African-American Clergy Leadership Development at Lake Junaluska
“Claiming Our Humanity for Ministry: Our Gifts to God’s Glory,” a seminar for African-American clergy will be April 20-22 at Lake Junaluska. The Rev. Clarence Brown, former district superintendent and the current senior pastor at Annandale UMC in Annandale, VA will be the lead facilitator of this event. Some of the specific areas of focus are strengthening ministry effectiveness; creating an action plan for successful ministry; staying inspired and motivated in ministry; and creating a supportive network of colleagues. Register early and save – register by March 27 for $129; after March 27, registration is $159. There are a limited number of $100 scholarships available if requested by March 27. For online registration or to download a registration form, go to: African American Clergy Leadership.
March 22 is Camp Sunday
Bobby Harris, the new Executive Director for the NC United Methodist Camp & Retreat Ministries along with camp directors and staff announce that Camp Sunday is March 22. Churches throughout the conference will be highlighting the camp experience through testimonies, bulletin inserts and camp registration materials. Churches should have already received bulletin inserts and camp registration materials. If a congregation would like someone from the camping ministries to speak on that Sunday or another more convenient time, please contact the Camping office at 919-552-1756.
Unity Dialogue to meet March 28
The Unity Dialogue will convene March 28 at St. Francis UMC in Cary. The Saturday morning dialogue is open to all from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Meeting at least twice each year, the appointees have reflected together on Christian faith and homosexuality. The group has no authority to shape policy nor any budget to implement programs. The intent of the Dialogue has been to seek understanding of different points of view in this sensitive issue. Last fall it was decided that the Dialogue should be expanded to include other persons with interest in the issue. The March gathering is again an open table. Participants are asked to practice “holy conferencing,” respectfully listening to one another, and speaking about the topic presented that day. It is expected that the topic on March 28 will be “Experiences of faith as gay and straight believers.”
Consecration Ceremony, Academy for Leadership Excellence
Join Bishop Al Gwinn and the Academy for Leadership Excellence Board at the Academy Office Consecration Ceremony at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 22. The event will establish the Academy’s presence in new office space at Edenton Street UMC, 228 W. Edenton St., Raleigh. Access to parking and the event is behind the church, on the McDowell side of the building. The Academy’s mission is to provide leadership mentoring, training and development for church leaders in support of the local church. The Academy addresses leadership development through skill building and self-awareness.
UM Family Days at Theme Parks
Discount tickets for Carowinds and Kings Dominion are available to NC Conference United Methodist Church groups on the Saturday’s in May and Memorial Day Monday. In addition to the savings in admission price of $20+, a rebate is offered to Youth Service Fund for all tickets redeemed. Flyers with information on how to purchase tickets are being mailed to pastors and local church youth coordinators. Tickets may be ordered online with credit cards at either: Kings Dominion or Carowinds. Use the company ID: NCMFD09. To order tickets by phone, call 804-876-5561 (Kings Dominion) or 800-888-4386 ext 0 (Carowinds). Mention “NC Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church” to receive the discount. Please note – tickets will not be available at the Methodist Building as in years past.
Looking for a deal from Cokesbury
Anyone waiting for the Cokesbury spring sale days should wait no more! Cokesbury online and Cokesbury stores will be having Cokesbury Celebration Days March 19-21. Most in-stock merchandise will be offered at a 25% discount. The Raleigh store hours are 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturday. For more information, go to Cokesbury and look for the multi-colored box in the right upper corner.
CPI application deadline approaching
Comprehensive Plan of Inclusiveness grant applications are due on March 31 by 4 p.m. (if hand-delivered) or must be postmarked by March 31. No faxed applications will be considered. Applications are available at Comprehensive Plan of Inclusiveness New and innovative ministries will get strong consideration. For further information call Lawrence E. Johnson in the Multicultural office (919-832-9560).
Pilgrimage updated information
Pilgrimage will be Nov. 13-15 at the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville. Brochures with details and registration form will be mailed in April. Youth and youth groups desiring to offer leadership to Pilgrimage may do so as follows: house band applications for youth are available upon request from Sue Ellen Nicholson. Completed applications are due Aug. 31 and appearance at an audition will be required. Testimonies by youth must be submitted in writing by Aug. 31 to be considered by the planning team. Testimonies must be accompanied by a recommendation from a pastor or adult youth leader. Youth group acts of worship must be submitted by Aug. 31 with a full description of what is being offered. The Pilgrimage planning team will meet in mid-September to consider all that is offered and will determine what we are able to offer from the stage at the Pilgrimage event. Questions may be addressed to the Office of Youth Ministries.
Margaret Therkelsen to lead Prayer Conference
The Fayetteville District is hosting a prayer conference the weekend of March 27-29 led by Margaret Therkelsen. Therkelsen’s theme will be “The Ministry of the Holy Spirit in Our Daily Prayer Time” and her ministry stimulates others to develop an active prayer life of their own by weaving together insightful understanding of Scripture, relating her own prayer journey, and wonderful answers to prayer. There will be several gatherings with Therkelsen during the weekend. Friday, March 27 will be a “Day with Pastors” at Trinity UMC (6974 Raeford Rd., Fayetteville 28304.) Saturday, March 28 will be a “Day with Laity” at St. Matthews UMC (202 Hope Mills Rd., Fayetteville 28304.) Reservations are required and can be made by calling the Fayetteville District Office at 910-263-8111. The only cost is $5.00 for lunch for either day. To read more about the planned events, go to Fayetteville District.
NC Conference Youth Rally Day
NC Conference Youth Rally Day will be Sunday, April 26 at NC Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount. Youth groups are invited to join in a time of recreation beginning at 3:00 p.m. and the worship service to complete the Rally Day from 4:45 p.m. – 6 p.m. Any youth group wishing to offer some act of worship for the worship service must contact Sue Ellen Nicholson at Sue Ellen Nicholson by April 6. There is no cost to attend Rally Day, although refreshments will be available for purchase and an offering for the Youth Service Fund will be taken. Groups planning to attend do not need to pre-register. Additional information about Rally Day can be found at Youth Events – click on “Rally Day.”
Packers needed for shipment to Project AGAPE Armenia
Volunteers are needed to pack a shipment of humanitarian goods to refugees and other needy people in Armenia. Packing will be done on Saturdays through the remainder of March and into April. Please come and engage in hands-on ministry that connects with Christian brothers and sisters in the world’s oldest and most devastated Christian nation. To schedule your work team, contact Ann Huffman at 888-440-9167 or MERCI.
Check the Annual Conference webpage for updated information
Check the Conference Secretary’s Office web pages on Annual Conference to find the Pre-Conference book, formerly the Book of Recommendations and Reports as well as other important information about Annual Conference. Updates are being made frequently.
Church & Society Peace with Justice Grant Applications due March 31 to the Office of Mission & Justice Ministries. Application guidelines are available on-line at: Peace with Justice Grant Application.
Restroom Accessibility Grant applications must be received by March 31. Applications and guidelines are available online at: Restroom Grant.
One Great Hour of Sharing special offering Sunday is March 22.
Pastors and laity receiving News Briefs: please feel free to make copies and pass along to other persons in the congregation, other staff members, or persons who do not have access to a computer. Make copies for the church bulletin boards. Pastors, forward this e-mail to the church secretary/ administrative assistant so items may be included in the church newsletter. Pastors can request that the e-mail address for the church secretary or others in leadership positions be added to the listserv. Send a message to Bill Norton with e-mail of addresses to be added or addresses that should be removed.