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!
PWNC NEWS & EVENTS
March 12, 2021
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!
Meet and Three Lunch
Tuesday, March 16th from 12:00-1:00 p.m.

The Small Church Committee is hosting another “meet and three” Zoom gathering on Tuesday, March 16th from 12:00-1:00 p.m.! The topic this time will focus on Easter and Holy Week preaching. Remember to bring a lunch if desired, and up to three illustrations, resources, or ideas for Easter preaching that have been helpful in your Easter proclamations. If you can’t think of any off hand, come all the same, as it is always good to catch up and check in.

Here is the ZOOM LINK for the meeting. Hope you can join us!
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
Congratulations to the following congregations who were certified as an Earth Care Congregation by Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s Presbyterian Hunger Program through February 2022:

Black Mountain Presbyterian Church, Black Mountain NC
Brevard-Davidson River Presbyterian Church, Brevard NC
First Presbyterian Church, Asheville, NC
Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, Asheville, NC
Montreat Presbyterian Church, Montreat, NC
New Hope Presbyterian Church, Asheville NC
Northminster Presbyterian Church, Hickory NC
Unity Presbyterian Church, Denver, NC
Warren Wilson Presbyterian Church, Swannanoa, NC

This honor speaks to the great commitment these churches have made to care for God’s earth. To become an Earth Care Congregation, each congregation affirmed an Earth Care Pledge to integrate environmental practices and thinking into their worship, education, facilities, and outreach. The Earth Care Congregation certification is designed to recognize churches that make the commitment to take seriously God’s charge to “till and keep” the garden.

Started in 2010 by the PC(USA), the goal of this program is to inspire churches to care for God’s earth in a holistic way, through integrating earth care into all aspects of their church life. The Earth Care Congregation certification honors churches that make that commitment and encourages others to follow their example.

“It is exciting that these 9 churches are part of the the 276 congregations that chose to dedicate themselves to intentional care of God’s earth this year. Particularly in a time of much uncertainty and worry about the future, the activities and commitments of these churches, even in the midst of navigating limitations brought about by COVID-19, brings hope to their community. We believe that this will inspire others to respond intentionally to God’s call to care for the earth,” says Jessica Maudlin, Associate for Sustainable Living and Earth Care Concerns for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

For more information on the Earth Care Congregations program, visit www.pcusa.org/earthcarecongregations.
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.
Attention KBR Recipients!
For Honorably Retired Pastors receiving the bi-annual Kate B. Reynolds stipend, Wells Fargo has indicated that the K-1 Forms will be mailed out by March 15, 2021. We have been receiving inquiries about 1099 Forms and the following is from Wells Fargo to that regard: "The ministers will only get K-1's. K-1's are for beneficiaries of private foundations versus a 1099, which is typically for contractor payment of services."
We thank you for your patience and efforts. For questions, contact Cam Murchison, Stated Clerk.

Our own Reverend Dr. Byron A. Wade talks about how spending time in mourning and grief after a traumatic event, such as the death of a loved one or a crisis in the church or family, can help us on our path to wholeness and healing.
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.
Winter 2021
 The Summer Countdown Begins
Camp is coming! Even though it's winter, we're always thinking summer and the time to register is NOW! Spots are filling quickly and spaces are limited so be sure to check out our dates, rates, and registration page and sign up TODAY

For Camp Grier's most recent communication, visit this link.
Spring 2021 Preview
New Continuing Education Events Added

Upcoming Pathways Online Courses 

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 (Pathways Online Course)
Led by: Dr. Paul Galbreath, Professor of Theology
Dates: Thursdays, April 15 – May 13, 2021
NEW Course Offering Polity & Administration II (Pathways Online Course)
Led by: Rev. Carson Rhyne, Adjunct Instructor
Dates: Tuesdays, April 27 – May 25, 2021

For more information on these and other offerings, click this link.
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
leaders
• 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.
PWNC OFFICE HOURS
Monday - Thursday: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Friday: 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

EMERGENCY CONTACTS
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