The Latest Edition of E-News - Bishop Carter Encourages Giving to Special Offering for Tropical Storm Fred Relief Efforts, Hear from Yadkin Valley District Superintended Rev. Dr. Sam Moore on Fulfilling the Message, and more

September 22, 2021

E-News - September 22, 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.



A Letter from Bishop Ken Carter
Bishop Carter encourages WNCC churches to participate in a Special Sunday Offering on September 26th to support relief efforts in Western NC following the aftermath of Tropical Storm Fred.

The damage from this storm has been extensive. According to the North Carolina Department of Safety, recovery from Tropical Storm Fred will likely be a three- to four-year process. WNCC Disaster Relief has been on the ground providing support for first responders and other disaster recovery professionals. WNCC churches and partners, including Cruso UMC, First UMC-Waynesville, and Lake Junaluska have all served as operation centers and places of hospitality and rest.

In addition to Bishop Carter's letter, Smoky Mountain District Superintendent Rev. Dr. Jae Lee offers a prayer, which can be used in worship, for those who have suffered loss and those who bring relief.

Neighborhood Seminary offers 10-week course on Jemar Tisby's "The Color of Compromise"
Join Neighborhood Seminary in a ten-week study of Jamar Tisby’s book, The Color of Compromise, facilitated by Rev. Dr. Jim Melson, Tuesdays October 5-December 14, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Western North Carolina (WNC) United Methodist clergy and laity are eligible for a $115 scholarship.  You must pay the full registration fee and will then be reimbursed. To access this scholarship, please send an email to Kim Ingram. WNC clergy in extension ministry or an appointment beyond the local church (only) may utilize this training to meet the quadrennial ethics training requirement. Full participation is expected.
Hinton Rural Life Center 60th Anniversary Celebration Service
Hinton Rural Life Center celebrates 60 years of ministry on Saturday, September 25, from 11 a.m. until 12:15 p.m. at Hayesville First UMC. Everyone is invited to this Service of Celebration. Masks will be required. Bishop Ken Carter is the guest preacher and Smoky Mountain District Superintendent Rev. Dr. Jae Lee will also be participating in the service. The service will offer worshippers an opportunity to reflect on and give thanks for Hinton's ministry "roots" and the "fruits."
Both/And Tech Talk for September 29th

Get ready to get your "geek" on around all things techy with Both/And Worship. Jason Moore and Chris Carson will join us in a town hall format as we continue to discover and share best practices for the equipment and technology we are using in our Both/And hybrid worship experiences.

This VIRTUAL event is FREE and open to anyone who wants to to learn, share, ask questions, and engage in conversation around the technical side of Both/And worship. For more information, contact Rev. Rob Hutchinson

Means of Grace: Fulfilling the Mission, Yadkin Valley District Highlight
The Yadkin Valley District has much to celebrate. In this week's episode of the Means of Grace podcast, we talk to Rev. Dr. Sam Moore, the District Superintendent and Rev. Randy Blanchard, the District Vitality Associate about everything from the ways their pastors have adapted to the pandemic, to the ways that leaders at every level have continued to serve Christ for the transformation of the world. And we at the Means of Grace Podcast invite you to celebrate with them and give God thanks and praise for the ways that God's Spirit is moving in this district.
Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits Announces Move to The Colonial Life Group
Several clergy shared experiences of difficulty with The Guardian and we heard you! The Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits is happy to announce a change from The Guardian to The Colonial Life Group for the group term Basic Life, Additional Life, Critical Illness and Accident Coverage. With this transition to The Colonial Life group, there are things that you as an eligible person MUST do during the open enrollment period, September 20 to October 29, 2021.
Do you love being outdoors? Do you feel a connection to God through nature?  Come join us for a guided outdoor retreat day! Together, we will explore how living contemplatively with an appreciation for the natural world makes us more aware of the presence of God in every aspect of our life.  


Bishop Ken Carter shares his first message as Resident Bishop of the WNCC
Bishop Ken Carter shares his first message as Resident Bishop of the Western North Carolina Conference including four values and areas of focus for our work together. 

Retiring Well: A Webinar from Wespath for Clergy 3-5 Years from Retirement
Hear engaging presentations with representatives from Wespath Benefits & Investments and Ernst & Young, Financial Advisors. Register before October 20th and a personalized, confidential Benefit Projection will be mailed to you. PLUS sign up for a 30-minute individual virtual consultation with a member of the Wespath Benefit Education Team. Spouses are welcomed to join the webinar and consultation!

Unshrinking Faith: September Mission Engagement Blog from Camille Roddy
"A visit to almost any North Carolina beach during August and early September will offer a likely encounter with volunteers overseeing sea turtles hatch. The protective patrols are trained to safeguard nests from predators and often assist in guiding hatchlings safely to sea...The faithfulness of volunteers walking along the beach daily ensuring the safety of sea turtle offspring resembled countless lay and clergy efforts to safeguard learning pressed by school closures and remote learning..."



Learn more about WNCC Creation Care and Justice in the WNCC
Tuesdays in September, 12-1 p.m.
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.

Are you interested in starting a creation care ministry at your church? Save the date for the Green Church Initiative on October 21st & 24th at 7 p.m. Learn more and register here.
Eating Together Faithfully Training Retreat
Friday-Sunday, October 1-3, 2021
Join other community and church leaders to learn how to use the Eating Together Faithfully Framework to facilitate conversations in your community about what it looks like to eat with God’s intentions for all creation in mind. Participants will experience and explore the ETF program together and be equipped to begin to lead ETF small groups in their congregations. We are excited to safely host this in-person retreat at the beautiful and peaceful Chestnut Ridge Camp & Retreat Center in Efland, NC.
Transforming Minds: The Role of the Church in Mental Illness
Sunday, October 3, 7 p.m.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a very detrimental effect on mental health, such as significant increases in mental health symptoms, difficulty accessing treatment, increased risk for mental illness symptoms post-COVID in persons without prior mental health disorders, and poorer outcomes for those with mental illness. The COVID-19 pandemic has also raised awareness of disparities in the health care system. Faced with this sobering situation, how can the church help those who are affected by mental illness? What do persons affected by mental illness need from a faith community? Can the church actually do harm to persons with mental illness?  These are some of the many topics that will be discussed during this important and timely event.


Register for Upcoming Innovator's Buzz Session
Monday, October 4, 12 p.m.
Here's a little invitation for you: can you join us for a little while on October 4 by Zoom? A Buzz Session is a gathering where Christian innovators (typically from WNCC churches, though not always!) talk about the project they're working on, and then have give-and-take of ideas and suggestions for next steps of development from the folks on the call.
Virtual Clergy Meetings with Bishop Ken Carter
Wednesday, October 6, 10 a.m.
Many WNCC clergy had the opportunity to welcome Bishop Carter in the first of two virtual clergy meetings. The next virtual meeting will be October 6 for clergy to greet Bishop Carter and enter into dialogue around the question: What is our focus as an annual conference? Or said differently, what is the one thing that is necessary? (Luke 10:41).

These webinars are limited to active and retired clergy. Registration is required. You will receive a Zoom email confirmation after your clergy status has been verified by staff.

Antiracism Ethics Trainings Have Gone Virtual

Upcoming sessions begin October 10, 17, 25, and November 8
The Virtual RISE! Workshop is an eLearning course which includes self-paced lessons, online small group discussions, and scheduled Zoom meetings spanning approximately 12 days with the following format:

Day 1     Orientation Session via Zoom (evening)
Days 2-5     Four Self-Paced Lessons via eLearning Platform
Day 6     Two 3-hour Zoom Sessions (morning and afternoon)
Days 7-11      Two Self-Paced Lessons via eLearning Platform
Day 12     Two 3-hour Zoom Sessions (morning and afternoon)

We are offering four (4) more options for Virtual RISE! Workshops through the end of this year. The Virtual RISE! Workshops are NOT district-specific so you can choose any virtual workshop with dates that will work for you.

RISE! is designed to equip and support spiritual leaders to recognize, confront, and challenge racism and cultivate an equitable future.

2021 United Methodist Men Give Day
Sunday, October 18, 2021 
The General Commission on United Methodist Men is committed to our mission to “Coach men & youth to THRIVE through Christ, so others may know Christ.” We also know that we are not in this race alone. Leaders in men’s and scouting ministries are doing the remarkable and we continue to expand our ministries.  All of this requires additional funding beyond our normal revenue resources. We invite you to join us in this race for new disciples on October 18, our third annual UMM Give Day. 


Director of Communications: Melissa McGill

Associate Director of Communications: Aimee Yeager