You are invited for a time apart by the District Superintendent Reverend Angela A. Pleasants. Let’s come together to hear information and provide brave space for Q&A and prayer on the topic: A Way Forward. Dates and locations for these meetings are as follows:

October 7th at Center UMC, 4945 Sherrills Ford Rd., Catawba;

October 28th at First UMC, 311 3rd Ave NE, Hickory; or

November 4th at Park Street UMC, 120 Park Street, Belmont. The time for each meeting is from 3:00P.M. –5:00P.M.



Dr. LeMaster-Smith is offering to lead three classes in Polity and Methodism. These classes will be structured as 3-day workshops. Classes will be held at St. Luke’s UMC (52 16th Ave. NW, Hickory, NC 28601). (A third class, Polity in the Methodist Church, will be offered in the spring. More details to come.)

  1. United Methodist History classes will be Thursday, Oct. 11th, 6:00P.M.-8:00P.M; Friday, Oct. 12th, 9:00A.M.-4:00P.M; and Saturday, Oct. 13th, 9:00A.M. –2:00P.M. Required books: Wesley and the People Called Methodists, Richard Heitzenrater (2nd Edition, 2013, Abingdon) and American Methodism: A Compact History, Russel Richey, Kenneth E. Rowe, Jean Miller Schmidt, (2012, Abingdon)
  2. United Methodist Doctrine classes will be Thursday, Nov. 8th, 6:00P.M.-8:00P.M.; Friday, Nov. 9th, 9:00A.M.-4:00P.M.and Saturday, Nov. 10th, 9:00A.M.–2:00P.M. Required books: Responsible Grace: John Wesley’s Practical Theology, Randy Maddox (1994 Kingswood Series) and Partakers of the Life Divine: Participation in the Divine Nature in the Writings of Charles Wesley, S.T. Kimbrough (2016, Cascade)

The cost of the workshops will be $25 each, which covers the cost of refreshments and lunches. You may pay online through the registration website at, or you may mail a check to the Catawba Valley District Office.  All payments must be received 1 week prior to the class you are taking (payment due October 4 and/or November 1.)

The books that  are required are available at and/or Please purchase these books before class and bring them with you.


Social Justice as Evangelism

featuring Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III
Sat, October 27, 2018, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM EDT
University City United Methodist Church
3835 West W. T. Harris Boulevard
Charlotte, NC 28269
This is a free event presented by the United Methodist Foundation of Western North Carolina in collaboration with Justice and Reconciliation Ministries of the Western North Carolina Conference. This event is generously sponsored by the Reynolds Ministry Fund. The event is open to both clergy and laity. Registration is required:
Lunch will be available on site at a cost of $10/person. Cash or check only. No cards accepted.
This event is most appropriate for adults. High School Youth are permitted to attend. This event is not recommended for children under 13. Childcare will not be available on site.
Parking is available on the University City UMC campus. Carpooling is recommended.
Please contact Caroline Cox, Director of Reynolds Ministries and Programs at the United Methodist Foundation of Western North Carolina, with questions: (email) [email protected] (office) 888-450-1956


Are you interested in learning how to use and create visual art in a variety of ways to deepen your relationship with God?

Are you looking for an experiential way beyond mere reading, hearing and reflection to encounter God through creative experience?

Do you wish to participate in creating art even though you don’t possess any artistic skills?

You do not have to possess any artistic ability.  This approach is designed for both persons without or with skills. Your work is not judged … only a tool to help you grow. This is a safe environment for those who have a desire to do something artistically without having to meet a perceived standard. They only requirement is that you be open to the Holy Spirit!

If so, this experience is for you!

Pastor Mark Barden of Central United Methodist Church, Shelby, invites you to consider joining him on a journey to discover how visual art can draw you closer to God. As a part of his Doctor of Ministry project at Wesley Theological Seminary, Pastor Mark is looking for 8-10 people to gather weekly for six weeks to not only learn about this topic but experience it through a variety of insightful activities.

If you are interested or know of anyone who is interested, please contact Pastor Mark by Wednesday, Sept 5, at [email protected] or 704-300-8326 for more information or to register. You do not need to be a member of Central UMC to participate. If you know of someone in the community who would like to participate with you, invite them!

Meeting times may be adjusted depending upon the composition of the participants and scheduling (i.e. Panthers Football).

Sunday, Sept. 16, 2-6 pm: Mini-Retreat – Co-Creators: Created in God’s Image


Creative Worship

Discussion: You Don’t Have to Have Artistic Skills to Be an Artist

Who Are You – Created in God’s Image

What Does It Mean to Be a Co-Creator with God?

Praying in Color Experience

A Meal Together

Closing Worship


Sunday, Sept. 23, 4-6 pm (tentative): Week 1 – What Is Beauty?

Guided Meditation

Color Treasure-Hunting

Aesthetics and Concepts of Beauty

Playing in Color Experience


Sunday, Sept. 30, 4 -6 pm (tentative): Week 2 – The Role of Visual Art in Christianity

Opening Worship

The Art of Tearing

A Quick Look at Visual Art in the Christian Faith

Icons: Idols or Windows into the Soul?

Praying in Color


Sunday, Oct. 7 4-6 pm (tentative): Week 3 – Creating and Using Visual Art as a Spiritual Discipline


Spiritual Disciplines and Visio Divina

Practicing Visio Divina

Creating a Mandala

Praying in Color


Sunday, Oct. 14, 4-6 pm: Week 4 (tentative): – Incorporating the Discipline of Artistic Expression into One’s Spiritual Life


Soulwork in Clay

How to Use Visual Art in Spirituality

Praying in Color


Saturday, Oct. 20: Retreat – Creating Visual Art in an Atmosphere of Prayer


Creative Art Experience


Creative Art Experience

Reflections and Thanksgiving

Pulling It All Together

Closing Worship with Communion


A Journey to the Holy Land

In February of 2019, Rev. Fawn Mikel will be leading a pilgrimage to Israel. Iyad Qumri will be the local guide who’s strong Christian faith will further enhance the trip from merely visiting the sites where Jesus was born, grew up, died and was resurrected into “living” them. The trip will depart the US on February 7th and return February 20th. You can find an itinerary here and the registration form hereRegistration and a non-refundable deposit of $500 is due by April 1st, 2018.  It’s NOT too late, contact Fawn if you are interested but haven’t gotten your deposit in yet, [email protected]!


Bible Studies

To start the year off right, we are offering a Smorgasbord of Bible Studies! Below is a brief synopsis of the four studies that are available:

Continue the SHIFT ConversationBeginning September 9th, 11 am   Fellowship Hall

This Pastor-led Study will lead participants in talking about the worship message, identifying and considering how to make the key shifts ALL churches need to make for fruitful ministry:  Fellowship to Hospitality; Worship as an Event to Worship as a Lifestyle; Membership to Discipleship; “Serve Us” to Service; and Survival Mentality to Generosity.

DisciplerBeginning September 12th, 7:15 pm     Conference Room

Developing a mature relationship with Jesus takes intentionality and commitment.  Doing it alone is difficult.  Truthfully, God created us to grow our faith in community, as well as personally.  Pastor Fawn will lead this 24 week study guiding participants with engaging activities around six key dimensions of discipleship: worship, hospitality,  opening to Jesus, obeying Jesus, service, and generosity.  Breaks will be taken for holidays.

Disciple Fast Track: Becoming Disciples Through Bible Study TBD

Rob Laney will be leading participants through an exhilarant and extensive study of the Old and New Testaments.  Daily readings and a workbook will assist you in reading a large portion of the Scriptures over a 24 week period.

Draw the CircleBeginning September 18th    Mikel Home

Do you pray as often and as boldly as you want?  There is a way to experience a deeper, more passionate, persistent and intimate prayer life.  Tuesdays, 6:30 pm, this dynamic 5-week prayer challenge will invite you to press into God like never before. Short daily readings and reflections enhance the experience.

WORD AND WINE — Resuming October 1st

This study meets on Mondays at Dragonfly Wine Market from 6:30-8 pm. Rev. Fawn Mikel will be leading. How may we use our faith to help us deal with today’s issues? Diverse cultures, immigration, workplace environments, aging population — the issues of our world affect each of us.  Join us as we discuss our own views and how God’s word helps us live in the world and still keep the faith.

In the Dust of the RabbiBeginning October 21st, 9 am   Conference Room

Through video shot in Israel and Turkey, Ray Vander Laan opens our eyes to the ancient world of Jesus and his disciples, allowing us to grow in  understanding how a true disciple loves and obeys the Messiah with all one’s heart, soul and might.



Sunday School

Held at 9:00am every Sunday

It is our belief that the Sunday School teaching program provides the glue that bonds our church family together. Spiritual enrichment and lasting friendships are benefits of the Sunday School program.

Adults have the opportunity to study and discuss the Old and New Testament as it applies to our daily lives. Dedicated teachers enlighten class members with their knowledge and abilities while encouraging growth through discussion and practice. We believe these classes strengthen our relationship with God, our marriages, our families, our friends and our community.

There is a place for you in Sunday School! You would be welcomed in any of these classes!

There are several classes to choose from, each with a different focus:

  • Cornerstone: young adults, single or married or college age students. The class deals with contemporary topics in a Biblical context as it relates to their lives.
  • Growing Christians: mostly young adults and married couples who are striving to grow in their Christian faith and service to the church. Teachers rotate, leading the class in discussion topics of interest to the class. This class sponsors frequent socials and Sunday fellowship dinners.
  • Saints and Sinners: singles and couples of all ages. Several teachers lead discussions centering around a variety of topics. Activities and projects include offering assistance to foster children at Christmas and occasional socials.
  • Hoey Bible class: any adult, male or female. The oldest Sunday School class at Central is steeped in local and church history due to the influence of two former governors. Several teachers offer weekly lessons with music and singing as an integral part.

Wesley Class: Mostly retired women and couples. The International Lesson Series is used in this class and is taught by rotating teachers. Regular fellowship events emphasize service to others through mission projects. Music and singing is an important part of each class. This class meets every Sunday at 11:00am.


Women’s Circles

There are two active circles at Central United Methodist Church. Each one functions under the United Methodist Women auspices and supports the UMW with a yearly pledge to the conference.

  • Lydia Circle meets at 1:15pm on the 2nd Monday of each month. The group supports the goals of the Methodist conference through World Bank offerings. Their meetings provide opportunities for fellowship and reviews of Christian books. Lydia Circle is the newest circle at Central consisting of members from the former Altar Guild.
  • WINGS meets 3rd Wednesdays at 10:00am in the church parlor. This circle has published a cookbook “Holy Chow” proceeds from which were used to fund many church projects. If you would like to have one of these cookbooks, they are still available in the office. These caring, generous women enjoy their service projects as well as many fellowship activities. Members offer care and support for each other.


Older Wiser Livelier Seniors (OWLS)

The Older, Wiser, Livelier, Seniors is open to adults age 50 and over who enjoy having a nice lunch away from home.


September 17th–“How I Spent My  Summer Vacations”

Rhonda Keeley will share with us her adventures in Dubai, hiking in Croatia, and serving in Honduras.

Catered by J-Birds Deli (reservation deadline: 9/13/18)

October 15th–A tavola non si invecchia! “At the table, you don’t get old!”

Join us for a lunch of great Italian food and ageless conversation as we gather at Toscanos at noon.

Fantastico!!! (reservation deadline: 10/14/18)

November 8th–“The Hound of the Baskervilles”

Hendersonville Flat Rock Playhouse

Performance and Lunch (reservation deadline: 10/20/18)

November 19th–Café at the Mall

in Forest City is  beckoning us with a great lunch and fresh desserts!

(reservation deadline:  11/14/18)

For more information contact Pastor Fawn at the church office.


Walk To Emmaus

The “Walk to Emmaus”, a spiritual renewal program, is the Methodist adaptation of a movement started in Spain in 1949. The current program was developed by the Upper Room ministry of the UMC to strengthen the local church through the development of Christian disciples and leaders. Participants begin the program with a 72 hour pilgrimage weekend.

The program gets its name from the story in Luke 24: 13-35 where the risen Christ appears to two disciples walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus.

Many members of Central have participated in the Walk weekend and are active in the program. Central is a member of Grace Emmaus Community which also includes many churches of several denominations in Cleveland County and the surrounding area.

Detailed information can be found at the following websites:

Newborn Visitor Committee

The purpose of the Newborn Visitor Committee is to make a visit in the home of babies born to church members. We present a small gift to the child on behalf of the church. In addition, we typically take a gift of food. We offer support to the family and let them know the church is thinking of them during this time.

Volunteer Opportunities

Hot Lunch Program—every Tuesday and Saturday in PAC
Bereavement Team Ministry—support grieving families with a meal
Congregational Care Ministry to Homebound Members—support shut-ins with companionship
Backpack Ministry to Shelby Public Schools
Hospice Support
Disaster Relief
Prayer Shaw Ministry
Prayer Team and Prayer Chains
Soup Group

Click here for more information.

Music Programs

Central offers multiple music opportunities:  Chancel Choir, Praise Ensemble, and Central Ringers (Hand bell Choir).  Chancel Choir meets on Wednesdays from 6-7pm. Praise Ensemble meets on Wednesdays from 7:15-8:30pm. Central Ringers meet on Tuesdays from 7:15-8:30pm.

Click here for more information.