The Latest Edition of E-News - Ideas for Pastor Appreciation Celebrations, Duke Clergy Health Survey, Bishop Carter Encourages Support of Cross & Key Ministries, and more

October 6, 2021

E-News - October 6, 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 on Behalf of Cross & Key Ministries
Bishop Carter announces the relaunch of Cross and Key Ministries (previously Disciple Bible Outreach Ministries) and to encourage churches in the Western NC Conference to support this outreach through a Conference-wide special offering on Sunday, October 24, 2021.

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


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.

Pastor Appreciation: Pandemic-proof ways to say 'Thank you'
Pastor Appreciation Sunday, celebrated annually on the second Sunday in October, is a good time for United Methodists to thank clergy for the work they do year-round. As our world continues observing pandemic health protocols, showing gratitude may need to look differently than past years. Fellowship lunches and hugs are out, gift cards and car parades are in. This article from UM Communications, highlighting our very own Sedge Garden UMC in Kernersville, shares ideas for how your congregation can say "thank you" in ways that ensure everyone stays safe.

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.

Helping Leaders Grow
The WNC Leadership Development Team is offering scholarships to participate in your choice of growth opportunities! Clergy and ministry professionals decide what they need.  Options include:
* Growth through conflict
* Energizing Mission in the Black Church
* Reduce Stress and Anxiety
* Conquer Overwhelm and Boost Productivity
* Find Your Funny: Using Humor
* Storytelling
* Innovation
* Krista Tippett on the Art of Conversation
* And so many more!
Dismantling Racism in Appalachian Ministries
United Methodist Appalachian Ministry Network will host a virtual fall meeting with the theme, Dismantling Racism in Appalachian Ministries. The virtual session will be led by Deaconess Garlinda Burton, General Commission of Religion and Race.
NC Council of Churches Promote Death Penalty Abolition Sabbath
The North Carolina Council of Churches is promoting the weekend of Oct. 8-10, 2021, as Death Penalty Abolition Sabbath and is encouraging all faith communities to learn, preach, and pray about this matter. The NC Council of Churches is also hosting an event on Oct. 10th in collaboration with the North Carolina Coalition for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (NCCADP) with those most impacted by our capital punishment system.

Sabbath Life 2022
Sabbath Life is an ecumenical invitation to clergy and ministry professionals to practice the rhythms of Sabbath, stepping away from our daily lives to delight in God, creation, and each other. In 2022 we are offering a variety of locations as well as 4-month, 6-month, and 10-month programs. In each of these, we learn to incorporate sustainable practices that witness to and reflect the nature and character of a God of abundance and wholeness, enabling us to lead flourishing ministries.

Hood Theological Seminary to Host Eduworship Event
The Eduworship Event will be on Tuesday, October 26, 2021 from 7:00-8:30 (time has changed from recent event submission; this is the correct time.) p.m.via Facebook Live on Hood Theological Seminary’s Facebook page. The theme will be Justice and Equity for All Those Who Hurt, and the presenters will be a panel representing Breast Cancer, Child Abuse Prevention, and Domestic/Intimate-Partner Violence and Abuse. All the Hood Theological Seminary October Chapel Offerings will be given to The Terrie Hess House, a nonprofit organization that takes care of abused children in Rowan County.


Hinton Celebrates 60th Anniversary
Hinton Rural Life Center, a missional outreach and retreat center of the Southeastern Jurisdiction, celebrated its 60th Anniversary September 24 and 25. The Friday evening event, "Appalachian Treasures: Dinner & Dialogue" featured local artists, regionally sourced meal, and panel discussion on "Thriving Rural Communities. The Service of Celebration on Saturday was held at Hayesville First UMC, the founding church, and featured Bishop Ken Carter as guest preacher. Other highlights of the service included participants whose lives and ministries had been impacted by Hinton and videos about the agency's historic roots and its current ministries and fruitful impact.
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.
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.



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. 
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