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.

Global Missions Fellow Program Applications

Global Missions Fellow Program Applications

10/23/2019
For those who are between the ages of 20-30 and are passionate about addressing the root causes of injustice, the Global Mission Fellow Program is accepting applications through January 7, 2020. This is a wonderful way for young adults to engage with local communities, connect the church in mission and grow in personal and social holiness.     
Institute for Emerging Issues

Institute for Emerging Issues

10/23/2019
IEI’s Peer Networks are issue-based informal resource groups around topics faith leaders care about. Through webinars, state-wide events, and partner connections- we are here to share your expertise and answer your questions with other rural faith communities.   Check out the upcoming networks below and register through the links below. John Parker 919-796-2730 http://johndempseyparker.orgRural Housing Peer Network (NEW!) Wednesday November 6th 11 am- 12 pm Based on momentum from rural faith ...
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
This is your friendly reminder 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 ...
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 ...
Churches’ Week of Action on Food: “God’s Promise of Abundance

Churches’ Week of Action on Food: “God’s Promise of Abundance"

10/9/2019
The Churches’ Week of Action on Food (Oct. 13-20, 2019) is a weeklong, global campaign, inviting churches around the world to join together to pray, reflect, and take action for food justice locally and globally. This year’s resource materials have been developed by the World Methodist Council in partnership with the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance of the World Council of Churches. Two of our WNCC clergy have been involved with this project: Rev. Judy Davis (coordinator and editor) and Rev. Luke Edwards (contributing writer). This year’s theme is “God’s Promise of Abundance,” based on Jesus’ parable of the great banquet. Materials include daily reflections and essays written by faith leaders from the global Methodist family around the world. Liturgical materials include prayers, music, and worship ideas to accompany this week’s action. The downloadable resource materials are available to accompany churches in worship and reflection at the WCC website.
The Space Between

The Space Between

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

Means of Grace - a new podcast from WNCCUMC

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

Strength for Service Names Two Police Chaplains to Board of Directors

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

World Cafe Model Training

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

Swain County's C4C Efforts

9/25/2019
See how Congregations for Children (C4C) is working in Swain County as they put forth an effort to support summer literacy. Click here to read the article. 

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

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

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

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

Mission Connection Team Meeting

9/17/2019
NOTE: Location Change. The meeting will take place at the Conference Office, 13924 Professional Center Drive, Huntersville, NC, 28070.  The Mission Connection Leadership Team of the Western NC Conference of The United Methodist Church will be hosting a Mission Connection Team Meeting on Saturday, November 2, 2019 from 10 am to 2 pm at WNCC Conference Office. We will be gathering at 9:30 a.m. and will begin promptly at 10 a.m. Gaston Warner, of Zoe Empowers, will be the guest speaker. The ...
Early Response Team Training

Early Response Team Training

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

Eating Together Faithfully Training Retreat Nov. 15-17

9/10/2019
Join Life Around the Table Nov 16-17 at Camp Chestnut Ridge in Efland, NC for a retreat to learn how to facilitate conversations about food and faith in your community. Gather with other community/church leaders around the table as we imagine what eating faithfully with God's intention for all creation in mind could look like.
The Latest Edition of E-News - Hurricane Dorian, Deacon Day, Spiritual Renewal Grants

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

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

The Ancient Tree

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

Women at the Wellsprings

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

Eating Together Faithfully Regional Training Retreats

9/3/2019
Come join us - scholarships still available! View this email in your browser Come join us! Eating Together Faithfully  Regional Training Retreats November 15-17, 2019 Camp Chestnut Ridge, Efland, NC OR April 30 - May 2, 2020 Methodist Theological School of Ohio, Delaware, OH   Space is limited in our Fall 2019 Training Retreat in North Carolina and scholarships are still available! Dear friends,  ...
Hurricane Disaster Response

Hurricane Disaster Response

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

Oberammergau Passion Play 2020

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

Hurricane Dorian Update, ERT Training, and Donations

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

2020 Health Rates Memo

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

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

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

Spiritual Renewal Grant for WNC Clergy and Lay Ministry Professionals

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

Wesley Heritage with Bishop Paul Leeland

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

Convocation on the Rural Church

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

Sorrow, Lament, and Prayers from Bishop Leeland

8/3/2019
Word of grace to our Western North Carolina Conference from Bishop Paul L. Leeland   We gather for this first day of worship in August 2019, with the horrific news of two terrible incidents of violence and death impacting the El Paso, Texas community, where 20 people were killed and 26 injured; and Dayton, Ohio, where 9 people were killed and 26 injured.   These incidents leave us in shock.  During this horrendous moment we join our hearts, sympathy, and prayers with the victims, families, and ...
The Latest Edition of E-News - Diversity Initiative, Retiring Well, Preaching Cohorts, and more

The Latest Edition of E-News - Diversity Initiative, Retiring Well, Preaching Cohorts, and more

8/1/2019
E-News - August 1 E-News is a bi-weekly newsletter sent out by the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. It contains important news, stories, and events from around our conference. Submit articles for the next e-news. Submit events. NEWS Dr. Otto Harris to Lead Diversity Initiative Dr. Otto Harris will lead the Comprehensive Plan of Inclusiveness, a conference-wide initiative centered around promoting diversity in Western North Carolina. This effort...
Dr. Otto Harris to Lead Diversity Initiative

Dr. Otto Harris to Lead Diversity Initiative

8/1/2019
Dr. Otto Harris will lead the Comprehensive Plan of Inclusiveness, a conference-wide initiative centered around promoting diversity in Western North Carolina.
Reporting Historical Changes for the 2019 Journal

Reporting Historical Changes for the 2019 Journal

7/30/2019
Did you have renovations and additions to your church or parsonage over the past year? We want to hear about it! Please report stories of the your church's growth and changes (7/1/18-6/30/19) to the Conference Secretary's office, for inclusion in the 2019 Journal!
Three Preaching Cohorts this fall

Three Preaching Cohorts this fall

7/29/2019
Preaching Cohorts for WNC clergy
Retiring Well 2019 - September 23-24th - Sign up now!

Retiring Well 2019 - September 23-24th - Sign up now!

7/22/2019
Now is the time to plan for retirement! September 23-24, 2019 ALL SPOTS HAVE BEEN FILLED To join the waitlist, please contact Jeff Johnson. There are many aspects of retirement that require planning at different stages of a clergyperson’s ministry. This two-day seminar provides vital information regarding the needs of clergy considering retirement within the next three to five years. We encourage spouses to join in making preparations for this milestone event in one’s (and his/her family’s) ...
Dinner Church Grants

Dinner Church Grants

7/18/2019
The Western NC Conference Vitality Team is offering $2,500 grants to 25 churches who want to start a dinner church and $1,000 to 20 churches with an existing dinner church. Grants can be used for food costs, interior design and/or tech updates to fellowship halls.
Provocative Hope: Using Appreciative Inquiry to Reclaim God’s Dream for your Church

Provocative Hope: Using Appreciative Inquiry to Reclaim God’s Dream for your Church

7/18/2019
Provocative Hope is a 16-week course to develop leaders’ capacity to lead their churches using Appreciative Inquiry so that their churches would reclaim God’s dream for their congregation and begin to live into that dream. This offering from the Leadership Development team is designed and facilitated by Rev. Steve James. ?He has served growing churches in rural, urban and suburban settings and for the last six years has served a full-time coaching ministry with church leaders across the US through Griffith Coaching, GoSeeLove, and Passion in Partnership.
AC2019 Report

AC2019 Report

7/4/2019
 Resident Bishop Paul L. Leeland presided over the Western North Carolina Annual Conference, June 20-23 at Lake Junaluska. The Conference theme was Trust and Obey. For this quadrennium, Bishop Leeland designed the themes around the four parts of the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:19-20, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything that I’ve commanded you. Look, I myself ...
The Latest Edition of E-News - GC2020 Petition Submissions, Worship

The Latest Edition of E-News - GC2020 Petition Submissions, Worship

7/3/2019
E-News - July 3 E-News is a bi-weekly newsletter sent out by the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. It contains important news, stories, and events from around our conference. Submit articles for the next e-news. Submit events. NEWS GC2020 Petition Submissions Process Open Petitions for consideration by the 2020 General Conference may be submitted to the Petitions Secretary now through September 18, 2019. According to church law, "Any ...
A Word About Justice and Reconciliation

A Word About Justice and Reconciliation

7/3/2019
What can it look like for the Western North Carolina Conference? Please watch this video, and we will see what can happen when we pray, “Your Kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
GC2020 Petition Submissions Process Open

GC2020 Petition Submissions Process Open

7/3/2019
Petitions for consideration by the 2020 General Conference may be submitted to the Petitions Secretary now through September 18, 2019.
What You Can Do Right Now To End Child Detention

What You Can Do Right Now To End Child Detention

7/3/2019
Across the United States, news headlines are laying bare the horrific and fatal conditions migrant children, families, and adults are facing in detention centers, at the border, and on their way to the border. Many families have fled violence and poverty in their countries of origin to seek asylum in the United States, only to have U.S. immigration officials tear them apart.
GC2020 Worship Deadline Extended

GC2020 Worship Deadline Extended

7/1/2019
United Methodist choirs, worship ensembles and liturgists from around the world have an opportunity to be part of the worship experience of the 2020 General Conference. Creatives may apply* to share their talents while leading the church body during The United Methodist Church’s top legislative assembly meeting May 5 -15, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minn. The deadline for submission has been extended to September 15, 2019.
Clergy Compensation Report for July 1 Appointment Changes

Clergy Compensation Report for July 1 Appointment Changes

6/27/2019
Did you move to a new appointment on July 1? Then you will need to fill out a new Clergy Compensation Report for your new appointment. Here are the instructions on how to do that: 1. Log into the Clergy Dashboard or the Church Dashboard. As a reminder, if someone is filling out a report on behalf of you, they should do it through the Church Dashboard. If you are filling out a compensation report for yourself, you should do it through the Clergy Dashboard.  If you can't remember your password ...
Important Active Health Plan Network News

Important Active Health Plan Network News

6/27/2019
We are pleased to offer the Cigna network for our Active Health Plan.  Cigna is a national network brand that will add value and multiple offerings for healthcare coverage.  As we transition July 1, please be aware of the following: ID Cards: Please dispose of your old ID card as soon as you receive your new ID card in the mail. Otherwise, you WILL have issues with providing the old ID cards and claims being denied. If you do not receive your ID card by 7/1, you may pull a digital copy of your ...
AC2019 Daily Digest - Sunday, June 23

AC2019 Daily Digest - Sunday, June 23

6/26/2019
AC2019 Daily Digest - Sunday, June 23     Sixty-five Pastors Celebrated in Ordering of Ministry Service A group greatly diverse in age, gender and ethnicity were honored by family and friends and celebrated in their ministry in the Western North Carolina Conference Saturday night at Stuart Auditorium. Denman Awards Recognize Evangelism in Clergy, Laity and Youth The Harry Denman Evangelism Award program honors United Methodists in each annual ...
AC2019 Daily Digest - Saturday, June 22

AC2019 Daily Digest - Saturday, June 22

6/26/2019
AC2019 Daily Digest - Saturday, June 22   Delegate Election Updates The Western North Carolina Conference Delegation for the 2020 General and Jurisdictional Conferences has been elected. Petitions Update The Annual Conference discussed and approved six petitions during the session on Saturday afternoon. The United Methodist Foundation Annual Meeting “We envision a church where people live out their God-given ...
AC2019 Daily Digest - Friday, June 21

AC2019 Daily Digest - Friday, June 21

6/26/2019
AC2019 Daily Digest - Friday, June 21   Delegate Election Updates The Clergy delegation for General and Jurisdictional Conference was completed today and the Laity elected their General Conference delegation of 10. Voting will resume tomorrow for Laity delegates to Jurisdictional Conference.    Opening Worship: The Long View Opening Worship at Annual Conference was held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 21 in Stuart Auditorium. Bishop Saenz of the Great ...
AC2019 Daily Digest - Thursday, June 20

AC2019 Daily Digest - Thursday, June 20

6/26/2019
AC2019 Daily Digest - Thursday, June 20   Delegate Election Updates The Western North Carolina GC2020 clergy delegation was elected in Clergy Session today: Kim Ingram, Amy Coles, Jeremy Troxler, James Howell, In-Yong Lee, Ashley Crowder Stanley, Shelly Webb, Carter Ellis, Darryl Dayson and Josh Sherfey. A Look Behind the Scenes of AC2019 Worship Have you ever wondered how the worship services at Annual Conference are planned and ...
It Only Takes A Spark

It Only Takes A Spark

6/25/2019
I am still in a post Annual Conference haze.  Our yearly meeting was busy time.   It was a productive time.  It was a meaningful time.  We have come away from Lake Junaluska some of us pleased with how things turned out and some of us not so pleased.  We come away, all of us, returning to our places of ministry and committed to making disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.  But beyond the elections and beyond the legislation, I find myself grateful for the connection of ...
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