Evangelical Movement Welcomes Chris Ritter


One part reunion. Two parts encouragement. Throw in a little revival for good measure. That’s how the Western North Carolina Evangelical Movement spent the past three days at the WNCC Annual Conference at Lake Junaluska.

The purpose of the WNCCEM is to provide resourcing and encouragement to pastors and laity who hold to a historic, global, and United Methodist understanding of doctrine, ecclesiology, and ethics.  In addition, this year the group had a slate of recommended delegates for election to General Conference.

The Annual Conference began on Wednesday night with an Ice Cream Rally on the Stuart Auditorium lawn.  Praise and worship led by members of the Hood Seminary House Band, remarks from WNCCEM president Talbot Davis, and the introduction and prayer over the delegates were the highlight of the evening.  

On Friday night, the WNCC EM hosted its Annual Dinner at the Lambuth Inn.  More than 150 people jammed themselves into the International Room to hear Chris Ritter, a pastor, author, and thinker from the Illinois Great River Conference.  Ritter spoke on Shouting Calmly Consideredand summarized his message with this memorable line: “Maybe Methodist started shouting each other down when we stopped shouting Jesus up.” According to lay delegate and bible teacher James-Michael Smith:  “[Ritter] was great. Definitely an encouragement and what we needed to hear during this conference.” 

On Saturday morning, the WNCCEM joined forces with the Conference chapter of the Wesleyan Covenant Association to host a breakfast featuring Kenneth Levingston from Houston. Levingston told clergy in attendance, “Preachers, no one wants to hear a sermon YOU’RE not excited about.” 

Inspired by such words, those in the WNCCEM came down the mountain at the conclusion of Conference eager to put them into practice.   

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







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