News

Words from the Weary Wilderness - Lenten Journey Day 5

Blog Post March 3, 2022
Day Five - Monday, March 7   The Commandments Relate Us to God               Read: Exodus 20:1-11   The Ten Commandments   20 Then God spoke all these words: 2 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; 3 you shall have no other gods before me.   4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down ...

Words from the Weary Wilderness - Lenten Journey First Sunday

Blog Post March 3, 2022
The First Sunday in Lent - Sunday, March 6   Our First Little Easter The Sundays of Lent are not considered in the count of the season’s 40 days. Sundays are for celebrating the resurrection on each phase of life’s journey. During Lent we have several “Little Easters” to refresh us along our way. We will read the Psalm appointed for each Sunday in Lent in 2022.   Read: Psalm 91   Assurance of God’s Protection   1 You who live in the shelter of the Most High,     who abide in the shadow of the...

Words from the Weary Wilderness - Lenten Journey Day 4

Blog Post March 3, 2022
Day Four - Saturday, March 5   An Exhausted Leader   Read: Exodus 18:18-24   Jethro’s Advice to Moses   18 You will surely wear yourself out, both you and these people with you. For the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone. 19 Now listen to me. I will give you counsel, and God be with you! You should represent the people before God, and you should bring their cases before God; 20 teach them the statutes and instructions and make known to them the way they are to go and the things ...

Words from the Weary Wilderness - Lenten Journey Day 3

Blog Post March 3, 2022
Day Three - Friday, March 4   Complaints among the Liberated    Read: Exodus 15:22-27   Bitter Water Made Sweet   22 Then Moses ordered Israel to set out from the Red Sea, and they went into the wilderness of Shur. They went three days in the wilderness and found no water. 23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter. That is why it was called Marah. 24 And the people complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” 25 He cried out to the ...

A Pastoral Response on General Conference from Bishop Carter

News Article March 3, 2022
March 3, 2022   We learned today of the postponement of the General Conference of the United Methodist Church until 2024.  The decision was made with deliberation by the Commission on the General Conference, which is a global body composed of laity and clergy.  I note here that bishops do not serve as voting members of the commission.  This postponement, a response to the global pandemic and consequent complexities related to global health and the supply chain of visas allowing for travel, ...

Words from the Weary Wilderness - Lenten Journey Day 2

Blog Post March 2, 2022
Day Two, Thursday, March 3                         Changed Minds Mean Death for Some and Victory for Others                         Read: Exodus 14:1-30   Crossing the Red Sea 14 Then the Lord said to Moses: 2 Tell the Israelites to turn back and camp in front of Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, in front of Baal-zephon; you shall camp opposite it, by the sea. 3 Pharaoh will say of the Israelites, “They are wandering aimlessly in the land; the wilderness has closed in on them.” 4 I ...

Words from the Weary Wilderness: A Lenten Journey in 2022

Blog Post March 1, 2022
Words from the Weary Wilderness A Lenten Journey in 2022 At midnight the LORD struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on the throne to the firstborn of the prisoner who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the livestock. Pharaoh arose in the night, he and all his officials and all the Egyptians, and there was a loud cry in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead. Then he summoned Moses and Aaron in the night, and said, “...

A Call to Prayer & Peacemaking from Bishop Carter

News Article February 24, 2022
To the people of the United Methodist Church in the Florida and Western North Carolina Conferences:   I write today to call all of us to prayers for peace in the Ukraine and across Europe. I have written to my colleague, Eduard Khegay, who is the Bishop of United Methodists in Russia and the Ukraine, assuring him of our intercessions. Russians and Ukrainians there were nurtured in the same baptismal waters and are now brought into conflict with each other through an unjust war.  I have had the ...

An Update from the WNCC Cabinet

News Article February 23, 2022
Dear Friends,  Thank you for your prayers last week as I attended Cabinet meetings. Your affirmation, communication, and intercession were all gifts to me. Please find below a recap of our week together at the Conference Office in Huntersville.  I continue to celebrate the legacy of our upcoming retirees and the gifts the next generation will receive from our gifted seminary graduates. I rejoice in the work of the Expanded Profile, and in the equity work done for St. Matthews and our other ...

A Valentine Story...The Ugly Duckling

Blog Post February 21, 2022
The ugly duckling…at an early age, I quickly resonated with the story.  Being the youngest of three girls, I learned early on that my sisters were the swans, I the ugly duckling.  They had beautiful silky hair, mine was kudzu. They had perfectly straight teeth; mine were bucked. Bright blue eyes they shared; mine were pale green. Their faces were like porcelain; mine, splashed with freckles. They were fun and darling; I was painfully shy and awkward…the ugly duckling.  They did not make me feel...

In Praise of Clarity, Ears, and Voice

Blog Post February 12, 2022
In Praise of Clarity, Ears, and Voice A Reflection on the Hymn “Open My Eyes that I May See” Two years before her 1897 death in a horse-drawn buggy accident, Clara H. Scott penned these words: Open my eyes, that I may see glimpses of truth thou hast for me; place in my hands the wonderful key that shall unclasp and set me free. Silently now I wait for thee, ready my God, thy will to see. Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit divine.   Open my ears, that I may hear voices of truth thou sendest ...

2022 Lay Servant Training Opportunities

News Article January 28, 2022
2022 LAY SERVANT TRAINING 2022 Northern Piedmont Lay Servant Training February 26, 27, and March 5, 6 We hope to be in-person. A decision about in-person vs. virtual will be made around February 6th. In the event that we are able to meet in person, COVID-19 safety measures will be in place. We will offer the following classes: One Basic class (limited to 15 persons) Four Advanced classes (limited to 22 persons per class): Biblical Interpretation Lay Servants as Transformational Leaders ...

Giving Thanks for You

News Article January 20, 2022
Giving Thanks for You I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. -Ephesians 1:16 Dear Friends, My mom taught me many things. In most ways, she was a joyful, carefree child of the 1960’s, but in other ways she was a real stickler. My mom taught me about the importance of saying thank you.  She taught me not only to say thanks, but to let the giver know how the gift is useful. In addition, she taught me to always remember to thank God for the gift, too; I was brought...

Winter Leadership Training Webinar Series - Join Us!

News Article January 20, 2022
It is not too late to register! Join us! Winter Leadership Training Webinar Series Register for the 2022 Winter Leadership Webinar Series ? Rather than hosting in-person events in each district, our conference will again offer a series of Conference-wide training webinars during the week of January 23-27 to resource and equip all areas of your Church leadership. Find the full schedule below. More detailed descriptions of each of the webinars are available here on the conference ...

Coming and Going

News Article January 5, 2022
Coming and Going AHHH, retirement…that land of leisure and loafing…well deserved, good and faithful servant clergy... Andy Lambert, Susan Mitchell, Don Newman, and Mark Smith!  Take with you our deep appreciation and gratitude of your myriad ministries to countless folks in your years of loving and dedicated service.  And welcome to your new appointments in the finest District in all of United Methodism...Mike Carr, Faye Herbin, Susan Hoyle, Tim James, Logan Miller, and Samuel Moore!  We are ...

COVID Update As a New Year Dawns

News Article December 31, 2021
Dear Northern Piedmont United Methodists, As a new year dawns, we continue to be grateful that we “are in this together” as we navigate COVID-19. In light of the very contagious Omicron variant that is making its way through our nation, we suggest you review our December 15 guidelines and perhaps consider a few recommendations for January planning. You have our complete support as you make faithful decisions that are right for you in your context. Please be gracious to one another as we enter ...

Open to the Christ Child: A Meditation for Christmas

Blog Post December 18, 2021
A Meditation for Christmas: Open to the Christ Child I thought I had an ulcer…turned out that I was with child…best day ever! And so the adventure began. In the afterglow of receiving this unexpected news, the ponderings and planning commenced….is it a boy or girl?  What are we going to call him? Wonder if he’ll have green eyes? What theme should the nursery be?  What pediatrician should we choose? Wonder if he’ll be famous?  After months of eager anticipation, wild speculation, and plotting ...

Three Important Ministry Opportunities

News Article December 17, 2021
Dear Friends,    A blessed Friday to you as we look ahead to the final Sunday of Advent.   Below you will find three important ministry opportunities - a chance to be a part of an offering for those devastated by recent tornadoes, a very meaningful stewardship event, and some information about the December 26 worship service that has been planned by the WNCC cabinet.   Love to All, Bev Rev. Beverly B. Coppley District Superintendent & Chief Missional Strategist   United Methodist Churches in ...

Bishop and Cabinet Share Reminder of COVID-19 Best Practices for Ministry

News Article December 15, 2021
Bishop and Cabinet Share Reminder of COVID-19 Best Practices for Ministry 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 ...

Open to Love - A Meditation for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

Blog Post December 15, 2021
A Meditation for the Fourth Sunday of Advent: Open to Love And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. ~ Matthew 22:37-39 Let all that you do be done in love. ~ 1 Corinthians 16:14 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:13 My grandmother, Flora Belle...

Open to Joy - A Meditation for the Third Sunday in Advent

Blog Post December 12, 2021
A Meditation for the Third Sunday of Advent: Open to Joy There are so many people who have written about the relationship between joy and peace. I remember a pastor telling me “Joy is peace on its feet.” Which defines peace as a vital part of joy.  Yet, peace and joy are not as loud as the world’s fear. Being at peace is hard when so much trauma has happened and continues to happen to daily lives and hearts. How can we be at peace when so much injustice and hatred is on repeat?  How can I be at...

Open to Peace - A Meditation for the Second Sunday in Advent

Blog Post December 1, 2021
A Meditation for the Second Sunday of Advent: Open to Peace For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 ESV) 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” Luke 2:13–14 (ESV)   Shalom is Hebrew ...

Open to Hope - A Meditation for the First Sunday in Advent

Blog Post November 24, 2021
A Meditation for the First Sunday of Advent: Open to Hope “Israel’s strength and consolation, hope of all the earth thou art…” Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus, v.1 (UMH 196) In the Old Testament, there are two Hebrew words that translate into hope. One is yachal. It is the famous hope of Noah after the ark floated and floated and floated, hope that is the result of patience. It is the hope of Genesis 8:12 (“Then he waited another seven days and sent forth the dove, and she did not return to him ...

The Power of the Pandemic: A Personal Exercise

Blog Post November 4, 2021
The Power of the Pandemic: A Personal Exercise And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me.”  - Matthew 28:18 In my many years of studying what we call “The Great Commission” (Matthew 28:16-20), I have only just now noticed that that Jesus’ words “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” is a complete sentence. With a period. Period. How often have we not paused there, taken a deep breath, and given thanks?   Sometimes we just move ...

A Celebration of Gifts: In Honor of Clergy Appreciation Month

Blog Post October 5, 2021
A Celebration of Gifts: In Honor of Clergy Appreciation Month   There are different spiritual gifts but the same Spirit, and there are different ministries and the Same Lord; and there are different activities but the same God who produces all of them in everyone.     -1 Corinthians 12:4-6, CEB   Those who are taking time during Clergy Appreciation Month to share the names of clergy who have inspired them have indeed inspired me. In keeping with this good idea, here are the names of A FEW OF...

Celebrating Clergy Appreciation Month and Laity Service

Blog Post September 30, 2021
Let us be light for one another! Celebrating Clergy Appreciation Month and Laity Service  How wonderful, how beautiful, when brothers and sisters get along! Psalm 133:1 (The Message) “Grammy, who are all those people in these pictures?” my seven year old granddaughter asked as we walked through the Vestibule of the church one afternoon. “Those are the people who have been our preachers.” I responded as we walked. “Where’s your picture, Grammy?” her five year old brother questioned.  “I don’t ...

An Open Letter to Faith Leaders - NCDHHS COVID-19 Updates - September 21, 2021

News Article September 21, 2021
Dear Friends, Below you will find an important Open Letter to our faith communities from our Governor and our North Carolina DSHHS Secretary. This letter both thanks us and calls us to action. I would ask for you to read it closely and to try your very best to attend to the three items on which they ask us to take action. Please use your influence to share information, share your own stories, and continue your good work with vaccine clinics.  I would like to take a moment to share my own ...

Justice Matters in a Pandemic

News Article September 4, 2021
Justice Matters In A Pandemic South Carolina Christian Action Council INVITES YOU TO ATTEND A WEBINAR Our own Maria King will be the guest presenter! Description: Let's talk beyond the disparities of COVID vaccinations and look to alternative solutions with community engagement. Join our guest presenter, Rev. Maria King--an executive coach and spiritual director, who asserts equity is the quality of nonviolence. Grab your lunch and join in the conversation. Register in advance for this ...

The God of Uncertainty

Blog Post August 23, 2021
The God of Uncertainty   “…And remember I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20   Uncertainty is all the rage these days. We spend a lot of time each day wondering what is next. COVID-19, which could be in our rearview mirror, continues to block the road. The Taliban break our collective hearts, especially the hearts of Afghans, veterans, and their families. Division runs deep, and the church has found itself imitating culture instead of influencing it. Uncertainty is ...

Disaster Response: Flooding in Western NC

News Article August 19, 2021
WNCC Mission Engagement and the Committee on Relief are working to assess the damage to churches and communities in Western North Carolina due to flooding and winds from Tropical Storm Fred. Details are coming soon on how WNCC Emergency Response Teams can assist in disaster relief efforts. For continuing updates, and the opportunity to make online gifts, visit our conference disaster response page at: https://www.wnccumc.org/detail/disaster-response-flooding-in-western-nc-15365732. A note from ...

Northern Piedmont Church Vitality & Missional Engagement Grants 2021

News Article August 17, 2021
Northern Piedmont District Church Vitality and Missional Engagement Grant Applications are open for 2021. Applications must be submitted by Sunday, October 10, 2021. We expect to make the grant awards by early November.  Please look below at the types of grants and the requirements to apply. IMPORTANT FIRST STEP: Download and carefully review our 2021 Northern Piedmont District Grant Process & Criteria document before you begin working on your grant application.    Church Vitality ...

Love & Support for Celia Phelps UMC

News Article August 11, 2021
Dear Friends, Thank you for your outpouring of love for Celia Phelps UMC after fire broke out in their historic Sanctuary last Friday morning, August 6. While we have been sharing the church’s mailing address (3709 Groometown Road, Greensboro, NC  27407) as a way to to reach out with cards and love gifts, we also wanted to offer a digital opportunity to reach out with the same encouragement. We realize that may be a simpler alternative for many of you. Below please find a button you can click ...

COVID-19 Guidelines: Updated Masking Recommendation

News Article August 9, 2021
Hi Friends, Below please find some updated guidelines from our Bishop and Cabinet. Thank you for your advocacy for the children and our vulnerable populations as you make important decisions about worship and programming. I know many of you have Transition Team meetings this week, so we hope these recommendations will be timely and helpful.   We continue to pray with you and for you.   Blessings of Peace and Health, Bev   Rev. Beverly B. Coppley District Superintendent & Chief Missional ...

COVID-19 Update and Prayer Request

News Article August 3, 2021
Dear Friends,   Below please find a note to the Appalachian District Clergy from their Superintendent. One of their churches is experiencing a very difficult situation related to COVID-19, one I pray we can avoid:   Greetings Appalachian District clergy.  I pray this email finds you doing well. I wanted to pass along a prayer request and make you aware of an incident in our District.  Please lift up Rev. Sam Lewis, newly appointed pastor at West Jefferson UMC, as he recovers from COVID.  Sam ...

On Hurting and Healing: Northern Piedmont’s Roll of Love and Remembrance

Blog Post August 2, 2021
On Hurting and Healing: Northern Piedmont’s Roll of Love and Remembrance Let the little children come to me; do not stop them, for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.                                                                                                 -Mark 10:14b I recently had the joy of spending a Sunday in one of our missional networks. The morning was devoted to the celebration of children, and the afternoon was devoted to God’s gift of healing. I found ...

NCDHHS COVID-19 Update for Faith Leaders - July 29, 2021

News Article July 30, 2021
Faith Leader Update from NCDHHS - July 29, 2021 Faith Leaders: After months of decline, North Carolina is experiencing a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases among those who are unvaccinated. Today, we had more than 3,000 cases reported. All of the state’s key metrics are increasing with hospitalizations doubling over the past two weeks, the number of people going to the emergency department with COVID-like symptoms rising, and the percent of tests that are positive well over the five percent ...

Update to COVID-19 Guidelines: Rapid Spread of Delta Variant

News Article July 28, 2021
Dear Friends,   Below please find some important information related to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant. We are concerned about your congregation’s well-being, and we hope that this information will be helpful as you continue to plan week-to-week ministries, especially for the month of August and the autumn season. From my years in the local church, I know what a busy time that is. As always, we are only a phone call away if you need us.   Blessings of Peace and Health, Bev July ...

Updates on COVID Vaccine Rates & Local Availability

News Article July 21, 2021
Hi Friends,   I hope your week is going well, and that in this summer season you have enjoyed good time with family and at church. It’s beautiful to gather again; may we never take it for granted!   Thank you for your faithfulness and your interest in the well-being of your neighbors, as you have beautifully navigated these hard times as congregations.     Below please find some recent updates related to COVID vaccine rates and local availability. We urge you to “love your neighbor as yourself” ...

Spoiled Brat, That’s Me

Blog Post July 14, 2021
Spoiled brat…that’s what I am.  Not bragging about it, just humbly confessing that is what I am. This epiphany came to me one morning whilst God and I were chatting and the first light of a new day eased into my room.  I was expressing my endless gratitude for the delights in my life at His hand…a restful, safe night’s rest in my comfortable bed, savoring a hot cup of coffee saturated with sugar and cream, admiring and giving thanks for the splendor of His creation as the sun rose and the ...

Celebrating Covenant Faithfulness On First Days … and Every Day

News Article July 6, 2021
Celebrating Covenant Faithfulness On First Days … and Every Day “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Luke 12:34   Today is the first day “in the office” for our newly appointed clergy all over the Conference. Most have already had the opportunity to make several introductions, and some have already attended to pastoral care concerns. We are glad to report that the seventeen new members of the Northern Piedmont family are getting settled in and beginning their good ...

A Welcome Like Christ Would Give

News Article June 29, 2021
  A Welcome Like Christ Would Give For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of ...

Praying Our Goodbyes

News Article June 21, 2021
PRAYING OUR GOODBYES   “May the Lord watch between thee and me, while we are absent one from the other.”                                                                      -Genesis 31:49   Author and poet Joyce Rupp wrote a great little book called Praying our Goodbyes. I was first introduced to it long ago, and it has proven useful in my transitions. It speaks of the “spirituality of change” and the inner work that must be done when we move from one place to the next in our journeys.   We ...

Abundantly Far More

News Article June 21, 2021
Bishop Paul Leeland, Commissioning & Ordination Services, June 19, 2021 Abundantly Far More   “Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. -Ephesians 3:20 (NRSV)   I have the unfortunate distinction of being a perfectionist. I hate it. Perfectionism and human life are truly incompatible with one another; nonetheless, I try. I...

In Memory of George Perry Floyd, Jr.

Blog Post May 27, 2021
In Memory of George Perry Floyd, Jr. October 14, 1973 - May 25, 2020   Like many people throughout our nation and world, my heart is heavy today. The heaviness is triggered by recalling the general confusion and dismay we felt during the first months of the pandemic, the shock from the first news of the violent death of George Floyd, the trauma from replayed footage, and the personal inadequacy I experienced as I provided pastoral care to my flock of clergy and laity. Today we remember this man...

Guidelines for In-Person Worship and Ministry during COVID-19 - Updated May 18, 2021

News Article May 18, 2021
Download a copy of the updated guidelines. Find resources for online and in-person worship and ministry during COVID-19 here. The CDC and Governor Cooper have issued new guidance regarding masks, social distancing, and mass gathering limits for those who have been fully vaccinated. In response, we offer these recommendations.  One size does not fit all.  Decisions appropriate for your church setting should be made by a team of shared leadership. Our vital churches are blessed with the presence ...

Beautiful Things

Blog Post May 13, 2021
Beautiful Things Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind. Psalm 107:15 Back in the winter, I was going through some boxes of “treasures” from my childrens’ childhoods. It’s amazing what we keep! I found some wonderful items to share with our first grandchild, who is due on August 26. (Yes, I’m very excited!) I also found a few useful things for myself. One was a Gratitude Journal, perhaps a Confirmation gift for my daughter Ellen years ago. She had ...

Reflections on 65 Years of Full Clergy Rights For Women in the UMC

Blog Post May 4, 2021
Reflections on 65 Years of Full Clergy Rights For Women in the UMC: Dedicated to The Rev. Dr. Nancy Burgin Rankin   …an obligation is laid on me, and woe to me if I do not proclaim the Gospel.                                                                        -1 Corinthians 9:16b I should begin by saying I grew up in an amazing church, First Presbyterian Church in Lexington, North Carolina. Worship and service were my firm foundation. I learned a sense of propriety, the importance of ...

The Fig Tree...and Bearing Good Fruit

Blog Post April 27, 2021
"In the morning, walking along the road, they saw the fig tree, shriveled to a dry stick. Peter, remembering what had happened the previous day, said to him, “Rabbi, look—the fig tree you cursed is shriveled up!” Jesus was matter-of-fact: “Embrace this God-life. Really embrace it, and nothing will be too much for you. This mountain, for instance: Just say, ‘Go jump in the lake’—no shuffling or shilly-shallying—and it’s as good as done. That’s why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ...

Observing Justice

Blog Post April 21, 2021
Observing Justice   “Happy are those who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times.” ~ Psalm 106:3   Psalm 106 is a complex litany of confession, lament, and hope. It summarizes all the ways the young nation of Israel got it wrong. It reveals thanklessness, forgetfulness, greed, jealousy, bigotry, bloodshed, grumbling, and idolatry. The people failed to trust God or each other. “They forgot God their Savior.” (v.21a) Young Israel found itself perpetually calling for a new beginning, ...

Equity is the quality of non-violence

News Article April 13, 2021
By: Northern Piedmont District Equity is the quality of non-violence.  This sentence packs a punch to how we live our days within the community of faith. Quality of non-violence speaks to the depths of how we think, react and develop as a disciple. In the fall of 2020, Northern Piedmont District communities had to think, react and form as ones who understood the past and strive to change our former violent ways of racism. The vaccine was coming into our communities, and how would we bring equity...
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