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.

Embracing the Body: Renewing the Mind: Engaging the Spirit

2/19/2020
Embracing the Body: Renewing the Mind: Engaging the Spirit March 13, 2020, 8:30 am-1:20 pm First United Methodist Church of Hickory Partners in Health and Wholeness/NC Council of Churches WNC Faith and Health Summit. Worship & workshops sessions ranging from rural mental health to harm reduction to aging to Creation care in faith communities.
Means of Grace: Growing In Racial Awareness

Means of Grace: Growing In Racial Awareness

2/19/2020
In this episode of Means of Grace, Jesse and Kim talk to Rev. Rodvegas Ingram, Rev. Tom Latimer and Rev. Maria King in the Northern Piedmont District about the intentional work they have been doing individually and collectively around racial awareness. They share with us experiences, suggestions, and resources for understanding white privilege, for talking about race in your congregation, and embracing each other as God’s beloved children. Listen on our website at www.wnccumc.org/meansofgrace or...
Mission Journey Proposals

Mission Journey Proposals

2/17/2020
Are you interested in leading a team on an international or domestic Mission Journey? If so, please click the button below to complete a proposal. Upon review by the Mission Engagement Team, you will be contacted with more information.  Register Now →  
Mission Response Center Volunteers

Mission Response Center Volunteers

2/17/2020
The Mission Response Center receives and distributes humanitarian aid items, serves as a depot center for UMCOR, and offers staging for Disaster Response. The MRC also offers space to for Project AGAPE Christmas boxes and other supplies for Armenia. Needed: Volunteer groups or individuals wishing to help sort mission materials. When: 2nd and 4th Tuesdays and 3rd Saturdays of each month. Time: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm We have created an online volunteer sign-up with dates available. To request a date, ...

Seeking Denman Award Nominations

2/17/2020
The Western North Carolina Conference is now accepting nominations for The Harry Denman Evangelism Award for Clergy, Lay, and Youth. The Harry Denman Evangelism Awards honor United Methodists in each annual conference whose exceptional ministry of evangelism brings people into a life transforming relationship with Jesus Christ.

Spiritual Renewal Funds

2/17/2020
Scholarships for spiritual renewal are available for clergy and ministry professionals
Annual Conference Petitions

Annual Conference Petitions

2/16/2020
WNC Annual Conference Petitions Due
New Book by Talbot Davis Launches

New Book by Talbot Davis Launches

2/13/2020
On Tuesday, February 4, Central UMC in Asheboro hosted a preaching workshop with Talbot Davis called Simplify the Message, Multiply the Impact. This event coincided with the official release day of Talbot’s new book on preaching of the same title. Close to 40 people attended the workshop and book release gathering, each received a copy of the book as a gift from the Uwharrie District. The workshop itself focused on the power of one point sermons and how to take people on a sermon adventure ...
AC2020 Housing & Info Letter in Mailboxes Soon

AC2020 Housing & Info Letter in Mailboxes Soon

2/11/2020
The housing and information mailing was sent out on February 11th. It contains important information related to housing and other information important about Annual Conference 2019. If you did not receive the mailing and expected to, please contact your district office.  You can find all of these materials and more, updated daily, at https://www.ac2020.org or https://www.wnccumc.org/ac2020
IgniteUS 2020

IgniteUS 2020

2/10/2020
IgniteUs is a middle school youth retreat organized by the Conference Council on Youth Ministries. We enjoy dynamic worship, small groups, games, free time, spiritual formation workshops, a campfire and fellowship. The purpose of IgniteUs is to encourage young people to grow in their faith as they explore who God is and who God is calling them to be. By gathering with youth from all over the conference, youth realize that they are not alone in their faith and are encouraged to continue on their ...
Cabinet Recap February 2020

Cabinet Recap February 2020

2/6/2020
The Western North Carolina Extended Cabinet met on February 3 at the Conference Center. During their time together, the group centered around collaborative efforts among district superintendents, conference staff and representatives from the United Methodist Foundation and the Board of Laity and how leadership can work together to strengthen the conference.    Resourcing and supporting clergy and laity across the conference was a key focus across many ministry areas. Leadership Development, the ...
Adventures In Ministry

Adventures In Ministry

2/5/2020
AIM (Adventures in Ministry) is a school year-long mentor guided vocational discernment journey for rising high school freshman through seniors. AIM starts with an event kickoff this fall, where Guides and Explorers are equipped with everything they need to discuss and explore potential ministerial paths for the young leader. Since the ministry of Christ’s church holds a variety of diverse possibilities, teams work together to determine the Explorer’s best options to respond to God’s calling. ...
The Passions of Jesus Study is Now Available

The Passions of Jesus Study is Now Available

2/5/2020
A new six-week study is available for Lent 2020. Join friends and colleagues from our conference as we explore The Passions of Jesus.
Explore Summer Internship -  Deadline Extended

Explore Summer Internship - Deadline Extended

2/3/2020
The application deadline for The WNCC Explore Summer Internship has been extended until March 1,2020. 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 ...
Innovation Survey

Innovation Survey

2/3/2020
Thanks for taking a moment to expand and align the work of innovative ministry in the Western North Carolina Conference. Your feedback will help the conference to be more faithful and fruitful in its work to develop fresh forms of ministry. There are just 4 short questions. The entire survey should take 2 minutes or less.  Take the Survey. 
2020 MLK, Jr. Commemoration Recap

2020 MLK, Jr. Commemoration Recap

1/29/2020
Phenomenal, inspirational, powerful, exceptional, these are some of the adjectives that attendees used to describe the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Day held on Saturday, January 18, 2020 at Saint Paul United Methodist Church in Winston Salem, N.C. As churches across the Conference gathered, the day was a combination of reflection and action. The theme, Embracing the Beloved Community: Persevering Despite Adversity, was crafted to sound the alarm that the Rev. Dr. Martin L. ...
Hispanic Latino Celebration Recap

Hispanic Latino Celebration Recap

1/29/2020
On Saturday, January 25 at 4 pm, St. Luke UMC in Hickory opened their doors and arms to the Hispanic Latino congregations of the WNC Conference for a time of prayer, worship, preaching and fellowship. Close to 90 people attended the service which was conducted mostly in Spanish but with English added in for the supportive and loving English speakers who were also in attendance.  Pastor Candido Albino and Pilar Perez, (Chair of the WNCC Hispanic Latino Committee) led the worship music accompanied...
Statement from SEJ Heads of Delegation Regarding Protocol

Statement from SEJ Heads of Delegation Regarding Protocol

1/29/2020
We, the undersigned SEJ Lay and Clergy Heads of Delegations, affirm the work done on the ‘Protocol of Grace & Reconciliation Through Separation’ and recommend the Protocol be among the first legislative items considered by General Conference 2020.  We look forward to seeing the related legislation and give thanks to those who did this work on our behalf.  SEJ Lay and Clergy Heads of Delegations who support this statement include:  Larry Bryars, Clergy, Alabama West Florida Annual Conference  ...
2020 Missional Collective Journey

2020 Missional Collective Journey

1/28/2020
What is the Missional Collective? The desire of the Missional Collective is to shift the work of missions from relief to empowerment. Missional Collective participants attend a series of retreats and remain in connection through support of one another’s work and celebration at the annual Missional Collective Reunion. For more information, please visit our website where you will find a link to the application. 
Means of Grace: Spiritual Renewal

Means of Grace: Spiritual Renewal

1/28/2020
In this two-part episode of Means of Grace, Kim and Jesse talk with clergy and laity in Western North Carolina about the importance of taking time to “stay in love with God.” Each one shares a particular spiritual practice or renewal opportunity that helps them stay connected and grow in a deeper relationship with Jesus. We hope that you will be inspired to make your own renewal and practices a priority. Part 1 features Rev. Angela Pleasants, Caroline Wood, Rev. Kate May, and Rev. Noel Sweezy. ...
Spiritual Renewal

Spiritual Renewal

1/28/2020
The Western North Carolina Conference Leadership Development Team (LDT) invites clergy and ministry professionals to "get away" to intentionally seek the presence of God in a space, and in a posture before God, that you can receive what God has to offer you, away from the myriad of needs in your community!
The Space Between

The Space Between

1/28/2020
Leaders in the local church – both clergy and laity – need models, tools, resources, and support for hosting dialogue and providing leadership around divisive issues and points-of-view. We need our churches to transform from thermometers reflecting the divisions in society into thermostats shaping our society into Christ-likeness, through the ministry of reconciliation.
Getting Started in Messy Church

Getting Started in Messy Church

1/27/2020
Back by popular demand! Is your church looking for ways to connect with families with children in your community? Messy Church is a type of fresh expression that is having a huge impact in the UK, Canada, and Australia. On March 7th at the Western NC Conference Center, the Conference Vitality Team is hosting a one day training offered by Messy Church USA.
Spiritual Renewal Grant for Clergy & Lay Ministry Professionals

Spiritual Renewal Grant for Clergy & Lay Ministry Professionals

1/23/2020
The LDT wants to help nurture your spiritual growth.  Refresh your soul and renew your spirit through one of the many opportunities identified!  Paid church leaders are eligible for up to $500 to cover the cost of a spiritual renewal opportunity...
Spiritual Formation Weekend with Rev. Mike Slaughter

Spiritual Formation Weekend with Rev. Mike Slaughter

1/22/2020
HENDERSONVILLE, NC: First United Methodist Church’s annual Spiritual Formation Weekend Feb. 22 and 23 features Rev. Dr. Mike Slaughter, pastor emeritus at Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church (Tipp City, OH). On Saturday, Feb. 22, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Rev. Slaughter reminds us that Jesus’ call is clear: we are to live out the Kingdom of God in our lives and in our communities. This often requires us to live counter-culturally. The good news is that when we get serious about following Jesus, lives are changed and disciples made. When Pastor Slaughter arrived at Ginghamsburg Church in 1979, worship attendance hovered at 90 with just 118 members and the church budget was $27,000. Through his dynamic teaching, his heart for the lost, and innovative approach to ministry the church grew to over 5,000 weekly attendees, and its multi-million dollar budget helps resource a faith community committed to serving the poor, the lost and disenfranchised. Registration is open for the day-long Saturday, Feb. 22, program featuring Rev. Slaughter. A $15 fee covers lunch; proceeds fund meals for the food insecure in Henderson County. Register online at www.fumchvlnc.org or by calling the church at 828-693-4275. Payment can be made online with PayPal and by cash or check in advance or at the door. Rev. Slaughter is the guest preacher at three worship services on Sunday, Feb. 23. Worship times are 8:30 and 11:00 a.m. (traditional) and 9:15 a.m. (contemporary). The community is invited for this weekend with Rev. Dr. Mike Slaughter as he emboldens and strengthens us to live out our faith here and now. FUMC is located at 204 Sixth Avenue West in Hendersonville. Convenient, handicap-accessible parking is available in the main parking lot on Buncombe Street.
Delegation Endorses Amy Coles as Episcopal Nominee

Delegation Endorses Amy Coles as Episcopal Nominee

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

Means of Grace: A Conversation on Clergy Health

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

Faithful Leadership in a Season of Crisis

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

Mediation Skills Training

1/14/2020
This opportunity is for leaders who want to learn the processes, techniques, and concepts needed for all involved parties to arrive at a mutually agreeable solution to a conflict, and move forward with greater appreciation and respect.
Bishop Leeland's Response to Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation

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

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

IRS releases 2020 mileage rates

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

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

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

Offerings for Leadership Development

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

Statistical Reporting for 2019 is READY and AVAILABLE!

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

2019 Conference and District Apportionment Payments - Due Soon!

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

2020 Remittance Form - Now Ready!

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

Means of Grace: Launching a New Worship Service

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

Church Mutual distributes $96,848 dividend to conference churches

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

Conference Nominations

12/10/2019
The WNC Conference needs lay and clergy leaders for committees, boards, and teams for the 2020-2024 quadrennium.  Do you know a leader who has gifts for ministry at the conference level?  Is it you? 
Means of Grace: Grief at Christmas

Means of Grace: Grief at Christmas

12/10/2019
In this episode of Means of Grace, Melissa sits down with Rev. Toni Ruth Smith to talk about experiencing grief in this time of great joy and how churches can create space for stillness, hope and even sadness in the midst of the holiday rush. Listen on our website at www.wnccumc.org/meansofgrace or wherever you get your podcasts.
Refugee Resettlement from North Carolina Bishops

Refugee Resettlement from North Carolina Bishops

12/10/2019
December 10, 2019    Dear Members of United Methodist Churches across North Carolina,    As we enter the season of Advent and prepare to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, we remember that Jesus began his life fleeing persecution as a refugee in Egypt. (Matthew 2:13-18)    On September 26, the White House issued an Executive Order (EO 13888) that may drastically reduce, if not entirely stop, the resettlement of refugees in our state. We are deeply concerned that this executive order ...
The 2018 Statistical Report is online!

The 2018 Statistical Report is online!

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

Certificate for Church Treasurers

12/5/2019
The Conference Office of Treasury Services and the United Methodist Foundation of Western North Carolina will offer a certificate training program for United Methodist volunteer treasurers within our conference.
MLK 2020 Youth Essay Contest

MLK 2020 Youth Essay Contest

12/2/2019
My Most Favorite Quote of Dr. King…And What it Means to Me Grade Categories for eligibility are: Elementary, Middle School and High School.  Essay must have a minimum of 250 words and a maximum of 500 words double-spaced pages in 12 pt black font. Artistic Expressions and Drawings will also be received. ·  The essay will be judged on clarity, content, grammar, and how well the theme is developed based on the age and grade of the writer.  There will be first and second place winners in each ...
Brian Mateer Joins Conference Staff

Brian Mateer Joins Conference Staff

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

2019 Giving Tuesday

11/29/2019
#GivingTuesday, December 3, 2019, is a global giving movement that has been built by individuals, families, organizations, businesses and communities around the world. We have two days for getting deals – Black Friday and Cyber Monday. On #GivingTuesday, we have a day for giving back. Our Mission Engagement Team offers a variety of opportunities for you to give back and make a difference in our conference and around the world.  
Means of Grace: Seasonal Outreach

Means of Grace: Seasonal Outreach

11/26/2019
In this episode of Means of Grace, Melissa and Luke explore seasonal ways churches can engage their communities. Melissa visits Free Haircut Day in Ramseur with Rev. Samuel Moore of McCrary Chapel UMC and Rev. Joshua Kurtz with Jordan Memorial UMC. Luke visits "the Pumpkin Church" aka Myers Memorial UMC in Gastonia and speaks with Rev. Sally Queen, Rev. Sarah Watkins Davis and Tresca McSwain. Listen on our website at www.wnccumc.org/meansofgrace or wherever you get your podcasts. How is your ...
Embracing Our Beloved Community : Persevering Despite Adversity

Embracing Our Beloved Community : Persevering Despite Adversity

11/14/2019
MLK Commemoration 2020  Embracing Our Beloved Community: Persevering Despite Adversity Matthew 25:34-40   WHEN Saturday, January 18, 2020 Registration begins at 9am Commemoration 10am–2pm   WHERE St. Paul United Methodist Church 2400 Dellabrook Road Winston Salem, NC 27105   Clara J. Ester will be the Keynote speaker, with special music guest Lil Caleb. Clara Ester, native Memphian and retired Deaconess of The United Methodist Church, was actively engaged in the Civil Rights Movement and ...
Health Benefits Update

Health Benefits Update

11/14/2019
TO ALL ACTIVE (Non-RETIRED) CLERGY Please remember about paperwork/forms that need to be completed before the December 1, 2019 deadline.  Conference Flexible Spending (FSA) Plan If you are electing to participate in the Conference Flexible Spending (FSA) plan, you must complete the Flexible Benefit Election Form for 2020. Just indicating an amount on your Clergy Compensation Report for 2020 is only part of the process. In order to finish the process, you must complete the Election Form, and ...
Means of Grace: Smoky Mountain Outdoor Fresh Expressions

Means of Grace: Smoky Mountain Outdoor Fresh Expressions

11/14/2019
In the next episode of Means of Grace, Luke Edwards meets up with three outdoor fresh expressions of church in the Smoky Mountain district – the Smoky Mountain Hiking Community, River of Life and the Appalachian Trail Ministry of Robbinsville UMC. The leaders of these fresh expressions share how their churches are connecting with hikers and paddlers in their communities. Listen on our website at www.wnccumc.org/meansofgraceor wherever you get your podcasts.  
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