District News & Announcements
For a complete listing of up-to-date Conference news & announcements visit wnccumc.org/news.
December 2017 - View the latest Lay Servant Ministries Newsletter
November 14, 2017 - View the latest Board of Laity Newsletter
November 7, 2017 - Mountain Xpress features Groce UMC in recent article.
ASHEVILLE – After seven years of visioning, exploring and deliberating, Groce United Methodist Church created homes that changed the lives of two previously homeless people. Homeward Bound clients Dan, a veteran, and Tish, formerly(...)
Antagonism in The Church-Register Now!
April 21 in Knoxville, TN - 10am - 5pm Registration Deadline April 13
Featuring Dr. David Brubaker, national expert & author of Promise and Peril: Understanding and Managing Change and Conflict in Congregations and The Little Book of Healthy Organizations, this event will help churches grow beyond conflict to become healthy and vital. Especially designed for Staff-Parish Relations Committees & Church Councils
Antagonism in the Church will
- Examine antagonism in our congregations & communities
- Discuss the impact of antagonism on congregational leaders
- Provide tools for clergy & lay leaders to deal with antagonist behavior
- Encourage "conflict-healthy congregations"
0.6 CEUs will be offered for attendance. The cost is $25 and includes lunch. Register now. Note the deadlines listed above. For more details on this program and to register by mail, read this brochure. ChurchAntagonism.com for further information.
CONTACT INFO:Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ENCORE! is a pilot program to help in the transition of retiring clergy. Below is the link to register.
Sponsored by UM Foundation of WNC, Inc.
April 23-25, 2018
Catholic Conference Center
1551 Trinity Lane
Hickory, NC 28602
$100 Registration Fee/ $50 Spouse Registration
Extraordinary Preaching in Ordinary Time: Visioning and Planning your Proclamation for the Summer
- Hinton Rural Life Center, 2330 Hinton Center Rd, Hayesville, NC 28904
- With Delmer Chilton & John Fairless, "Two Bubbas and a Bible"
This Preaching Workshop is taught by two people who have spent years preaching to ordinary congregations every week. It is designed for those who preach regularly, and it will center on the texts for Ordinary Time, Year B of the Revised Common Lectionary. We will exegete the texts and explore preaching options for Propers 4 through 16 (June 3 - August 26).
John will lead interactive discussions of the texts and Delmer will help the group explore various options and themes and how to present them in a sermon. We will also look at various ways of building a "preaching series" on the readings. We will worship together with Delmer and John preaching on the themes of Ordinary Time. The workshop includes two nights accommodations, five meals, the "official" conference notebook, and interaction with the Bubbas and an outstanding group of preachers and friends.
At Covenant Community Church
In the midst of a growing cultural revelation of sexual harassment and misconduct in our society, this seminar is an opportunity to consider the way trauma affects each of us - cognitively, emotionally, and theologically. In learning a bit more about trauma and our responses to it, we will also be able to better respond and care for others. As a result of time spent together, you will discover understanding, language and tools in order to be present with those who have experienced trauma in ways that are life giving for you and the people you serve.
Each quadrennium, clergy are required to participate in clergy ethics training designed by the Annual Conference. The Board of Ordained Ministry clergy ethics team has developed this day to provide clergy an opportunity to become more self-aware, encourage relationships with colleagues and parishioners, and equip clergy for ministry in our current cultural context.
Morning Session: "Changing the Question: Trauma-Informed Christian Ethics"
Afternoon Session: "Sexual Harassment and the Church"
Participation in both sessions is mandatory for all clergy actively serving under appointment or eligible to serve under appointment in WNCC.
Cost is $10 per participant
Pre-registration and payment required by Thursday, May 3rd. Pay online or by check.
Participants may register and participate at any location regardless of their current appointment location.
Register at this link: https://www.wnccumc.org/2018clergyethicstraining
a one day retreat hosted by WNCC-CEF and Pfeiffer Responds. Are you seeking ways to thrive in ministry for the long-haul? Maybe yo are tired, feeling the pressures of a 24/7 on-call ministry, or stressed at leading your church to make disciples for Jesus Christ in today's world? Led by Big Sigh Ministries Inc. co-founders Rev. Jacqueline and Rev. Jack Tookey, this retreat will help you focus on self-care, rest and renewal. This retreat is held at St. Lakes’ UMC in Hickory, NC on May 17th from 10am - 4pm. Registration is required.
The poverty simulation experience is designed to help participants begin to
understand what it might be like to live in a typical low-income family trying to
survive from month to month. It is a simulation, not a game. In the simulation up
to 88 participants assume the roles of up to 26 different families facing poverty.
Some families roles you might be assigned are :
- Newly unemployed
- Recently deserted by the “breadwinner”
- Recipients of temporary assistance for needy families(TANF)
- Without additional earned income
- Senior citizens receiving disability or retirement
- Grandparents raising their grandchildren
The experience lasts from two and a half to three hours. Children and youth are
integral to the event and are encouraged to attend with their family. It includes an
introduction and briefing, the actual simulation exercise, and a debriefing period in
which participants and volunteer staffers share their feelings and experiences and
talk about what they have learned about the lives of people in poverty.
Critical Issues Seminar: Wisdom of Women
April 14 @ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
At Guilford College United Methodist Church in Greensboro
The NC Council of Churches’ 2018 Critical Issues Seminar will focus on women. The theme for this daylong event is “The Wisdom of Women” and will cover topics such as the Equal Rights Amendments, sexual harassment and work place policy, elected office, health care, and public education. This conference is for people of all ages, genders, and ethnic and racial backgrounds.
Council Website: https://www.ncchurches.org/event-single/wisdomofwomen/
The General & Jurisdictional Conference Delegation from the WNCC is sponsoring Healthy Conversations Toward the Way Forward in each district. These conversations are an opportunity for local church pastors and one laity from each church to come together, learn more about the work of The Commission on a Way Forward, and receive resources to take this conversation back to your local church or missional network.
First United Methodist Church Hendersonville
204 6th Ave W. Hendersonville, NC 28739
The Brotherhood/Sisterhood of the Western North Carolina Conference has designated Sunday, February 18 as Conference Brotherhood/Sisterhood Sunday. They would like to encourage all churches to include the following information in their February newsletters and weekly bulletins to inform everyone of this significant ministry to our clergy families:
The Brotherhood/Sisterhood of the Western North Carolina Conference has been engaged with the families of clergy members ever since this voluntary association of clergy and laity was organized in 1894. With the founding 121 clergy members pledging $5.00 after the death of a member and with laity members pledging $1.00 or more, clergy families received $400.00 to help with funeral, medical, and moving expenses. This past year, 15 clergy families received our financial support. As we begin 2018 with 672 clergy members pledging $8.00 and more than 1,700 lay members plus local church classes and groups contributing $3.00 or more per death, $9,500.00 is the base amount of the benefit. To maintain this level of support, we need to increase our membership and the total amount of pledges and contributions.
With deep gratitude for the on-going support for this compassionate ministry to clergy families, we invite everyone to join us. Please visit our website at brotherhoodsisterhood.com to learn more about your Conference Brotherhood/Sisterhood including how to become a member. We welcome your prayers and any suggestions you will share with us about ways we can sustain and strengthen this ministry together.
Best Financial Practices for the Church:
According to the Book of Discipline and Accounting Principles
Saturday February 17 10:00-Noon at Trinity United Methodist Church
27 Balm Grove Ave. Asheville, NC 28806
The Asheville Urban Missional Network asked Blue Ridge District of the United Methodist Church to partner in the training of their local churches in the procedures for Financial Management according to the UM Book of Discipline. This training will fulfill the need to acquaint our Finance Committees (as well as the whole church leadership) on these required practices as well as some generally accepted accounting procedures. There will be a time of questions and answers which will allow each church to address their specific needs.
This event is sponsored by the Asheville Urban Missional Network and is OPEN TO ALL UNITED METHODISTS. PLEASE COME NO MATTER WHERE YOUR CHURCH IS!
A "hatch-a-thon" is a collaborative incubator experience, where creative people get coaching and colleagues around mission and social enterprise. We will run you through a 46-hour intensive "hatch" process designed to turn ideas that feel "wild ‘n’ woolly" into actionable, sustainable ministries. In the world of computer programming, hackathons are marathon sessions where playful collaborators explore new programming ideas and work through an intensive process of concept development. ("Hack" in this case does not refer to a computer crime!) This process has been widely adapted for business and social entrepreneurs. Ministry Incubators, Inc. has reimagined this process for early stage missional thinkers (youth ministers, ministry leaders, congregations, faith-based nonprofit leaders, etc.) who are still "hatching" ideas that blend mission and social enterprise. If that’s you, please join us.
Michelle Alexander, author of the best-seller, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, will deliver the keynote address for the UNC Asheville’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Week.
Alexander’s talk is free and open to everyone, with no tickets required, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018, in Kimmel Arena at UNC Asheville’s Sherrill Center. The doors will open at 6 p.m. and seating is first-come, first-served. This event is presented by UNC Asheville with support from the Blue Ridge District of United Methodist Church.
The Big Silence is a 4-Day mostly silent retreat offering an immersion in solitude, silence, and deep prayer at the beautiful St. Francis Springs Prayer Center from Sunday afternoon to Wednesday afternoon, January 14-17, 2018. Start the year off by setting an inner course of connection with God to support your life and ministry in the months to come. Praying the hours in community is complemented by a variety of silent prayer practices and wonderful spaces just to be present with the Spirit. For more information and registration: www.centenary-ws.org/the-big-silence-retreat.
50 Years Later "Reclaiming Our/God's Time"
Join Bishop Paul Leeland and friends from across Western NC as we celebrate Dr. King and recommit ourselves to his important work. Doors open at 9a.m. Location - Bennett College, 900 E. Washington St., Greensboro, NC. Keynote Speaker - Rev. Dr. William Bobby McClain, also featuring Duke Hispanic House of Studies and honoring the Bennett Belles of the Sit-In Movement.
The deadline for completion of all assessment documents and emailing them to your district office is NOVEMBER 30. (It would be very helpful if the pastor or the S/PPRC chair would gather the set of completed PDF files and email them to the district office at the same time, indicating in the subject of the email the name of the clergy and the church for whom these assessments are being submitted.)
All completed and signed MINUTES and clergy compensation forms from the Charge Conference are due into the District Office immediately following the completion of your charge conference date OR no later than today.
The Blue Ridge District will help host a dinner reception to increase awareness and support for the Central Conference Theological Education Fund (to provide financial assistance to seminary students in the Central Conference of the UMC).
You can spend, waste or kill chronos time but Kairos time can only be inhabited. Chronos gets us from event to event, while Kairos is the moment in which time stops or is fulfilled. You can plan for Chronos and only be vulnerable to the truth in Kairos.
Connect with Others through Story.
Our true stories can set us and others free.
Tell us a story about how you spend your time. Hear stories about how others spend their time. Come experiment with us
Saturday, Oct. 7, 4-5:30 at Habitat Tavern and Commons.
If you would like to tell a story about your experience, put your name in the hat by 4:15. 6 people will be chosen at random.
Free and open to the public.
What is Fresh Expressions?
Fresh Expressions is a movement that is cultivating new forms of church alongside existing congregations in order to reach a changing world. Begun in England ten years ago, it has resulted in the birth of over 2,500 new communities in the UK alone. Fresh Expressions has spread to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and is taking shape in the US.
At its heart, Fresh Expressions is about empowering and equipping God’s people to develop creative expressions of church that can reach the increasing diversity of our society.
What is Vision Day?
Vision Day is a great way to discover more about Fresh Expressions. In an interactive format, you will have the chance to:
- Hear how Fresh Expressions is renewing the church
- Talk about the development of Fresh Expressions US
- Learn more about the Mission-Shaped Church
- Discover tools to start Fresh Expressions in your area
The WNCC Mission Engagement Team invites you to Camp Tekoa in Hendersonville, NC, Saturday, September 23, 2017.
The missional call in the hearts and churches of the Western North Carolina Conference is strong. Many individuals and churches serve in a myriad of ways around the world.
The Mission Engagement Team is forming Bridge Teams for the purpose of collaboration and resource sharing.
Bridge Teams will gather as many individuals and church teams as possible to share what has been learned while being involved in mission. Collaboration, working together to increase impact and discerning how God would have us make a transformational impact are the focus of the strategies. How to move our mission involvement with ministries and churches to a place of sustainable partnership is the focus of our collaboration.
You are needed to help shape the future of mission on behalf of the Western North Carolina Conference.
There will be teams formed focused on the following;
Armenia, Belize, Africa, Haiti, Jamaica, Guatemala, Cambodia, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, India, Mexico, United States, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Bahamas
If you or your church are involved in a country you do not see listed here, please let us know! And then please come to share about the mission work that you are doing.
Attached, you will also find a one page information sheet on Healthy Transitions.
This seminar is designed to help you and your key leaders FORM well as the best ministry team you can possibly be. We are asking that you enlist five strategic leaders with whom you will be working closely in your ministry to participate in this seminar with you. (For example: SPPR Chair, Council Chair, Lay Leader, Finance or Trustees Chair). If you are in a multi-staff ministry, then you would bring your senior Pastor or Associate Pastor in place of one of the other leaders. In addition to the afternoon seminar, you and your other key leaders will be receiving the Everything Workplace DiSC profile to assess the leadership strengths each of you will be bringing to your shared work together. You will need to complete these profiles before the seminar.
In our commitment to help you and your church begin strong, the Blue Ridge District is underwriting the majority of the cost of this seminar and DiSC assessments. Each church is being asked to pay a $100 registration fee to minimally offset the cost of the profiles (retail is $65 per profile) and the other costs of the afternoon, including special offerings for your family as well!
The Blue Ridge District is committed to making this your best appointment ever, and so we want your family to connect well, too. Therefore, we have a special afternoon planned for clergy spouses and children, including facilitated discussion with clergy spouses, childcare for children under the age of five and a fun afternoon at LAUNCH, a trampoline park, for children ages 5 and above.
Please RSVP to Ruth Kapely the following information by Wednesday, August 16th:
- Your name and email address
- Name and email address of each of the leaders attending with you (up to five leaders)
- Spouse and/or children (number and ages) who will be attending
Send RSVP to:
Ruth Kapely, District Admin for Clergy Relations
For more information on the Healthy Transitions Seminar, here is a link you can share with your leaders to encourage their participation.
2. Please notify Debra Luther NO LATER THAN September 1, 2017 of your scheduled charge conference by providing the following information via the form below or by emailing email@example.com with:
A. Church Name
B. Date, Time, and Location of Charge Conference
C. Presiding Elder Requesting Authorization