The Latest Edition of E-News - Celebrating 15 years of ministry on the Nantahala River, Clergy Cohorts and Retreats, and more

August 4, 2021

E-News - August 4, 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.


Ministry on the river celebrates 15 years
"The Rev. Wayne Dickert guides a raft down the Nantahala River near Bryson City, N.C. Dickert, a 1996 U.S. Olympic kayaker and pastor of Bryson City United Methodist Church, has conducted riverside services beside the Nantahala for the past 15 years." Joey Butler and Mike Dubose of United Methodist News have the story.

Check out our fresh look!
We are thrilled to announce the redesign of our website! The vibrant website boasts a redesigned look to match modern web development techniques with user "ease-of-use" in mind. Learn more about the new, dynamic features on the reimagined
Carolinas Black Clergy Leadership Retreat
All clergy are invited to attend this year's Carolina's Black Clergy Leadership Retreat. We are planning an awesome time of worship, praise, fellowship, fun, rest and renewal! All while we gain tools for growth in our lives and our ministry amid the shifting in our culture and our denomination—not to mention surviving a pandemic! Our focus will be “CROSSROADS:  Where Faith and Innovation Meet”
A Few Words on Innovation: Paul Reissman, Mystic Winds

Check out this interview with Rev. Paul Reissman of the Michigan Conference about his ministry, Mystic Winds.

Mission Engagement Blog - August 2021
Check out the Mission Engagement Blog page for a new blog post by Monique Luckey titled "Be Still".
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.


The Western North Carolina Conference is inviting clergy and laity to the M-LAB movement to experience a space for innovation, creativity, and collaboration. Through webinar workshops and a two-day gathering in Charlotte, we will come together, incubate ideas, learn from one another, and develop innovative means for reaching our communities for Christ

Learn more about WNCC Creation Care and Justice in the WNCC
All clergy members in the WNCC are invited to join in a conversation with Rev. Jonathan Brake, an ordained elder serving Mount Pleasant UMC (Sherrills Ford), and Kim Richmond, a lay member and organizer of Creation Care Ministry at Maple Springs UMC (Winston Salem), as they discuss The Mission of Creation Care and Creation Justice in the WNCC. These conversations will take place via Zoom on three consecutive Tuesdays during the Season of Creation – September 14th, 21st, and 28th – from noon to 1pm, so bring your lunch and eat, relax and listen, then share comments and questions after each presentation.
2021 Convocation and Pastors' School
Registration for the 2021 Convocation and Pastors' School is now open. 

The 2021 Convocation and Pastors’ School will focus on the theme, Uncommon Ground: Living with Humility, Patience, and Tolerance in a Divided Age. We will highlight practitioners who, in a broken world marked by division, have found creative ways to work across “uncommon ground” to build up communities and relationships.


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.

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!

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 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, 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.

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!



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.


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.

Relaunching Dinner Church
Three sessions held in various locations across the Conference
August 13-15, 2021

This past year has been hard on all of us. Many of our dinner churches in the conference had to press pause while some adapted to pandemic restrictions. As the world begins to reopen, let us help your team prepare for your dinner church relaunch (or initial launch!). 

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'll have three opportunities across the conference on the weekend of August 13-15th to eat together, hear from two prominent leaders of the dinner church movement, and have some time to play at the lake! Bring your dinner church team and bring your family! 


NC MedAssist Free OTC Medication Drive-Thru Event
Saturday, September 4, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
On September 4, 2021, NC MedAssist will provide free over-the-counter medications for those in need at First UMC, Stanley. Free OTC medicine items include cold, cough, flu medicine, pain relief, vitamins, children's medicines, etc. The event is open to everyone over the age of 18. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged.

Youth Ministry Network Retreat & Resource Gathering

September 21-23, 2021
Get excited for our first Youth Ministry Network Gathering! We're looking forward to getting together to share resources and ideas, and to develop a network of collaboration and encouragement for one another and our ministries with young people. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions:

Developing and Implementing an Outward Mindset
First workshop, September 27-28 at Long's Chapel UMC in Waynesville - Subsequent workshops held throughout the fall at locations across the Conference

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.

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