Smoky Mountain District Newsletter August 2023

posted on August 28

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.

The Great Commission and Sharing Your Faith

Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything that I've commanded you. Look, I myself will be with you every day until the end of this present age. 
Matthew 28:19-20

As part of our Lay Servant Ministries, we are offering an exciting FREE Laity event September 9th at Sylva First UMC starting at 9am! 

This special event is multi-faceted. It will be a great introduction, or reminder, of Wesleyan Evangelism and offer some real life application in today's world! This will be a great opportunity for area churches to network across the district and learn about relational and service-oriented ministries while building pastor-laity partnerships and developing new leaders within the church. 

In addition to this, the training will help develop the deep connection between John Wesley's thoughts and scholarly thinking about evangelism and the biblical understandings of the gospel - all concerning the needs, concerns, and hopes of everyday people. From this practical training, we will learn to develop a faith-sharing life that demonstrates the transforming power of loving God and neighbor. 

Registration for this course is free, please see the event information below along with the registration link. Participants can also earn educational credits toward lay servant certification or renewal for a lay speaker or lay servant. See details below or call Angela Young at the district office for more details! 
In your service,
Dr. Pati Graham
District Lay Leader


Because of the more aggressive and confrontational tactics we hear about today in other denominations, evangelism has developed a bad connotation. Doors are shut hurriedly, phone calls end abruptly, and emails are left unanswered. After all, isn't this a task better handled by the pastor?

Perhaps it's time to re-examine John Wesley's model of evangelism as a whole, natural circle - where it's a communal beginning point rather than a solitary end. The central motive of authentic evangelism is: Having received a message that's made all the difference in our lives, we desire to share that message with others in the hope it will transform their lives as well. Wesley models an evangelism that reaches out, welcomes, invites, nurtures, and speaks to both head and heart. "Faith-sharing is about creating relationships. How we are in relationship to God, who can transform us into new beings. How we are in relationship to our neighbor, whom we must love like ourselves."

This day-long event will help develop the deep connection between John Wesley's thoughts, Charles Wesley's hymns, scholarly thinking about evangelism and biblical understandings of the gospel - all in relation to the needs, concerns, and hopes of everyday people." From this practical study, we will learn to live a faith-sharing life that demonstrates the transforming power of loving God and neighbor.

Lunch is included.
Free shirts will be given to the first thirty individuals who sign up early.

Participants who wish to receive credit for this event for laity certification are asked to purchase the book from the district office and read it in advance. In addition, those individuals will be required to do a poster presentation later in the afternoon about ministries in their own church that create relational opportunities with their church and/or community. 

Click Here to Register for this FREE Event! ?

Since 1889, the Morning Star United Methodist Church has hosted a gathering known as Old Folks Day. This day is a celebration of the wisdom and experience of the elder congregants in the church. Thanks largely to the encouragement of North Carolina Folk Heritage Award recipient Quay Smathers, Old Folks Day became a favorite gathering of shape-note singers.

Everyone welcome to come join the fun!!!
11:00am Worship service
12:00n : Potluck Lunch
1:00pm: Group photo featuring those who are 70 and older
1:30pm: Shaped-note singing from the 1873 edition of The Christian Harmony 
 (Loaner books will be available for those who would like to learn to sing the shapes)







District Lighthouse Congregations

Lighthouse Congregations are local churches in the WNCC that are particularly equipped to welcome anyone whose church has closed or disaffiliated. If you find yourself in these circumstances, a Lighthouse Congregation may be just what you need to fulfill your desire to Remain-UMC. Consider these United Methodist faith communities a resting place, with people who will care for you while providing a haven of peace and grace.  

Find a Lighthouse Church Near You! ?

Lighthouse Congregations are part of the UM Collective Movement, which seeks to be a connecting space for those who find themselves displaced because of disaffiliation. Its mission is to provide care, a place to belong, and tangible pathways to explore the next steps for those on this challenging journey. The UM Collective is an online community that will connect you with real people for anyone who might be wondering about different ways to remain United Methodist. For more information and to learn how to become a Lighthouse Congregation, visit

Crabtree UMC
is seeking a Music Director!

Currently, have a few Sundays that need to be filled while searching
for a permanent person! If you have sporadic availability
and would be willing to fill in, please let Julie know! 

The Music Director will be responsible for developing and presenting a quality music program that will enhance and complement the worship services. The music director will involve as many youth in all aspects of the music program as possible.
Worship service is at 11:00am on Sunday. The choir meets one evening a week to practice. Crabtree UMC primarily uses the United Methodist Hymnal and also occasionally uses the Celebration Hymnal.  Our Choir currently has 8-9 members.
Salary based on experience.
For more information, contact Julie Sawyer, PPRC Chair
Resumes can be mailed to:
 Crabtree UMC
Attention Julie Sawyer
5405 Crabtree Rd.
Clyde NC  28721

Or emailed to:

Wesleyanna UMC
is seeking a pianist!

Wesleyanna UMC is looking for someone to play a prelude, offertory, and postlude, and accompany three lectionary-based hymns every Sunday. $75/Sunday. The sanctuary piano is available during the week for rehearsal. Start immediately!

Please contact Jean Carr at 828-243-7998 or for more information.

Smoky Mountain District Newsletter August 2023