September 2021 BRD Monthly

posted on September 01

COVID-19 Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry

(updated 8.9.2021)

View & Download a copy of the guidelines here.

For more resources related to COVID-19 visit




Disaster Response Efforts

The WNCC Committee on Relief has been putting their efforts into assisting with damages caused by Hurricanes Ida and Fred across Western North Carolina. 

"Clergy, we ask that you appeal to your congregations, both in person and those online, to give generously to this fund so that we, as a Conference, may assist these churches in working with their communities."

Find more information and ways to give here.



Changes for Clergy Meeting with Bishop Carter

Due to the rise in Covid-19 cases across North Carolina, Bishop Carter has moved the clergy meetings to ZOOM only. Clergy is now asked to attend one of two webinars. 

• Tuesday, September 7 from 10-11a.m. 

• Wednesday, October 6 from 10-11 a.m.

Please register here.



Charge Conferences

Dates and times for the 2021 Fall Charge Conferences are available on our website and will continue to be updated as needed. Those who are not listed have been scheduled individually. Please reach out to Ruth ( for more information.

Fall 2021 Charge Conference Schedule



Clergy Health Opportunities

In order to help BRD clergy further pursue spiritual, mental, and physical health, we are now offering the following opportunities:

  • *New* Discounted YMCA Memberships - The Blue Ridge District has entered into a partnership with the YMCA of Western North Carolina to offer clergy and their families discounted gym memberships. Individual clergy memberships will be offered for $26.20/month, and clergy family memberships will be offered for $48.20/month. Click here for locations. For more information about registration, email If you are outside of the YMCA of Western North Carolina area, but know of another YMCA area we could partner with that is closer to you, also please let Shonnie know. 
  • Counseling with Stacy Watkins-Griffith - Clergy are invited to schedule up to 6 counseling sessions with UM Elder and Licensed Counselor, Stacy Watkins-Griffith for $10/session. Stacy only communicates with the Blue Ridge District about supplemental fees. Counseling sessions and those who enter into them are held completely confidential by her. 
  • Online Means of Grace - We know that a lot of times when clergy are the ones providing opportunities for others to participate in the Means of Grace, there is little space for them to participate as well. Because of this we want to offer the opportunity for clergy to gather with other clergy from around the Blue Ridge District in prayer, scriptural study & conversation, fasting & communion, and conversations/action planning surrounding justice. So that we can better plan, if you are interested in any of these opportunities, please fill out this form. We will provide more information as available.


Ongoing Grant Opportunities 

Native American Ministries Sunday Grant

Through offerings collected each year on Native American Ministries Sunday, the General Board of Global Ministries is able to grant funding to congregations and ministries working to enhance the relationship or wellbeing of Native Americans. 

Download the 2021 application here.

Spiritual Renewal Grants

The WNCC Leadership Development Team is now accepting applications for Spiritual Renewal Grants through September 15. 

Details and application here.



Conference Opportunities & Cohorts


Change for Anti-Racism Ethics Training

Due to the rise in Covid-19 cases, this year's training (intended for participation from clergy and at least one lay person from their congregation) has been redesigned for online participation.

More information can be found on our website, here.


Developing and Implementing an Outward Mindset

Arbinger Institute is offering 5 workshops designed to encourage deep growth in community relationships, collaboration, engagement, and accountability.

More information can be found here.



Post-Pandemic Game Changers Cohorts

Beginning in September, join teams from other WNC churches via ZOOM once a month for conversation, assessment, action-plan creation, and implementation plans for your congregation as we navigate the changes from the pandemic. Teams should consist of clergy leaders and laity but individuals may attend as well. 

Registration and information can be found here.


Preaching Like Peter

Clergy are invited to register for this cohort which will begin Sept. 30th. During this time, clergy will reflect on the sermons of Peter, practice, apply, improve sermons of their own, and enjoy peer review and fellowship. 

More information here. 



Job Openings Within Blue Ridge District Congregations

There are currently several job openings throughout our district posted on our website. Please feel free to share among those who may be interested in applying!


Upcoming Events

  • September 7: Clergy Meeting with Bishop Carter
  • September 13: Anti-Racism Training
  • September 20: Anti-Racism Training
  • September 30: Preaching Like Peter



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