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.

Spiritual Formation Weekend with Rev. Mike Slaughter

Spiritual Formation Weekend with Rev. Mike Slaughter

2/22/2023
HENDERSONVILLE, NC: First United Methodist Church’s annual Spiritual Formation Weekend Feb. 22 and 23 features Rev. Dr. Mike Slaughter, pastor emeritus at Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church (Tipp City, OH). On Saturday, Feb. 22, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Rev. Slaughter reminds us that Jesus’ call is clear: we are to live out the Kingdom of God in our lives and in our communities. This often requires us to live counter-culturally. The good news is that when we get serious about following Jesus, lives are changed and disciples made. When Pastor Slaughter arrived at Ginghamsburg Church in 1979, worship attendance hovered at 90 with just 118 members and the church budget was $27,000. Through his dynamic teaching, his heart for the lost, and innovative approach to ministry the church grew to over 5,000 weekly attendees, and its multi-million dollar budget helps resource a faith community committed to serving the poor, the lost and disenfranchised. Registration is open for the day-long Saturday, Feb. 22, program featuring Rev. Slaughter. A $15 fee covers lunch; proceeds fund meals for the food insecure in Henderson County. Register online at www.fumchvlnc.org or by calling the church at 828-693-4275. Payment can be made online with PayPal and by cash or check in advance or at the door. Rev. Slaughter is the guest preacher at three worship services on Sunday, Feb. 23. Worship times are 8:30 and 11:00 a.m. (traditional) and 9:15 a.m. (contemporary). The community is invited for this weekend with Rev. Dr. Mike Slaughter as he emboldens and strengthens us to live out our faith here and now. FUMC is located at 204 Sixth Avenue West in Hendersonville. Convenient, handicap-accessible parking is available in the main parking lot on Buncombe Street.
Spiritual Renewal Grant for Clergy & Lay Ministry Professionals

Spiritual Renewal Grant for Clergy & Lay Ministry Professionals

1/23/2020
The LDT wants to help nurture your spiritual growth.  Refresh your soul and renew your spirit through one of the many opportunities identified!  Paid church leaders are eligible for up to $500 to cover the cost of a spiritual renewal opportunity...
Delegation Endorses Amy Coles as Episcopal Nominee

Delegation Endorses Amy Coles as Episcopal Nominee

1/15/2020
The Western North Carolina delegation has endorsed the Rev. Amy Coles as their episcopal nominee. Kim Ingram, chair of the delegation, speaks on behalf of the delegates: "As a bishop, Rev. Amy Coles would bring a servant's heart, deep wisdom, strong faith and a clear calling to the work of the episcopacy. Her commitment to the Church and her openness to serving in "such a time as this" is a gift to us all. It is our honor to nominate Amy for the episcopacy."   Rev. Coles shares, “I am humbled by...
Means of Grace: A Conversation on Clergy Health

Means of Grace: A Conversation on Clergy Health

1/15/2020
In this episode of Means of Grace, Kim has a conversation with Rae Jean Proeschold-Bell, PhD and Rev. Dr. Jason Byassee on the efforts of the Clergy Health Initiative to improve clergy health and reduce stress. Listen on our website at www.wnccumc.org/meansofgrace or wherever you get your podcasts. To learn more about the new iteration of Spirited Life: Selah and to find a link to register, visit www.spiritedlife.org.
Accepting Applications for 2020 Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund Grants

Accepting Applications for 2020 Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund Grants

1/14/2020
Now accepting 2020 applications for Reynolds Ministry Fund Grands. The Deadline to apply is February 1, 2020.
Faithful Leadership in a Season of Crisis

Faithful Leadership in a Season of Crisis

1/14/2020
During these days, United Methodist clergy need to be together, and to think deeply about how to lead “for such a time as this.”
Mediation Skills Training

Mediation Skills Training

1/14/2020
This opportunity is for leaders who want to learn the processes, techniques, and concepts needed for all involved parties to arrive at a mutually agreeable solution to a conflict, and move forward with greater appreciation and respect.
Simplify the Message: Multiply the Impact Workshop

Simplify the Message: Multiply the Impact Workshop

1/6/2020
The Simplify the Message: Multiply the Impact Workshop is designed to help preachers break through the noise of culture and the cauldron of church to deliver sermons with clarity, passion, and boldness. This seminar meets the needs of two populations in particular: 1) young preachers developing their skills who need structure, a process, and hope, and 2) more seasoned preachers who may have “settled” and now need tools to invigorate their preparation and inspire their delivery.
IgniteUs - middle school retreat

IgniteUs - middle school retreat

1/6/2020
Plan now to bring your middle schoolers to IgniteUs 2020!
Bishop Leeland's Response to Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation

Bishop Leeland's Response to Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation

1/3/2020
January 3, 2020   Following the 2019 special session of General Conference, conversations with various factions have continued within The United Methodist Church, all who agree that the current level of tension cannot and should not be sustained over an extended period of time.     This morning, January 3, 2020, a statement was shared with the denomination reflecting a Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation which outlines a proposal representing these various perspectives and a ...
Coming Lent 2020: The Passions of Jesus Study

Coming Lent 2020: The Passions of Jesus Study

1/2/2020
A new six-week study is coming for Lent 2020. Join friends and colleagues from our conference as we explore The Passions of Jesus.
IRS releases 2020 mileage rates

IRS releases 2020 mileage rates

1/2/2020
The Internal Revenue Services has released reimbursable mileage rates for 2020. Beginning on January 1, 2020, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be: 57.5 cents per mile driven for business use, down one half of a cent from the rate for 2019, 17 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down three cents from the rate for 2019, and 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations. The release can be downloaded ...
Clergy Health Initiative invites pastors to participate in program aimed at reducing stress

Clergy Health Initiative invites pastors to participate in program aimed at reducing stress

1/1/2020
The Duke Clergy Health Initiative (CHI) will launch Spirited Life: Selah in January 2020.   Spirited Life: Selah is a program designed just for United Methodist pastors in North Carolina. With the generous support of The Duke Endowment, Selah is an invitation to be equipped with tools to shape one’s daily rhythm to be more sacred and attentive, and in so doing, to respond to the stresses of ministry life.   “We couldn’t be more delighted to continue this journey walking alongside clergy,” said ...
Offerings for Leadership Development

Offerings for Leadership Development

1/1/2020
Kick off the new year with an educational opportunity from Leadership Development - check out the current sponsored offerings. 
Statistical Reporting for 2019 is READY and AVAILABLE!

Statistical Reporting for 2019 is READY and AVAILABLE!

12/30/2019
Statistical Reporting for 2019 is READY and AVAILABLE! To Our Local Church Pastors, Treasurers, and Membership Secretaries:   TABLE 2: Lines 28-36 and 39 -40 ARE NOW UPLOADED.   Please check the box "Show All Actives Lines.   The GCFA/Western North Carolina Conference statistical system will open on January 2, 2020 and be available for input of 2019 information.  All statistical information must be entered and complete by Friday, January 31, 2020.  In order to access the system, you can do so in...
2019 Conference and District Apportionment Payments -  Due Soon!

2019 Conference and District Apportionment Payments - Due Soon!

12/30/2019
Final 2019 conference and district apportionment payments and special offerings must be in the hands of the conference treasury services office AND recorded (NOT just in the mail) by 3:00 PM on Tuesday, January 7, 2020, in order to be applied to the 2019 year.  The postmark is not what matters; payments must be actually received and in the hands of treasury services, and posted, by 3:00pm on Tuesday. If you have amounts unpaid, please check in with your treasurer and go online at https://www.wnc...

2020 Remittance Form - Now Ready!

12/30/2019
The 2020 Remittance form is ready for use. You can find the form here. The form has been redesigned with our new control numbers and also it is now a calculated form, so you can fill it all out on your computer, and it will automatically calculate (Please make sure to save to your desktop BEFORE filling it out. DO NOT fill out in your browser. We recommend using Adobe reader, found here.).  You can also choose to print out and fill it out by hand if you would like. Questions? Please contact ...
Means of Grace: Launching a New Worship Service

Means of Grace: Launching a New Worship Service

12/18/2019
In this episode of Means of Grace, Luke Edwards reflects back on his experience being a part of a new worship service launching at Boone United Methodist Church and has a conversation with Dan Pezet, Director of Church Development, about why churches should consider launching a new service. Listen on our website at www.wnccumc.org/meansofgrace or wherever you get your podcasts. Register for the Launching Worship Workshop.  
Church Mutual distributes $96,848 dividend to conference churches

Church Mutual distributes $96,848 dividend to conference churches

12/10/2019
 Congratulations to the 185 WNCUMCC churches participating in the Group Insurance program administered by Church Mutual Insurance Company! Participating members recently received a return of premium paid in the form of a dividend.    Based on the $96,848 total dividend, each participating church received a 16% return of premiums paid. This is in addition to the upfront 5% discount each church receives when joining the program.  For more information about how you can be involved, contact Mark ...
Conference Nominations

Conference Nominations

12/10/2019
The WNC Conference needs lay and clergy leaders for committees, boards, and teams for the 2020-2024 quadrennium.  Do you know a leader who has gifts for ministry at the conference level?  Is it you? 
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 ...
The 2018 Statistical Report is online!

The 2018 Statistical Report is online!

12/10/2019
The 2018 Statistics are now available for viewing and download at the Administration page! Click here to view monetary and membership figures on churches across WNCCUMC, as well as member totals and demographics for districts and the conference.
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 ...
Brian Mateer Joins Conference Staff

Brian Mateer Joins Conference Staff

12/1/2019
We are pleased to announce that Brian Mateer is joining the conference staff as Associate Director of Missional Engagement.  Brian has served as Director of Missions at Providence UMC in the Metro district as well as team leader for the Missional Engagement team on the Connectional Table.  Brian will work under the direction of Caroline Wood and in the Missional Engagement area of our conference.  He will be coordinating mission partnerships and relationships, supporting mission efforts in ...
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 ...
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 ...
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.
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.
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