A Letter from Bishop Ken Carter


September 22, 2021

Dear Sisters and Brothers in the Western North Carolina Conference,
We are aware of the flooding that occurred during the week of August 17th in the Canton, Clyde and Cruso areas of Haywood County.   We continue to pray for those who lost loved ones to death in the flood, and we continue to stand alongside hundreds of families whose lives have been upended by damage to their homes.
I give thanks for the work of the Canton Missional Network, which includes many of our pastors in these communities, for the leadership of Rev. Jae Lee of the Smoky Mountain District, for the ministry of hospitality at Lake Junaluska that is already supporting this work, and for the resilience of the people in these communities.
On Sunday, September 26, I encourage you to collect an offering in your morning worship services for the ongoing mission and relief work in Canton, Clyde and Cruso. The offering will specifically help with the support of a local person who will assist our missional network with the long-term response and provide support for mission teams.  In my conversations with local leadership, these are their greatest needs. 
I ask that you do this in the spirit of 2 Corinthians 8 and Philippians 4.  The people of these communities have always been connectional and generous toward those in need. In the present moment we are called to join them in God’s mission of restoration and repair.
The offering can be sent to: Treasurer, WNCC, PO Box 2757, Huntersville, NC 28078 or can be made through our online portal here.
We are also sharing a prayer by the Rev. Jae Lee for use in your worship service on September 26.
Thank you for considering this request.  
The Peace of the Lord, 
+Ken Carter
Resident Bishop, Western North Carolina Conference
The United Methodist Church


A Prayer for Those Who are Hurting & Those Who are Helping in the Aftermath of Tropical Storm Fred
Rev. Dr. Jae Lee, Smoky Mountain District Superintendent

O, gracious God who created beautiful mountains, valleys, and rivers and freely gave them to us as a life-giving gift, we rejoice in your creation and appreciate the beauty of your gifts. We even add our houses, church buildings, businesses, and community centers to your creation and live together with other creatures. Yet in your creation, we still have disasters: some caused by human greed, and others by unknown reasons.

Recently, our sisters and brothers in mountain communities of western North Carolina have lost their loved ones and homes in the flooding that followed a tropical storm.

Even in our grief and suffering, we hold our hope in you, O gracious God. Comfort those who are suffering, strengthen those who are helping, and restore us all so that we may experience your faithful presence in both our pain and recovery efforts.

As we gather our gifts, helping hands, and prayers for our sisters and brothers, transform us with your abundant grace and recreate our communities with your never-failing love.
We pray in the name of Jesus Christ.  AMEN.    


Learn more about the Special Sunday Offering for Tropical Storm Fred relief efforts in Western North Carolina.

Download a copy of Bishop Carter's letter.

Download a copy of Rev. Dr. Jae Lee's prayer. 

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.