The Latest Edition of E-News - Second Sunday of Easter Worship Service, Bishop Leeland Announces Cabinet Changes, Burning Out & Coming Back Leadership Clinic, and more

April 7, 2021

E-News - April 7, 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.


WNCC Second Sunday of Easter Service

The Western NC Conference is pleased to offer a conference-wide virtual worship for the Second Sunday in Easter, led by the District Superintendents, with a homily from the Bishop, and music from churches around our conference. Clergy and worship leaders, take a much-needed break after the rush of Holy Week and Easter services, and worship with friends around the conference. All files are now available to be viewed and/or downloaded. You can share these on your own social media platform and/or website, or direct your congregation to the Conference website, YouTube, or Facebook for viewing this Sunday, April 11th.

Bishop Leeland Announces Cabinet Changes

Rev. Linda Kelly has announced her retirement effective July 1, 2021. Linda has served as the District Superintendent of the Smoky Mountain District since 2018. Rev. Dr. Hyung Jae Lee will succeed Linda as District Superintendent of the Smoky Mountain District. 

Now Accepting Denman Award Nominations

Know someone in your church who has excelled in evangelism this year? The Western North Carolina Conference is now accepting nominations for The Harry Denman Evangelism Award for Clergy, Lay, and Youth.

Five Metro District churches help provide over 1500 COVID-19 vaccines
For five Metro District churches, Holy Week in 2021 brought socially distanced lines of masked community members eagerly anticipating their turn to roll up their sleeve.

Hickory Grove, University City, The Place, North Davidson, and St. Mark's United Methodist Churches, in partnership with VAX VAN, a mobile service serving the Charlotte area with rapid testing and vaccinations for COVID-19, provided more than 1500 vaccines to members of their communities.

Three Churches Building Online Community

The church has moved online. And this year has taught us that some aspects of church are harder than others to practice on the internet. Online worship void of community is not a complete picture of church. Church is not a production to be consumed (in-person or online), it is a people gathered around the risen Christ, worshiping God together. Luke Edwards, Associate Director for Church Development, helps us answer an essential question: how can we create community online?

Oak Grove UMC Delivers Easter Joy

Like so many churches, Oak Grove UMC in Ellenboro has two beloved mission projects they participate in year after year. In 2021, however, the congregation had the opportunity to expand their ministry outreach to include a feeding ministry for families who are living in a local motel. This Easter, the children of these families received an extra special surprise with their regular food delivery.

Mustard Seed Migration Grants

The Mustard Seed Mitigation Grant program will grant up to $2000 each to 50 United Methodist churches in the United States to engage in service with refugees and migrants in their own cities and towns. The application deadline is May 16, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

N.C. Council of Churches Honoring Michael Regan at 2021 Legislative Seminar

The North Carolina Council of Churches will host its 2021 Legislative Seminar virtually from Monday, April 26 through Friday, April 30 daily at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Held biennially when the General Assembly holds its “long session,” the Seminar offers people of faith the factual tools they need to faithfully consider the policy matters that affect our lives and the lives of our neighbors.



Both/And Worship Technology Grants
The Office of Church Development is making up to 200 grants available to help churches assess their needs, purchase equipment, and provide training improve BOTH their online AND in-person worship presence. 

Apply as soon as possible - grant applications will only remain open while funds last. Approvals will be made in batches. Applications received by the first of the month will be answered by the 15th of the same month. Applications received by the 15th of the month will be answered by the 1st of the following month.
Project AGAPE Spring Collection
Traditionally, the WNCC-UMC hosts a spring donation drive with a coordinated pick-up in April each year for this long-standing mission of our conference. This year, however, due to the forced relocation of the Project AGAPE offices and warehouse as a result of the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Nara Melkonyan, the in-country director, informed us the staff will not be ready to receive shipments of goods until June 2021.

Therefore, for this year's AGAPE Sunday (traditionally the fourth Sunday of April), we encourage all of our churches to provide their members with the opportunity to financially support the ministries of Project AGAPE. In-kind donations are not needed at this time. Learn how you can donate financially to Project AGAPE and/or support our ministry partnership by volunteering at the Mission Response Center. 
Mission Engagement Virtual Book Club
We are very excited to announce that we are launching our first four week virtual book club! We will offer two different weekly meeting times: Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m and Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. Participants will remain in the same weekly time slot for all the meetings for the four weeks. The first meeting will be on April 21st. The classes will cap at 12 participants, so make sure to reserve your spot quickly!
School of the Spirit registration open
School of the Spirit is an online and in-person twelve-month journey into contemplative practices that bring the seeker closer to God. 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. There is still time to apply. Early registration is encouraged as space is limited to 24 clergy and lay ministry professionals. School of the Spirit 12 begins July 26-27, 2021.
Join the Annual Conference Virtual Choir!
The Worship Committee for the 2021 WNC Annual Conference is creating a virtual conference choir for the opening hymn. Singers of any age from WNC are invited to video record themselves singing the hymn, “And Are We Yet Alive.”



Neighborly Advice Webinar Series: Effective Communication to Postmodern Families
Thursday, April 8 & 22, 3 p.m. EST

The pandemic and the use of new technology have challenged our way of preaching and communicating with our congregations. How do we communicate effectively to the entire congregation? Discipleship Ministries is introducing a new three-part webinar series that delves into a deeper conversation around preaching and communicating to children and families in a postmodern neighborhood.

'I See You' Webinar Series: Working Class Rage with Tex Sample
Thursday, April 8 & 29, 8 p.m. EST

Join Scott Hughes as he talks with Rev. Dr. Tex Sample about his book Working Class Rage for a two-part webinar series. 1 John 5:20-21 reminds us that part of loving God, who is unseen, is seeing and loving those around us who are hurting and feel neglected. This webinar series is part of the Courageous Conversations project, yet it is open to all pastors and all church leaders who are seeking to better understand and love those who feel as though their voice doesn’t matter.

LSM Training: "Transformational Prayer"
Sundays, April 11 through May 2, 2-4:30 p.m. EST
The Catawba Valley District will offer a 4-week Lay Servant Training course, "Transformational Prayer", held via Zoom. This course is open Conference-wide and will be based in part on the book Transforming Prayer by Daniel Henderson.  
This course qualifies as an Advanced Lay Servant course. Attendance on all four Sundays is required to complete the hours needed for certification. No exceptions can be made. Note: Completion of the Basic Lay Servant Course is a prerequisite for this course. Deadline for Registration is April 8, 2021.

Leadership Clinic with Carey Nieuwhof: "Burning Out and Coming Back"
Thursday, April 15, 10 a.m. EST

Chances are that you know someone who has burned out or might be on the edge of it yourself. Burnout today seems almost to be a rite of passage. In this talk, Carey looks at signs of burnout and identifies several types of burnout that impact more leaders than most people realize. He shares about how to recover from burnout and stay healthy. Carey’s LIVE training will be followed by an interactive interview with Bishop Palmer of the West Ohio Conference about the future of the Church, and your questions. Deadline for registration is Sunday, April 11th. 

Director of Communications: Melissa McGill

Communications Ministry Assistant: Aimee Yeager