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.

Precious in His Sight

Precious in His Sight

6/19/2019
On Pentecost Sunday, Children of the World Learning Center — a bilingual, multicultural preschool at Central United Methodist Church in East Charlotte — had their first preschool graduation.
Riley Howell:

Riley Howell: "A Beautiful Spirit"

6/19/2019
On April 30, 2019, a gunman opened fire in a classroom at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. Two students, Riley Howell and Ellis "Reed" Parlier, were killed and four other students were wounded. Ken Garfield shares a glimpse of Riley's story through the words of those who love him and nurtured him in a life of faith.
A Look Behind the Scenes of AC2019 Worship

A Look Behind the Scenes of AC2019 Worship

6/18/2019
Have you ever wondered how the worship services at Annual Conference are planned and implemented? Well, I’ll give you an inside look of how it all comes together. I am Rev. Juston Smith, and I have been a member of the Annual Conference worship team for three years now.
Stories of Faith

Stories of Faith

6/18/2019
Stories of Faith Magazine from the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church
AC19 Registration and Lake Junaluska Guest Information

AC19 Registration and Lake Junaluska Guest Information

6/13/2019
Registration and Check-In for Annual Conference attendees will be open in The Terrace Auditorium (third floor) on Wednesday, June 19  @  3 pm – 7 pm Thursday, June 20  @  8 am – 8 pm Friday, June 21  @  7 am – 7 pm Saturday, June 22  @  8 am – 10 am Please plan to visit registration to record your attendance and receive your conference materials.  Voting devices will be distributed at registration, and without a device, you will be unable to vote, so please allow plenty of time to ...
An Announcement About SpiritUS 2019

An Announcement About SpiritUS 2019

6/13/2019
It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that SpiritUS has been canceled for 2019.

BMCR and Friends Luncheon

6/12/2019
You're invited to join the Western North Carolina BMCR and Friends Luncheon featuring Rev. Dr. Ken Walden, President-Dean of Gammon Theological Seminary on “Leading in the Church in a Diverse World." Please RSVP by June 15 JoAnn Carter at jac2405@aol.com.
Connect, Collaborate, Engage in God's Mission

Connect, Collaborate, Engage in God's Mission

6/12/2019
CONNECT Join us in the Mission Engagement Tent at the following times to connect through stories from: ■ Friday@ 10:45am - Rev. Laura Beach Byrch - Boone UMC ■ Friday@ 3:15pm - Rev. Rocio Avila - Weddington UMC ■ Saturday@ 10:45am - Bernadette St. Amand - Global Mission Fellow Ministry COLLABORATE Start a conversation about what you and your congregation are involved in and how we can partner together in God's mission. ENGAGE Find out how you can be a part of ongoing organized mission ...
GC2020 Laity Elections

GC2020 Laity Elections

6/6/2019
The laity voting roster has been released. This booklet is for use by lay members of the annual conference during the 2019 election of delegates to the 2020 General and Jurisdictional Conferences of The United Methodist Church. You will find the personal statements of laity of the Western NC Conference who have consented to be considered during the election process.
Healthcare Network Change

Healthcare Network Change

6/6/2019
Effective July 1, 2019, the Western North Carolina Conference Active Health Plan will shift to using the Cigna Network.  The Cigna Network accomplishes the goal of providing access to the highest value doctors, hospitals and healthcare professionals.  Please do note that while the Cigna Network will bring you the best possible provider options, your benefits will still be administered through Healthgram, not through Cigna.
Luke Edwards to Join Conference Staff in Church Development

Luke Edwards to Join Conference Staff in Church Development

6/6/2019
The Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church is pleased to announce that Rev. Luke Edwards is projected to be appointed as the Associate Director of Church Development in July. Director of Church Development Dan Pezet said, “Through Luke’s leadership, we have started 86 Fresh Expressions this year, and bringing him into this new role will allow him to continue and further develop that good work.” Luke Edwards is a provisional elder and the founding pastor of King Street ...
Pre-Conference Briefing

Pre-Conference Briefing

6/5/2019
Bishop Leeland shares about the AC2019 Theme, Speakers and Offerings. Conference Secretary Kim Ingram shares details to make your AC2019 experience go smoothly.
Safe Sanctuaries Trainers Needed

Safe Sanctuaries Trainers Needed

5/30/2019
Are you interested in becoming a Safe Sanctuaries trainer for the conference? The conference is planning to offer a train-the-trainer event in late summer.
Clergy Debt Reduction Loan Program

Clergy Debt Reduction Loan Program

5/22/2019
Creating good stewards of God's financial resources
Reimagining Health Collaborative

Reimagining Health Collaborative

5/22/2019
The Reimagining Health Collaborative at Duke Divinity School is now accepting applications for the 2019 Cohort: Food, Health and the Body. Comprised of churches and Christian communities, this cohort will spend time in prayer, discussion, and discernment about how to build new models for engaging good faithfully.
Can the 23rd Psalm Speak to Us in the Present Moment?

Can the 23rd Psalm Speak to Us in the Present Moment?

5/21/2019
In a message given a generation ago at Bay View, Michigan, the Quaker philosopher Douglas Steere of Haverford College saw in the 23rd Psalm an image for our renewal. He makes me to lie down.  He restores my soul.  When we are made to lie down, we come to the end of our own strength. This could be a crisis. It could be the limitation of our own knowledge. And it could be grief, loss, or death. In our being made to lie down, our perceived strength is revealed to be weakness. And then, Steere ...
Program and Reports for Annual Conference 2019 Posted

Program and Reports for Annual Conference 2019 Posted

5/17/2019
The 2019 Programs and Reports for Annual Conference has been posted. You may download it (or view in your browser) by clicking here.
AC2019 Innovation Initiative

AC2019 Innovation Initiative

5/16/2019
As an Annual Conference, we are full of passionate, creative people! A group of laity and clergy has come together to shape some experiences at Annual Conference that help people realize their innovative potential. These efforts are designed with the following outcomes in mind: Fruitful Relationships that foster deeper collaboration, shared learning, and critical support in innovation efforts. Creative Spaces for passionate people to connect, dream about the possibilities, and work towards a ...

AC2019 Advance Meal Purchase for On-Property Guests

5/15/2019
New for 2019!  For those who are staying at Lake Junaluska properties during annual conference, purchasing meals 21+ days before AC2019 will save you both time and money!  Simply fill out the form and select the meals you want to reserve in now, on the Advance Meal Purchase Request Form available at https://www.wnccumc.org/ac2019-housing or at this google form link.  Lake Junaluska staff will touch base to finalize your meal plan.  Advance Meal Purchases must be made by May 30, 2019 to receive...
Bishops offer pastoral word; make key decisions at May 2019 meeting

Bishops offer pastoral word; make key decisions at May 2019 meeting

5/9/2019
Bishops offer pastoral word; make key decisions at May 2019 meeting CHICAGO – (May 09, 2019) The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church completed its May 2019 meeting held outside Chicago with a pastoral and prophetic word in response to the decisions of the Special Session and the codification of some of those decisions in the Book of Discipline. “Bishops are not judges or legislators. Bishops are preachers, teachers, shepherds, mediators, and missional strategists who appoint ...

Child care at Annual Conference

5/7/2019
Are you in need of child care at Annual Conference?
Upper Room Five-Day Academy for Spiritual Formation

Upper Room Five-Day Academy for Spiritual Formation

5/7/2019
The Holston Annual Conference is sponsoring an Upper Room Five-Day Academy for Spiritual Formation
2019 SEJ Clergywomen’s Leadership Conference

2019 SEJ Clergywomen’s Leadership Conference

5/1/2019
The 2019 event will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Jacksonville, Florida from November 18-21, 2019.  Online Registration is now open.
A Prayer From Bishop Leeland

A Prayer From Bishop Leeland

5/1/2019
A prayer from Bishop Leeland in response to the UNCC shooting
Campus Ministry Responds to UNCC Shooting

Campus Ministry Responds to UNCC Shooting

5/1/2019
A Message from Rev. Steve Cheyney, UNCC Niner United Campus Pastor
WNCC Response to Judicial Council Ruling

WNCC Response to Judicial Council Ruling

4/26/2019
In a decision released on April 26, 2019, the Judicial Council ruled that seven petitions of the Traditional plan remain unconstitutional, including four petitions that were amended during General Conference. The Council found the remaining portions of the Traditional Plan and disaffiliation legislation constitutional. For a full breakdown of the petitions, see the United Methodist News Service analysis- https://www.umnews.org/en/news/court-oks-part-of-traditional-plan-exit-plan.
Emory Club 5k - AC2019

Emory Club 5k - AC2019

4/25/2019
Annual Emory Club 5k benefitting college-age ministries through Campus Ministries and Wesley Foundations in WNC. Where: LAKE JUNALUSKA 91 N. Lakeshore Dr., Lake Junaluska, NC 28745 Contact: Aryn Williams-Ruebel pastoraryn@gmail.com Sign-Up: www.runsignup.com/emoryclub5k When: June 21, 2019 at 7am. Cost: Early Registration $25 - After 5/31 $35
Lake Junaluska Summer Youth Events

Lake Junaluska Summer Youth Events

4/25/2019
Take your youth to Lake J this summer! There's even a special offer for youth attending Annual Conference 2019.
Emails from Bishop Leeland

Emails from Bishop Leeland

4/24/2019
We have been made aware that some of you have received emails pretending to be from Bishop Leeland from an email address not on the wnccumc.org domain. Please note that this is a spoofed email and you should not reply to it. If there are any links, please do not click them. No information will come from the Bishop or any member of staff that does not come from the official wnccumc.org domain.
Top court meets in aftermath of GC2019

Top court meets in aftermath of GC2019

4/22/2019
The United Methodist Church’s top court is poised to review actions taken in February during a contentious legislative session that still threatens to divide the denomination.
An Easter Message from Bishop Leeland

An Easter Message from Bishop Leeland

4/18/2019
An Easter Message from Bishop Paul L. Leeland
Clergy Photos Added to Directory!

Clergy Photos Added to Directory!

4/18/2019
The full set of clergy photos taken at the 2018 Annual Conference were received and uploaded to our clergy database. You can view your photo by either going to the Clergy Directory or by going to the Clergy Information section of the People Dashboard (in the people dashboard, you can right click on the photo to save a copy for yourself). If your photo is incorrect, or if you know you had a photo taken but it was not uploaded into the system, please email the Director of Web and Database ...

Hood Seminary Alumni & Prospective Student Dinner

4/10/2019
Hood Theological Seminary Alumni & Prospective Student Dinner Thursday, June 20, 2019 5:30 – 7:00 pm Foundations for Evangelism Center 125 N. Lakeshore Drive Lake Junaluska, NC  27845 Please RSVP by Friday, June 7th Charper@hoodseminary.edu  
2018 Conference Journal Published Online

2018 Conference Journal Published Online

4/9/2019
We are excited to share the 2018 Western North Carolina Conference Journal, available through the Conference Administration page, or the direct link: https://www.wnccumc.org/formdetail/journal-2018-12790716. This publication has been a collaborative effort by many, and we are grateful for each and every contributor. Again this year, there are two volumes to accommodate the vast amount of information included in the annual journal.  Please contact us with updates or questions – Rev. Kim Ingram ...

Including Special Events in the Annual Conference booklet

4/9/2019
Special Events held in correlation with the WNC Annual Conference will be submitted online this year, to streamline recording events for publication.   To request your event be included in the Program & Reports and P&R Supplement books, please visit the AC2019 Special Events page, and fill out form linked through the Special Events Calendar Submission button.  (Your event information will be sent to Marsha Patton at the Conference Center.  For questions, please email Marsha directly, in ...
Carolinas Black Clergy Leadership Retreat

Carolinas Black Clergy Leadership Retreat

4/8/2019
Registration is open for the 2019 Carolinas Black Clergy Leadership Retreat – “Navigating the Changing Landscape: A Fearless Dialogue” – set for May 20-24 at Kingston Plantation in Myrtle Beach. The retreat is an opportunity to get away to a quiet place to be renewed, reconnected, refreshed and refocused. It’s a chance to get to know new people with whom you share United Methodist DNA, and to be filled as we praise, worship, learn, have some fun – and just take some time to relax.
Clergy Program with Davidson Centre for the Professions

Clergy Program with Davidson Centre for the Professions

4/8/2019
There are openings for WNC full-time clergy to participate in the Davidson Centre for the Professions, Clergy Program. The Clergy Program offers a unique, comprehensive personal assessment and continuing leadership skills for clergy and church professionals of all faith traditions.
Conference Council on Campus Ministries hosts second training for local campus ministry boards

Conference Council on Campus Ministries hosts second training for local campus ministry boards

4/5/2019
The Conference Council on Campus Ministries recently hosted a training retreat for local campus ministry boards on March 22 and 23 at the Catholic Conference Center in Hickory. Those in attendance represted six of the seven campus ministries in Western North Carolina Conference. Worship thru out the weekend was led by the campus ministers from the campus ministries in WNC.   Rev. Kim Ingram, Conference Secretary and member of the Western NC General Conference delegation, began the weekend by ...
Denman Awards Nominations

Denman Awards Nominations

3/25/2019
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 – expressed in Word (what), Sign (why) and Deed (how) – brings people into a life transforming relationship with Jesus Christ.
Commentary: What's Next For Our United Methodist Church?

Commentary: What's Next For Our United Methodist Church?

3/22/2019
By Bishop Michael J. Coyner March 13, 2019 | INDIANAPOLIS (UMNS) This article originally appeared on the United Methodist News Service website. Without overlooking the obvious pain and divisions that have arisen from the 2019 General Conference, it may be time to look ahead and to ask, “What is next for our United Methodist Church?”  We only have a little over a year until the regular General Conference in 2020. And in fact, elections of delegates to that General Conference will happen this ...
Come, Holy Spirit

Come, Holy Spirit

3/19/2019
Come Holy Spirit: A Retreat with Jack Levison and Priscilla Pope-Levison, (July 8-10, 2019) gives you the opportunity to search the world of the Spirit in the Old and New Testaments, where the Spirit hovers, fills, rushes, clothes, rests, and is poured out upon people. By studying the scriptures in this retreat, you will learn to expect the unexpected of the Spirit, to prepare for the unprecedented, and, just as important, to discover the unlikely presence of the Spirit where you may least expect it—in the grit and grime of everyday life.

Come, Holy Spirit: A Retreat with Jack Levison and Priscilla Pope-Levison

3/19/2019
Come Holy Spirit: A Retreat with Jack Levison and Priscilla Pope-Levison, (July 8-10, 2019 at Lake Junaluska) gives you the opportunity to search the world of the Spirit in the Old and New Testaments, where the Spirit hovers, fills, rushes, clothes, rests, and is poured out upon people. By studying the scriptures in this retreat, you will learn to expect the unexpected of the Spirit, to prepare for the unprecedented, and, just as important, to discover the unlikely presence of the Spirit where you may least expect it—in the grit and grime of everyday life.
Recognition of Anniversary Churches

Recognition of Anniversary Churches

3/14/2019
As has been the practice for some years, the WNC Conference Commission on Archives and History will recognize all churches celebrating their 100th, 150th, and 200th anniversaries in 2019 with their display at Annual Conference this year.  If your congregation is celebrating one of these anniversaries this year, please contact Jim Pyatt, Archivist, at jpyatt@wnccumc.org by April 1, so that your church will be included in this year’s recognitions.
Annual Conference 2019

Annual Conference 2019

3/13/2019
Annual Conference submission deadlines are approaching for submitting petitions (April 1), GC 2020 lay delegate applications (April 1), and display registration (April 15).
Leadership Development Provider Grants Available

Leadership Development Provider Grants Available

3/13/2019
The WNC Leadership Development Team provider grant application is now open.  These grants are available to entities who provide leadership development opportunities for clergy and ministry professionals in Western North Carolina.  The deadline for submitting a grant request is April 5, 2019.  More information and the application is available online. 
Missional Wisdom Foundation's National Gathering

Missional Wisdom Foundation's National Gathering

3/7/2019
Are you interested in learning more about alternative forms of Christian community? Are you looking for new ideas for experimentation and innovation in your context or in your call? Come to the Missional Wisdom Foundation’s National Gathering! This year National Gathering will be held in Asheville, NC April 4th-6th at the Haw Creek Commons, come and hear from a variety of voices, the sessions will focus on the theology and practicality of alternative forms of Christian community. We would love for you to join us. For more info check out: https://www.missionalwisdom.com/events/2019/4/3/national-gatheringstorytelling-retreat?rq=national%20gathering Or email Patrick Neitzey: pneitzey@missionalwisdom.com Or the Haw Creek Commons at: info@hawcreekcommons.com
A Message From Bishop Leeland

A Message From Bishop Leeland

3/1/2019
Bishop Leeland shares what happened at General Conference and what's next for us in a video message with Jennifer Davis and the Rev. Kim Ingram, the lay and clergy leaders of our Western North Carolina delegation. He also shares a printable written version of his reflection.
District Gatherings

District Gatherings

2/28/2019
Over the next month, Bishop Leeland will gather with our districts for a time of worship and Holy Communion.
GC2019 Maps An Uncertain Way Forward

GC2019 Maps An Uncertain Way Forward

2/28/2019
Beneath the Arch that symbolizes the U.S. Gateway to the West, more than 820 General Conference delegates worked to open a gateway in the denomination’s longtime homosexuality debate.
Join the Conversation

Join the Conversation

2/28/2019
Share your questions, responses and hopes for the future of the United Methodist Church. These will help guide our District conversations over the next month.
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