A Friendly Reminder . . .

In an effort to help maintain social distancing to combat the coronavirus, the Presbytery office is currently closed to visitors. Most staff are working remotely and email will be monitored and answered in a timely manner. Emergency contact information can be found at the end of this communication. Stay safe!
April 2, 2021
Our General Presbyter, Byron Wade, will participate in “The Last Words”, a Good Friday worship service with preaching by previous PCUSA Co-Moderators, Moderators, and Vice-Moderators of Color. This service will be held at 2 p.m. TODAY, Eastern live on Zoom. For more information, see below, or to join service, click this link.

The preachers and words will be as follows -

Scripture: Luke 12:32-34
“Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”

Scripture: Luke 23:39-43
“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

Scripture: John 19:25-27
"Jesus said to his mother: "Woman, this is your son."
Then he said to the disciple: "This is your mother."

Scripture: Psalm 22:1-5, 29-31
"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

Scripture: John 19:28-29
“I am thirsty.”

Scripture: John 19:30
“It is finished.”

SEVENTH WORD: Denise (Recorded)
Scripture: Luke 23:44-46
“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”

Looking forward to worshipping with you.
We are the church, together . . .
Participating in OGHS During a Pandemic
(Click the graphic below for more info.)
One Great Hour of Sharing makes a difference in the world.
Faith Leaders Now Eligible to Receive COVID-19 Vaccine

March 16, 2021

Faith Leaders,

As a faith leader, you are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. This provides a unique opportunity to protect yourself and send a powerful message to your congregation and community. 

While many are eager to get the vaccine, we still need to do more to earn the trust of many others. Some people need to be assured that the vaccines are safe and effective. Others need to be confident that they and their communities are not being treated unjustly. Seeing people they trust get vaccinated can go a long way toward convincing them to take their shot. Witnessing faith leaders they trust get vaccinated could be a critical factor in their decision making. 

As one of our valued partners in the fight against COVID-19, we would appreciate you making your vaccination public and promoting it on social media. Talk about your personal decision to get vaccinated; why you think it is important; the confidence you have in the vaccines; and, why it is important that everyone gets vaccinated when they are eligible. To make that as easy as possible, we have developed a suite of materials that can be found at www.YourSpotYourShot.nc.gov in the Communications Toolkit.

We all share the hope of getting back to the people and places we love. Thank you for all you do to help people in North Carolina protect themselves, their families and communities. 

Stay well,
Carla West
Senior Director for Economic Security
North Carolina State Child Support Director
Lunch with the GP
Lunch with the GP has been a wonderful way for Byron to meet folks around the Presbytery. He will be continuing this during the months of April and May. The following dates are currently open:
April 15, 22 and 29
May 6, 13, 20 and 27

If you would like to schedule a date to have lunch with Byron, either in person socially distanced since he is vaccinated, or virtually by Zoom if you are more comfortable with that option, please contact him by phone/text at 828/430-1515 or by email.
Differences not Division

All through the Fall and Spring semesters this year, UKirk WCU has been holding a weekly Bible Study which has been looking at Racial Justice through the lens of Scripture.
Resources on racial justice have exploded in frequency and variety, but students still want to know: "What does the Bible say about this?" So we've been looking at that exact question.
This last week, in preparation for Palm Sunday, we talked about the radiating nature of God's covenant with Abraham ("I will make you a father of many nations...in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed"), the diverse group present at the Triumphal entry ("some Greeks said, 'We wish to see Jesus'"), the diversity of the crowd at Pentecost ("there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout people from every nation under heaven") and for our last reading we looked to the throne room of heaven where "a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, was standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands..."
Most of the students have been taught some level of colorblindness which has made them anxious or unprepared to have conversations about race. Our conversations from Scripture are helping us to see differences and to celebrate how those differences are woven into God's plan. We're trying to find ways to see and celebrate those differences even as we push back against division and discrimination.
At UKirk WCU, our coffeehouse ministry is having honest conversations about Scripture and racial justice. We are grateful to be able to do this work and we are grateful for your support as we do it.
Noah McIntee
Presbyterian Campus Ministry at Western Carolina University
Not Going Back to the Old Normal:
A FREE Continuing Education Event with UDTS

We've been living amidst the Covid-19 pandemic for over a year. What comes next for the church? Join the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary for a series of workshops to help pastors and leaders brainstorm and plan for emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic. Join us for each workshop, or pick and choose what is relevant to you and your ministry. This event is free and open to all. We hope you can join us!

Thursday, April 15 | 4:30 - 7:00 pm CT
Session 1 with Rev. Jonathan Brooks: Philosophy of Christian Community Development

Session 2 with Nicky Story: Technology and Worship: Resources and Brainstorming

Friday, April 16 | 4:30 - 6:30 pm CT
Session 3 with Dr. Chris James: Church in the Afterscape: Finding Hope in Hospitality and Holy Conversation

Session 4 with Rev. Susan Forshey, Ph.D.: Disciple Formation in an On-Demand World

Saturday, April 17 | 9:00 - 11:00 am CT
Session 5 with Dr. Beth McCaw: New Insights and Approaches in Caring for One Another and Our Communities

Session 6 with Dr. Timothy Slemmons: Recovering Lost Riches for Worship and Mission
Family Camp is Back at Camp Grier
Spring is the time to get the crew out of the house!

Our family camps are a great way to shake off the winter blues, get outside and recharge your batteries. Spend the weekend hiking, paddling, and hanging out by the campfire while we handle all the cooking. All you need is your sleeping bag and pillow.
2021 Spring Family Camp Dates

April 9 - 11
April 16 - 18
April 23 - 25
April 30 - May 2
May 7 - 9
May 14 - 16
May 28 - 30
If you want to double the fun bring another family! You can have adjacent cabins, a shared outdoor picnic shelter with fireplace, and catch up with your friends in a safe outdoor environment.  
To learn more, visit this LINK or give our office a call at 828-668-7793 to book your weekend.
POAMN is offering 3 free webinars!

You will need to register for each session separately. 
Connection information will be sent in your registration confirmation email.

  • The Circle of Life - April 22 @ 7:00 - 8:00 pm EDT

  • Older Adults of Hispanic Heritage - April 27 @ 3:00 - 4:00 pm EDT

  • Korean Milestone Birthdays, Immigrants and Korean-American Church - May 7 @ 12:00 - 1:00 pm EDT

Click HERE for details on how to register and more information.
New Logo for PWNC
We are in the process of searching for a new logo! Over the next couple of months, we have designed some new logos that we will be trying out in our publications. Feel free to tell us what you think by emailing Byron or Tonya at the Presbytery office.

We look forward to hearing from you!
Clergy Conversations

As our country wrestles with issues of racism, white supremacy and oppression, we hope to offer a safe space for conversation among clergy. Whether you are a pastor or clergy person who has been wrestling with issues of racism for some time or are just beginning conversations, we hope to create space for encouragement, support, the sharing of resources and stories, and the opportunity to learn together. If you are interested in participating in one or more of these clergy conversations, please contact Rev. Jill Isola by emailing pastor@npchickory.org
WNC Earth Care Congregations to
Meet April 20 via Zoom at 12:00 p.m.
The Presbytery of WNC gained one more certified Earth Care Congregation (ECC) this year for a total of nine. Congratulations to Northminster Presbyterian in Hickory for being a first-year ECC! The eight others are Black Mountain Presbyterian, Brevard-Davidson River Presbyterian, First Presbyterian - Asheville, Grace Covenant Presbyterian - Asheville, Montreat Presbyterian, New Hope Presbyterian - Asheville, Unity Presbyterian - Denver, and Warren Wilson Presbyterian Church - Swannanoa.
The WNC Presbytery Earth Care Team is inviting Earth Care Congregations to meet by ZOOM on Tuesday, April 20 at 12:00 PM. The purpose of this gathering is to provide an opportunity for sharing, encouragement, support, and perhaps even some collaboration. This will be a chance to meet others in the presbytery who have a similar kind of passion for earth care. The ZOOM link for the April 20 meeting is:
The number of people who can attend from each Earth Care Congregation is not limited. If your church is not an Earth Care Congregation but would like to learn from them, you are welcome to join. Read about Earth Care Congregations and how to become certified on the PC(USA) website.
Provided by PWNC's Peace & Justice Committee

As Christians we are called to walk in the way of Jesus. The Gospels reveal that Christ came for the whole person and the wellbeing of the society. Jesus made his way past geographical boundaries as well as invisible boundaries constructed by systemic sin. He did not let that which divides humanity from one another to keep him from reaching out to all people whether it was the Pharisee or Samaritan, the proud or meek, the righteous or the sinner, and the slave or free. God’s love for the world revealed in Jesus Christ knows no bounds.
In an effort to bear witness to Jesus Christ, our Presbytery has engaged in the Matthew 25 vision for the church and community. This is a call for us to be actively engaged in our communities by working toward:
·       Building congregational vitality
·       Dismantling structural racism
·       Eradicating systemic poverty
The Peace and Justice Committee is tasked in taking the lead on dismantling structural racism. The Presbyterian Mission agency explains that this is a call involving “breaking down the laws, policies, practices and structures that reinforce and perpetuate discrimination, bias, prejudice and oppression of ‘people of color.’”[1] 
In this season of Lent, we are invited to a journey of discovery. It is one thing to confess the sin of racism and white supremacy. But, in a spirit of repentance we also are encouraged to turn and return to God’s command to love our neighbors and respond to people who are ignored with understanding, compassion and justice.
We are called to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. May the resources provided help us all work for the kingdom Jesus began in his birth, pushes us into with his Spirit, and will bring to completion in his power.

Click to access your 2021 Lenten Devotional Guide. New content is added each week.

[1] Matthew 25 Bible Study For prayer and reflection, (Louisville: PC (USA) Presbyterian Mission Agency), 17.
Synod Small Church Grants

The Synod of the Mid-Atlantic is now accepting Grant Applications again. The deadline for submissions to be received in Synod's office is August 1.

Remember any grants submitted to Synod from your church require Presbytery approval through General Council. The deadline for submission to General Council is June 1st. Read here for Presbytery's guidelines.
A Lenten Journey to Peace and Wholeness
Shared from Presbyterian Mission Agency (PCUSA)

Lent is all about spiritual renewal. It is a sacred time of preparation for Easter and a time to reflect on what God has done to redeem us and how we can live a whole and full life as a child of God.

Many of us see Lent as a season of penitence, fasting, service and contemplation — but at the top of our list should be a prayer for the acquisition of peace. In our devotional this year, we invite you to reflect upon the gift of shalom, the Hebrew word with a host of meanings: peace, security, well-being, health, completeness. Our spiritual goal: exploring how can we receive this gift of shalom and, in turn, bestow it upon the world.

Now, more than ever, we deeply crave shalom. Our world is in desperate need of peace. The United States has just come out of a contentious election, a struggle with a global pandemic, and painful racial violence. Poverty, misery and despair fill many corners of the world. Yes, we desire peace. We need peace.

Every week from Ash Wednesday (February 17) through Easter (April 4), this year’s devotional focuses on shalom — and what it can mean in our lives and how we can bring it to the world. We explore themes of justice, peace, healing, hope, repairing and reconciliation. You’ll find Scripture readings along with beautiful meditations and prayers written by the director and staff of the Presbyterian Office of Public Witness in Washington: the Rev. Jimmie Hawkins, Catherine Gordon and Christian Brooks. You’ll be challenged and moved — and hopefully, spiritually enriched.

The Way to Shalom is online and free for download or printing. You’re invited to use it, share it, excerpt from it and make it your spiritual companion this Lent.
The following Pathways Online Courses have recently been added to Union's Continuing Education series.

These online courses meet weekly for five-weeks, one class meeting per week. Class sizes are limited. Waiting lists will be generated, as needed.

Worship & Sacraments (One spot remaining)
Led by: Dr. Paul Galbreath, Professor of Theology
Dates: Thursdays, April 15 - May 13, 2021

NEW Course Offering Preaching the Bible (New section added)
Led by: Dr. Rich Voelz, Associate Professor of Teaching & Worship
Dates: Mondays, April 19 - May 17, 2021

NEW Course Offering Polity & Administration II (Pathways Elective)
Led by: Rev. Carson Rhyne, Adjunct Instructor
Dates: Tuesdays, April 27 – May 25, 2021

NEW Course Offering Worship & Sacraments (New section added)
Led by: Dr. Paul Galbreath, Professor of Theology
Dates: Thursdays, May 20 - June 17, 2021
NEW Online Workshop:
The Basics of Digital Church Communication

4-part series, beginning Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Dates: Tuesdays, May 11, 18, 25, and June 1, 10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. EST
(Note: This online workshop is a four-part series).

Led by: Christen Kinard, Founder, Digital Congregations

Workshop Description: This 4-part course is designed for church leaders—from pastors to communications managers—to learn to navigate the complexities of digital church communication more easily and effectively.

Touching on a range of important and practical topics, this course includes the four live lessons (along with their recordings), a take-home communications roadmap, and scheduled office hours to address specific questions and concerns.
Helpful Resources for
Church Leadership

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is providing resources for pastors and leaders of congregations in this time of rising COVID rates. The resources offered include –

• A Faith Leader Tool Kit which includes sample talking points for congregational
• Places of Worship Guidance
• Mental Health Helplines
• No-Cost Community Testing Events

Click here to access material that has been pooled for our members and churches, and to find other helpful resources for ministering in these unprecedented times.
Click the button below to see current job
opportunities in our area listed on the PWNC website.
PWNC Holiday Closing
Monday - Thursday: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Friday: 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Rev. Dr. Byron Wade ~ 828/430-1515
Rev. Dr. Cameron Murchison, Jr. ~ 404/556-8041
Rev. Billy Robinson ~ 828/448-2153
Presbytery of Western North Carolina | 828.438.4217 | www.presbyterywnc.org