The Blessing of Christmas to all

For the Grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all,
training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions,
and in the present age to live lives that are
self-controlled, upright, and godly,
while we wait for the
blessed hope
and the
manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin,
to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people,
totally committed to doing good deeds.

Prayers and blessings over you and your family
for a joyous Christmas
and a blessed and fruitful year of ministry.

Beth, Debra, Ruth

New District Congregational Vitality Strategist Announced

rev-rob-parsonsWe are excited to welcome Rev. Rob Parsons to the Blue Ridge District staff and ministry team effective January 1, 2017. Rob, who has served as the pastor of Saluda and Columbus United Methodist Churches since 2008, is no stranger to the District! In addition to his pastoring churches, Rob has also served with Hospice of the Carolina Foothills, Polk County Behavioral Task Force, Head Start Policy Council, and the Board of Directors for the UNC-Asheville Campus Ministry while teaching part-time at UNC-A.

In his current appointment at Saluda-Columbus, Rob has found his deepest joy in working with others to bring to reality a Welcome Table, Congregations-4-Children in Polk County, and Stone Soup – a worship laboratory. Rob is an avid white water kayaker as captured in his TED Talk “Increasing My Capacity for Awe and Other Lessons Learned Kayaking on the Green River.”

Rob is a graduate of Furman University and Yale Divinity where he met his wife Ali Heston. Rob and Ali have three children: Zoe, 16, is a junior at Polk County High School; Caleb, 21, is a senior at Emory University; and Micah, 23, is the media manager for a nonprofit camp and experiential school outside of Brevard.

According to Rob, “The mountains and the rivers that define this area are some of the oldest in the world and yet when we turn aside like Moses, we can see how they are aflame with the presence of the living God.

The same Good News of Jesus Christ that Francis Asbury brought down the pathways and byways of our area is accompanying us today in our commutes.

And the same Holy Spirit who moved over the chaos at creation and accompanied our local ancestors in faith is breaking into the lives of our churches and our commumities in wild and beautiful ways here!”