Western North Carolina Conference, Centenary UMC, and Lake Junaluska Recognized at 2020 UMAC Awards


“Each year, the United Methodist Association of Communicators recognizes excellence in communication through an awards program, the United Methodist Association of Communicators Awards Contest. The contest recognizes excellence in print publications, digital publications, writing, internet communications, video production, audio, photography, visual design, publicity/advertising and media presentations.” (The Executive Leadership Team for the UMAC) Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s awards gala was held virtually.
We are proud to announce the following award recipients from Western North Carolina:
Doug Penninger, Director of Communications for Centenary UMC in Winston-Salem, won 1st place in Magazine for an Annual Conference or Local Church for the July/August, September/October, and November/December editions of Through Centenary Windows. The church’s bi-monthly magazine highlights not only the happenings of the church, but more importantly, the lived expression of the congregation’s faith through mission and ministry in their local church, community, and around the world.
Stories of Faith, the Annual Conference magazine of the Western North Carolina Conference, won 3rd place in Special Publication for an Annual Conference or Local Church. Stories of Faith is a magazine published by the WNCC, which tells the stories of everyday faith-bearers in our local congregations.
Melissa McGill, Director of Communications for the Western North Carolina Conference, won 2nd place in Nonfiction Story for an Annual Conference or Local Church for her article “The Light Within You”. This piece, written for the Stories of Faith magazine, tells the story of Haywood Street Congregation, a church in downtown Asheville whose mission is centered, McGill writes, on “seeing the humanity and honoring the dignity of each person who walks onto their campus whether they are unhoused or they are shooting up in the bathroom or even if they are privileged, coming face-to-face with their own poverty for the first time.”
Teresa Tate, Marketing Coordinator at Lake Junaluksa Conference & Retreat Center, won 2nd place in Photojournalism for a General Church Agency or Jurisdictional Area for “With You Always,” her photo of a guest in prayer under the shadow of the Junaluska Cross. In addition to her work with Lake Junaluska, Tate is also a freelance writer. You can find more of her work on her personal website.
The staff of Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center won:
  • 3rd place in Photo Series for a General Church Agency or Jurisdictional Area for “The Night Has Not Overcome the Day”, a photo series on the 2019 Easter Sunrise service at Lake Junaluska.
  • 3rd place in Campaign/Strategic Planning for a General Church Agency or Jurisdictional Area for their marketing of Winter Youth Retreats on their website, YouTube, and Facebook page.
  • 2nd place for a Publicity & Advertising for a Single Piece for a General Church Agency or Jurisdictional Area.
“Those honored at the Awards Gala are the best of the best,” says the Executive Leadership Team. “Competition is fierce, and we are grateful for the excellent work of so many writers, photographers, videographers and other communications professionals who dedicate their lives and their work to the Lord.”
Congratulations to all this year’s winners! To view the recorded video of the awards ceremony and a full list of this year’s winners, visit The United Methodist Association of Communicators website.

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.