The Latest Edition of E-News - Updated Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry, Bishop Leeland & Discovering God's Call, and more

September 10, 2020

E-News - September 9, 2020

E-News is an email newsletter sent out by the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. It contains important news, stories, and events from around our conference. Submit articles for the next e-news. Submit events.


Updated Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry During COVID-19

As faithful disciples of Jesus Christ in the midst of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we remain committed to our Biblical mandate to "love our neighbors as ourselves" and our Wesleyan call to “do no harm.” In doing so, we seek ways to engage faithfully in worship, study, and ministry while ensuring the health and safety of our members and communities.
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.

Bishop Leeland talks about discovering God's call

Are you a high school student discerning a call to ministry? Or are you an adult who would like the opportunity to mentor a 9th-12th grade student through their discernment journey? Bishop Leeland talks about discovering God's call and John McGill invites you to learn more about stepping into the opportunities utilizing Adventures in Ministry.

Committee on Relief Update: Hurricane Laura

The Committee on Relief has been in communication with the Louisiana Conference and is preparing to assist when it is deemed safe. At this time, ERT’s have not been asked to deploy as the assessment period is still ongoing. Please remember that ERTs cannot self deploy. If requested to deploy, the invitation will come from the host Conference through our Disaster Response Coordinator, Ben Rogers. If you have not taken the ERT certification course or are in need of renewing your badge, contact our Training Coordinator, Cailee Franklin.

AC 2020 Offering Report: Thank you for giving generously!

Thanks to your generosity, we have received a total of $8,118.50 for the Annual Conference 2020 Offering. The offering will be evenly divided between the Northern Haiti Mission Connection and UMAR at a gift of $4,059.25 each. Thank you for supporting the mission of these important ministries!

Called to Witness, Care, and Act: A Message for the Laity of the UMC
Recently, the Executive Team of the Association of Annual Conference Lay Leaders (AACLL) published a letter to all laity in the UMC. Entitled "Called to Witness, Care, and Act", the letter provides both encouragement and a call to action to laity in light of the dual pandemics with which we find ourselves engaged, COVID-19 and the sin of deeply rooted racism. The letter serves as an important reminder of our call to remain steadfast during times of trouble, to be a source of hope and healing in our communities and beyond, and to love others as Christ loves us. As the Executive Team writes, "Seasons of pandemic and cultural change do not excuse us from being aware and supportive of our neighbors. Rather, they call us to being there for one another, hearing, listening deeply, and acting."

Chronic Condition Management Benefit Available
The HealthMapRx Chronic Condition Risk Management program is available to WNCC clergy members and their dependents who are currently covered under WNCC-UMC health insurance. You are eligible for this program if you are diagnosed with or take a medication for: diabetes, pre-diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol or depression.

Mission Engagement Blog - September 2020
In this month's Mission Engagement Blog, Rev. Alexis Coleman asks, "Is it time to clean out your congregation's missions closet?"


Join us for 30 Days of Anti-Racism

Join us this September for 30 days of anti-racism. Each day we will engage in an activity that helps us to become more anti-racist in the ways we think and act. Share your progress with a picture or a reflection using #30DaysAntiRacism.

Means of Grace: Meet John Crane, WNCC Lay Leader

In this episode, Caroline Wood has a conversation with John Crane, WNCC Lay Leader about the ministry of the laity and John’s passion for the church.

Health benefits rates for 2021
The Health Benefits Committee recommended and the Conference Board of Pensions and Health Benefits approved the Health rates for Active and Retiree Health plans for 2021. 

Treasury Services announces new Online Payments Portal for 2021
Treasury Services is pleased to announce a new avenue for making Apportionment and Benefits payments via electronic payments. Register today for this new feature, which will be available in early 2021.

Charge Conference Technical Updates for 2020
Charge Conference "season" is again upon us and just like last year, we will submit all forms completely online. This year we have worked hard to make it even easier to submit your Charge Conference forms digitally. 
Discipleship Ministries offers more considerations as you plan your Charge Conference in COVID-19 times. 


Anti-Racism 101: Required Skills for White People Who Want to be Allies
An online course from the General Commission on Religion & Race

This online course centers on one big idea: that anti-racism is anything that actually interrupts and dismantles racism. As a 101 course, the content will focus on defining anti-racism, identifying anti-racism, and practicing anti-racism by interrupting racism. The three sessions will roughly fall under these categories: theory (big idea), practice [working with the big idea), and personal (implementing the big idea).

Webinar: A Closer Look at the Offering
Thursday, September 10, 8 p.m. EST
Ken Sloane (Director, Stewardship & Generosity) and his guest, Dr. Ed Phillips (Associate Professor of Worship, Candler School of Theology), will discuss the past, present, and future of "the offering" in worship as the vehicle for funding ministry, as well as some best practices for moving into the future.

Fresh Expressions Free Webinar: People Over Property
Monday, September 14, 11 a.m. EST

Our cities and towns are littered with deteriorating church buildings. It's easy to feel like time and energy is being lost that could be invested in loving and serving others. What if we could reimagine our buildings as spaces that exist to serve our communities? Join Rev. Dr. Audrey Warren and Bishop Kenneth Carter for this FREE webinar perfect for pastors, church leaders, or anyone who is more passionate about people than property.

Register for Eating Together Faithfully introductory training
Friday, September 25, 12-2 p.m. EST

Interested in becoming an Eating Together Faithfully (ETF) facilitator? Mark your calendar for our first online ETF Introductory Training! This two-hour training is for anyone interested in becoming an ETF facilitator and learning how to lead small ETF groups among their families, friends, congregations, and communities. Participants in this online training will be introduced to Life Around the Table and our mission, how the ETF Framework is designed, and things to consider before starting your own ETF small group.

Director of Communications: Melissa McGill

Communications Ministry Assistant: Aimee Yeager