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 ...

Important Opportunity for Local Churches: SBA Paycheck Protection Program

News Article April 1, 2020
Dear Friends, We urge you to closely read this article, which was published by Forbes magazine: $349 Billion In Forgivable Paycheck Protection Loans For Nonprofits. Here’s How To Apply  "The $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Recovery (CARES) Act includes $349 billion in forgivable loans for nonprofits and small businesses. The main purpose is to help organizations keep their employees on the payroll between now and the end of June 2020. Hence, the name of the program: Paycheck ...

Greeting from Bev Coppley, District Superintendent - April 1, 2020

Video April 1, 2020
A greeting and message from Rev. Bev Coppley, Northern Piedmont District Superintendent, shared on April 1, 2020. “The Sturdy Dreamers” Rev. Bev Coppley April 1, 2020   Mark 10:32-40   They replied, “We are able.” (v.39)   Grace and peace from my little blue salt box in Quaker Acres, Greensboro. It’s all casual today ; I haven’t showered yet. But that’s okay, because I figure the Apostle Paul didn’t always shower before he wrote letters to his churches. He did often wish that he was with ...

For the Birds

Blog Post March 30, 2020
For the Birds   “…let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky.” -Genesis 1:20   When I think of all I hope to remember positively about this time in history, I think about the birds. Frankly, I have paid a lot more attention to them than I usually do. I was already a fan, as I have five wild bird feeders in my yard, a birdbath I have carried from house to house for decades, and my first batch of hummingbird nectar cooling by the stove as I write this. My mother loved birds. She ...

COVID-19 Resources for Your Local Church

News Article March 21, 2020
RESOURCES FOR LOCAL CONGREGATIONS - COVID-19 Updated April 6, 2020 Click here to get to our Northern Piedmont COVID-19 Resource page Conference and District Staffs are working remotely now. The best way to reach out to our Northern Piedmont District staff is by email, or by calling our main office number - 336-282-3711. Click here for all of our staff contact information. Our resource page is also reachable from our "Resources" menu above...just click on Resources, and then choose "Covid-19 ...

Northern Piedmont COVID-19 Update - March 20, 2020

News Article March 19, 2020
Graceful Contact   Dear Friends,   Communication and contact among people has never been easy and there is always room to grow to communicate better. We have different ways of expression with sharing meaning and processing information.  So, let’s give ourselves a break right now as we learn a new way of ministry. Christ represented a posture of hospitality and openness when engaging a message. Now we must always start with an open mind and heart in our preparation, listening, and contact in any...

Northern Piedmont COVID-19 Update - March 17, 2020

News Article March 17, 2020
Hi Friends,   Our Western North Carolina Conference and District Offices have been asked to implement additional governmental COVID-19 precautions by working remotely for a period of time. Each of us in your Northern Piedmont office have laptop computers and remote access to our district phone lines. We will remain vital and responsive during this period of social distancing, and we will express an abundance of care for the health of our community. We will endeavor to do everything in our ...

COVID-19: Message from Bishop Leeland

News Article March 12, 2020
Hi Friends, Please read the important letter from Bishop Paul Leeland shown below regarding precautions around the spread of the COVID-19 virus. As always, we are available in the District Office to assist you. We encourage you to stay in touch with your congregations, consider Facebook Live or other online worship opportunities, or email worship materials to your congregations, just as you might when there is inclement weather. Please keep in touch with your isolated folks to keep them ...

Preparing your Church for COVID-19

News Article March 11, 2020
How is your church preparing for COVID-19? Dear Friends, We in your District Office join you in concerns for health and well-being during this flu season and in this time of uncertainty about the COVID-19 virus. Our Conference and District Offices are practicing some reasonable precautions, and we invite you to do the same in your local churches.  Here are some of the precautions we are taking: Encouraging use of hand sanitizer and making it available as possible Encouraging everyone to wash ...

Tornadoes in Tennessee - Compassion & Solidarity

News Article March 10, 2020
We have all been pained by the news of the devastating EF-4 tornado in the Caney Fork River District of the Tennessee Conference. It has been inspiring to see Early Response Teams (ERTs) at work and the amazing resources of UMCOR immediately deployed in the relief efforts. Having experienced an EF-2 tornado in our own district on April 15, 2018, our hearts are full of compassion and solidarity.   Our District has made a $1,000 contribution to the recovery efforts. We encourage you to receive an...

Living as Those Who Are Prepared to Die: A Reflection for Lent

Blog Post March 2, 2020
Living as Those Who Are Prepared to Die: A Reflection for Lent “Help us to live as those who are prepared to die…”   There is a line in one of our funeral prayers in the United Methodist Book of Worship that always gives me pause: “Help us to live as those who are prepared to die.”  When I lead that prayer, it is usually in a service where persons are grieving, and the last thing any of us want to think about is more death. But the words are provocative and prophetic – especially during the ...

POSTPONED: Helping Your Congregation Prepare for General Conference: An Event for Clergy & Laity

News Article February 19, 2020
Update on March 17, 2020: This event has been POSTPONED. The future date is to be determined. Northern Piedmont District Helping Your Congregation Prepare for General Conference:  An Event for Clergy and Laity March 29, 2020 – 4:00-5:30pm Christ UMC (Greensboro), in the Sanctuary 410 North Holden Road, Greensboro, NC Join us for a time of holy conferencing to help prepare our congregations for General Conference 2020. We will join in prayer, share information, and lay hands on our elected ...

Means of Grace: Growing in Racial Awareness

News Article February 19, 2020
Check out this Means of Grace podcast, with Rev. Rodvegas Ingram (Memorial UMC), Rev. Tom Latimer (Jamestown UMC) and Rev. Maria King (NP District Vitality Associate) of the Northern Piedmont District sharing about the intentional work they have been doing individually and collectively around racial awareness. They share experiences, suggestions, and resources for understanding white privilege, for talking about race in your congregation, and embracing each other as God’s beloved children. ...

Local Church Resources

Blog Post January 23, 2020
Dear Friends,   I am reaching out to say thanks to all of you for your connectional spirit in this new year. It has been my joy in December and January to conduct clergy consultations and to begin the process of seasonal committee consultations. I loved the time we spent together at our first Equipping Seminar at Jamestown a few weeks ago. The second offering is  this Sunday, January 26 at 3:00pm, at Christ UMC in Greensboro. (To register, click here:

All Shall Be Well

Blog Post January 10, 2020
Wellness … In All Manner of Things Reflections on The Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace Through Separation   “…all manner of things shall be well.” -Julian of Norwich, Showings   I’ll begin by admitting I hate the word “separation.” It speaks of family brokenness, wars, and the end of life. My parents “separated” in 1986, and it will always be a painful memory. I don’t embrace separation as a concept, but sometimes it happens. When I came into the ministry of Superintendency, I did so at ...

At Your Merriest

Blog Post December 14, 2019
At Your Merriest “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!’ When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.’ So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw ...

Northern Piedmont Equipping Seminars

News Article December 9, 2019
Coming in Early 2020... Northern Piedmont District Equipping Seminars! Greetings in the name of Christ, We are pleased to offer Equipping Seminars for pastors and your local church officers who serve in these ministry areas: Pastor/Staff Parish Relations Finance Trustees Lay Leader / Church Council Chair Youth Ministry Archives & History These Equipping Seminars will be offered two times, in two different locations: January 12, 2020 from 3:00 to 5:00pm at Jamestown (Jamestown) January 26, ...

An Expression of Thanksgiving

Blog Post November 14, 2019
An Expression of Thanksgiving   “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  1 Thessalonians 5:18 I suppose today’s title, An Expression of Thanksgiving, has a double meaning. First of all, I am writing to express my own thanks. Not only am I blessed to be doing this work every day, I am blessed to do it with YOU in the Northern Piedmont District. I’m twice blessed, and doubly grateful. We joke about our district ...

Truth and Reconciliation in Northern Piedmont

News Article October 29, 2019
by Rev. Maria King, Northern Piedmont District Vitality Associate   In 2016, the Northern Piedmont District Vitality Team set a priority for the district to confront white supremacy and racism in order to equip the saints for the Kingdom of God. The context of the Northern Piedmont district is influenced by the sin and fractures of racism which in recent history showed its horror on November 3, 1979. Two white supremacist groups held a rally and killed five people. The aftermath of the massacre ...

Become Like Children

Blog Post October 9, 2019
Become Like Children “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”  Matthew 18:3-5 Being a District Superintendent is the “same” as being a pastor, but in other ways it is “different.” People often ask me, “What do you miss most about the local church?” Over these past sixteen months, I have ...

I Can't Wait / I Will Wait: Adventures in Waiting

Blog Post September 16, 2019
I Can’t Wait / I Will Wait: Adventures in Waiting   “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” Psalm 130:5 (NIV)   Like many of us, I have a “go-to” music playlist. Lightheartedly, I call it my “Funeral” playlist.  When the time comes for my family to seek out some favorite songs for visitation background music, why not have my favorites? Why make them wonder, “What were her favorite songs?”   So far, I have forty-seven songs, which translates into over three ...

Fall 2019 Charge Conference Information

News Article September 4, 2019
CHARGE CONFERENCES – FALL 2019 – NORTHERN PIEDMONT DISTRICT Complete instructions for our Fall 2019 Charge Conferences are available on our website at: IMPORTANT NOTE:  WE HAVE A NEW METHOD FOR SUBMITTING CHARGE CONFERENCE REPORTS:   You Helped to Lead the Way! – Last year, the Northern Piedmont District was one of two districts participating in a pilot program for our conference to move toward fully online submission of charge ...

The Superintendent’s Pilgrimage

Blog Post August 28, 2019
The Superintendent’s Pilgrimage   “O taste and see that the Lord is good; Happy are those who take refuge in him.” -Psalm 34:8   I hope my email finds you all settling into the routine of a new school year, enjoying some cooler air, and reflecting on God’s purposes for you in this next season. My summer was a good one – time with the family, lots of occasions to visit churches and reflect with clergy, and some wonderful preaching opportunities.  As we turn to a new season, our clergy begin to ...

New Kids In Town

News Article July 9, 2019
New Kids In Town   There's talk on the street; it sounds so familiar. Great expectations, everybody's watching you. People you meet, they all seem to know you. Even your old friends treat you like you're something new…                                                      (“New Kid in Town” – The Eagles, 1976)   This year, our Western North Carolina Cabinet oversaw over 200 shifts in appointments. In some cases, it was as simple as a change in time designation or charge configuration. In ...

A Sunday of Solidarity for Suffering Children

News Article June 28, 2019
As a church that is united on the need to care for children, we can be in mission together. This Sunday, June 30, Global Ministries encourages you to take part in A Sunday of Solidarity for Suffering Children. Learn how you and your congregation can take part: 

News from Annual Conference 2019

News Article June 23, 2019
News from Annual Conference 2019, concluded June 23, 2019 at Lake Junaluska.

Annual Conference - Be Informed, Prayerful, and Present!

News Article June 11, 2019
Dear Clergy and Laity Members of our Annual Conference, I appreciate your important role in next week's session of the WNC Annual Conference at Stuart Auditorium at beautiful Lake Junaluska. The preliminary weather reports are very promising for a beautiful time together. Conference is always an important time and important work, and this year's holy conferencing is particularly significant as we elect delegates to the 2020 General Conference of the UMC.  Below please find some important links ...

Near to the Heart

Blog Post May 9, 2019
Near to the Heart   Rescue me in weakness of mind When distraction conquers me Keep me in your shadow, oh Lord Give me grace to follow where You lead Keep me near your heart… Keep Me Near, Rend Collective There exists such a stark contrast for us right now, between the beauty of our community in springtime and the ugliness of the way humans are treating one another in our world. In this beautiful season in North Carolina, we behold bright blooms in lawns and can enjoy gentle walks in the ...

Court OKs part of Traditional Plan, exit plan

News Article April 26, 2019
From United Methodist News Service:  The United Methodist Church’s top court has found that while some provisions of the newly adopted Traditional Plan remain unconstitutional, the rest of the plan is valid as church law.  Full article at:


Blog Post April 11, 2019
“Bittersweet” “Hosanna!”  (Mark 11:9) It’s almost Palm Sunday. Churches all over are preparing for what I have come to call the “second most important” Sunday of the year. I know this because my Mama always dressed me in my second-best dress on Palm Sunday. That might sound silly in 2019, but it taught me a big lesson. My mother understood Palm Sunday and Holy Week as completely crucial to our faith development.  Without them, I could not understand the most important Sunday of the year, Easter....

2019 Northern Piedmont UMAR Luncheon! Join us!

News Article April 4, 2019
YOU are invited! Invite others! 2019 Friends of UMAR Luncheon May 9, 2019 Click here to download a PDF of the Friends of UMAR Luncheon Invitation Thanks for sharing this invitation in your local congregation, Sunday school class, small group, workplace, and beyond! RSVP and plan to come for lunch on May 9th and be part of supporting a very special ministry in our conference, and in our Northern Piedmont District...UMAR! Make your reservation today! Make your reservation today! Host a ...

Court Oks Tax-free Housing

News Article March 28, 2019
From AP News:  "MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A federal appeals court ruled Friday that a law giving clergy tax-free housing allowances is constitutional, overturning a ruling in Wisconsin that said it was an unconstitutional benefit and delivering a huge win to religious leaders who had fought to keep the substantial benefit."

That Time in Lent

Blog Post March 20, 2019
That Time in Lent   “So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up.”                                                                                                               -Galatians 6:9 So, we are almost halfway through the Lenten season. How’s it going for you?  One of my disciplines is to listen to a new song every day; I admit, some nights I fall into bed searching my phone quickly for a song, just so I can say “I did it.” ...

Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down

Blog Post March 6, 2019
Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down We fall down, we lay our crowns at the feet of Jesus. We Fall Down by Chris Tomlin There is an old nursery rhyme called “Ring Around the Roses” that sadly told the tragic tale of the plagues which devastated many parts of Europe long ago. The song was a way of passing down the story as a cautionary tale, from generation to generation.   Here’s one way the song can be interpreted:   Ring around the Rosies (a round rash was the first physical sign of plague)   ...

Endurance and Encouragement

Blog Post March 1, 2019
Endurance and Encouragement We who are powerful need to be patient with the weakness of those who don’t have power, and not please ourselves.  Each of us should please our neighbors for their good in order to build them up.  Christ didn’t please himself, but, as it is written, ‘The insults of those who insulted you fell on me.’  Whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction so that we could have hope through endurance and through the encouragement of the scriptures. May the ...

Words and A Wisdom

News Article February 21, 2019
Words and A Wisdom “This will give you an opportunity to testify. So make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance; for I will give you words and a wisdom…” Luke 21:14-15   Without a doubt, the upcoming Special Session of General Conference has given us opportunities for healthy conversations. Over my thirty years in the local church, I have spent a lot of time discussing leadership, theology, renovations, Sunday School curriculum, staff changes, worship styles, and outreach ...

Preaching with the Prophets: Stories and Sign Acts to Shift the Moral Narrative

News Article February 19, 2019
Event for Clergy: Preaching with the Prophets: Stories and Sign Acts to Shift the Moral Narrative Thursday April 11th, 2019  Leader:  Rev. Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove 9:30 am - 2:30 pm  (Program will begin at 9:30am in the Fellowship Center) Christ UMC (Greensboro), 410 North Holden Road, Greensboro, NC 27410 Lunch will be served. Cost is $10.00 to be paid online at time of registration. The Northern Piedmont  Clergy Officers invite you to join them in a day of preaching exploration led by Rev. ...

Agape and Anastasis (Love and Resurrection)

News Article February 14, 2019
Agape and Anastasis (Love and Resurrection) “Let all that you do be done in love.”  1 Corinthians 16:14 You’ll receive at least a few Valentines today, I hope. We who labor in love should give, and receive, a few Valentines to remind us of the tenacious priest who stood up to the Empire. Some of my favorites were from the children of the church. I enjoyed the red-crayon hearts on my door until at least Easter! In these days of wall-fueled shutdowns and angry words across aisles, a red-crayon ...

Northern Piedmont 2019 Lay Servant Training

News Article January 15, 2019
2019 LAY SERVANT TRAINING OPPORTUNITY 2019 Northern Piedmont Lay Servant Training February 23-24, March 2-3 Guilford College United Methodist Church Letter / Information about our 2019 Lay Servant Training. More information about Lay Servant Ministry. Registration is ONLINE! Click here to register today for our 2019 Lay Servant Training. Registration is open through February 8, 2019. Class sizes are limited, so sign up today to get your first choice! Register Now →

Northern Piedmont Equipping Seminars

News Article December 4, 2018
Coming in Early 2019... Northern Piedmont District Equipping Seminars! Greetings in the name of Christ, We are pleased to offer Equipping Seminars for pastors and your local church officers who serve in these ministry areas: Pastor/Staff Parish Relations Finance Trustees Church Council Youth Ministry Archives & History These Equipping Seminars will be offered three times, in three different locations: January 13, 2019 from 3:00 to 5:00pm at Mount Carmel (Reidsville) January 27, 2019 from ...

Ballistic Reentry

Blog Post October 18, 2018
I was amazed and grateful to hear the recent outcome of failed rocket booster in a journey that was supposed to carry NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin to the International Space Station. As I listened to the report, I braced myself to hear tragic news. I was so relieved to hear that they made it to earth safely, albeit in what is called a “ballistic reentry.”    A “ballistic reentry” is a sudden plunge back into the earth’s atmosphere, sometimes descending ...

Spiritual Preparation for the Storm

Blog Post September 13, 2018
For you have been a refuge to the poor, a refuge to the needy in their distress, a shelter from the rainstorm and a shade from the heat. Isaiah 25:4a   Storms have a way of getting our attention. When we take “bread” and “water” for granted, our senses are heightened when we must go in search of them.  We have spent these past several days preparing ourselves and others for Hurricane Florence, a storm about which we have certain empirical evidence. We have seen this storm, and we are bombarded ...
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