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.

Amena Brown to Speak at New July 4 Event at LJA

3/23/2015
Poet, speaker, author, and event host Amena Brown will excite, ignite, and inspire youth during Lake Junaluska’s special 4th of July youth weekend July 2-5, 2015. New this year, the 4th of July Youth Event Celebration includes inspiring worship as well as fireworks and other activities. Amena and her husband, Matt, will share "Breaking Old Rhythms" on Friday evening, including a combination of poetry, monologue and deejaying. Saturday morning, Amena will lead a morning worship session, followed ...

Praying Without Ceasing

3/23/2015
[caption id="attachment_2082" align="alignright" width="240"] Haywood Respite’s Program Manager Jody Halstead talks with a potential volunteer at the Blue Ridge District UMW Prayer Breakfast.[/caption] by Emily Cooper Jody Halstead’s prayer life has included everything from a child’s bedtime rituals to God laughing at her. Halstead, an RN, deaconess and program manager of Haywood Street Congregation’s Respite Center, told about 200 United Methodist Women at Mills River UMC Saturday prayer can be...

WEEKLY UPDATE- 032015

3/20/2015
PAST UPDATES Here are this past week’s major changes to the website. Did you miss anything? LATEST NEWS News You Can Use- Grants Available & Website Training Your Story- An Outdoor Baptism in January Individual Volunteer Mission Opportunities South Sudan Wrap-Up Announcement: Future of Gathering of the Laity What St. Patrick Can Teach United Methodists Camp Tekoa to Assume Operation of Camp Loy White This Spring 5 Out-of-the-Box Easter Ideas LATEST CAREERS Pianist/Accompanist Director of ...

News You Can Use- Grants Available & Website Training

3/20/2015
RETHINK CHURCH OFFERS GRANTS TO LOCAL CHURCHES Rethink Church Event Grants: You may already know about these grants. They are media and marketing grants awarded to clusters of churches (3 or more working together), districts and conferences who hold a one-day service event outside the walls of the church. These events combine church and community volunteers to create a sustainable ministry in their area. Churches interested in this type of grant can complete a quick survey here, which will let ...

Your Story- An Outdoor Baptism in January

3/19/2015
“United Methodists may baptize by any of the modes used by Christians. Candidates or their parents have the choice of sprinkling, pouring, or immersion; and pastors and congregations should be prepared to honor requests for baptism in any of these modes. Each mode brings out part of the rich and diverse symbolism given to baptism by the Bible.” (From The United Methodist Book of Worship, Copyright 1992, The United Methodist Publishing House) Since marrying four years ago, Maddy and Cyrus ...

Individual Volunteer Mission Opportunities

3/19/2015
One of the practical ways of engaging in mission is through a short-term mission experience. If you would like to serve for a longer period, the Individual Volunteer Program sponsored by Global Ministries can help you accomplish that. The program offers opportunities for individuals and couples to serve in mission from two months to two years in a variety of placements around the world. One placement site that is in need of a volunteer is Open Doors, Inc., a Church World Service agency that ...

South Sudan Wrap-Up

3/18/2015
By Lory Beth Huffman It is good to be back home after an awesome and incredible experience working with United Methodist pastors in South Sudan. I participated in the South Sudan Theological Training Initiative (sponsored by Duke Divinity School and the Pastor Parish Fund) where we worked with 4 of the best English speaking pastors of the 18 currently serving the country. We taught them for during a weeklong intensive with the expectation that they will take what they learned and teach the rest ...

Announcement: Future of Gathering of the Laity

3/17/2015
During the past two years, the Conference Board of Laity has had an ongoing discussion regarding the Gathering of the Laity. Because of the significantly diminished attendance and the financial deficits related to the presentation of the event, the discussion has focused on the status and the continuation of the Gathering. At its meeting on February 15, the Board decided unanimously to conclude the Gathering of the Laity with the 50th celebration of the event on August 7 and 8, 2015. In the ...

What St. Patrick Can Teach United Methodists

3/17/2015
by Heather Hahn, UMNS The saint Americans celebrate each March 17 was not born in Ireland, and his birth name might not even have been Patrick. While many of the details of his life are shrouded in legend, on this scholars agree: The patron saint of Ireland left a legacy far more vibrant and lasting than the green food and beverages served on his feast day. St. Patrick's commitment to the gospel led him at great personal risk to spread Christianity across Ireland. After his death, Irish ...

Camp Tekoa to Assume Operation of Camp Loy White This Spring

3/16/2015
The Board of Camp Loy White is pleased to announce that Camp Tekoa, the Western North Carolina Conference Camp in Hendersonville, NC, will assume operation of Camp Loy White later this spring. Camp Tekoa will bring a level of experience, expertise, and professionalism that smaller camps such as Loy White are challenged to maintain. Camp Tekoa shares Camp Loy White’s focus on providing a Christian environment for growth experiences for children and youth, and their operation will ensure the ...

5 Out-of-the-Box Easter Ideas

3/16/2015
By Jeremy Steele As cultures all over the world celebrate Christ’s Resurrection, churches have an incredible opportunity to connect with their communities. To help you do that, we have gathered great outreach ideas from across the United Methodist connection to share with you. Here are four of the best: 1. Carry the cross on Good Friday The people of Winstead United Methodist Church in Wilson, N.C., decided that they wanted a way to “do something tangible and memorable to witness to Jesus on ...

WEEKLY UPDATE- 031315

3/13/2015
PAST UPDATES Here are this past week’s major changes to the website. Did you miss anything?   LATEST NEWS Update 2 from South Sudan Communication Tips and Tools for March Young People in Mission Taking Reservations Now Opportunity for Ministry at the Haw Creek House 50 Years Later- Reflections on Selma Pastor-Parish Relations Committee Webinar Scheduled for March 19th An Update from South Sudan Scandinavian Caravan Extends Application Time to April 5 Pfeiffer Challenges You to a Healthy ...

Update 2 from South Sudan

3/12/2015
Greetings from Yei, South Sudan, We are enjoying our work providing basic theological training to local UM pastors. Though most of them have received little formal education, they have received our instruction with grace and enthusiasm. Heidi Campbell Robinson, Lory Beth Huffman, and Rennie Salata have been indispensible to the work of the South Sudan Theological Training Initiative. With their help, these South Sudanese pastors have planned worship, learned about spiritual disciplines, pastoral...

Communication Tips and Tools for March

3/12/2015
This is a collection of tips and tools from United Methodist Communications. This is a monthly publication called MyCom. Below are the five articles for March: 7 tips to draw visitors with social media When winning friends and influencing people goes awry Garner more readers by including tweetable quotes Live broadcast your worship service online - free 5 steps to spring clean your church website The entire newsletter online Subscribe to MyCom

Young People in Mission Taking Reservations Now

3/11/2015
Young People in Mission, a camp experience with hands-on mission opportunities for youth and young adults between the ages of 12 to 24, will be held June 28-July 2, 2015 at Lake Junaluska. Our hope is that this event will serve as a launching pad that will empower and equip them to serve with a new eyes and a heart for mission service. Rev. Jack Hinnen, Chaplain of Birmingham-Southern College, will be leading the daily Bible Study sessions this year. We can't think of anyone better to help these...

Opportunity for Ministry at the Haw Creek House

3/10/2015
The Haw Creek House in East Asheville has two openings and is seeking applicants. This community is hosted by Bethesda United Methodist Church and also supported by East Asheville United Methodist Church. The Haw Creek House is a female-only intentional community, which is a group of individuals who share the same home and choose to engage in a rule of life which includes prayer, worship, service, and other practices designed to deepen their relationship with Christ. Living in an opportunity to ...

50 Years Later- Reflections on Selma

3/10/2015
[caption id="attachment_1939" align="alignright" width="300"] UMNS photo by Mike DuBose[/caption] By Mary John Dye The 50 year commemoration of the walk from Selma got me to thinking... I was raised in a Methodist parsonage in the State of Kentucky….a state where the true religion is basketball. Spring break for the public schools was always the week of the High School Basketball Tournament in Louisville so that everyone could go. Year after year, I went to the tournament. Year after year, Mr. ...

Pastor-Parish Relations Committee Webinar Scheduled for March 19th

3/10/2015
Transitioning Well: The Role of the PPRC in Leading through Pastoral Change PPRCs are invited to participate in a webinar on Thursday night, March 19, 2015, which will focus on the best practices of leading through a pastoral change. Below is the link. Please connect by 7:00pm and the content will start at 7:05pm to give everyone a chance to get connected and settled in. For approximately 45 minutes, Amy Coles and Lory Beth Huffman will share information and answer your questions. They, then, ...

An Update from South Sudan

3/9/2015
Rev. Lory Beth Huffman, superintendent of the Appalachian District along with Rev. Rennie Salata and Rev. Heidi Campbell-Robinson, are in South Sudan with Duke Divinity School's Dr. Warren Smith. They are there as a part of the South Sudan Theological Training Initiative sponsored by Duke Divinity School and in cooperation with the North Carolina Conference. Below are some updates excerpted from Facebook posts: Group selfie from the airport (on March 5th) Rennie Salata on March 7th: "We made it...

Scandinavian Caravan Extends Application Time to April 5

3/9/2015
The Scandinavian Caravan application time is being extended to April 5. Sweden and Finland churches will be participating. The current dates will be around June 29, and begin a week before or after depending on Sweden's finalization. Information will be given as soon as possible. Download Application

Pfeiffer Challenges You to a Healthy Lifestyle

3/6/2015
2015 Clergy Health Institute- http://pfeiffer.edu/health

WEEKLY UPDATE- 030615

3/6/2015
PAST UPDATES Here are this past week’s major changes to the website. Did you miss anything? LATEST NEWS Does your church need a website? ‘Discipleship Ministries’ Is Agency’s New Identity In the News: King Street Church, Boone Bishop and Cabinet Begin the 2015 Appointment Process Book Review: Reading Scripture With the Saints Camp GuilRock Schedules 2nd Annual Cardboard Regatta LATEST EVENTS Folk Psalm at Brevard First UMC- March 22 Easter Sunrise at Camp GuilRock - April 5 2nd Annual ...

Does your church need a website?

3/5/2015
Whether your church is just starting an online ministry or you're looking for a fresh design, United Methodist Communications is here to help. Through our web hosting services we offer: Affordable & reliable websites. Easy to use platforms. Top notch customer experience. Featuring: The Power of WordPress UMC Branded Designs UMC Sponsored Content OnDemand Video Tutorials Email Based Support Worry-Free System Updates Monthly or Annual Billing There are three levels of service. Free service: ...

‘Discipleship Ministries’ Is Agency’s New Identity

3/4/2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn.– Discipleship Ministries has officially become the new name of the general agency of The United Methodist Church known for years as The General Board of Discipleship, or GBOD. The name change, which includes new addresses for the website and agency personnel emails, was announced by Dr. Timothy L. Bias, General Secretary (chief executive) of Discipleship Ministries. “The shift from General Board of Discipleship to Discipleship Ministries was an intentional decision to more ...

In the News: King Street Church, Boone

3/3/2015
[This article appeared in the Watauga Democrat on March 2, 2015; Sherrie Norris Reporter/Daniel Barlow Photographer] King Street Church — meeting people where they are A casual Sunday evening gathering on King Street in Autumn 2013 — with about five people in attendance who had drifted away from traditional church — has now become a weekly gathering known as King Street Church. As a network of small worship gatherings focused on bringing people into Christian community, King Street Church is ...

Bishop and Cabinet Begin the 2015 Appointment Process

3/2/2015
From Bishop Goodpaster The process of appointing clergy to our churches is one of the most important responsibilities assigned to the Bishop and the Cabinet, and one of the most visible and distinctive features of the connectional nature of our church. Bishop Goodpaster and the Cabinet met last week (February 23-27) in the first of three retreats specifically intended to prayerfully review, assess, and discern where all clergy will be appointed for the coming conference year which begins on ...

Book Review: Reading Scripture With the Saints

3/2/2015
By Drew McIntyre To read the Bible alone, either personally or chronologically, is to tempt heterodoxy and stunt our growth as disciples of Jesus. C.S. Lewis, in The Weight of Glory, comments, "A [person] who has lived in many places is not likely to be deceived by the local errors of his native village." This conviction, applied to Scripture, drives an excellent new work by Princeton Seminary Professor and WNCC Elder Dr. C. Clifton Black. Reading Scripture With the Saints (Eugene: Cascade Books...

Camp GuilRock Schedules 2nd Annual Cardboard Regatta

3/2/2015
The Second Annual Cardboard Boat Regatta is being held May 2. Registration to build a boat to be in the regatta ends March 15. Be sure to get your forms in to the camp so we can get you the supplies you need and have you on our list. The $100 registration fee includes 10 large sheets of cardboard for you to use in building your boat. We need fans and support groups to join us too! Come out and cheer on your favorite boat! A light lunch will be provided for a small fee. We are need of sponsors to...

WEEKLY UPDATE- 022715

2/27/2015
PAST UPDATES Here are this past week’s major changes to the website. Did you miss anything?   LATEST NEWS FaithWalk UMC is Spotlighted by Rethink Church One Great Hour of Sharing is March 15th The Journey Within – Centering Prayer SAVE THE DATE! Convocation on the Rural Church Dr. Colleen Perry Keith to become Pfeiffer University’s Next President LATEST CAREERS Organist/Accompanist Director of Children’s and Youth Ministries LATEST EVENTS United Methodist Ecumenical and InterreligiousTraini...

FaithWalk UMC is Spotlighted by Rethink Church

2/26/2015
Local Church Spotlight: “Being the church during the busiest season of the year” By the Rev. Ashleigh Joyner We all know that it is not Advent, so why am I writing an article about Christmas when Easter is almost here? Rethink Church gets questions about how churches really rethink church, so we thought we would give you an example.One of the sayings we use to describe this ministry of United Methodist Communications is “people think you should go to church, but we think the church should go to...

One Great Hour of Sharing is March 15th

2/24/2015
When disaster strikes around the globe—Haiti’s 2010 earthquake or Hurricane Sandy of 2012—so many watching the drama unfold on our living room televisions feel entirely helpless. How could any one person make a difference in the wake of such widespread devastation? As responders around the globe scramble to help survivors, the United Methodist Committee on Relief, UMCOR, is prepared to act. So don’t be fooled by the word committee. Since 1940, when UMCOR’s forerunner was established to meet the ...

The Journey Within - Centering Prayer

2/23/2015
By Pratt Davis This summer I have been sitting on my sunporch most mornings for a time of meditation. One morning as I settle into my chair, I look at the scene from the windows in front of me. I can see a ridge in the distance with a scattering of trees on top of the ridge. The ridge is far away and the trees are so tiny, I only know they are trees because that is what they must be. Below that ridge and closer to me is another hill top with trees that I can see in a more definite shape, and ...

SAVE THE DATE! Convocation on the Rural Church

2/23/2015
Marriott Resort & Spa at Grand Dunes Myrtle Beach, S.C. August 10-12, 2015 The Convocation on the Rural Church is an annual opportunity for pastors of Duke Endowment-eligible churches from the North Carolina and Western North Carolina Conferences of the United Methodist Church to join with Duke Divinity School and The Duke Endowment to discuss issues that are important in transforming rural churches and communities and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Participants will join in worship, ...

Dr. Colleen Perry Keith to become Pfeiffer University’s Next President

2/23/2015
Misenheimer, N.C.—Dr. Colleen Perry Keith has been named the tenth president of Pfeiffer University. The announcement was made earlier today by Pfeiffer’s board of trustees. Dr. Keith, who has served since 2009 as president of Spartanburg Methodist College (SMC), Spartanburg, S.C., will begin her term at Pfeiffer on July 1. Regarded throughout the field of higher education as a thoughtful and effective leader, Dr. Keith has achieved extensive and noteworthy administrative and fundraising success...

WEEKLY UPDATE- 022015

2/20/2015
PAST UPDATES Here are this past week’s major changes to the website. Did you miss anything? Annual Conference Website- All of the latest news concerning Annual Conference is posted on this site: AC2015.org NEW- Petitions for Annual Conference 2015 LATEST NEWS Rethink Church Offers Lent/Easter Resources SEJ Conference Lay Leaders Call for Stories of Churches Working with Children in Poverty Young Clergy Invite You to Lenten Devotions Season of Lent Begins February 18th Online Training for ...

Rethink Church Offers Lent/Easter Resources

2/19/2015
Rethink Church is offering a Lent/Easter video customized for local churches for free (in digital format). (See below) You can order this by contacting mediaservices@umcom.org. They also have complementary pieces like a sermon starter, worship graphics, bulletin cover, and more, all available for download on our e-store here. In addition, they are offering a direct mail program to promote Easter Sunday. United Methodist Communications is managing the printing, customization, mailing list ...

SEJ Conference Lay Leaders Call for Stories of Churches Working with Children in Poverty

2/19/2015
Please help us spread the good news about projects and activities in our churches which are providing ministry for children who are in difficult situations. The bishops and conference lay leaders in the Southeastern Jurisdiction would like to gather stories from the existing work of our churches and conferences where we are providing ministry for children in poverty and other difficult circumstances. We are particularly interested in projects and activities which are unique. These stories will ...

Young Clergy Invite You to Lenten Devotions

2/18/2015
Beginning on Ash Wednesday, two young clergy in the Western North Carolina Conference, James L. Burroughs III and Juston R. Smith invite you to embark with them on a 40 day time of reflection. During the season of Lent, Burroughs & Smith will be writing reflections from varying viewpoints on the writings of theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. They will be using the devotional book God is on the Cross: Reflections on Lent and Easter as a starting point to their reflections and devotions. You are ...

Season of Lent Begins February 18th

2/17/2015
Many new United Methodists come from other traditions that have never celebrated the liturgical year. Most folks in our community know little to nothing about the Church and its historical traditions. Here is a collection of resources that will help explain some of this season of 40 days known as Lent: Ash Wednesday Ash Wednesday is the start of the Lenten journey of forty weekdays (Monday through Saturday) that takes the church to the eve of Easter. While Sundays in the Christian Year are ...

Online Training for Churches- Energy Management Webinar

2/17/2015
[caption id="attachment_1666" align="alignright" width="232"] Click to Download Flyer[/caption] Power Up!: A Three Part Energy Management Training Webinar March 18, 26, April 2, 2015, 3:00-4:00pm, ONLINE (Free) A Partnership between GreenFaith and Drew Theological School Participants will learn basic energy management strategies and techniques from skilled, experienced leaders who have decades of experience working with faith communities on these issues. You’ll learn now to motivate faith ...

Board of Laity Discusses Gathering of the Laity at Quarterly Meeting

2/16/2015
[caption id="attachment_1649" align="alignright" width="282"] John Crane (l) and Robert Upchurch (r) at 2014 Gathering of the Laity[/caption] The Board of Laity for the Western North Carolina Conference met on Sunday, February 15th at Bethel United Methodist Church in Thomasville, NC. Led by Robert Upchurch, the Conference Lay Leader, lay leaders from the eight districts gathered for worship with the Bethel congregation, shared in a meal, and then had their quarterly meeting. Wade Loftin, the ...

WEEKLY UPDATE- 021315

2/13/2015
PAST UPDATES Here are this past week’s major changes to the website. Did you miss anything? Annual Conference Website- All of the latest news concerning Annual Conference is posted on this site: AC2015.org Latest News Communication Tools and Tips Lake Junaluska summer youth events “Prepare the Way” Applications Open for Harry Denman Awards Marriage Encounter in Charlotte, March 13-15 UMAR Set to Raise $250K to Keep Charlotte Artists with Disabilities in Creative Home In the News: The Daybreak ...

Communication Tools and Tips

2/11/2015
United Methodist Communications offers a periodic newsletter as a collection of resources for local churches and church leaders. MyCom is "Your Source for Communication Tips and Tools." Below is a list of the main articles in the latest issue: Take an annual church health checkup 3 inexpensive solutions for getting top-notch training 6 questions every church social media policy should answer What is private online? Why should churches care? 5 Google Analytics tools for the mission of ...

Lake Junaluska Summer Youth Events “Prepare the Way”

2/11/2015
Nestled in the mountains of North Carolina, Lake Junaluska is the perfect summer youth retreat for 6th through 12th graders. Each week will feature a morning and evening session that will reflect this year’s theme, “Prepare the Way,” (Isaiah 40:3.) Lake Junaluska Youth Events are led by a team of college students, guest speakers, and worship bands, with afternoons free for groups to plan rafting trips, enjoy the swimming pool or boats at Lake Junaluska, or participate in a service program. This ...

Applications Open for Harry Denman Awards

2/10/2015
For more than thirty years, The Foundation for Evangelism has been privileged to work with annual conferences to celebrate outstanding personal evangelism ministry of United Methodist Clergy, Laity and Youth by sponsoring the prestigious Harry Denman Evangelism Award. Since inception, more than 2,500 individuals* have been honored. Think of the multiplying impact on the lives of others these folks have made through their efforts to help people experience God’s transforming love through Jesus ...

Marriage Encounter in Charlotte, March 13-15

2/10/2015
The focus of Marriage Encounter United Methodist is on communication between husband and wife. It is an opportunity to spend a weekend together away from the distractions and the tensions of everyday life and to concentrate on each other as a couple. It's not a retreat, nor a marriage clinic, nor group sensitivity. It's a unique approach aimed at revitalizing Christian marriage. This is a time for you and your spouse to be alone together. To rediscover each other, and together, focus on your ...

UMAR Set to Raise $250K to Keep Charlotte Artists with Disabilities in Creative Home

2/9/2015
CHARLOTTE, NC (Feb. 9, 2015) – After Mecklenburg County cut $216,000 in funding to the UMAR’s Arts Program this month, the nonprofit is working to find sustainable funding sources to keep 21 artists with disabilities in their creative home in NoDa. “UMAR’s board recognizes that the Arts Program epitomizes UMAR’s mission by providing 37 artists with meaningful and productive lives in the Charlotte community,” Marilyn Garner, UMAR’s president and CEO, said. “Without the program, these artists face...

In the News: The Daybreak Fellowship

2/9/2015
[caption id="attachment_1540" align="alignleft" width="300"] Ben Floyd of The Daybreak Fellowship (from Asheville Citizen-Times)[/caption]               [This article appeared in the Asheville Citizen-Times on February 6, 2015. Dale Neal, writer; Katie Bailey, photographer] What alcoholics can teach the church Ben Floyd makes no secret of a story he's often shared in church basements. Drinking and drugging at age 12. Never a DUI or a stay in jail, but no stranger to despair. On Nov. 3, 1999, ...

WEEKLY UPDATE- 020615

2/6/2015
PAST UPDATES Here are this past week’s major changes to the website. Did you miss anything? Annual Conference Website- All of the latest news concerning Annual Conference is posted on this site: AC2015.org Latest News 75 Ways to Celebrate UMCOR’s 75th Anniversary Kathy Odell to Become Director of Human Resources IDK Reaches Out to 45 Youth Who Have Felt the Call to Ministry Measuring What Matters: A Conversation About Metrics and Mission “Saying Yes”: thoughts from an intern at Hayesville UMC ...

75 Ways to Celebrate UMCOR's 75th Anniversary

2/5/2015
UMCOR has developed 75 creative ways you can involve your church community in celebrating UMCOR’s 75th anniversary. The 75 suggestions include: holding a mission celebration for UMCOR’s 75th anniversary; sponsoring a 7.5-mile relay with proceeds going to UMCOR; using resources from the Pastor’s Toolkit during a worship service, and organizing a “Pray for UMCOR Day” at your church, plus so much more. Whichever activities you use, honor the 75 years of UMCOR’s relief work by recalling its years of...
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