Board of Laity Discusses Gathering of the Laity at Quarterly Meeting


[caption id="attachment_1649" align="alignright" width="282"]John Crane (l) and Robert Upchurch (r) at 2014 Gathering of the Laity John Crane (l) and Robert Upchurch (r) at 2014 Gathering of the Laity[/caption] The Board of Laity for the Western North Carolina Conference met on Sunday, February 15th at Bethel United Methodist Church in Thomasville, NC. Led by Robert Upchurch, the Conference Lay Leader, lay leaders from the eight districts gathered for worship with the Bethel congregation, shared in a meal, and then had their quarterly meeting.  Wade Loftin, the Conference Chairperson of Lay Servant Ministries, hosted the meeting at his home church. The Board of Laity generally meets four times a year, and over a three year cycle, they schedule meetings at churches in all eight districts. Michael Rich, Conference Web & Communications Manager, presented an overview of the communications program of the conference and offered assistance to the Board and to the district lay leaders in promoting events and telling the stories of vital churches and exciting programs and people across the Conference. The Board also heard reports from the committee planning for the 2015 Gathering of the Laity, which will be the 50th Annual meeting.  This year’s event is scheduled for August 7 & 8 at Lake Junaluska.  According to John Crane of Gastonia, brochures, website and registration will be ready to go within the next week to ten days, and plans are very firm. The event will include the Junaluska Singers and those who stay over for Saturday night will have the opportunity to hear Donald Davis, retired WNCC clergy and world famous storyteller. More details of the Gathering will be published soon. The meeting continued with further discussion of the future of this event and other offerings by the Board of Laity. There was real excitement about engaging the laity of the Conference in the 21st century and how the group can be relevant to the needs of younger and newer laity in The United Methodist Church. The Board of Laity will meet next on May 3rd at Madison United Methodist Church in Madison, NC in the Northern Piedmont District.

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
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