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.

WEEKLY UPDATE 071715

7/17/2015
PAST UPDATES Here are this past week’s major changes to the website. What did you miss? LATEST NEWS SEJ Communicators Conference Set for September Fishin’ Hole Hosts Fish Frenzy Free-for-All Take a Tour of the Oregon Convention Center Haywood Street Congregation Walk of Awareness & Golf of Awareness Gathering of the Laity Survey Opens Phil Wingeier-Rayo: Race and Tradition in American Christianity LATEST CAREERS Student Pastor Youth and Children’s Coordinator Director of Youth Discipleship ...

SEJ Communicators Conference Set for September

7/16/2015
Lake Junaluska will be hosting a local church communicators conference aimed at helping local church and district communicators get training and resources to help them connect their church to the community, their districts and the conference. The dates for the event are: September 15-17, 2015. The conference will feature workshops, fellowship and more to help local communicators understand key issues and gain new skills to enable them to do more for the Lord in their communication ministry. ...

Fishin' Hole Hosts Fish Frenzy Free-for-All

7/14/2015
Come and Join Us for A Fish Frenzy Free-for-All Saturday, July 25 10:00 am – 2:00 pm The Fishin’ Hole is removing items from the shelves that have not been checked out lately. Our loss is Your gain! You get free resources; we get more room to add new resources! Come by the Conference CENTER FROM 10-2 and choose what you want! Bags provided. Refreshments & Prizes. The Fishin’ Hole will be Open ! Come and Browse - pick up your next book or dvd study – See what’s new in the WNCC Fishin’ Hole Staff ...

Take a Tour of the Oregon Convention Center

7/14/2015
The United Methodist Church’s top legislative body will meet at the Oregon Convention Center, the largest convention center in the Pacific Northwest, on May 10-20, 2016. General Conference is the top policy-making body of The United Methodist Church which meets once every four years. The conference can revise church law, as well as adopt resolutions on current moral, social, public policy and economic issues. It also approves plans and budgets for church-wide programs. Take a tour of the ...

Haywood Street Congregation Walk of Awareness & Golf of Awareness

7/13/2015
[caption id="attachment_3173" align="alignright" width="211"] Download Poster[/caption] Busy with head down routines and schedules, meetings and appointments, narrow worlds and tight communities, Walk of Awareness seeks to widen our exposure, lift our eyes, make visible the Invisible Box sisters and brothers in poverty traverse every day. -- Rev. Brian Combs 8.29.15 Walk of Awareness is a guided tour through downtown Asheville following a route frequented by our houseless neighbors. It includes ...

Gathering of the Laity Survey Opens

7/13/2015
Dear Friends in Christ, The Board of Laity announced in March that we had reluctantly decided that it was time to conclude the Gathering of the Laity with our August 2015 event. We want to continue to offer conference laity meaningful and effective opportunities for growth and Christian service. We have prepared a survey which we believe will provide guidance and direction for the Board as we plan for the future. Please help us by completing this brief survey. In Christ, Robert D. Upchurch, ...

Phil Wingeier-Rayo: Race and Tradition in American Christianity

7/13/2015
This post is by Philip Wingeier-Rayo. Dr. Wingeier-Rayo is Director of the Mexican American and Hispanic-Latino/a Church Ministries Program, Director of the United Methodist Regional Course of Study School for Local Pastors, and Professor of Christian Mission and Intercultural Studies at Perkins School of Theology. (It appeared on the UM & Global Blog on July 9, 2015) The last two weeks in June have posed significant challenges to mainline Christianity in America. One such major challenge to ...

WEEKLY UPDATE 071015

7/10/2015
PAST UPDATES Here are this past week’s major changes to the website. What did you miss?   LATEST NEWS Moore Joins Higher Education and Ministry’s Collegiate Ministries Team 5 Ways You Can Better Equip Vital Congregations Black Churches Balance Safety, Openness Post-Charleston News Bytes- Journal Orders + Christmas Box List Revised LATEST CAREERS Communications Assistant Director of Children and Youth Ministries Director of Student Ministry LATEST EVENTS Updated Events- WNCC Building Team ...

Moore Joins Higher Education and Ministry’s Collegiate Ministries Team

7/10/2015
The Rev. Dr. Timothy Moore will join the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) on August 3, 2015, as director of Collegiate Ministry Resources and Training in the Division of Higher Education. “We are excited about the skills, experience and energy that Tim brings to our work. His experience in Wesley Foundations and college chaplaincy will add significant value toward our goal of becoming the premier leadership resource for collegiate ministry in the United Methodist ...

5 Ways You Can Better Equip Vital Congregations

7/9/2015
From Discipleship Ministries July 2015 Every month we send you just 5 ways you can better equip Vital Congregations and make disciples of Jesus Christ. Here’s this month’s issue! Get ideas and encouragement for growing generous disciples. If your congregation faces the challenges of growing generous disciples or is looking for funding ministries that transform lives and support mission work, subscribe to Generous Living, a free e-newsletter from Discipleship Ministries.Generous Living includes ...

Black Churches Balance Safety, Openness Post-Charleston

7/8/2015
[caption id="attachment_3137" align="alignright" width="300"] Braden United Methodist Church in Toledo, Ohio, hosted a June 24 prayer vigil in response to the shootings at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. Eight local congregations participated.[/caption] By Sam Hodges July 7, 2015 | DALLAS (UMNS) At predominantly black Holman United Methodist Church in Los Angeles, many members have roots in the Deep South, and some look specifically to South Carolina as home. Not ...

News Bytes- Journal Orders + Christmas Box List Revised

7/8/2015
2015 Journal Orders Order your copy of the 2015 Journal on USB Drive. Deadline is July 31, 2015. The USB drive will consist of the following information: The 2015 Western North Carolina Conference Journal All of the Conference Journals since 2004 USB DRIVE ORDER FORM Project AGAPE Christmas Boxes- Revised List We have changed the list for 2015 to exclude candy since new customs regulations in Armenia are preventing us from sending food of any type. Thanks, Dwaine Morgan Download the 2015 ...

WEEKLY UPDATE- 070315

7/3/2015
PAST UPDATES Here are this past week’s major changes to the website. What did you miss? LATEST NEWS Meredith Martin- Called to Extend the Ministry of Christ in Community Bishop’s Reflections Post-Annual Conference 2015 Practices for Our Lives ‘The Protestant Hour’ Brought Mainline Faith to Radio Gideon Grove UMC Consecrates New Building LATEST CAREERS Contemporary Worship Leader Director of Communications Assistant to the Director of Children’s Ministry Children’s Minister LATEST EVENTS ...

Meredith Martin- Called to Extend the Ministry of Christ in Community

7/2/2015
Meredith Martin is the Director of Programs at Family Services of Davidson County, Inc.. She is appointed there as an extension minister of the Western North Carolina Conference. At Annual Conference in June, she was ordained as a Deacon, and will continue her work with Family Services as an ordained clergy. She is a 2006 graduate of Wake Forest University, received her M.Div. from Duke Divinity School in 2009, and received a Master’s in Social Work from UNC- Chapel Hill in 2011. She served as a...

Bishop's Reflections Post-Annual Conference 2015

7/1/2015
REFLECTIONS FROM BISHOP GOODPASTER Post-Annual Conference 2015 In the days since our 2015 Annual Conference adjourned on Sunday morning, June 21, I have found some time to rest and recover as well as to look back on our days together. I offer my personal reflections and pray that God will continue to use all of us to advance the mission of Christ in this world, starting in our own neighborhoods and communities. The Election Process Once every four years we engage in this exercise of selecting ...

Practices for Our Lives

6/30/2015
by Pratt Davis Here it is a year from when I wrote an article for the church newsletter to report on my attendance at Annual Conference. This past week I was back for another year's Conference at Lake Junaluska. It was a different conference this year because 2015 is a voting year to elect delegates to General and Jurisdictional Conferences in 2016. That means much time was spent in voting. Nevertheless, we had a wonderful container of worship experiences running throughout the conference. Two ...

‘The Protestant Hour’ Brought Mainline Faith to Radio

6/30/2015
By Sam Hodges June 29, 2015 | DALLAS (UMNS) By the early 1940s, mainline Protestant churches had come to understand the power of radio. Denominations, including The Methodist Church, collaborated on a weekly program that put some of their best preachers on the air. The name “The Protestant Hour” would eventually take hold, though air time was never an hour — only 30 minutes, including choral music. At its height, more than 600 stations carried The Protestant Hour, as did the Armed Forces ...

Gideon Grove UMC Consecrates New Building

6/29/2015
In December 2012, an arsonist set fire to Gideon Grove UMC in Stokesdale, NC. It destroyed a beautiful, old sanctuary with stained glass windows, a new office addition and half of their fellowship hall. Since then, they worshiped with their sister church on the charge, Palestine UMC. They were finally able to occupy the new building last week. Because of their insurance settlement and the generosity of churches and individuals across the Conference, they entered a new building debt free. It was ...

WEEKLY UPDATE- 062615

6/26/2015
PAST UPDATES Here are this past week’s major changes to the website. What did you miss? NEWS UM Men Send Letter to AME Men’s President “A Dangerous Opportunity to Do Good” CAREERS Saturday Worship Leader Youth Worship Leader Assistant Director of Youth Ministries Children’s Ministry Assistant Youth and Children’s Ministry Director of Family Ministries Worship Leader Assistant Campus Minister Pre-School Teacher EVENTS Anti-Racism Workshop- August 6-7 Kernersville Youth Retreat- March 18-20, ...

UM Men Send Letter to AME Men's President

6/24/2015
Mr. George Brown, president Sons of Allen 208 Sweet Gum Road Columbia, SC 29223 Dear President Brown, At this time of mourning and sorrow, please know that your brothers in Christ in The United Methodist Church stand arm in arm and shoulder to shoulder with our Methodist brothers in the AME Church. We are one in unity, one in the Spirit, one in brotherhood. Know that we feel your loss and pain for we share a common history and a common bond as sisters and brothers in Christ. We continue to hold...

"A Dangerous Opportunity to Do Good"

6/24/2015
by Kathy Randall Bryant “You are entering a dangerous opportunity to do good.” —Bishop McAlilly It has been a long road full of meetings, papers, interviews, tears, phone calls, snowy roads, worship services, sermons, bible studies, projects, grammar checks, edits, and late nights. And that has just been in our house. Twenty-eight candidates were ordained Saturday night into full connection with the Western North Carolina Conference and so there were twenty-eight different journeys gathered ...

WEEKLY UPDATE- 061215

6/12/2015
PAST UPDATES Here are this past week’s major changes to the website. What did you miss? LATEST NEWS Scholarships Available for Clergy In the News- Asbury UMC, Huntersville Research Study Shows Church Values Differ “Until the Whole World Hears” Activity Challenge LATEST CAREERS Bookkeeper Director of Spiritual Formation Director of Spiritual Formation Children & Youth Pianist/Music Director Director of Children and Youth Ministry Volunteer Program Administrator Manager of Chapel Programs ...

Scholarships Available for Clergy

6/12/2015
If you are a clergyperson in the Western North Carolina Conference, and your base salary is less than $55,000 dollars, you are eligible to apply for a continuing education scholarship from the Board of Ordained Ministry. Clergy can apply for up to $300 dollars annually. Let us help you create a continuing education plan that will strengthen your gifts for ministry. Download the Application and Instructions from Lauren Richardson Anderson from the WNCC Board of Ordained Ministry

In the News- Asbury UMC, Huntersville

6/11/2015
[This article appeared in The Charlotte Observer, June 3, 2015. Marty Minchin, reporter/Photo from Asbury UMC] Church Celebrates 200th Anniversary Presiding over Asbury United Methodist Church’s 200th anniversary celebration has sent the Rev. Jimmy Howard into the history books. Howard, Asbury’s pastor, presented tidbits of church history in services throughout the year, and the church has offered studies on how Methodism has affected the region. “It’s been quite a journey, one that’s been very...

Research Study Shows Church Values Differ

6/8/2015
United Methodist Communications Office of Public Information Roles affect perception of what it means to be United Methodist Nashville, Tenn.: In the U.S., perceptions of United Methodist values differ by a person's role and experience. What has a high degree of importance to a pastor may be of much less significance to a church member, and especially to those who don't attend regularly. But most United Methodists agree that an emphasis on God's grace is very important, as well as having a ...

"Until the Whole World Hears" Activity Challenge

6/8/2015
Until the Whole World Hears! What do you think of when you hear that phrase? Casting Crowns? Shouting from every corner of the world? This year’s theme of Annual Conference for the Western North Carolina Conference? Let’s take it one “step” further – a wellness challenge for the week prior to Annual Conference! Did you know that, based on the NC Department of Transportation, there are 697 miles of interstate highways in the 46 counties of the Western North Carolina Conference? That is a lot of ...

WEEKLY UPDATE- 060515

6/5/2015
PAST UPDATES Here are this past week’s major changes to the website. What did you miss? LATEST NEWS Bishop Begins Series of Articles Prior to Annual Conference Stepping into the Gap “Cultivated Clips” – The Future of the Church Global Leadership Summit- Special Pricing for WNCC In the News: Talbot Davis Authors Book In the News: Central UMC, Canton LATEST CAREERS Contemporary Worship/Music Leader Director of Weekday Ministries Minister/Director of Youth Pianist/Music Director Director of ...

Bishop Begins Series of Articles Prior to Annual Conference

6/4/2015
Bishop Goodpaster plans to release three separate articles in the days before Annual Conference. Consider these as documents to read and reflect upon prior to arriving at Lake Junaluska. Except from the First Article- Transition Update (June 4) Annual Conference, 2015 Three years ago we embarked on a journey to refocus the energy and the resources of the Western North Carolina Conference. After months of conversation, the Annual Conference voted to move to eight districts. A Transition Team then...

Stepping into the Gap

6/4/2015
by Sally O. Langford I easily picture vital local churches. I visualize healthy congregations, whose leaders and members are eager to grow in their love for God and others, to be witnesses to their faith, and to use their gifts and resources to serve the global community. At the same time, I see that many local churches are struggling to be vital in the midst of changing demographics, declining finances, shrinking resources, and unengaged members. How can clergy leaders faithfully and ...

"Cultivated Clips" - The Future of the Church

6/3/2015
Every Wednesday this year, the Western North Carolina Conference, with financial assistance from the United Methodist Foundation of Western North Carolina has produced a radio show called Connect. Beginning in April, we started taking shorter clips from the shows and making them available to stream and download. The clips, entitled Cultivated Clips from Connect, have been shared throughout the connection and have generated over 1000 listens. The latest set of clips from two leaders in the ...

Global Leadership Summit August 6-7- Special Pricing for WNCC

6/3/2015
Ready to Energize Your Leadership? Many years ago, as I was planting my first church, I wandered onto the massive campus of Willow Creek Church near Chicago, Illinois to attend the first session of what was then called, “The Leadership Summit.” Bill Hybels, Founding Pastor, had a vision for gathering folks from around the country to hear some of the most prominent business and church leaders/practitioners share principles for leadership success and fruitfulness. What a positive impact these ...

In the News: Talbot Davis Authors Book

6/1/2015
[This article appeared in The Charlotte Observer on May 28, 2015, Reporter: Marty Minchin] Good Shepherd pastor authors book based on sermons Talbot Davis collects catchy titles. Davis, the senior pastor of Good Shepherd Church in Steele Creek, has pages of ideas that he has jotted down for years. He often uses them to name or inspire five or six weeks of preaching. A recent sermon series on the book of Nehemiah in the Bible, for example, was called “Solutionists.” “I’m always on the lookout for...

In the News: Central UMC, Canton

6/1/2015
(This article appeared in The Mountaineer (Waynesville, NC) on June 1, 2015. Reporter/Photographer: Vicki Hyatt) Faith turns from words into actions CANTON — On Sunday, about 150 members of the Canton Central United Methodist Church fanned out across the town to put their faith into action. The day launched Operation Down the Hill, something that will become an annual event. The idea is for people to leave the four walls of the church and minister to others by visiting or writing cards to the ...

WEEKLY UPDATE- 052915

5/29/2015
PAST UPDATES Here are this past week’s major changes to the website. What did you miss? LATEST NEWS Disaster Response News Texas Floods Wash Away People, Homes Baker’s Serving the Congo as Newly Commissioned Missionaries Uwharrie District Clergy Go to Elementary School for Renewal Event Leadership Development Team Awards Nearly $50,000 in Grants LATEST CAREERS Maintenance Manager Director of Youth Ministry Director of Respite Care Children’s Discipleship Coordinator LATEST EVENTS ...

Disaster Response News

5/27/2015
Neil Brown Elected Chair of Disaster Response Committee It is my honor to announce that Neil Brown has been elected as the Chairperson of the Western North Carolina Conference Disaster Response Committee. Born in the state of Maine, Neil Brown and wife Marie have lived in several states as a result of his career as a manager in the manufactured housing industry. Now retired, they make their home in Spruce Pine, North Carolina as members at Spruce Pine United Methodist Church. Active in United ...

Texas Floods Wash Away People, Homes

5/27/2015
[caption id="attachment_2775" align="alignright" width="300"] An online ministry of First United Methodist Church in San Marcos, Texas, helped recruit and organize volunteers to help with flood relief there. Students from San Marcos High School and Texas State University removed items from a flooded home in San Marcos' Blanco Garden area[/caption] By Sam Hodges MAY 26, 2015 | DALLAS (UMNS) Raging floods in central and south Texas over Memorial Day weekend forced a United Methodist ...

Baker's Serving the Congo as Newly Commissioned Missionaries

5/26/2015
This article is to introduce two newly commissioned missionaries of the General Board of Global Ministries. Rev. Dr. Jonathan Baker and his wife, Donna Baker will be serving as full-time missionaries in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). [caption id="attachment_2767" align="alignright" width="200"] Jonathan Baker is a missionary of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS[/caption] Jonathan, as Coordinator of the Congo Partnership, will facilitate, organize ...

Uwharrie District Clergy Go to Elementary School for Renewal Event

5/26/2015
By Drew McIntyre On April 23, 2015, dozens of clergy from the Uwharrie District descended upon Isenberg Elementary School in Salisbury, NC. This time with the elementary students was the high point of the second event of three in the Take Thou Authority series of clergy renewal events in the District. The day began with worship in First UMC Salibsury's beautiful sanctuary, including testimonies by Rev. Alanda Harris from Gray's Chapel UMC, Rev. Benny Clodfelter from Wadesboro UMC, and Rev. ...

Leadership Development Team Awards Nearly $50,000 in Grants

5/26/2015
Charged with re-investing local church apportionment dollars into leadership development in the WNCC, the Leadership Development Team has awarded several innovative providers the funds to offer their programs at an affordable cost to the clergy and ministry professionals of this Conference. Check out these providers and the opportunities they are presenting: School of the Spirit – a one year school of Spiritual Formation led by Ann Starrette, Director of Spiritual Formation, Davidson UMC ...

WEEKLY UPDATE- 052215

5/22/2015
PAST UPDATES Here are this past week’s major changes to the website. What did you miss? LATEST NEWS Come, Holy Ghost: A Wesleyan perspective on the Spirit The Potter’s Touch Focuses on Spiritual Direction Convocation and Pastors’ School Set for October 12-13 Sam Herring to Receive Eagle Scout Honors at Aldersgate UMC FlameBuilders Accepting Applications for Class 2 LATEST CAREERS Church Secretary Worship Leader/Director of Youth Ministries (Combined Position) Director of Youth Ministries ...

Come, Holy Ghost: A Wesleyan perspective on the Spirit

5/22/2015
A UMC.org Feature by Joe Iovino* While most United Methodists can articulate what they believe about Jesus and are reasonably comfortable talking about God, our confidence might waver when talking about the Holy Spirit. Maybe that is because we can relate to Jesus as a human being and understand God through personified imagery like “Heavenly Father.” The symbols we use to talk about the Holy Spirit, on the other hand, are far less human. At Pentecost we read about the Spirit as fire and wind.In ...

The Potter’s Touch Focuses on Spiritual Direction

5/21/2015
The Potter's Touch Board recently made a transition in the services offered to churches in the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountain Districts. Potter's Touch is now a Network of Spiritual Directors. The objective is to encourage and support clergy and laity in the tending of their spiritual lives in order to become more effective as leaders. Clergy and laity are encouraged to consider the ancient practice of Spiritual Direction—reflecting on one’s life of prayer, one’s longing for God, and speaking of ...

Convocation and Pastors' School Set for October 12-13

5/19/2015
Duke Divinity School announces that the 2015 Convocation and Pastors' School will be October 12-13, 2015. This year's theme is: Body and Belonging: Nurturing Wholeness in Christian Community. Join professor John Swinton, Episcopal priest Claire Wimbush, pastors Debra Richardson-Moore and William Lee and others as we explore the difference Christ’s body makes for the way that we care for our communities and ourselves.   The annual Convocation & Pastors’ School is an intensive, two-day conference ...

Sam Herring to Receive Eagle Scout Honors at Aldersgate UMC

5/18/2015
Samuel Herring, a member of Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Shelby, NC will celebrate the highest honor of achievement in the Boy Scouts of America when he receives his Eagle Scout Award on May 31, 2015. Sam has been a member of Pack and Troop 107 (sponsored by Aldersgate UMC) since 2004. He is a junior at Crest High School in Cleveland County and has been active in his church youth group and served as a youth representative to the Administrative Council. He and a group of four from Shelby...

FlameBuilders Accepting Applications for Class 2

5/18/2015
FlameBuilders is accepting applications for Class 2! We are excited to expand our scope to include all 8 districts of the Western North Carolina Conference (WNCC) of the United Methodist Church. Applicants should be young adults between the ages of 21-35 who are interested in global leadership and spiritual development, and who are living or attending school in one of the 8 WNCC districts. FlameBuilders is designed to help participants learn more about their unique gifts, strengths, and talents,...

WEEKLY UPDATE- 051515

5/15/2015
PAST UPDATES Here are this past week’s major changes to the website. What did you miss? LATEST NEWS Pew Study Perspectives 5 Ways to Better Equip Vital Congregations U.S. Tornado Losses Include Two from Texas Church Resources for Aldersgate Day and Peace with Justice Sunday Order of the Long Leaf Pine Presented to Rev. Joe Ervin LATEST CAREERS Director of Music Ministries Director of Children’s Music Director of Music Ministry Preschool Director Administrative Assistant Director of ...

Pew Study Perspectives

5/14/2015
The Pew Research Centers released its latest report on religion in America, “America’s Changing Religious Landscape,” on Tuesday May 12. Since then, the news and religious media have been full of commentary and opinion. Below are three excerpts that have ties to United Methodism, and to the Western North Carolina Conference: Christians lose ground, ‘nones’ soar in new portrait of US religion (Religion News Service) This article was written by Cathy Lynn Grossman who specializes on stories drawn...

5 Ways to Better Equip Vital Congregations

5/13/2015
This is the May 2015 issue from DISCIPLESHIP MINISTRIES. How is your church offering H.O.P.E.? Making disciples for the transformation of the world means offering the hope of Jesus Christ in all aspects of life. At Discipleship Ministries, H.O.P.E. is an acronym that helps us remember the core process of making disciples found in The Book of Discipline: Hospitality, Opportunity, Purpose and Engagement. Tell the world how is your congregation making disciples and offering hope to your ...

U.S. Tornado Losses Include Two from Texas Church

5/12/2015
By Sam Hodges and Linda Bloom May 11, 2015 | UMNS The council chair of a United Methodist Church and his wife, a former secretary of the church, died in likely tornadoes that roared through Van, Texas, May 10. The Rev. Mark McClanahan, pastor of Van United Methodist Church, confirmed the deaths of David and Brenda Tapley, who he understood had died in their home. David Tapley was a certified lay minister in the denomination. Other church members suffered property damage and the church’s youth ...

Resources for Aldersgate Day and Peace with Justice Sunday

5/11/2015
Aldersgate Day is May 24th (also known as Heritage Sunday) On May 24, 1738, 277 years ago, John Wesley received an experience that changed his life and ultimately lead to the development of the Methodist movement in Britain, Ireland, and America. His “Aldersgate” experience is often called his “conversion.” Here are some resources that can be used in worship and preparation: "I felt my heart strangely warmed" "I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for my salvation" Hearts Strangely Warmed ...
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