The Latest Edition of E-News - WNCC Christmas Service, Both/And Advent Resource, Service of Loss, Lament, Healing and Hope, and more

November 17, 2021

E-News - November 17, 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 Christmas Worship Service 2021
The Western NC Conference is pleased to offer a conference-wide virtual worship with a homily from the Bishop, music and liturgy from the Appointive Cabinet and churches around the conference. Clergy and worship leaders, take a much-needed break after the Advent season and worship with friends around the conference. The video will be available for viewing on our website, YouTube, and Vimeo on December 20, 2021. A downloadable version of the video and order of worship will also be available for churches to upload and stream through their own platforms.
Bishop Carter & Appointive Cabinet Announce Additional Clergy Appointments
In consultation with clergy and lay leadership (Book of Discipline, 426), the Bishop and Cabinet are pleased to announce two more mid-year appointments to begin on January 1, 2022.
Rev. Amy Spivey will be appointed to St. Lukes UMC in Hickory, following 5 years of service at Monticello in Statesville. Rev. Carol Carkin will be appointed as the interim pastor at First UMC in Mount Holly after serving 5 years at Central (Concord). Both have served in various contexts and settings across the conference, and the Bishop and Cabinet believe that Rev. Spivey and Rev. Carkin will bring vital, effective, and faithful leadership to these new appointments.
Coming Together
It’s been an exhausting 18 months for ministry leaders that has created anxiety and isolation for some. Many leaders are ready to join together with colleagues to share spiritual practices, find hope for what’s next, and to just BE together. 

You are encouraged to gather with a group of 3 or more Western North Carolina clergy or ministry professionals. You may choose to plan an outing, a meal, an overnight retreat, etc. You may also choose to include your families.

Scholarship funds are available.

Service of Loss, Lament, Healing and Hope
This service is designed for clergy and ministry professionals to gather and share in a time of worship together. 
Western North Carolina Conference leaders are encouraged to spend time with a missional network, covenant peer group, community ecumenical clergy group, or other gathering of colleagues. We have missed being together and may need to ease back into communal settings. We need each other.

Free Advent Worship Resource
The Both/And Hybrid Worship Initiative is pleased to offer a FREE Advent worship resource to any church within the WNCC. This has been made available from Jason Moore of Midnight Oil Productions, who is sharing an Advent resource he created a few years ago with our Conference through the Both/And Hybrid Worship Initiative.

Spring Dates Available for Clergy Antiracism Ethics Training
Spring dates and registration are now available for antiracism clergy ethics training. There are both online and in-person offerings available. Three Saturday-only opportunities will be offered for part-time local pastors and laity. Antiracism training is mandatory for all WNC appointed clergy. Any clergyperson who has not yet completed an antiracism ethics training should register for one of these dates. Spaces are limited.

School of the Spirit

School of the Spirit - Cohort 13 is coming soon.  Join us for this year-long practice-based transforming experience with five quarterly retreats. Check out our website, for more details.

APPLY EARLY: School of the Spirit 13 begins June 27-28, 2022, with an application deadline of April 1, 2022. Register by December 31, 2021, to save $150.

Global Mission Fellows 2022 Application is open
Who do you know who is passionate about working with partner organizations to create stronger communities? Invite them to learn more about serving as a Global Mission Fellow in the international track! 
Hear With Your Heart
Dear Friends, Ringing bells put me under a spell of gratitude this time of year. Street bells, church bells, jingle bells – they all get to me. I hear them with my heart, and my heart is happy. But I do not – I cannot – hear them the way Alana hears....Rev. Bruce E. Stanley shares Alana's story.
Are you building an innovative ministry? We want to know about it!
Tell us you're out there! We are building a database of WNCC Innovators to help to foster community among those who are re-thinking what ministry could look like. Tell us about yourself and the ministry you're running.   
Rediscovering the Heart of Methodism: Nurturing Entrepreneurial Mindsets

Nurturing Entrepreneurial Mindsets is a free 4-week course that explores Methodism’s rich history of innovation to help imagine fresh ways individuals and churches can bear witness to the reign of God. 

Dean Edgardo Colón-Emeric says, "'Rediscovering the Heart of Methodism' is a missional initiative of Duke Divinity School and reflects our vision of shaping innovative leadership within the Wesleyan tradition as a constructive response to the conflicted landscape and need for a fruitful trajectory. We are grateful for the support of the Kern Family Foundation that allows us to offer this timely resource to pastors and churches at no charge, for the sake of renewal of the people called Methodist.”

Featuring video lessons from Dean Edgardo Colón-Emeric, Dean Emeritus Greg Jones, Dr. Laceye Warner, and Bishop Ken Carter, the course is designed as a group experience for small groups, classes, and leadership development.



Bishops Share Narrative for the Continuing United Methodist Church
"The Council of Bishops ended its Fall meeting on Friday having spent time in worship, plenary and covenant groups as they seek God’s guidance to lead The United Methodist Church...The bishops, from Africa, Asia, Europe and North America, overwhelmingly approved a narrative that provides a framework and begins to paint a picture for the continuing United Methodist Church."
Read the full text of the Narrative for the Continuing United Methodist Church
Watch a video of the bishops affirming the Narrative
Read the article from UMNews.
Why Are Our Apportionments Higher for 2022?
"There are essentially two reasons WNC churches are seeing an increase in their apportionments for 2022." Conference Treasurer and Director of Administrative Services, Dr. R. Mark King, explains all the details.


Means of Grace featuring AFRESH: Recovery Ministry & Fresh Expressions
In this week's episode of Means of Grace, we share a special guest episode from Afresh, a Fresh Expressions podcast from the Uwharrie District. Rev. Katie Lineberger has an important conversation with Rev. Caitlin McAlhany & Laina Davis-Harvey about recovery ministry and Fresh Expressions. You can find Afresh on Apple Podcasts or the Uwharrie District website.
To continue the conversation, join Luke and Caitlin for a recovery ministry community gathering. Learn more and register here:
United Methodist Foundation of Western NC and Western North Carolina Conference recognized for partnership on clergy financial well-being initiatives
Through Wespath's UMC Clergy Financial Well Being Initiative, the Western North Carolina Conference has been highlighted as a conference that has been working in collaborative partnership – WNC Foundation, Treasury Services, and Ministerial Services – to improve clergy financial health.



The Quiet Miracles of Spiritual Direction in Groups
The Quiet Miracles of Spiritual Direction in Groups is a two-day retreat, held on Saturday and Sunday, November 20-21, at Starrette Farms. During this IN-PERSON retreat, you will experience group spiritual direction within a prayerful community; deepen your contemplative grounding through authentic sharing and faithful listening; expand your capacity to listen to God on behalf of others; find support for your call/vocation; explore ways to develop this holy process in your own setting.

Register for Innovators' Table Buzz Session, December 3, 2021
Friday, December 3, 12-1:30 p.m.
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.
The Big Silence Retreat
January 16-19- 2022
We are all on a spiritual journey in this life, but so much of our journey is spent outside of ourselves. How often do you get away from the distractions of this world to find a holy place within? When was the last time you just hung out with God with no expectations whatsoever? Maybe it’s time for you to journey inward at The Big Silence Retreat. Start the New Year with a different kind of experience.

Editor's Note: Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the next edition of E-News will arrive in your inbox one day earlier than usual, on Tuesday, November 23, 2021. The Conference offices will be closed on Wednesday and Thursday, November 24 & 25.

Director of Communications: Melissa McGill

Associate Director of Communications: Aimee Yeager