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.

Merry Christmas from Bishop Leeland

Merry Christmas from Bishop Leeland

12/17/2018
Merry Christmas!   A Christmas message to the churches of the Western North Carolina Conference.   “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.  The Word was with God in the beginning.  Everything came into being through the Word, and without the Word nothing came into being. What came into being through the Word was life, and the life was the light for all people…The Word became flesh and made his home among us.  We have seen his glory, glory like that of a ...
2019 Mileage Rates

2019 Mileage Rates

12/14/2018
The Internal Revenue Services has released reimbursable mileage rates for 2018. From the IRS website:  Beginning on Jan. 1, 2019, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be: 58 cents per mile driven for business use, up 3.5 cents from the rate for 2018,   20 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, up 2 cents from the rate for 2018, and   14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations. Read more from the IRS press...
Explore Summer Internship

Explore Summer Internship

12/13/2018
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.
New Preaching Cohorts

New Preaching Cohorts

12/13/2018
The Leadership Development team will offer two new preaching cohorts beginning in the new year.
2018 Annual Statistical Report

2018 Annual Statistical Report

12/12/2018
EMAIL TO ALL PASTORS AND CHURCHES RE:       2018 Annual Statistical Report Yet, again, it is time to complete the statistical year-end report for 2018.  Last year, we were able to achieve 100% of our churches reporting (of course that did include some of the districts having to insert prior year data for a several congregations).  I hope this year we can achieve 100% with all information coming from the churches themselves. In January, we will reopen the tables for reporting.  A more detailed...
2019 MLK Celebration

2019 MLK Celebration

11/29/2018
THEME: Living into the Dream: All of God's Children! WHEN: January 19, 2019 - Registration begins @ 9:00 am; Celebration begins @ 10:00 am WHERE: University City UMC, 3825 West W.T. Harris Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28269 KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Bill Curry Motivational and Inspirational Speaker Accomplished Author Former Super Bowl Champion Former NCAA Football Coach Former ESPN Commentator Member of Peachtree UMC, Atlanta, GA SPONSORS: WNCC-Justice & Reconciliation Team (J&R), WNCC Commission on Religion ...
Make Your Voice Heard: Delegation Listening Sessions

Make Your Voice Heard: Delegation Listening Sessions

11/29/2018
The Western North Carolina Conference General Conference Delegation invites you to join them at a Make Your Voice Heard: Delegation Listening Session.  Two opportunities are available and will be identical so you can register for the one that you prefer.   Saturday, January 5 First United Methodist Church in Morganton (200 N. King St, Morganton) 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Sunday, January 6  First United Methodist Church in Salisbury (217 S. Church St., Salisbury)   3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.   The...
2019 Hatch-a-Thon

2019 Hatch-a-Thon

11/28/2018
Dates: January 24-26, 2019 Location:  Western North Carolina Conference Center, Wesley Room, 13924 Professional Center Drive, Huntersville, NC, 28078 Are you nursing an entrepreneurial idea for ministry, but don’t know how to get it started (much less fund it)? Is your church ready to move a social enterprise idea down the field that funds other aspects of ministry? Could you use the wisdom of others to test-drive an idea for missional entrepreneurship–or are you just curious about what’s ...
Reynolds Ministry Grants - Application Available

Reynolds Ministry Grants - Application Available

11/28/2018
The United Methodist Foundation of Western North Carolina is now accepting Reynolds Ministry Fund grant applications online. All applications are due by noon on Friday, February 1, 2019.
2018 Giving Tuesday

2018 Giving Tuesday

11/26/2018
#GivingTuesday 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.  
HealthMap Benefit

HealthMap Benefit

11/26/2018
A new Chronic Condition Risk Management program is being offered to Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church clergy members and their dependents that are currently covered under WNCC-UMC health insurance.  You are eligible for this program if you are diagnosed with or take a medication for:  diabetes, pre-diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol or depression.   
Dr. Otto Harris Receives United Methodist Men Award

Dr. Otto Harris Receives United Methodist Men Award

11/20/2018
Rev. Dr. Otto D. Harris, III was recently honored as a recipient of the Society of John Wesley Award. The John Wesley Award is the highest award presented the United Methodist Men Foundation. Rev. Harris is an ordained elder in full connection to the Western North Carolina Conference and serves as pastor of St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Charlotte.    Dr. Harris is the Organizer and Director of Pass the Peace Feasts which bring black youth together with police officers and other community...
November Cabinet Recap - Building The Church For The Future

November Cabinet Recap - Building The Church For The Future

11/14/2018
At the November 14 meeting of the Extended Cabinet, Bishop Leeland celebrated signs of hope moving us into the years ahead.
Social Justice As Evangelism - Dedicated to Love, Equity, Liberation and Justice

Social Justice As Evangelism - Dedicated to Love, Equity, Liberation and Justice

11/14/2018
by Caroline Cox The United Methodist Foundation of Western North Carolina’s “Social Justice as Evangelism” event was held on Saturday, October 27that University City United Methodist Church in Charlotte. Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, the keynote speaker, delivered a powerful message to all those in attendance. “With civil rights advocacy in his DNA, Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III built his ministry on community advancement and social justice activism. As Senior Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in ...
Volunteers in Mission - 2019 Trips

Volunteers in Mission - 2019 Trips

11/13/2018
Registration is underway for Mission Trips to Belize, Costa Rica, and Guatemala in 2019. Click here to view the trips.  
Adapt! Leading Off the Map

Adapt! Leading Off the Map

11/7/2018
Designed for churches and clergy seeking to improve skills around leading change. Developed and Facilitated by WNC clergy: Rev. Lory Beth Huffman, Rev. Mark Key, and Rev. Chris Westmoreland
CLERGY CLINIC IN FAMILY EMOTIONAL PROCESS

CLERGY CLINIC IN FAMILY EMOTIONAL PROCESS

11/7/2018
Offered in WNC by Lombard Mennonite Peace Center for clergy and ministry professionals. Designed to enhance the ability of participants to function as self-differentiated leaders within their own ministry setting.
October Cabinet Recap: Celebrating Ministry in Western North Carolina

October Cabinet Recap: Celebrating Ministry in Western North Carolina

11/7/2018
The Cabinet met on October 24-25, 2018, continuing to affirm the vision that all congregations in our conference can be inviting and serving and focusing on how we are putting feet on that vision.
General Conference Pre-Registration for Guests and Observers Open

General Conference Pre-Registration for Guests and Observers Open

11/1/2018
Guests and observers to the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference, The United Methodist Church’s top legislative assembly, may now pre-register online. General Conference will meet in St. Louis, Missouri at the America’s Center February 23-26, 2019.
Hymnal Revision Committee Seeks New Material

Hymnal Revision Committee Seeks New Material

10/30/2018
Hymnal Revision Committee Seeks New Material  Nashville, October 2018 - The Liturgical Resources subgroup of the Hymnal Revision Committee seeks the submission of new materials for possible inclusion in the next United Methodist Hymnal. The collection of liturgical and music resources will be presented to the 2024 General Conference for approval. While all worship-related resources are welcome at any time, the Committee particularly invites the submission of resources for the following between ...

Council of Bishops issues statement regarding the Judicial Council Decision

10/26/2018
In a unanimous decision, the Judicial Council raised questions regarding petitions in all three plans while finding the One Church Plan, the plan supported by the Council of Bishops, to be most in compliance with the Constitution of The United Methodist Church and the Traditional Plan to have significant constitutional problems.  The Judicial Council said that they did not have jurisdiction over the Connectional Conference Plan.
School of the Spirit Applications are Open

School of the Spirit Applications are Open

10/25/2018
A one-year school of spiritual formation & renewal focused on 24 clergy and lay ministry professionals who are ready to pursue inner-change for the sake of the world, who long to seek God in the crucible of leadership.
Global Mission Fellows Application

Global Mission Fellows Application

10/25/2018
The Global Mission Fellows Program application has launched at Global Ministries. This 2-year mission service opportunity for young adults, ages 20-30, to work in social justice ministries. With two tracks, Fellows leave their home communities and work either in the United States or internationally. This graduate-level fellowship allows participants to address the root causes of oppression and alleviate human suffering alongside community organization in a variety of issue areas, including ...
Winter Youth Retreats at Lake Junaluska

Winter Youth Retreats at Lake Junaluska

10/3/2018
Come to a youth group retreat at Lake Junaluska this winter for adventure, spiritual growth and worship in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Energized worship with great bands is built into every program weekend, and groups can choose to ski, do a mission project or participate in other activities during the day. Find more information at www.lakejunaluska.com/winteryouth.
Administration Website

Administration Website

9/27/2018
Over the past couple of weeks, our team here at the Conference office has worked hard to transition our old WNCCAdmin site into a cloud based, mobile friendly, secure platform that makes administration tasks easy and accessible. We are pleased with the progress we have made in just a few short weeks.   As with any type of upgrade and change, you may experience a different feel and look than what you are used to. However, we hope that your experience with the new features will ultimately leave ...
Thanks from South and North Carolina Bishops

Thanks from South and North Carolina Bishops

9/26/2018
For now, we ask that prayers, gifts, flood buckets, health kits, school kits and plans for work teams continue. We are thankful for the connectional nature of our church!
Hurricane Disaster Response

Hurricane Disaster Response

9/20/2018
Following Hurricanes Michael and Florence, 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.
Administrative Site Transition

Administrative Site Transition

9/12/2018
We are in the process of transitioning our current WNCCAdmin website into a cloud-based, mobile-friendly, secure platform that will make it even easier for you to find and track the information you need. We expect this transition to be completed over the weekend of September 15, barring any weather-related delays in connectivity. Passwords for churches must be reset and your district office will be in touch with new login information early next week. We are working to keep clergy usernames and ...
Fall Preaching Cohorts

Fall Preaching Cohorts

9/12/2018
FALL PREACHING COHORTS Preaching Well: Purposeful and Intentional Preaching  Led by Robert W. Brewer, Th.D. Begins September 25, 2018 This program is intended to support and encourage preachers to engage in self-reflection through peer mentoring and consultation in order to become more effective communicators of the gospel...   Preaching – To Bring the Bible to Life By Rev. Jan Brittain. Begins September 13, 2018 Powerful Biblical preaching helps people understand, claim and apply those ...
Campus Your UNCC Ministry Support

Campus Your UNCC Ministry Support

9/6/2018
A little about Niner United: No matter your story, we welcome you. We follow the radically inclusive and loving Jesus. There’s a lot of voices you’ll hear in college. Cooperative Christian Ministry is Charlotte’s voice of hope. Our Mission is to help students discover abundant life in Jesus Christ (John 10:10) by equipping them (Ephesians 4:12) to live a life that matters (Ephesians 5:15). Cooperative Christian Ministry holds to the historic truths of the Christian faith as taught by the Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian and United Methodist Churches. Each Thursday we have a lunch and praise, that begins at 12:45 pm at UNC Charlotte and we are looking for church groups to help us provide one or more of those weekly lunches. Our Thursday lunch and praise has proved to be an incredible opportunity for us to reach new students and help our students connect with God and one another. We need groups to support our Fall 2018 or Spring 2019 lunches. There are two primary ways to do so: 1) Pick a Thursday from the calendar provided and cook and serve the entire meal for approximately 35 students. This is a great way to not only provide the meal but also meet our students. 2) You may sponsor a Thursday by sending us a donation of $140 so that we can order the food from a local restaurant or UNC Charlotte catering. We are estimating $4 per student. Representatives from your group are invited to eat with us on your selected day. Unless otherwise notified, we expect to feed 35 students each week. Providing a meal includes the meal itself, drinks and ice, and all the utensils necessary to eat. Because we use the UNC Charlotte Student Union, we do not have storage facilities to store paper products, serving utensils, etc. Groups who provide or sponsor the meal are encouraged to be with us for the lunch, to experience the program and meet our students. If you sponsor the meal, our student leaders will set-up the entire meal. Our student leaders will also help you unload your vehicles if you provide the meal. Here is the link to "sign up" for a date. http://www.campus-ministry.org/volunteer/?sheet_id=38. Feel free to check out the website to learn more about the ministry!
Health Benefit Rates 2019

Health Benefit Rates 2019

9/6/2018
OPEN ENROLLMENT FOR CLERGY CONFERENCE BENEFITS CLOSES DECEMBER 1, 2018 FOR 2019.   The Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits upon recommendation from the Health Benefits Subcommittee of the Board has approved the 2019 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 conference.  It also considers the impact that premiums and charges to the local churches makes.  ...
Cabinet Recap - August 27-29

Cabinet Recap - August 27-29

8/30/2018
The Bishop and the Extended Cabinet met at the new Conference Center facility in Huntersville on August 27-29 to strengthen the alignment around and to act on our vision to make available tools which strengthen ministry within the Western North Carolina Conference. We believe that every congregation can live into the mission of making disciples for the transformation of the world. Every congregation can be invitational and missional. Members of the Cabinet are working together to find adaptive solutions to the challenges facing churches in our conference and around the connection.
The Latest Edition of E-News - August 29

The Latest Edition of E-News - August 29

8/29/2018
  E-News - August 29 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. Articles for the next e-news can be submitted here. NEWS Preaching Cohorts Offered by Leadership Development Check out the many upcoming Preaching Cohorts being offered this Fall by the Leadership Development team...more Congratulations ...
Congratulations to our GBHEM Young Clergy Initiative Grant Receipients

Congratulations to our GBHEM Young Clergy Initiative Grant Receipients

8/29/2018
Congratulations to Rimes McElveen, Stephen Cheyney, and Dawn Livingston for being 2018 grant recipients from our Conference for the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry Young Clergy Initiative. These grants are awarded annually to programs focused on increasing the number of young clergy in The United Methodist Church by helping young people listen for, discern and respond to God’s call to ordained ministry.   LINK: https://www.gbhem.org/article/grants-awarded-21-projects-aimed-increas...

Marriage Encounter

8/23/2018
The East Buncombe Missional Network is sponsoring a Marriage Encounter "Restore, Renew, Rekindle" experience.  This is a six-week study to help couples with good marriages achieve great marriages.  Marriage Encounter United Methodist is an affiliate of the General Board of Discipleship.   The study will be on six consecutive Sundays from September 9th through October 14th from 2:00--5:30 p.m. at Groce United Methodist Church in Asheville (957 Tunnel Road).  It will be led by Mike and Delaine ...
INVE$T YOUNG CLERGY

INVE$T YOUNG CLERGY

8/16/2018
INVE$T YC is our way of bringing together WNCC’s young clergy (under 40) for a chance to learn and grow, in regards to personal and church finances.  This program promotes financial health and personal practices.  It is designed to help you be proactive instead of reactive.  This may prove to be especially helpful to a new, young pastor expected to 'manage the books' at a small church, or one who doesn't have a background in finance. Knowing many clergy enter ministry with significant debt, we ...

Preaching – To Bring the Bible to Life

8/14/2018
Powerful Biblical preaching helps people understand, claim and apply those directions in ways that are relevant to their everyday living. The goal of this peer learning experience is to grow and help one another grow in our ability to preach Bible-based, Spirit-empowered, prayer drenched, RELEVANT sermons. For more information, click here.
Preaching Well: Purposeful and Intentional Preaching

Preaching Well: Purposeful and Intentional Preaching

8/14/2018
This program is intended to support and encourage preachers to engage in self-reflection through peer mentoring and consultation in order to become more effective communicators of the gospel. For more information, click here. 
Retiring Well - September 24-25th - Sign up now!

Retiring Well - September 24-25th - Sign up now!

8/13/2018
September 24-25, 2018 Registration starts at 1pm on Monday and concludes 12pm on Tuesday. Price: $75 Single & $95 Couples. Food: Dinner will be provided on Monday. Breakfast will be provided on Tuesday. Lodging: Overnight lodging will be provided at the Comfort Suites Hotel in Huntersville. Limited spaces available. WHERE Western North Carolina Conference of the UMC 13924 Professional Center Dr Suite 200 Huntersville, NC 28070 View map → WHEN Monday, September 24, 2018 at 1:00 PM to ...
Puerto Rico Mission Trips (Ongoing)

Puerto Rico Mission Trips (Ongoing)

8/7/2018
Volunteer for the efforts to support the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico (MCPR), as they work to rebuild after Hurricane Maria. The purpose of this mission trip is to work with the Puerto Rico Methodist Church for relationship development through the rebuilding of homes and churches. We will seek to offer ourselves sacrificially under the direction of UMVIM and the local church. The next trip dates are TBD and will be announced here. Click here to read the General Guidelines for a Puerto Rico...
Delmas Copeland named Chief Junaluska Award Recipient

Delmas Copeland named Chief Junaluska Award Recipient

8/6/2018
LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — The Lake Junaluska Associates have named the Rev. Delmas Copeland as the 2018 Chief Junaluska Award recipient. The Chief Junaluska Award is given each year to one outstanding member of the Associates based on service, community involvement and financial support. The Associates presented Copeland with the award during Associates Weekend, August 3-5.  Copeland served as a pastor and district superintendent for the Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church. Friends ...
The Latest Edition of E-News - July 31

The Latest Edition of E-News - July 31

8/4/2018
  E-News - July 31 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. Articles for the next e-news can be submitted here. NEWS Melissa McGill to Serve as Director of Communications Please join us in welcoming the newest member to the Western North Carolina Conference staff, Melissa McGill, in the role of Director of Communications, ...
#AC2018 Videos Posted

#AC2018 Videos Posted

8/3/2018
Opening Worship Sermon - Friday - Bishop Steiner Ball Preaching Ordination Service - Bishop Alfred Gwinn Jr Preaching Commissioning Service - Bishop Alfred Gwinn Jr Preaching   Retiring Clergy Service  Celebration of Life Service   Closing Worship - Sunday - Bishop Leeland Preaching Remarks on "A Commission on a Way Forward" - Bishop Ken Carter    
Elaine Heath Steps Down as Divinity School Dean; Greg Jones to Lead School

Elaine Heath Steps Down as Divinity School Dean; Greg Jones to Lead School

8/2/2018
Source: https://today.duke.edu/2018/08/elaine-heath-steps-down-divinity-school-dean-greg-jones-lead-school  Elaine Heath, who has served as dean of Duke Divinity School since 2016, is stepping down from that position today, Provost Sally Kornbluth announced this morning in a message to Divinity School faculty and staff. Heath will remain on the Divinity School faculty as a professor of missional and pastoral theology. “President Price and I are grateful to Elaine for her leadership over the ...
Melissa McGill to Serve as Director of Communications

Melissa McGill to Serve as Director of Communications

7/31/2018
Please join us in welcoming the newest member to the Western North Carolina Conference staff, Melissa McGill, in the role of Director of Communications, effective August 20th.    Melissa received her undergraduate degree from Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC, and a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication from the University of South Carolina, School of Journalism and Mass Communications.    Melissa’s most recent role as Assistant Director of Communications for Myers Park United Methodist Church ...
Way Forward Report Released In All Four Official Languages of General Conference

Way Forward Report Released In All Four Official Languages of General Conference

7/31/2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The final report of the Commission on a Way Forward has been released in English, French, Portuguese and Swahili; all four official languages of the General Conference.  The report will be presented to the 2019 Special Session of General Conference. Subject to final copy editing, the report will be printed in the Advance Daily Christian Advocate (ADCA) in November. Here is a statement from the moderators of the Commission and the President of the Council of Bishops on the ...
GBHEM Doubles the Dollar Amount United Methodist Students Can Borrow to Pursue Higher Education

GBHEM Doubles the Dollar Amount United Methodist Students Can Borrow to Pursue Higher Education

7/19/2018
NASHVILLE, Tenn., July 19, 2018 – The Office of Loans and Scholarships at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) announced an increase in the maximum amount United Methodist students can borrow to pursue their education. Students can now borrow up to $10,000 per calendar year (January through December) with a lifetime maximum of $40,000 from the United Methodist Student Loan Fund.   Previously students were allotted $5,000 per calendar year with a maximum lifetime total of ...
The Latest Edition of E-News - July 17

The Latest Edition of E-News - July 17

7/17/2018
  E-News - July 17 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. Articles for the next e-news can be submitted here. NEWS Bishops seek declaratory decisions on three plans submitted to General Conference WASHINGTON –  The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church is asking the Judicial Council for declaratory decisions on the ...
Hood Theological Seminary Faculty Accepted to Oxford Institute of Methodist Studies

Hood Theological Seminary Faculty Accepted to Oxford Institute of Methodist Studies

7/16/2018
Salisbury, NC - Dr. Ashley Dreff and Rev. Thomas Grinter have been accepted to the 14th Oxford Institute of Methodist Theological Studies to be held August 12-19 at Pembroke College of Oxford University in Oxford, England. This important gathering of top professionals in the field is held once every five years and is sponsored by the British Methodist Church and the World Methodist Council. Dreff is assigned to the working group on Methodist History and Grinter to the Biblical Studies working ...
Bishops seek declaratory decisions on three plans submitted to General Conference

Bishops seek declaratory decisions on three plans submitted to General Conference

7/12/2018
WASHINGTON –  The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church is asking the Judicial Council for declaratory decisions on the constitutionality of the petitions submitted by the Commission on a Way Forward to the 2019 Special Session of General Conference. In an electronic vote on July 7, 2018, the bishops agreed to seek a ruling from the highest court in the denomination on whether proposed legislationsknown as the One Church Plan, the Connectional Conference Plan, and the TraditionalPlan...
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