Shanna Harrison’s itineration postponed
Due to health issues, Shanna Harrison, missionary to Chile and a member of the NC Conference, will not be traveling to the U.S. in March. She hopes to be available to itinerate in the fall. Messages of encouragement and well wishes can be sent to Shanna Harrison.
Reports due for the Pre-Conference Book
The absolute deadline for submitting reports for the Pre-Conference book is Monday, March 9. Please submit all reports to Shannon Medlin in the Conference Secretary’s Office. Reports should be submitted via email to Shannon Medlin. There will be a new layout in the Pre-Conference book this year. Section I will include reports that require a conference vote. Section II will be informational reports. All reports will be posted on-line as they are received and divided into the above mentioned sections. In an effort to save on costs, the Pre-Conference book will be distributed at the District Orientation sessions. Conference members are encouraged to go on-line, download and print the various reports.
MHC Sunday is February 22
Please consider receiving a special offering for the children and families served by Methodist Home for Children (MHC) on Feb. 22. This offering supports MHC in reaching more than 1400 young people and families each year with programs that include foster care and adoption, family counseling, residential services (10 group homes), and a 5-star inclusive childcare center. Invite an MHC representative to speak at your church during a Sunday service between Feb. 22 – May 31 Contact Jennifer Cooper at Jennifer Cooper or call 1-888-305-4321 to request a speaker. Also visit the MHC website at MHC to download a bulletin insert for your congregation or make a gift online. The website provides detailed information about this connectional ministry of The United Methodist Church.
“Preparing Churches to Receive Returning Military Personnel”
JUSTPEACE, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and the General Board of Discipleship (UMC) will co-sponsor this event April 1-2 at the Upper Room Denman Building of the United Methodist Center in Nashville, TN. This event will focus on “Trauma Healing – Preparing Churches to Receive Returning Military Personnel.” Speakers will include Shelly Rambo, Assistant Professor of Theology at Boston University School of Theology and Laura Bender, a United Methodist pastor and chaplain with the US Navy. You can register online. The participation fee is $100. Participants are responsible for their own travel and lodging arrangements. Please make your check payable to JUSTPEACE and send it to our office at 100 Maryland Ave NE, Washington DC 20002.
Conference to launch new website February 16
Due to implementation and publishing of a new NC Conference Web site (NCCUMC) no changes can be made to the current site from Feb. 9 until the target date for the new site to go “live” on Feb. 16. Thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation as we move into a new era for the conference Web ministry. Major features of the coming site will be a new design by our Web Ministries Producer along with more user interactivity enabling ease of updates, blogs, and new posting capabilities. This new transition is being completed through the joint work of Communications (Derek Leek and Linda Smith) and IT (Douglas Ward and David Reid). During this time of change, calls to the Communications web producers and IT about the Web site should wait until the new site is launched.
Lay staff on UMPIP are encouraged to attend presentation
A presentation on The United Methodist Personal Investment Plan (UMPIP) will be given by Peter Hang, benefits educator for The General Board of Pension and Health Benefits, on Tuesday, April 21, 10 a.m. – 12 noon at Hayes Barton UMC in Raleigh. The presentation was organized for local church lay employees who participate in the UMPIP. Anyone planning to attend should call Russell Wilcox at Hayes Barton UMC, 919-832-6435, so he will know the number of seats needed. Details will be presented about the 403(b) retirement plan including 1) the different funds available at The General Board Of Pension; 2) how to check on individual personal investment elections (fund allocation); 3) what individual distributions options are available; 4) how to access and navigate OASIS (Online Account Services Information System); 5) how to access a UMPIP account through Hardship Loan; 6) how to check on individual risk tolerance for LifeStage Investment Management Service (free service offered by General Board of Pension.) Peter Hang will also be available to meet privately to discuss any individual pension-related questions you might have.
One Great Hour of Sharing Sunday is March 22
One Great Hour of Sharing Sunday is one of the six Special Sundays designated in The Discipline. This offering supports the administrative work of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), which ensures that 100% of designated giving goes directly to specific projects. Unlike other mission programs, UMCOR receives no World Service or other apportionment money. This is why faithful support of the One Great Hour of Sharing offering is crucial. To look at resource materials or to download a bulletin insert, go to One Great Hour.
Annual Bullard-Templeton lecture at Methodist University
“How To Be A Christian and Believe in Evolution,” is the topic of the lecture on Science and Religion at Methodist University on Monday, March 9, at 11 a.m. The location will be Clark Hall on the campus in Fayetteville. Since this is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and since his ideas still generate wide controversy in sections of the religious community, this year’s topic will focus upon his thought and impact upon various historical movements. The speaker will be Professor Karl Giberson, professor of religion at Eastern Nazarene College and is director of the Forum on Faith & Science at Gordon College. He is widely published on the topic of Charles Darwin. The lecture is open to the public at no cost. Further inquiries may be directed to Professor Lloyd Bailey (919-489-8731; Lloyd Bailey).
Youth Lay Speaker Training
There will be Lay Speaker Training for youth (grades 8-12) on Saturday, Feb. 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Methodist Building in Raleigh. Youth interested in participating must submit their application and pastor/youth leader’s recommendation by Feb.13. There is no cost to participate. The training will be led by Conference Director of Lay Speaking Linda Harris. The application is available at Youth Ministry.
The Conference Confirmation Celebration will be Saturday, March 7 at Methodist University in Fayetteville. The gathering will begin at 10 a.m. and conclude with Bishop Al Gwinn celebrating Holy Communion, ending around 2:30 p.m. Lunch will be included. The service project this year will be bagging meals for Stop Hunger Now. The cost per person attending is $12 (to cover lunch and the SHN meal shipping). Pre-registration of groups planning to attend is required by Feb. 23. Additional information and registration form and instructions may be found at Youth Ministry.
Sign up for e-mail listserv
An e-mail listserv has been created for local church leaders in Children’s Ministries. Monthly articles in a series called “ABC’s…123’s…A Place to Start” on various topics within children’s ministry will be sent out as well as occasional resources and notices of opportunities. To sign up to be on this email listserv, go to Listserv.
An e-mail listserv has been created for local church leaders in Safe Sanctuaries. Monthly articles on various topics related to safe sanctuaries will be sent out as well as occasional resources and notices of opportunities. To sign up to be on this email listserv, go to Listserv.
Conference UMM golf tournament to benefit MERCI
The NC Conference United Methodist Men announce a Golf Tournament to benefit MERCI, May 14 at Lane Tree Country Club, Goldsboro. Register by noon for the 1 p.m. shotgun start. The Tournament is open for four-person Superball (Captain’s Choice) teams. The cost is $65 per person or $260 per team, which includes a barbeque meal and prizes. Registration is made through MERCI, 888-440-9167.
Ecumenical Advocacy Days in Washington D.C. March 13-16
This year’s Advocacy Days theme is “Enough for All Creation.” During the weekend, participants will learn how to engage as advocates on climate change, migration and poverty. Experts on these issues will offer workshops on policy issues and advocacy on Saturday and Sunday, culminating on Monday with lobbying visits on Capitol Hill. Conference fee of $160 includes two lunches and Sunday reception. Registration after Feb.13 will be $175. Student scholarships are available. For more information, please see Advocacy Days.
Prayers for immigrants
Local churches are encouraged to join with other religious communities throughout the country Feb 13-22 by taking part in prayer vigils and services on behalf of immigrants and their families. Churches are asked to take time during a worship service to pray for three concerns: 1) protection for immigrants and their families, 2) empowerment of the faith community to speak out on behalf of immigrants and their families, and 3) moral courage for Congress to take the necessary leadership to see that just comprehensive immigration reform is passed.
Churches that participate in the time of prayer between Feb.13-22, should register the date and time of the service online at Interfaith Immigration. This will help with knowing who is participating and how many, as well as provide ways so other individuals in areas can look on a map to see where events are occurring that they could attend.
Mission Seed Funds
Mission Seed Funds are designed to facilitate and encourage United Methodist congregations of the NC Conference in risk-taking ministry and radical hospitality. These funds are meant to be supplemental funding that assists congregations and supported ministries in beginning new ministry that is directed along the Seven Pathways with specific emphasis on moving the congregation into hands-on ministry beyond the walls of the church. Applications are due Feb. 28 and can be downloaded at Mission Seed Funds. For further information call the Missions and Justice Office at 800-849-4433 or 919-832-9560.
Restroom accessibility grants are available
Due to a generous grant by The Duke Endowment, restroom accessibility grant requests for rural churches are now being accepted. Grant applications must be received by March 31. Applications and guidelines are available online at Restroom Grant.
Butch Huffman, NC Conference Mission Volunteer, available to speak
Butch Huffman is available to meet with your congregation to assist in planning and engaging a Volunteers-in-Mission Work Team experience. Butch has led multiple work teams outside of the United States, is on the SEJ UMVIM Board of Directors, and has vast experience in training and leading work teams and early responder teams. For more information, please contact Butch Huffman.
Jack Crum Conference to be at University UMC
“A Cry in the Wilderness,” The Jack Crum Conference on Prophetic Ministry will be held Saturday, Feb. 21 at University UMC in Chapel Hill. The event, sponsored by the Methodist Federation for Social Action is scheduled from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Keynote speaker will be Bishop Ken Carder. For additional information, go to Jack Crum Conference or contact Henry Jarrett at 919-606-5674 or Henry Jarrett.
“Hunger No More” Hunger Crisis Conference on February 27-28
This conference is designed to provide comprehensive and innovative approaches to combating hunger and its effects. Distinguished hunger activists and religious leaders will offer the community a deeper understanding of the root causes of hunger… and what we (individually and collectively) can do to solve hunger at home and abroad. Conference Information and Registration.
Presentations from the Office of Missions & Justice Ministries
Missions – Engaging Ministry in Liberia … a two-year journey with brothers and sisters in The United Methodist Church in Liberia. Connecting congregations in relationship and action in ministries with ex-combatant children, sister congregations struggling to meet local physical and spiritual needs, agricultural efforts for sustainable food production, and in so many other ways. The journey is broken into quarters and includes: several possible “hands-on” mission items, issues for prayer, learning points, places to support with our financial gifts and relational connections. Other mission presentations, support, training, and sermons are available for local churches from the Office of Missions. All teaching and learning events use adult education methodology and are highly interactive. For further information e-mail Becky Biegger – Becky Biegger or Steve Taylor – Steve Taylor or call them at 1-800-849-4433.
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