Bishop Begins Series of Articles Prior to Annual Conference


Bishop Goodpaster plans to release three separate articles in the days before Annual Conference. Consider these as documents to read and reflect upon prior to arriving at Lake Junaluska. Except from the First Article- Transition Update (June 4) Annual Conference, 2015

Three years ago we embarked on a journey to refocus the energy and the resources of the Western North Carolina Conference. After months of conversation, the Annual Conference voted to move to eight districts. A Transition Team then worked for a year to bring back recommendations which we have been implementing over the last three years.

Two factors guided and influenced this transition. One factor is the conviction that the mission and vision must drive the organization and structure. Our mission is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of lives, communities, and the world. We believe that we will accomplish the mission only through vital, healthy, thriving local churches, and thus our vision is to increase the number of vital churches fully engaged in God’s mission in the world. Another factor was the need to reset the financial baseline of the conference by shifting our resources from propping up the bureaucracy to supporting ministry in local communities and around the globe. How are we doing? >>>READ MORE


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