Hi Friends of the Blue Ridge District!
As we continue to remain strong in the United Methodist Church, we want to grant you the resources and support needed to thrive in leadership across the district. Our Blue Ridge District Monthly newsletter is modernizing to better serve you in your roles. We welcome all feedback and suggestions!
Thank you for being a part of our ministries!
Your Blue Ridge District Staff
"Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every
respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ."
- Ephesians 4:15
Bishop Carter Calls Special Session for Fall 2023
Bishop Ken Carter has addressed the Western North Carolina Conference clergy and laity through written communication, here. A special session for churches who have requested additional time for discernment will be held virtually on November 4, 2023.
Loss of churches through disaffiliation has created a new outreach WNCC titled "Lighthouse Congregations." These are congregations proud to #BeUMC and welcome anyone who's church has left them. Our district currently has 5 lighthouses, Bright Hope Laurel, Salem Weaverville, Black Mountain, First Hendersonville, and Hope East Flat Rock. Learn more here.
Youth Tour of the International Civil Rights Museum
Bishop Ken Carter, Equity & Justice Ministries, and our Conference Youth Ministry invites youth from the Western North Carolina Annual Conference to join together May 20th for a tour of the International Civil Rights Museum in Greensboro, NC. Participants will join in worship led by Bishop Carter followed by lunch and small groups. A two-hour tour of the museum begins at noon, and the day wraps up with a quick debriefing and reflection. Learn more and register here.
Creation Care Art Contest
The WNCC Creation Care Ministry Team is holding an art contest open to ANY UMC members and children who are regular attendees. There will be three categories sorted by age. Three winners from each category will have their artwork displayed at this year's Annual Conference in the Creation Care Ministry tent. Find more information on how to enter here.
Native Americans Ministry Sunday
The United Methodist Church recognizes Native Americans Ministry Sunday this year on April 23. Bolster your congregation's excitement and giving on Special Sundays by preparing them ahead of time. Download the 2023 Special Sundays Planning Guide from Resource UMC here.
Only 3 Seasons Left for RISE! Anti-Racism Trainings
Antiracism Ethics Training is the Clergy Ethics Training for the quadrennium through June 2024, and is mandatory for all clergy in the Western North Carolina Conference.
Each session has a limited number of seats, please plan accordingly to ensure you are able to participate before June 2024. Every season will have 8 district-hosted options for in-person (2-day workshops) and 1 option for virtual (12-day span workshop). This means there are only 3 virtual options left in the quadrennium and a few in-person local to you.
Spring 2023 In-Person Dates are as follows:
- March 31-April 1 - Covenant UMC, High Point (Northern Piedmont)
- May 11-12 - Assurance UMC, Huntersville (Metro)
- May 22-23 - St. Luke's UMC, Hickory (Catawba Valley)
- June 9-10 - Covenant Community UMC, Asheville (Blue Ridge)
Visit registration here.
Clergy Care Retreat
The North Carolina Conference has invited all UMC clergy to participate in an overnight retreat in Parkton, NC, outside of Fayetteville. Finding Our Way: How Ancient Practices Help Us Navigate Stress, Anxiety, and Alienation will place participants into small groups to explore reorienting practices, reflection prompts, and discussion questions with hopes the groups will continue beyond the retreat as a place of mutual support through challenging ministry times. Learn more and register for the May 23-24 retreat here.
Adolescent Disciple Formation
Rev. Shannon LeMaster-Smith, WNCC Youth Ministry Strategist, will lead this open workshop at the Appalachian District office on April 18. Registration is required as lunch is included in the small fee. Register here.
Understanding and Practicing Grassroot Evangelism
Re-Evangelism pursues to become a collaborative movement of lay and clergy by renewing our hearts for our neighbors with the Good News. It is not only a movement that should encourage church growth but a spiritual renewal among United Methodists. By revisiting Early American Methodists in our mountain communities and confronting our realities with courage and faith, we will restore our passion and love toward God and others. Join this spring session at the Hinton Rual Life Center in Hayesville, April 30 - May 2. Learn more and register here.
Leading Missional Small Groups
John and Charles Wesley considered small groups a vital component of Methodist discipleship. These groups, which provided support and accountability, also included active mission —not simply attending or studying, but holistically applying what they had learned in the wider world. This two-week course teaches the Wesleyan way to form missional communities and congregations. Learn more and register here.
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