February BRD Monthly

posted on February 01

February 2023


Annual Reports Due Wednesday, February 15

The EZRA platform for annual statistical reports is replaced by ACStats for 2022. ACStats is now open.  A letter from WNC Treasurer R. Mark King containing the link and training videos can be found here.

Bishop Carter Announces a Virtual Session of the WNC Annual Conference

A message from Bishop Ken Carter, below.

Dear Clergy and Laity of the WNC Conference,

In accordance with Paragraph 603.5 of the 2016 Book of Discipline and Rule 32 of the WNCC Rules of Order, Bishop Ken Carter is calling a Special Executive Session of Clergy Members at 9:00am and a Special Session of the Western North Carolina Annual Conference at 10:00am, to be held on Saturday, May 6, 2023. Both meetings will be held virtually.

The sole purpose of the called executive session of clergy members is to vote on clergy withdrawals. The sole purpose of the called session is to vote on the WNC Conference Board of Trustees' recommendations for churches choosing to disaffiliate from The United Methodist Church through the authorized process outlined in Paragraph 2553.

We continue to be in dialogue with local churches and clergy.  Our desire would be that no local church or pastor departs from the United Methodist Church.  We do understand that a small number of churches have already made this decision.  Where there is particular conflict within local churches, we have created space for patience, listening and grace.  We also appeal to a small number of local churches who have brought a lawsuit against the annual conference to work within the guidelines of Paragraph 2553 of the Book of Discipline.  Extended participation in the lawsuit will prevent these churches from participating in the disaffiliation process prior to the December 31, 2023 deadline.

By holding a Special Called Session, churches departing to become independent congregations or members of other present or future denominations can begin to live into their futures.  And in the same manner, clergy who depart can follow their callings to new ministries apart from The United Methodist Church.  Both the clergy session and the special session of annual conference will conclude with a blessing by Bishop Carter. 

If needed, there will be another called Special Session of the Annual Conference in the late fall of this year for those churches who find themselves needing more time for prayerful discernment throughout the spring and summer.

 More details for both special sessions will be announced as they become available

The Peace of the Lord,

Bishop Ken Carter


Spiritual Renewal Grant Applications are Open

This grant for clergy and lay ministry staff is offered by the WNCC Leadership Development Team to encourage participants to " intentionally seek the presence of God in a space, and in a posture before God, that you can receive what God has to offer you, away from the myriad of needs in your community! 
...The LDT wants to help nurture your spirit in order to be renewed and restored in life and in ministry."

Over 20 retreats, cohorts, and workshops are enlisted in 2023's Spiritual Renewal Offering. View and register for them here!

Applications will stay open until February 15. 

Laity Engagement and Transformation Forum

The WNCC Laity Engagement and Transformation Initiative hosts the first in a series of 4 forums Monday, February 27

This series is built to explore stages in which we can welcome others from isolation into Christian community. Each forum is themed; Listening, Loving People, Building Community, and Exploring Discipleship. February's forum, Listening, will discuss utilizing spiritual listening to open new possibilities in ministry.

Learn more and register here.

Multiethnic Ministries & Racial Ethnic Local Church

2023 Grant Cycle Opens

The Global Ministries 2023 Racial Ethnic Local Church Grant (RELC) and the Annual Conference Multiethnic Ministries Grant (MEM) cycle is now open. All applications are due by February 15, 2023.

RELC grants are awarded to assist local racial/ethnic congregations (at least 51% racial/ethnic membership) and annual conferences with projects and programs on one of the three areas: 1) Leadership Development; 2) Church Growth, Congregational Development and Ministry Development; 3)Pastoral Salary Support.

Annual Conference Multiethnic Ministries (MEM) Grants are provided to assist annual conferences with programs focusing on racial/ethnic leadership development and racial/ethnic church growth and development. The MEM grants provide financial resources up to $15,000 per annual conference. Seven Multiethnic Ministries grants are available for 2023.

Learn more and download applications for grants here.


Spring 2023 EarthKeepers Training

The WNC Creation Care Ministry Team would like to invite you to the Spring 2023 Online EarthKeepers Training, March 10-25. Global Ministries EarthKeepers is an in-depth training program that equips US-based United Methodists to launch and grow environmental projects in their communities. Topics include eco-theology, antiracism, community organizing  and project planning. All participants plan a project during the training.

Currently the Western North Carolina Conference is home to 7 EarthKeepers and want to see that number grow! Learn more and submit an application before February 15 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:

  • February 10-11 - Hillsdale UMC, Advance (Yadkin Valley)
  • February 24-25 - St. Luke's UMC, Hickory (Catawba Valley)
  • 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)

Spring 2023 Virtual Schedule:

Monday, March 13 |  Zoom Orientation Session - 6:00-8:30pm

March 14-17 |  Self-Paced eLearning

Saturday, March 18 |  Zoom Day 1 - 9:00am-12:00pm & 2:00-5:00pm

March 19-24 | Self-Paced eLearning

Saturday, March 25 | Zoom Day 2 -  9:00am-12:00pm & 2:00-5:00pm

Visit registration here.

UMC Communications Offers Courses for the New Digital Age

Navigating the digital changes in ministry that have emerged the last few years can be made easier with courses from UMC Communications. Online trainings such as "Effective Technology Tools for Churches", "Video Editing for Churches", and "Digital Media for Churches" can be completed in just 1-2 hours.

View all courses here!

Free Canva Accounts

Canva makes all of its pro-level tools free for nonprofits, including churches.  Canva is one of the most widely used tools for creating social media posts. Adobe's Illustrator and InDesign replaced Microsoft Publisher, and Canva is the extremely user-friendly replacement of Adobe. 

Find details and registration here!




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