Healthcare Network Change


Dear Active Clergy and family,
The goal of our benefits program is to provide exceptional healthcare for participants.  The Health Benefits Committee wants care to be cost effective and of the highest value to our clergy and their families. We have worked diligently to evaluate network options that offer the most flexibility and highest level of convenience for you and your family members.  
Effective July 1, 2019, the Western North Carolina Conference Active Health Plan will shift to using the Cigna Network.  The Cigna Network accomplishes the goal of providing access to the highest value doctors, hospitals and healthcare professionals.  Please do note that while the Cigna Network will bring you the best possible provider options, your benefits will still be administered through Healthgram, not through Cigna. The Conference group health plan will not be utilizing the Cigna Dental network, only the medical network. Dental options do not change.
It is easy to find a doctor in-network and to check if your current doctor will remain in-network. Cigna is a national network and Healthgram anticipates little to no disruption. Additionally, our previous network was limited to western North Carolina.  Cigna is national in scope and now includes the Durham/Chapel Hill hospitals among others.
To find an in-network doctor, start by going to
  • From there, select “FIND A DOCTOR, Dentist or Facility”. 
  • Under: Not a Cigna Customer Yet? Click on “PLANS THROUGH YOUR EMPLOYER OR SCHOOL.” 
  • Check Search Location; Select “PPO, Choice Fund PPO” as your plan selection and proceed to the search tool. 
  • Additionally, you can call Healthgram (1-800-550-6214) directly to verify if your provider will remain in-network.
  • You can also go to www.healthgram.comClick Member, then Find a Doctor, then select the Cigna network. Check the search location, select the PPO, Choice Fund PPO and proceed to the search tool. 
You will be receiving a new ID card with the Cigna Network logo. Please be sure to present a copy of this new ID card to your current providers for record purposes.
You and your providers will continue to contact Healthgram for all questions or to obtain pre-certification at the following number: (1-800-550-6214). DO NOT HAVE PROVIDERS CONTACT CIGNA DIRECTLY.  
R. Mark King                              

Dale C. Bryant
Benefits Administrator   

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.