Art and Group Spiritual Direction

September 2017 – May 2018
$250/9 Sessions – Meetings are once a month for 3 Hours and are limited to 5 participants.

1st Thursday, 9:00 a.m. – noon, 1st Thursday, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., 1st Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – noon

Group Spiritual direction is a process in which a group of individuals meet on a regular basis in an atmosphere of prayer to pay attention to the ways the Spirit is seeking to provide direction in their lives. The confidential group provides a safe haven for exploring one’s relationship with God, oneself, and others. Spiritual direction is a process of discernment, nurturing awareness of the congruence or in-congruence between our soul’s desires and our daily choices. The art component provides a way for communicating with God through the use of Lectio Divina, silence, images, written reflection and group sharing as we invite our spiritual self to open up to a new creation.

Previous art experience/talent not required. Prayer cards are included in the cost, but a few additional art supplies are needed.

Katie S. Warren – 828.275.3971 or


Prepare and Enrich Training at Francis Asbury UMC

PREPARE and ENRICH TRAINING and CERTIFICATION WORKSHOP at Francis Asbury UMC on Thursday, May 11, 2017.

Prepare/Enrich is a time-tested comprehensive and user-friendly ministry tool to employ with pre-marital and marital couples. A workshop will be hosted by Francis Asbury UMC on Thursday, May 11th, from 8:00 am until 1:00 pm for ministers, therapists, and church laity focused on a couples’ ministry.

For further information you may Google ‘PREPARE/ENRICH’ website, and then “Find a Workshop”, then click on the date. There you will find information for this workshop. You may also download a REGISTRATION FORM from the same site. Or, you may call or email Pastor Michael Kurtz at 828-674-5807, for any questions on this training opportunity.

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Payment must be made by Monday, May 1st in order to register for this workshop. This enables us to order your training kit and supplies for the training. Information on payment and registration form are located at website. Or, you may contact Pastor Michael Kurtz.

Harry Denman Evangelism Award

The  Western North Carolina Annual Conference is now accepting nominations for The Harry Denman Evangelism Award for Clergy, Lay, and Youth. (Download bulletin inserts for local churches)

The Harry Denman Evangelism Award recognizes a person whose life and ministry exemplifies the teaching of Christ and the Great Commission. Recipients of these awards, nominated by individuals, churches, or districts, and selected by the Annual Conference, live their call to “Offer Them Christ” daily as modeled by Dr. Harry Denman, founder of The Foundation for Evangelism that sponsors these awards.

The Harry Denman Evangelism Award honors United Methodists in each annual conference whose exceptional ministry of evangelism – expressed in Word (what), Sign (why), and Deed (how) – brings people into a life transforming relationship with Jesus Christ.

Evangelism happens in many contexts and many settings; impacts and engages all generations; and requires relationship among a variety of persons.

What distinguishes a Harry Denman Evangelism Award recipient is the commitment to consistently introduce others to the Good News of Jesus Christ in all ministry settings.  Their ministry is exceptional for the number of new Christ Followers who credit encounters with this person as critical in helping to start or reignite their faith journey.

To nominate, please download the form at this link:


Please return completed forms no later than May 26, 2017 to:

Western North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church
c/o Candy Caron
3400 Shamrock Drive
Charlotte, NC  28215
704-535-2260 ext 123

Bishop Leeland Addresses SPR Committees

An invitation from Bishop Leeland:
Link to Youtube video.

Link to printed invitation is here.

Information about Appointments

“The Appointed Time”

March 23, 2017

Greetings, brothers and sisters, in the gracious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ:

I pray this finds you all well in this first week of Spring – a season known for signs of remarkable change: change in the time, change in the weather, changes around us in nature, and yes, even signs of pending change in the leadership of our churches. Spring also marks the time of appointment-making in the United Methodist Church when we, as the Bishop and Cabinet, come together to discern and discuss prayerfully the sending of our pastors to their missional appointments around the Western North Carolina Conference.

Please find below the 2017 Appointment Timeline for your information and prayer focus over the coming weeks and months.

In preparation for appointment-making, I ask that each of you be in prayer for Bishop Leeland, myself as your district superintendent, and all the cabinet as we enter into this sacred time and task together. In the book of Acts, we hear that the believers gathered and united in prayer for the apostles as they faced challenging times and tasks as their leaders. And because the Lord heard their prayers, miraculous things happened for them as the Church:

After this prayer, the building where they were meeting shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they preached God’s message with boldness. Acts 4:31

When the people of God unite their voices in prayer, foundations are shaken and miraculous things happen! As you unite with other brothers and sisters across this Conference, praying for your bishop and cabinet, I believe and trust that God will move among us and true Missional Appointments will be made on behalf of your churches, our pastors, and foremost for the sake of the coming Kingdom of God.

This is a critically important time for our church. This is not only our appointment time, it is our Appointed Time to be united in prayer and bold in our witness to be the Church in communities through missional engagement. Every appointment is a Missional Appointment where, as John Wesley stated, “the world is our parish” instead of the parish (local church) being our “world.”

We are all called to engage missionally in our communities, and our appointed clergy serve to equip, empower and release us for this shared ministry and service to our neighbors. Together, this is how we will fulfill our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of our world. Through these missional appointments and by God’s grace moving in our missional engagement through our churches, we can and will bring about true Kingdom transformation in these nine counties of the Blue Ridge District – and beyond!

Here is a letter from Bishop Leeland about the appointment process and an invitation to prayer.

Thank you for partnering with us in prayer over the coming weeks and months.

Prayers and blessings over each of you and your ministries,


Appointment Timeline for 2017 Announced

Appointment Timeline for 2017

  • March 27-31
    • Cabinet meeting – Appointment-making week
  • Week of April 10
    • District Superintendents will be calling Pastors and PPRC Chairs on the move list to remind them that the DS will be calling them on the afternoon and evening of April 19 or the morning, afternoon, and evening of April 20 to share with them their new appointment/pastor.
  • April 17-21
    • Cabinet Meeting – 2nd Appointment-making week.
    • Calls made April 19-20 as described above.
  • April 24
    • Moving letters and packets mailed to pastors and churches
  • April 30
    • Announcement Sunday
  • May 1 – June 11
    • Pastor visits to new church/charges
  • July 1
    • District Moving Worksheets due to Dale
  • July 3-7
    • Moving Week
  • July 5
    • Pastor must be out of the parsonage by noon (note that’s a Wednesday since the 4th is a Tuesday.)
  • July 9
    • Transition Sunday
  • July 10
    • First day in the office
  • July 16
    • First Sunday in the new appointment

Robert Jones Event Change in Time and Location

Due to weather delays the Conversation with Robert Jones has been delayed to:

4:00 Sunday afternoon March 12

at the Blue Ridge District office.

Etowah UMC Seeking Youth Pastor/Minister of Discipleship

Etowah UMC is looking for a person to help develop and lead a vibrant, comprehensive Christian Education program.  Elements of such a program include, but are not limited to: Children, Youth and Young Adult Ministries, Spiritual Formation (Nurture), and Senior Care/Visitation.

For a complete announcement click here for a pdf version.

Praying Our Way Forward Monday February 20 2017

Monday, February 20, 2017
The Climb
O Lord,
Even as we struggle
And groan under this crust of frozen earth
Your steadfast love measures each step.
Lead us as we re‐imagine
Balanced within
New forms
Living in
Holy Places.
As we climb mountains,
And the air grows thin,
May we be reminded to listen with Our eyes and our hearts.
You are the rope that we grasp,
The solid footing on which we stand,
And the broad horizon we will see
When this veil of our own self‐made fog clears.
Lead us, again, as we,
Brother and sister,
Make our way,
Hand in hand
To see together
The way forward.

Prayer written and prayed by Amy Vaughn

Praying Our Way Forward Sunday February 19 2017

Praying Our Way Forward on  February 19, 2017

You are our life, O Lord.  Receive our prayers, offered not only in words but also in spirit, by which we come asking, seeking, and knocking for our hearts’ desires.  Grant comfort to all who hope in you.
We give you thanks for the gift of your Church and for the mystery of your love in each other.  Lord of the Harvest, “send out laborers into the harvest,” that we like the early church may minister in this beautifully diverse world as you consecrate our efforts to make new disciples of Jesus Christ.
Guide the hearts of those who have been selected and appointed at this time to exercise discernment on behalf of the church.  Grant them knowledge, wisdom, and understanding, a spirit of counsel and strength, that their delight be the fear of the Lord.
May your Light direct our prayers, conversations, actions, and decisions so that we may be more closely drawn to Jesus, your Son, our Savior, the Light of the World.  Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us.
Blessed Consoler, Comforter, and Teacher, help us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus rather than being distracted by the storms that surround us, for we know he is with us in every tempest.  Keep us faithful in all we do, especially in our work for unity, that we might be one in the faith of Christ.  Amen.
Prayer written and prayed by: Bishop Paul Leeland, Resident Bishop of Western North Carolina Conference