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.

The Latest Edition of E-News - Annual Conference Announcement, Webinar Training Recordings Available, Explore Summer Internships, and more

The Latest Edition of E-News - Annual Conference Announcement, Webinar Training Recordings Available, Explore Summer Internships, and more

1/21/2021
E-News is an email 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. This week's newsletter contains information about the virtual 2021 Annual Conference, Explore Summer Ministry Internships, Reynolds Grant Applications, and more.
Annual Conference 2021 Updates

Annual Conference 2021 Updates

1/20/2021
The 2021 session of Annual Conference will be held virtually on Saturday, June 12 at 10:00 a.m., using the same format as the 2020 virtual session. The clergy session will be Friday, June 11, also held virtually. Due to ongoing presence of COVID 19 and our continued dedication to “Do No Harm,” we don’t anticipate that a gathering of this size will be feasible in person by June 2021. The Ordering of Ministry service will be held in person on Saturday, June 19 at Lake Junaluska. The combined service for clergy being commissioned and ordained will include 2020 and 2021 classes, with likely limits on attendance numbers and social distancing. More details will be shared in the coming weeks.
Racial Healing and the Gospel of Reconciliation

Racial Healing and the Gospel of Reconciliation

1/19/2021
Rooted in 2 Cor. 5:16-20, this workshop will teach reconciliation as spirituality, highlighting biblical examples of reconciliation and our call to be ministers of reconciliation as followers of Christ. With this theological foundation, participants will learn practical strategies for the Church to live out our role in the reconciliation process. Using racial healing as our focus, participants will learn a 6-step process of reconciliation that can be taken back to congregations as a resource tool for further healing and reconciliation in their communities.
Means of Grace: Partnerships, Vitality, and Mission - The Uwharrie District

Means of Grace: Partnerships, Vitality, and Mission - The Uwharrie District

1/19/2021
In this episode of the Means of Grace podcast, Kim Ingram visits with Uwharrie District leaders: Rev. Laura Auten, District Superintendent, Rev. Katie Lineberger, District Vitality Associate; Rev. Kris Mares, Missional Engagement Associate. We hear stories of how churches in the Uwharrie District are reaching their communities, discover a new way to engage statistical reporting as a sign of church vitality, and learn some about the unique characteristics of the Uwharrie Region in North Carolina.
Developing and Implementing an Outward Mindset

Developing and Implementing an Outward Mindset

1/19/2021
Changing the culture in our communities where people shift from an “inward mindset” (self) to an “outward mindset” (others) and experience growth in relationships, collaboration, engagement, and accountability. In each workshop, participants will learn the difference between inward and outward mindsets. They will discover where they have been inward and how to turn more outward. They will learn how to turn their mindsets and behaviors outward by applying the following toolsets: self-awareness ...
Tax Preparation Discount Offer for WNCC Clergy

Tax Preparation Discount Offer for WNCC Clergy

1/19/2021
C. DeWitt Foard and Associates, PA, CPAs, a nationally renown accounting firm and also the Western NC Conference’s auditors, is offering WNC clergy $50 off usual tax preparation fees for 2020 returns. Simply mention you are a WNC clergyperson or spouse to receive the discount. Returns can be submitted from all regions of the conference.
Zoom Recordings Now Available for Winter Training Webinar Series

Zoom Recordings Now Available for Winter Training Webinar Series

1/19/2021
The Zoom recordings of the Conference-wide Winter Training Webinar series are now available. If you were unable to attend live, you still glean from the wisdom of our keynote speaker, Jason Moore, and breakout leaders from across the conference on topics such as "Telling the Old Story in New Times," "Financial Faithfulness in Uncertain Times," "Evangelism and Disciplemaking in a Pandemic," and so much more.
There is a Balm in Gilead

There is a Balm in Gilead

1/15/2021
Rev. Amy Vaughan, pastor of Marvin UMC, took having Bible study in a bar to the next level when she decided to team up with Rev. Mike Collins, pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran Church, and brought Hops and Hymns to downtown Lincolnton. Rev. Amy had been attending Wild Goose Festival for years and was first introduced to the concept of hops and hymns there. She remembers looking around at the festival and seeing everyone singing along, even those who had grown up in the church but left because they ...
Council of Bishops: A Call to Action for The United Methodist Church in Times of Challenge

Council of Bishops: A Call to Action for The United Methodist Church in Times of Challenge

1/15/2021
In observation of the Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday and the upcoming inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States, the Council of Bishops President Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey has issued a call to action letter.
Webinar: The COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy and the Church

Webinar: The COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy and the Church

1/15/2021
On January 22, at 10 a.m., join Partners in Health and Wholeness, an initiative of the North Carolina Council of Churches, in partnership with the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) for a webinar on the COVID-19 vaccine roll out in our communities. We will discuss where we are now in the process, what things will look like going forward, and how faith communities can assist in this process while continuing to slow the spread. Participants are invited to bring questions, concerns, and ideas to this conversation.
Reynolds Ministry Grants Now Available!

Reynolds Ministry Grants Now Available!

1/14/2021
Apply for a grant from the Reynolds Ministry Fund by February 13, 2021
Local Author named 2020 Best Book Finalist by American Book Fest for Resource Encouraging Abuse Survivors to Thrive

Local Author named 2020 Best Book Finalist by American Book Fest for Resource Encouraging Abuse Survivors to Thrive

1/13/2021
There is something about a new year that invites a desire to release and claim. Many people were eager to release the hardships of 2020 and claim the hope of 2021. Individually, we have the opportunity to reflect more deeply, more spiritually on what we wish to release and claim. Survivors of abuse and trauma particularly need this opportunity. That is because we often build walls to protect ourselves but they often keep out the very things we desire. In the book, Awakening the Light: A Going-Forward Survivors to Thrivers Story, Tambry Harris talks about the powerful wall she constructed to protect herself. This story describes the vulnerability needed to look and see the wall you have built up and then how to dismantle it.
The Latest Edition of E-News - MLK, Jr. Commemoration, New PPP Loans, School of the Spirit, and more

The Latest Edition of E-News - MLK, Jr. Commemoration, New PPP Loans, School of the Spirit, and more

1/13/2021
E-News - January 13, 2021 E-News is an email 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 2021 WNCC Martin Luther King, Jr Commemoration  Saturday, January 16, 2021, 10 a.m. EST. The WNC Black Methodists for Church Renewal, the Justice & ...
Offering for the 2021 WNCC Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration

Offering for the 2021 WNCC Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration

1/12/2021
An offering site has been set up for the 2021 WNCC Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration on Saturday, January 16, 2021 from 10:00 am -11:30 am. The Commemoration will be conducted virtually via FaceBook Live and YouTube Live. Click here for more information on the event and the key-note speaker, as well as the links to join the virtual meeting. Beloved Community Center in Greensboro will be the beneficiary of this year's offering.  You can donate by credit card by clicking here. If you prefer ...
Means of Grace: Creating Space and Connection with Rev. Brandon Lazarus

Means of Grace: Creating Space and Connection with Rev. Brandon Lazarus

1/12/2021
In this episode, Melissa McGill talks with Rev. Brandon Lazarus, an ordained elder in our Conference and the Director of the LEAD conference. Learn more about Brandon’s story, the role LEAD has played in his life and ministry and how you can get involved in this creative community. LEAD creates space for Christian leaders to be vulnerable and courageous, connects them around their hopes for the future, and equips them to bring those hopes into reality.
Fresh Round of Payroll Protection Loans for Churches

Fresh Round of Payroll Protection Loans for Churches

1/12/2021
Congress approves and President signs new Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 which includes a new round of Payroll Protection Program loans.  Once again, nonprofit organizations, including churches, are eligible to apply, regardless of whether the entity received a loan in the first rounds.
School of the Spirit registration open

School of the Spirit registration open

1/9/2021
School of the Spirit offers five 2-day retreats designed to equip, empower and nurture transformation through the ancient spiritual disciplines of Jesus and the early church.
The Weird Delight of Preaching

The Weird Delight of Preaching

1/9/2021
Join a WNC Preaching Cohort to develop your preaching skills and engage in learning with your colleagues.
From Bishop Leeland: Preparing for Worship in a Time of Crisis

From Bishop Leeland: Preparing for Worship in a Time of Crisis

1/8/2021
January 8, 2021   To my colleagues in ministry, I am aware that we approach this coming Sunday following the national crisis over the last 48 hours with heavy, confused, and dismayed feelings.  Our congregations will be listening carefully to your words and anticipating signs of hope in the midst of the confusion and the divided nature of our nation.   First, I would remind us that we are spiritual leaders who acknowledge that God’s light in Christ is a gift to overcome the darkness.  This has ...
Concord UMC, Catawba shares the love of Christ through their Advent Acts of Worship in 2020

Concord UMC, Catawba shares the love of Christ through their Advent Acts of Worship in 2020

1/8/2021
This Advent, the Spirit of God moved through Concord UMC's Advent Acts of Worship in Giving.
In the midst of COVID-19, Davidson UMC spreads joy

In the midst of COVID-19, Davidson UMC spreads joy

1/8/2021
Even in the midst of restrictions, Davidson UMC helped to share the abundance of God this Christmas season!
The Latest Edition of E-News - Means of Grace with Rev. Dr. Sam Wells, Winter Leadership Training, MLK, Jr. Commemoration, and more

The Latest Edition of E-News - Means of Grace with Rev. Dr. Sam Wells, Winter Leadership Training, MLK, Jr. Commemoration, and more

1/7/2021
E-News is an email 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. This week's E-News includes the newest Means of Grace episode with Rev. Dr. Sam Wells, the Winter Leadership Training Webinar Series, and the MLK, Jr. Commemoration Service.
Missionaries cope with coronavirus challenges

Missionaries cope with coronavirus challenges

1/7/2021
The United Methodist Board of Global Ministries has 350 missionaries serving in 70 different nations, said the Rev. Judy Chung, executive director of missionary service. The highest numbers are located, in order, in Africa, North America and Asia.
Mission Engagement Blog - January 2021

Mission Engagement Blog - January 2021

1/6/2021
Check out the latest Mission Engagement Blog.
2021 Explore Summer Internships

2021 Explore Summer Internships

1/6/2021
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 reflect on their experiences. Interns are not meant to fill a certain hole in the ministerial staff, they are to be given opportunities to experience the full breadth of pastoral ministry; to discover, dream, develop and deliver, to learn by doing as well as by observing and discussing. Application deadline is February 25th, 2021.
Means of Grace: The Heart of Our Calling with Dr. Sam Wells

Means of Grace: The Heart of Our Calling with Dr. Sam Wells

1/5/2021
In this episode, we have a guest host, Parker Haynes, pastor of Trinity UMC in King, NC and member of the Leadership Development Team. He interviews the Rev. Dr. Samuel Wells, Vicar of St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London, parish priest of the Church of England, and former Dean of Duke Chapel, and research professor of Christian ethics at Duke Divinity School. Dr. Wells speaks to us as a follow-up to a recent webinar that he participated in through Duke Divinity School called “Soul- Tending in a Virtual Age: How to Preach, Pastor, and Disciple in these Challenging Times.”
2021 Duke Preaching Cohort

2021 Duke Preaching Cohort

1/5/2021
Duke Divinity School is now accepting applications to participate in the DDS Preaching Cohort for 2021.
IRS releases 2021 mileage rates

IRS releases 2021 mileage rates

1/4/2021
The Internal Revenue Services has released reimbursable mileage rates for 2021. Beginning on January 1, 2021, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be: 56 cents per mile driven for business use, down 1.5 cents from the rate for 2020, 16 cents per mile driven for medical, or moving purposes for qualified active duty members of the Armed Forces, down 1 cent from the rate for 2020, and 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable ...
Statistical Reporting for 2020 is READY and AVAILABLE!

Statistical Reporting for 2020 is READY and AVAILABLE!

1/2/2021
Statistical Reporting for 2020 is READY and AVAILABLE! UPDATE: Conference Financial information for each local church has been updated and included now your EZRA tables.   The GCFA/Western North Carolina Conference statistical system will open on January 2, 2021 and be available for input of 2020 information.  All statistical information must be entered and complete by Monday, February 1, 2021.  In order to access the system, you can do so in the following manner:   Access http://ezra.gcfa.org...
Christmas Offering - Project AGAPE

Christmas Offering - Project AGAPE

12/31/2020
Project AGAPE is a collaborative effort that we share with our sister Conference, the North Carolina Conference. For 27 years, United Methodists of North Carolina have built churches, schools and medical clinics and have sponsored homes for children. And yet, today, the need is greater than ever before. On September 27, the region in which the Project AGAPE compound is located suffered a massive attack by the state-sponsored terrorist group, Azerbaijan. That was followed by 44 days of cluster ...
Ministry Innovation in 2020

Ministry Innovation in 2020

12/23/2020
In case you missed any of the Ministry Innovation Stories in 2020, the links to the stories are listed below by date.  “God Plays Indoor Soccer” (June 30, 2020) https://www.wnccumc.org/newsdetail/god-plays-indoor-soccer-14115172   “Still Waters Landing – Harvesting a God-sized Dream” (July 15, 2020)  https://www.wnccumc.org/newsdetail/still-waters-landing-harvesting-a-god-sized-dream-14129688   “St. Luke’s Dinner Church – Gathering Re-imagined” (August 3, 2020) https://www.wnccumc.org/newsdetai...
Virtual Buzz Session by Innovators' Table

Virtual Buzz Session by Innovators' Table

12/23/2020
Dreaming up a new form of ministry? Not sure what to do next to make it work? Come be part of a Buzz Session!
The Latest Edition of E-News - WNCC Christmas Service Available Now, COVID-19 Resources for Faith Communities, Means of Grace Top 10 Episodes of All Time, and more

The Latest Edition of E-News - WNCC Christmas Service Available Now, COVID-19 Resources for Faith Communities, Means of Grace Top 10 Episodes of All Time, and more

12/22/2020
E-News is an email 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. This week's E-News includes the WNCC Christmas Service, COVID-19 Resources for faith communities from the NCDHHS, the Top 10 Episodes of Means of Grace, and more!
National Caring Congregation Training

National Caring Congregation Training

12/22/2020
2020 is coming to a close and now is the time to start planning your training needs for the new year! The Caring Congregation is excited to announce that our next National Webinar has been set for February 26-27, 2021. This live streamed 2-day event covers the Basic CCM Model of Care Training to equip and inspire your staff and volunteers to revitalize your church's care ministry. Take advantage of our Holiday Discount and save $50 per registrant now through Epiphany Jan 6, 2021.
NCDHHS shares COVID-19 resources for places of worship and faith communities

NCDHHS shares COVID-19 resources for places of worship and faith communities

12/22/2020
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services released the following information for faith communities as you make decisions about the best way to keep your community and congregation members safe and well this winter.
The 2020 Journal is Available Online

The 2020 Journal is Available Online

12/22/2020
The 2020 Journal is now available for viewing and download on the WNCC Administration page!
Top 10 Means of Grace Episodes of All Time

Top 10 Means of Grace Episodes of All Time

12/22/2020
Means of Grace, a podcast from the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, equips church leaders through expertise and examples. The podcast launched in October 2019, went weekly in October 2020, and hit 10,000 downloads in November 2020. We’ll be back on January 5, 2021 with new episodes but in the meantime, check out our top ten episodes by listener numbers.
2021 LEAD Conference Moves Online

2021 LEAD Conference Moves Online

12/18/2020
LEAD creates space for Christian leaders to be vulnerable and courageous, connects them around their hopes for the future, and equips them to bring those hopes into reality.  Now, more than ever, in the era of COVID-19, increasing political polarization nationwide, and heightened awareness of racial, social, and economic injustices bursting forth, LEADERS NEED LEAD.  LEAD 2021 will take place online January 25-26 and will feature 14 speakers and leaders (including WNCCUMC's own Sarah ...
The Latest Edition of E-News - New SouthPark Church, 2021 Winter Leadership Training, Introducing Check Inz App

The Latest Edition of E-News - New SouthPark Church, 2021 Winter Leadership Training, Introducing Check Inz App

12/17/2020
E-News - December 16, 2020 E-News is an email 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 SouthPark Church Unveils New Home Seven years after embarking on a journey to share God’s love in a bold, new way, Sharon United Methodist Church has reached its destination. With...
WNCC Churches Are Livestreaming! Join Us For Virtual Church!

WNCC Churches Are Livestreaming! Join Us For Virtual Church!

12/17/2020
Numerous churches across the conference are livestreaming their worship services, Bible studies, prayer services, bedtime Bible stories, and more. Connect with them here!
Check Inz: A New

Check Inz: A New "Contact Free" Check-in App from the Western NC Conference

12/16/2020
COVID-19 brought many new challenges, including checking in worship attenders for safety and contract-tracing protocols. In order to help you streamline this process - as well to keep it paperless and contact-free - the Western NC Conference is pleased to introduce Check Inz, a safe way to check people into your location or event that is easy, secure, and socially distanced approved! Sign up is now active to join the BETA test group. The app will be ready for full release in mid-January. For additional questions, contact Chris Hampton, director of web and database administration, at champton@wnccumc.org.
SouthPark Church Unveils New Home

SouthPark Church Unveils New Home

12/16/2020
Seven years after embarking on a journey to share God’s love in a bold, new way, Sharon United Methodist Church has reached its destination. With a new name – SouthPark Church – and a new home amid apartments, businesses and even a hotel, the congregation is eagerly welcoming all in need of faith, hope and love.
Webinar: Ways to Start and Improve Small Group Ministry

Webinar: Ways to Start and Improve Small Group Ministry

12/16/2020
During the last ten months, small groups have had to adapt. Some small groups started meeting through videoconference, some found ways to meet through physical distancing, and sadly, some stopped meeting altogether. What some churches have found during this time is that even following the COVID-19 crisis, there will be an ongoing need for the use of online small groups. The question is how do we do online small group ministry well? Join the panel of Scott Hughes, Angela Schaffner, and Allen White as they discuss ways to start and improve online small group ministry.
Winter Leadership Training Webinar Series

Winter Leadership Training Webinar Series

12/16/2020
Like most events during the pandemic, our District Winter Leadership Training Events will look a little different for 2021. Rather than hosting in-person events in each district, we will offer a series of Conference-wide training webinars during the week of January 10-14 to resource and equip all areas of your Church leadership. Jason Moore of Midnight Oil Productions will lead the keynote webinar to launch the series on “Telling the Old Story in a New Time.” Other topics will include: Financial Faithfulness in Uncertain Times, The Ministry of the Staff-Parish Relations Committee, Evangelism During A Pandemic, Leadership During a Pandemic for Church Councils, Racial Equity and Justice, Courageous Conversations, and much more.
WNCC Christmas Service

WNCC Christmas Service

12/16/2020
On the Sunday after Christmas, the Western NC Conference will offer a conference-wide virtual worship with a homily from the Bishop, music and liturgy from pastors and churches around our conference. Clergy and worship leaders, take a much-needed break after the Advent season and worship with friends around the conference.
Means of Grace: 2020, A Year in Review with Our Hosts

Means of Grace: 2020, A Year in Review with Our Hosts

12/15/2020
In this episode, our host panel take look back at 2020. Melissa, Jesse, Luke, Kim, Caroline and Brian share their favorite moments, challenges they faced and what they’re looking forward to for 2021. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Means of Grace team. We will be back with new episodes on January 5, 2021.
UMC Bishops call for optimism and hope in 2021

UMC Bishops call for optimism and hope in 2021

12/15/2020
Despite the trials and tribulations of 2020 brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, bishops in The United Methodist Church are calling on United Methodists and other people of faith to be optimistic about 2021 and to trust that God will make things better in the coming year.
The Latest Edition of E-News - Project AGAPE Update, COVID Alert System, Report on SEJ Funds, and more

The Latest Edition of E-News - Project AGAPE Update, COVID Alert System, Report on SEJ Funds, and more

12/9/2020
E-News is an email 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.
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