Disaster Response News


Neil Brown Elected Chair of Disaster Response Committee

It is my honor to announce that Neil Brown has been elected as the Chairperson of the Western North Carolina Conference Disaster Response Committee.

Born in the state of Maine, Neil Brown and wife Marie have lived in several states as a result of his career as a manager in the manufactured housing industry. Now retired, they make their home in Spruce Pine, North Carolina as members at Spruce Pine United Methodist Church. Active in United Methodist Men, Neil has served as district president of the former Marion District, the Blue Ridge District and currently serves as president of the Western North Carolina Conference men’s ministry. He is certified as a Men’s Ministry Specialist though the General Commission on United Methodist Men, is certified as an early responder though UMCOR and as a crew chief and safety officer through North Carolina Baptist Disaster Relief.

He previously was employed by North Carolina Department of Emergency Management as manager of the Unmet Needs Section and as a Voluntary Agency Liaison for FEMA. He has completed over a dozen FEMA emergency and disaster courses and trainings. He has served on mission teams domestically and internationally. Neil and Marie have two grown children and three grandboys. Thank you Neil for all that you do for WNCC UMC Disaster Response.

Grace and Peace, Pastor Ken Anderson WNCC Disaster Response Coordinator

ERT Teams Needed for Rio Texas Conference

Invitation to trained ERT teams for deployment in the Rio Texas Conference.  We are currently deploying teams in Wimberley and San Marcus but may have additional areas within the week. 

Teams should register at http://riotexas.org/flood-updates.  They will then be contacted by our ERT team coordinator. We have churches that have agreed to house teams.  Our space is limited but we are trying to expand our housing capacity.

Thank you for your assistance. 

Eugene Hileman Disaster Response Coordinator Rio Texas Conference The United Methodist Church 210-557-8698

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.