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.

NC Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions Program

NC Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions Program

10/19/2020
The Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions (HOPE) Program is a new statewide initiative that may provide rent and utility assistance to eligible low- and moderate-income renters experiencing financial hardship due to the economic effects of COVID-19. The new program will help prevent evictions and utility disconnections in order to promote housing stability during the ongoing pandemic.
Collected Wisdom from Rural and Small Membership Churches

Collected Wisdom from Rural and Small Membership Churches

10/16/2020
The United Methodist Rural Advocates would like to offer some help to churches who are struggling with worship in these tumultuous times. As churches decide to move back to indoor worship it is important that this decision be arrived at with much prayer and interactive planning. The virus is serious, as is the need for gathering as the body of Christ. Safety must be of utmost concern as we endeavor to do no harm, do good and stay in love with God. Our hope is to offer at the very least hope and acknowledgement that you are not alone. Here is some of the collected wisdom, as well as some advice from rural pastors.
Pastor's Breakfast Brings Small Community Together

Pastor's Breakfast Brings Small Community Together

10/15/2020
When we find ourselves living in remote places it can be hard to find ways to fellowship. If you find yourself in a small town with no places to gather, perhaps it is time to consider making the local diner a new favorite for community gathering.
The Latest Edition of E-News - Message from U.S. Bishops, Haiti Offering Report, Means of Grace Podcast, and more

The Latest Edition of E-News - Message from U.S. Bishops, Haiti Offering Report, Means of Grace Podcast, and more

10/15/2020
This week's E-Newsletter includes a message from the UMC Bishops in the United States, an update on the AC2020 Offering, which was used to purchase oxygen tanks for COVID-19 patients in Haiti, the latest Means of Grace podcast, and more.
ERT Deployment

ERT Deployment

10/14/2020
For WNCC Early Response Team Members
AC2020 Offering purchases oxygen for COVID-19 patients in Haiti

AC2020 Offering purchases oxygen for COVID-19 patients in Haiti

10/14/2020
“We are using the oxygen for the patients who have respiratory distress including patients with COVID. We receive a lot of patients with respiratory distress at this period of time. We suspect this may be due to COVID. Usually we refer those patients to another facility since we don't have enough oxygen available at the hospital. Now, we are better able to serve the Haitian people.” - Eugene Maklin MD.
Best cameras for livestreaming

Best cameras for livestreaming

10/14/2020
If you’re looking for the best camera for your church’s stream, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve listed down the top webcams and cameras that are suitable for your church’s live stream.
Building and maintaining a relationship with virtual worshipers through email, part 2

Building and maintaining a relationship with virtual worshipers through email, part 2

10/14/2020
The COVID-19 era has closed public gatherings, but social media and streaming has likely brought new virtual worshipers to your services. How do you form a lasting relationship with the people behind the screens? Strengthen ties with members who may opt to worship virtually even when buildings reopen?
October eLEAD Newsletter - Leading in Politically Divisive Times

October eLEAD Newsletter - Leading in Politically Divisive Times

10/14/2020
"Our country is experiencing significant divisiveness right now that is spilling over into personal lives, churches, and communities. There is increasing chaos that is made more difficult through distanced relationships. An election is a month away and it fills the news daily. This edition of e-LEAD, [the newsletter from WNCC Leadership Development], is intended to provide resources to enable leaders to navigate through the rough waters, bridge the divide, and find HOPE. Leaders are encouraged to seek one another out for comfort, empathy, and understanding. We need each other now more than ever."
Peace, Justice, and Conflict Transformation

Peace, Justice, and Conflict Transformation

10/14/2020
The Lombard Mennonite Peace Center seeks to proclaim Christ’s good news, the gospel of peace and justice, and to be active in the sacred ministry of reconciliation. LMPC trains church leaders on biblical peace and justice issues, as well as conflict transformation and other training grounded in family systems theory.
Resource Roundup - Week of October 12, 2020

Resource Roundup - Week of October 12, 2020

10/14/2020
We scanned the internet for resources that will be of interest and value to you and your ministries. This week's roundup includes: Advent devotionals, free youth worship lessons, spiritually healthy ways to take a break, and more.
Means of Grace: Park and Praise: A Reset on Worship, Community & Church During a Pandemic

Means of Grace: Park and Praise: A Reset on Worship, Community & Church During a Pandemic

10/13/2020
In this episode, we take a trip to Simpson Gillespie United Methodist where the Rev. Darryl Dayson and his church gather in the parking lot for Park & Praise Worship. They’re in the midst of a sermon series entitled Reset and we can all benefit from pondering this question with them – will we resume or will we take this time to reimagine and reset to create something better than what we had before? For more information on the church and worship times, visit their website at https://www.simpsongillespie.com. Join them on Sundays at 10am online on Facebook and YouTube or in the parking lot on third Sunday of the month.
U.S. Bishops call for full participation in November elections

U.S. Bishops call for full participation in November elections

10/13/2020
United Methodist bishops based in the United States today issued a statement on Faith and Democracy, calling on the people of The United Methodist Church to support voter registration and encourage people to vote in the November 3 elections.
Mission Engagement Blog - October 2020

Mission Engagement Blog - October 2020

10/8/2020
Check out the latest Mission Engagement Blog.
The Latest Edition of E-News - Phase Three Guidelines, Prayers for Artsakh, Antiracism Ethics Training, and more

The Latest Edition of E-News - Phase Three Guidelines, Prayers for Artsakh, Antiracism Ethics Training, and more

10/8/2020
This week's E-Newsletter includes the Phase Three Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry During COVID-19, a call to prayer for Project Agape, Armenia, & Artsakh, the upcoming antiracism clergy ethics training sessions, and more.
Antiracism Clergy Ethics Training

Antiracism Clergy Ethics Training

10/7/2020
ALL clergy under appointment in WNC and all certified lay ministers/lay supply pastors under assignment in the WNCC are required to attend a two-day session by June 2024. Clergy are strongly encouraged to bring a lay person from their ministry setting to the training with them.
Blessed are the Poor: Engaging the Community Towards Social Transformation

Blessed are the Poor: Engaging the Community Towards Social Transformation

10/7/2020
Blessed are the Poor, is a webinar series designed to help church leaders engage with the people in their communities and reflect on the different ways in which people experience poverty. Discipleship Ministries and Path 1 will be exploring the many experiences of poverty in two-hour sessions that will take place once a month for five months, from October 2020 through February 2021.
Fulfillment of Faith Women's Retreat

Fulfillment of Faith Women's Retreat

10/7/2020
Prepare yourself for the Advent season with this special, one-night retreat November 6th – November 7th hosted by the Catholic Conference Center.
Ordination service postponed until June 2021

Ordination service postponed until June 2021

10/7/2020
In an effort to “Do No Harm” as well as to ensure that the Ordering of Ministry Service be the high and holy moment that we all desire it to be, the Bishop and Extended Cabinet have made the difficult decision to cancel the service planned on October 11, 2020. Both the 2020 and 2021 classes will be commissioned and ordained next June at Lake Junaluska.
Pray for Project Agape Armenia and Artsakh

Pray for Project Agape Armenia and Artsakh

10/7/2020
For over 27 years, United Methodists of North Carolina have been helping our sisters and brothers in Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh through Project AGAPE. We continue to provide humanitarian aid, educational classes, the Agricultural Development Project, and other missions and ministries. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the distributions more difficult and the economic toll on families has been increased. Now the war between the Republic of Artsakh and Azerbaijan has made the distributions even harder. All lights have been ordered to be turned off at night, families have been in the basements of their homes, the essentials of life will be harder to come by in the next several months. May we in the Western North Carolina Conference lift up in prayer our sisters and brothers in Artsakh during this time of hostility and war. May we pray for the families who will struggle to provide food, clothing, and possibly safe shelter during this time. And may we also pray for a lasting peace for this entire region.
Resource Roundup - Week of October 5, 2020

Resource Roundup - Week of October 5, 2020

10/7/2020
We scanned the internet for resources that will be of interest and value to you and your ministries. This week's roundup includes: Pandemic-proof ways to celebrate Pastor Appreciation Sunday, ideas for building and maintaining relationships with virtual worshippers, resources for Advent planning & marketing, and more.
Virtual Homecoming Celebrates United Methodist Higher Education & Scholars

Virtual Homecoming Celebrates United Methodist Higher Education & Scholars

10/7/2020
On Tuesday, October 27 the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation will host a virtual “homecoming” to celebrate Methodism and higher education, UMHEF scholars, and more. Festivities will include messages from United Methodist students, spotlights of UM-related institutions of higher education, interactive activities, messages from prominent leaders, and more.
Means of Grace: Building Effective, Sustainable Partnerships Between Schools and Churches

Means of Grace: Building Effective, Sustainable Partnerships Between Schools and Churches

10/6/2020
In this episode of Means of Grace, Brian Mateer is joined by Camille Roddy, the chair of the Western North Carolina Conference Congregations 4 Children initiative and the Rev. Ed Jones, pastor of Trinity United Methodist in Houston, Texas for a conversation how churches can partner with schools in their communities to meet the needs of students and families during the pandemic and beyond.
Phase Three Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry During COVID-19

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

10/6/2020
As faithful disciples of Jesus Christ in the midst of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we remain committed to our Biblical mandate to "love our neighbors as ourselves" and our Wesleyan call to “do no harm.” In doing so, we seek ways to engage faithfully in worship, study, and ministry while ensuring the health and safety of our members and communities. We advise that all churches continue following CDC, state and local guidelines for indoor and outdoor gatherings, including handwashing, wearing masks, and observing physical distancing rules and group size limits.
Resource Roundup

Resource Roundup

10/2/2020
We scanned the internet for resources that will be of interest and value to you and your ministries. This week's roundup includes: World Communion Sunday Worship Playlist, Five ways to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, Free A/V Assessment from the General Council on Finance and Administration, and more!
The Latest Edition of E-News - Hurricane Sally Response, Adventure in Ministry, Spiritual Health & Renewal, and more

The Latest Edition of E-News - Hurricane Sally Response, Adventure in Ministry, Spiritual Health & Renewal, and more

10/1/2020
This week's email includes updates on WNCC Hurricane Sally Response, information on joining Adventures in Ministry, applications for Clergy Spiritual Renewal Grants, and more.
Online Early Response Team Training - November 7, 2020

Online Early Response Team Training - November 7, 2020

10/1/2020
Next online ERT Training now available.
Sacred Ale

Sacred Ale

10/1/2020
Sometimes the best way to let others know the God you serve isn’t what they may think is to get out of the walls of your church and into the spaces where those who have been hurt by the church congregate.
On the Brink: Virtual Conference for Ministry Leaders

On the Brink: Virtual Conference for Ministry Leaders

9/30/2020
Raushawna Price, international author, coach, speaker, trainer, and radio personality, is facilitating a free, 3-hour workshop to address internal and external obstacles that work against Pastors and Ministry Leaders causing them to slip, diminish their mental health, interfere with their relationships, etc. You won't want to miss this engaging event! This is a ministry safe space which means complete confidentiality and, if you wish, anonymity. Let's explore what happens as we react to difficult times and stress-filled situations. Equip yourself even as your cup feels like it is almost empty from pouring out so much to others.
Retiree Health Plan Informational Video

Retiree Health Plan Informational Video

9/30/2020
Watch this video from Humana discussing the benefits of the retiree healthcare plan, including information on Medicare, details of the plan, enrollment steps, and what to expect after you enroll.
The Generous Church Leadership Course

The Generous Church Leadership Course

9/30/2020
A collaborative work of four general agencies of The United Methodist Church, the hope for the course is that participants will grow in their understanding of their leadership role in local church finances and will be able to connect and articulate generosity as a key component of a growing, authentic disciple of Jesus Christ.
Journeying Together

Journeying Together

9/29/2020
Join a small group of colleagues (6 or 7 total) in an ongoing, facilitated colleague conversation to share and grieve, find balance, learn, and grow. Lean in and get messy, human, honest (or not) and experience the grace of navigating the journey of ministry together, at this time.
Hurricane Sally Response

Hurricane Sally Response

9/25/2020
This past weekend the WNC Conference delivered about 400 UMCOR Cleaning Kits to Dauphin Island, Alabama to fill a shortage of buckets caused by other recent hurricanes.
Advent & Christmas Music in the Midst of COVID-19

Advent & Christmas Music in the Midst of COVID-19

9/24/2020
"How do you plan for Advent and Christmas music when you don’t know what to plan for? Who to plan for? Where to plan for? What we do know is why we plan for the Advent/Christmas/Epiphany season."
Eight ways to serve other people during a pandemic

Eight ways to serve other people during a pandemic

9/24/2020
COVID-19 shut down many parts of our lives - but certainly not all parts. The needs of our friends and neighbors and our own needs to both be in community and to help one another will never shut down. Since the needs are still there - and we want to meet the needs safely - we have to be creative about how we serve one another during a pandemic. Thankfully, there are some great examples of ways people have maintained social distancing while extending care, comfort and justice to their neighbors.
Pandemic challenges music ministers, choirs

Pandemic challenges music ministers, choirs

9/24/2020
"COVID-19 has disrupted United Methodist life in many ways and it’s done a number on congregational and choir singing, causing music ministers to scramble to keep music going and keep sidelined choir members engaged."
Conference Council on Youth Ministries Report

Conference Council on Youth Ministries Report

9/23/2020
On September 12, 2020 the Conference Council on Youth Ministries (CCYM) met at First UMC, Newton. "We as CCYM want to be the voice for young people all over the conference on a multitude of matters. We want the people in the WNCC to understand who we are and what we stand for. We are more than a bunch of teenagers. We are a collective group of youth using our voices for the better good of the Church." - CCYM President, Joseph Navarro
ERT Deployment

ERT Deployment

9/23/2020
The Alabama-West Florida and the Louisiana conferences both have current ERT requests open.
I AM Her Women's Leadership Summit

I AM Her Women's Leadership Summit

9/23/2020
The I AM Her Women’s Leadership Summit is not your ordinary conference. It’s a movement of women coming together to Be Inspired, Be Empowered, and to Be Equipped to do the work both personally, professionally and within the United Methodist Church to connect. This summit will focus on worship, relationship building and network mapping along with various courses to help participants learn how women in leadership have overcome challenges, and created solutions that supported their success. There will also be opportunities to learn how to build your professional network and maximize its potential.
Join us for Adventures in Ministry!

Join us for Adventures in Ministry!

9/23/2020
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? Adventures in Ministry mentor, Kate, and high school senior, Jaya, share how excited they are to have five cups of coffee with one another and discover the ways God is calling Jaya to serve the world!
NC State's Institute for Emerging Issues Hosting ReConnect to Move Forward series online

NC State's Institute for Emerging Issues Hosting ReConnect to Move Forward series online

9/23/2020
NC State's Institute for Emerging Issues is hosting our ReConnect to Move Forward series online and invite rural faith leaders to join us virtually this fall. Focusing on issues affecting us all (the future of work and higher education, broadband adoption, and mental health during COVID), these three meetings and corresponding faith discussions are available for free with gratitude to The Duke Endowment.
Registration is OPEN For Sabbath Life 2021!

Registration is OPEN For Sabbath Life 2021!

9/23/2020
Registration is now OPEN for Sabbath Life 2021! In this season when our church leaders are carrying especially heavy burdens, the team at Life Around the Table remains dedicated to creating space for clergy and ministry professionals to find renewal and rejuvenation of body, mind, and soul through our Sabbath Life ministry.
UPDATED AC 2020 Offering Report: Thank you for giving generously!

UPDATED AC 2020 Offering Report: Thank you for giving generously!

9/22/2020
Thanks to your generosity, we have received a total of $9,913.50 for the Annual Conference 2020 Offering. The offering will be evenly divided between the Northern Haiti Mission Connection and UMAR at a gift of $4,956.75 each. Thank you for supporting the mission of these important ministries!
A Different-Kind-of-Summer Camp

A Different-Kind-of-Summer Camp

9/21/2020
There is nothing quite like the experience of summer camp. It is a hallmark moment for most young people’s faith development. This year, however, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, camp looked a little different. Camps across the nation had to make rapid decisions about how they would provide a summer camp experience with social distance and pandemic-level safety protocols. It might seem impossible; but with determination, ingenuity, and God, camp staffs met the challenge and showed up for our young people. Here are some of the stories of Summer 2020 from the United Methodist camps here in Western North Carolina.
Churches pick up after Sally

Churches pick up after Sally

9/21/2020
Along with flooding, the coastal area is facing knocked-out bridges and piers, as well as many downed trees and power lines. The Associated Press reported that more than 500,000 residential and business customers were without electricity in Florida, Alabama and Georgia as of early Sept. 17.
The Latest Edition of E-News - Bishop Leeland discusses discovering God's call, Spiritual Renewal grants available, and more

The Latest Edition of E-News - Bishop Leeland discusses discovering God's call, Spiritual Renewal grants available, and more

9/17/2020
In this week's edition of E-News, Bishop Leeland discusses discovering God's call, Rev. Meg Gaston tells the story of a Messy Dinner Church Fresh Expression at Bryson City UMC, learn how you can qualify for up to $500 in spiritual renewal grant funds from the Leadership Development Team, and more.
Means of Grace: Leadership, Technology, & Relationships

Means of Grace: Leadership, Technology, & Relationships

9/16/2020
Six months into stay-at-home orders, every church has had to make significant shifts in their ministry. In this episode of Means of Grace, Jesse Enniss talks with Rev. Dr. Andrea Smith, pastor of West UMC in Mooresville, NC, and Rev. Dan Hester, pastor of Skyland United Methodist Church in Asheville, NC about leadership in this time of change. They discuss how they have adapted their use of technology, their engagement with their communities, how they, as leaders, have been making decisions, and so much more! Listen for free at www.wnccumc.org/meansofgrace or wherever you get your podcasts!
Public Education Advocacy and Faith: Why The Church Should Care

Public Education Advocacy and Faith: Why The Church Should Care

9/16/2020
Join us Wednesday, September 16 at 7 p.m. for a discussion around the importance of equity in public schools and actions we can take to accomplish the vision of every child in North Carolina having a sound basic education through public education.
Recover.Restore.Retreat: Lord, Help! COVID Disparities in the Black Community

Recover.Restore.Retreat: Lord, Help! COVID Disparities in the Black Community

9/16/2020
Chenequa Walker-Barnes, PhD at the McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University, is closing out the Recover. Restore. Retreat. webinar series. She’ll be speaking on theories and praxis to COVID disparities in the Black community. You do not want to miss this!
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