The Latest Edition of E-News - WNCC Christmas Service Available Now, COVID-19 Resources for Faith Communities, Means of Grace Top 10 Episodes of All Time, and more

December 22, 2020

E-News - December 22, 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.


WNCC Christmas Worship Service NOW AVAILABLE!

The Western NC Conference is pleased to 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 video can also be found for viewing on YouTube. (Watch page for Vimeo link coming soon!). All  files can be downloaded to share from your own social media platform and/or website on Dropbox.

NCDHHS shares COVID-19 resources for places of worship and faith communities

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.

Full Schedule Announced for Winter Leadership Training Webinar Series

Like most events during the pandemic, our District Winter Leadership Training Events will look a little different for 2021. Rather than hosting in-person events in each district, we will offer a series of Conference-wide training webinars during the week of January 10-14 to resource and equip all areas of your Church leadership.
Jason Moore of Midnight Oil Productions will lead the keynote webinar to launch the series on “Telling the Old Story in a New Time.” Other topics will include: Financial Faithfulness in Uncertain Times, The Ministry of the Staff-Parish Relations Committee, Evangelism During A Pandemic, Leadership During a Pandemic for Church Councils, Racial Equity and Justice, Courageous Conversations, and much more.

Check Inz: A New "Contact Free" Check-in App from the Western NC Conference

COVID-19 brought many new challenges, including checking in worship attendees 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

Top 10 Means of Grace Episodes of All Time

Means of Grace, a podcast from the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, equips church leaders through expertise and examples. The podcast launched in October 2019, went weekly in October 2020, and hit 10,000 downloads in November 2020. We’ll be back on January 5, 2021 with new episodes but in the meantime, check out our top ten episodes by listener numbers.

2021 LEAD Conference Moves Online

LEAD creates space for Christian leaders to be vulnerable and courageous, connects them around their hopes for the future, and equips them to bring those hopes into reality. 
Now, more than ever, in the era of COVID-19, increasing political polarization nationwide, and heightened awareness of racial, social, and economic injustices bursting forth, LEADERS NEED LEAD. 
LEAD 2021, directed by WNCC clergy Brandon Lazarus, will take place online January 25-26 and will feature 14 speakers and leaders (including WNCC clergy Sarah Howell-Miller) who will offer stories of how they’ve led through these unprecedented times.

The 2020 Journal is Available Online
The 2020 Journal is now available for viewing and download on the WNCC Administration page! 


Means of Grace: 2020, A Year in Review with Our Hosts

In this episode, our host panel take look back at 2020. Melissa, Jesse, Luke, Kim, Caroline and Brian share their favorite moments, challenges they faced and what they’re looking forward to for 2021. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Means of Grace team. We will be back with new episodes on January 5, 2021.

SouthPark Church Unveils New Home

Seven years after embarking on a journey to share God’s love in a bold, new way, Sharon United Methodist Church has reached its destination. With a new name – SouthPark Church – and a new home amid apartments, businesses and even a hotel, the congregation is eagerly welcoming all in need of faith, hope and love.

UMC Bishops call for optimism and hope in 2021

Despite the trials and tribulations of 2020 brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, bishops in The United Methodist Church are calling on United Methodists and other people of faith to be optimistic about 2021 and to trust that God will make things better in the coming year.

Virtually Connect with the Randalls, Global Ministries Missionaries

Rev. Courtney and Rev. Dan Randall are UM elders serving as Global Ministries missionaries, yet COVID restrictions in the Holy Land have delayed their departure. They are living in Charlotte while they wait for their visas, and they would like to virtually connect with congregations in the Western North Carolina Conference.

HIRING: Conference Director of Equity and Justice Ministries
The Western North Carolina Conference is seeking a Conference Director of Equity and Justice Ministries (CDEJM) to direct our strategic efforts in diversity, equity, belonging, and advocacy and to help implement these practices in all areas of Conference and local church ministry.



Webinar: Ways to Start and Improve Small Group Ministry

Tuesday, January 12, 2021 12 p.m.
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.

2021 WNCC Martin Luther King, Jr Commemoration 
Saturday, January 16, 2021, 10 a.m. EST.
The WNC Black Methodists for Church Renewal, the Justice & Reconciliation Team and the Commission for Religion and Race have set the 2021 Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Service. The keynote speaker will be the Rev. Dr. Joseph Daniels, the Senior Pastor of Emory Fellowship United Methodist Church, Washington DC.
Journey Inward - The Big Silence Retreat
January 17-20, 2021

We are all on a spiritual journey in this life, but so much of our journey is spent outside of ourselves. How often do you get away from the distractions of this world to find a holy place within? When was the last time you just hung out with God with no expectations whatsoever? Maybe it’s time for you to journey inward at The Big Silence Retreat. Start the New Year with a different kind of experience.

Eating Together Faithfully Online Introductory Training
Friday, January 22, 2021, 12 p.m.

As we look ahead to the possibility and promise of a new year, many of us are wondering how we can make 2021 a time for healing, rebuilding, and cultivating compassionate and equitable communities. Let's begin around the (literal OR virtual) table! The team at Life Around the Table joyfully invites you to join our next Eating Together Faithfully (ETF) Online Introductory Training on Friday, January 22nd!
National Caring Congregation Training
February 26-27, 2021

2020 is coming to a close and now is the time to start planning your training needs for the new year! The Caring Congregation is excited to announce that our next National Webinar has been set for February 26-27, 2021. This live streamed 2-day event covers the Basic CCM Model of Care Training to equip and inspire your staff and volunteers to revitalize your church's care ministry. Take advantage of our Holiday Discount and save $50 per registrant now through Epiphany Jan 6, 2021.
There will be no E-News next week.
From all of us at the Western North Carolina Conference, may you and those you love have a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Director of Communications: Melissa McGill

Communications Ministry Assistant: Aimee Yeager