The Latest Edition of E-News - Bishop Leeland discusses discovering God's call, Spiritual Renewal grants available, and more

September 17, 2020

E-News - September 16, 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.


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.

Pass It On Cafe

What do you get when you combine Dinner Church with Messy Church? A Messy Dinner Church. Rev. Meg Gaston tells the story of Pass It On Cafe, a place where community meals meet art projects. 

Spiritual Renewal Grant Available Now!

COVID has been hard on leaders and many are exhausted, discouraged, and in need of time away. The Leadership Development Team wants to help nurture your spirit in order to be renewed and restored in life and in ministry. This could be possible through a private, renewal retreat or by engaging with a spiritual director. Ministry leaders (clergy and lay professionals) who sign up for an offering and pay a personal investment of $50, are eligible for up to $500. Funds are available because of the generosity of churches who pay their apportionments.

Means of Grace: Leadership, Technology, & Relationships

Six months into stay-at-home orders, every church has had to make significant shifts in their ministry. In this episode of Means of Grace, Jesse Enniss talks with Rev. Dr. Andrea Smith, pastor of West UMC in Mooresville, NC, and Rev. Dan Hester, pastor of Skyland United Methodist Church in Asheville, NC about leadership in this time of change. They discuss how they have adapted their use of technology, their engagement with their communities, how they, as leaders, have been making decisions, and so much more! Listen for free at or wherever you get your podcasts!

FREE Online Safe Sanctuaries Training
Using your church property as an internet hotspot for your community? Interested in doing so? What guidelines do you have in place for cell phone activity between leaders and students? Join Safe Sanctuaries expert, Rev. Michelle Foster-Beckerleg, for two FREE online training opportunities.

Who are these with you?
We all know about Esau and Jacob’s reunion. Jacob comes home after decades away and, always the strategist, he surrounds himself with family, extended family, and servants as he makes his final approach.
Esau looks up and asks the question – Who are these with you?
This is how we answer the question at Methodist Home for Children.

Cell Tower Lease Survey

Wesley Community Development is seeking to develop some best practices for local churches regarding cell tower leasing.  Please complete this survey if your church is in a lease agreement for a cell tower on church property.  Thank you in advance for helping them assist local churches throughout our Conference.


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, ERTs 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.

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.

New United Methodist advertising campaign encourages hope

A new advertising campaign from The United Methodist Church urges people to find hope together amid the challenges posed by this year’s COVID-19 pandemic and heightened racial tensions.

Reimagining creative, safe yet socially distant holiday celebrations

"With the number of coronavirus cases across the country, fall and winter holiday celebrations are likely to look very different this year. Adjust your church plans now for fall festivals, Halloween and Christmas. With a little creativity you can create celebrations that are fun and safe. Here are a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing."


Public Education Advocacy and Faith: Why The Church Should Care

Wednesday, September 16th, 7 p.m. EST
Join us  for a discussion around the importance of equity in public schools and actions we can take to accomplish the vision of every child in North Carolina having a sound basic education through public education.

Recover.Restore.Retreat: Lord, Help! COVID Disparities in the Black Community
Tuesday, September 22nd, 10 a.m. EST

Chenequa Walker-Barnes, PhD at the McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University, is closing out the Recover. Restore. Retreat. webinar series. She’ll be speaking on theories and praxis to COVID disparities in the Black community. You do not want to miss this.

Register for Eating Together Faithfully introductory training
Friday, September 25th, 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.

Racial Healing and the Gospel of Reconciliation
The first session will be held Wednesday, October 21st, 9 a.m. EST
Rooted in 2 Corinthians 5:16-20, this workshop will teach reconciliation as spirituality, highlighting biblical examples of reconciliation and our call to be ministers of reconciliation as followers of Christ. With this theological foundation, participants will learn practical strategies for the Church to live out our role in the reconciliation process

Retiring Well: A Pre-Retirement Webinar from Wespath
Tuesday, November 17th, 9:30 a.m. EST
Clergy who are 3-5 years from retirement are invited to join representatives from Wespath and EY to discuss retirement provisions, plans, and services. Register before November 4th and a personalized, confidential Benefit Projection will be mailed to you. PLUS sign up for a 30-minute individual virtual consultation with a member of the Wespath Benefit Education Team. Spouses are welcomed to join the webinar and consultation!
Director of Communications: Melissa McGill

Communications Ministry Assistant: Aimee Yeager