The Latest Edition of E-News - Updated COVID Guidelines, Update from SEJ Delegation, Ministry Cohorts, Webinars, Retreats, and more

July 28, 2021

E-News - July 28, 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.


COVID-19 Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry - UPDATED 7.28.21

With the Delta Variant becoming the most dominant Coronavirus strain in the United States, The CDC and Governor Cooper have issued new guidance regarding masks, particularly for children under 12 and others who are unvaccinated. In response, the Bishop and Cabinet offer these updated recommendations.

SEJ Update from the WNCC Delegation

Rev. Dr. Stephanie Moore Hand shares an update on behalf of the WNCC Delegation to the Southeastern Jurisdiction Called Virtual Session on July 21, 2021.

AC2021 Offering Report: Thank you for giving generously!

Thanks to your generosity, we have received a total of $37,869.44 for the Annual Conference 2021 Offering in honor of Bishop Paul L. and Janet Leeland. The offering will be evenly divided between the Northern Haiti Mission Connection (Partners 4 New Hope) and UMAR with a gift of $18,934.72 to each. Thank you for supporting the mission of these important ministries!

Racial Healing and Reconciliation Learning Cohort - APPLICATIONS DUE SATURDAY, JULY 31

WNCC’s Equity and Justice Ministries is excited to invite your church to join a new Racial Healing and Reconciliation Learning Cohort forming this fall. Under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Bill White, Jr., and in partnership with Cindy Thompson of Boundless Impact and Rev. Vincent Howell of Partners in Ministry Leadership, the learning cohort will bring together up to 15 church teams that are currently involved with intentional racial healing and reconciliation ministries. Interested churches are invited to complete an Interest Form by Saturday, July 31st.

Relaunching Dinner Church

The Church Development Office invites dinner church leaders and those who might be interested in starting a dinner church to join us for a time of food, fun, and inspiration. We will be hosting three events across the conference during the weekend of August 13-15. Learn more and register today!

Both/And Learning Lab #2

BOTH current grant recipients AND potential grant recipients of the BOTH/AND Grants are invited to join us for the second Both/And Hybrid Worship Learning Lab. Participants will worship, learn, experiment, share, ask questions, and discover best practices around hybrid worship experiences. Learn more and register today.

Means of Grace: Cooperative Parish in the Blue Ridge District
In the latest episode of the Means of Grace podcast, Luke Edwards sits down with Mark Ralls, Shonnie Streder and Dianne Johnston of the Blue Ridge District to hear about a new cooperative parish that is bringing together six congregations to do ministry together in the Hominy Valley.
Get your college student plugged in!

Are you going to college for the first time or do you know someone who is? We would love to connect you with a United Methodist campus minister or chaplain at your school! Learn more about each of our campus ministries here

Read an update from UNC Charlotte's Niner United campus ministry.

Post-Pandemic Game Changers Cohort

The pandemic created a crisis. Crises can be an accelerator for change in your church. This is a great opportunity to stop doing some things and consider what is needed now. Join teams from other churches in WNC to have conversations about what your church’s post-pandemic ministry looks like.

2022 LEAD Conference
UMCLEAD is excited to announce that registration for the LEAD 2022 Conference in San Diego is now live! LEAD will be held in San Diego, CA from January 23rd-26th, 2022. Speaker application and registration are now open.
Youth Ministry Network Retreat & Resource Gathering

Get excited for our first Youth Ministry Network Gathering! We're looking forward to getting together September 21-23 to share resources, ideas, and to develop a network of collaboration and encouragement for one another and our ministries with young people.

Overdose Awareness Day

August 31, 2021, is International Overdose Awareness Day. This is a day for us to remember those who have died from fatal drug overdoses. This year it is estimated that 3.500 people in North Carolina will lose their lives to overdose. To represent the thousands of sons, daughters, husbands, wives, and countless others Bridge to Recovery will be placing 3,500 flags on our grounds to represent the lives lost to the overdose epidemic in our state.

You are invited to visit Bridge to Recovery Friday, August 27 - Monday, August 30 to view the flags and remember the thousands of precious lives lost. In addition, a community remembrance gathering will be held with light refreshments on Tuesday, August 31 at 9:00 am.


HIRING: Yadkin Valley & Smoky Mountain District Administrators, Coordinator of African American Church Vitality & Growth

We are now hiring for three positions: District Administrators for both the Yadkin Valley District & Smoky Mountain District and Coordinator for African American Church Vitality & Growth. Are you one of the qualified leaders we're looking for? Apply today!

Developing and Implementing an Outward Mindset

In this workshop, participants learn how to change their mindset and behaviors to better engage others. The habits can be contagious and help form more loving communities.

Mission Engagement Blog - July 2021
Check out the latest Mission Engagement blog by Rev. Rob Parsons titled "Practicing Hospitality".
The Ultimate ReLaunch Playbook Webinar

Did you miss the ReLaunch webinar? The recording is now available!

Renfro Trust Fund

The Renfro Trust Fund awards annual bricks-and-mortar grants to small, rural United Methodist congregations in the Southeastern Jurisdiction. Learn if your church qualifies for this grant.


Festival of Wisdom and Grace to be held Aug. 2-5 at Lake Junaluska

Monday-Thursday, August 2-5, 2021
The Festival of Wisdom and Grace, a conference for finding purpose and renewal in the second half of life, is coming up Aug. 2-5 at Lake Junaluska, and registration is still open.

The event features worship, workshops, recreation, entertainment and learning, and the theme for 2021 is "Living Abundantly in the Second Half of Life." Conference leadership includes Will Willimon as conference preacher, Dr. Amy Hanson as keynote speaker, Bishop Ken Carder as opening worship preacher and workshop leader of "Ministry with the Forgotten," and gospel-rooted quartet King's Cadence.

What You Really Need to Know About Clergy Housing Allowances

Tuesday, August 10, 7:30 p.m. EST
For the first time, Discipleship Ministries will offer a webinar for laity and clergy to help churches better understand this special provision and how it can be a blessing to everyone! Join Ken Sloane, Director of Stewardship & Generosity, and his guest Bryan Mills, General Counsel for the General Council on Finance & Administration (GCFA), as we try to bring clarity to an often confusing topic.

UMW Deaconess & Home Missioner Virtual Discernment Event
Thursday, August 12, 8 p.m.
For laity in the United Methodist Church who feel called by God to a full-time vocation in service with those who are marginalized and in need in the world today, there is an opportunity to be a part of a supportive community in connection with The United Methodist Church as a deaconess or home missioner. Learn more at the virtual discernment event on Thursday, August 12.

AntiRacism Ethics Training
Dates vary throughout August-November, 2021
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. 


Annual UMW District Celebrations
Dates vary throughout August 2021

We all look forward to the day when we can again gather safely in person, and experience the special joy of that wonderful supportive community of United Methodist Women that is a part of every Annual Celebration! This year, however, in an effort to care for the safety and well-being of our members the celebrations will be held virtually. Learn more about the celebration dates and Zoom information for your district.

Summit Youth Conference
November 5-7, 2021
We are excited to announce that Summit will be returning this fall at Asheville's Crowne Plaza Expo Center, November 5-7, 2021. Summit is a weekend retreat for youth and youth groups. Summit promises lively and powerful worship, a focus on social justice, and four outstanding messages. Registration opens September 7th.


Director of Communications: Melissa McGill

Associate Director of Communications: Aimee Yeager