The Latest Edition of E-News - WNCC Annual Magazine, Both/And Tech Talk, Licensed Volunteers Needed for Disaster Response Efforts, and more

September 29, 2021

E-News - September 29, 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 Magazine, Stories of Faith, 2021 Edition Now Available
The latest issue of the Western North Carolina Conference magazine Stories of Faith is arriving in churches around the conference and is available for reading on the WNCC website. A snapshot of faith during the pandemic, the magazine highlights inspiring stories of mission and ministry from around our Conference.

If you’d like an extra copy, email Director of Communications Melissa McGill at or pick one up at the Conference Office.
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 THIS EVENING 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. This session is particularly geared toward some of the Technical aspects of the week to week practice of Both/And Hybrid worship. This will NOT be another intro to the Both/And concept.  (That webinar is available HERE.) Registration is required to receive the link to join. For more information, contact Rev. Rob Hutchinson

Licensed Electrician Volunteers Needed for Disaster Response Efforts in Western NC
As the early response phase in the Western NC mountains comes to a close, WNCC Disaster Response is now assisting with the long-term recovery phase. Volunteers with any level of construction experience, especially licensed electricians, are needed to help with Emergency Rapid Repair and make homes habitable for families to return home before winter. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the WNNC Conference Disaster Response Coordinator, Ben Rogers at
Your voice for clergy well-being

How is it with your soul? In the wake of COVID-19 and the political polarization of the last year? In preparation for GC22? Where have you been blessed and where do you need support?

Clergy, check your conference email for an opportunity to participate in the nation's longest-running study of clergy health and well-being. If you cannot locate the survey, email Upon completion of the survey you'll receive a link for a $50 online gift card.

Imagining a future for faith on Woodlawn Road
The merger of two United Methodist congregations has inspired plans for a new home that will situate worship and ministry among retail, office and residential components. The newly named Woodlawn Community Fellowship represents a new model for what a faith community can look like at a time when mainline denominations are experiencing steady declines.

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.  
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.

News from Hood Theological Seminary
The International Center for Faith, Science and History (ICFSH) at Hood Theological Seminary presents the Inaugural Governor Jim and Dottie Martin Religion and Science Lecture as the 2021 Fall Conference. It will be a Virtual Event on Zoom titled, "The Language of Faith and Science” held on Friday, October 22, 2021 from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. The Keynote Address will be provided by renowned American author, Professor Karl Giberson. Dr. Giberson is a widely published author on matters of science for the general public.

The Center For Chaplaincy at Hood Theological Seminary is hosting a virtual CPE/Chaplain Education Day, Monday, October 18, 2021, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon EST via the Zoom portal. This is a great opportunity to learn more about chaplaincy in general, the various chaplain disciplines, and the unique opportunities available for clinical pastoral education internships offered at various sites.  The session will also include time for Q & A.


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.

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.

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. 



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.

Starting a Creation Care Ministry at Your Church
Thursday, October 21 and Sunday, October 24, 7-8:30 p.m.
Are you interested in beginning or expanding a Creation Care Ministry at your church? If so, then get ready for the Green Church Initiative that is coming in October! It provides a variety of practical, intentional creation care related actions from which each church may choose to implement within the areas of Worship, Discipleship, Stewardship, Evangelism, and Mission. Lay persons who are interested in learning more about how to start a Creation Care Ministry at their church, as well as those who want to receive more details about the Green Church Initiative, may register to attend one of the virtual training sessions offered by the Conference Creation Care Ministry Team on Thursday, October 21st, and Sunday, October 24th, from 7:00-8:30pm. To register, email and provide the name and address of your church, as well as which session you prefer to attend.
Future of 'First Churches': Foundations, Partnerships and Legacies
Duke Divinity School's Office of Wesleyan Engagement is hosting a free two-part interactive lunch time seminar with Bishop Ken Carter and Rev. Dr. Audrey B. Warren entitled "The Future of “First Churches”: Foundations, Partnerships and Legacies." This event is geared toward clergy and laity serving churches that have historically found themselves at the geographic and spiritual center of their community regardless of whether the church is called “First Church.”  The first session will be held November 8, 2021, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m., and the second session will be held February 22, 2022, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm.


Director of Communications: Melissa McGill

Associate Director of Communications: Aimee Yeager