Words from Angela
During our District Committee on Ordained Ministry meeting, Reverend Sally Queen led us in an opening devotion. She asked us to share what we are looking forward to this Advent season. It was a joy to hear everyone’s response around the table filled with hope and anticipation.
My first Advent as District Superintendent was an adjustment. I was so used to running on all cylinders preparing for the local churches many activities. I was not used to not being a part of planning for Love Feast, Cantatas, parties and much more. But, I did learn a great lesson. In the past, I was so busy planning that Advent and Christmas went by in a blur. Now celebrating Advent from a different position I am learning to slow down and reflect upon the season. I enjoy visiting the churches and sharing in your Advent celebrations as well as taking the time to reflect afterward.
I will encourage you during this season of busyness, don’t forget your time of reflection and quiet rest. Advent involves spending time in spiritual preparation. Sometimes we are so busy leading our churches in this time of preparation we forget to prepare ourselves.
It is easy during this season to get caught up in overdrive mode. We begin our day with five hours of sleep and gulp down caffeine to give us that extra boost. Often we are sleep deprived, caffeine driven, and overscheduled.
The disciples had much work to do. Jesus sent them out to preach, drive out demons and anoint the sick and heal them. When they gathered around Jesus, they were filled with excitement as they shared their experience. As a result of their faithfulness to God’s mission, more people responded. Crowds began to gather around Jesus and his disciples. Jesus noticed the crowds and instead of saying, “Go work harder,” Jesus said, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31b NIV.
Often, I think how all other creation know when to work and when to hibernate except humanity. Christian ministry is an extension of Jesus mission and ministry. There will always be work to do, but there must also be a time of rest. Our bodies are not designed to work non-stop.
When was the last time you stole away to a quiet place to rest and renew your weary soul? When was the last time you unplugged your tablet, laptop, or iPhone and enjoyed the stillness of the moment?
The crowds continued to follow Jesus and the disciples. Jesus told the disciples, “Give them something to eat.” There is a time to serve, and there is a time to rest. Make sure you observe the holy season of refreshment as well as serving. Your living will be more productive.
District Leadership Conference
January 6, 2019
St. Luke's UMC (Hickory)
52 16th Ave. NW, Hickory, NC
We will begin our time at 2:30 p.m. with worship where Dr. David Goatley, Director of Black Church Affairs at Duke Divinity School will be preaching and the praise leader from Denver UMC will provide our worship music. Following worship, we will break up into small training sessions.
Leading with Purpose - Leading a local church with purpose keeps the focus on God’s activity through the congregation and community so that personal preferences, points of view, and power are diminished. We will discover communication strategies, how to overcome obstacles, how to deal with the reactions of congregants, and basic characteristics of leading with purpose. Laity in leadership roles and clergy will benefit from this workshop. Kim Shockley, District Church Vitality Specialist
Health and Wellness -- Ms. Lisa Mariddaiah, Parish Nurse, First UMC Gastonia
Local Church Historian – This session is open to local church historians, church secretaries, anyone who is interested in the history of their church, or anyone interested in their church’s records and historic documents. We will focus on which records to keep and which records can be discarded (and why), how best to keep these records for posterity, and where to look to find records from the past. Those attending are encouraged to share their questions regarding the preserving and recording of their church’s history and its records. Jim Pyatt, WNCC Archivist/Historian
A Better Way – As congregations continue to come to grips with the changing context of shifting demographics and economies, declining giving and attendance, and new ways of being church, some are finding innovative ways to use their buildings and land to reach new people, enhance income, connect with neighbors, and live into their mission. Wesley Community Development is helping them lead the way to a brighter future. Come learn how. Reverend Karen Easter Bayne, Vice President, Wesley Community Development Corporation
What Are the Ten Essential Needs for Local Church Finance and Stewardship? – This session will examine the ten most important and significant issues that local church finance and stewardship leaders should be most concerned. The issues and needs will stem both from the Book of Discipline but also practical and logistical relevant. Topics will include Audits, Annual Reporting, Apportionments, Financial Policies and Giving. Reverend Dr. Mark King, Conference Treasurer/Director of Administrative Services
The Call and Ministry of a Lay Servant and Certified Lay Minister –This session will focus on the call and ministry of Certified Lay Servants and Certified Lay Ministers from the experience of Mr. Bridges. You will learn requirements for each level of laity service opportunities and concentrate on Mr. Bridges experience as a CLM. Tom Bridges
Making Room for One More -- Does the church have anything to say and show to a world of growing segmentation and fragmentation? Are we destined to reflection, or might we have hope for illumination? This workshop will explore tensions between being stranger and neighbor and imagine possibilities for reclaiming the spirit of hospitality in some cultures that believe in "making room for one more."Reverend Dr. David Goatley, Director of Black Church Affairs at Duke Divinity School
Creation Care -- Encouraging Christians in their efforts to care for God’s creation, and to be faithful stewards of God’s provision. Mr. Bill Garrard, Earthkeeper
Pastor and Parish -- The Staff Parish Relations Committee plays a critical role in fostering a healthy relationship between the pastor and the congregation. SPRC is a ministry that supports the mission of the local church. This session will help you seek ways to strengthen communication across the church and serve as good stewards of your pastor’s time and gifts. It will introduce you to the study of Pastor and Parish. Reverend Dr. Dennis Sheppard
For more information and to register, click below.
Catawba Valley Happenings
What are these wonderful things taking place around our district? Welcome to the Catawba Valley Happenings. As I travel around the district, I will be taking photos to add to our Happenings board.
From the vision of Reverend Jay Bissett, Missional Network 10 sponsored a two-day event, Rise vs. Hunger at Warlick Academy. Seventy-five members of the network packed 10,000 meals and those who gave financially helped the network to reach its goal of $7,500.00.
District Wellness Team Hike
The Wellness Team hike for November was a blast at South Mountain State Park. We will take a break in December and dust off our hiking boots for 2019. Come and join us.
Boger City (Lincolnton)
Professions of Faith and discipleship happening at Boger City UMC where Reverend Ron Perry serves as pastor.
Mark Your Calendars
Dec 5 - 6: Conference staff training; District Office closed
Dec 17: dCOM interviews, Myers Memorial UMC
Dec 21 - Jan 1: District Office closed
Dec 31: Advisories & Profiles due
Jan 6: District Leadership Conference
Jan 12: Mental Wellness Training
Jan 24 - 26: Methodist Polity Class