Innovation - Guest Articles Articles


Worship Matters Podcast - Digital Media: What We Have Learned

2/2/2022
The Worship Team is joined by Rob Hutchinson and Mike Symonds of Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, and Steven Adair from United Methodist Communications to talk about the perils and pitfalls, but mostly about the joy and possibilities of digital media for worship today.

Means of Grace featuring AFRESH: Recovery Ministry & Fresh Expressions

11/9/2021
In this week's episode of Means of Grace, we share a special guest episode from Afresh, a Fresh Expressions podcast from the Uwharrie District. Rev. Katie Lineberger has an important conversation with Rev. Caitlin McAlhany & Laina Davis-Harvey about recovery ministry and Fresh Expressions. You can find Afresh on Apple Podcasts or the Uwharrie District website.

Means of Grace: Digital Doorways to Church

10/26/2021
In this episode, Director of Church Development Rev. Rob Hutchinson talks all things digital church and worship with Jason Moore, Both/And Hybrid Worship consultant; Anne Bosarge, pastor of Chapel Online Church; and Rev. Nathan Webb, pastor of Checkpoint Church.

‘Church for nerds’ builds community without a building

10/20/2021
As the world develops and changes, churches are embracing those changes and adapting in order to reach a new generation. Checkpoint Church in North Carolina is one of those … sort of. While its pastor, the Rev. Nathan Webb, founded and operates the creative ministry out of Denver, North Carolina, the church has no actual physical location — by design.

Imagining a future for faith on Woodlawn Road

9/29/2021
The merger of two United Methodist congregations has inspired plans for a new home that will situate worship and ministry among retail, office and residential components. The newly named Woodlawn Community Fellowship represents a new model for what a faith community can look like at a time when mainline denominations are experiencing steady declines.

Saint Matthews UMC's summer garden provides food in the desert

5/12/2021
Saint Matthews UMC, in the historic neighborhood of East Greensboro, has the distinction of being the oldest and largest African American church in the Western North Carolina Conference. Now, this church, which is over 150 years old, is doing something new. Their garden ministry is providing healthy nutritional options for their neighbors who live a food desert in Guilford County.

Means of Grace: Metro District - Vaccinating Our Neighbors

5/11/2021
In this week’s episode of the Means of Grace podcast, Luke catches up with Rev. David Hockett, Metro District Superintendent, and Rev. Dr. Stephanie Moore Hand, Metro District Vitality Associate, to talk about some exciting things that are happening in their area. They share about churches that are hosting community vaccination clinics, how churches are re-missioning their properties, and the multicultural/multiethnic cohort happening in their district.

Means of Grace: Green Spaces in Ministry, Part 3

5/4/2021
This edition of the Means of Grace podcast is a three-part series highlighting four ministries in Western North Carolina who are using green spaces in ministry. These ministries meet people where they are and invite them to something new – an orchard, a story walk, a worship service, exercise, a meal. Part 3 features George Eubanks, Mark Hovis, Sean Bloom, and Rev. Noel Sweezy, friends from the multi-faceted ministry, Common Ground, in Stanley. These episodes are airing on the Tuesdays surrounding Earth Day to encourage you to consider how you might connect the earth and its Creator with the lives of people in your community. It doesn't take much green space to start an innovative and inspiring outdoor ministry!

Means of Grace: Green Spaces in Ministry, Part 2

4/27/2021
This edition of the Means of Grace podcast is a three-part series highlighting four ministries in Western North Carolina who are using green spaces in ministry. These ministries meet people where they are and invite them to something new – an orchard, a story walk, a worship service, exercise, a meal. Part 2 features "The Kevins" – Kevin Miller and Kevin Bates – who are starting a new faith community in the outdoors called Way in the Wilderness: A Church Without Walls. These episodes are airing on the Tuesdays surrounding Earth Day to encourage you to consider how you might connect the earth and its Creator with the lives of people in your community. It doesn't take much green space to start an innovative and inspiring outdoor ministry!

Means of Grace: Green Spaces in Ministry, Part 1

4/20/2021
This edition of the Means of Grace podcast uses two episodes to highlight four ministries in Western North Carolina who are using green spaces in ministry. These ministries meet people where they are and invite them to something new – an orchard, a story walk, a worship service, exercise, a meal. Part 1 features Ann Self, the executive director of The Village Green in Cashiers, and Chris Harbin and Edmari Correya deCastro, who share about their aquaponics and biodiverse orchard ministry. These episodes are airing on the Tuesdays surrounding Earth Day as a way for leaders to consider how they might connect the earth and its Creator with the lives of people in their community. One of the many blessings of living in North Carolina is access to beautiful spaces and God’s earth. These podcasts encourage you to think about your own outdoor space – it doesn’t take much – and how it can be used in ministry. Be sure to check out Part 2 next week.

Means of Grace: Online Worship is Here to Stay with Jason Moore

2/16/2021
In this week's episode Luke Edwards talks with Dan Pezet, Director of Church Development, and Jason Moore of Midnight Oil Productions about designing worship for both in-person and online participants. On Sunday, March 14, 2021, the WNCC Office of Church Development invites you to join Jason Moore for Both/And: Maximizing Hybrid Worship Experiences For Online and In-Person Audiences.

Body, Soul, Soil, and Sacrament

12/1/2020
Here's a terrific post on environmental stewardship as social innovation from Nate Stucky at Princeton Theological Seminary's Farminary. Innovators, give it a look!

Means of Grace: Innovation in Western North Carolina

5/12/2020
In this episode, Caroline and Brian check in with Rev. Louis Timberlake for an update on the conference Innovation initiative that began at Annual Conference last year.

Means of Grace: Smoky Mountain Outdoor Fresh Expressions

11/14/2019
In the next episode of Means of Grace, Luke Edwards meets up with three outdoor fresh expressions of church in the Smoky Mountain district – the Smoky Mountain Hiking Community, River of Life and the Appalachian Trail Ministry of Robbinsville UMC. The leaders of these fresh expressions share how their churches are connecting with hikers and paddlers in their communities. Listen on our website at www.wnccumc.org/meansofgraceor wherever you get your podcasts.