Latest News Regarding COVID-19
On January 22, at 10 a.m., join Partners in Health and Wholeness, an initiative of the North Carolina Council of Churches, in partnership with the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) for a webinar on the COVID-19 vaccine roll out in our communities. We will discuss where we are now in the process, what things will look like going forward, and how faith communities can assist in this process while continuing to slow the spread. Participants are invited to bring questions, concerns, and ideas to this conversation.
Congress approves and President signs new Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 which includes a new round of Payroll Protection Program loans. Once again, nonprofit organizations, including churches, are eligible to apply, regardless of whether the entity received a loan in the first rounds.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services released the following information for faith communities as you make decisions about the best way to keep your community and congregation members safe and well this winter.
Numerous churches across the conference are livestreaming their worship services, Bible studies, prayer services, bedtime Bible stories, and more. Connect with them here!
COVID-19 brought many new challenges, including checking in worship attenders for safety and contract-tracing protocols. In order to help you streamline this process - as well to keep it paperless and contact-free - the Western NC Conference is pleased to introduce Check Inz, a safe way to check people into your location or event that is easy, secure, and socially distanced approved! Sign up is now active to join the BETA test group. The app will be ready for full release in mid-January. For additional questions, contact Chris Hampton, director of web and database administration, at email@example.com.
During the last ten months, small groups have had to adapt. Some small groups started meeting through videoconference, some found ways to meet through physical distancing, and sadly, some stopped meeting altogether. What some churches have found during this time is that even following the COVID-19 crisis, there will be an ongoing need for the use of online small groups. The question is how do we do online small group ministry well? Join the panel of Scott Hughes, Angela Schaffner, and Allen White as they discuss ways to start and improve online small group ministry.
On the Sunday after Christmas, the Western NC Conference will offer a conference-wide virtual worship with a homily from the Bishop, music and liturgy from pastors and churches around our conference. Clergy and worship leaders, take a much-needed break after the Advent season and worship with friends around the conference.
The NC COVID-19 County Alert System gives individuals, businesses, community organizations, and public officials another tool to understand the community spread in their county and to make decisions about actions to slow the spread of the virus. The Bishop and Cabinet urge pastors and church leaders to use this system to monitor their county and to reconsider their decision to hold indoor worship, particularly if their county is “red." All local churches are asked to use extreme caution in response to the recent rapid spread of the virus. We thank the United Methodists across Western North Carolina for “loving their neighbor” by doing all that they can do to limit the spread of COVID-19.
We scanned the internet for resources that will be of interest and value to you and your ministries. This week's roundup includes: free resources from ShareFaith for a safe, social-distanced Christmas worship experience, a new free course form UM Communications on leading remote worship, 3 ways to encourage giving during a pandemic, and more!
We scanned the internet for resources that will be of interest and value to you and your ministries. This week's roundup includes: an Advent Playlist from the WNCC Resource Center, ways to safely add personal interaction to virtual Christmas celebrations, ideas to inspire a better financial start to 2021, and more!
In this episode, Melissa McGill and Jeremy Coffey check in with the 11th grade youth small group they co-lead at Myers Park UMC. Four youth – Hayden, Nathan, Lucy and Bobby – share their thoughts on how faith, community and technology intersect for teens during the pandemic. We’ve pivoted in all areas of Church life this year – here’s what it looks like for this high school small group and how their Church continues to play an important role in their lives.
This year, because of COVID-19 and the inequalities it has exacerbated, adults are reporting considerably higher mental stress. According to the CDC, “younger adults, racial/ethnic minorities, essential workers, and unpaid adult caregivers reported having experienced disproportionately worse mental health outcomes, increased substance use, and elevated suicidal ideation.” Please join our therapeutic and pastoral experts as we discuss the practical and spiritual disciplines needed for surviving this season.
As we continue to face the fallout from a divided national election, racial injustice and tension, concerns about the differences within our denomination, and the global pandemic, Bishop Leeland brings a message of hope, peace, and thanksgiving.
This Advent devotion guide was created for Church of the Resurrection members in 2020 to help them fully engage in the lighting of the Advent candles at home during online worship or on their own. Use this guide as a standalone piece, or as part of an Advent kit containing a wreath, Advent candles, Christ candle and invitation card to Candlelight Christmas Eve services.
Church of the Resurrection’s Children’s Ministry created a Family Experience Kit to help families engage more fully in Advent. These resources were created in 2020, while all worship was online at Resurrection, but these materials can be used by families any year or adapted as part of Sunday School curriculum.
With Governor Cooper’s extension of Phase Three, along with the implementation of additional measures necessary to protect public health, the Bishop and Cabinet have also extended their Phase Three guidelines for WNC United Methodist Churches. Please note, while worship guidelines remain the same, all other indoor gathering should be limited to 10 persons or less. In additions, The Bishop and Cabinet urge pastors and church leaders to use the NCDHHS COVID-19 Alert system to monitor their county and to reconsider their decision to hold indoor worship, particularly if their county is “red." All local churches are asked to use extreme caution in response to the recent rapid spread of the virus. We advise that all churches continue following CDC, state and local guidelines for indoor and outdoor gatherings, including handwashing, wearing masks, and observing physical distancing rules and group size limits.
We scanned the internet for resources that will be of interest and value to you and your ministries. This week's roundup includes "What to Consider Before Regathering Face-to-Face", Advent books and social media graphics, and creative ways to safely celebrate Advent and Christmas during a pandemic.
Resourceful Communities and The Conservation Fund are working with Livingstone College to manage an application and selection process for COVID-related food relief. Because funds are limited, we are looking to help community and faith partners in rural communities that incurred COVID-related food relief expenses between March 1, 2020 to November 12, 2020; and can submit documentation of expenses, including proof of payment. Resourceful Communities will offer two informational webinars on November 19 (at 12 noon and 6 pm). You can find details on their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/resourcefulcommunities), and they will also record and post the presentations their website (link in full article). Online applications will be due Wednesday, December 2, 2020 by 11:59 p.m.
Due to rapid spread of COVID-19, the Spring 2021 sessions of the Antiracism Ethics Trainings have been canceled. The sessions will be rescheduled at a later date with new locations. Anyone who already registered will be issued a refund and will need to register again for another training. Additional trainings will be announced at a future date. Please check the Ethics webpage for updates and more information.