Racial Unity


Rev. Kari Howard, the chairperson of the WNC Leadership Development Team, made the following statement, affirmed by the Leadership Development Team, at the most recent meeting of the Connectional Table.

The Leadership Development Team is taking the lead on intentionally modeling racial unity, racial healing, and racial reconciliation. As a first step toward working in love and unity in the body of Christ, and toward the endeavor of ethnic equality, the Leadership Development Team seeks to ensure that equal opportunities are given, not only within the ministry of the LDT, but in actual leadership placement and practice for ethnic minorities.

On behalf of the Leadership Development Team, as we seek to elevate those who have been historically underrepresented, Rev. Shirley Canty and I will operationally function as co-chairs in leading the Leadership Development Team. Though there must be a chair and a vice-chair for structural purposes, Rev. Canty has agreed that we will work together as co-chairs until she is fully prepared to become the chair of the committee.
We will walk alongside one another to model racial unity in leadership. We will work together to ensure best practices for racial healing. We will work together for inclusiveness so that across the Conference when anyone looks to the Leadership Development Team, it will be evident that people of all skin color are represented and have access to partake of our mission which is “to build the capacity of ministry leaders to follow Jesus, make disciples, and transform the world.”
Psalm 133 begins with this phrase: “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” And this comes with a promise at the end of the psalm: “For there, the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.” We are blessed when we set our goal toward unity as the people of God; and Jesus Christ has given us the Church to live out racial unity, healing, reconciliation, and redemption. I encourage all of us across the Connectional Table tonight to be intentional to discover what each of us can do in our sphere of influence to build unity. 

To learn more about how the United Methodist Church and the Western North Carolina Conference are working to confront and dismantle systemic racism, visit www.wnccumc.org/antiracism.

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 hfleming@wnccumc.net.


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