Your UM Student Day Offering at Work in WNC


UMSD_Emily-Hatley_700x466EMILY HATLEY SAYS HER YOUTH GROUP STUDENTS HELPED DETERMINE HER CAREER CHOICE. When envisioning Emily Hatley’s future, it is a safe bet that her United Methodist ties will play a pivotal role in how she will accomplish everything she sets her mind on doing. Hatley grew up in the South, surrounded by an abundance of love, gospel music and the 4-H Club in the rural town of Stanfield, North Carolina, not far from Charlotte. She lived with her parents and younger sister, but as an added bonus, her aunts, uncles and cousins lived close by. “One of the biggest highlights of my childhood was having my extended family living right on the same street with me,” Hatley said. Another childhood joy was Hatley’s church, Mount Moriah United Methodist, where she is still a member. She joined at a young age, and both of her parents attend Mount Moriah as well. “My mom grew up in the church I attend now,” she said. “She became the pianist of our church when I was in the fourth grade, and my father has played bluegrass gospel music since he was young, so Christian music has always been a large part of my life.” Hatley took her faith to a new level when she began high school. Determined to instill self-worth and pride in young girls, she began a youth Bible study series at Mount Moriah that dealt with dating and virtue. “The series began with four girls and myself,” Hatley said. “It was my intention to teach the girls the importance of purity and respect within their relationships.” Soon, 16 girls had joined. During a banquet at the end of the 12-week session, all of the girls signed “purity contracts” as their parents, who also attended, looked on. Now a first-year student at Wingate University in North Carolina, Hatley said she was able to go to college through the assistance of the United Methodist Student Day Gift of Hope Scholarship. “The money from this scholarship helped lift a huge burden off me and my family,” she said. “It is encouraging to know that The United Methodist Church supports my future endeavors.” She strongly believes churches should participate in United Methodist Student Day as it gives students the opportunity to pursue their careers to which God has called them. As a Bible study leader, Hatley mentors 20 youth who attend her classes every week. On occasion, she has found herself comforting her students after they have endured unexpected tragedies in their lives. It was during these emotional conversations that she decided to become a marriage and family counselor. Through her work, Hatley’s goal is to share God’s love, forgiveness and mercy. She prays that when she begins her career, “God will give me the wisdom to counsel my clients in a way that is pleasing to him.” Gayle Starling-Melvin, a freelance writer from Hendersonville, Tennessee One of six churchwide Special Sundays with offerings of The United Methodist Church, United Methodist Student Day calls the church to support students as they prepare for life in uniting faith with knowledge. The special offering provides scholarships for qualified United Methodist applicants. When you give generously on United Methodist Student Day, you support students as they prepare for life in uniting faith with knowledge.

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
Follow Jesus. Make Disciples. Transform the World.