Update 2 from South Sudan


Greetings from Yei, South Sudan, We are enjoying our work providing basic theological training to local UM pastors.  Though most of them have received little formal education, they have received our instruction with grace and enthusiasm.  Heidi Campbell Robinson, Lory Beth Huffman, and Rennie Salata have been indispensible to the work of the South Sudan Theological Training Initiative.  With their help, these South Sudanese pastors have planned worship, learned about spiritual disciplines, pastoral authority, and preaching.  From Duke Divinity School, Warren Smith has taught about "The African Roots of Christianity" in concert with Tom McGlothlin's presentation of "The Gospels: Four Profiles of Jesus."  Together we have discovered that even though this arm of the UMC is new and relatively small, they are vital, resilient, and committed to making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of their communities, their nation, and the world.  We will begin our journey back to North Carolina, Saturday.? Warren Smith Associate Professor of Historical Theology Duke Divinity School, Durham, NC Here are some more photos and excerpts from our group in South Sudan: (The first Update can be seen here) [caption id="attachment_1970" align="alignnone" width="300"]Rennie South Sudan teaching pastors- Rennie Salata[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1971" align="alignnone" width="220"]sudan Prayers around the table (photo by Rennie Salata)[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1972" align="alignnone" width="300"]Warren Smith Day 3- South Sudan- Warren Smith is teaching away on Clement of Alexandria![/caption] [caption id="attachment_1973" align="alignnone" width="225"]sudan2 Good night! My nest under my Imagine No Malarla mosquito net! (Which I am thankful for!)- Lory Beth Huffman[/caption]    

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.