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: Moving Stories

Means of Grace: Moving Stories

6/24/2020
In this episode of the Means of Grace podcast, Kim Ingram and Jesse Enniss talk with three Western North Carolina clergy: Duncan Martin, Drew McIntyre, and Mark Barden, who share their stories of moving day and getting ready to leave one parsonage and move into another one.
Shelby Systems Webinar on Online & Text-to-Give Campaigns

Shelby Systems Webinar on Online & Text-to-Give Campaigns

6/24/2020
On July 8th at 10 am EST, Shelby Systems will host a webinar over to help equip your church on how to launch successful online and text-to-give campaigns during uncertain times.
Updated Worship Guidelines To Be Released Following Governor’s Address

Updated Worship Guidelines To Be Released Following Governor’s Address

6/24/2020
The Phase 2 Worship Guidelines remain in effect until at least June 30th. Bishop Leeland and the Cabinet will renew or update the guidelines following the release of Governor Cooper's updated statewide guidelines this week. Any extension of Phase 2 or updates to Phase 3 will be communicated as soon as possible through email, at wnccumc.org, and on all WNCC social media platforms. Please continue to be mindful of our scriptural and Wesleyan call to "love others" and “do no harm.”
Kelly McRell of First United Methodist Church in Charlotte Named a William C. Friday Fellow

Kelly McRell of First United Methodist Church in Charlotte Named a William C. Friday Fellow

6/23/2020
The William C. Friday Fellowship for Human Relations, the flagship program of Wildacres Leadership Initiative (WLI), has named its 2020-2022 class. The William C. Friday Fellowship is a competitive statewide program for cross-sector leaders that seats fewer than 30 individuals across North Carolina every two-year cycle. Nineteen North Carolina counties are represented in this 11th Class of Friday Fellows. Kelly McRell of Mecklenburg County is a Practical Theologian who uses her creativity to foster spaces that include, honor, and celebrate all bodies. Kelly carries a heart full of gratitude for the various individuals who have called her into the work of love and justice, especially Nikkeia Lee of The Possibility Project-Charlotte. Kelly works as the Connect, Family, and Outreach Minister at First United Methodist Church in Charlotte. In 2017–2018, Kelly participated in the Arts and Science Council Cultural Leadership Training. Kelly was a member of Leadership Charlotte Class 37 and volunteers with the Rainbow Express Ministries. Kelly sits on the board of The Possibility Project-Charlotte.
AC2020 P&R Book now online!

AC2020 P&R Book now online!

6/22/2020
Clergy and Lay Members of the 2020 annual conference are invited to review the 2020 Program & Reports Book @ https://www.wnccumc.org/ac2020-publications
Mission Response Center to Re-open for Volunteers

Mission Response Center to Re-open for Volunteers

6/22/2020
The Mission Response Center will re-open to volunteer groups on July 14. 2020.
Paycheck Protection Program Loans Still Available

Paycheck Protection Program Loans Still Available

6/22/2020
The United Methodist Credit Union can still help local churches with the Paycheck Protection Program.
Emory Club presents a Virtual 5K and Journey to the Cross Challange

Emory Club presents a Virtual 5K and Journey to the Cross Challange

6/18/2020
Keeping an Annual Conference Tradition Alive! You can still run a 5K with the Emory Club this annual conference season, or you can take on a whole new challenge and virtually move from the Conference center in Huntersville to the the Cross at Lake J.
General Secretaries Table: Statement on Racism

General Secretaries Table: Statement on Racism

6/18/2020
Along with leaders across the church, the general secretaries of the boards and agencies of The United Methodist Church mark this moment as a time to recommit to urgent action to dismantle racism in the United States and in the church. The recent and callous killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery while the nation is already reeling from the disproportionate death rates of African American and Native Americans from COVID-19 have rightly sparked anger, lament, protest and calls for action and reflection. We write to express our own anger, pain and determination to make change in our own spheres of influence and to support the church in the urgent and ongoing work to eliminate racism.
Blessed to Be a Blessing During COVID-19

Blessed to Be a Blessing During COVID-19

6/17/2020
With the full support of the Reynolds, the Foundation opened a special grant cycle specifically for churches adapting to COVID-19. $100,000 went directly to the Western North Carolina Conference to support various Conference-level ministries. An additional $102,000 in grants were awarded to 178 churches and related ministries to purchase recording and lighting equipment, online meeting software subscriptions, and expand local internet access and capacity.
I Still Can't Breathe: A Faith Response to Racism

I Still Can't Breathe: A Faith Response to Racism

6/17/2020
On Thursday evening, at 7 p.m. the North Carolina Conference will host an online discussion, "I Still Can't Breathe: A Faith Response to Racism". Find more information at https://nccumc.org/events/i-still-cant-breathe/.
Payroll Protection Program Update

Payroll Protection Program Update

6/17/2020
The Payroll Protection Program has helped many of our churches in the Western North Carolina Conference.  We want to continue helping and providing guidance from our various and reputable sources.  There is much information floating around so please ensure the sources of where and what your church may obtain.
Carolinas Black Clergy Retreat Scheduled for August

Carolinas Black Clergy Retreat Scheduled for August

6/16/2020
Carolinas Black Clergy Retreat 2020 scheduled for August 24-28. Register at https://www.umcsc.org/2020cbcleadershipretreat/.
Holy Listening, Holy Action: The Work of the Whole Church

Holy Listening, Holy Action: The Work of the Whole Church

6/16/2020
Confronting and dismantling systemic racism and white supremacy and cooperating with God to build a more holy, just, equitable, and Beloved community is the work of the whole Church.
The Latest Edition of E-News - #EndRacism, Clergy Session, Rethinking Summer Mission, and More

The Latest Edition of E-News - #EndRacism, Clergy Session, Rethinking Summer Mission, and More

6/11/2020
Read this week's e-newsletter to learn how United Methodists are responding to racism, details for the 2020 Virtual Clergy Session, and a conversation on rethinking summer missions in the wake of COVID-19.
Juneteenth Virtual  Celebration-The Place UMC

Juneteenth Virtual Celebration-The Place UMC

6/10/2020
Juneteenth isn’t just a celebration of emancipation, it’s a celebration of the commitment to make it real. Join us June 19th, 6PM to listen and learn in a path toward justice and equality. See you online at The Place Church streaming at https://www.facebook.com/theplaceclt/
Congratulations to the WNCC Seminary Graduates of 2020!

Congratulations to the WNCC Seminary Graduates of 2020!

6/10/2020
The United Methodists of Western North Carolina congratulate our seminary graduates on completing this blessed journey. May you always feel God's abiding presence with you as you look towards the journey ahead.
Family Retreat and Mission Opportunities at Hinton Rural Life Center

Family Retreat and Mission Opportunities at Hinton Rural Life Center

6/10/2020
Hinton Rural Life Center is responding to individual and family needs to retreat, reflect, and renew during this uncertain and stressful time by offering affordable options to getaway, but still be mindful of protecting oneself and others.
Means of Grace: Race, Racism, The Church's Clarion Call

Means of Grace: Race, Racism, The Church's Clarion Call

6/10/2020
We invite you to listen to this special episode of the Means of Grace Podcast featuring the Metro District of The United Methodist Church's Sights & Sounds Podcast. In this episode, Dr. Stephanie Moore Hand and Rev. David Hockett speak with Dr. Elaine Heath and Dr. Fatimah Salleh about race, racism in America, and the United Methodist Church's responsibility to speak up, act, and make change for the Kingdom of God.
Means of Grace: Rethinking Summer Missions

Means of Grace: Rethinking Summer Missions

6/10/2020
In this episode of the Means of Grace Podcast, Brian Mateer, Associate Director of Missional Engagement, leads a conversation with Rev. Kris Mares and Rev. Laura Byrch on how churches should evaluate summer missions during COVID-19. Listen at https://www.wnccumc.org/meansofgrace or wherever you get your podcasts.
Shelby Systems Offers Special Pricing For Online Giving

Shelby Systems Offers Special Pricing For Online Giving

6/10/2020
One of the Western NC Conference’s Ministry partners, Shelby Systems, has agreed to partner with churches in the conference by providing a comprehensive online giving program that will include text-to-give, custom website form, and mobile app.
Tekoa Foothills Day Passes Available

Tekoa Foothills Day Passes Available

6/10/2020
Pack a cooler and sunscreen. Take a day trip to Foothills. Enjoy the lake, swimming pool, and hiking trails.
WNCC United Methodist Women 2020 Spiritual Retreat to be held virtually

WNCC United Methodist Women 2020 Spiritual Retreat to be held virtually

6/10/2020
For Such a Time as This, the Western North Carolina Conference United Methodist Women Spiritual Growth Virtual Retreat 2020 is coming to you online June 12-14.
Bishop Leeland Shares Details for 2020 Virtual Clergy Session

Bishop Leeland Shares Details for 2020 Virtual Clergy Session

6/9/2020
Bishop Leeland shares details for the 2020 Virtual Clergy Session which will be held on Thursday, June 18 at 7:00 p.m. as a Zoom webinar.
Cloth Face Masks Available

Cloth Face Masks Available

6/9/2020
The Committee on Relief has secured a donation of cloth face masks through FEMA. These masks are available to staff and volunteers of non-profit organizations and will be available to distribute in the next week(s).   Interested churches or organizations should fill out the following request form. COR will review requests and distribute masks. For additional information contact Ben Rogers (brogers@wnccumc.org).
Mission Engagement Blog

Mission Engagement Blog

6/9/2020
Check out the Mission Engagement Blog page for a new blog by Caroline Wood. This month's topic is Mission During Covid-19 - 2020: Back to the Basics.
Resuming Care-Filled Worship and Sacramental Life During a Pandemic

Resuming Care-Filled Worship and Sacramental Life During a Pandemic

6/9/2020
An extensive resource from Candler School of Theology featuring in-depth guidance and advice from an ecumenical group of theologians, scientists, physicians, pastors, bishops, and practitioners. This guide includes theological foundations, benchmarks, best practices, planning checklist, and practical solutions.
Council of Bishops call to act now to end racism and white supremacy

Council of Bishops call to act now to end racism and white supremacy

6/8/2020
In the aftermath of police killings of unarmed Black people, the bishops of The United Methodist Church today called on all United Methodists to act now by using their voices, pens, feet and hearts to end racism.
Open Letter to the United Methodists of the Southeastern Jurisdiction

Open Letter to the United Methodists of the Southeastern Jurisdiction

6/8/2020
An open letter to United Methodists from the White Bishops of the Southeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church.
A Summons To Witness, Protest, & Promise

A Summons To Witness, Protest, & Promise

6/4/2020
We, United Methodists in The Western North Carolina Conference, join our voices with The North Carolina Conference in witness, protest and promise in these times of violence against our Black brothers and sisters.
Pentecost in a Time of Pandemonium

Pentecost in a Time of Pandemonium

5/28/2020
May 28, 2020 The past two days have reminded us of the chaos, hurt, distrust, and anger, that emerges all too frequently in our communities. The news of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis has shocked and awakened us once again to the injustice still present in our world. My thoughts are focused on the family and friends who are grieving and all who are impacted by the traumatic effects of racism and violence.  The Church has consistently denounced racial discrimination and violence. As United...
Pentecost Resources for Virtual Ministries and At-Home Worship

Pentecost Resources for Virtual Ministries and At-Home Worship

5/28/2020
We have curated a list of resources for celebrating Pentecost virtually with your congregation and small groups, or at home with your family!
Bishop Leeland to Serve as Bishop in Western North Carolina Through 2021

Bishop Leeland to Serve as Bishop in Western North Carolina Through 2021

5/27/2020
Bishop Paul L. Leeland will continue to serve the Western North Carolina episcopal area until the postponed Southeastern Jurisdiction Conference in November, 2021. We celebrate Bishop Leeland’s extended ministry in Western North Carolina and express gratitude for his continued faithfulness in leading our Conference.
Family Camp: Exciting Experiences from Camp Tekoa & Camp Tekoa Foothills

Family Camp: Exciting Experiences from Camp Tekoa & Camp Tekoa Foothills

5/27/2020
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to enjoy all that Tekoa has to offer with your family?  This summer you can!  We are offering Family Camp for the first time in our history!
Lament and Mourn 100K: A Call to a Collective Moment of Grief and Remembrance

Lament and Mourn 100K: A Call to a Collective Moment of Grief and Remembrance

5/27/2020
Our nation will soon pass a grievous point in history: 100,000 Americans will have died from COVID-19. As people of faith, we cannot allow this grim number to go unnoticed. Always and everywhere, it is the duty of religious communities to remember the dead and mourn their passing. We call on religious and political leaders to take a time of prayer, Monday, June 1st at 12 p.m. to acknowledge, lament, and mourn all those we have lost.
Help Sessions for Clergy Moving in a Crazy Time

Help Sessions for Clergy Moving in a Crazy Time

5/26/2020
Coach facilitated help sessions are being offered to clergy moving in a crazy time through the generosity of the Duke Endowment.
Commission Sets Dates for Postponed General Conference; Will Explore New Uses of Technology

Commission Sets Dates for Postponed General Conference; Will Explore New Uses of Technology

5/26/2020
The Commission on the General Conference has announced new 2021 dates for General Conference following the postponement of the event due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The quadrennial legislative event will take place on August 29 - September 7, 2021, at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minn.
Extended Cabinet May 2020 Virtual Meeting Recap

Extended Cabinet May 2020 Virtual Meeting Recap

5/26/2020
On May 19, the Extended Cabinet of Western North Carolina met virtually to connect and collaborate on shared ministry. As a Church, a conference and as cabinet leadership, our primary focus is on our mission and values as we move through this pandemic. We celebrate the strength of our Connection as United Methodists. The Bishop and the Cabinet continue to meet virtually and to evaluate the changing landscape for our churches, providing new updates, guidelines and resources regularly to facilitate local church ministry and support pastors and church leaders., caring for each other in good times and in times of crisis.
Means of Grace: Building Bridges with Rev. Susan Suarez Webster

Means of Grace: Building Bridges with Rev. Susan Suarez Webster

5/26/2020
On this episode of the Means of Grace podcast, Melissa talks with the Rev. Susan Suarez Webster about building bridges between our churches and the community. Susan is the assistant pastor for community outreach at Central United Methodist Church in East Charlotte and the recipient of the 2020 Sydnor Thompson, Jr. Community Leader Award from Mecklenburg Ministries. MeckMin describes this award as honoring local leaders committed to building bridges of understanding, compassion and justice. She will be honored at a May 27 fundraising breakfast that will be held virtually for the first time. Listen at www.wnccumc.org/meansofgrace or wherever you get your podcasts.
Tutorials Using StreamYard for Live Streaming Worship

Tutorials Using StreamYard for Live Streaming Worship

5/26/2020
Rev. Denise Kilgo-Martin walks through three tutorial videos of using StreamYard to live stream worship - starting with a basic, introductory video and moving into advanced features.
UMC Bishops Announce Dates for Postponed 2020 Jurisdictional Conferences

UMC Bishops Announce Dates for Postponed 2020 Jurisdictional Conferences

5/26/2020
he Council of Bishops (COB) has announced new dates for the 2020 Jurisdictional Conferences in the United States which have been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Jurisdictional Conferences in the United States will be held November 10-12, 2021. The days prior to and after can be used at the discretion of each Jurisdictional Conference.
Western North Carolina Conference, Centenary UMC, and Lake Junaluska Recognized at 2020 UMAC Awards

Western North Carolina Conference, Centenary UMC, and Lake Junaluska Recognized at 2020 UMAC Awards

5/26/2020
We are proud to announce the following winners of UMAC Awards from Western North Carolina.
Bishop Leeland announces an appointment change to the Western North Carolina Cabinet

Bishop Leeland announces an appointment change to the Western North Carolina Cabinet

5/22/2020
Bishop Leeland announces an appointment change to the Western North Carolina Cabinet, effective July 1, 2020.   Rev. Beth Crissman will be appointed as Senior Pastor of West Market Street United Methodist Church in Greensboro, NC. Beth has served as the District Superintendent and Chief Missional Strategist in the Blue Ridge District in the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church since 2016. Rev. Dr. Mark Ralls will be appointed as District Superintendent of the Blue Ridge District. Mark has served as Senior Pastor of First Hendersonville since 2015.
Phase Two Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry During COVID-19

Phase Two Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry During COVID-19

5/21/2020
As the state of North Carolina prepares to enter Phase Two, the Cabinet has updated our Conference Guidelines for In-Person Worship and Ministry During COVID-19. These will be effective Saturday May 23, 2020 and will remain in effect until at least June 30, 2020. In alignment and compliance with public health guidance, governmental mandates, and our scriptural and Wesleyan call to "love others" and “do no harm,” these guidelines are to be followed by churches in the Western North Carolina Conference. We have also prepared a Frequently Asked Questions to help you navigate ministry concerns at this time.
Risk Assessment for Churches

Risk Assessment for Churches

5/20/2020
As the State of North Carolina loosens restrictions imposed on the public related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the churches in The Western North Carolina of The United Methodist Church face a variety of the same questions and issues faced by the business community as they look toward opening their doors again. Find information related to employee/employer AND church/public risks when re-opening.
Video Editing Training from UM Communications

Video Editing Training from UM Communications

5/20/2020
Video editing is the process of taking raw footage from your smartphone or other camera and formatting it for your viewers. This training from UM Communications will help you learn how to use Adobe Rush to edit your videos and format them for popular platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.
Why Reopening a Church is Different: Planning for the future during COVID-19 presents challenges for the church unlike any other.

Why Reopening a Church is Different: Planning for the future during COVID-19 presents challenges for the church unlike any other.

5/20/2020
Alex A. Shanks explores why reopening a church is different than reopening a business. "Planning for the future during COVID-19 presents challenges for the church unlike any other. How will we lead in a time of change?"
Cardboard Boxes Available

Cardboard Boxes Available

5/19/2020
It is moving season! The Mission Response Center has an abundance of cardboard boxes available until supplies run out for anyone taking a new appointment, moving, or in need of boxes for any reason. Options for obtaining boxes: Schedule a time to pick up boxes at the MRC either individually or by pallet (~60 boxes per pallet) loaded onto your pickup truck. If you are in need of more than two pallets of boxes you can schedule them to be delivered. Contact Ben Rogers at brogers@wnccumc.org for ...
Spiritual Disciplines while Distancing

Spiritual Disciplines while Distancing

5/18/2020
As we emerge from the crisis of the last weeks and enter a new era of being church, establishing strong spiritual disciplines requires innovation, mutual support and accountability. Join one of these learning sessions to grow alongside your clergy and lay peers.
A Conversation: What Do Science and Data Say About the Near Term Future of Singing

A Conversation: What Do Science and Data Say About the Near Term Future of Singing

5/18/2020
With questions arising about viral safety and communal singing, the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), Chorus America, Barbershop Harmony Society, and Performing Arts Medical Association (PAMA) present an important webinar about the near term future of singing as we seek fact based solutions in protecting our singers, teachers, and conductors during this time.
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