Smoky Mountain District Newsletter April 2023

posted on April 10

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.

To the people of the United Methodist Church in Western North Carolina,
We are in the season now of Easter.  We have transitioned from a 40 day season of fasting (Lent) to a 50 day season of feasting (Easter).  We celebrated the resurrection on Sunday, and now we remember that Jesus was with us on earth for 40 days prior to his ascension (Acts 1).  There was then a period of ten days before the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2).  In these days Jesus appeared to them as the Risen Lord and spoke about the Kingdom of God.  

On the Day of Pentecost (which actually means “fifty”), the disciples gathered for the Hebrew feast of Shavuot, which was a harvest festival and a remembrance of God’s gift of the law to Moses on Mt. Sinai.

The church calls this the “Great 50 Days", in celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and in anticipation of our mission given to us on Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit is poured out on all flesh.
I invite us to observe the Great 50 Days in two ways.  
First,  each day there will be shared testimony through our social media about how the power of the Resurrection and the Holy Spirit is present in our lives and in our churches and ministries.   I hope you will watch for these testimonies, share them, encourage one another, and praise God for them.
And second, I invite you to read, reflect on and pray these words every day between Easter and Pentecost (The Great 50 Days). 

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, 
to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
Awe came upon everyone because many wonders and signs 
were being done through the apostles. All who believed were together 
and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods 
and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. 
Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, 
they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, 
praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day 
the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.      

 (Acts 2. 42-47, NRSV)
Eternal God, we give you thanks for this holy mystery
in which you have given yourself to us.
Grant that we may go into the world
in the strength of your Spirit,
to give ourselves for others,
in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(Prayer after Receiving Holy Communion, UM Hymnal)

May the power of the Risen Jesus and the peace of the Holy Spirit fall afresh upon us, in the Great 50 Days between Easter and Pentecost.
The Peace of the Lord, 
+Ken Carter
Resident Bishop 

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! ?


 On Monday, April 17th at 6:30pm the Vitality Through Storytelling Project will premiere the short film "When Disaster Strikes" at Canton Central UMC. This short film shares the stories from flood survivors and volunteers-- stories of loss, community, and hope. Join us Monday evening as we both watch the film and engage in conversation around what it means to forge a resilient community "When Disaster Strikes." 

Canton Central Fellowship Hall • 34 Church Street • Parking in Back


Submit artwork to

Would you church like to become
a Lighthouse Congregation? 

Lighthouse Congregations are a part of the UM Collective Movement in the Western NC Conference. These congregations are particularly equipped to welcome anyone whose church has closed or disaffiliated. If you find yourself in these circumstances, we first want you to know that we see you. We love you. And we will help guide you.

A Lighthouse Congregation is a United Methodist faith community that will serve as a resting place with people who will care for you while providing a haven of peace and grace. Whether you are an individual or a group of people who have become displaced or churchless because of closing or disaffiliation, Lighthouse Congregations will be there for you during this difficult time.

If your church has affirmed their desire to remain United Methodist, and would like to be equipped to serve as a Lighthouse Congregation for those who also wish to remain United Methodist in your community. The first step is to complete the Informational/Equipping online training. 

We need more in our district so please consider
becoming a Lighthouse Congregation today!

Click here to access the on-line training


For more information contact Rev. Victoria Lawrence at


IFD316 – Spiritual Warfare: The Battle Is Real

The spiritual battle that surrounds us is real. The Bible explains that evil spirits/fallen angels exist and are determined to turn us away from God, corrupt our lives, and intervene persistently to disrupt our faith.  

Are you armed? What tools do you have to stand against Satan, the liar and deceiver? Learners will examine and claim these tools that are part of the full armor of God, found in Ephesians 6:11. The author of our required reading says “Being clothed in God’s armor keeps the battle where it belongs…in the hands of our powerful God.”  
Be prepared to stand against demons of darkness, the corruption of His most Holy, and the forces that are lurking to trap you. You can stand against the devil’s schemes. 

Learners will need to obtain this book:  Spiritual Warfare and the Armor of God The Battle is Real… The Victory is Sure by Luanne Botta

Donna LiPuma, one of Smoky Mountain's Certified Lay Ministers, is teaching this course on Be a! 

For More Information and to Register Click HERE ?


Love's Chapel United Methodist Church
is looking for a pianist! 

Paid Pianist for 11am Sunday Morning Services
Contact Martha Humes at 828-506-9989 or
for more information!

Franklin First United Methodist Church
is seeking to hire someone for their Children's Ministry!

Franklin First United Methodist Church is seeking the right person(s) to take their ministry with children and families to new levels. The position is currently a 30 hour a week position. As we are looking for the best, either one position or two positions of roughly 10-15 hours with one focusing on ministry within the church and another focusing on ministry in the community will be considered. FUMC is a vibrant downtown church with an emphasis on ministry both within and beyond the walls of the church. The church is proud to be inter-generational, with a history of strong ministry to children and their families. Making a commitment to helping address the needs of children out in the community, the church is ready to go that next step in a larger way. With both a strong staff and strong leadership from church members, we are excited about the possibilities ahead!

For more information, see the attached job description. Applications
will be accepted until the position is filled.
Please send a letter of interest along with a resume to Rev. Margaret Freeman, Minister of Discipleship,  

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 April 2023