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.

Pentecost in a Time of Pandemonium

Pentecost in a Time of Pandemonium

5/28/2020
May 28, 2020 The past two days have reminded us of the chaos, hurt, distrust, and anger, that emerges all too frequently in our communities. The news of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis has shocked and awakened us once again to the injustice still present in our world. My thoughts are focused on the family and friends who are grieving and all who are impacted by the traumatic effects of racism and violence.  The Church has consistently denounced racial discrimination and violence. As United...
Pentecost Resources for Virtual Ministries and At-Home Worship

Pentecost Resources for Virtual Ministries and At-Home Worship

5/28/2020
We have curated a list of resources for celebrating Pentecost virtually with your congregation and small groups, or at home with your family!
Bishop Leeland to Serve as Bishop in Western North Carolina Through 2021

Bishop Leeland to Serve as Bishop in Western North Carolina Through 2021

5/27/2020
Bishop Paul L. Leeland will continue to serve the Western North Carolina episcopal area until the postponed Southeastern Jurisdiction Conference in November, 2021. We celebrate Bishop Leeland’s extended ministry in Western North Carolina and express gratitude for his continued faithfulness in leading our Conference.
Family Camp: Exciting Experiences from Camp Tekoa Foothills

Family Camp: Exciting Experiences from Camp Tekoa Foothills

5/27/2020
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to enjoy all that Tekoa has to offer with your family?  This summer you can!  We are offering Family Camp for the first time in our history!
Lament and Mourn 100K: A Call to a Collective Moment of Grief and Remembrance

Lament and Mourn 100K: A Call to a Collective Moment of Grief and Remembrance

5/27/2020
Our nation will soon pass a grievous point in history: 100,000 Americans will have died from COVID-19. As people of faith, we cannot allow this grim number to go unnoticed. Always and everywhere, it is the duty of religious communities to remember the dead and mourn their passing. We call on religious and political leaders to take a time of prayer, Monday, June 1st at 12 p.m. to acknowledge, lament, and mourn all those we have lost.
Help Sessions for Clergy Moving in a Crazy Time

Help Sessions for Clergy Moving in a Crazy Time

5/26/2020
Coach facilitated help sessions are being offered to clergy moving in a crazy time through the generosity of the Duke Endowment.
Commission Sets Dates for Postponed General Conference; Will Explore New Uses of Technology

Commission Sets Dates for Postponed General Conference; Will Explore New Uses of Technology

5/26/2020
The Commission on the General Conference has announced new 2021 dates for General Conference following the postponement of the event due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The quadrennial legislative event will take place on August 29 - September 7, 2021, at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minn.
Extended Cabinet May 2020 Virtual Meeting Recap

Extended Cabinet May 2020 Virtual Meeting Recap

5/26/2020
On May 19, the Extended Cabinet of Western North Carolina met virtually to connect and collaborate on shared ministry. As a Church, a conference and as cabinet leadership, our primary focus is on our mission and values as we move through this pandemic. We celebrate the strength of our Connection as United Methodists. The Bishop and the Cabinet continue to meet virtually and to evaluate the changing landscape for our churches, providing new updates, guidelines and resources regularly to facilitate local church ministry and support pastors and church leaders., caring for each other in good times and in times of crisis.
Means of Grace: Building Bridges with Rev. Susan Suarez Webster

Means of Grace: Building Bridges with Rev. Susan Suarez Webster

5/26/2020
On this episode of the Means of Grace podcast, Melissa talks with the Rev. Susan Suarez Webster about building bridges between our churches and the community. Susan is the assistant pastor for community outreach at Central United Methodist Church in East Charlotte and the recipient of the 2020 Sydnor Thompson, Jr. Community Leader Award from Mecklenburg Ministries. MeckMin describes this award as honoring local leaders committed to building bridges of understanding, compassion and justice. She will be honored at a May 27 fundraising breakfast that will be held virtually for the first time. Listen at www.wnccumc.org/meansofgrace or wherever you get your podcasts.
Tutorials Using StreamYard for Live Streaming Worship

Tutorials Using StreamYard for Live Streaming Worship

5/26/2020
Rev. Denise Kilgo-Martin walks through three tutorial videos of using StreamYard to live stream worship - starting with a basic, introductory video and moving into advanced features.
UMC Bishops Announce Dates for Postponed 2020 Jurisdictional Conferences

UMC Bishops Announce Dates for Postponed 2020 Jurisdictional Conferences

5/26/2020
he Council of Bishops (COB) has announced new dates for the 2020 Jurisdictional Conferences in the United States which have been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Jurisdictional Conferences in the United States will be held November 10-12, 2021. The days prior to and after can be used at the discretion of each Jurisdictional Conference.
Western North Carolina Conference, Centenary UMC, and Lake Junaluska Recognized at 2020 UMAC Awards

Western North Carolina Conference, Centenary UMC, and Lake Junaluska Recognized at 2020 UMAC Awards

5/26/2020
We are proud to announce the following winners of UMAC Awards from Western North Carolina.
Bishop Leeland announces an appointment change to the Western North Carolina Cabinet

Bishop Leeland announces an appointment change to the Western North Carolina Cabinet

5/22/2020
Bishop Leeland announces an appointment change to the Western North Carolina Cabinet, effective July 1, 2020.   Rev. Beth Crissman will be appointed as Senior Pastor of West Market Street United Methodist Church in Greensboro, NC. Beth has served as the District Superintendent and Chief Missional Strategist in the Blue Ridge District in the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church since 2016. Rev. Dr. Mark Ralls will be appointed as District Superintendent of the Blue Ridge District. Mark has served as Senior Pastor of First Hendersonville since 2015.
Hood Theological Seminary Fall Enrollment

Hood Theological Seminary Fall Enrollment

5/21/2020
In light of present challenges and future uncertainties related to the COVID-19 virus, all Hood Theological Seminary fall 2020 courses with more than 10 enrolled students will meet 100% online. Non-degree and audit students welcome!
Phase Two Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry During COVID-19

Phase Two Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry During COVID-19

5/21/2020
As the state of North Carolina prepares to enter Phase Two, the Cabinet has updated our Conference Guidelines for In-Person Worship and Ministry During COVID-19. These will be effective Saturday May 23, 2020 and will remain in effect until at least June 30, 2020. In alignment and compliance with public health guidance, governmental mandates, and our scriptural and Wesleyan call to "love others" and “do no harm,” these guidelines are to be followed by churches in the Western North Carolina Conference. We have also prepared a Frequently Asked Questions to help you navigate ministry concerns at this time.
Risk Assessment for Churches

Risk Assessment for Churches

5/20/2020
As the State of North Carolina loosens restrictions imposed on the public related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the churches in The Western North Carolina of The United Methodist Church face a variety of the same questions and issues faced by the business community as they look toward opening their doors again. Find information related to employee/employer AND church/public risks when re-opening.
Video Editing Training from UM Communications

Video Editing Training from UM Communications

5/20/2020
Video editing is the process of taking raw footage from your smartphone or other camera and formatting it for your viewers. This training from UM Communications will help you learn how to use Adobe Rush to edit your videos and format them for popular platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.
Why Reopening a Church is Different: Planning for the future during COVID-19 presents challenges for the church unlike any other.

Why Reopening a Church is Different: Planning for the future during COVID-19 presents challenges for the church unlike any other.

5/20/2020
Alex A. Shanks explores why reopening a church is different than reopening a business. "Planning for the future during COVID-19 presents challenges for the church unlike any other. How will we lead in a time of change?"
Cardboard Boxes Available

Cardboard Boxes Available

5/19/2020
It is moving season! The Mission Response Center has an abundance of cardboard boxes available until supplies run out for anyone taking a new appointment, moving, or in need of boxes for any reason. Options for obtaining boxes: Schedule a time to pick up boxes at the MRC either individually or by pallet (~60 boxes per pallet) loaded onto your pickup truck. If you are in need of more than two pallets of boxes you can schedule them to be delivered. Contact Ben Rogers at brogers@wnccumc.org for ...
Spiritual Disciplines while Distancing

Spiritual Disciplines while Distancing

5/18/2020
As we emerge from the crisis of the last weeks and enter a new era of being church, establishing strong spiritual disciplines requires innovation, mutual support and accountability. Join one of these learning sessions to grow alongside your clergy and lay peers.
A Conversation: What Do Science and Data Say About the Near Term Future of Singing

A Conversation: What Do Science and Data Say About the Near Term Future of Singing

5/18/2020
With questions arising about viral safety and communal singing, the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), Chorus America, Barbershop Harmony Society, and Performing Arts Medical Association (PAMA) present an important webinar about the near term future of singing as we seek fact based solutions in protecting our singers, teachers, and conductors during this time.
The Right Start: Beginning Ministry in a New Setting - COVID-19 Supplement

The Right Start: Beginning Ministry in a New Setting - COVID-19 Supplement

5/18/2020
The Lewis Center for Church Leadership offers advice for pastors facing ministerial transition during this unprecedented time.
How to use the new Facebook Live Producer with your computer webcam

How to use the new Facebook Live Producer with your computer webcam

5/16/2020
With Facebook rolling out the new Live Producer, we want to be sure you have the information you need to keep live streaming your services! *Please note, as of now, the camera option for Live Producer only works in the Chrome Beta and/or Firefox browsers.
Council of Bishops Statement on the Killing of Ahmaud Arbery

Council of Bishops Statement on the Killing of Ahmaud Arbery

5/14/2020
The Bishops of The United Methodist Church are calling for justice and the eradication of racism and white supremacy in the aftermath of the killing of an unarmed Black man, Ahmaud Arbery, in Brunswick, Georgia.
Date Announced for the 2020 Clergy Session of the Western North Carolina Conference

Date Announced for the 2020 Clergy Session of the Western North Carolina Conference

5/14/2020
The clergy session of the Western North Carolina Conference will be held virtually this year using the Zoom platform on Thursday, June 18 at 7:00 p.m.
The Latest Edition of E-News - Reopening Guidelines, Summer Missions & VBS Considerations, and more

The Latest Edition of E-News - Reopening Guidelines, Summer Missions & VBS Considerations, and more

5/13/2020
The latest edition of E-News includes the re-opening guidelines from the WNCC Bishop and Cabinet, summer missions and VBS considerations, stories of local congregations, and more.
Camp Tekoa Summer Plans

Camp Tekoa Summer Plans

5/12/2020
Announcement of suspension of scheduled summer camp and addition of new summer opportunities Also announcement of the Tekoa "Raise Your Candles High" Emergency Fund campaign
Means of Grace: Innovation in Western North Carolina

Means of Grace: Innovation in Western North Carolina

5/12/2020
In this episode, Caroline and Brian check in with Rev. Louis Timberlake for an update on the conference Innovation initiative that began at Annual Conference last year. Listen at https://www.wnccumc.org/meansofgrace or wherever you get your podcasts. Learn more about the Innovation initiative at http://www.wnccinnovation.org/ Complete a few questions here to be included in the number of innovative ministries in WNCC. https://wnc-reg.brtapp.com/WNCCInnovatorsInformationSurvey
One Church's Dedication to Caring for Seniors

One Church's Dedication to Caring for Seniors

5/11/2020
First United Methodist Church in Mocksville dedicates itself to caring for seniors in two stages of life - homebound and college-bound.
Join the Conversation: Rethinking Summer Mission Journeys

Join the Conversation: Rethinking Summer Mission Journeys

5/7/2020
Join the Conversation about "Ten Questions to Consider when Rethinking this Summer's Mission Experience"
WNCC Guidelines for Phase 1

WNCC Guidelines for Phase 1

5/7/2020
UPDATED May 21, 2020: Phase One guidelines are no longer in effect. Please find the Phase Two guidelines and FAQs here. Phase Two is effective starting Saturday, May 23, 2020 and will remain in effect until at least June 30, 2020. ------- Greetings, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ:   We give thanks for the many ways that you have continued to be the body of Christ during this pandemic. Your innovation and creativity are to be applauded. As a state, we are...
Mission Engagement Blog

Mission Engagement Blog

5/6/2020
Check out our new Mission Engagement Blog.
Online Worship Shifts Our Perspectives on Modern Ministry

Online Worship Shifts Our Perspectives on Modern Ministry

5/6/2020
Using examples of three United Methodist Churches in the WNCC, Aimee Yeager explores some of the ways our perspectives of online ministry have shifted in the wake of the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders.
2020 VBS Recommendations

2020 VBS Recommendations

5/5/2020
Wondering what to do about VBS? Take a look at these tips on what to consider when deciding what's best for your community.
Bishop Harvey makes history as first Hispanic woman to be Council of Bishops President

Bishop Harvey makes history as first Hispanic woman to be Council of Bishops President

5/5/2020
Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey of the Louisiana Area has made history by becoming the first Hispanic woman to be president of the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church.
Gratitude and Next Steps from Bishop Leeland

Gratitude and Next Steps from Bishop Leeland

5/4/2020
May 4, 2020 As congregations, laity, and clergy, continue to deliver exceptional ministry to our communities, we have been inspired by the gracious spirit pervading our entire annual conference. Many churches have given careful thought to sharing worship online, expressing the faith of Jesus through hymns, music, scripture, and inspirational messages. Our communities have witnessed the kindness and compassion of the church through food and clothing initiatives. It has been inspirational and ...
2020-2021 Local Church Appointment List

2020-2021 Local Church Appointment List

5/3/2020
Bishop Leeland and the Western North Carolina Cabinet have made the following local church appointments for the 2020-2021 year.  View the full list at the link below. 
Financial Responses to COVID-19

Financial Responses to COVID-19

5/1/2020
We realize many churches may be struggling financially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the Conference wants to partner with you in these ways - (1) A three-month waiver of the local church component of pension and health benefit premiums. (2) The establishment of the WNC Connexion Fund to help our WNC congregations support clergy and their families as they continue to lead our ministries. (3) Interpretation of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Camera Equipment for Livestreaming

Camera Equipment for Livestreaming

4/30/2020
As livestreaming worship becomes a higher priority, many churches are looking to level up their media production from a smartphone to more advanced camera equipment. Eric Brown, founder of Picnic Table Productions, shares some broad equipment options at various price points to aid in streaming online content for congregations.   LOW Cost option (<$400) This is ideal for small setups with one person only (like a pastor) on a stationary shot.  Audio will be taken from the sanctuary’s sound system ...
Update on Annual Conference 2020

Update on Annual Conference 2020

4/30/2020
Bishop Leeland and the Cabinet have made the decision to postpone the Western North Carolina Annual Conference due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of our traditional three-day event, the decision has been made to hold a one-day Annual Conference session on the afternoon of Saturday, August 8 at Lake Junaluska. The Ordering of Ministry Service where persons will be ordained, commissioned, and licensed for ministry will be held on Saturday, Aug. 8 at 7:30 p.m. in Stuart Auditorium at Lake Junaluska.
Peer Learning - Appointment Changes while Distancing

Peer Learning - Appointment Changes while Distancing

4/29/2020
Peer learning sessions for clergy and church leaders who are experiencing an appointment change during this season of physical distancing and disrupted church activities.
Distributed Church: Resources for Navigating The New Reality

Distributed Church: Resources for Navigating The New Reality

4/29/2020
Fresh Expressions is hosting webinars on how to navigate the complexities of being the church during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Dr. Otto Harris to Join the Western North Carolina Extended Cabinet

Dr. Otto Harris to Join the Western North Carolina Extended Cabinet

4/29/2020
Dr. Otto Harris will join the Western North Carolina Extended Cabinet, effective July 1, 2020. Dr. Harris leads the Comprehensive Plan of Equity, a conference-wide initiative centered around anti-racism in Western North Carolina launched last year.
How to Host Sunday School and Small Groups During Displacement

How to Host Sunday School and Small Groups During Displacement

4/29/2020
Small groups and Sunday school classes form one of the most powerful connections and means of support for members. Many people are asking: What happens to these connections during times of social distancing? How can leaders maintain these essential care mechanisms in the lives of members?
Join us May 28th for ‘ALL IN For UMAR’

Join us May 28th for ‘ALL IN For UMAR’

4/29/2020
Grab lunch and join us at noon on Thursday, May 28 for ALL IN for UMAR. This 30 minute virtual event will highlight UMAR’s mission and ministry for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities across western North Carolina. Be ALL IN for UMAR as we help people LIVE, WORK and THRIVE through housing, vocational services, art programs and community services.
Local Church Finance Procedures During the COVID-19 Crisis

Local Church Finance Procedures During the COVID-19 Crisis

4/29/2020
The constraints of social distancing could tempt churches to throw established finance procedures out the window. Please don’t! Here are some important procedures that are available through the use of technology to help us through a difficult time.
Means of Grace: Being the Rural Church in a Pandemic

Means of Grace: Being the Rural Church in a Pandemic

4/29/2020
Rural churches have a unique opportunity to provide resources, connections, and hope during these stressful times. This episode of the Means of Grace podcast features a conversation with Rev. Santosh Niroula, Rev. Kristen Richardson-Frick and Rev. Allen Stanton, three leaders who have experience and expertise in leading and understanding churches in rural areas. They discuss the role of the church in a rural community and how it can build the kingdom through these connections. Listen on our website at www.wnccumc.org/meansofgrace or wherever you get your podcasts.
North Carolina Day of Prayer

North Carolina Day of Prayer

4/29/2020
The North Carolina Council of Churches invites you to participate in a statewide Day of Prayer, Thursday, May 7 at noon.
Supporting High School Seniors During COVID-19

Supporting High School Seniors During COVID-19

4/29/2020
Our high school seniors are missing an important rite of passage due to COVID-19. Phillip J. Brooks, and Resource UMC, remind us not to overlook our students' pain. It is important that we find ways for them to express themselves and be honored.
UM Communications Offers Grant for Website Development Packages

UM Communications Offers Grant for Website Development Packages

4/29/2020
Website development grants are for local United Methodist churches and church entities who do not currently have a website. Through this new grant, United Methodist Communications will offer the following: -One year of webhosting -One year of domain name registration -Free WordPress online training through UMCOM -Free online support throughout your training and during your year of web hosting -Free pre-designed templates for easy development of your new website -Access to Google apps (includes 5 Gmail accounts, Google calendar, 2GB of storage on GDrive) United Methodist Churches and church entities who wish to replace their current website with a WordPress site may also apply.
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