The Latest Edition of E-News - Updated Phase Three Guidelines, At-Home Advent Resource from WNCC, Starting a House Church Network, and more

November 12, 2020

E-News - November 12, 2020

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.


Phase Three EXTENSION Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry During COVID-19
With Governor Cooper’s extension of Phase Three, along with the implementation of additional measures necessary to protect public health, the Bishop and Cabinet have also extended and updated their Phase Three guidelines for WNC United Methodist Churches. Please note, while worship guidelines remain the same, all other indoor gathering should be limited to 10 persons or less.

As faithful disciples of Jesus Christ in the midst of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we remain committed to our Biblical mandate to "love our neighbors as ourselves" and our Wesleyan call to “do no harm.” In doing so, we seek ways to engage faithfully in worship, study, and ministry while ensuring the health and safety of our members and communities. 

We advise that all churches continue following CDC, state and local guidelines for indoor and outdoor gatherings, including handwashing, wearing masks, and observing physical distancing rules and group size limits.
New Advent Resource from the WNCC Resource Center

Zoomed out? Tired of technology? Can't stand to look at a screen for one more minute? We get it.
This Advent, go back in time and engage with ancient spiritual practices designed to help you find more hope, peace, joy and love in your life.
Adventus: Ancient Practices for an Advent at Home - the latest resource from the WNCC Resource Center - includes five lessons: one for each week of Advent plus an extra lesson for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

Means of Grace: Starting a House Church Network

Several churches across the conference have started house church networks since the onset of the pandemic and countless more are beginning to experiment with them in the coming months as the weather gets colder and outdoor worship gets harder. In this episode Luke Edwards sits down with Rev. Sam Burleson and Amy Cochran of Salem UMC in Bostic. We hear about the house church network that arose this year at their church and some of the lessons they’ve learned so far.

Applications Now Accepted for Intentional Growth Center Grants

The Intentional Growth Center is pleased to announce it is now awarding grants to local congregations and church organizations.   Grants will be available for ministries that increase Christian Discipleship and Church Leader Development for clergy and laity of all denominations, but with primary attention to persons of the Southeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church.

Leading in Crisis: When Internet Access Becomes a Barrier to Education

On Monday, Nov. 16, GBHEM will host the final 2020 edition of its “Leading in Crisis” e-panel series. The discussion topic is “When Internet Access Becomes a Barrier to Education.” Panelists will include the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Africa University in Zimbabwe, Prof. Peter Mageto, and President Suzanne Walsh of Bennett College in North Carolina.


Resource Roundup - Week of November 9, 2020

We scanned the internet for resources that will be of interest and value to you and your ministries. This week's Roundup includes resources for Student Day, free coloring page prayers for when you feel anxious, and Advent & Christmas resources for worshipping together and at home.



ZOE Empowers - Virtual Mission Trip
Pack your bags for a virtual trip to Rwanda, Kenya, and India! Glimpse the kingdom of God with orphaned and vulnerable children around the world lifting themselves permanently out of poverty. 


Means of Grace: Leading in Politically Divided Times

America is divided and the church is not immune. The divisions are largely motivated by this and the previous election cycle. In this episode, Jesse Enniss is joined by Dr. Trevor Eppehimer, Academic Dean and Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Hood Theological Seminary, Rev. Jan Brittain, Lead Pastor, Williamson’s Chapel UMC, and Rev. Jamie Hamrick, Senior Pastor, Rocky Mount UMC who discuss the role of the church in this political climate.

Find additional resources on leading in politically divisive times in the October edition of e-LEAD.

Manna: Soul Tending Space for Pastors
Living through a pandemic is very much a wilderness experience, and for the past eight months, pastors have been called upon to help their communities navigate the pain and loss of this season. Clergy, like Moses, are holding space for the people around them as the world dreams of life on the other side. But who’s holding space for clergy? Where are pastors finding manna in this pandemic wilderness?

This Advent, the NCC Center for Leadership Excellence and the Rev. Lisa Yebuah will host a 3-session soul-tending platform for pastors to name and even grieve the realities of clergy life during these stressful times, while also acquiring spiritual practices to buoy their hope.


Youth Mental Health First Aid
The conference is thrilled to partner with Hinton Rural Life Center to offer Youth Mental Health First Aid virtual training on November 21, 2020.


Dismantling Racism Events
Upcoming conversations on November 18, December 9, 1 p.m. EST
Around the connection, United Methodists are gathering online and in-person to do the difficult work of dismantling racism. Find an event to attend or watch the video of one that has already occurred.
Racial Healing and the Gospel of Reconciliation
The next conversation will be held November 19, 9 a.m.

Using racial healing as our focus, participants will learn a 6-step process of reconciliation that can be taken back to congregations as a resource tool for further healing and reconciliation in their communities.
Journey Inward - The Big Silence Retreat
January 17-20, 2021

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.

Director of Communications: Melissa McGill

Communications Ministry Assistant: Aimee Yeager