April 2021 Newsletter
posted on April 01
April 2021 Newsletter
Ponderings from Sam Moore
Reverend Samuel H. Moore, Jr. D.Min., District Superintendent
Easter 2021 is different for my family and me. It is similar to the Easters we celebrated in 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2017, 2018, and 2019. We celebrated these Easters after the death of family members. These Easters were special because it was the faith and the hope that we received from Jesus’ resurrection that allowed us to have faith in our loved ones’ resurrections. I do not want to mislead you to think that our loved ones’ deaths were not painful; they were. Like those who stood by and watched Jesus suffer and die, we journeyed with our loved ones and watched them die. Like Jesus’s followers, we discovered that we were not alone in our pain, our grief, our anger, and all the other emotions we experienced as our loved ones died. We discovered that a community was with us, loving us, praying for us, supporting us in ways that were making our burdens lighter and our pain bearable. They were even having faith for us when we did not think that we could have faith. I celebrate that the church is not a social club for saints but a hospital for sinners. I celebrate that when we are broken, and at our worst, the ministries of the church offers us the ability to heal us and make us whole.
As it relates to this season in my life, am I healed and whole? No, I am not! Since Diane’s health began to deteriorate, I have found comfort and solace in Jesus’ Resurrection. The Easter Sunday morning hope is an empty tomb and a Resurrected Jesus with a glorified body. When we thought Diane’s death was near, we imagined that Diane in the Resurrection would be able to do things that she could not do while she was alive. My family and I continue to miss Diane and all of our loved ones who have died. We remember them, and we cry because we cannot experience them as we once did. We are better, but we are not healed and whole yet. We are on the journey, and because Jesus is with us, we are better.
I pray that as you move from Holy Monday to Easter Sunday that the Resurrected Jesus will help you on your journey. I pray that you may move in the direction of wholeness and healing. I pray that your faith will be strengthened as you come to know that you are not alone on your journey. The church, the community of faith, walks with you, and so does Jesus, the one who was crucified, died, and resurrected. Because of Jesus’ resurrection, brokenness, death, defeat, despair, and do not have the last words. Life, more abundant life, and resurrection have the final words.
Yesterday, Governor Cooper issued a further easing of Covid-19 restrictions. The Bishop and Cabinet remain committed to our biblical mandate to “love our neighbors as ourselves” and our Wesleyan call to “do no harm.”
We celebrate that percentages of positive test results and hospitalizations continue to show improvement while vaccine distribution increases. However, we are also aware that people across our conference are still losing loved ones due to this virus. Thus, we continue to recommend that all local churches and other ministries follow the guidance of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as they make decisions about indoor worship, small groups, and other gatherings.
Using Governor Cooper’s Executive Order No. 204 as a guide, the Bishop and Cabinet make these specific recommendations:
- For those churches whose counties are not in the “red,” indoor worship may be considered using a limit of 50% capacity as long as social distancing can be maintained. Masks must be worn throughout the service. The recommendation for not having a full choir remains in effect. Humming or quiet singing by the congregation with their masks on is acceptable.
- A 50-person limit should be maintained for all other gatherings inside the church building. Please continue to socially distance and wear masks at these events as well.
- Due to the complex nature of food service that increases risk, we continue to discourage indoor congregational meals or refreshments. Let us be patient in restarting fellowship gatherings with food in order to continue to keep people safe.
As we continue to journey to the cross and then celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, may we give thanks for all those who are working tirelessly to give vaccinations, and may we be mindful of the over 500,000 persons in the United States who have lost their lives during this pandemic and keep all of those who mourn their loss in prayer.
FAQ for Executive Order 204
Covid-19 Funeral Assistance
Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA will provide financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.
Additional guidance is being finalized and will be released to potential applicants and community partners as soon as possible. In the meantime, people who have COVID-19 funeral expenses are encouraged to keep and gather documentation.
Learn more and apply here.
The Color of Compromise Book Study and Reflection
The Yadkin Valley District invites laity and clergy to join in taking another step together in the work of “racial justice as discipleship” through a ten-week study of Jemar Tisby’s book, The Color of Compromise, to be facilitated by Rev. Dr. Jim Melson. This transformational learning experience is offered by the YVD for all who desire to cultivate further learning about racialized culture, to deepen relationships with God and neighbors, and to discern with others how we may more fully embody God’s love and grace in our communities.
CLASS FORMAT AND STRUCTURE:
Ten Tuesdays beginning April 13 through June 15, 2021
Virtual Class via ZOOM, 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
ZOOM Link and Class schedule provided with registration confirmation
Cost: Personally secured copy of book via favorite book source in your favorite format. The book is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Christianbook.com.
Check out the class outline and reading assignments here.
10 weekly sessions of 90-minutes include:
Opening Scripture and Prayer
A Presentation About the Focus Chapter for Each Session
Small Group Conversations on Focus Questions in Breakout Rooms
Large Group Gathering for Closing Reflection and Prayer
NOTE: Large Group Sections (1, 2, and 4) may be recorded so small groups meeting at other times have access to the presentation and small group questions.
Yadkin Valley District Vitality Team
Provide technical and financial support to implement church sponsored ministries for churches in the Yadkin Valley District to enable them to become more vital by enhancing internal congregational/agency development or reaching outward into the community.
District Outward Mindset Workshop Series in May
Philippians 2:3-4 reminds us, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Thinking of others, thinking outwardly, is one of the characteristics of a disciple, which contrasts with how the world operates, and it impacts not only how we relate to our church community, but how we behave in the world, in our workplaces, with our families, and other members of our communities. If you are interested in learning:
- what it looks like to have an outward mindset
- how to work with others in a way that is more collaborative, fulfilling, and effective
- how to positively influence others
- how to address and solve conflict
then you are invited to participate in the transformative workshop series Developing and Implementing an Outward Mindset. It was developed by the Arbinger Institute with the business world in mind, but it is Christian discipleship in language the world speaks. The Uwharrie and Yadkin Valley districts are partnering to offer this to those seeking to learn new skills that contribute to their discipleship formation. Normally the cost is hundreds of dollars, but it is being subsidized heavily by the WNCC, so the cost is only $30, which covers the cost of the books. With two different sets of dates, we are hoping to maximize our reach with this interactive, virtual offering. The two workshop schedules are as follows:
Two workshop options are available, with multi-session classes:
Tuesday/Thursday workshop in May
- Monday, May 10: 12:00-1:00pm - a 1-hour get to know you/kickoff.
- Tuesday, May 11: 1:00pm - 4:00pm
- Thursday, May 13: 1:00pm - 4:00pm
- Tuesday, May 18: 1:00pm - 4:00pm
- Thursday, May 20: 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Weekend workshop in May
- Thursday, May 13: 7:00-8:00pm - a 1-hour get to know you/kickoff.
- Friday, May 14: 5:00pm - 8:00pm
- Saturday, May 15: 9:00am - 12:00pm and 1:00pm - 4:00pm
- Sunday, May 16: 2:00pm - 5:00pm
To register click HERE by April 8th.
A workshop kit will be sent to you in advance of the first session.
When you activate your healthPERX/MDLIVE benefits - now through April 30th - the Western NC Conference will send you a $25 gift card. Telemedicine with MD LIVE offers you 24/7 access to board certified physicians with NO COST consultations, no waiting rooms, no bills, and this benefit extends to your spouse and children, even if they are not on the conference health plan! The average family of 4 can save more than $1,100 a year! Learn more and register today.
Laity Preaching Cohort
A Preaching Cohort facilitated by Robert W. Brewer, Th.D. Robert is an assistant professor of religion and campus chaplain at Greensboro College and is the Director of Community Outreach & Worship Arts at College Place UMC.
This course provides laity who already have experience in developing and delivering sermons additional insights into the art and practice of preaching. Participants will learn from the experience and feedback of other laity while being guided by an experienced instructor. The course will meet virtually once per month for six consecutive months.
Learn more and register here.
Congratulations to Jim Wilhelm
Wesley Memorial would like to extend its congratulations to Jim Wilhelm for completing the Yale Bible Study on the Book of Genesis with Professor Joel A Baden offered through the Center for Continuing Education, New Haven, Connecticut. We are so proud of Jim for seeking to challenge himself and improve his Biblical knowledge and insight. Wesley is blessed to have Jim as one of our Lay Leaders!
- Pastor Angel
On the Sunday after Easter, the Western NC Conference will offer a conference-wide virtual worship led by our District Superintendents, with music and liturgy from pastors and churches around our conference, and a homily from Bishop Leeland. Clergy and worship leaders, take a much-needed break after the Lenten season and worship with friends around the conference.
Dough Sheeter For Sale
Doyon DL 12SP Countertop 12" Dough Sheeter for Sale ($1,200)
Used only once for pie dough.
Sheet dough balls up to 12" in diameter for pizzas, wraps, and more into a uniform thickness and a round shape quickly and easily. Capable of making up to 250 pieces per hour. Can sheet all types of dough including cinnamon rolls, doughnuts, pierogis, danish, and more.
Ideal for operations with limited space. Stainless steel welded construction, heavy duty 1/2 hp motor and sealed, permanently lubricated ball bearings. Cost $2,155 new.
Contact Betty Hughes, (336) 764-1205