News

September BRD Monthly

News Article September 7, 2022
  Current COVID-19 Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry (updated 7.25.2022) View the current guidelines here. For more resources related to COVID-19 visit https://www.wnccumc.org/covid     Blue Ridge District Office Has Moved! The Blue Ridge District Office is in transition to our new office at Abernathy UMC! Please note our phones are temporarily out of order. Please contact us individually by email: Mark Ralls, mralls@wnccumc.org Ruth Kapely, rkapely@wnccumc.org Shonnie Streder, ...

Blue Ridge District Office Has Moved!

News Article September 2, 2022
The Blue Ridge District Office is in transition to our new office at Abernathy UMC! Please note our phones are temporarily out of order. Please contact us individually by email: Mark Ralls, mralls@wnccumc.org Ruth Kapely, rkapely@wnccumc.org Shonnie Streder, sstreder@wnccumc.org Anita Adams, aadams@wnccumc.org If you need to mail something to us, please mail it to: P.O.Box 6302 Asheville, N.C. 28816 We will share updates on our exact physical address and new phone numbers once we have fully ...

Covid-19 Guidelines Update (7.25.2022)

News Article September 1, 2022
Our Bishop and Cabinet have released the following update in regards to worship alongside Covid-19. We have begun to get updates from local churches reporting Covid outbreaks after an event or worship service.  Even though the current variant, Omicron BA.5, generally causes less severe disease than infection with prior variants, it does spread more easily. Currently, 50 of the 100 counties in North Carolina are at high risk for Covid infections and the resulting strains on the health care ...

August BRD Monthly

News Article July 21, 2022
  AUGUST 2022     Current COVID-19 Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry (updated 7.25.2022) View the current guidelines here. For more resources related to COVID-19 visit https://www.wnccumc.org/covid     Blue Ridge District Office Has Moved! The Blue Ridge District Office is in transition to our new office at Abernathy UMC! Please note our phones are temporarily out of order. Please contact us individually by email: Mark Ralls, mralls@wnccumc.org Ruth Kapely, rkapely@wnccumc.org ...

July BRD Monthly

News Article July 5, 2022
  Current COVID-19 Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry (updated 3.1.2022) View & Download a copy of the current guidelines here. For more resources related to COVID-19 visit https://www.wnccumc.org/covid     Blue Ridge District Office Has Moved! The Blue Ridge District Office is in transition to our new office at Abernathy UMC! Please note our phones are temporarily out of order. Please contact us individually by email: Mark Ralls, mralls@wnccumc.org Ruth Kapely, rkapely@wnccumc.org ...

#BeUMC - Strengthening the Connection

News Article July 1, 2022
#BeUMC Strengthening the Connection: A Discussion with Blue Ridge District Superintendent, Rev. Dr. Mark Ralls, on the Continuing UMC   General Conference has been postponed until 2024, and we have received questions from a few of you regarding what actions your congregations need to take at this time. Even though no formal action is needed currently, we think this is a perfect time to gather and talk about those actions we can all take to continue to strengthen our connection in our mission ...

June BRD Monthly

News Article June 3, 2022
JUNE 2022     Current COVID-19 Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry (updated 3.1.2022) View & Download a copy of the current guidelines here. For more resources related to COVID-19 visit https://www.wnccumc.org/covid     Haywood St. Offers and Invites Guest Pastors Haywood St. Congregation is offering the chance to share their story with your congregation or group. They are also interested in hearing yours! Please contact Jody Halstead for more information and scheduling.      ...

2022-2023 Appointments

News Article June 1, 2022
2022-2023 Appointments  Blue Ridge District welcomes the following new pastors!  Andrew Crimmins - St. Timothy’s  Veranita Alvord - First Brevard  Joe Tarpley - Skyland  Richard Blount - Weaverville  Drew Nix - Salem (Weaverville)  Eric Meyers - Caroleen  Toni Poppy - Snow Hill (Morganton)  Karen Lawrence - St. Mark’s  Sherri Noble - Acton  Don Yost - Tabernacle  Cindy Lunsford - Reeves  Barbara Mayo - First Marion Dustin Mailman - Trinity   2022-2023 Blue Ridge Appointment List WNC ...

Important Dates and Events - May 2022

News Article May 5, 2022
Upcoming Dates & Events May 1: Native American Ministries Sunday May 3: Aldersgate Day of Prayer with Bishop Carter May 8: Mother's Day May 10: The Right Start Seminar for New Appointments  May 12: Understanding Video for Digital Disciple Making Webinar May 13-14: Rise! Anti-racism Training, Franklin May 19: Eco-Preacher Workshop May 19-21: Hatch-a-Thon 2022 May 23-27: Carolinas Black Clergy Leadership Retreat May 24: Aldersgate Day May 30: Memorial Day .

May 2022 BRD Monthly

News Article May 2, 2022
Current COVID-19 Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry (updated 3.1.2022) View & Download a copy of the current guidelines here. For more resources related to COVID-19 visit https://www.wnccumc.org/covid       2022-2023 Appointments  Blue Ridge District welcomes the following new pastors!  Andrew Crimmins - St. Timothy’s  Veranita Alvord - First Brevard  Joe Tarpley - Skyland  Richard Blount - Weaverville  Drew Nix - Salem (Weaverville)  Eric Meyers - Caroleen  Toni Poppy - Snow Hill ...

2022 Rise! Anti-Racism & Ethics Training

News Article April 1, 2022
  May and June workshops still have spaces available. Blue Ridge District will NOT be hosting a district-specific workshop this fall. As a reminder, it is still important to take advantage of these opportunities as they become available because capacity for each is limited. This antiracism training is mandatory for all WNC-appointed clergy as the Clergy Ethics Training through June 2024. Thank you for your participation!   Spring In-Person 2-Day Workshops: (10am - 6pm each day) May 13,14 • ...

April 2022 BRD Monthly

News Article April 1, 2022
  Current COVID-19 Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry (updated 3.1.2022) View & Download a copy of the current guidelines here. For more resources related to COVID-19 visit https://www.wnccumc.org/covid     General Conference FAQ With the repeated postponement of General Conference, Bishop Carter and Rev. Amy Coles have produced a FAQ compilation.  https://www.wnccumc.org/detail/general-conference-postponement-faqs-16392829     WNCCUMC Annual Conference  The Western North Carolina ...

Tempered Resilience: Becoming an Adaptive Leader Webinar and Group Sessions

News Article March 4, 2022
  March 15 at noon, Author Tod Bolsinger will lead a webinar based on his book Tempered Resilience with Bishop Carter moderating. Cultivating leadership not just to survive but to thrive. Tod Bolsinger provides a vision and language for how we address the trials and crucible of leadership in the midst of change. There is no cost to participate, but participants must purchase a copy of Tempered Resilience. Use code TR30 to receive 30% off. Following the webinar Clergy colleague and study groups ...

Recognition of Anniversary Churches

News Article March 3, 2022
The WNC Conference Commission on Archives and History will recognize all churches celebrating their 100th, 150th, and 200th anniversaries in 2022. If your congregation is celebrating one of these anniversaries this year, please contact Jim Pyatt, Archivist, at jpyatt@wnccumc.org by April 1, so that your church will be included in this year’s recognition. .

Updated Covid Guidelines - 3/3/2022

News Article March 3, 2022
As we enter Spring and Lent, we have been given new guidelines from Governor Cooper's office and the Center for Disease and Control (CDC). Please review these guidelines with your Covid Safety team to make the best decisions for your specific circumstances. You have our complete support as we trust you will make prayerful decisions that are right for you and your congregation. Wishing you many blessings of peace and health as we journey together through Lent to Easter! COVID UPDATE (please read)

BRD Monthly - March 2022

News Article March 1, 2022
Current COVID-19 Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry (updated 3.1.2022) View & Download a copy of the current guidelines here. For more resources related to COVID-19 visit https://www.wnccumc.org/covid     March Clergy Meeting The next clergy meeting will be held via Zoom March 8 from 12pm to 1pm. Zoom links will be sent to your clergy email prior to the meeting.      Tempered Resilience: Becoming an Adaptive Leader Webinar and Group Sessions March 15 at noon, Author Tod Bolsinger ...

February 2022 BRD Monthly

News Article January 31, 2022
  March Clergy Meeting: Save the Date The next clergy meeting will be held via Zoom March 8. Further details coming soon.     Outward Mindset Training This March 8 and 9, a special opportunity for teams of Pastors and their Local Church Lay Leaders to receive Outward Mindset Training with the Arbinger Institute will be held at the District Office. An outward mindset is a focus on others and the community around us. Participants are expected to gain tools for self-awareness, mindset change, ...

New Year, New 2022 Conference Offerings

News Article January 17, 2022
Happy New Year!  We pray that you enter 2022 with hope.   …and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.  -Romans 5:5   We hope to provide a source of encouragement below in several ways, including words of hope and resources that might be helpful. The WNC Leadership Development Team is offering grants for spiritual renewal. There are a variety of ways that you could choose to intentionally ...

Fresh Expressions Exponential

News Article January 7, 2022
March 7-10, join Bishop Ken Carter, Rev. Dr. Stephanie Moore Hand of Metro District, Rev. Dr. Michael Moynagh of Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, Rev. Dr. Michael Beck of the Florida Conference, and more for the 2022 Fresh Expressions Exponential.   The Orlando conference features over 200 speakers, 150 workshops, 20 pre-conference intensives, and 75+ networks and denominations. This year's theme is "Moving with the Spirit".   Find details and registration here.   ...

January 2022 BRD Monthly

News Article January 1, 2022
Current COVID-19 Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry (updated 12.14.2021) View & Download a copy of the current guidelines here. For more resources related to COVID-19 visit https://www.wnccumc.org/covid      Clergy Assessments & Year-end Statistical Reports Please continue to complete these as you are able, and let Ruth know if you (as SPRC and/or Clergy) would like assistance with this process. (rkapely@wnccumc.org)  Statistical Reports are due January 31st.  After hearing thoughts...

WNCC Christmas Worship Service 2021

News Article December 15, 2021
Bishop Carter, the Appointive Cabinet, and churches across the conference have come together to bring this year's WNCC Christmas Worship Service. We invite clergy and worship leaders to take this opportunity to rest after Advent and spend time in worship with friends around the conference. The video is available for viewing on the WNCC website, YouTube, and Vimeo. A downloadable version of the video and order of worship is also available for churches to upload and stream through their own ...

Updated Covid-19 Guidelines • 12/15/21

News Article December 14, 2021
With COVID infections on the rise, increased hospitalizations over the past 4 weeks, and the highly contagious nature of both the Delta and Omicron variants, the Bishop and Cabinet of the Western North Carolina Conference are sending this reminder of best practices for ministry gatherings.     We do this, recognizing the importance of our gathering for worship in this season of Advent and Christmas, and in gratitude for many of you who have led faithfully in an extended and complicated period of...

BOTH/AND Hybrid Worship Cohort Grant

News Article December 10, 2021
This cohort, beginning the last week in January, is made for those of you who want to learn how to harness the power of technology to include those who are in the room and those who are online at once. If you are looking for your next step in navigating the church-tech world, this is a valuable resource that includes funds, guidance, and connection with others navigating the same. Grant applications will be accepted now through January 14, 2022, or until the cohort is full. There is a 30-church...

Sabbath Life 2022 Cohort

News Article December 10, 2021
The Uwharrie District has extended an invitation to  Blue Ridge District Clergy to join a 2022 cohort of Sabbath Life. Their ministry has operated in the North Carolina Conference since 2015, and are thrilled to be partnering with the ELCA and Beth and Doug Kearney, retired Lutheran pastors living in South Asheville, to offer Sabbath Life in Western NC in 2022!    The Western NC Conference has offered Spiritual Renewal grants to clergy who participate and anticipate the grants being available ...

December 2021 BRD Monthly

News Article December 1, 2021
  WNCC Christmas Worship Service 2021 Bishop Carter, the Appointive Cabinet, and churches across the conference have come together to bring this year's WNCC Christmas Worship Service. We invite clergy and worship leaders to take this opportunity to rest after Advent and spend time in worship with friends around the conference. The video will be available for viewing on the WNCC website, YouTube, and Vimeo on December 20, 2021. A downloadable version of the video and order of worship will also ...

November 2021 BRD Monthly

News Article October 29, 2021
Disaster Response Efforts The WNCC Committee on Relief has been putting their efforts into assisting with damages caused by Hurricanes Ida and Fred across Western North Carolina.  "Clergy, we ask that you appeal to your congregations, both in person and those online, to give generously to this fund so that we, as a Conference, may assist these churches in working with their communities." Find more information and ways to give here.     Charge Conferences Dates, times, and a zoom link for the ...

Public Assistance for Houses of Worship

News Article October 4, 2021
View and Share the Official PDF Here   Public Assistance for Houses of Worship    Houses of worship and other nonprofit organizations may be eligible for FEMA assistance to help pay for emergency protective measures, debris removal and restoration of facilities damaged by Tropical Storm Fred.  Under the Public Assistance program, FEMA may be able to provide financial assistance to certain private, nonprofit organizations – including houses of worship – to restore facilities damaged or ...

Green Church Initiative

News Article October 1, 2021
  Are you interested in beginning or expanding a Creation Care Ministry at your church? If so, then get ready for the Green Church Initiative that is coming in October! It provides a variety of practical, intentional creation care related actions from which participating churches may choose to implement within the areas of Worship, Discipleship, Stewardship, Evangelism, and Mission. Lay persons who are interested in learning more about how to start a Creation Care Ministry at their church, as...

October 2021 BRD Monthly

News Article October 1, 2021
Disaster Response Efforts The WNCC Committee on Relief has been putting their efforts into assisting with damages caused by Hurricanes Ida and Fred across Western North Carolina.  "Clergy, we ask that you appeal to your congregations, both in person and those online, to give generously to this fund so that we, as a Conference, may assist these churches in working with their communities." Find more information and ways to give here.     Changes for Clergy Meeting with Bishop Carter Tomorrow, ...

WNC Leadership Development Team Scholarship Opportunities

News Article October 1, 2021
  The WNC Leadership Development Team is offering scholarships to Clergy and Ministry Professionals to participate in your choice of growth opportunities! Just in time training choices include:   * Growth through conflict * Energizing Mission in the Black Church * Reduce Stress and Anxiety * Conquer Overwhelm and Boost Productivity * Find Your Funny: Using Humor * Storytelling * Innovation * Krista Tippett on the Art of Conversation * And so many more!   Check out the preferred provider list ...

Infectious Disease Outbreak Response Plan ADDENDUM

News Article September 28, 2021
  Infectious Disease Outbreak Response Plan ADDENDUM October 1, 2021 Covid-19 Vaccination Protocol Requirements for ALL employees of the Conference The conference will now require Full Vaccination for all staff no later than January 1, 2022.   A copy of your record of vaccination should be given to Mark King by that date.     If you obtain a medical note from a licensed physician in North Carolina, that due to health reasons you should not receive the vaccine, you may be excused.  ...

Letter to Faith Leaders from Gov. Roy Cooper

News Article September 28, 2021

First UMC Hendersonville Presents: Resting in God

News Article September 21, 2021
Hendersonville First United Methodist Church is hosting a Centering Prayer workshop with Rev. Rob Carr, a student of Thomas Keating at Saint Benedict's Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado. Centering Prayer is a receptive method of silent prayer in which we experience God's presence within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than consciousness itself. This method of prayer is both a relationship with God and a discipline to foster that relationship. This is an exciting ...

Preaching Like Peter Cohort

News Article September 14, 2021
Clergy are invited to register for this cohort which will begin Sept. 30th. During this time, clergy will reflect on the sermons of Peter, practice, apply, improve sermons of their own, and enjoy peer review and fellowship. Follow the link below for details and registration! https://www.wnccumc.org/detail/preaching-like-peter-cohort .

2021 Charge Conferences

News Article September 10, 2021
2021 Missional Network Charge Conferences   ATTN: All Missional Network Charge Conferences for 2021 will be held virtually on October 10th via Zoom unless otherwise requested. All participants will have the option to join on the web (with option for video)  or by phone (voice only). Charge Conference forms and instructions are below. Zoom Link: Meeting ID: 850 1127 5824 Connect online: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/85011275824 Connect via phone: 929 205 6099 CHARGE CONFERENCE SCHEDULE   ...

MLAB: A Movement to Experience Space for Innovation, Creativity, and Collaboration

News Article September 8, 2021
MLAB: A movement to experience space for innovation, creativity, and collaboration   Do you have a problem you are trying to solve? Is there an adaptive challenge you are facing? Do you want to consider a new way of doing ministry?  This experience might be for you. We are looking for innovators – persons who are open to creativity, exploring new approaches, and who are open to change?  Come as an individual or bring a team from your church or ministry!   Join others in Western North Carolina...

Clergy Health and Wellness Opportunities

News Article September 1, 2021
Clergy Health and Wellness Opportunities In order to help BRD clergy further pursue spiritual, mental, and physical health, we are now offering the following opportunities:   *New* Discounted YMCA Memberships - The Blue Ridge District has entered into a partnership with the YMCA of Western North Carolina to offer clergy and their families discounted gym memberships. Individual clergy memberships will be offered for $26.20/month, and clergy family memberships will be offered for $48.20/month....

September 2021 BRD Monthly

News Article September 1, 2021
COVID-19 Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry (updated 8.9.2021) View & Download a copy of the guidelines here. For more resources related to COVID-19 visit https://www.wnccumc.org/covid       Disaster Response Efforts The WNCC Committee on Relief has been putting their efforts into assisting with damages caused by Hurricanes Ida and Fred across Western North Carolina.  "Clergy, we ask that you appeal to your congregations, both in person and those online, to give generously to this ...

Spiritual Renewal Grant for Clergy and Lay Ministry Professionals

News Article August 9, 2021
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 the spiritual growth of clergy and ministry professionals, as they 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 ...

Updated Covid Recommendations - 8•9•2021

News Article August 9, 2021
Updated masking recommendation: Due to the increasing Covid-19 spread verified by the data revealed on the CDC’s Community Transmission Map (see below), the Bishop and Cabinet are strongly recommending the wearing of masks at all indoor ministry activities, including worship.  We also recommend that pastors and church leaders consider offering outdoor worship and alternative ministry activities to protect children and other vulnerable persons.   County Transmission Data Beginning Aug. 6, 2021, ...

August 2021 BRD Monthly

News Article August 5, 2021
COVID-19 Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry (updated 7.28.2021) View & Download a copy of the updated guidelines here. For more resources related to COVID-19 visit https://www.wnccumc.org/covid       Save the Dates: Clergy Meetings The Blue Ridge District has dates finalized for the 2021-2022 clergy meetings.      September 7, 2021 - In Person at Lake Junaluska      December 7, 2021 - ZOOM      March 8, 2022 - ZOOM Details for each meeting will be emailed as they become available.   ...

Fall Offerings

News Article August 3, 2021
Offerings to help develop your capacity to lead and to add tools to your toolkit. Several include laity. The costs are reduced thanks to the generosity of local church giving. Click on the links to learn more!   Developing and Implementing an Outward Mindset   In a nutshell: Diminishing conflict by helping us see one another as creations of God and not objects. For: Laity or clergy (individual participation) When: 5 offerings this fall throughout the conference More? Developing and ...

Fall Offerings Overview Webinar

News Article August 3, 2021
Thursday, August 19th, several Western North Carolina Conference leaders will host a webinar to explain resources and opportunities they are offering to congregations this fall. All are welcome to attend! Find out about discipleship, mission, innovation, and support opportunities as well as learning and practicing cohorts in which you and your congregation can be involved.    Hosting this webinar are Rev. Kim Ingram Director of Ministerial Services Rev. Rob Hutchinson Director of Church ...

Developing and Implementing an Outward Mindset Workshops

News Article August 2, 2021
This fall Arbinger Institute is offering 5 workshops throughout the conference in conjunction with the WNC Leadership Development Team. These are designed to encourage deep growth in community relationships, collaboration, engagement, and accountability. Waynesville, Huntersville, Lexington, and Concord will host individual workshops open to both clergy and laity. Registration closes August 22 for the first two workshops.   September in Waynesville September 27-28 Time: 8:30-4:30 pm each day...

Post-Pandemic Game Changers Cohort

News Article August 2, 2021
Beginning in September, join teams from other WNC churches via ZOOM once a month for conversation, assessment, action-plan creation, and implementation plans for your congregation as we navigate the changes from the pandemic. Teams should consist of clergy leaders and laity but individuals may attend as well.  Registration and information can be found here. .

Clergy Housing Allowances Webinar

News Article August 1, 2021
Tuesday August 10, Mr. Bryan Mills, General Counsel for G.C.F.A. and Rev. Ken Sloane of Discipleship Ministries will be covering details and questions about the Household Expense Allowance as well as Housing in lieu of a parsonage. Questions have come from clergy, Finance Committee members, PPRC Chairs, and Treasurers. Registration also includes an option to send a question regarding Housing Allowance prior to the webinar.  Find details and registration here. .

Navigating Change Retreat

News Article August 1, 2021
August 21, join Groce UMC for a day of fun, stories, fellowship, and food as we contemplate the changes COVID-19 has brought to our lives. Led by award-winning storyteller, Certified Grief Recovery Specialist,® and author Donna Marie Todd.  For more information and registration please visit https://www.groceumc.org/event-details/navigating-change .  

Relaunching Dinner Church

News Article July 1, 2021
Western NC Conference Fresh Expressions invites you and your family to join us for a time of food, fun, and inspiration! August 13th through August 15th you have three opportunities to join us across the conference for a meal, an inspiring message from two special guests, and time to play in the water at Camp!  Our guest speakers include Kendall Vanderslice, author of We Will Feast, and Verlon Fosner, Director of the Dinner Church Collective. Every church will receive some free books and at ...

July 2021 BRD Monthly

News Article June 1, 2021
COVID-19 Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry (updated 5.18.2021) View & Download a copy of the updated guidelines here. For more resources related to COVID-19 visit https://www.wnccumc.org/covid     Pastoral Assignments for 2021-2022 Blue Ridge District welcomes the following incoming pastors: • Patricia Ginn-Griffeth Abernethy (Asheville) • Thomas Henderson Antioch – Fairview (Hot Springs)  • Spencer Cullom Avery's Creek (Arden)  • Clyde Denny Barnardsville   • JP Bolick Clark's ...

Stories of Us: Wellspring Congregation

News Article June 1, 2021
  Wellspring Congregation is Opening Their Doors! Blue Ridge District's latest congregational formation, Wellspring, is having their first in-person worship service on June 27! This congregation has been in the works for a few years, led by Rev. Ashley Crowder Stanley. After a year of streaming services, they are excited to finally open their doors and say with gusto, "Welcome to Wellspring!"  Intentionally focused on creating an inclusive space for all to worship and grow in faith, "We can ...
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