The Latest Edition of E-News - Join us to learn more about Fall Offerings for Leadership Development, Church Development, Connectional Ministries, and more


E-News - August 11, 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.


Update to COVID-19 Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry
Due to the increasing Covid-19 spread verified by the data revealed on the CDC’s Community Transmission Map, the Bishop and Cabinet are strongly recommending the wearing of masks at all indoor ministry activities, including worship.  We also recommend that pastors and church leaders consider offering outdoor worship and alternative ministry activities to protect children and other vulnerable persons. This update strengthens the guidelines issued on July 28, 2021.
Update from the WNCC Delegation
Rev. Kim Ingram shares an update on behalf of the WNCC Delegation to the General Conference regarding the rescheduled General Conference. The delegation will be providing periodic updates. View the previous messages from Rev. Ashley Crowder Stanley and Rev. Dr. Stephanie Moore Hand

Federal funding available for churches providing broadband access in rural communities
NC rural churches can play a critical role in the statewide solution for rural broadband access. COVID-19 has amplified the need for broadband in rural communities. Federal funding has recently been extended to include churches as recipients. Churches have the opportunity to build critical infrastructure and remove barriers to access in the state's rural regions.

WNC Fall Offerings Overview
Learn more about the opportunities for WNC laity and clergy this fall, including those related to leadership development, mission engagement, church vitality, and equity and justice. There will be time for Q&A to help determine what might meet your development needs or add tools to your toolbox.
Spiritual Renewal for Clergy and Ministry Professionals
This season of ministry has been hard on leaders and many are exhausted, discouraged, and in need of time away. The WNCC Leadership Development Team wants to help nurture your own spiritual growth, as you nurture the spiritual walks of others. This could be through a renewal retreat or by engaging with a Spiritual Director. Ministry leaders (clergy and lay professionals) who sign up for a Spiritual Renewal offering, and pay a personal investment of $50 toward the experience, are eligible for up to $500 to cover the cost of registration, fees, and lodging/travel expenses. Funds are available because of the generosity of churches who pay their apportionments.
Means of Grace: Northern Piedmont District, Thriving Together as a Team
This week, we hear a new voice. Aimee Yeager, Associate Director of Communications for the WNCC, hosts a conversation with the staff of the Northern Piedmont District to discuss how they are moving beyond “just surviving,” into God’s promise of abundant life. Even in the midst of a pandemic and social & denominational division, the Northern Piedmont District is committed to coming together as a team to thrive by creating opportunities for discipleship, mission, spiritual maturity, and Sabbath rest. If you feel like you are stuck in the rut of just surviving, pull up a chair and join in our conversation. God desires to fill your life with abundance, as well.
Post-Pandemic Game Changers Cohort

The pandemic created a crisis. Crises can be an accelerator for change in your church. This is a great opportunity to stop doing some things and consider what is needed now. Join teams from other churches in WNC to have conversations about what your church’s post-pandemic ministry looks like.


The Western North Carolina Conference is inviting clergy and laity to the M-LAB movement to experience a space for innovation, creativity, and collaboration. Through webinar workshops and a two-day gathering in Charlotte, we will come together, incubate ideas, learn from one another, and develop innovative means for reaching our communities for Christ

Reporting Historical Changes for the 2021 Journal
The Conference Office is working to pull together information for the 2021 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, 2020 – June 30, 2021).

Both/And Learning Lab #2 POSTPONED
Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, the second Learning Lab for the Both/And Hybrid Worship Grants has been postponed until further notice. Once we are able to meet again safely, we will communicate the new date and location. Thank you for your patience and understanding.



Ministry on the river celebrates 15 years
The Rev. Wayne Dickert guides a raft down the Nantahala River near Bryson City, N.C. Dickert, a 1996 U.S. Olympic kayaker and pastor of Bryson City United Methodist Church, has conducted riverside services beside the Nantahala for the past 15 years. Joey Butler and Mike Dubose of United Methodist News have the story.

A Few Words on Innovation: Paul Reissman, Mystic Winds
Check out this interview with Rev. Paul Reissman of the Michigan Conference about his ministry, Mystic Winds.     
Mission Engagement Blog - August 2021
Check out the Mission Engagement Blog page for a new blog post by Monique Luckey titled "Be Still".
HIRING: Yadkin Valley & Smoky Mountain District Administrators, Coordinator of African American Church Vitality & Growth

We are now hiring for three positions: District Administrators for both the Yadkin Valley District & Smoky Mountain District and Coordinator for African American Church Vitality & Growth. Are you one of the qualified leaders we're looking for? Apply today!


Carolinas Black Clergy Leadership Retreat
August 30 - September 3, 2021
We are planning an awesome time of worship, praise, fellowship, fun, rest, and renewal - all while we gain tools for growth in our lives and our ministry amid the shifting in our culture. and our denomination—not to mention surviving a pandemic! Our focus will be “Crossroads:  Where Faith and Innovation Meet." You don't want to miss this. All clergy are invited. Register at
Learn more about WNCC Creation Care and Justice in the WNCC
Tuesdays in September, 12-1 p.m.
All clergy members in the WNCC are invited to join in a conversation with Rev. Jonathan Brake, an ordained elder serving Mount Pleasant UMC (Sherrills Ford), and Kim Richmond, a lay member and organizer of Creation Care Ministry at Maple Springs UMC (Winston Salem), as they discuss The Mission of Creation Care and Creation Justice in the WNCC. These conversations will take place via Zoom on three consecutive Tuesdays during the Season of Creation – September 14th, 21st, and 28th – from noon to 1pm, so bring your lunch and eat, relax and listen, then share comments and questions after each presentation.

NC MedAssist Free OTC Medication Drive-Thru Event
Saturday, September 4, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
On September 4, 2021, NC MedAssist will provide free over-the-counter medications for those in need at First UMC, Stanley. Free OTC medicine items include cold, cough, flu medicine, pain relief, vitamins, children's medicines, etc. The event is open to everyone over the age of 18. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged.

Youth Ministry Network Retreat & Resource Gathering

September 21-23, 2021
Get excited for our first Youth Ministry Network Gathering! We're looking forward to getting together to share resources and ideas, and to develop a network of collaboration and encouragement for one another and our ministries with young people. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions:

Developing and Implementing an Outward Mindset
First workshop, September 27-28 at Long's Chapel UMC in Waynesville - Subsequent workshops held throughout the fall at locations across the Conference

In this workshop, participants learn how to change their mindset and behaviors to better engage others. The habits can be contagious and help form more loving communities.



Director of Communications: Melissa McGill

Associate Director of Communications: 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.