The Latest Edition of E-News - Pastoral Letter from Bishop Leeland, Join in Prayer & Support for Haiti, Navigating a Natural Disaster, and more

August 18, 2021

E-News - August 18, 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.


Pastoral Word for the Western NC Conference from Bishop Paul L. Leeland
Bishop Paul L. Leeland offers this pastoral word to the clergy and laity of the Western North Carolina Conference in light of the current crisis in Afghanistan.
Join us in prayer & support for Haiti
On Saturday, August 14, 2021, the southern region of Haiti was hit with a devastating magnitude 7.2 earthquake.  All of our partners connected with the Northern Haiti Mission Connection are safe, yet felt the impact from the epicenter located in the south of the country. We ask that our congregations lift the Haitian people in prayer. You can contribute financially to this urgent crisis through UMCOR or the WNCC Mission Engagement Team.

Disaster Response: Flooding in Western NC
Tropical Storm Fred blew through Western NC yesterday leaving flooding and storm damage in its wake. If your community sustained damage, please contact us through the Disaster Response Hotline and refer to this information from WNCC Disaster Response on navigating a disaster.

Spiritual Renewal for Clergy and Ministry Professionals
This season of ministry has been hard on leaders and many are exhausted, discouraged, and in need of time away. The WNCC Leadership Development Team wants to help nurture your own spiritual growth, as you nurture the spiritual walks of others. This could be through a renewal retreat or by engaging with a Spiritual Director. Ministry leaders (clergy and lay professionals) who sign up for a Spiritual Renewal offering, and pay a personal investment of $50 toward the experience, are eligible for up to $500 to cover the cost of registration, fees, and lodging/travel expenses. Funds are available because of the generosity of churches who pay their apportionments.


WNCC Clergy Meetings with Bishop Ken Carter
Bishop Ken Carter will begin his ministry in the Western North Carolina Conference on September 1. He has scheduled 4 opportunities to meet with clergy.  Please choose the location and time most convenient for you. These gatherings are open to active and retired clergy in the Conference. Registration is encouraged.

WNC Fall Offerings Overview
Learn more about the opportunities for WNC laity and clergy this fall, including those related to leadership development, mission engagement, church vitality, and equity and justice. There will be time for Q&A to help determine what might meet your development needs or add tools to your toolbox.
Council on Finance & Administration to offer grants for churches serving as COVID-19 community stations
The WNCC Council on Finance & Administration has additional funds for churches that are assisting their community with COVID-19 strategies, principally testing and vaccine administration. 
Means of Grace: Guided Prayers for Back-to-School with Dr. Melanie Dobson
In this episode of Means of Grace, Dr. Melanie Dobson joins us again to share a series of visualization prayers for adults and children during another stressful back-to-school season for families. Melanie is an ordained elder in the Western North Carolina Conference and an assistant professor of Methodist Studies and Director of the Spiritual Direction Certification Program at the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, SC. 

Explore Summer Ministry Intern Highlight: Anna Cheek, Intern at West Market Street UMC, Greensboro
Meet one of our 2021 WNCC Explore Summer Ministry Interns, Anna Cheek, a junior at Pfeiffer University who interned with West Market Street UMC in Greensboro.

If you would like to learn more about the WNCC Explore: Summer Ministry Internship and how you might support the ministry please contact Rev. Annalee Allen, Associate Director of Ministerial Services, at

$20,000 grant received to support and implement the Ministry Action Plan for strengthening Black churches in the Conference
The WNCC Department of Equity and Justice Ministries is extremely grateful for the $20,000 from the United Methodist Foundation of Western North Carolina's Reynolds Ministry Fund to support and implement the Ministry Action Plan for strengthening  Black churches in the Western North Carolina Conference. To God be the glory!
Join the Fresh Expressions Clubhouse
Most Wednesdays at 2pm a group of fresh expressions practitioners join up for a conversation on the clubhouse app. We cover a variety of topics around leading fresh expressions. Email Luke Edwards at for an invite.
2021 Project Agape Christmas Boxes
Fall 2021 collections for Project AGAPE will be held from Monday, September 27th through Friday, October 1st. Learn more about items needed, packing instructions, and drop-off locations. You can bring Christmas joy to a child in Armenia this year!
News from Hood Theological Seminary
Dr. Mark Conforti will be the speaker for the Seminary’s Opening Convocation on Friday, September 17, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. The public is welcome to attend this special service which is also free of charge. This will be a virtual event.

Hood Theological Seminary will hold its annual Ruben L. Speaks Endowed Memorial Lecture Series on Friday and Saturday, October 8 and 9, 2021 with guest lecturer, Dr. Melanie L. Harris. This series is open to the public and free of charge. This will be a virtual event.

The Western North Carolina Conference is inviting clergy and laity to the M-LAB movement to experience a space for innovation, creativity, and collaboration. Through webinar workshops and a two-day gathering in Charlotte, we will come together, incubate ideas, learn from one another, and develop innovative means for reaching our communities for Christ


Join Amplify Media to learn more about the legacy of white supremacy in American Christianity
Thursday, August 19, 3 p.m. EST

Join Robert P. Jones, author of White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity, as he discusses with author Jennifer Harvey why Christianity’s role in white supremacy cannot be overlooked any longer.

Carolinas Black Clergy Leadership Retreat
August 30 - September 3, 2021
We are planning an awesome time of worship, praise, fellowship, fun, rest, and renewal - all while we gain tools for growth in our lives and our ministry amid the shifting in our culture. and our denomination—not to mention surviving a pandemic! Our focus will be “Crossroads:  Where Faith and Innovation Meet." You don't want to miss this. All clergy are invited. Register at
Learn more about WNCC Creation Care and Justice in the WNCC
Tuesdays in September, 12-1 p.m.
All clergy members in the WNCC are invited to join in a conversation with Rev. Jonathan Brake, an ordained elder serving Mount Pleasant UMC (Sherrills Ford), and Kim Richmond, a lay member and organizer of Creation Care Ministry at Maple Springs UMC (Winston Salem), as they discuss The Mission of Creation Care and Creation Justice in the WNCC. These conversations will take place via Zoom on three consecutive Tuesdays during the Season of Creation – September 14th, 21st, and 28th – from noon to 1pm, so bring your lunch and eat, relax and listen, then share comments and questions after each presentation.
Youth Ministry Network Retreat & Resource Gathering

September 21-23, 2021
Get excited for our first Youth Ministry Network Gathering! We're looking forward to getting together to share resources and ideas, and to develop a network of collaboration and encouragement for one another and our ministries with young people.

Applications to join CCYM are due September 1st. All of the information is here: Feel free to reach out to Shannon LeMaster-Smith if you have any questions:

Professional Administrators Fall Retreat
Friday and Saturday, October 29-30, 2021
Are you ready to learn more about Leaving Your Professional Legacy? The WNCC Chapter of PAUMCS invites you to learn more at this year's Fall Retreat in beautiful Laurel Ridge!
Director of Communications: Melissa McGill

Associate Director of Communications: Aimee Yeager