Fresh Expressions Vision Day Recap


[caption id="attachment_9322" align="alignright" width="280"] Travis Collins[/caption] On Saturday, May 6th, clergy and laity from across the conference gathered at First UMC in Salisbury for a Fresh Expressions Vision Day. Travis Collins and Michael Beck led the event as trainers for Fresh Expressions US.  Collins is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Huntsville, AL and author of From the Steeple to the Street.  Beck is the pastor of Wildwood UMC in the Florida Conference. Participants heard from a number of persons doing Fresh Expressions type ministries in the Western North Carolina Conference as well,  including Luke Edwards of King Street Church in Boone and Charles DiRico of Mouzon UMC who facilitates Yoga Church. Edwards, who has been working alongside Fresh Expressions US for a few years, said, "Saturday's Vision Day was an incredible time of stirring our conference's missional imagination. Participants were introduced to the Fresh Expressions movement and model of planting new forms of church in our communities.” Collins and Beck offered this definition of Fresh Expressions:

A Fresh Expression is a form of church for our changing culture, established primarily for the benefit of people who are not yet members of any church

-It will come into being through the principles of listening, service, incarnational mission and making disciples. - It will have the potential to become a mature expression of church shaped by the gospel and the enduring marks of the church and for its cultural context.

[caption id="attachment_9323" align="alignright" width="300"] Michael Beck[/caption] They also outlined the basics of what Fresh Expressions are:
  • Fresh Expressions reach out to a changing, diverse culture, putting expressions of church closer to people.
  • Connect people in First, Second, Third Spaces (primary places like home and office; secondary places like church and similar organizations; third places like coffee shops, pubs, bookstores, parks, etc.)
  • Gather in Smaller Micro-Communities
  • With people who are interested in pursuing meaning and purpose
  • Not in competition with the existing church, but a complement to it.
John Boggs, Director of Vital Discipleship for the Western North Carolina Conference, and one of the organizers of the event, shared some next steps in the process and in this relationship with Fresh Expressions. Next Steps
  • Gathering of large church clergy for conversations about anchoring (sponsoring) Fresh Expressions, missional initiatives, and intentional communities

Thursday, June 1, St. Luke’s UMC Hickory, 10:00 – 2:00 (complimentary lunch) Register with Candy Caron in the Conference Office.

  • Annual Conference Fresh Expressions experiential learning opportunities sponsored by WNCC Vitality Team

Yoga Church – hosted by Mouzon UMC Location:  Kern Center, Lakeside Porch, Friday June 23, 8:30-9:30 am Registration required (30 spots)

Kayak Church – hosted by River of Life Location:  Kern Center Recreation Hut, Friday, June 23, 12:00-1:15 pm Registration required (30 spots)

Pub Church – hosted by King Street Church Location:  Boojum Taproom, Waynesville, Saturday, June 24, 6:00-7:00 pm Registration required (20 spots)

  • Fresh Expressions Roundtables to follow-up Salisbury Vision Day; these regional conversations are open to folks interested in starting Fresh Expressions and will be hosted in two locations later this summer, dates and times to be announced. Charlotte: University City UMC High Point: Wesley Memorial UMC
  • Fall Vision Day for the western part of WNCC (hosted by Blue Ridge District) Date and place to be announced
  • Pioneer Learning Community for those who have attended a Vision Day, Roundtable, or are ready for a peer cohort over several months for Fresh Expressions leadership development To be formed early in 2018
Our Current WNCC Fresh Expressions Lead Team includes: Mike Fongemy, Tim Roberts, Luke Edwards, Nancy Rankin, and John Boggs. Rev. Amy Coles closed out the event with these words: “On behalf of Bishop Leeland, I thank you for your participation today.  This is kingdom work and we have the opportunity to grow as a multi-expression Church – which I believe is the future of United Methodism.  Elaine Heath has taught me the expression, ‘Holy Spirit efficiency.’  When I witnessed the number of Pioneers who gathered together in ‘that corner,’ I know the Spirit is at work in the Western North Carolina Conference.  So as laborers who have been sent into the harvest, let us go forth to bring expressions of Church to the people.  Go forth in Christ’s peace.” To learn more about Fresh Expressions, go to:    

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.