The Latest Edition of E-News - Ash Wednesday & Lenten Resources, Spiritual Renewal Grants, and More

February 3, 2021

E-News - February 3, 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.


Resources for COVID-Safe Ash Wednesday & Lenten Observances

As the Lenten season approaches, we find ourselves still in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we have witnessed this past year, however, even COVID cannot keep the Church of God down. As you make plan to observe the season of Lent in your churches, we have compiled a list of resources that can help you have a COVID-safe time of remembrance and reflection.

Spiritual Renewal Grant for Clergy/Lay Ministry Professionals

This season of ministry has been hard on leaders and many are exhausted, discouraged, and in need of soul-deep renewal and self-care. The Leadership Development Team wants to help nurture your spirit, for you to be renewed and restored in life and ministry. Apply for a grant for one of the identified offerings, to receive up to $400 for your renewal needs. Funds are available because of the generosity of churches who pay their apportionments.

Come to the Table offers mini-grants for rural churches

With support from The Duke Endowment, Come to the Table is excited to once again offer technical assistance funds to assist up to 30 rural United Methodist churches throughout North Carolina. CTTT will fund churches that are engaging in emergency hunger relief efforts during the coronavirus crisis with mini-grants of up to $1,000.

Mission Engagement Blog - February 2021
Check out the Mission Engagement Blog page for a new blog by Erin Burleson. This month's topic is "Turning Your Ideas Into Actions".
Means of Grace: The Missional Collective

This week’s episode is about the Missional Collective, which desires to help churches and ministries shift the work of mission from relief to empowerment. Missional Collective participants attend a series of retreats together and remain in connection through the support of one another’s work.  Brian Mateer speaks with Missional Collective Coordinator, Erin Burleson, who shares details of the cohort and how you can participate.

Greg Jones named President of Belmont University: Edgardo Colón-Emeric to lead divinity school

Greg Jones, dean of the Duke Divinity School, will be stepping down at the end of the academic year to become president of Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. Effective July 1, Edgardo Colón-Emeric will begin a two-year term as Dean of the Divinity School.

De-Colonizing the Church: A Commitment to Anti-Racism

A team of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) pastors and church planters developed a five-week webinar in the hopes that judicatory leaders, pastors, and laity could learn more about the inherent racism in the church and commit to de-colonize The United Methodist Church in America.

We invite you to join Path 1 on a journey to name and explore our own history of racism and what it means to be intentionally anti-racist as we start new ministries and faith communities in the UMC.

Join this five-week event every Thursday from 1-2:15 p.m. Central time beginning February 18.

Resilience: The Staying Power of the Black Church

Join Strengthening the Black Church for weekly Facebook Live conversations during the month of February. We will discuss topics such as trauma, social activism, politics, and economics. Plan to engage clergy and community members as we reflect on the history of the Black Church and it's exciting future!

People Over Property: Reimagining Church Space in a Pendemic

Duke Divinity School will sponsor a free webinar with the Rev. Dr. Audrey B. Warren and United Methodist Church Bishop Kenneth H. Carter Jr. offering guidance and inspiration on how the pandemic might be used to reimagine church space. Registration is required.


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.

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

The recordings of the Conference-wide Winter Training Webinar series are now available on the Conference website and YouTube. If you were unable to attend live, you can 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.

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.  

Duke Clergy Health Initiative continues Selah through April 2021
In early 2020, The Duke Clergy Health Initiative launched a new health intervention program called Spirited Life: Selah. This program was designed to equip clergy with tools to navigate the stress of ministry in a changing and divided world. 

In response to COVID-19, CHI redesigned the Selah program and study to address these new realities. The program is now entirely online, delivered over a longer period of time, so that pastors have a sustained engagement with a cohort of other pastors as they develop new practices to still the mind and calm the breath. 

CHI will continue to enroll clergy in workshops through April 2021.
School of the Spirit registration open

School of the Spirit offers five 2-day retreats designed to equip, empower and nurture transformation through the ancient spiritual disciplines of Jesus and the early church.


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