reciprocity: How Chaplains and Clergy Care for Themselves and Others During a Pandemic and Beyond. 

The event is being hosted online via Zoom. There is no registration fee; however, registration is required. The deadline to register is March 29, 2021.


Racial Healing and the Gospel of Reconciliation
Saturday, April 24, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
ONE SESSION REMAINS! Please note, the final session will be held on a Saturday to accommodate those who cannot participate during the week. Registration is required and spaces are limited.

Rooted in 2 Corinthians 5:16-20, this workshop will teach reconciliation as spirituality, highlighting biblical examples of reconciliation and our call to be ministers of reconciliation as followers of Christ. With this theological foundation, participants will learn practical strategies for the Church to live out our role in the reconciliation process.


Director of Communications: Melissa McGill

Communications Ministry Assistant: Aimee Yeager

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


  • Resources
Follow Jesus. Make Disciples. Transform the World.