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.

Register for Eating Together Faithfully introductory training

Register for Eating Together Faithfully introductory training

9/2/2020
Interested in becoming an Eating Together Faithfully (ETF) facilitator? Mark your calendar for Friday, September 25th for our first online ETF Introductory Training! This two-hour training video call is for anyone interested in becoming an ETF facilitator and learning how to lead small ETF groups among their families, friends, congregations, and communities. Participants in this online training will be introduced to Life Around the Table and our mission, how the ETF Framework is designed, and things to consider before starting your own ETF small group.
Stepping up your virtual worship game

Stepping up your virtual worship game

9/2/2020
Even as many churches return to in-person worship, virtual worship is here to stay, which makes investing in the experience a worthwhile task. Here are some resources to help as you look to up-level your virtual worship experience.
The Church's Mission in the World: An online global missions course from Candler School of Theology

The Church's Mission in the World: An online global missions course from Candler School of Theology

9/2/2020
This online course offers a space for global mission dialogues. In this significant transition period in history, the church is called to rethink its mission of being the people of God called for the transformation of the world. Affirming the biblical tradition that forming a model community of mutuality and friendship in faith is an essential act of mission, the course takes a virtual mission journey with diverse mission scholars and practitioners who are serving around the world. By doing so, the course invites students to participate in God’s mission contextually.
The Foyer Moved: Training Digital Volunteers

The Foyer Moved: Training Digital Volunteers

9/2/2020
"In a lot of small to medium churches, the digital platform is managed by a volunteer, a pastor, or someone on staff, but they are given a hundred other duties to do so social media and the online experience are not a priority...choosing the right set of volunteers to engage digitally is important."
United Methodist Volunteers in Mission seeks nominations for Board of Directors

United Methodist Volunteers in Mission seeks nominations for Board of Directors

9/2/2020
The United Methodist Volunteers in Mission of the Southeastern Jurisdiction is seeking nominations for its Board of Directors. UVIM, SEJ is led by a Board of Directors which helps oversee the operations, finances, and ministry of UMVIM, SEJ. Members of the Board of Directors are expected to be effective advocates for UMVIM, SEJ in their perspective leadership roles in the jurisdiction, Annual Conference(s), and local church(es). Visit the UVIM website to make a nomination.
Spiritual Farmer Finds Common Ground

Spiritual Farmer Finds Common Ground

9/1/2020
When thinking about the future of the church, it isn’t hard to wonder what role, if any, the young people of today will take on.
2020 Clergy Assessments Have Been Released

2020 Clergy Assessments Have Been Released

9/1/2020
Information about the 2020 Clergy Assessments has been emailed to clergy and S/PPRC chairs this week.
Adventures in Ministry Kick-Off Event October 3rd

Adventures in Ministry Kick-Off Event October 3rd

9/1/2020
Are you a high school student discerning a call to ministry? Or are you an adult who would like the opportunity to mentor a 9th-12th grade student through their discernment journey? Bishop Leeland talks about discovering God's call and John McGill invites you to learn more about stepping into the opportunities utilizing Adventures in Ministry.
Charge Conference Technical Updates for 2020

Charge Conference Technical Updates for 2020

9/1/2020
Charge Conference "season" is again upon us and just like last year, we will submit all forms completely online. This year we have worked hard to make it even easier to submit your Charge Conference forms digitally. Below are some key points, reminders, and new additions to help guide you this year technically. Please remember that the clergy compensation and church leaders will need to be submitted through your church/clergy dashboard while charge conference forms are submitted under "Submittable Forms" in the Church Dashboard.
COVID-19 and Your Congregation: How Can We Help?

COVID-19 and Your Congregation: How Can We Help?

9/1/2020
We want to hear how COVID-19 is affecting your congregation. Please take a few minutes to complete this survey to let us know how the Conference can best support you at this time.
WNCC Churches Are Livestreaming! Join Us For Virtual Church!

WNCC Churches Are Livestreaming! Join Us For Virtual Church!

9/1/2020
Numerous churches across the conference are livestreaming their worship services, Bible studies, prayer services, bedtime Bible stories, and more. Connect with them here!
Churches step up to help salvage school year

Churches step up to help salvage school year

8/31/2020
All across the United States, educators and parents are scrambling to reduce the threat of COVID-19 while ensuring children get the child care and education they need. In response, United Methodist churches are working with school districts to stand in the gap created by the coronavirus.
The Latest Edition of E-News - Back-to-School Message from Bishop Leeland, Dismantle Racism Town Hall, Website & Livestreaming Tips, and more

The Latest Edition of E-News - Back-to-School Message from Bishop Leeland, Dismantle Racism Town Hall, Website & Livestreaming Tips, and more

8/27/2020
Get the latest news, updates, and webinar information from the Western North Carolina Conference in this week's E-News.
2021 Apportionments

2021 Apportionments

8/26/2020
The 2021 budget for the Western North Carolina conference was approved by the virtual conference and subsequent balloting. The apportionments have now been uploaded to each applicable church’s dashboard including conference, general church and district apportionments.
A Message of Encouragement from Bishop Leeland

A Message of Encouragement from Bishop Leeland

8/26/2020
Bishop Leeland shares a message of encouragement with our pastors and lay leaders, as students return to school in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Charge Conference considerations in COVID-19 times

Charge Conference considerations in COVID-19 times

8/26/2020
We are entering that time of the year when (in the old normal) we would be getting into charge conference season— pulling together reports, planning potluck suppers, and considering how to arrange the tables in the fellowship hall. Odds are, this fall’s charge conference won’t look the way it has in previous years. In whatever form it takes, charge conference is as important as it has been in the past; and there are new concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dismantling Racism Town Hall Meeting

Dismantling Racism Town Hall Meeting

8/26/2020
Join in on the discussion during the next Dismantling Racism town hall event today, August 26 at 1 p.m. EST. Don't miss out on this panel of emerging leaders who are studying the leadership of those who came before them, and adding their energy to the ongoing work of dismantling racism. Get details, submit your questions and watch previous events at http://www.umc.org/EndRacism.
Duke Divinity Convocation and Pastor's School to be held virtually

Duke Divinity Convocation and Pastor's School to be held virtually

8/26/2020
Please join us at for our Convocation and Pastors' School Virtual Mini-Series. This year’s theme is Christian Leadership in Turbulent Times and will take over five, one-hour lunchtime sessions, throughout September and October, beginning September 14 with Will Willimon. For more information and to register for free please visit the CPS webpage at https://divinity.duke.edu/events/convocation-pastors-school
In reopening UMC preschools, one size doesn't fit all

In reopening UMC preschools, one size doesn't fit all

8/26/2020
This resource from our sister conference in Florida offers stories from United Methodist Churches across their conference who are making the hard decision this fall regarding preschool - open, or not? "COVID-19 has forced United Methodist Churches throughout the Florida Conference into hard decisions about how to conduct worship services, but the dilemma doesn't end there. Many churches also operate daycare centers and preschools, and with the new school year at hand they faced a simple truth: The challenges are as varied as the churches seeking answers."
Support the AC2020 offering

Support the AC2020 offering

8/26/2020
You can still support the AC2020 offering to benefit the ministries of UMAR and the Northern Haiti Mission Connection!
Webinar: A Closer Look at the Offering

Webinar: A Closer Look at the Offering

8/26/2020
Join us, on September 10 at 8 p.m. EST, as Ken Sloane (Director, Stewardship & Generosity) and his guest, Dr. Ed Phillips (Associate Professor of Worship, Candler School of Theology), discuss the past, present, and future of "the offering" in worship as the vehicle for funding ministry. They also mention some best practices for moving into the future.
Colossian Way Facilitator Training

Colossian Way Facilitator Training

8/25/2020
From The Colossian Forum, a ministry connected with Duke Endowment, in less than two hours, learn to guide your church through The Colossian Way. Master the core concepts and learn how to lead small groups to experience the transforming power of conflict.
Helping People Follow Jesus in a Divided World

Helping People Follow Jesus in a Divided World

8/25/2020
As we head into the fall, we’re feeling the effects of an increasingly polarized world. The rise of an “us versus them” mentality seems to be ever-present - even in the church. So, how are we to navigate the complexities and difficulties of this reality? In this webinar, J.R. Briggs will: • Explore the ways in which Jesus lived faithfully in a both/and reality in a divisive world • See the ways in which the Christian life is found within a healthy kingdom tension • Discover specific practices which can help us be faithfully overlapping people of God • Unpack how we must embrace wisdom, courage, and compassion in the days ahead Join us for this free webinar on this crucial topic for you and your church - Sept, 1, 2020 // 1:00 PM EST
IT Services Recommendations for Websites and Online Worship Streaming

IT Services Recommendations for Websites and Online Worship Streaming

8/25/2020
In an ever changing world, having an online presence is critical. With the outbreak of COVID-19, many churches have been thrust into the world of website building and streaming as a necessity for success. This new world has left many feeling lost or confused as to where to start. Some may feel overwhelmed by the prospect that these things are outside of their reach. Below are some recommendations as well as some helpful tips and tricks to enable you and your church increase your online presence. We hope that this guide points you in the right direction and provides some comfort in knowing that you are not alone.  We are here to help.
Panelists urge action on race issues

Panelists urge action on race issues

8/20/2020
During yesterday's Town Hall panel discussion, retired Bishop Joel N. Martinez said, "Sisters and brothers, we can either stand on the sidewalk as bystanders and let the forces … have the day or we can get off the sidewalk and march into justice history. We cannot give up the hope.” Watch the full discussion here.
Annual Conference 2020 Voting Results

Annual Conference 2020 Voting Results

8/19/2020
The results from the Annual Conference 2020 Voting Ballot are now available.
Evangelism for Non-Evangelists

Evangelism for Non-Evangelists

8/19/2020
This six-week online evangelism course introduces you to evangelism as a practice that helps you grow in your faith at the same time you develop the skills to share your faith with others.
Hinton YouthLead Academy

Hinton YouthLead Academy

8/19/2020
Hinton Rural Life Center is hosting Hinton YouthLead Academy, Dec 4-6, 2020. The Academy is a weekend leadership training event for United Methodist high school youth who stand out as leaders in their churches, schools, and/or communities. The Academy will help them explore their spiritual gifts and "wiring" for ministry, as well as offer practical workshops on effective writing and presentation. Plus devotions, worship, and relaxing time at our scenic lakeside/mountain setting. *COVID-19 protocols are in place to ensure safety of guests and participants.
Important Reminder During this Election Season

Important Reminder During this Election Season

8/19/2020
As we move closer to the election, Clergy and church leaders are reminded of the laws that exist related to political activity by churches and other 501(c)(3) organizations.
In Memoriam: Sierra Leone Bishop John K. Yambasu

In Memoriam: Sierra Leone Bishop John K. Yambasu

8/19/2020
"Sierra Leone Area Bishop John K. Yambasu, who died in a car accident Aug. 16, is being remembered for his courage, leadership and love of The United Methodist Church and Jesus Christ."
Means of Grace: Campus Ministry & COVID-19

Means of Grace: Campus Ministry & COVID-19

8/19/2020
In this episode, Brian Mateer has a conversation with Rev. Steve Cheney, Campus Minister at UNC-Charlotte and Rev. Diron Chloe, Campus Minister at North Carolina A&T University and Pastor of Metropolitan United Methodist in Greensboro, NC. Connect with these ministries: UNC-Charlotte, www.ninerunited.org and A&T University Wesley Foundation, wfem.info@gmail.com.
Recover.Restore.Retreat Webinar: Creating the Ultimate Online Guest Experience

Recover.Restore.Retreat Webinar: Creating the Ultimate Online Guest Experience

8/19/2020
Join us Tuesday, August 25th at 10:00 a.m. as we hear from Tamell Green, the CEO of the PR firm Metamorphosis! She’ll be discussing how to create the ultimate online guest experience.
Subscribe to eLEAD Today

Subscribe to eLEAD Today

8/19/2020
Focusing on a different topic of leadership development each month, eLEAD, the newsletter of the WNCC Leadership Development Team delivers the resources you need directly to your inbox! Recent topics include: Resilience (August 2020), Agility (July 2020), and Racial Justice, Equity, and Action (June 2020). Be sure you are subscribed today!
The Promise of Advent Webinar Series

The Promise of Advent Webinar Series

8/19/2020
How can church leaders imaginatively plan and prepare for this beloved season without the traditions of its typical events and rituals? In The Promise of Advent webinar series, host Adam Hamilton – pastor and bestselling author of the upcoming Incarnation Bible study – will discuss church leaders’ hopes and concerns around Advent planning with our panel of pastors and experts. Their conversations will help resource and inspire leaders struggling with planning for Advent and staying spiritually focused on its promise of redemption.
Community Yoga - Karma and Community

Community Yoga - Karma and Community

8/17/2020
When thinking of what we can do differently to reach our communities, very few people would consider offering a program at a building that isn’t connected with the church at all as an option.
Catawba Valley District churches participate in Potato Drop Ministry

Catawba Valley District churches participate in Potato Drop Ministry

8/12/2020
On Tuesday, July 8th a tractor trailer backed up to the BackPack Weekend Food Program (BWFP) warehouse loading dock with approximately 40,000 pounds of potatoes which would become food for hundreds of families across Gaston, Lincoln and Cleveland Counties!
Faith in Rural Communities CONNECT Cohort Applications Open Now

Faith in Rural Communities CONNECT Cohort Applications Open Now

8/12/2020
CONNECT is a program offered by the NC Rural Center's Faith in Rural Communities initiative, which aims to help churches renew their faithful witness and connect with opportunities to improve the health and prosperity of their communities. There is no fee for Duke Endowment-eligible churches to participate.
It's Your Right...Vote!

It's Your Right...Vote!

8/12/2020
WNCC UMC Justice and Reconciliation Team encourages you to use your right to vote with this nonpartisan election information coming from The United Methodist Church - General Church and Society, WNC Black Methodists for Church Renewal (BMCR), League of Women Voters and the Catawba Valley League of Women Voters!
Live Stream Counting for Year End Reports 2020

Live Stream Counting for Year End Reports 2020

8/12/2020
In 2020, with the onset of Covid-19 and the recommendation not to hold inside worship, many churches have opted to provide services via live streaming. Because so many churches are switching to this digital ministry, questions have surfaced regarding virtual attendance and how to count those participants. Please read this guide on how to count live stream attendance for your Year End Reports. If you have any questions, please reach out to Dr. R. Mark King, Conference Statistician at mking@wnccumc.org or 704-535-2260.
Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness FAQS

Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness FAQS

8/12/2020
The Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, is providing this guidance to address borrower and lender questions concerning forgiveness of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, as provided for under section 1106 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), as amended by the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (Flexibility Act). Borrowers and lenders may rely on the guidance provided in this document as SBA’s interpretation, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, of the CARES Act, the Flexibility Act, and the Paycheck Protection Program Interim Final Rules (“PPP Interim Final Rules”).
Recover. Restore. Retreat. Webinar: Grow Your Church's Digital Reach through Social Media

Recover. Restore. Retreat. Webinar: Grow Your Church's Digital Reach through Social Media

8/12/2020
Tamell Green, CEO of Metamorphosis PR Firm, is joining us in the Recover Restore Retreat webinar series for black clergy members! Starting at 10:00 a.m., she’ll dive into how to grow your church’s digital reach through social media!
Treasury Services announces new Online Payments Portal for 2021

Treasury Services announces new Online Payments Portal for 2021

8/12/2020
Treasury Services is pleased to announce a new avenue for making Apportionment and Benefits payments via electronic payments. This new feature will be available in early 2021. To get started, however, we need to set up the payers.
Voting Our Values Forum Sessions

Voting Our Values Forum Sessions

8/12/2020
Join NC Interfaith Power & Light (NCIPL) and the North Carolina Council of Churches for an eight-week forum series detailing the important issues facing us this election. These events will highlight our multi-issue faith voter reflection guide – Democracy, Values & the 2020 Election: A Reflection Guide for Faith Communities – in addition to featuring expert speakers, and educating attendees on policy and the reality of voting during a pandemic.
AC2020 Worship Service

AC2020 Worship Service

8/10/2020
Enjoy the opening worship from Annual Conference 2020.
Just-In-Time Early Response Team Training

Just-In-Time Early Response Team Training

8/10/2020
Early Response Training - Online Class Now Available
Mission Engagement Blog - August 2020

Mission Engagement Blog - August 2020

8/10/2020
Check out the latest Mission Engagement Blog.
AC2020 updates now available from UMF, UMM, UMW, and Justice & Reconciliation

AC2020 updates now available from UMF, UMM, UMW, and Justice & Reconciliation

8/5/2020
Since Annual Conference is virtual this year, various conference ministries have provided video updates on their mission and ministry. You can watch them at www.wnccumc.org/ac2020-updates.   For the full reports from Conference Boards, Committees, Ministries, and Commissions, visit the Program and Reports book at www.wnccumc.org/ac2020.
Institute for Emerging Issues introduces webinar series on community capacity building

Institute for Emerging Issues introduces webinar series on community capacity building

8/5/2020
IEI is committed to engaging and building capacity within our communities. IEI’s Summer School Series will offer a number of online discussions, training, and workshops that will help communities work better together to identify challenges, problem-solve, and connect to resources. This four-part capacity building series will engage participants in virtual learning and sharing on the following topics: Civic Engagement, Storytelling, Adaptive Leadership, and Collective Impact.
Means of Grace: Renegade Ministry

Means of Grace: Renegade Ministry

8/5/2020
In this episode, Rev. Kim Ingram talks with Rev. Scott Osterberg.  Growing up in a non-church going family in Texas, he never thought he’d be a minister when he headed to Duke for seminary.  His life and journey in ministry have presented challenges and devastating loss.  Eight years ago, Scott’s renegade spirit led him to start New Story Church in Winston-Salem. Through all of these experiences, Scott has learned about leadership, service, and faith. Sometimes the hard way. In this episode of Means of Grace, we hear Scott’s story and discover how we can become renegades in ministry too.
Recover.Restore.Retreat: Social Media 101 - Creating Consistent Ministry Content

Recover.Restore.Retreat: Social Media 101 - Creating Consistent Ministry Content

8/5/2020
Diamond Nurse, the CEO and Chief Social Media Strategist of Diamond M.I.N.E. Group in Charlotte, NC, will be speaking at next Tuesday's Recover. Restore. Retreat. webinar series! She’ll be talking about how to build genuine communities online, strengthening your presence across platforms and will answer any of your social media related questions.
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