The Latest Edition of E-News - Means of Grace, Marking Ash Wednesday Safely, Certificate for Church Treasurers, and more

January 27, 2021

E-News - January 27, 2021

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.


Means of Grace: The Church and Rural Food Systems

This week's episode is about rural food systems and how churches can make an impact on our communities in economic and environmental ways. Luke Edwards talks with Jaimie McGirt of Resourceful Communities which focuses on environmental stewardship, social justice and sustainable economic development across rural NC. He also talks with Bob Sturge, Pastor of Mill Grove UMC in Midland, NC where he and his congregation have been encouraging the missional and evangelistic impact of predominantly rural congregations by partnering with local farmers to provide beef for neighboring food ministries and dinner churches.

Guidance for observing Ash Wednesday safely

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.

Still In Mission: Connect with UM missionaries around the world

Despite the pandemic, United Methodist missionaries remain deeply engaged in work around the world. Each month, Global Ministries invites four missionaries to be in conversation with laity and clergy throughout the church to share the joys and challenges they've experienced. Learn how you can join the conversation on February 4th.

Certificate for Church Treasurers

The Conference Office of Treasury Services and the United Methodist Foundation of Western North Carolina will offer a certificate training program for United Methodist volunteer treasurers within our conference.

UMVIM Winter Mission Academy

Sign up for classes February 1-12. All classes will meet online from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time / 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Central Time / 5:00 - 7:00 p.m Mountain Time / 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time.

2021 Explore Summer Internships

The Explore Summer Internship exists to help young adults (18-25 years old) discern their call to vocational ministry by providing an environment for exploring their gifts and giving the intern opportunities to explore particular aspects of ministry and/or program development in a safe and encouraging environment. Interns are not meant to fill a certain hole in the ministerial staff, they are to be given opportunities to experience the full breadth of pastoral ministry; to discover, dream, develop and deliver, to learn by doing as well as by observing and discussing. Application deadline is February 25th, 2021.

WNCC United Methodist Women meets and exceeds 2020 pledge

Despite the many challenges of 2020, the WNCC United Methodist Women met and exceeded their contribution goal of $525,000 thanks to the faithful gifts of Western NC United Methodists.

Piney Creek UMC participates in ministry to provide free eggs to fight poverty

Piney Creek UMC, in partnership with the Alleghany County Ministerium, is working to alleviate poverty in the county with free eggs from their henhouse, as well as providing interested families in need with their own flock of hens.

Rebate money available for churches to go solar

Duke Energy is currently giving away FREE MONEY to nonprofit organizations that decide to Go Solar!

January billings for health and pension benefits to be rolled in with February billings

Due to the January season of changing all the rates, clergy selection in the various health plans and updating the database appropriately with salary adjustments for the new year, the January billings for Health and Pensions benefits will occur, as in years past, with the February billing for a combined two month invoice.



Annual Conference 2021 Updates
The 2021 session of Annual Conference will be held virtually on Saturday, June 12 at 10:00 a.m., using the same format as the 2020 virtual session. The clergy session will be Friday, June 11, also held virtually. The Ordering of Ministry service will be held in person on Saturday, June 19 at Lake Junaluska. The combined service for clergy being commissioned and ordained will include 2020 and 2021 classes. More details will be shared in the coming weeks.

Zoom Recordings Now Available for Winter Training Webinar Series
*Resources from training sessions are now available for download.

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.
Statistical Reporting for 2020 is READY and AVAILABLE!
*Conference Financial information for each local church has been updated and included now your EZRA tables.
The GCFA/Western North Carolina Conference statistical system is open and available for input of 2020 information.  All statistical information must be entered and complete by Monday, February 1, 2021.


The Weird Delight of Preaching
This preaching cohort will be facilitated by Rev. Dr. Jason Byassee, WNC clergy and Butler Chair in Homiletics at the Vancouver School of Theology. Group meets monthly for 7 months beginning in February.  This cohort is limited to 11 participants. Learn more and register.

Reynolds Ministry Grants Now Available!
Need funding for ministry? The Reynolds Ministry Fund offers to fund ministries that demonstrate the ability and intention to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Access the Reynolds Ministry Fund Grant application by visiting the United Methodist Foundation of Western North Carolina Website. Applications are due by Saturday, February 13, 2021.  



Developing and Implementing an Outward Mindset
Tuesdays in March (register by Feb 7); Saturdays in March (register by Feb 14)
Changing the culture in our communities where people shift from an “inward mindset” (self) to an “outward mindset” (others) and experience growth in relationships, collaboration, engagement, and accountability. In each workshop, participants will learn the difference between inward and outward mindsets. They will discover where they have been inward and how to turn more outward. They will learn how to turn their mindsets and behaviors outward by applying the following toolsets: self-awareness tools, mindset change tools, accountability tools, and collaboration tools.

Racial Healing and the Gospel of Reconciliation
February 18, March 7, and April 24, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

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. Using racial healing as our focus, participants will learn a 6-step process of reconciliation that can be taken back to congregations as a resource tool for further healing and reconciliation in their communities.
A Season of New Beginnings: How Rural Churches Can Use Pandemic-Inspired Innovations
Thursdays, February 25-March 25, 12 p.m.

As the pandemic evolves, our churches continue to learn, innovate, and respond to the needs of our communities. This webinar series explores ways in which we can continue to use and adapt the pandemic-generated tools, resources, and approaches as we move into new seasons of church life post COVID-19.

National Caring Congregation Training
February 26-27, 2021

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. 

Director of Communications: Melissa McGill

Communications Ministry Assistant: Aimee Yeager