The Latest Edition of E-News - Cruso UMC recognized for serving community, BOTH/AND Grant Cohort Open Now, Bishops pledge climate action, and more

December 1, 2021

E-News - December 1, 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.



Cruso UMC "a beacon for community service"
"Cruso was at the headwaters of flooding that made their way down the Pigeon River, leaving a wide swath of destruction in its path. Many of the homes that weren’t totally washed away were left damaged beyond repair. For those homes that can be repaired, the race is on to provide a clean, safe and warm place before winter hits." Vicki Hyatt of The Mountaineer tells the story of Cruso UMC, who continue to find themselves in the center of hospitality and recovery efforts.


Bishop Carter and Appointive Cabinet Announce Final Clergy Appointment Change for January 1
In consultation with clergy and lay leadership (Book of Discipline, 426), the Bishop and Cabinet are pleased to announce a final appointment change that will become effective on January 1, 2022.

Rev. Susan Hoyle will be appointed to Hinshaw UMC in Greensboro following the retirement of Rev. Mark R. Smith.  Rev. Hoyle has been the pastor of the Centenary – Hodgin Memorial charge in Stoneville for the past seven years.  The Bishop and Cabinet believe that she will offer vibrant and effective leadership to this diverse congregation and community in south Greensboro.

Second Round of the BOTH/AND Hybrid Worship Cohort Grant Now Open!
Your community is eagerly waiting to experience God during your worship service and you have the tools to foster this encounter BOTH in-person AND online!

Hybrid worship expert, Jason Moore, and the WNCC Church Development Office, in partnership with the UM Foundation of Western NC and the Reynolds Ministry Fund, is excited to offer the second round of the BOTH/AND Hybrid Worship Cohort Grant.

Explore how your church can build relationships with your congregation members and neighbors through both online and in-person worship experiences during monthly cohorts and individual sessions with hybrid worship expert, Jason Moore, and various "learning lab" hands-on training opportunities! Spaces are limited. Register today!

Applications Open for 2022 Explore Summer Ministry Internships
The Explore Summer Internship exists to help young adults (18-25 years old) discern their call to vocational ministry by providing an environment for exploring their gifts and giving the intern opportunities to explore particular aspects of ministry and/or program development in a safe and encouraging environment. The internship is a hands-on experience in a church setting or a church-affiliated organization. Interns engage in a broad range of ministerial work and/or program development then reflect on their experiences. The application process opens today, Wednesday, December 1, 2021.
Bishops Pledge to Take Action to Address the Climate Crisis
In an early November session of the UMC Council of Bishops, they recognized the current climate crisis to be “an existential crisis the Church cannot ignore.” Bishops then approved five responses to the climate crisis, which they acknowledged is increasing the severity of natural disasters around the world and contributing to record global migration. In response, the WNCC Creation Care Ministry Team pledges to prioritize climate-related programs and actions in 2022 and beyond.
2022 Duke Divinity School Preaching Cohort
Duke Divinity School is now accepting applications to participate in the 2022 DDS Preaching Cohort. This experience is generously funded by The Parish Ministry Fund and will be taught by the Rev. Dr. Michael B. Brown. Dr. Brown has practiced ministry for half a century, with his primary focus being on the Calling and Craft of Preaching. Cohort members will be guided through a strategic approach to that work, taking into consideration theory and practice for improving one's skills in the pulpit.



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.

Commission Considers Status of Postponed General Conference
The Commission on the General Conference announced today that it is continuing to move forward with logistical planning for the postponed 2020 General Conference, but that it continues to monitor various factors, including pandemic-related developments, which could impact the decision to hold the event on the previously announced dates of August 29 – September 7, 2022.  A determination is slated to be made during the first quarter of 2022 about whether to hold the postponed 2020 General Conference as currently scheduled or to consider further postponement.

Connectional Table aims to restructure
The Connectional Table is looking to cut its membership nearly in half while also becoming more global. Rev. Amy Coles, WNCC Assistant to Bishop Carter and co-leader of the Connectional Table's Membership Makeup Task Force, presented the task force’s initial proposal for a new structure at the Connectional Table’s online meeting Nov. 17.

“There’s a need for a strategic, holistic focus on the whole church — rather than members coming together to represent their own constituencies,” said Rev. Coles.

The leadership body is responsible for discerning the church’s vision and coordinating denomination-wide ministries and mission. While the deadline for General Conference legislation has passed, the Connectional Table is looking to get its proposal before delegates.

In Memory of Rev. Dr. Albert J.D. Aymer
"Most everyone who knew the late Rev. Dr. Albert J.D. Aymer has a tender memory to share." Ken Garfield shares some of those memories in tribute to Dr. Ayme

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.

Grants are available for clergy peer groups. Learn more



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.
Journey to Freedom: Civil Rights & Social Justice in the South
December 28 - January 5
Register now for Union Presbyterian Seminary's Southern Civil Rights Travel Seminar to Atlanta, Selma, Montgomery, New Orleans, Jackson, Little Rock, Memphis, Nashville. Students, spouses, alumni, and congregations are invited to register. Registration includes charter bus, hotels, two daily meals, all entry fees. Co-sponsored by UPSem's Center for Social Justice & Reconciliation and led by Drs Rebecca Davis and Rodney Sadler. For more information, contact Dr. Davis or Erin Mills.


School of the Spirit
Early applications due by December 31, 2021

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.


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.

Certificate In Church Treasury
March 5, 12, April 2, 9, 2022, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
The Conference Office of Treasury Services and the United Methodist Foundation of Western North Carolina will offer a certificate training program for United Methodist volunteer treasurers within our conference. Dr. Mark King and Rev. David Snipes will lead the four-session program on March 5,12, April 2 and 9, from 10 am – 3 pm. Registration will open and space is limited. Questions? Reach Mark King at or David Snipes at



Director of Communications: Melissa McGill

Associate Director of Communications: Aimee Yeager