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.

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 →
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.
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...
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 ...
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.
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