connections: The Light of Epiphany
As the radiant light of Epiphany draws near Bishop Ward reflects on the gifts given to the baby Jesus and the gifts that are given through mission in this week’s connections.
Close-out period for 2014 apportionments
In order to receive credit for 2014, apportionment and advance specials payments must be received in the Conference Treasurer’s Office by 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 21. Click here for more details and mailing instructions. To check your church’s balance, visit the District Remittances to view reports, which will be updated daily beginning in January. If you notice a discrepancy from your records, please contact the Treasurer’s Office as soon as possible so that it can be corrected in a timely manner.
2015 Mission & Service book now online
The 2015 Mission & Service booklet is now available from the conference office or it can be viewed and printed from the conference website at 2015 M&S. Requests for the booklets can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
By the light of Epiphany, we will soon enter the season of Lent—a period of contemplation and consideration for all that is and all that can be. During the 40 days of the Lenten season, the conference will publish 40 reflections in a new Conference publication called Seeds. The Lenten reflection theme is “Sacred Stories: Because Black Lives Matter.” We invite you to share your personal stories and experiences with matters of race in 500 words or less. Reflections will be collected from now until March 25. Those that are not published in Seeds will be posted on the conference website. They may also be selected for a print publication available after Easter. Jot down your thoughts and check future editions of News Briefs for information about how and where to submit stories.
Sacred Conversations: Because Black Lives Matter
As people called to love our neighbors as ourselves, you are invited to participate in The Sacred Conversations: Because Black Lives Matter event, Jan. 28, 6:30–8:30 p.m., at Duke Memorial UMC in Durham. Speakers will include Mary Fulkerson, Professor of Theology; Willie Jennings, Associate Professor of Theology and Black Church Studies; and J. Kameron Carter, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Black Church Studies, all from Duke Divinity School.
The purpose of this gathering is to be in prayer and conversation with sisters and brothers around the issue of anti-Black violence in our communities and our nation. The church should be involved in discussions of race as both a prophetic voice and an instrument for change when and where needed. The goal for this holy conversation is to create paths of solidarity, integrity, honesty, respect, compassion and action. To learn more, please contact Albert Shuler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Register now for Global Vision 2015
Global Vision, March 10-15, is a journey to Washington, DC and New York City for 2 ½ days of seminars. The purpose is to further knowledge of world affairs in a Christian context. This year participants will explore “Peacekeeping at Home and Abroad.” They will also worship at St. George’s UMC in Philadelphia – one of United Methodism’s most historic churches – on the trip home. More information and a registration form is found in the 2015 Youth Events brochure which is available online at www.nccumc.org/youth. Global Vision is designed for youth in grades 10-12. The cost for Global Vision is $550. Registration deadline is Feb. 17.
Beacon District introduces new ADS
The Beacon District recently introduced the new Assistant to the District Superintendent (ADS) for the Beacon District. Tom Quance began this job on Jan 1, 2015. Tom has served as the Beacon District Lay Leader since 2012. He is well-known throughout the district participating in Kairos Prison ministry and in the food service ministry of the Food Bank of the Albemarle. He volunteers in many other ministry settings from the Emmaus Community to soup kitchens in the Elizabeth City area. Tom follows a wonderful servant, Judi Bowman. Judi retired Dec. 31. Please join in welcoming Tom to this new position.
Methodist Home for Children Sunday
My child, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways. (Proverbs 23:26) The Methodist Home for Children fights for the heart of each child who comes into their care. Some arrive with hearts broken by abuse and loss—others, with hearts bruised by rejection or hardened by indifference. We serve each child’s needs so that he or she can grow in grace with a heart healed and open to love. Last year, we helped nearly 1,200 children and families with support from congregations in the North Carolina conference. Please continue to support this important United Methodist ministry with your gifts on MHC Sunday in February. Most churches will take a special MHC collection on Feb. 15. Get information here or make a donation now.
Human Relations Sunday is Jan. 18
General Conference created six unique Special Sundays to help congregations work with communities, rebuild shattered lives, strengthen self-sufficiency, encourage partnerships, nurture Native American ministries, model peace and justice, provide scholarships and loans for United Methodist students, and much more. Human Relations Sunday is Jan. 18 and offering receipts will support Community Developers Program, related to the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM), United Methodist Voluntary Services Program, GBGM and Youth Offender Rehabilitation Program, General Board of Church and Society. Check out the Human Relations Day Pastor and Leader’s Kit.
Clergy Spouses Retreat Jan. 31
The Clergy Spouses retreat will be Saturday, Jan. 31 at The United Methodist Building in Garner. Activities are planned to run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Registration deadline is Jan. 20. A block of rooms have been set aside at the Wingate Inn in Garner for those wishing to drive up early. For more information and to access the registration form, go to Clergy Spouses.
Making food available and supporting those who provide
The Come to the Table Project will present the “Head, Heart, and Hands” conference series on how people of faith can relieve hunger and support local agriculture in North Carolina. Two of the three regional day-long events are scheduled to take place in the bounds of the North Carolina Conference (Lumberton and Elon) in early 2015. During each event, topics will include church community gardening, making healthy local food more accessible, empowering youth through food and farming projects, and finding support for your ministry. The Lumberton event will be Jan. 23 at the Southeastern Agricultural Events Center. Click here to register for the Lumberton event.
The Elon event will be held Feb. 26 at Elon Community Church. Chas Edens from Anathoth Community Garden in Cedar Grove (a conference Advance Special project) will be a presenter at this gathering. Click here to register for the Elon event.