Progressive-Centrist Events See Large Crowds


The Progressive-Centrist coalition in Western North Carolina celebrated voting successes at 2019 Annual Conference, drawing big crowds at all its events.
The group which is fighting for full inclusion in The United Methodist Church has become more organized, active and expanded in the months following the results of the Special Called General Conference at St. Louis. 
A large group, singing and waving rainbow flags, marched from the Reconciling Ministries Network lunch at the Kern Center to Stuart Auditorium along the Rose Walk on Friday afternoon. The annual RMN luncheon saw a standing-room-only crowd. Helen Ryde, the Southeastern Jurisdictional RMN representative, shared about the growth of RMN churches, groups and individuals in Western North Carolina with a map showing the new RMN locations that have been connected since General Conference in February.
RMN’s annual worship service was held following the Friday evening plenary session in Memorial Chapel and also saw an over-flow crowd. Rev. Dr. Josh Noblitt noted the crowd as compared to the modest start of the service 15 years ago. “I think we had five people, and two of them were my parents,” he said. 
Revs. Carter Ellis and Darryl Dayson, both of whom were elected as clergy delegates to General Conference, brought the message from Chapter 37 of Ezekiel. Attendees also laid hands on and prayer for those persons who had been elected as delegates to the 2020 General Conference gathering in Minneapolis.
Prior to the start of Annual Conference, an informational gathering was hosted at First UMC Waynesville on Wednesday night, where the 10 people from Western North Carolina who attended the UMC Next Conference at the Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, spoke or led part of the meeting. The gathering included singing, prayer, biblical/theological overview and personal witness, and small group discussion was held at individual tables. 
Participants who attended UMC Next talked about their experiences and the results of that gathering, with the body fairly evenly split between staying in The United Methodist Church and resisting the Tradition Plan or working to form a new expression of the Wesleyan movement. 

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
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