A Word About Justice and Reconciliation


“For all of you who were baptized into Christ into a spiritual union with the Christ, the Anointed have clothed yourselves with Christ. That is, you have taken on his characteristics and values. There is now no distinction in regard to salvation neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you who believe are all one in Christ Jesus. No one can claim a spiritual superiority.” Galatians 3:27-28, AMP. I am not advocating we dismiss our ethnicity and heritage. Our heritage, ethnicity, and history shapes who we are today.
February, I took a field trip to a past I did not experience. I traveled to Montgomery and Selma, Alabama. I did not experience this past, but I have experienced the aftermath. It was a brutal time in our countries history. It is a pain from the sin of hate, racism, and slavery. After learning more about my ancestor’s history, it was discovering this brutal past I was set free.
And now, as a Togolese, Ivorian, Zulu, French, and British (among other minor nationalities) American, I continue the tireless work for justice and reconciliation not only in the world but in the church. Especially the church. The place where we should be showing the world how to live as reconciled people of God.
In Christ, we live in a new reality. We are one in Christ Jesus. It is more than being equal; we are joined together. True unity is not something we can contrive. True unity is a gift from God. We are dipped and dyed in the color of Jesus Christ, and we now stand, the called-out ones, radically different and bold.
What does multi-cultural worship look like? “After these things I looked, and this is what I saw; a vast multitude which no one could count, gathered from every nation and all the tribes and people and language of the earth, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands.” Revelation 7:9 AMP.
What can it look like for the Western North Carolina Conference? Please watch this video, and we will see what can happen when we pray, “Your Kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” 
Pamela Shoffner, Chairperson of Western North Carolina Conference Justice and Reconciliation Team, said these words, “This is what we hope and dream for our WNCC to become more like, as a part of our Justice and Reconciliation team mission is that we fully embrace the diversity within each of our communities.”

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.