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.

Deacon Day Together with Bishop Leeland

Deacon Day Together with Bishop Leeland

4/4/2019
WNCC UMC Deacon Day Together with Bishop Leeland
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.
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. 
Maundy Thursday NETworX Offering

Maundy Thursday NETworX Offering

3/11/2019
The 2018 Annual Conference of the WNCCUMC approved a petition supporting a lenten offering for NETworX, a holistic poverty initiative dedicated to working with those in poverty. We ask that you join with others to dedicate your church's Maundy Thursday (or other appropriate opportunity) offering to the work of NETworX throughout the conference. This article shares the key principles of NETworX and how they address the teachings of John Wesley and the mandates of Christ Jesus.
Lake Junaluska announces major renovations for youth dining facility

Lake Junaluska announces major renovations for youth dining facility

3/8/2019
Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center recently announced plans for major renovations to its youth dining facility as part of its ongoing revitalization of youth ministry effort made possible by charitable donations.
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.
WNCC Youth Newsletter

WNCC Youth Newsletter

3/1/2019
This issue provides an update from the General Conference 2019 and how this might impact your youth ministry. Forward this newsletter to your youth ministry colleagues and ask them to sign up for future emails by submitting this Google form.
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.
Updated: Pension and Health Billing Delayed

Updated: Pension and Health Billing Delayed

2/28/2019
Updated 3/11/2019 The updating and conversion of the new Benefits software is complete.  Invoices are being mailed the week of March 11 and for those in automatic drafts, the drafts are also  hitting bank accounts on a staggered basis over the next two weeks.  Look for a letter in the invoice packages that explains what occurred.  If you have questions, please direct to Treasury Services.  We appreciate everyone’s understanding and patience. Updated 2/28/2019 Due to a major software conversion ...
General Conference Update

General Conference Update

2/27/2019
Delegates to the Special Session of General Conference approved the Traditional plan that affirms church policies on homosexuality and strengthens enforcement by a vote of 438 to 384. Several petitions included in this vote were ruled unconstitutional by our Judicial Council, so the full implications of this decision are not yet known.
United Methodists urged to unite as 2019 General Conference convenes

United Methodists urged to unite as 2019 General Conference convenes

2/24/2019
ST. LOUIS - Council of Bishops President Bishop Kenneth H. Carter today called on United Methodists to make every effort to maintain unity for the sake of God’s mission as the denomination’s top legislative body began its work in St. Louis, Missouri.  Preaching in the opening worship of the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church, Bishop Carter said that the unity of the body of Christ should be the passionate concern. “Remember: you are the people of the ...
AC 2019 Housing and Information Letter Mailed

AC 2019 Housing and Information Letter Mailed

2/18/2019
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.ac19.org or https://www.wnccumc.org/ac2019
2019 Come to the Table Conference

2019 Come to the Table Conference

2/15/2019
This is a statewide conference held every two years looking at injustices in the food system.
Letter from the President of the Council of Bishops

Letter from the President of the Council of Bishops

2/12/2019
In less than two weeks, 864 fellow Methodists will gather in St. Louis, Missouri, in the United States to attend the Special Session of the General Conference.
General Conference Communications

General Conference Communications

2/11/2019
As the Special Session of General Conference approaches, Bishop Leeland has a reassuring message for our churches and clergy.
February Cabinet Recap

February Cabinet Recap

2/8/2019
The February 4 meeting of the Extended Cabinet brought much to celebrate for our conference. The Extended Cabinet livestreamed Bennett College’s press conference announcing that they raised more than $8.2 million by the deadline. We celebrate with the women of Bennett and appreciate the contributions of our United Methodist connection.   We celebrated that our new conference building receiving LEED Gold certification. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the most widely ...
ERT Class - 3/9/19

ERT Class - 3/9/19

2/7/2019
An ERT Training will take place at Pisgah UMC, 488 Hill Farm Road, Hiddenite, NC 28636, on Saturday, March 9, 2019. Trainer - Mike Duncan. Doors open at 8:30 am. Class begins promptly at 9:00 am and will end at 5:00 pm. A background check is required upon registration.  Register Now →
The Sacred Invitation

The Sacred Invitation

2/6/2019
A one-year program open to all who long to live a Spirit-led life.
An Invitation from the NC Council of Churches/Partners in Health & Wholeness

An Invitation from the NC Council of Churches/Partners in Health & Wholeness

2/6/2019
AN invitation to High Country UMC's to learn about health and wholeness ministries, and how to fund them
Stand With Bennett

Stand With Bennett

2/1/2019
The Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church celebrates with President Dawkins and Bennett College in raising $8.2 million.
“The Movement Continues” emphasizes our calling

“The Movement Continues” emphasizes our calling

1/30/2019
“The Movement Continues” campaign reminds us that the foundation of The United Methodist Church has always been to follow God’s call of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

A New Offering From the Duke Clergy Health Initiative - Spirited Life: Selah

1/28/2019
Details about a new study from the Duke Clergy Health Initiative, focused on improving the stress response of United Methodist clergy in North Carolina.
The Shepherd's Fund

The Shepherd's Fund

1/28/2019
Are you, your spouse or a fellow clergy retiree you know struggling with a health crisis or an extraordinary expense related to healthcare financial burdens?  We have been given a huge opportunity to assist such situations with The Shepherd's Fund.
An Offering to Support Bennett College

An Offering to Support Bennett College

1/25/2019
Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina, one of our United Methodist-Related Historically Black Colleges, has served for more than 100 years as a college for women of color within the bounds of our Western North Carolina Conference.  Due to severe financial difficulties, Bennett College is in danger of losing its accreditation.  Presently, the Board of Trustees are working to assure a sustainable plan for Bennett’s future, and they need our continued financial support in order to fulfill this plan.
A Dinner Church Is Born

A Dinner Church Is Born

1/24/2019
By Luke Edwards   Like many churches in our conference, Assurance UMC’s Connections Campus in West Charlotte has been feeding their neighbors once a week for several years. When Karen Furr, a lay leader at Assurance, joined a recent Fresh Expressions Cohort offered by the WNC Conference Vitality Team, she found herself asking, “What could we do with our Tuesday night meal to make it more impactful and accessible to the community?”    As the cohort drew to a close, she had a conversation with ...
January Cabinet Recap: A Comprehensive Plan of Inclusiveness

January Cabinet Recap: A Comprehensive Plan of Inclusiveness

1/24/2019
A Comprehensive Plan of Inclusiveness for the Western North Carolina Conference was a key focus of the January Cabinet Meeting. Bishop Leeland, the Extended Cabinet and Dr. Otto Harris, who will spearhead this initiative, came together for a time of planning and preparation.
Scholarships for Spiritual Renewal

Scholarships for Spiritual Renewal

1/24/2019
Clergy and Lay Ministry Professionals are invited to a time of spiritual renewal. The Leadership Development Team has provided a menu of opportunities that come with a $500 scholarship. https://www.wnccumc.org/resourcedetail/spiritual-renewal-9296372
A Heart Full of Grace and Soul Generated By Love: MLK Celebration 2019

A Heart Full of Grace and Soul Generated By Love: MLK Celebration 2019

1/22/2019
Our conference gathered on Saturday, January 19 to celebrate the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in worship, prayer, and homily and through the special recognition of those continuing to carry his dream forward.
Council on Campus Ministry looks at Campus Ministry in 2019 and Beyond

Council on Campus Ministry looks at Campus Ministry in 2019 and Beyond

1/22/2019
On Thursday, January 17 the WNC Council on Campus Ministry hosted “Listening and Learning: Campus Ministry 2019 and Beyond”. This gathering was designed as a time for members of the Council on Campus Ministry, Campus Ministers, and College Chaplains to learn from one another and to discern the best direction for Campus Ministry in the Western North Carolina Conference.   “Each of our campus ministries serves a unique ministry context. And as a Council we want to celebrate and embrace that ...
Commentary: Taking a fresh look at the Connectional Conference Plan

Commentary: Taking a fresh look at the Connectional Conference Plan

1/9/2019
By Bishop Gary E. Mueller  Jan. 9, 2019 | LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (UMNS) Last October, I presented an overview of the Connectional Conference Plan at a gathering of all South Central Jurisdiction delegates who were meeting to prepare for the 2019 Special Session of General Conference. Although many in attendance assumed the Connectional Conference Plan would not get any traction at General Conference, I was surprised and intrigued by how many were more open to the plan’s potential once they began ...

2019 Remittance Form - Now Ready!

1/7/2019
The 2019 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 ...
Role of Bishops at GC 2019

Role of Bishops at GC 2019

1/4/2019
As we approach the Special Session of the General Conference, we remain in an extended season of prayer with you. We are always aware that the office of bishop, entrusted by you to us, is a gift and a sacred privilege. We seek to fulfill this role with humility and faithfulness.
ADDENDUM TO YEAR END REPORTING - SUPPLEMENT INSTRUCTIONS

ADDENDUM TO YEAR END REPORTING - SUPPLEMENT INSTRUCTIONS

1/3/2019
ADDENDUM TO YEAR END REPORTING:  You will find Supplements 1 and 2 in your church dashboard (link). This will be done as a FormVite, similar to how you submitted your church and clergy profiles. PLEASE NOTE: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PRINT AND MAIL. We no longer require you to mail them in. Once they have been signed and you have "Officially Submitted" your Formvite, there is nothing else you need to do. Instructions (please make sure to "Allow Images" for full instructional help, as the instructions ...
Leadership Development Offerings

Leadership Development Offerings

1/3/2019
The Leadership Development Team has a variety of offerings in the next few months for clergy and ministry professionals. Some of the deadlines are coming soon.
New Year’s Message from the Moderators of the Commission on a Way Forward

New Year’s Message from the Moderators of the Commission on a Way Forward

1/3/2019
For Immediate Release January 3, 2019 WASHINGTON, D.C. -  As we turn to the new year and the approaching February meeting of the called Special Session of General Conference, the moderators would like to encourage delegates to the General Conference, as well as all spiritual leaders in The United Methodist Church, to read and consider the report of the Commission in its entirety. There are key values which ground the report which can be found in both the theological and missional statements ...
Apportionment and Benefits Payments Deadline 2018

Apportionment and Benefits Payments Deadline 2018

1/2/2019
Final apportionment and benefits payments for 2018 credit are due by 3:00pm, Tuesday, January 8, 2019 in the conference office.  Postmarked by such date is not acceptable.  Please allow for ample time to make remittances.  Thank you for your generous support in our fair share benevolent askings.
Council of Bishops’ letter to the global LGBTQ community

Council of Bishops’ letter to the global LGBTQ community

12/28/2018
To the People of the United Methodist Church: Grace and Peace to you in these days of Christmas, and at the conclusion of a calendar year. At the fall meeting of the Council of Bishops at St. Simon’s Island, Georgia, bishops approved a motion to send a pastoral letter to the Global LGBTQ community. A writing team, composed of a bishop from each central conference and jurisdiction, completed this task, on behalf of the Council. The letter follows. We share this letter with you as an expression of...
HealthPERX

HealthPERX

12/21/2018
Clergy, both active and retiree, recently received materials from HealthPERX.  If you attended one of the Benefits 2019 Update events or watched the Benefits 2019 video, you should recall Dr. Mark King, Conference Treasurer, sharing this new, no cost benefit to our clergy.  This does NOT replace the current plans for Health benefits but is simply a supplement.  Please do not use HealthPERX to replace your primary physician or otherwise.  HealthPERX is intended for those circumstances where it ...
Statistical Reporting for 2018 is READY and AVAILABLE!

Statistical Reporting for 2018 is READY and AVAILABLE!

12/18/2018
Statistical Reporting for 2018 is READY and AVAILABLE! To Our Local Church Pastors, Treasurers, and Membership Secretaries:   The GCFA/Western North Carolina Conference statistical system opened on January 2, 2019 and is now available for input of 2018 information.  All statistical information must be entered and complete by Thursday, January 31, 2019.  In order to access the system, you can do so in the following manner:   Access http://ezra.gcfa.org to connect to the statistical system login ...
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...
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