The Latest Edition of E-News - Thanksgiving Message from Bishop Carter, Update on General Conference 2020, Advent Resource from Checkpoint Church, and more

November 23, 2021

E-News - November 23, 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.


Bishop Ken Carter Shares a Message of Thanksgiving
As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, Bishop Ken Carter reminds us that we are Eucharistic people - people of connection and thanksgiving - who are called to give and receive with humility and gratitude in all circumstances.

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. Aymer.

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.

Heather Hahn of UM News dives deeper into this developing story. Click here to read Hahn's article.

Means of Grace: Rejoice, Pray, Give Thanks: A Reflection from John Wesley
In this episode, Melissa, Luke, and Aimee share a reflection for Thanksgiving from John Wesley’s commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. As we enter this season of gratitude, we prayerfully reflect upon the words of our tradition’s founder, seeking to root our spiritual lives in gratitude to the one who has given us every good and perfect gift.


Checkpoint Church (CV, WNCC) Creates Video Game for Advent
Checkpoint Church, a digital church plant in Western North Carolina, decided that they would create a video game this Advent. This church plant was formed as the church for nerds, geeks, and gamers and is striving to reach those outside of the normal reach of the church. Rev. Nathan Webb, the self-proclaimed Nerd Pastor of the community, encourages people to not just read another devotional this Advent - instead they should play one!

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.

Laity Celebration in the Metro District
Laity and clergy from across the Metro District gathered Sunday, November 21st, to celebrate the ministry of the laity. This year the district recognized 79 recipients of the Laity Service Award. They say a picture is worth a thousand this video and join us as we celebrate and praise God for the mighty work he is doing among the laity of the Metro District for the sake of the Kingdom of God, on earth as it is in heaven!
SBC21Shift happens conference
Shift Happens: Doing Ministry from the "Right Side" is no ordinary conference.  It is a clarion call for the Black Church, Leaders and Lay to GET ON BOARD with the NEW THING GOD IS DOING! 



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.
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.

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


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.



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.
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.


From all of us at the Western North Carolina Conference, may you find your hearts overflowing with gratitude for all of God's good gifts, not only in this holiday season but in all circumstances. We are grateful for each of you. Happy Thanksgiving!

Director of Communications: Melissa McGill

Associate Director of Communications: Aimee Yeager