News

Below are news stories published by the Western North Carolina Conference.  We recommend that you also subscribe to ENews and bookmark the United Methodist News Service to be more aware of what is going on in the conference and denomination. 

Articles for the news can be submitted here.

Means of Grace: Grief at Christmas

Means of Grace: Grief at Christmas

12/10/2019
In this episode of Means of Grace, Melissa sits down with Rev. Toni Ruth Smith to talk about experiencing grief in this time of great joy and how churches can create space for stillness, hope and even sadness in the midst of the holiday rush. Listen on our website at www.wnccumc.org/meansofgrace or wherever you get your podcasts.
Refugee Resettlement from North Carolina Bishops

Refugee Resettlement from North Carolina Bishops

12/10/2019
December 10, 2019    Dear Members of United Methodist Churches across North Carolina,    As we enter the season of Advent and prepare to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, we remember that Jesus began his life fleeing persecution as a refugee in Egypt. (Matthew 2:13-18)    On September 26, the White House issued an Executive Order (EO 13888) that may drastically reduce, if not entirely stop, the resettlement of refugees in our state. We are deeply concerned that this executive order ...
Certificate for Church Treasurers

Certificate for Church Treasurers

12/5/2019
The Conference Office of Treasury Services and the United Methodist Foundation of Western North Carolina will offer a certificate training program for United Methodist volunteer treasurers within our conference.
MLK 2020 Youth Essay Contest

MLK 2020 Youth Essay Contest

12/2/2019
My Most Favorite Quote of Dr. King…And What it Means to Me Grade Categories for eligibility are: Elementary, Middle School and High School.  Essay must have a minimum of 250 words and a maximum of 500 words double-spaced pages in 12 pt black font. Artistic Expressions and Drawings will also be received. ·  The essay will be judged on clarity, content, grammar, and how well the theme is developed based on the age and grade of the writer.  There will be first and second place winners in each ...
2019 Giving Tuesday

2019 Giving Tuesday

11/29/2019
#GivingTuesday, December 3, 2019, is a global giving movement that has been built by individuals, families, organizations, businesses and communities around the world. We have two days for getting deals – Black Friday and Cyber Monday. On #GivingTuesday, we have a day for giving back. Our Mission Engagement Team offers a variety of opportunities for you to give back and make a difference in our conference and around the world.  
Means of Grace: Seasonal Outreach

Means of Grace: Seasonal Outreach

11/26/2019
In this episode of Means of Grace, Melissa and Luke explore seasonal ways churches can engage their communities. Melissa visits Free Haircut Day in Ramseur with Rev. Samuel Moore of McCrary Chapel UMC and Rev. Joshua Kurtz with Jordan Memorial UMC. Luke visits "the Pumpkin Church" aka Myers Memorial UMC in Gastonia and speaks with Rev. Sally Queen, Rev. Sarah Watkins Davis and Tresca McSwain. Listen on our website at www.wnccumc.org/meansofgrace or wherever you get your podcasts. How is your ...
ADAPT Leading Off the Map

ADAPT Leading Off the Map

11/22/2019
Designed for churches and clergy seeking to improve skills around leading change.
Grow Your Preaching Skills

Grow Your Preaching Skills

11/22/2019
Grow Your Preaching Skills Engage in Peer Learning Connect to your Congregation and Community
Embracing Our Beloved Community : Persevering Despite Adversity

Embracing Our Beloved Community : Persevering Despite Adversity

11/14/2019
MLK Commemoration 2020  Embracing Our Beloved Community: Persevering Despite Adversity Matthew 25:34-40   WHEN Saturday, January 18, 2020 Registration begins at 9am Commemoration 10am–2pm   WHERE St. Paul United Methodist Church 2400 Dellabrook Road Winston Salem, NC 27105   Clara J. Ester will be the Keynote speaker, with special music guest Lil Caleb. Clara Ester, native Memphian and retired Deaconess of The United Methodist Church, was actively engaged in the Civil Rights Movement and ...
Explore Summer Internship

Explore Summer Internship

11/14/2019
The Explore Summer Internship exists to help young adults (18-25 years old) discern their call to vocational ministry by providing an environment for exploring their gifts and giving the intern opportunities to explore particular aspects of ministry and/or program development in a safe and encouraging environment.   The internship is a hands-on experience in a church setting or a church affiliated organization. Interns engage in a broad range of ministerial work and/or program development then ...
Health Benefits Update

Health Benefits Update

11/14/2019
TO ALL ACTIVE (Non-RETIRED) CLERGY Please remember about paperwork/forms that need to be completed before the December 1, 2019 deadline.  Conference Flexible Spending (FSA) Plan If you are electing to participate in the Conference Flexible Spending (FSA) plan, you must complete the Flexible Benefit Election Form for 2020. Just indicating an amount on your Clergy Compensation Report for 2020 is only part of the process. In order to finish the process, you must complete the Election Form, and ...
Innovation Survey

Innovation Survey

11/14/2019
Thanks for taking a moment to expand and align the work of innovative ministry in the Western North Carolina Conference. Your feedback will help the conference to be more faithful and fruitful in its work to develop fresh forms of ministry. There are just 4 short questions. The entire survey should take 2 minutes or less.  Take the Survey. 
Means of Grace: Smoky Mountain Outdoor Fresh Expressions

Means of Grace: Smoky Mountain Outdoor Fresh Expressions

11/14/2019
In the next episode of Means of Grace, Luke Edwards meets up with three outdoor fresh expressions of church in the Smoky Mountain district – the Smoky Mountain Hiking Community, River of Life and the Appalachian Trail Ministry of Robbinsville UMC. The leaders of these fresh expressions share how their churches are connecting with hikers and paddlers in their communities. Listen on our website at www.wnccumc.org/meansofgraceor wherever you get your podcasts.  
Give Love, Joy, Hope & Peace

Give Love, Joy, Hope & Peace

11/4/2019
Global Ministries invites you to give love, joy, hope and peace through the agency’s year-end giving campaign.
Council of Bishops Remembers the Saints

Council of Bishops Remembers the Saints

11/3/2019
Bishop Paul Leeland, Bishop Ken Carter, Rev. Keith Turman were among the liturgists and Bishop Lawrence McCleskey eulogized Mrs. Mary Ann Hunt and Mrs. Linda Carder in the memorial service held at First United Methodist Church Waynesville on All Saints Sunday, November 3, 2019.
United Methodist Bishops meet to discuss General Conference, elect new officers

United Methodist Bishops meet to discuss General Conference, elect new officers

11/2/2019
United Methodist Bishops meet to discuss General Conference, elect new officers WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church will meet November 3-6 at Lake Junaluska Assembly in North Carolina to prepare for the 2020 General Conference, elect new officers and ratify a constitutional amendment among other things.   Coming from Africa, Asia, Europe and North America, the more than 100 bishops who will be in attendance will also tackle proposals on how to dismantle ...
Provocative Hope

Provocative Hope

10/31/2019
A course to develop leaders’ capacity to use an Appreciative Inquiry process so that their churches would reclaim God’s dream for their congregation and begin to live into that dream. This is a course designed to help leaders to continuously conform their ministry, planning and accountability system with the vision to which God is calling your church. Small group peer cohort learning. Flexible format. No face-to-face meetings.
Launching Worship Workshop

Launching Worship Workshop

10/30/2019
Church Development is offering a workshop on launching a new worship service. Register online.
Restoring Hope

Restoring Hope

10/30/2019
A North Carolina Conference Disaster Ministries Update
Clergy Health Initiative

Clergy Health Initiative

10/29/2019
The Clergy Health Statewide Survey is the only one of its kind that captures repeated snapshots of clergy well-being in a holistic way. It’s been three years since the last survey, and so much has happened in those years – from changes in US politics, to technology use, to GC19, to personal circumstances. Now more than ever, denominational officials are listening to data-driven findings as they consider their next steps as leaders.
WNCCUMC Podcast Seminar with Andy Goh

WNCCUMC Podcast Seminar with Andy Goh

10/29/2019
If you’re thinking about starting a podcast to better connect with your congregation or ministry colleagues, our Podcasting Seminar taught by local podcasting professional Andy Goh will help you get started on the right foot. Over the course of this two day seminar, you’ll get all the information you need to understand the medium, see how it works, and start to use it to create your own conversations.
October 2019 Cabinet Recap

October 2019 Cabinet Recap

10/28/2019
The Western North Carolina Conference Cabinet met October 23-24 in Huntersville. After a reminder in our opening devotion of the clearing that comes after the fog and our choice in all matters of faith or fear, the Cabinet spent time discussing the importance of consultation with clergy and pastor/staff-parish relations committees in preparation for appointment-making early next spring.
Looking for passionate, gifted leaders

Looking for passionate, gifted leaders

10/25/2019
Seeking nominations for leadership in the next quadrennium. Will you offer yourself or someone else for service?
Global Missions Fellow Program Applications

Global Missions Fellow Program Applications

10/23/2019
Have a passion for addressing the root causes of injustice? The Global Mission Fellow Program is accepting applications.
Ebony Bishops Demand a Voice in Discussions on UMC Future

Ebony Bishops Demand a Voice in Discussions on UMC Future

10/21/2019
The Ebony Bishops of The United Methodists Church (African-American bishops serving in the United States) have called on the denomination to include African-American clergy and laity in the ongoing discussions on the future of the church, as they provide the unique voice of hope for the future, not only for the Black church, but also for the unity of the entire denomination.
Phishing/Spoofing Emails - Beware of emails asking for gift cards

Phishing/Spoofing Emails - Beware of emails asking for gift cards

10/17/2019
tldr version: Don't open an email from any WNCC Conference Staff or Clergy unless it is from an email ending in @wnccumc.org or @wnccumc.net. If you get one, report it as SPAM - Phishing Email and delete it promptly. What is Phishing/Spoofing Phishing email attacks are on the rise. A phishing email is an email you receive from someone pretending to be someone else (pretending to be the Bishop or the Senior Pastor), asking for something in return. The most common example of this is an email ...
Benefits Update

Benefits Update

10/16/2019
Please remember about paperwork/forms that need to be completed before the December 1, 2019 deadline.  Conference Flexible Spending (FSA) Plan If you are electing to participate in the Conference Flexible Spending (FSA) plan, you must complete the Flexible Benefit Election Form for 2020. Just indicating an amount on your Clergy Compensation Report for 2020 is only part of the process. In order to finish the process, you must complete the Election Form, and sending to Treasury Services. As of ...
Pilgrimage to Korea for Spiritual Renewal

Pilgrimage to Korea for Spiritual Renewal

10/16/2019
Have you ever been to South Korea? You are cordially invited to a Pilgrimage to South Korea for Spiritual Renewal with very reasonable cost in March 4 - 12, 2020. A Methodist Church in South Korea will host a pilgrimage for WNCC pastors. This spiritual pilgrimage will be a turning point in your relationship with God and church leadership for your future ministry. Registration applications has been extended to Nov. 5, and the total group will be 30 clergy from WNCC. If you have questions on the pilgrimage, please contact Rev. Dr. Jae Lee at jlee@wnccumc.net.
Means of Grace: A Conversation on Adaptive Leadership

Means of Grace: A Conversation on Adaptive Leadership

10/15/2019
In the second episode of the Means of Grace podcast, Kim Ingram and Jesse Enniss have a conversation with Rev. Lory Beth Huffman, Rev. Mark Key and Rev. Chris Westmoreland on adaptive leadership.  Each of these leaders has guided congregations of various sizes and contexts. They share their experiences and learnings so that other leaders might connect and grow. They are also talk about a program they will facilitate early in 2020 called ADAPT: Leading Off the Map. Find us wherever you get your ...
The Space Between

The Space Between

10/7/2019
World Cafe is a flexible and effective model for hosting crucial conversations leading to action with groups of all sizes on varying topics and issues - from strategic planning to engaging groups in civil discourse around polarizing topics. The workshop will provide an overview of the World Cafe model, including the seven design principles, as well as practical suggestions on hosting a World Cafe in your church or community.
Means of Grace - a new podcast from WNCCUMC

Means of Grace - a new podcast from WNCCUMC

10/1/2019
Means of Grace, a podcast from the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, equips church leaders through expertise and examples

Strength for Service Names Two Police Chaplains to Board of Directors

10/1/2019
NASHVILLE, Tenn.––The Strength for Service Board of Directors elected the Rev. Angela Pleasants and the Rev. Richard Hartman to three-year terms on the governing board.  The board is responsible for raising the funds for books of daily devotions for members of the U.S. Armed Services and first responders, such as police officers, fire fighters and EMS workers.  The first book, Strength for Service to God and Country, was first published in 1942 shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The book ...
World Cafe Model Training

World Cafe Model Training

9/30/2019
World Cafe is a flexible and effective model for hosting crucial conversations leading to action with groups of all sizes on varying topics and issues - from strategic planning to engaging groups in civil discourse around polarizing topics. The workshop will provide an overview of the World Cafe model, including the seven design principles, as well as practical suggestions on hosting a World Cafe in your church or community.
Swain County's C4C Efforts

Swain County's C4C Efforts

9/25/2019
See how Congregations for Children (C4C) is working in Swain County.

The Latest Edition of E-News - Spiritual Renewal Grants, 2020 Health Rates, Wesley Heritage, Día de Visión, and more

9/18/2019
E-News - September 18 E-News is a bi-weekly newsletter sent out by the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. It contains important news, stories, and events from around our conference. Submit articles for the next e-news. Submit events. NEWS   Spiritual Renewal Grant for WNC Clergy and Lay Ministry Professionals The Leadership Development Team wants to help foster your own spiritual growth, as you foster the spiritual walks of others.  Refresh ...
Heritage Preservation Workshop, hosted by the SEJ Commission on Archives & History

Heritage Preservation Workshop, hosted by the SEJ Commission on Archives & History

9/17/2019
A workshop for archivists, historians, secretaries… and anyone interested and concerned about United Methodist History, at Lake Junaluska, November 8-9, 2019
Early Response Team Training

Early Response Team Training

9/16/2019
Emergency Response Teams (ERTs) go into an affected area after the first responders have secured the area and invited them in. Disaster Response works with and deploys ERTs. Mission Operations trains and re-certifies ERTs. Their purpose is to assist survivors to be “safe, sanitary, and secure” which includes being a compassionate listener as survivors tell their story. Work may include removing debris, mucking out, tarping a roof, etc. We are now offering just-in-time ERT training online. To ...
Eating Together Faithfully Training Retreat Nov. 15-17

Eating Together Faithfully Training Retreat Nov. 15-17

9/10/2019
Join Life Around the Table Nov 16-17 at Camp Chestnut Ridge in Efland, NC for a retreat to learn how to facilitate conversations about food and faith in your community. Gather with other community/church leaders around the table as we imagine what eating faithfully with God's intention for all creation in mind could look like.
Clergy: How are you? The Duke Clergy Health Initiative wants to know.

Clergy: How are you? The Duke Clergy Health Initiative wants to know.

9/6/2019
The sixth edition of the Duke Clergy Health Initiative's Statewide Survey is under way. CHI seeks input from all NC and WNC Conference pastors; data helps inform programs and policies. Please participate!
The Latest Edition of E-News - Hurricane Dorian, Deacon Day, Spiritual Renewal Grants

The Latest Edition of E-News - Hurricane Dorian, Deacon Day, Spiritual Renewal Grants

9/4/2019
E-News - September 4 E-News is a bi-weekly newsletter sent out by the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. It contains important news, stories, and events from around our conference. Submit articles for the next e-news. Submit events. NEWS Hurricane Dorian Update, ERT Training, and Donations Hurricane Update: We are monitoring Hurricane Dorian closely. We advise churches to prepare for eventual storm damage should Dorian move toward North ...
The Ancient Tree

The Ancient Tree

9/4/2019
(This article first appeared on EmergingMethodism.com) A giant red oak tree fell across the road in our neighborhood during a particularly violent storm this summer, taking out other trees as well as a split-rail fence. None of us who drove by the next morning could believe that the stately titan had toppled. I walked over to take a closer look. I was astonished to discover that, even though it had looked healthy and leafy on the outside, there was decay at its core. Now, its wide, thick trunk ...
Women at the Wellsprings

Women at the Wellsprings

9/4/2019
Drawing from the rich wellsprings of the monastic tradition, Women at the Wellsprings is designed to assist women pastoral leaders serving in congregational settings discover a rhythm of prayer and develop spiritual practices for sustaining and thriving in ministry.
Hurricane Disaster Response

Hurricane Disaster Response

9/1/2019
Following many devastating natural disasters, here are ways you can respond. The Western North Carolina Conference Committee on Relief continues to monitor the damages and will provide updates on Conference response efforts.

Oberammergau Passion Play 2020

9/1/2019
Dr. Glenn and Susan Myers are organizing a 9 day Alpine Odyssey to see the Passion Play and tour Austria and parts of Germany September 14-22, 2020 through Educational Opportunities.
Hurricane Dorian Update, ERT Training, and Donations

Hurricane Dorian Update, ERT Training, and Donations

8/30/2019
Hurricane Update  We are monitoring Hurricane Dorian closely. We advise churches to prepare for eventual storm damage should Dorian move toward North Carolina. If you are currently an Early Response Team (ERT) member, please remember to only deploy with the appropriate invitation. ERT Training  We are offering just-in-time ERT training currently, to find out more more information, click here DONATIONS  The Committee on Relief has provided funds for over 100 volunteers to serve in Puerto Rico and...
2020 Health Rates Memo

2020 Health Rates Memo

8/26/2019
TO:                   WNCC Clergy & Congregations FROM:              R. Mark King, Conference Treasurer                               RE:                    Health Benefit Rates 2020   The Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits upon recommendation from the Health Benefits Subcommittee of the Board has approved the 2020 rate schedule for our Conference Active and Retiree Health Plans.   The board works very diligently in its responsibility to care for the clergy and their families of our...
The Latest Edition of E-News - Black Church Symposium, Disciple Bible Outreach, Wesley Heritage Tour

The Latest Edition of E-News - Black Church Symposium, Disciple Bible Outreach, Wesley Heritage Tour

8/20/2019
E-News - August 20 E-News is a bi-weekly newsletter sent out by the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. It contains important news, stories, and events from around our conference. Submit articles for the next e-news. Submit events. NEWS Black Church Clergy and Laity Symposium Saturday, August 24, 2019 This time together will provide an opportunity to not only celebrate giftedness of the black church but to understand its relevance. ...
Spiritual Renewal Grant for WNC Clergy and Lay Ministry Professionals

Spiritual Renewal Grant for WNC Clergy and Lay Ministry Professionals

8/20/2019
The Leadership Development Team wants to help foster your own spiritual growth, as you foster the spiritual walks of others.  Refresh your soul and renew your spirit through one of the many opportunities identified by the LDT!  Paid church leaders who sign up for a the Spiritual Renewal program or event by September 30th, and pay a personal investment of $50 toward that program or event, are eligible for up to $500 to cover the cost of registration/tuition, fees, and lodging/travel expenses.  ...
Wesley Heritage with Bishop Paul Leeland

Wesley Heritage with Bishop Paul Leeland

8/20/2019
Want to Learn More About All Things Wesley? Join the Western North Carolina Conference in June 2020 on a trip exploring Methodist history. One important aspect of being United Methodist is our connection to the historical roots of our Church. Bishop Paul Leeland invites you to join a Wesley Heritage tour June 2-9, 2020, where together we can experience many of the unique places in the lives of John and Charles Wesley. Doing so will help us have a clearer understanding of the foundational ...
Convocation on the Rural Church

Convocation on the Rural Church

8/9/2019
Bishop Hope Morgan Ward and Bishop Paul Leeland joined 500 clergy and their families from the North Carolina and Western North Carolina Conferences for the 2019 Convocation on the Rural Church.
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