With COVID-19 still spreading rapidly, an ecumenical group of experts, including representatives from Emory's Candler School of Theology and the Center for Disease Control, released this six-page guide for observing Ash Wednesday safely.
The Zoom recordings of the Conference-wide Winter Training Webinar series are now available. If you were unable to attend live, you still glean from the wisdom of our keynote speaker, Jason Moore, and breakout leaders from across the conference on topics such as "Telling the Old Story in New Times," "Financial Faithfulness in Uncertain Times," "Evangelism and Disciplemaking in a Pandemic," and so much more.
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.
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.