connections: Christ the King Sunday
Bishop Ward reflects on the meaning of Christ the King Sunday as we approach the end of the liturgical year in this week’s connections.
Bishops issue statement concerning Ebola crisis and sexuality
The Council of Bishops, at their recent meeting, issued two statements – one urging compassion rather that stigmatization in response to the Ebola crisis and one requesting prayer for them and for each other as the UM Church struggles with issues surrounding human sexuality.
Extension Ministries forms due Jan. 31
All provisional or full elders and deacons that are members of the NC Conference are required to fill out the Extension Ministry Form for the reporting period of Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, 2014 by Jan. 31. Forms and instructions are located at Extension Ministries. Forms must be completed using your nccumc.org address. If you have problems logging into your nccumc.org address, please contact Linda Smith at email@example.com or 800-849-4433, Ext. 238.
Updated Insurance Open Enrollment information
Effective Jan. 1, 2015, all participants in the NC Conference life, medical and dental insurance plans who are legally married will be able to add their spouses to the plans. We are now in the open enrollment period (until Nov. 30) for coverage in 2015. In addition, the limit for flexible spending accounts was recently increased to $2,550 from $2,500 per year. Participants should log into their account at www.ebenefitsnow.com to review their 2015 elections or contact Caroline Thornton at firstname.lastname@example.org, 800-849-4433 ext. 228 for assistance. Participants who completed enrollment prior to these changes can still log into www.ebenefitsnow.com to change their elections as needed prior to Nov. 30. Retirees with Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRA) should contact One Exchange at 855-801-9759 before Dec. 7 if you wish to change plans for 2015. No action is necessary if you wish to maintain your current plan enrollment.
Shopping UMC Market benefits ministries
Shop online? Make a difference when you do! As the holiday shopping season begins, please consider shopping through the UMC Market! Hundreds of top national retailers (Macy’s, Kohls, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Old Navy are only a few) will make a donation to a ministry of your choice when you shop through umcmarket.org. It’s the easiest way to donate to your favorite local ministry or church without giving a penny out of your own pocket. Please visit the UMC Market website for more information.
NC Preaching Festival–Academy for Leadership Excellence
The NC Preaching Festival will engage clergy in the excellence of preaching and nurture excitement for the work of proclaiming the Word. Come hear inspired pastors preach and then “unpack” their sermons. A full schedule of workshops will complement the preaching along with a panel discussion about the “Future of Preaching.” Nationally-recognized preachers include Lillian Daniel, Olu Brown, Matt Miofsky, Jason Byassee, Jeremy Troxler, Hannah Bonner and Bishop Hope Morgan Ward. To register for this new Academy for Leadership Excellence opportunity, to be held April 20-22 at St. Mark’s in Raleigh, visit www.theafle.org/NC-preaching-festival. Early bird discounts are available until Jan. 31.
Shop Cokesbury on Dec. 2
Cokesbury invites you to join in the spirit of giving on Dec. 2. Shop at Cokesbury.com on #GivingTuesday and Cokesbury will donate 10% of the website’s total sales from Dec. 2 to the Red Bird Mission and UMCOR. After all, the best gift is the one with which you can impact someone’s life for the better. And keep in mind that Cokesbury sells more than church supplies. Explore their new Home & Hearth Collection here!
Annual Camp Chestnut Ridge Trail Run Nov. 22
The 5th Annual Camp Chestnut Ridge Trail Run will be Saturday Nov. 22. Check-in begins at 9 a.m. There is an 8-mile course for runners and a 4-mile course for runners and walkers. Registration numbers are limited, so don’t wait! Online registration closes Nov. 20. Pre-registration starts at $30 with proceeds to benefit the Annual Fund.