The Latest Edition of E-News - Annual Conference Announcement, Webinar Training Recordings Available, Explore Summer Internships, and more

January 21, 2021

E-News - January 20, 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.


Annual Conference 2021 Updates

The 2021 session of Annual Conference will be held virtually on Saturday, June 12 at 10:00 a.m., using the same format as the 2020 virtual session. The clergy session will be Friday, June 11, also held virtually. The Ordering of Ministry service will be held in person on Saturday, June 19 at Lake Junaluska. The combined service for clergy being commissioned and ordained will include 2020 and 2021 classes. More details will be shared in the coming weeks.

Zoom Recordings Now Available for Winter Training Webinar Series

The Zoom recordings of the Conference-wide Winter Training Webinar series are now available. If you were unable to attend live, you still glean from the wisdom of our keynote speaker, Jason Moore, and breakout leaders from across the conference on topics such as "Telling the Old Story in New Times," "Financial Faithfulness in Uncertain Times," "Evangelism and Disciplemaking in a Pandemic," and so much more.

2021 Explore Summer 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. Interns are not meant to fill a certain hole in the ministerial staff, they are to be given opportunities to experience the full breadth of pastoral ministry; to discover, dream, develop and deliver, to learn by doing as well as by observing and discussing. Application deadline is February 25th, 2021.

Reynolds Ministry Grants Now Available!

Need funding for ministry? The Reynolds Ministry Fund offers to fund ministries that demonstrate the ability and intention to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Access the Reynolds Ministry Fund Grant application by visiting the United Methodist Foundation of Western North Carolina Website. Applications are due by Saturday, February 13, 2021.  

The Weird Delight of Preaching
This preaching cohort will be facilitated by Rev. Dr. Jason Byassee, WNC clergy and Butler Chair in Homiletics at the Vancouver School of Theology. Group meets monthly for 7 months beginning in February.  This cohort is limited to 11 participants. Learn more and register.

Means of Grace: Partnerships, Vitality, and Mission - The Uwharrie District

In this episode of the Means of Grace podcast, Kim Ingram visits with Uwharrie District leaders: Rev. Laura Auten, District Superintendent, Rev. Katie Lineberger, District Vitality Associate; Rev. Kris Mares, Missional Engagement Associate. We hear stories of how churches in the Uwharrie District are reaching their communities, discover a new way to engage statistical reporting as a sign of church vitality, and learn some about the unique characteristics of the Uwharrie Region in North Carolina.

There is a Balm in Gilead
Rev. Amy Vaughan, pastor of Marvin UMC, took having Bible study in a bar to the next level when she decided to team up with Rev. Mike Collins, pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran Church, and brought Hops and Hymns to downtown Lincolnton. Rev. Meg Gaston tells their story. 
Duke Clergy Health Initiative continues Selah through April 2021
In early 2020, The Duke Clergy Health Initiative launched a new health intervention program called Spirited Life: Selah. This program was designed to equip clergy with tools to navigate the stress of ministry in a changing and divided world. In response to COVID-19, CHI redesigned the Selah program and study to address these new realities. The program is now entirely online, delivered over a longer period of time, so that pastors have a sustained engagement with a cohort of other pastors as they develop new practices to still the mind and calm the breath. 

School of the Spirit registration open
School of the Spirit is an online and in-person twelve-month journey into contemplative practices that bring the seeker closer to God. The focus of this structure is not on the latest fad but on centuries-old practices that will renew our encounter with Christ, grounded in the vitality of a committed community to hold each participant’s journey.

Racial Healing and the Gospel of Reconciliation

Rooted in 2 Corinthians 5:16-20, this workshop will teach reconciliation as spirituality, highlighting biblical examples of reconciliation and our call to be ministers of reconciliation as followers of Christ. With this theological foundation, participants will learn practical strategies for the Church to live out our role in the reconciliation process. 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.

Developing and Implementing an Outward Mindset
Changing the culture in our communities where people shift from an “inward mindset” (self) to an “outward mindset” (others) and experience growth in relationships, collaboration, engagement, and accountability. In each workshop, participants will learn the difference between inward and outward mindsets. They will discover where they have been inward and how to turn more outward. They will learn how to turn their mindsets and behaviors outward by applying the following toolsets: self-awareness tools, mindset change tools, accountability tools, and collaboration tools.
Tax Preparation Discount Offer for WNCC Clergy
C. DeWitt Foard and Associates, PA, CPAs, a nationally renown accounting firm and also the Western NC Conference’s auditors, is offering WNC clergy $50 off usual tax preparation fees for 2020 returns. Simply mention you are a WNC clergyperson or spouse to receive the discount. Returns can be submitted from all regions of the conference. 


Fresh Round of Payroll Protection Loans for Churches
Congress approves and President signs new Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 which includes a new round of Payroll Protection Program loans. Once again, nonprofit organizations, including churches, are eligible to apply, regardless of whether the entity received a loan in the first rounds. 
Give Your Ministries a Nudge in 2021
Brian Mateer, Associate Director of Missional Engagement shares a different take on New Year's resolutions in the latest Mission Engagement blog.
Statistical Reporting for 2020 is READY and AVAILABLE!
The GCFA/Western North Carolina Conference statistical system is open and available for input of 2020 information.  All statistical information must be entered and complete by Monday, February 1, 2021.


Webinar: The COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy and the Church
Friday, January 22, 10 a.m.

Join Partners in Health and Wholeness, an initiative of the North Carolina Council of Churches, in partnership with the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) for a webinar on the COVID-19 vaccine roll out in our communities. The discussion will include information on where we are now in the process, what things will look like going forward, and how faith communities can assist in this process while continuing to slow the spread. Participants are invited to bring questions, concerns, and ideas to this conversation.

Eating Together Faithfully Online Introductory Training
Friday, January 22, 12 p.m.

As we look ahead to the possibility and promise of a new year, many of us are wondering how we can make 2021 a time for healing, rebuilding, and cultivating compassionate and equitable communities. Let's begin around the (literal OR virtual) table! The team at Life Around the Table joyfully invites you to join our next Eating Together Faithfully (ETF) Online Introductory Training on Friday, January 22nd!
National Caring Congregation Training
February 26-27, 2021

The Caring Congregation is excited to announce that our next National Webinar has been set for February 26-27, 2021. This live streamed 2-day event covers the Basic CCM Model of Care Training to equip and inspire your staff and volunteers to revitalize your church's care ministry. 

Director of Communications: Melissa McGill

Communications Ministry Assistant: Aimee Yeager