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.

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...

Kathy Odell to Become Director of Human Resources

2/3/2015
Greetings one and all! This message comes to you with information that was shared with the staff of our Conference Memorial Building today at lunch. For at least the last two years our Conference Staff Relations Committee has been moving us and urging us to employ a Director of Human Resources for the Annual Conference. With more than 40 employees, and with compliance regulations and reports becoming more numerous, CSRC has seen the need for a person to guide and manage this for us. Bud Wrenn, ...

IDK Reaches Out to 45 Youth Who Have Felt the Call to Ministry

2/3/2015
By Jim Parsons IDK is a day long event for youth (6th-12th Grades) who feel they may be called into some sort of ministry. This year the Western North Carolina Conference held two events. One was in the Uwharrie District at Pfeiffer University. The other was in the Catawba Valley District at Denver UMC. Together 45 youth attended these events and during the day, the youth heard numerous call stories of people who are doing all sorts of ministry right there in their district. Throughout the day ...

Measuring What Matters: A Conversation About Metrics and Mission

2/2/2015
Note: Bishop Ken Carter posted this article on Facebook last week, and it had many shares. It was posted by Leading Ideas a day later, and has gotten its share of traffic through social media. Below is an excerpt with a link to the full article on Leading Ideas. By Ken Carter If your life is anything like mine, you may find yourself at the beginning of the year focusing on numbers from the past year. In both professional and personal spheres, these numbers become more important, whether they ...

"Saying Yes": thoughts from an intern at Hayesville UMC

2/2/2015
My name is Sarah Beth Tankersley, and I am an intern at Hayesville First United Methodist Church. I have interned at this church for three years now, and my church duties have evolved over the years. Currently I assist with Sunday morning liturgy, k-2 Sunday school, Sunday night youth, and even help with the tech aspects of Sunday morning worship. I have always been involved in the church growing up, and, when I got to college and had opportunity to serve regularly as a church intern, I knew ...

WEEKLY UPDATE- 013015

1/30/2015
PAST UPDATES Here are this past week’s major changes to the website. Did you miss anything? Headlines Mission to Ministers is Tuesday, February 3 UMM Men’s Rally is April 24-26 EXPLORE Applications are open for 2015 Latest News 2015 UM Men’s Rally is April 24-26 6 Questions with ‘Chuck Knows Church’ Star Our Story: Summerfield Churches Praising Together Duke Youth Academy Taking Applications Latest Events added CEF Gathering Feb 2 -10:00 am – 12:00 pm YOUTH 2015 2015 UM Men's Rally Latest ...

2015 UM Men's Rally is April 24-26

1/29/2015
The 35th Annual Spiritual Rally of the United Methodist Men has been scheduled for April 24-26, 2015 at Lambuth Inn, Lake Junaluska, NC. This year's theme is: "What a Fellowship...Mission, Ministry & Outreach." Featured speakers for this year's event include: Rev. Dr. John Boggs, Rev. Dr. Gary Shockley, Rev. Emmanuel Morris, Sr., Rev. David Ortigoza and Rev. Terry Duckworth. The UMM annual rally offers inspiration and direction to United Methodist Men’s Fellowships and individual participants, ...

6 Questions with ‘Chuck Knows Church’ Star

1/28/2015
By Polly House Jan. 23, 2014 | NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) [caption id="attachment_1421" align="alignright" width="280"] Josh Childs of 'Chuck Knows Church'[/caption] “Chuck Knows Church” began as a six-episode video series to help United Methodists know more about their church, but has since morphed into a 90-plus episode series seen by more than 50,000 people around the world. Now United Methodist Discipleship Ministries has expanded the program to include “The Committee,” which debuted this ...

Our Story: Summerfield Churches Praising Together

1/27/2015
By Sarah McKinney [caption id="attachment_1414" align="alignright" width="300"] "One in baptism"[/caption] "A glimpse of heaven!” is how Rev. Olaf van de Klashorst’s described the ecumenical gathering on Sunday, January 25. Three churches within 4 miles of each other gathered to praise God together! Pastor Olaf serves Mount Bethel Evangelical Covenant Church on Highway 65 in Rockingham County. Mount Bethel hosted a celebration for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Also participating was ...

Duke Youth Academy Taking Applications

1/26/2015
The Duke Youth Academy is a year-long program for high school students to experience an intensive encounter with Christian life for one week of residency at Duke University and one year of ongoing engagement and practice. 2015 Youth Academy: Residency: June 14 – June 20 Academy Completion: July 2016 The Duke Youth Academy for Christian Formation (DYA) gives high school students the unique opportunity to engage with Duke Divinity School faculty, Christian practitioners, artists, community ...

WEEKLY UPDATE- 012315

1/23/2015
PAST UPDATES Here are this past week’s major changes to the website. Did you miss anything? IMPORTANT NEWS DEADLINE EXTENDED: Conference Statistical Reports are due on FRIDAY, JANUARY 23RD AC 2015 Website (All of this information is not new, but this material is important to share) AC2015.ORG is launched- catch the latest information regarding the 2015 Annual Conference Housing Information for AC 2015 Lay Delegates to General Conference Information C2LJ (Cycle to Lake Junaluska) 2015 Laity ...

River of Life Trip to Haiti

1/22/2015
Rev. "Wayner" Dickert, pastor of Bryson City UMC and the River of Life Ministry in Bryson City, NC, along with Trey and Cricket Barnett traveled to Haiti January 16-26, 2015 to assist with drilling new wells and seeking new locations for wells. This ministry of providing clean water in Haiti has been a special project of the River of Life Congregation that meets every Sunday from Memorial Day Weekedn through September on the banks of the Nantahala River near the Nanatahala Outdoor Center. Here ...

Changes Ahead for Pension Board Investments

1/22/2015
[caption id="attachment_1376" align="alignright" width="150"] Photo by Choness, iStock[/caption] By Heather Hahn Jan. 22, 2015 | UMNS Being good to the planet and its people ultimately will be good for United Methodist workers’ bottom line. That’s the principle behind two changes to the investment policy of the United Methodist Board of Pension and Health Benefits. In November, the board’s directors voted to exclude certain investments in coal and avoid investing in companies meeting certain ...

Our Story: The Return of the Family Pew…

1/21/2015
I remember going to church as a child and always having “our pew”. We would walk to the same isle and seat every week. I know many members who would politely ask you to move down if you were in their place. Many churches even put name plates on the pews to designate who donated the funds for that pew, so you could verify ownership. It seems times have changed. All we hear is the world is changing and the way we do things has to change. We talk a lot. But what does this look like? If we had the ...

In the News: North Davidson Missional Network

1/20/2015
Disaster response team heeds calls for need (This article appeared in the TheDispatch.com 1/16/15- Dwight Davis, reporter/Donnie Roberts, photographer) They are experts in their fields and missionaries at heart. That combination transcends their handiwork from simply reshaping structures to helping rebuild lives. The Northern Davidson Missional Network's Disaster Response Team, which operates within the Yadkin Valley United Methodist District, has been in existence since the late 1990s. ...

Intern Reflects on Explore Experience

1/20/2015
I was in seventh grade the first time someone told me that I should go into the ministry, but I never considered that it could be an option for my life until the end of my first year of college. The EXPLORE summer internship program gave me the opportunity to question and discern what a call to ministry really entails. As an EXPLORE intern serving at Mt. Pleasant UMC, I led children’s Sunday school, preschool VBS, and a middle school small group bible study. I also preached, chaperoned the ...

Explore Opens Applications for 2015

1/20/2015
The Office of Ministerial Services is pleased to announce a summer ministry internship for college students. This 10-week, full time ministry experience is for college students who are exploring a vocation in ministry. They will be mentored by a United Methodist clergy in local church in Western North Carolina. The project seeks to prepare young people to hear God’s call to ordained ministry by placing them in the context of a ministry setting and allowing them to shadow a clergy person. The ...

WEEKLY UPDATE- 011615

1/16/2015
PAST UPDATES Here are this past week’s major changes to the website. Did you miss anything? AC2015 The website for all things pertaining to the 2015 Annual Conference is launched and the first information for the annual meeting has been posted: Housing Information for AC 2015 [published 01/16/15] Lay Delegates to General Conference Information [published 01/16/15] C2LJ (Cycle to Lake Junaluska) [published 01/16/15] SPECIAL NOTES: 2015 Spear MInisterial Scholarship Fund DEADLINE EXTENDED: ...

MyCom Newsletter- January 2015

1/15/2015
MyCom is a regular e-publication of UM Communications. January 15, 2015 Edition See the entire email on-line here In this issue 5 out-of-the-box Easter outreach ideas 5 ways to increase giving in your church The secret to finding and sharing online content that matters Email basics for sending urgent ministry updates Church: There's an app for that Subscribe to MyCom

A Letter to Martin Luther King, Jr.

1/14/2015
Bishop Woodie W. White January-February 2015 Dear Martin: I begin this letter mindful of the events that took place in our nation 50 years ago, events that changed the United States. As you and other leaders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference accelerated the challenge to the discriminatory practices prohibiting black people from registering and voting in several Southern states, a special campaign was launched in Alabama. A march from Selma to Montgomery was planned. At the end, the...

Applications Open for Scandinavian Caravan 2015

1/14/2015
Scandinavian Caravan 2015! If you or any of your college age or young adults 18-30 are interested in participating in a culture exchange between our Northern European brothers and sisters, this summer, please fill out the application and return to: First UMC Lawndale PO BOX 548 Lawndale, NC, 28090 by March 1, 2015. The schedule is still being discussed in Europe, but will be during June and July. More information will be available in time. Download Application

Responsible Outreach Conference Offered by Duke Divinity School

1/13/2015
Responsible Outreach: The Church in Mission February 20-21, 2015 Duke Divinity School What does it mean to be a local church doing outreach? What is the church’s theological and ethical responsibility to its community? How can churches be more responsible disciples in their local and global settings? How can churches navigate the complexities of race, socio-economics, culture, and community histories to fulfill our mission of transforming the world for the sake of Jesus Christ? Join us as ...

Mother of Bishop Kammerer Passed Away on January 9th

1/13/2015
We are saddened to hear the news that the mother of Bishop Charlene Payne Kammerer passed away on January 9, 2015. Bishop Kammerer served the Western North Carolina Conference from 1996- 2004. Below is the obituary for Mrs. Mary Payne: Mary Payne, 90 years of age, passed away on January 9, 2015 at Vitas Hospice in Winter Garden, Florida. She was born on February 6, 1924, an only child, to Allen Brown Kannon and Sudie Wilkes Kannon, of Winter Garden, Florida. Mary Elizabeth grew up in Winter ...

Confirmation Events Filling Up

1/12/2015
If you are planning on taking your confirmation class and mentors on retreat next spring, it is time to organize your group and reserve a place for this unique celebration in the life of your confirmands. Here are the dates for the FCF Confirm’15 spring retreats. As you can see, some of our events have already filled and registration is closed. @ Raleigh, NC (for the NC Conference) February 20-21, 2015 @ Lake Junaluska, NC February 27-March 1, 2015 - FULL - REGISTRATION CLOSED March 6-8, 2015...

WEEKLY UPDATE- 010915

1/9/2015
PAST UPDATES Here are this past week’s major changes to the website. Did you miss anything? Upcoming Events Always a good idea to peruse the calendar. There have been a couple of additions since last week (a couple of holidays were posted and The Great Date Night) Mission Engagement Team News MISSION.WNCCUMC.ORG launched and will provide more opportunities for communicating missions and service opportunities in the WNCC. Read Katie Lineberger’s description: Mission Engagement Team Launches New ...

2015 Spear Ministerial Scholarship Fund Process is Open

1/8/2015
The process has begun for the 2015 Spear Ministerial Scholarship Fund. Last year's recipients should be receiving their applications. Below is a link to the one page application form for new applicants. Applicants can be from the Metro, Uwharrie and Catawba Valley districts. They must be certified candidates for ministry and must be at least a minimum full time student at a University Senate approved seminary. The amount of the grants are greatly determined by the size of the applicant pool. ...

Welcome to the New Website!

1/7/2015
It is designed to load quick, with easy access to links and resources, and easily viewed on all devices. It was also designed to be cost efficient and more accessible to more of our conference and district staffs. Take a few minutes to look around the site. See that most of your favorite sections from the old site are on this new site, and you will find some new pages and sections. The navigation bars at the top and the bottom (BLACK BARS WITH LINKS) will take you to the most used pages and ...

Kenya Partners Announces Exciting Opportunities for 2015

1/6/2015
Kenya Partners announces these opportunities for Summer 2015: ANNOUNCING: A NEW CROSS CULTURAL & EDUCATIONAL MISSION TRIP Kenya Partners, a non-profit focusing on impacting the severely impoverished in Nakuru Kenya since 2006, announces a different type of mission experience July 22 - August 5, 2015, with in-depth educational forums and cross-cultural exposure. With limited physical requirements and minimal walking, this trip is ideal for those who need a less strenuous mission opportunity. ...

Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Scheduled for January 17

1/6/2015
The Western North Carolina Conference 2015 Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration will be held on Saturday, January 17th at Crossroads UMC in Concord. The service will begin at 10 am (doors open at 9:00 am) followed by lunch. The theme for this year's celebration is: Changing the Atmosphere: Be Not Conformed, but Transformed. Join Bishop Larry Goodpaster and friends from across Western NC as we celebrate Dr. King and recommit ourselves to his important work. The day will feature fellowship, worship...

Statement Regarding Camp Elk Shoals

1/5/2015
For Public Release From the Board of Directors, Camp Elk Shoals, Inc. January 5, 2015 For many years, Camp Elk Shoals has provided a place of faith-directed recreation for persons of all ages, races, and faiths. However, in the last several years, the Camp has been financially unable to provide for all of its expenses, including necessary maintenance of our facilities. We have been thankful for the many supporters who have shared time at Camp Elk Shoals and provided funds for the new additions....

Bishop Job, Who Helped People Deal with Death, Dead at 86

1/5/2015
By Kathy L. Gilbert Jan. 4, 2014 | BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (UMNS) “I have no anxiety about my own death. … I don’t know what that’s going to be like, but I have some idea that it will be good because this life is good,” said retired Bishop Rueben P. Job after the publication of his book, “Living Fully, Dying Well,’’ in 2006. Job died at home Jan. 3 at 86 after a long struggle with heart disease.He was a bishop, pastor, author and friend who was not afraid of death and wanted the church to be better ...

2015 Associate Pastor Memo Released

1/5/2015
Bishop Goodpaster and the Cabinet have released a memo which describes the process regarding Associate Pastor consultations for 2015. Churches where a change in the associate pastor is anticipated and those wishing to be considered as a candidate for an associate position are asked to read this memo carefully. Questions can be referred to your district office. Download Memo Here

Ski Lake Junaluska Weekends in January and February

1/2/2015
Worship, ski, and create lasting friendships at Ski Lake Junaluska! Lake Junaluska offers incredible winter programming, while Cataloochee Ski Area and Wolf Ridge Ski Area provide excellent customer service, thrilling skiing, and convenience for our winter ski retreats. REGISTRATION OPEN! One, two, and three-night packages are available. Pricing depending on lodging nights, program, and days of skiing. Our most popular packages include 2-night non-holiday packages starting at $182.50 per person,...

WEEKLY UPDATE- 010215

1/1/2015
Starting with the first Friday in January 2015, there will be a weekly update published. Rather than just highlighting the news stories published during the week, WEEKLY UPDATE will include a summary of the major changes to the website and other breaking news. Each week may look a little different, and will give you easy access to the most significant changes and highlights. Changes this week: On December 30th- changeover of the website to new host and servers. This also included website ...

Mission Engagement Team Launches New Site

12/31/2014
From the first meeting of the Mission Engagement Team, the greatest need identified was communication. There is no doubt that there is a lot happening across the conference as churches explore new ways to build relationships with those in our communities and meet needs in new and creative ways and the words needs to get out! Thus a vision for a new missions website was born out of an idea for a mission crowd-sourcing site that would do more than provide information, but would be interactive, ...

WEEKLY DIGEST- Week of December 14, 2014

12/19/2014
The Digest is an easy way to catch up on all of the stories that have been published in the last week. Each story is linked to the original, and there is a short excerpt. You may want to share this digest on your church's website so that they know what has been happening in our conference and beyond. PFEIFFER AND WESLEY THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY PARTNER FOR NEW DOCTOR OF MINISTRY PROGRAM December 19, 2014 Pfeiffer University and Wesley Theological Seminary make a case for an entrepreneurial shift - ...

Pfeiffer and Wesley Theological Seminary Partner for New Doctor of Ministry Program

12/19/2014
Washington DC (WTS) As one of the first Christian entrepreneurial leaders, the Apostle Paul invented the house church, helping spread the Gospel far and wide. His work transformed new Christ followers until they embodied the love of God. Modern-day pastors must be missional and entrepreneurial, just as Paul was. Being missional means we have a clear vision of who we are and what we are to do. It means we align our lives and our organizations with our fundamental purpose. As Christians, our ...

Top Ten “Leading Ideas” Articles of 2014

12/18/2014
What Leading Ideas subjects are trending this year? We have assembled this list to give you another opportunity to glean insight and inspiration from the authors and articles most popular with our 15,000-plus subscribers. Doing Community Ministry in the Small Church Small congregations sometimes assume that any significant community ministry is beyond their reach. But author and consultant Joy Skjegstad outlines how small congregations can develop community ministries that make...

2014: United Methodists of Note Remembered

12/17/2014
By United Methodist News Service Dec. 16, 2014 | (UMNS) In 2014, United Methodists marked the passing of leaders who made significant contributions in their ministry.They include pioneering leaders of United Methodist Women, a champion of United Methodist Men, an expert on sacraments and a doctor who risked and ultimately lost his life serving people where medical care was scarce. Here are 16 remembrances, listed by date of death. [The article with pictures can be found at: http://www.umc.org/ne...

News Service Poll: Ebola Voted Top Story of 2014

12/16/2014
By Vicki Brown Dec. 15, 2014 | NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) The worst Ebola outbreak in history — along with The United Methodist Church’s mobilization to ease suffering and fight the spread of the deadly virus — was the biggest story of 2014, according to a United Methodist News Service poll of communicators. TOP 2014 UNITED METHODIST STORIES Church communicators chose Ebola as the top United Methodist news story of 2014, followed by the Rev. Frank Schaefer, sexuality, Imagine No Malaria, and ...

What Are You Doing for Kids Home for Winter Break?

12/15/2014
By Joe Iovino* December 4, 2014 College students returning for winter break often long to reconnect with old friends, their former youth leaders, and others in the church who were an important part of their faith development. That is not always as easy as it sounds.After years of being active in your church they are no longer part of the youth ministry, and not ready for adult ministries yet. So how can churches minister to their college students when they return for break? Send exam survival ...
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