News

A House of Healing

Blog Post March 9, 2021
My favorite part of “The Lord of the Rings” literary work did not make it in the movie. I was quite bummed to invest in the lengthy movies and not have my favorite part played out on film.  When I read the House of Healing journey in the book, I found great relief to find a place for healing when you battle forces of hate and fear. This house did not just heal the individual, yet heals everyone together as a community of hope. In our current day, we do not prioritize holding and healing wounds ...

Always Give Thanks

Blog Post March 9, 2021
Always Give Thanks Always give thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. ~ Ephesians 5:20 (CEB) Gratitude is a spiritual discipline that I try very hard to live into every day. I am blessed in countless ways, every single day, and I give thanks to God for his boundless love. The season of Lent, as we journey toward the Cross, is an opportunity to spend time in reflection…to think on these things…and maybe even write them down. As I count my blessings, here ...

I Believe in the Light

Blog Post March 2, 2021
I Believe in the Light “While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me.”  John 12: 36, 44 (ESV) I have seen God at work.  I have witnessed His healing power.  I have trusted in Him.  I Believe in the Light.   As I travel the path God has for me, I thank him.  My path belongs to me and your path belongs to you.  It is not meant for us to switch paths or tradeoff ...

COVID-19 Update for Local Churches

News Article February 25, 2021
Dear Friends, Please find below a brief update from our Bishop and Cabinet regarding in-person worship services and other important matters for our life together. We hope you will find this helpful, and please know we are with you as our journey continues. Thankful for your resilience and faithfulness! You inspire us every day!  Peace and Health, Bev Covid-19 Update for Local Churches (12-22-2020) (Link to PDF of most recent WNCC Guidelines dated 11-11-2020) Yesterday, Governor Cooper issued ...

Lent As a Season for Sanctification

Blog Post February 16, 2021
Lent As a Season for Sanctification Read Matthew 5:43-48   “Be ye therefore perfect, as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”  – Matthew 5:48 (KJV)   Many of us shrink from the idea of perfection; others yearn for it and ardently seek it in their behavior, choices, and even their appearance. John Wesley often used Matthew 5:48 as a compelling argument for Christian perfection. Since Jesus called us to “be ye therefore perfect” in the Sermon on the Mount, he must have believed that it ...

Ash Wednesday

Blog Post February 15, 2021
There is no greater pleasure for me than being warmed on a cold wintry day in front of my Glascock wood burning stove. The crackling of the wood, the dance of the flames, encircled by the warmth lulls me into a peaceful sleep. Then, I wake up….to ashes.  Ash removal can be a challenge. As I scoop up the ashes and watch them land happily on my furniture, I ponder the significance and value of ashes. My wooden ashes signify the residue of pleasure and comfort.   Ashes used to mark the cross on ...

A Tale of Two Men...

Blog Post February 14, 2021
A Tale of Two Men... This is the tale of two men, born centuries apart, but who shared a mighty faith and, oddly enough, a date, February 14. One died on that date and the other was born. But it’s their hearts that make them true brothers. Valentine was a Roman priest who was imprisoned for ministering to Christians persecuted under the Roman Empire in the third century.  Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those married and with families, so therefore he ...

Living in the Midst of Generosity

Blog Post February 2, 2021
Living in the Midst of Generosity   “Some give freely, yet grow all the richer…” (Proverbs 11:24)   Many of you were kind to reach out yesterday, as I acknowledged on social media the twentieth anniversary of my brother’s suicide. Chuck took his life when he was only 31 years old, and we have been missing him ever since. He was my “little brother” and we shared most everything, even when we didn’t want to share. (Smile.) I felt responsible for Chuck, as his “big sister” and it took me many ...

Claiming Biblical Promises in Times of Change

Blog Post January 19, 2021
Claiming Biblical Promises in Times of Change   And all of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. ~ 1 Peter 4:5b-7   My mind does not often naturally drift to the Pastoral Epistles.  It’s not that I don’t learn from them, it’s just that I tend to ...

Another Road: A Season of Epiphany in the USA

Blog Post January 7, 2021
Another Road: A Season of Epiphany in the USA   And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road. ~Matthew 2:12 (NRSV)   I have preached MANY Epiphany sermons emphasizing themes of “another way”, “another road”, or “another route.” Epiphany, a word of Greek origin, literally means “a moment of sudden and great revelation or realization.” I’m very high on being moved by revelation, and even higher on God’s people being transformed by the ...

Dancing in the Light

Blog Post January 5, 2021
An illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure is the definition of epiphany…the iconic light bulb going off over your head!  Christians celebrate Epiphany on January 6, which is 12 days after Christmas, marking the end of the Christmas season while noting the beginning of the Carnival season, Mardi Gras.  It is the celebration of the visit of the Magi, or the Wise Men, to the Christ Child, announcing Jesus' physical manifestation to the Gentiles. That’s a definite bright light bulb ...

Are you a-coming or a-going?

Blog Post December 31, 2020
Ever feel like you don’t know if you’re a-coming or a-going?  New beginnings sometimes create a whirl of activities…there are decisions to be made, new opportunities to seize, behaviors to adapt that will refresh and revitalize, letting go, clinging to… The beginning of a new career, a new home, a new era, they each generate their own swirl that may tentatively produce a quandary of not knowing if you’re a-coming or a-going.  To my delight, I have discovered that words can be as mud fuddled as ...

Opening Our Windows: Letting Out the Old and Letting in the New

Blog Post December 29, 2020
Opening Our Windows: Letting Out the Old and Letting in the New   And the one who was seated on the throne, said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” ~Revelation 21:5 I read an article recently about New Year’s traditions. Cultures vary in the ways they let an old year go in order to welcome a new one. Most rituals are centered in “good luck” and the hope of future prosperity. In Brazil, wearing white at parties, and if ...

A Connectional Christmas Special!

Blog Post December 23, 2020
Click on Image to start YouTube video! Enjoy! Dear Friends,   Receive the gift of this “Christmas Special” produced to share the message and ministries of our local United Methodist colleges and universities.    It’s a vintage holiday special - a “walk down memory lane” and an encouraging witness about what God is doing right now, in present time, on United Methodist campuses all around us.    Thanks to (Seminarian and Campus Ministry Board member) Paul Freeman for hosting and producing this, ...

Love Came Down at Christmas

Blog Post December 20, 2020
The house is about 100 years old.  It shows. It’s my grandpa and grandma Morphis’ house, the one I had the privilege of growing up in.  Memories and life’s lessons that I learned from my grandparents and this ole house still warms the cockles of my heart.  Little did I know that as a carefree little girl playing in and around this house that it would one day be mine, that bittersweet memories would caress me daily as I continue to create more sweet memories. In my daily tête-à-tête with my ...

Against Unlit Candles: Lessons Learned in 2020

Blog Post December 18, 2020
Against Unlit Candles: Lessons Learned in 2020 “…by paths they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I will do, and I will not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:16, NRSV If you have ever visited my office, you already realize that I am an “old soul.” There you will find photos of my dear grandparents, vintage religious memorabilia (including a 1917 Sunday School Lesson Card and the traveling ...

I've Got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy

Blog Post December 13, 2020
Luke 2:10-11; Psalm 30:11-12 I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart…WHERE?...down in my heart…WHERE?...down in my heart…a song I sang as a child with loud enthusiasm…truth be known, I still do.  As I grew older and wiser, though, I began to ponder…why is the joy way down in my heart?  Shouldn’t joy be bubbling up, spilling over, splashing on others around me?  Sounds good.  But there are days my joy is so really deep down in my heart that what is bubbling up and over is not happy.  Joy...

Love and Good Deeds: Reimagining Christmas in the Church

Blog Post December 4, 2020
Love and Good Deeds: Reimagining Christmas in the Church “And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds..."  ~ Hebrews 10:25a  I feel led by the Holy Spirit to share a brief word of love and care as you head into the Second Sunday of Advent and move towards Christmas. I literally cannot remember a Christmas without church. Simply cannot. I am grateful to have been raised in a family where the Sundays of Advent were always about worship and Christmas Eve was always about ...

We Wait with Hope

Blog Post November 30, 2020
I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. Psalm 130:5-7 Wait…I was told to do this quite a bit growing up and it really annoyed me…I don’t wait well.  Then to my dismay, I discovered that I gave the same instruction to my children, who wait as poorly as I do.  ...

Living Honorably This Advent

Blog Post November 25, 2020
Living Honorably This Advent The night is far spent, and the day is at hand…                                                                           -Romans 13:12 (KJV)   The New Testament never fails me when it comes to practical wisdom about living in the real world. In my personal, professional, and prophetic mining of the scriptures, I have found both comfort and perspective. By studying scripture, we move from a focus upon our own temporal values to a glimpse of eternal values, what we ...

Covid-19 Update for Local Churches - November 23, 2020

News Article November 23, 2020
Dear Friends, We just want to keep you up to date on information that we have learned today from the Governor's Office, and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS): Guilford County is now RED (Critical Concern) Link to updated NCDHHS COVID-19 County Alert System information - Revised 11-23-2020 Press Release by NCDHHS - November 23, 2020 - With Cases Rising Rapidly, North Carolina Tightens Existing Mask Requirements and Enforcement - Ten More Counties Designated as ...

We gather together…sorta

Blog Post November 23, 2020
This Thanksgiving, Covid continues to interrupt our lives, causing us to lament once again as a cherished holiday that is filled with tradition, family, and yummy yummy food has been altered and brings with it a sadness as we cope with life’s trials, tribulations, and adjustments. The beloved hymn, We Gather Together, is one of the traditions that I delight in as we raise our voices in church “to ask the Lord’s blessing.”  I won’t sing it this year in church, but I sure can sing it around my ...

Covid-19 Update for Local Churches

News Article November 18, 2020
  Dear Friends, Please find below some new and critical information from our NC Department of Health and Human Services about the rising COVID-19 numbers across our state. We ask that you take a VERY CLOSE LOOK at these current percentages, and that you continue to monitor them as you plan week to week in your congregations. You will find that the current data reveals the following about our Northern Piedmont District, based on November viral spread, percentage of 14-day positive cases, and ...

Updated Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry during COVID-19

News Article November 12, 2020
Hi Friends,   We hope your inboxes are the only things in your life that are experiencing flooding right now! I realize we have sent you many important updates this week.    Below please find updated recommendations from the Bishop and Cabinet based on Governor Cooper's recent Executive Order. Please continue to use great caution in worship and do limit your indoor (non-worship) gatherings to 10. It may be a good time to move back to Zoom for meetings and small group gatherings!    We pray with ...

One Day at a Time

News Article November 10, 2020
One Day at a Time    The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases,  His mercies never come to an end;  they are new every morning;  great is your faithfulness.                                                               -Lamentations 3:22-23  Dear Influential Leader, First of all, a big thank you for the resilient leadership you are exhibiting during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many (if not most) of our churches have been able to safely resume indoor worship following our recommendations in ...

Voting, Without a Sharp Spirit

Blog Post October 29, 2020
Voting, Without a Sharp Spirit   Our Methodist heritage has always been one of civic-mindedness and good citizenship. In 1774, John Wesley himself offered wisdom on voting, that included three admonitions for the people called Methodists: To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged to be most worthy. To speak no evil of the person they voted against. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side. Voting has always been a part of my ...

Becoming a Trauma-Informed Faith Community

News Article October 18, 2020
You are invited to join Partners in Health and Wholeness and the Northern Piedmont District of the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church for “Becoming a Trauma-Informed Faith Community.” There are three opportunities to join us virtually: November 16, December 7, and January 12, all at 6:30pm We will define what a trauma-informed faith community is, how to become one, and look at the various ways in which faith communities can productively address trauma. This work is ...

Updated Gathering Recommendations from WNCC Cabinet

News Article October 5, 2020
Dear Friends,   Linked and shown below you will find some updated gathering recommendations from our WNCC Cabinet. We are staying faithful to North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) guidelines, which are also attached.    We hope this will help your transition teams make any desired amendments for the coming weeks. We encourage you to do what’s best for your congregation and your location at this time. Please continue online worship, too. It will be crucial for so many, ...

Growing Leaders Growing Leaders

Blog Post September 24, 2020
Growing Leaders Growing Leaders As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.  -Colossians 2:6-7   This morning we had our Fall 2020 Clergy Meeting. What was usually a friendly autumn reunion with Holy Communion was yet another Zoom meeting. We all felt the heaviness of that, but we rejoiced in the ability to gather 120+ brothers and sisters ...

Updated Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry during COVID-19

News Article September 8, 2020
  Dear Friends,   As you may have already seen on the Conference Website, we have published some updated recommendations about in-person worship during COVID-19. The information, in full, can be found here.   I find myself encouraged by these recommendations, and also prayerful as we come out of the holiday weekend. My prayer is that the moving about and gathering that may have been done over Labor Day does not increase our number of infections. I continue to pray for the health of our college ...

Habakkuk: Rejoice in the Lord!

Blog Post September 4, 2020
Disappointment…outrage…bewilderment…devastation…heartache…Habakkuk’s gamut of emotions that he felt toward God upon learning the discipline God had chosen for the unfaithful Israelites that involved the hateful Babylonians.  Habakkuk, standing in defiance before our mighty God, shaking his fist, shouting, “How long, O God!!”…finally! my kind of man!  For I found myself in that same defiant stance toward God at the beginning of several deeply grievous life changing devastations in my life.  I was...

2020 Charge Conference Information

News Article September 4, 2020
2020 Charge Conferences To:  Pastors, Church Council Chairpersons, Church Secretaries, and Pastor Parish Committee Chairpersons (Please share information as appropriate in your local church with persons who help with charge conference reports.) Download Complete Information: (Also attached) Info Sheet – Charge Conferences - Fall 2020 Charge Conference Guidelines During COVID-19 Emergency The business of charge conferences this fall will again be held in each local church/charge.  At this ...

The Task of “Waiting-Waiting”

Blog Post August 14, 2020
The Task of “Waiting-Waiting”   “I waited patiently for the Lord…” (Psalm 40:1a)   I am reading through the Psalms this year as a part of my morning devotions. I never could have predicted on January 1 when I made this decision, but WOW this is a great year to be reading through the Psalms. This week I began working my way through the 90s. I still have many more ahead of me if I am to get to Psalm 150 by the end of 2020! So far, so good!  I highly recommend Timothy Keller’s The Songs of Jesus:...

Getting the Help You Need

Blog Post July 22, 2020
GETTING THE HELP YOU NEED   “Come unto me, all you that are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28   I recently had the pleasure of taking part in a virtual Word and Table Service at Stokesdale UMC, where Ed McKinney serves as pastor. I have enjoyed getting to know many of their laity during my first few years here, and it was a joy simply to be inside the Sanctuary for the recording of the service. There were only three of us present for the filming, ...

Living with Joy!

Blog Post July 12, 2020
The apostle Paul ministered at Philippi during his second missionary journey, spending about three months in the city. Paul did not write Philippians in response to a crisis, as he did with Galatians and Colossians. Instead, he wrote to express his appreciation and affection for the Philippian believers. Paul’s affection for these people is clear throughout the letter as he encouraged them to live out their faith in joy and unity. Paul’s joy at the mere thought of the Philippian church is ...

Updated Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry During COVID-19

News Article June 30, 2020
Dear Friends,   Thank you for your questions about next faithful steps during the COVID-19 pandemic. I took your concerns to the Cabinet meeting, and below you will find a link to recommendations from Bishop Leeland. Unfortunately, we are seeing an uptick of cases and hospitalizations in our area.  Click to Download:  Updated Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry During COVID-19 Our churches have lost members to death during this time, and our clergy have lost family members, as well. Our...

Remembering Juneteenth

News Article June 16, 2020
Remembering Juneteenth Dear Friends,   Below please find a video with a wonderful time of sharing from the Revs. Rod and Tammy Ingram, sharing with us the history of Juneteenth. We hope you can share this video with your congregations, either on social media on Friday or perhaps in worship on Sunday. I am grateful for the Ingrams, and for their strong leadership in our Northern Piedmont District. Rod is an Elder serving at Memorial UMC in High Point, and Tammy is a Provisional Elder serving at ...

A Pastoral Letter, and A Summons

News Article June 5, 2020
Dear Friends, Please find some recent Episcopal letters to encourage and bolster you in your ministry this weekend. Wishing you a bright and bountiful weekend of worship and service. Looking Forward, Bev Coppley  A Pastoral Letter to United Methodists of the Southeastern Jurisdiction   A Pastoral Letter to United Methodists of the Southeastern Jurisdiction June 5, 2020   Brothers and Sisters:   As president of the Southeastern Jurisdiction College of Bishops my heart rejoices over ...

What Can You Do?

Blog Post June 1, 2020
What Can You Do?   “If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” Romans 12:18 (NRSV)   Words are one of my great joys in life, but I’ve struggled to find words to adequately capture all the emotions I am feeling in this season of our nation’s history. I’ve searched the scriptures, the newspapers, and my own broken heart to find the right subjects and verbs to put together that would make sense of these dangerous and death-filled days.  Our Bishop used an apt word – ...

A call to grieve and honor those who have died from COVID-19

News Article May 26, 2020
Dear Friends,   We have moved into a period of this pandemic where we have reached the marker of 100,000 deaths. It is truly a momentous time, and we ask that you take time this Sunday to mark this loss. We are calling all our churches to join in a nationwide time of prayer and remembrance this weekend in your services. It's hard to comprehend that this is the fifth deadliest event in US history. In our own district, we have lost members of our local churches and numerous family members. We ...

Phase Two Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry During COVID-19

News Article May 21, 2020
From WNCC Bishop & Cabinet: Phase Two Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry During COVID-19 As the state of North Carolina prepares to enter Phase Two, the Cabinet has updated our Conference Guidelines for In-Person Worship and Ministry During COVID-19. These will be effective Saturday May 23, 2020 and will remain in effect until at least June 30, 2020. In alignment and compliance with public health guidance, governmental mandates, and our scriptural and Wesleyan call to "love others" and ...

COVID Update from WNCC Bishop & Cabinet

News Article May 20, 2020
Hi Friends,   I want to reach out and share a few updates: Our Governor is releasing next steps for "reopening" our economy. Please be aware that this does NOT mean that the Western North Carolina Conference (WNCC) recommends that you move quickly to reopen your churches for worship.  You will continue to receive regular updates from the WNCC. As you may be aware, North Carolina has a lot of hotspots, and some are IN and adjacent to our own Northern Piedmont District. Please care for the ...

Love Your Neighbor...Resources & Ideas to Consider

News Article May 16, 2020
Resources and Ideas to consider... I have been participating in a variety of webinars lately as we work to resource and assist local churches, clergy, and laity. A particularly good one this week was a conversation among several large church UMC pastors about "The Road to Re-Opening the UMC". A link to the webinar is shown below...it was about an hour of time well spent. In the chat of participants, an idea that I especially appreciated was one shared by a pastor regarding a covenant that her ...

In the "In-Between" Times

Blog Post May 1, 2020
In the “In-Between” Times   Each day we have a choice to be a person of kindness to ourselves and the world or find ourselves hiding in the empty tomb in fear.  As I find my way out of the tomb, I find my heart is in two places, one right in the midst of family and another looking out my window seeking what is next for our world.  These in-between times are the best times to sit and have a specific conversation.  This conversation cannot be one of answers, but one of gratitude and strength for ...

After the Quarantine: An Argument Against An Overscheduled And Under-Authentic Church

Blog Post April 25, 2020
After the Quarantine: An Argument Against An Overscheduled And Under-Authentic Church “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17   Your inbox may soon be inundated with lots of details about how to “re-open” your church. This is not one of those emails. I’m more interested in how you can renew it, and consider what you have learned and longed for to make it new for the new world which we will inhabit....

Celebrate a zip-a-dee-doo-dah Easter day, Easter people!

Blog Post April 12, 2020
I never related much to Mary Magdalene personally until this Easter Sunday morning.  For more than 50 years, Easter tradition at my church began early…4:30am for choir members with the cantata at 6am followed by a hearty full breakfast, a day chocked full of joyous song, fellowship, and people… But not this year. This year, my sunrise celebration was solidary, until Mary Magdalene entered into my spirit.  To keep a bit of tradition alive, I arose early and headed to church on foot to update ...

The Life of the World to Come

Blog Post April 7, 2020
The Life of the World to Come   “We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.” -The Nicene Creed   One of the best gifts Christian parents can give their children is to impress upon them the importance of Easter. My siblings and I grew up enjoying Christmas, but truly celebrating Easter. Christmas is amazing, don’t get me wrong. (Jesus could never have grown up to be our Savior if he had not been born in the first place.) Easter, however, is the most important ...

The Top Twelve Things I Have Learned During Lent 2020

Blog Post April 7, 2020
The Top Twelve Things I Have Learned During Lent 2020   It’s been six weeks since I opened the Lenten Season with a sermon and the imposition of ashes on a clear evening at Mount Carmel UMC in Reidsville. It’s been three weeks since I received the email from the Conference Office advising me that we would be transitioning to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.   I’ve learned a lot.  Here are my top twelve learnings: 12. Do no harm. While Wesley’s maxim is NEVER a bad idea, it has been ...

Update from SBA on Paycheck Protection Program and Faith-Based Organizations

News Article April 4, 2020
Important Update Regarding SBA Funding Opportunities for Faith-Based Organizations Last night, the Small Business Administration issued a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document for Faith-Based Organizations regarding participation in the Paycheck Program Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL). Click here to download that PDF document from the SBA website. A copy of the document is also linked near the bottom of this email where it says "Files:". Local ...

IMPORTANT Update on CARES Paycheck Protection Program

News Article April 1, 2020
IMPORTANT Update on CARES Paycheck Protection Program   We have received updated information that you are NOT required to have a charge conference to apply for this loan.  Please do make sure that your Finance Committee and Church Council know that you are applying. As we communicated earlier today, please take a look at this Paycheck Protection Loan Program, and begin work quickly on this process if it would benefit your congregation. It will be of great help to nonprofits and small ...
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