Smoky Mountain District Newsletter January 2023

posted on January 23

As a spiritual leader on the margin, Rev. Jae Lee has led people from the edge.
From the Edge* will become a voice for diverse perspectives and encouragement among the Smoky Mountain District's churches and leaders. In addition, Jae may ask the district lay and clergy leaders to write a short article from our edges.


Rediscover Wesleyan Evangelism

As we began a new spiritual movement in the Smoky Mountain District by rediscovering Wesleyan evangelism in our churches, we had the first "Re-Evangelism Conference" last October. During the session, we brainstormed for Advent – Christmas season to intentionally invite our neighbors to our churches. On January 12, we met at Central UMC in Clyde and shared how we invited and welcomed our neighbors. Then we also spent some time thinking of evangelistic ways for the Easter season. It was a significant time for us to get together and learn that we are not alone in our communal efforts to bring good news to our neighbors. 

Our next "Re-Evangelism Conference" will be held on April 30 to May 2 at Hinton Rural Life Center. I invite church leaders to participate in the conference to be equipped with the love of God and our neighbors. It will be crucial for our churches to rethink Christian evangelism, spiritual renewal, and church growth. Dr. Kale Yu from High Point University will continue to serve as our plenary speaker.
I want to share a brief reflection from Dr. Yu at the follow-up meeting on January 12.
"I should first say that I went into the meeting with zero expectations. I wasn't sure how many people would actually carry out the assignment I gave them for Advent. And I wasn't sure how many people would show up, but many did.
What they shared blew me away. There are too many inspiring stories to share here. Some of them started so many creative ventures. For example, what Pati Graham did at Bryson City UMC was absolutely amazing. As a follow-up to what she did for Advent, she's leading a Lent project, and I said during the meeting, "Seriously. You need to tour the district with this." I told them, "This is one of the most creative things I've ever heard."
For me, personally, it was very rewarding. They showed me that my theory, when applied and practiced, works in the local church setting. During the meeting, Rev. In-Yong Lee from the Blue Ridge District told her superintendent, Dr. Mark Ralls, that this method should be applied in every district. Because of these evangelistic outreaches, some have already seen fruits as new people have started to engage the church."

Let us commit ourselves to love our God and neighbors through this spiritual renewal of rediscovering Wesleyan evangelism in the Smoky Mountain District. I envision passionate Methodists who sincerely love God and our neighbors, share our faith and love with others, and have a foretaste of God's kingdom in our local churches.
Blessings and peace, Jae

Join us for the next session of Re-Evangelism
and get in on this great adventure! 

Grassroot Evangelism in Our Local Context

"Understanding and Practicing
Grassroot Evangelism"

Spring Session  - April 30 - May 2, 2023
(Starting with Sunday Evening Dinner through Tuesday Lunch)

Hinton Rural Life Center in Hayesville

Re-Evangelism pursues to become a collaborative movement of lay and clergy by renewing our hearts for our neighbors with the Good News. It is not only a movement that should encourage church growth but a spiritual renewal among United Methodists. By revisiting Early American Methodists in our mountain communities and confronting our realities with courage and faith, we will restore our passion and love toward God and others.

Timeline for Re-Evangelism:
Second Evangelism Session April 30 - May 2, 2023
Evangelism Pilgrimage to South Korea in the early fall of 2023,
Third Evangelism Session in the winter of 2023.



The cost includes two nights stay and six meals at Hinton! 

$30 for Smoky Mountain District Clergy and Laity
and $80 for anyone in the WNC Conference!

If you need assistance with the cost,
please contact Angela at

This discounted cost is possible through a generous grant from 

Please register by April 14th! 

Click HERE to Register for the Spring Session Today! ?


Our 2023 WNCC Winter Leadership Training starts Today!
You can still register!

Click here to register now! 

The Western North Carolina Conference Online Winter Leadership Training (January 23-26, 2023) is designed for and open to all local church leaders including lay leaders, council members, volunteers, and all who lead (or are considering future leadership!). This is an opportunity to connect with other leaders across the conference and learn about roles, best practices, and new ideas for ministry.

We are excited to reveal our great line-up of topics and presenters, and that Bishop Ken Carter will be our keynote speaker! 

This year we sent out a survey ahead of time asking for topic ideas. About 400 of you responded and we took your lead. The sessions that are planned are in response to your feedback, and we are so grateful for your willingness to let us know how you would like to spend your time. The topics are timely and much needed, and we cannot wait to share this space and time for conversation with you all!

On this webpage (, you will find the schedule with descriptions and a registration link. Registration is not required, but please take the time to register for sessions. This will help WLT facilitators and presenters prepare to best utilize the time and engage with you in the most beneficial ways possible. 

We know there are so many great options that you may want to attend them all, but rest assured that they will be recorded. Choose the topics in each breakout session where you most relate and would like to participate in conversation. Attending the session will help you participate in dialogue, watching the session later will help you glean information. The sessions will remain posted on this page year round. 

More information and Zoom links will be added to the webpage as they are available. 


Keeping Our Neighbors Warm in Franklin!

First UMC Franklin had a tremendous response to the emergency warming station that was held at the Outreach Center Dec 23-26, 2022.  We served 30 individuals in need. Aside from shelter and hot meals, we were able to provide bedding, warm coats, and clothes, needed personal hygiene products and food to take with them. During the day, soup and hats/gloves/socks/hand warmers were handed out at the shelter by the Greenway. Items remaining are and will continue to be distributed to folks in need. 

We received tremendous support and partnership with
Macon County EMS, Macon County Sheriff’s Department,
Franklin Police and Macon New Beginnings during this time.



Our Bishop, Ken Carter, will spend two days in the Smoky Mountain District, listening to diverse voices from various leaders in our district.

Here are two options to join in the conversation with our Bishop.
Please make plans to attend! 

 April 2, Sunday

• 11am – 2pm: Bishop preaching and having lunch with Native
   American UM members at Cherokee UMC
• 4pm – 5:30pm: Bishop will meet with lay and clergy at First UMC, Franklin

April 3, Monday

• 8am – 10am: Bishop will have breakfast and conversation with leaders
  of non-profit organizations at Lake Junaluska
• 11am – 2pm: Bishop will meet with lay and clergy at Central UMC, Canton



Andrews United Methodist Church
is seeking to hire a piano accompanist for its Choir Position! 

Requires excellent piano skills and ability to follow director. Must be available Wednesday evenings for one hour rehearsal and two Sundays a month for anthems during worship. Additional rehearsals may be required on occasion. Organ playing ability a plus! 

Salary: $300/month

Send resumes to


Smoky Mountain District Newsletter January 2023