ENEWS - August 1, 2017

This edition of the ENEWS was published on the Brick River system, which will be the new system for the conference email in the future. 

The next edition of ENews is scheduled for August 29, 2017, deadline for submissions is August 24, 2017.


Statement from Bishop Leeland

On Saturday, August 12, 2017, Heather Heyer was killed by James Fields after he drove a car into a crowd of people protesting a gathering of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia.  Our national leaders and church leaders quickly denounced the intent of a rally which undermined our community health, increased fear, and sought to divide us on racial issues.  Virginia State Troopers, Berkeley Bates and Jay Cullen, who had committed their lives to protect and serve, also died in a helicopter crash at the event.  As a result, the Virginia State Governor declared a state of emergency.

Read entire statement


The Western North Carolina Leadership Development Team has several opportunities to grow your leadership capacity this fall!  

Called and Gifted to Lead Workshop
A 3 day workshop
October 23-25, 2017
Hickory, NC

This workshop is sponsored and funded by the Leadership Development Team of WNCC. It is a 48-hour experience during which you remember your call and best ministry moments, celebrate your strengths, consider your current ministry, identify development needs, and create a 3-5 year plan for growth. Using feedback, small group experiences, and individual and group leadership coaching, you are able to create a self-directed, individualized plan for your next steps in ministry. Once you have completed the workshop, you are eligible for up to $1000 in scholarship funds to resource your leadership develop plan. Over 350 WNCC clergy and ministry professionals have participated in the workshop. You can too! The deadline for registration is September 30. Learn more and find an application at this link:
Great Ministry in the Second Half of Life
A 5-day workshop
October 30-November 3, 2017
Lake Junaluska, NC

By the time people reach mid-career, they’ve learned the basics of their work.  The challenge of being new to ministry is gone and one’s attention turns to meaning and balance.  Sometimes mid-career ministry leaders find themselves asking, “Is this all there is?” or “Can I keep up this pace for the next decade?” or “Is God wanting me to try something new?”  Maybe you’ve been wondering how you can blossom and flourish in the second-half of your life.  Or maybe you’ve been wondering how you can put aside the past disappointments so you can prosper in passion once again.
Great Ministry in the Second-Half of Life is designed for ministry leaders over the age of 50 with a minimum of 10 years of service to the church.  In a beautiful retreat setting, we will examine research about mid-career, reflect on our own lives and passions, and talk with God and each other about how to find meaning, balance, joy and success at mid-career and beyond. More information is available at this link:
EQ-HR (Emotional Intelligence - Human Relations)
A 5-day workshop
October 30 – November 3, 2017
Hickory, NC

The mission of EQ-HR to increase the effectiveness of leaders in faith-based communities.  This workshop increases skills for pastoral leadership in clergy and laity, improves awareness of emotional intelligence and impact, enhances the awareness of the presence of God’s Spirit in group life. Thanks to a WNC Leadership Development grant of $1000/person (already paid) for 10 participants, the cost for you to participate is $367.   Learn more and register:
Preaching Well:  Purposeful and Intentional Preaching
Preaching week after week can be challenging.  Instead of being a life-giving passion, preaching can become a burden of having one more task to complete.  This WNC Preaching Well Peer Group will assist preachers who want to grow their preaching skills, feel burned-out, who dread preaching one more sermon, or who struggle in creating a dynamic and engaging sermon week after week.  This preaching well peer group will explore the role of preaching in the life of the minister and congregation, help preachers find new ways and methods of preaching, and mostly help preachers rediscover the art and passion of preaching well.   The first cohort begins in September and will be facilitated by Rev. Dr. Robert Brewer. Learn more and apply:
Other Leadership Development Resources:

  • The Leadership Development Team has given grants to providers for other opportunities coming up that can be found at this link:

  • Interested in a covenant peer group for support and accountability?  We will help you find others to be in a group with you. Contact Kim Ingram for more information.

  • Need some guidance or input about developing ongoing spiritual formation?  Try a spiritual development consultation. Contact Kim Ingram for more information.

  • Need help getting unstuck or overcoming a leadership obstacle?  Have a one hour ministry development consultation to think through next steps and be eligible for $500 to resource your leadership needs. Contact Kim Ingram for more information.

  • Need to get your finances in order to be a better leader?  Meet with a financial planner at a reduced cost or free.

  • More spiritual renewal grant-funded opportunities will be available late in 2017.

All of this information is also available on the LEAD site:
LD opportunities.  Let me know how we can support your leadership formation. You can reach me by email or by phone at 704-535-2260.


Bishop Leeland invites all of the churches of the Western North Carolina Conference to participate in the Disciple Outreach Ministries Sunday- August 27, 2017.

Click the link below to read the entire invitation and get important information to share about Disciple Bible Outreach Ministries:

More Information

September 25-26, 2017

Registration Starts at 1pm on Monday.
Event Concludes 12pm on Tuesday.

Catholic Conference Center
1551 Trinity Lane  Hickory, NC 28602

  • Price: $65 Single & $85 Couples
  • Food: Dinner will be provided on Monday. Breakfast will be provided on Tuesday.
  • Lodging: Overnight lodging will be provided as well.
A fee places left-register soon!

$80,000 awarded to WNCC Seminary Students

On August 1, 2017 The Office of Loans and Scholarships at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry announced that it awarded more than 1.66 million dollars to 206 recipients of the Excellence in Clergy Leadership Scholarship to Master of Divinity students attending one of the thirteen United Methodist seminaries in the United States. Read the entire article

News from the Conference Archives:

Lay Servant Ministries Training
Catawba Valley District
September 10, 17, 24 & October 1

Light the Fire of Discipleship
Saturday, October 21, 3 - 5pm
First UMC, Gastonia
Jim Harnish, guest speaker

More information

From the Board of Laity-
An emphasis during this next quadrennium will be on Gracious Accountability Groups.

Ron Ballard wrote these two articles:

Share this with the laity in your congregation. Be watching for a survey that will be mailed to each congregation later in August.

Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts
(Advanced Lay Servant Ministries Training- Blue Ridge District)
Dates: September 16th and 30th
Location: Black Mountain UMC
Time: 10:00 - 4:00 PM
Class Leader: Mary Cash
More Information


Pastores Caminantes Program

The Hispanic House of Studies at Duke Divinity School is recruiting a sixth cohort of pastors for its  Pastores Caminantes program.  All pastors (Latino and non-Latino) who are passionate about ministering for and with the Hispanic/Latino community in North Carolina and elsewhere in the U.S. are encouraged to apply.  
During the program, a group of up to 12 sojourners meets periodically for spiritual formation from a Hispanic/Latino Methodist perspective, reflects on ways to be more culturally humble, and participates in language immersions. Thanks to a generous grant by The Duke Endowment, the cost of this program is only $250 for North Carolina participants and $500 for participants from other conferences and states. Continuing education credit will be granted after the completion of the program.  Deadline to apply September 15, 2017.

Duke Convocation and Pastors' School
October 9-10, 2017
Details | Register Now

Duke offers study leave for ministry professionals

Get the details for week-long study opportunities during 2017-18 school year at Duke Divinity School.  Registration is open now for all scheduled weeks! Read more


October is domestic violence awareness month --prepare your church with this online workshop

Do you know how to spot the signs and act to help someone in your church or community?  An online workshop by Dr. Martha Banks is being hosted at which looks at domestic violence from a Christian standpoint and will help churches, clergy, and individuals recognize signs of domestic abuse and support victims in their community.

Cost is just $45 for this comprehensive two-week course.  Class starts on Monday, September 11.  Learn more and enroll at

Mentor a young person in your life toward their vocational call from God
God calls every person in a way that combines their interests, faith, and gifts. Become a mentor to a young person in your community and help them discover their vocational calling.  The Timothy Circle has created an online mentor training workshop to give adults the tools and resources to be successful mentors.  The 4-week workshop costs just $45 and connects participants to a community of fellow mentors as well as a database of volunteer, work, and educational opportunities to help young people clarify their call.  Visit to sign up for an August, or September training.

 Open to WNCC- 5 Day Academy for Spiritual Formation

The 5 Day Aacdemy of Spiritual Formation, scheduled for October 1-6, 2017 at Trinity Center, Atlantic Beach, NC is open to participants from the Western North Carolina Conference.  More information and registration materials.


Retreat Days for Nurturing a Different Wisdom
Come away and experience a set-apart time from the outside world to increase your capacity to listen for a wisdom the world cannot give.  Mondays:  August 21 * and/or  November 20  *  Starrette Farm Retreat, Statesville, NC. Everyone seeking wisdom is invited! 

Learn more at Questions? Contact Ann Starrette at


Groce UMC, Asheville Golf Tournament- September 9. All proceeds go to Groce United Methodist Church local missional outreach programs to benefit individuals and families in the Asheville area. Info

Oak Forest UMC, Winston-Salem Fall Festival- September 15-16. Lots of fun for the entire family:

VIENNA BOYS CHOIR- October 18th at First UMC Charlotte. Story and link to buy tickets


Church Sound Bootcamp- August 25-26, 2017
Benton Heights Presbyterian Church, Monroe, NC

More information

EATING TOGETHER: A Learning Retreat,
September 15-16, 2017
Camp Chestnut Ridge, Efland, NC
For more information, visit  To register, click here. Registration is $75 for adults and $30 for children.

A Conversation with Angela Thomas- September 15-16, 2017
Rehobeth UMC in Greensboro- A Conference for Women
More details and registration

Grant Writing Seminar- September 22, 2017
with Giselle Jones-Jones at the UM Foundation offices in Huntersville, NC.  (Deadline to register is September 8th) DETAILS

SEJ Disaster Response Academy- September 26-29, 2017
Hosted by WNCC.  Held at Central UMC in Asheboro.
More information and registration.

UMW Annual Celebration- September 29- October 1, 2017
Change is Good, Shannon Priddy, National UMW President, speaker at Lake Junaluska more information

Fresh Expressions Vision Day- October 7, 2017
9:00 am - 3:30 pm- Covenant Community Church, Asheville

Mourning's Dawn  - November 12 -14, 2017
Healing and Living with Grief
Led by Margaret Fields and Leslee Wray


Disciple Bible Outreach
Ministries Sunday 

August 27

Smoky Mountain District
Lay Servant Training 

Sep 8 @ 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Groce UMC
Golf Tournament 

Sep 9
Smoky Mountain District
Lay Servant Training 

Sep 9 @ 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
Catawba Valley District 2017 Lay Servant Ministry Training 
Sep 10 @ 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm

A Learning Retreat 

Sep 15 @ 4:00 pm –
Sep 17 @ 3:30 pm


Resident Counselors
Methodist Home for Children
Raleigh, NC (state-wide)

Director of Youth and
Children’s Ministry

Holly Springs UMC
Holly Springs, NC
Director of Children’s Ministry
Mt. Bethel UMC
Marietta, GA

Minister of Education
First UMC
North Wilkesboro, NC
Nursery Workers
First UMC
Charlotte, NC
Director of Children’s and
Youth Ministry

First UMC
West Memphis, AR



Western North Carolina Conference
PO Box 18005 Charlotte NC 28218
Phone: 704.535.2260