The Shepherd's Fund


Are you, your spouse or a fellow clergy retiree you know struggling with a health crisis or an extraordinary expense related to healthcare financial burdens?  We have been given a huge opportunity to assist such situations with The Shepherd's Fund. 
Through a generous and anonymous benefactor, The Western North Carolina Conference is now a part of this effort throughout the Southeastern Jurisdiction.  We are partnering with other annual conferences to offer The Shepherd’s Fund for retired ministers when they or their spouse (or widow/er) encounter a health crisis or related burdensome financial issue.  Retired ministers and their spouses can receive funds of up to $10,000each,annually, to help with bills and other financial issues related to many different types of health crises!
Our clergy have worked sacrificially and may not have earned the money others in the private      sector accumulate over a lifetime. Often, after retirement, retirees may have few resources to help in the case of a crisis situation. Even those who were able to set aside funds for the retirement years may be facing large medical expenses, or other expenses due to paying for medical needs.  
This Shepherd’s Fund has provided a private, confidential way for us to assist. Applications may be submitted by the person in need, an immediate family member, or a denominational leader.  
I suggest accessing their website, There is an abundance of information and be sure to check out the FAQs section.  You may also email them at  If you desire to submit an application, please reach out to me personally and I will give you code you need to complete the process.  My contact information is on this letter.
We sincerely hope that you will help us get the word out on behalf of those who can benefit from it, especially if that person is you! The Shepherd’s Fund sincerely wants to give out its funds so please never hesitate to reach out and apply.
Thank you again for your service to Christ and to our annual conference. You are a treasured legacy to all of us serving behind you.
Sincerely yours,


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.