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.

Cleaning Supplies Available from Mission Response Center

Cleaning Supplies Available from Mission Response Center

12/9/2020
The Mission Response Center in Terrell has extra cleaning supplies available for pickup upon request. Items include: dish soap, laundry detergent, scrubbing pads, air freshener, bleach, all purpose cleaner, clotheslines/pins, and trash bags.
Covid-19 Update for Local Churches

Covid-19 Update for Local Churches

12/9/2020
The NC COVID-19 County Alert System gives individuals, businesses, community organizations, and public officials another tool to understand the community spread in their county and to make decisions about actions to slow the spread of the virus. The Bishop and Cabinet urge pastors and church leaders to use this system to monitor their county and to reconsider their decision to hold indoor worship, particularly if their county is “red." All local churches are asked to use extreme caution in response to the recent rapid spread of the virus. We thank the United Methodists across Western North Carolina for “loving their neighbor” by doing all that they can do to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Resource Roundup - Week of December 7, 2020

Resource Roundup - Week of December 7, 2020

12/9/2020
We scanned the internet for resources that will be of interest and value to you and your ministries. This week's roundup includes: free resources from ShareFaith for a safe, social-distanced Christmas worship experience, a new free course form UM Communications on leading remote worship, 3 ways to encourage giving during a pandemic, and more!
SEJ Committee on Finance and Administration Report

SEJ Committee on Finance and Administration Report

12/9/2020
This letter is to inform you of recent actions (Friday, November 20, 2020) taken by the SEJ Committee on Finance and Administration (CFA) that will affect the annual conferences of the SEJ.
Means of Grace: The Methodist Home for Children’s Bruce Stanley

Means of Grace: The Methodist Home for Children’s Bruce Stanley

12/8/2020
In this episode, Caroline Wood talks with Rev. Bruce Stanley, President and CEO of the Methodist Home for Children. The MHFC believes that every child deserves a chance. They provide safe, stable homes where children can thrive and live to their full, God-given potential. While not always traditional, an MHC home is where child and family are equipped to succeed.
Mission Engagement Blog - December 2020

Mission Engagement Blog - December 2020

12/3/2020
Check out the latest Mission Engagement Blog.
ZOE Empowers - Virtual Mission Trip

ZOE Empowers - Virtual Mission Trip

12/3/2020
Pack your bags for a virtual trip to Rwanda, Kenya, and India! Glimpse the kingdom of God with orphaned and vulnerable children around the world lifting themselves permanently out of poverty. What does this unique travel experience include?
Project AGAPE Update from Nara Melkonyan, Director

Project AGAPE Update from Nara Melkonyan, Director

12/3/2020
Nara Melkonyan, Director of Project Agape, gives an update on the impact of the Armenian-Azerbaijan war on Project AGAPE's ministries.
The Latest Edition of E-News - WNCC Hiring Director of Equity and Justice Ministries, join the ZOE virtual mission trip, hear how are youth are processing the pandemic, and more

The Latest Edition of E-News - WNCC Hiring Director of Equity and Justice Ministries, join the ZOE virtual mission trip, hear how are youth are processing the pandemic, and more

12/2/2020
E-News is an email 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.
Resource Roundup  - Week of November 30, 2020

Resource Roundup - Week of November 30, 2020

12/2/2020
We scanned the internet for resources that will be of interest and value to you and your ministries. This week's roundup includes: an Advent Playlist from the WNCC Resource Center, ways to safely add personal interaction to virtual Christmas celebrations, ideas to inspire a better financial start to 2021, and more!
Royce Reynolds’ Bequest Marks Largest Gift in United Methodist Foundation of Western North Carolina History

Royce Reynolds’ Bequest Marks Largest Gift in United Methodist Foundation of Western North Carolina History

12/2/2020
The late Royce Reynolds, philanthropist and founder of Crown Automotive, has secured a faithful legacy with a bequest to the United Methodist Foundation of Western North Carolina, Inc. It is the largest single gift ever received by the Foundation, which has a mission of building the Church for generations to come.
The Church, Immigration, and Racialized Policing Non-Degree Certificate Program

The Church, Immigration, and Racialized Policing Non-Degree Certificate Program

12/2/2020
Christian Community Development Association, in partnership with Sojourners, Matthew 25/Mateo 25, and Duke Divinity School, is excited to present The Church, Immigration, and Racialized Policing Non-Degree Certificate Program. This cohort program seeks to develop ecclesial imagination and equip North Carolina-based Latinx and African American pastors, ministry leaders, and their congregations so that they may respond effectively, on multiple levels, to the pastoral crisis’ happening in their communities, particularly related to immigration and racialized policing issues.
Treasury Services announces new Online Payments Portal for 2021

Treasury Services announces new Online Payments Portal for 2021

12/2/2020
Treasury Services is pleased to announce a new avenue for making Apportionment and Benefits payments via electronic payments. This new feature will be available in early 2021. To get started, however, we need to set up the payers.
Virtually Connect with the Randalls, Global Ministries Missionaries

Virtually Connect with the Randalls, Global Ministries Missionaries

12/2/2020
Rev. Courtney and Rev. Dan Randall are UM elders serving as Global Ministries missionaries, yet COVID restrictions in the Holy Land have delayed their departure. They are living in Charlotte while they wait for their visas, and they would like to virtually connect with congregations in the Western North Carolina Conference.
Body, Soul, Soil, and Sacrament

Body, Soul, Soil, and Sacrament

12/1/2020
Here's a terrific post on environmental stewardship as social innovation from Nate Stucky at Princeton Theological Seminary's Farminary. Innovators, give it a look!
Means of Grace: Youth Perspectives on Faith, Technology and Community During a Pandemic

Means of Grace: Youth Perspectives on Faith, Technology and Community During a Pandemic

12/1/2020
In this episode, Melissa McGill and Jeremy Coffey check in with the 11th grade youth small group they co-lead at Myers Park UMC. Four youth – Hayden, Nathan, Lucy and Bobby – share their thoughts on how faith, community and technology intersect for teens during the pandemic. We’ve pivoted in all areas of Church life this year – here’s what it looks like for this high school small group and how their Church continues to play an important role in their lives.
HIRING: Conference Director of Equity and Justice Ministries

HIRING: Conference Director of Equity and Justice Ministries

11/30/2020
The Western North Carolina Conference is seeking a Conference Director of Equity and Justice Ministries (CDEJM) to direct our strategic efforts in diversity, equity, belonging, and advocacy and to help implement these practices in all areas of Conference and local church ministry.
Eating Together Faithfully Online Introductory Training

Eating Together Faithfully Online Introductory Training

11/25/2020
The team at Life Around the Table joyfully invites you to join our next Eating Together Faithfully (ETF) Online Introductory Training on Friday, January 22nd!
The Latest Edition of E-News - Message from Bishop Leeland, Pray for Armenia, Advent Study, Christmas Virtual Worship, and more

The Latest Edition of E-News - Message from Bishop Leeland, Pray for Armenia, Advent Study, Christmas Virtual Worship, and more

11/24/2020
E-News is an email 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.
2021 WNCC Martin Luther King, Jr Commemoration

2021 WNCC Martin Luther King, Jr Commemoration

11/24/2020
The WNC Black Methodists for Church Renewal, the Justice & Reconciliation Team and the Commission for Religion and Race have set the 2021 Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Service for Saturday, January 16, 2021, 10 a.m. EST. The keynote speaker will be the Rev. Dr. Joseph Daniels, the Senior Pastor of Emory Fellowship United Methodist Church, Washington DC.
Means of Grace: Meet the Howells - Incorporating Business Management into Ministry Leadership

Means of Grace: Meet the Howells - Incorporating Business Management into Ministry Leadership

11/24/2020
Vincent Howell and Vince Howell are a father-son team who have co-authored the book, MBA Quick Book for Ministers. In this episode of the Means of Grace podcast, Kim Ingram and Jesse Enniss talk with the Howells about their experience writing together. Vince shares about his experience as a PK and how he incorporates his faith and his MBA into life and ministry. Vincent tells of his experiences as a church pastor and in engineering management. The leadership skills and tools for each overlap. Meet the Howells and learn how leaders can grow skills like identifying and developing lay leadership.
Mental Health and Care: Coping with Stress During This Season and Beyond

Mental Health and Care: Coping with Stress During This Season and Beyond

11/24/2020
This year, because of COVID-19 and the inequalities it has exacerbated, adults are reporting considerably higher mental stress. According to the CDC, “younger adults, racial/ethnic minorities, essential workers, and unpaid adult caregivers reported having experienced disproportionately worse mental health outcomes, increased substance use, and elevated suicidal ideation.” Please join our therapeutic and pastoral experts as we discuss the practical and spiritual disciplines needed for surviving this season.
Project Agape and Armenia: Update & Call to Prayer

Project Agape and Armenia: Update & Call to Prayer

11/24/2020
The war between Armenia and Azerbaijan has come to an end. Our Armenian brothers and sisters and our partners at Project Agape still need our prayers. Bishop Leeland and the Project Agape Board give an update on the situation and call all Western North Carolina United Methodists to prayer.
A Video Message of Hope, Peace, and Thanksgiving from Bishop Leeland

A Video Message of Hope, Peace, and Thanksgiving from Bishop Leeland

11/23/2020
As we continue to face the fallout from a divided national election, racial injustice and tension, concerns about the differences within our denomination, and the global pandemic, Bishop Leeland brings a message of hope, peace, and thanksgiving.
Advent Devotion Guide from Church of the Resurrection

Advent Devotion Guide from Church of the Resurrection

11/23/2020
This Advent devotion guide was created for Church of the Resurrection members in 2020 to help them fully engage in the lighting of the Advent candles at home during online worship or on their own. Use this guide as a standalone piece, or as part of an Advent kit containing a wreath, Advent candles, Christ candle and invitation card to Candlelight Christmas Eve services.
Advent Family Experience Kit

Advent Family Experience Kit

11/23/2020
Church of the Resurrection’s Children’s Ministry created a Family Experience Kit to help families engage more fully in Advent. These resources were created in 2020, while all worship was online at Resurrection, but these materials can be used by families any year or adapted as part of Sunday School curriculum.
*UPDATED* Phase Three Extension Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry During COVID-19

*UPDATED* Phase Three Extension Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry During COVID-19

11/20/2020
With Governor Cooper’s extension of Phase Three, along with the implementation of additional measures necessary to protect public health, the Bishop and Cabinet have also extended their Phase Three guidelines for WNC United Methodist Churches. Please note, while worship guidelines remain the same, all other indoor gathering should be limited to 10 persons or less. In additions, The Bishop and Cabinet urge pastors and church leaders to use the NCDHHS COVID-19 Alert system to monitor their county and to reconsider their decision to hold indoor worship, particularly if their county is “red."  All local churches are asked to use extreme caution in response to the recent rapid spread of the virus. We advise that all churches continue following CDC, state and local guidelines for indoor and outdoor gatherings, including handwashing, wearing masks, and observing physical distancing rules and group size limits.
Resource Roundup - Week of November 16, 2020

Resource Roundup - Week of November 16, 2020

11/20/2020
We scanned the internet for resources that will be of interest and value to you and your ministries. This week's roundup includes "What to Consider Before Regathering Face-to-Face", Advent books and social media graphics, and creative ways to safely celebrate Advent and Christmas during a pandemic.
The Latest Edition of E-News - COVID-19 Update for Local Churches, Advent Study from WNCC Resource Center, Creating Diverse, Just, & Equitable Spaces, and more

The Latest Edition of E-News - COVID-19 Update for Local Churches, Advent Study from WNCC Resource Center, Creating Diverse, Just, & Equitable Spaces, and more

11/18/2020
E-News is an email 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.
Funds Available for Expenses Incurred During COVID-Related Food Relief Ministries

Funds Available for Expenses Incurred During COVID-Related Food Relief Ministries

11/18/2020
Resourceful Communities and The Conservation Fund are working with Livingstone College to manage an application and selection process for COVID-related food relief. Because funds are limited, we are looking to help community and faith partners in rural communities that incurred COVID-related food relief expenses between March 1, 2020 to November 12, 2020; and can submit documentation of expenses, including proof of payment. Resourceful Communities will offer two informational webinars on November 19 (at 12 noon and 6 pm).  You can find details on their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/resourcefulcommunities), and they will also record and post the presentations their website (link in full article). Online applications will be due Wednesday, December 2, 2020 by 11:59 p.m.
Spring Sessions of the Antiracism Ethics Training Canceled

Spring Sessions of the Antiracism Ethics Training Canceled

11/18/2020
Due to rapid spread of COVID-19, the Spring 2021 sessions of the Antiracism Ethics Trainings have been canceled. The sessions will be rescheduled at a later date with new locations. Anyone who already registered will be issued a refund and will need to register again for another training. Additional trainings will be announced at a future date. Please check the Ethics webpage for updates and more information.
Creative ideas for Christmas Eve worship 2020

Creative ideas for Christmas Eve worship 2020

11/17/2020
Although we won't be able to enjoy packed-full sanctuaries on Christmas Eve, there are a variety of ways to gather safely and to celebrate the coming of Jesus. Twin Cities District pastors recently shared some ideas with each other, and they are so creative that we want to lift some of them up to the whole conference:
Means of Grace: Creating Diverse, Just and Equitable Spaces of Faith

Means of Grace: Creating Diverse, Just and Equitable Spaces of Faith

11/17/2020
In this episode, Dr. Otto Harris, the senior pastor of St. Mark’s United Methodist in Charlotte and the Interim Director of the Conference Comprehensive Plan of Equity, has an important conversation on diversity, inclusion and belonging with local diversity experts, Veronica Calderon, Chief Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Officer at Aldersgate Continuing Care Retirement Community and Fernando G. Little, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at Atrium Health.
Video: What to Consider Before Re-Gathering Face-to-Face

Video: What to Consider Before Re-Gathering Face-to-Face

11/16/2020
This video from the North Carolina Conference "is designed to be used with your church’s leadership team and those who help make decisions about worship gatherings over the next few weeks and months. Dr. Wallace gives a brief overview of the science behind the coronavirus and why practices like wearing masks and physical distancing make a difference and then moves into a discussion of the risks and considerations associated with various types of worship gatherings your church may be thinking about. We encourage you to watch the video and have some discussion with your teams as you prayerfully consider how you will gather as faith communities."
Resource Roundup - Week of November 9, 2020

Resource Roundup - Week of November 9, 2020

11/13/2020
We scanned the internet for resources that will be of interest and value to you and your ministries. This week's Roundup includes resources for Student Day, free coloring page prayers for when you feel anxious, and Advent & Christmas resources for worshipping together and at home.
The Latest Edition of E-News - Updated Phase Three Guidelines, At-Home Advent Resource from WNCC, Starting a House Church Network, and more

The Latest Edition of E-News - Updated Phase Three Guidelines, At-Home Advent Resource from WNCC, Starting a House Church Network, and more

11/12/2020
E-News is an email 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.
Applications Now Accepted for Intentional Growth Center Grants

Applications Now Accepted for Intentional Growth Center Grants

11/11/2020
The Intentional Growth Center is pleased to announce it is now awarding grants to local congregations and church organizations.   Grants will be available for ministries that increase Christian Discipleship and Church Leader Development for clergy and laity of all denominations, but with primary attention to persons of the Southeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church.
Leading in Crisis: When Internet Access Becomes a Barrier to Education

Leading in Crisis: When Internet Access Becomes a Barrier to Education

11/11/2020
On Monday, Nov. 16, GBHEM will host the final 2020 edition of its “Leading in Crisis” e-panel series. The discussion topic is “When Internet Access Becomes a Barrier to Education.” Panelists will include the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Africa University in Zimbabwe, Prof. Peter Mageto, and President Suzanne Walsh of Bennett College in North Carolina.
New Advent Resource from the WNCC Resource Center

New Advent Resource from the WNCC Resource Center

11/11/2020
Zoomed out? Tired of technology? Can't stand to look at a screen for one more minute? We get it. This Advent, go back in time and engage with ancient spiritual practices designed to help you find more hope, peace, joy and love in your life. Adventus: Ancient Practices for an Advent at Home - the latest resource from the WNCC Resource Center - includes five lessons: one for each week of Advent plus an extra lesson for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
Means of Grace: Starting a House Church Network

Means of Grace: Starting a House Church Network

11/10/2020
Several churches across the conference have started house church networks since the onset of the pandemic and countless more are beginning to experiment with them in the coming months as the weather gets colder and outdoor worship gets harder. In this episode Luke Edwards sits down with Rev. Sam Burleson and Amy Cochran of Salem UMC in Bostic. We hear about the house church network that arose this year at their church and some of the lessons they’ve learned so far.
Mission Engagement Blog - November 2020

Mission Engagement Blog - November 2020

11/4/2020
Check out the latest Mission Engagement Blog.
Global Mission Fellows Application is Open!

Global Mission Fellows Application is Open!

11/4/2020
We are now accepting application for young adults, ages 20-30, to serve within the United States. U.S. Citizens, Residents, Green Card holders, and DACA Students are all eligible to apply to the GMF: US-2 Track.
Manna: Soul Tending Space for Pastors

Manna: Soul Tending Space for Pastors

11/4/2020
Living through a pandemic is very much a wilderness experience, and for the past eight months, pastors have been called upon to help their communities navigate the pain and loss of this season. Clergy, like Moses, are holding space for the people around them as the world dreams of life on the other side. But who’s holding space for clergy? Where are pastors finding manna in this pandemic wilderness? This Advent, the NCC Center for Leadership Excellence and the Rev. Lisa Yebuah will host a 3-session soul-tending platform for pastors to name and even grieve the realities of clergy life during these stressful times, while also acquiring spiritual practices to buoy their hope.
Means of Grace: Leading in Politically Divided Times

Means of Grace: Leading in Politically Divided Times

11/3/2020
America is divided and the church is not immune. The divisions are largely motivated by this and the previous election cycle. In this episode, Jesse Enniss is joined by Dr. Trevor Eppehimer, Academic Dean and Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Hood Theological Seminary, Rev. Jan Brittain, Lead Pastor, Williamson’s Chapel UMC, and Rev. Jamie Hamrick, Senior Pastor, Rocky Mount UMC who discuss the role of the church in this political climate.
Bishops Called to Bring Stability in Chaos

Bishops Called to Bring Stability in Chaos

11/2/2020
United Methodist bishops opened their online meeting in a season of turmoil. Around the globe, people are contending with the pandemic, struggling economies, natural disasters and a reckoning with racial injustice. In the U.S., United Methodists also face political polarization on the eve of Election Day on Nov. 3.
Dinner Church at New Covenant UMC

Dinner Church at New Covenant UMC

11/2/2020
After reflecting and assessing the neighborhood and needs of the residents in Lenoir, New Covenant UMC decided to re-engage and restore the community.
Retiring Well: A Pre-Retirement Webinar from Wespath

Retiring Well: A Pre-Retirement Webinar from Wespath

11/2/2020
Clergy who are 3-5 years from retirement are invited to join representatives from Wespath and EY to discuss retirement provisions, plans, and services. Register before November 4th and a personalized, confidential Benefit Projection will be mailed to you. PLUS sign up for a 30-minute individual virtual consultation with a member of the Wespath Benefit Education Team. Spouses are welcomed to join the webinar and consultation!
The Latest Edition of E-News - Remembering the Saints, Keeping Western NC Warm this Winter, Praying for Peace, and more

The Latest Edition of E-News - Remembering the Saints, Keeping Western NC Warm this Winter, Praying for Peace, and more

10/28/2020
E-News - October 28, 2020 E-News is an email 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 Means of Grace: Remembering the Saints As we approach All Saints Day, we want to pause to remember the Saints we’ve lost this year in our churches, in our ...
Important Notice About Boy Scouts Bankruptcy

Important Notice About Boy Scouts Bankruptcy

10/28/2020
Important information for churches concerning Boy Scouts of America Bankruptcy.
Simpler PPP Forgiveness for Loans of $50,000 or Less

Simpler PPP Forgiveness for Loans of $50,000 or Less

10/28/2020
The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the Treasury Department, today released a simpler loan forgiveness application for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of $50,000 or less. This action streamlines the PPP forgiveness process to provide financial and administrative relief to America’s smallest businesses while also ensuring sound stewardship of taxpayer dollars.
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