The Latest Edition of E-News - Pre-Conference Video Reports, Connection Points schedule, Highlights from the Smoky Mountain District, and more

June 2, 2021

E-News - June 2, 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.


Pre-Conference Video Reports Available Online Now

Video reports from various WNCC committees, commissions, and task forces are available for viewing prior to the virtual Annual Conference session next week. Hear details regarding the proposed 2022 budget, pension & health benefits, clergy vacation and continuing education policies, and more.

Full reports and petitions can be found in the AC2021 Program & Reports book, as well as the P&R Supplement. Any questions can be submitted through the AC2021 Question and Answers form. Questions and answers will be posted publicly once they have been answered, unless they contain personal details. Bookmark the AC2021 landing page and check back frequently for updates and announcements.

Join us for WNCC Connection Points
Join us each evening throughout the week leading up to Annual Conference, June 7-10, for WNCC Connection Points, live webinars connecting us to Christ, each other, and ministry in the world. Live streams will begin each evening at 7 p.m. 
Monday, June 7 - Equity & Justice: Eradicating the Other Pandemic
Join us for an opportunity to get to know Dr. Bill White, Director of the newly established WNCC Department of Equity and Justice Ministries. Learn about Dr. White's passion and vision for this position. 
Tuesday, June 8 - Moving Forward in the UMC
Where do things stand in the denomination and what can we expect in the near future? Bishop Paul Leeland and WNC Delegation Chairs, Kim Ingram and Jennifer Davis, will lead us in this discussion.
Wednesday, June 9 - Theirs Is the Kingdom Documentary Screening and Q&A
View the virtual screening of the new documentary Theirs Is the Kingdom, beginning June 1, which follows the rare creation of a contemporary fresco mural inside the sanctuary of the Haywood Street Congregation in Asheville. On June 9, join Director Chris Zaluski, Artist Christopher Hold, and Rev. Brian Combs for a Q&A webinar.
Thursday, June 10 - Conference Awards Night
Gather with us on this special night as we honor leaders in ministry with the presentations of the Harry Denman Evangelism Award, Francis Asbury Award, Scouting Award, and the Certificate in Church Treasury. 

WNC Conference offices now open for employees and guests
On Tuesday, June 1, the Western North Carolina Conference Center reopened for employees and the public with appropriate safety requirements. A new post-infectious disease outbreak plan has been approved and went into effect that same day. Read more for the full plan and safety guidelines.

Support the 2021 Annual Conference Offering, collected in honor of Bishop Paul and Janet Leeland

This year's Annual Conference offering, collected in honor of Bishop Paul and Janet Leeland, will support the ministries of UMAR and the Northern Haiti Mission Connection. Give generously to these valued ministries, out of the abundance which God has given generously to you.

ReLaunch Playbook

This webinar, sponsored by the WNC Leadership Team, is for leaders thinking about what it means to be the local church and how to show up differently in the community as both a faith community and as a disciple. It is for those who serve in churches that have already opened their doors and are thinking toward fall and for those who are still figuring it all out.

Means of Grace: Smoky Mountain District - Pursuing Community & Racial Justice

In this episode, Director of Communications Melissa McGill catches up with the Smoky Mountain District as part of our ongoing series highlighting the incredible ministry of our districts. District Superintendent Rev. Linda Kelly, District Vitality Associate Rev. Nicole Jones and Communications Coordinator Rev. D’Andre Ash share about how the Spirit is moving in their district around racial justice, ministries during the pandemic and more.

Join the Missional Collective
What if you could be a part of a peer group that was committed to helping you foster empowerment and change in your community? The Missional Collective is just that. Visit the 2021 Missional Collective page to learn more.
AntiRacism Ethics Training

This workshop is designed for clergy and laity together. It is essential for each pastor to identify a key lay person to attend it together with him/her as a partner in advancing the work of antiracism.

All who are under appointment or assignment in WNC are expected to participate in one of the training events over the next four years by June 2024. 
Launching a Non-Profit

There are unique aspects of beginning a non-profit as a ministry within a local church. This cohort will share challenges, lessons learned, and best practices. As needed, the cohort will bring in guest speakers to discuss technical skills/areas related to non-profit work such as 501(c)3 applications, accounting that tracks funding streams, bylaws, memorandums of understanding, board development, grant writing, and other topics as determined by the participants.

A Few Words on Innovation: Community Yoga
Check out this interview with Dawn Lynch of West Church in Mooresville, NC about their Community Yoga Program. 
Disaster Response District Orientation

If you are a Disaster Response leader in your district, an ERT Leader, or involved in Disaster Response within your district office, please sign up for the two-part District Orientation.

Restoration House WNC

The Restoration House serves as a physical location for services of healing through in-house services and partnerships with other not-for-profit organizations that offer medical services, financial counseling, and relational mediation in the Bryson City, NC area. To support, check out the upcoming fundraisers and volunteer opportunities!


Extended Cabinet Shares Updates, Prepares for Episcopal Transition
The Extended Cabinet met virtually on Monday, May 17 to continue to align the work of the various ministry areas and districts around the mission of the Conference. Bishop Leeland opened the meeting by expressing gratitude for the work and friendship of the Cabinet during his tenure in Western North Carolina the last five years. With Bishop Leeland retiring and Bishop Ken Carter returning to Western North Carolina as Resident Bishop on September 1, the Extended Cabinet began preparing as we enter this time of transition for the conference.


SEJ College of Bishops calls for special session
The College of Bishops of the Southeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church, in accordance with ¶521 of the 2016 Book of Discipline, calls for a special session of the jurisdictional conference on July 21, 2021.

United Methodist Agencies 2020 Reports
View the 2020 video reports from United Methodist Agencies including Global Ministries, Church & Society, General Commission on United Methodist Men, and United Methodist Communications.



Faith-Health Connection: "Alzheimer's Prevention and a Healthy Brain, Healthy Body"
Friday, June 4, 11 a.m.
Join PHW for a Faith Health Connection: “Alzheimer’s Prevention and a Healthy Brain, Healthy Body." Courtenay O’Donoghue, Ph.D., Director of Program Services for the Western Carolina Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, will lead the presentation. Given the fear and stigma that surround Alzheimer’s and dementia, the subject too often goes unaddressed, yet there are positive, preventative measures to enhance brain health (and overall health) that can be taken.

Please note that this Faith-Health Connection will kick off the Alzheimer Association’s Healthy Brain, Healthy Body, Healthy You Symposium, June 7 – 11, an overview of Healthy Living for Your Brain and Body, and a series of workshops designed to provide more in-depth information and hands-on activities. 

Annual Conference 2021
Save the dates for Annual Conference 2021! 
Connection Points (Zoom Webinars) - Monday, June 7 through Thursday, June 10 
Virtual Clergy Session (Private Livestream) - Friday, June 11, 10 a.m. *Clergy will receive more information and a link for this session*
Virtual Annual Conference (Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Conference Website) - Saturday, June 12, 10 a.m.
Ordering of Ministry Service (Stuart Auditorium at Lake Junaluska) - Saturday, June 19 - Commissioning Service, 10 a.m. - Ordination Service, 2 p.m.

Stay up to date with the latest Annual Conference news, updates, and announcements at


JUNETEENTH Freedom Celebration at Lake Junaluska
Saturday, June 19, 2 p.m.
Join the Smoky Mountain District's Justice and Reconciliation for a JUNETEENTH Freedom Celebration on Saturday, June 19th at Lake Junaluska. The event is free and open to everyone! The day will include worship featuring a keynote address by Rev. Dr. Stephanie Moore Hand, Metro District Vitality Associate, acclaimed storyteller and historical interpreter, Novella Nimmo, and music from gifted musicians in the Western NC Conference. After worship, the community is invited to party on the grounds (3:00 – 6:00 p.m.) with food trucks, inflatables, horseshoes and cornhole, vendors and exhibits, dancing, and family fun.

Project Agape Virtual Mission Trip
Thursday, July 15, 6 p.m.
Whether you have traveled with us in the past or simply would like to know more about the work being done by North Carolina Methodists in Armenia, join us for a Virtual Mission Trip to Armenia.  We will learn about the history of Armenia and Project AGAPE, hear from past mission participants, have a live chat with Project AGAPE board and get an update from the Project AGAPE Country Director, Nara Melkonyan.  The event is FREE to everyone who registers. 



Director of Communications: Melissa McGill

Communications Ministry Assistant: Aimee Yeager