The Latest Edition of E-News - Lenten Study from BWUMC, Resources for Black History Month, Brotherhood/Sisterhood Sunday, and more

February 10, 2021

E-News - February 10, 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.


New Lenten study offers hope, reconnection through covenant

A new adult Lenten study, “Reclaiming and Living Covenant,” published by the Baltimore-Washington Conference, is a deep dive into biblical covenant and hope, and reconnecting relationships. This study has been endorsed by the WNCC Comprehensive Plan of Equity Education Task Team. While written for Lent, this study can be used at any time. A youth supplement is available now with a children's supplement to release soon. You can find the full study here.

Watch an interview with the two authors, Jen Kidwell and Rev. Neal Christie, for more insight into the study.

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.


UWM shares resources for Black History Month

February is Black History Month — a time to reflect on the history of Black Americans and to honor the individuals and groups who have worked tirelessly toward racial justice. The United Methodist Women invite you to join them in their effort to eliminate all institutional racism. This curated list of resources for study and worship during Black History Month is a great place to start

Means of Grace: Developing a Ministry of Reconciliation in Your Context

In the latest episode of the Means of Grace podcast, Rev. Kim Ingram talks with Deborah Daniels and Cindy Thompson, active lay leaders in the Western North Carolina Conference about the ways they have been involved with ministries of reconciliation, specifically related to racial reconciliation. Cindy and Deborah reflect on their experiences and highlight ways leaders and churches can participate in reconciliation in their congregations and communities.

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!

Brotherhood/Sisterhood of the WNCC 2021: Special Recognition and Membership Drive

The WNCC annually approves the third Sunday in February (or other times deemed more suitable) for special recognition of the Brotherhood/Sisterhood. The interest and support of local churches, organizations, and individual members is deeply appreciated and vital since this Affiliated Ministry is entirely self-funded. With the love of God, the grace of Jesus Christ, and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, let us continue to affirm our clergy and their families.

WNCC Christians Engaged in Faith Formation (CEF)

Mark your calendars for March 25 from 10 a.m.- 12p.m. for a WNCC/CEF Meet and Greet.  We are excited to begin our work on intentionally connecting people who are leaders in faith formation, especially during our current times.  Be on the lookout for more information that is forthcoming.



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.
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.

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.


Tax Preparation Discount Offer for WNCC Clergy

C. DeWitt Foard and Associates, PA, CPAs, a nationally renown accounting firm and also the Western NC Conference’s auditors, is offering WNC clergy $50 off usual tax preparation fees for 2020 returns. Simply mention you are a WNC clergyperson or spouse to receive the discount. Returns can be submitted from all regions of the conference.



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.

People Over Property: Reimagining Church Space in a Pendemic
Thursday, February 25, 1 p.m.

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.

The two will build upon the work presented in their 2020 book Fresh Expressions of People Over Property during the event titled "People Over Property: Reimagining Church Space in a Pandemic." The webinar will be an opportunity to dream and imagine the possibilities when people return to their church facilities after the pandemic.

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