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.

Bishops Ask For Postponement of General Conference Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

Bishops Ask For Postponement of General Conference Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

3/16/2020
"The Executive Committee of the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church has asked for the postponement of the 2020 General Conference, set to begin in six weeks, because of the new Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic."
Commission on the General Conference To Meet March 21

Commission on the General Conference To Meet March 21

3/16/2020
"As concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic continue to escalate, the Commission on the General Conference will meet on March 21 via teleconference to discuss plans for the 2020 General Conference, scheduled for May 5-15, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minn."
Help People Find Your Livestream - Join the Virtual Church List

Help People Find Your Livestream - Join the Virtual Church List

3/16/2020
You're livestreaming your services, studies, and even bedtime stories, and we want to join you! Submit your livestreams to join the virtual church list on the Conference website.
Statement Clarifies Relationship Between Christmas Covenant and Connectional Table USRC Legislation

Statement Clarifies Relationship Between Christmas Covenant and Connectional Table USRC Legislation

3/16/2020
"Over the past several weeks, the Connectional Table (CT) has received many questions about the relationship between the CT's U.S. Regional Conference (USRC) legislation and legislation referred to as the Christmas Covenant. To provide clarification, a statement has been released outlining the relationship between these two pieces of legislation. That statement and an explanatory chart can be found at: bit.ly/USRClegislation."
Event Cancellations

Event Cancellations

3/13/2020
Stay informed on event cancellations for the WNCC, districts, and related organizations.
Church Development Offers Assistance for Streaming Worship

Church Development Offers Assistance for Streaming Worship

3/12/2020
In response to the rapid spread of COVID-19, Bishop Leeland has recommended to suspend public worship until the end of March. In order to facilitate continued worship during this time the Church Development office is offering the following resources to help churches transition to online streaming and online giving.
Lake Junaluska Annual Plant Sale

Lake Junaluska Annual Plant Sale

3/11/2020
The Lake Junaluska Annual Plant Sale will be held Friday-Saturday, April 24-25, and Friday-Saturday, May 1-2, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Lake Junaluska Greenhouse located at 82 Sleepy Hollow Road in Lake Junaluska. For more information, contact Tinsley at mtinsley@lakejunaluska.com or 828-454-6774.  
6 Steps Your Congregation Should Take in Response to the Coronavirus

6 Steps Your Congregation Should Take in Response to the Coronavirus

3/11/2020
Tom Pruski outlines six steps congregations should take in response to the Coronavirus in keeping with guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control. Pruski, a registered nurse, is director of Wesley Theological Seminary's Heal the Sick Initiative that equips leaders for congregational health ministries.
A Message from the Committee on Relief

A Message from the Committee on Relief

3/11/2020
As we have watched and prayed for those across the world that have been affected by COVID-19, we face the realization that we must be more diligent in our efforts to prepare and mitigate the effects of this virus in our local communities. As a church, our first call is to respond and care for those around us, while also making sure we do not put our parishioners at risk.  In times of crisis, the most powerful tool is knowledge. As leaders across the conference we must make it our job to be as ...
COVID-19: Ways to Respond

COVID-19: Ways to Respond

3/11/2020
"As a public service, this document was created to help churches decide how to respond before the virus reaches their ministry contexts."
Message from The Health Benefits Committee

Message from The Health Benefits Committee

3/11/2020
The Health Benefits Committee of the Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits announces that during this COVID 19 pandemic, testing for the virus will be covered at 100% for our participants and family members enrolled on all three of the conference group active health plans. This coverage includes the copayment for the office visit as well. For our retirees, on March 3, 2020, Medicare released a statement that the COVID 19 testing will be covered under Medicare Part B. With this, the conference Medicare supplement retirees, spouses and surviving spouses will be able to have the COVID 19 covered by the health plan. (Please note: Medicare indicates that the provider will need to wait until after April 1, 2020 to be able to submit a claim to Medicare Part B for the test.)
NC Response to COVID-19 From the North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services

NC Response to COVID-19 From the North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services

3/11/2020
Get the latest on the North Carolina state response to COVID-19.
Use Facebook Live to Stream Your Church Events

Use Facebook Live to Stream Your Church Events

3/11/2020
As a mindful act of care for those church members who may wish to limit social interaction at this time, consider streaming your church events live. Jeremy Steele offers simple advice for setting up Facebook Live.
Statement From The Western North Carolina General and Jurisdictional Conference Delegation

Statement From The Western North Carolina General and Jurisdictional Conference Delegation

3/10/2020
On Saturday, March 7, the Western North Carolina General and Jurisdictional Conference delegation met and adopted the following statement...
THE SACRED INVITATION: Living & Leading from the Center Out

THE SACRED INVITATION: Living & Leading from the Center Out

3/9/2020
THE SACRED INVITATION: Living & Leading from the Center Out A one-year program for those who hunger to deepen their relationship with God, live out their sacred purpose, and yearn for a kindred community to nurture them in the process. If that is you, learn more and apply for the next cohort here: www.thelydiagroup.com/the-sacred-invitation. Applications are requested by May 1. Program begins on August 1, 2020. Questions? Contact Ann Starrette at AStarrette@DavidsonUMC.org.
Emory Candler Club hosts Annual Conference 5K

Emory Candler Club hosts Annual Conference 5K

3/9/2020
WNCC Emory Club 5K at Annual Conference raising money for NETworX USA. Sign up: https://runsignup.com/Race/NC/LakeJunaluska/EmoryClub5k
Bishop Leeland Announces Cabinet Changes

Bishop Leeland Announces Cabinet Changes

3/8/2020
Bishop Leeland announces new Cabinet appointments, effective July 1, 2020.
Registration Is Now Open for 2020 Annual Conference Displays

Registration Is Now Open for 2020 Annual Conference Displays

3/6/2020
Would you like to see you group or organization represented at Annual Conference this year? To register for display space at this year's Annual Conference, please visit wnccumc.org/ac2020-displays.
Tennessee Tornado Response 2020

Tennessee Tornado Response 2020

3/5/2020
Early on March 3, tornadoes ripped across parts of Tennessee. One tornado, which reportedly cut a 10-mile path through downtown Nashville and into its eastern suburbs, caused significant damage in the neighborhoods of Germantown and East Nashville and the suburb of Hermitage. Putnam County, about 80 miles from Nashville, was also severely affected. The TNUMC Disaster Response team is working with clergy, district superintendents and Bishop McAlilly to assess damages. In addition to the loss of ...
The Latest Edition of E-News - Annual Conference 2020, Q&A with Amy Coles, and more

The Latest Edition of E-News - Annual Conference 2020, Q&A with Amy Coles, and more

3/5/2020
  E-News - March 5 E-News is a bi-weekly newsletter sent out by the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. It contains important news, stories, and events from around our conference. Submit articles for the next e-news. Submit events. NEWS Annual Conference 2020 Information and submissions for Annual Conference 2020 are online at www.wnccumc.org/ac2020.  Annual Conference deadlines are approaching for submitting petitions (April 1), ...
Is Your Church's Property Tax Exemption Status Up to Date?

Is Your Church's Property Tax Exemption Status Up to Date?

3/5/2020
If you have had any changes to you property status, completed any renovation, or had county revaluations, you may need to update your Property Tax Exemption Status with your county tax assessor.
Recognition of Anniversary Churches

Recognition of Anniversary Churches

3/5/2020
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 2020 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.
Sumérgete Retreat 2020: for Pastors and Leaders Serving the Hispanic and Latino Community

Sumérgete Retreat 2020: for Pastors and Leaders Serving the Hispanic and Latino Community

3/4/2020
The Hispanic House at Duke Divinity School invites you to our Sumérgete Retreat 2020: for Pastors and Leaders Serving the Hispanic and Latino Community. April 27-29, 2020.
Schedule Your AC2020 Special Event!

Schedule Your AC2020 Special Event!

3/3/2020
Are you planning to hold a Special Event at Annual Conference this year? Do you want it included in the Special Events Calendar in the 2020 Program & Reports Book and P&R Supplement Book? Will you hold an event at a Lake Junaluska facility? Visit https://www.wnccumc.org/ac2020-special-events to make all of this happen!
Means of Grace: Q&A with Rev. Amy Coles

Means of Grace: Q&A with Rev. Amy Coles

3/2/2020
In this episode of Means of Grace, Melissa sits down with Rev. Amy Coles, the Western North Carolina Conference Episcopal nominee to talk about faith, her calling, and the future of the church. Listen on our website at www.wnccumc.og/meansofgrace or wherever you get your podcasts.
Annual Conference 2020

Annual Conference 2020

3/1/2020
Information and submissions for Annual Conference 2020 are online at www.wnccumc.org/ac2020. Annual Conference deadlines are approaching for submitting petitions (April 1), scheduling special events (April 8), and display registration (April 15).
New Beginnings in Campus Ministry Across the Conference

New Beginnings in Campus Ministry Across the Conference

2/28/2020
New beginnings are being celebrated by the Western North Carolina Conference Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry. Our Campus Ministries are growing and adding new ministries. In July 2019, we welcomed Rev. Jeff McCumber who was appointed as the Campus Minister for the Wesley Foundation at UNC-Asheville. Rev. McCumber received his MDiv from Wesley in 2010 and has served as an Associate at Mineral Springs and Mills River. We are thankful for the leadership of Rev. Jessica L. Dayson who ...
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

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.
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!

AC2020 Housing & Info Letter in Mailboxes!

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 2020. 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
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 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...
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.
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 ...
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