Welcome Dr. Harry Workman, Associate Vice President for Philanthropy at Wingate University, to the Smyrna & Wingate pulpits on March 4th & 11th. He will offer a thoughtful Lenten sermon each Sunday while Pastor Tracy is gone on vacation. Dr. Workman graduated from Emory University, Mdiv. and Erskine Theological Seminary, Dmin. He gives a brief description of himself on the Wingate University website: “My experience of growing up in a small town and, in fact a subset of a small town called a mill village, formed within me a passion for community and compassion for those who have been historically disenfranchised. Serving under-privileged people has been the touchstone of my journey. In 23 years of full-time ministry as a Methodist pastor to heeding the call into full-time work in higher education, the work has been about serving students, colleagues and ultimately the community. It is deeply satisfying to match resources to need, matching people who have done well and now want to do good, with people who have great challenges. Unlocking potential is my passion.”
I’ll be writing a daily devotional for each of the 40 days of lent. If you wish to read these devotionals, follow my BLOG
Time to get in shape Body, Mind, and Spirit! February is American Heart Association Health Heart Month! Feb. 2nd is National Wear Red Day! In getting ourselves in tip top shape for the new year, this February we challenge everyone in the church nurture their body, mind and spirit by participating in worship, prayer, walking program, and nutrition program. Look for weekly updates in the bulletin & weekly email updates for walking activities which include reflection and a nutrition program to come. At the end, we will celebrate our successes. Please email Pastor Tracy, email@example.com, if you wish to be a part of the weekly emails.
Wednesday Nights “Built Strong” Light Supper During February Each Wednesday at Wingate UMC at 6 pm in February no need to worry about supper! Come and enjoy a light sandwich supper! If you would like to bring an item to share, feel free! Please contact Rev. Tracy Schumpert, firstname.lastname@example.org who is the contact and organizer of the meals if you have any questions. Enjoy the fellowship! Invite a friend! After the dinner at 7 pm, you are invited to attend a new study focusing on the mind, body and spirit led by Rev. Tracy Schumpert or Bible Study with Gene Lam or Choir practice with Jerilyn Small!
We invite you to Smyrna/Wingate UMC as we unwrap the true meaning of Christmas and the homecoming of Christ to redeem and renew us, this earth and all creation!
Thank you to all at Wingate UMC & Smyrna UMC for making these two events so FUN!
October 20, 2017
To: Western North Carolina Conference Clergy of The United Methodist Church
From: Bishop Paul L. Leeland
The increasing number of accusations related to the alleged sexual harassment and abuse by Harvey Weinstein has invited a growing number of women to acknowledge sexual harassment, including women clergy within our own conference. Initially, I thought I might send a letter to our women clergy, and then decided it was more important for all clergy to be unified in acknowledging that this issue is more widespread than many of our congregations realize.
Emerging out of the Wesleyan emphasis of personal and social holiness, the Social Principles serve as an important reminder that our denomination has consistently spoken to the importance of living our lives in such a way that reflects the gospel of Jesus Christ and our awareness of the power of sin to destroy many God given gifts intended to enable us to live lives of wholeness, goodness, and grace.
Our Social Principles specifically address sexual harassment, and I simply point to this paragraph as an additional reference that may be used when addressing this issue within your local church:
¶161.J: Sexual Harassment – We believe human sexuality is God’s good gift. One abuse of this good gift is sexual harassment. We define sexual harassment as any unwanted sexual comment, advance, or demand, either verbal or physical, that is reasonably perceived by the recipient as demeaning, intimidating, or coercive. Sexual harassment must be understood as an exploitation of a power relationship rather than as an exclusively sexual issue. Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, the creation of a hostile or abusive working environment resulting from discrimination on the basis of gender. Contrary to the nurturing community, sexual harassment creates improper, coercive, and abusive conditions wherever it occurs in society. Sexual harassment undermines the social goal of equal opportunity and the climate of mutual respect between men and women. Unwanted sexual attention is wrong and discriminatory. Sexual harassment interferes with the moral mission of the Church. (The Book of Discipline, 2016).
It is this last sentence which is so important. “Sexual harassment interferes with the moral mission of the Church.” As spiritual leaders, we invite all disciples to join us in the journey to embrace “the social goal of equal opportunity and the climate of mutual respect between men and women.”
First, I want our sisters in ministry to know that I am aware of this issue and that I affirm their ministry. “Unwanted sexual attention is wrong and discriminatory.” Second, I call on our male clergy join me in pledging to acknowledge and speak to this issue when we see it, as a means of encouraging each of us to remain faithful to the moral mission of the Church.
This is an opportune time to be engaged in small discussion groups and to use materials prepared by the Church to initiate conversations, raise awareness, and identify healthy responses to this issue when it affects our work. As the nation enters into this conversation related to these recent revelations, let us as clergy use our influence and voices to offer hope and encouragement to those who are too often impacted by incidents of harassment.