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.

Response to flooding in Louisiana

8/17/2016
The people of Louisiana and surrounding areas have been hit hard by flooding following incredible rainfall totals recently. Of course, we should continue to lift these folks in our prayers. You and members of your churches may be wondering what else we can do to help. The following summarizes notes from Ken Anderson, our Conference Disaster Response Coordinator: While at some point flood buckets may be needed, because we currently have about 1,200 flood buckets at the Mission Response Center ...

Louisiana churches cope with flooding

8/16/2016
By Sam Hodges Aug. 15, 2016 | UMNS First United Methodist Church in Denham Springs, Louisiana, was proud to be a Red Cross Shelter for people flooded out of their homes late last week. But the good work stopped when floodwaters started closing in on the church itself. “It became very apparent that we had to evacuate the shelter,” said the Rev. Jackie King, pastor. Denham Springs would have to turn out the people it was rescuing, as well as volunteers. Sunday services were cancelled. King and ...

SandArtistry opportunity for your congregation

8/15/2016
“ABIDE” John 15 A Powerful SandArtistry Event for Your Congregation Rev. Gary Alan Shockley, Artist and Speaker Looking for an innovative and inspirational event for your church? Seeking a renewal or revival service? I believe God has given me the gift of artistic creativity, and specifically the medium of sand art, to be a positive catalyst for change in the world and inspire others toward faith-filled and imaginative living. In response to this calling I have created a one-hour event that ...

WEEKLY UPDATE 081216

8/12/2016
PAST UPDATES Here are this past week’s major changes to the website. What did you miss? LATEST NEWS How to care for the children in your congregation Local nonprofit continues family workshop series for clergy, spouses The Church in a Political Year LATEST CAREERS Children and Youth Worker Preschool Director Family Life Center/Communications Director Administrative and Guest Services Coordinator Communications Coordinator Minister of Discipleship= LATEST EVENTS Full Connection Seminar- ...

How to care for the children in your congregation

8/10/2016
By Tricia Brown (UM Communications Feature) Children likely comprise a significant portion of your congregation. From the infants in the nursery to the sixth-graders tossing a football on the church lawn, they all have a place and a purpose in the church. How can you minister to the needs of the youngest members of your congregation? Acknowledge them We can easily overlook or ignore children. That should not be the case in church. Does your church reach out to families? If so, make every effort ...

Local nonprofit continues family workshop series for clergy, spouses

8/8/2016
CHARLOTTE – The nonprofit Ministry Development Services will continue its Healthy Parsonage Family workshop series Sept. 13, with three remaining workshops. The series, led by MDS counselor Michael Hall, is ideal for clergy and spouses. All sessions will be from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Sardis Presbyterian Church, 6100 Sardis Road, in Charlotte, in rooms 211- 212. Cost is $160 per seminar. Western North Carolina Clergy and Ministry Professionals of the United Methodist Church receive a 50% discount...

The Church in a Political Year

8/8/2016
Below are some resources that were collected by the Northern Piedmont District to help churches and pastors to deal with political issues during this election year: The Restriction of Political Campaign Intervention by Section 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Organizations Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for ...

WEEKLY UPDATES 080516

8/5/2016
PAST UPDATES Here are this past week’s major changes to the website. What did you miss? LATEST NEWS Vietnamese Congregation Revitalizes Mouzon UMC, Charlotte Ecumenical project grants available Disciple Bible Outreach Ministries Special Offering is August 28 News You Can Use- Communications Keeping the Sacred Spaces Sacred Workshops this Fall LATEST CAREERS Children’s Ministry Coordinator Nursery/Childcare Coordinator Nursery/Childcare Provider Director of Christian Education and Programming ...

Vietnamese Congregation Revitalizes Mouzon UMC, Charlotte

8/4/2016
Just over two years ago, a Vietnamese congregation began meeting at Mouzon UMC. They hold worship on Sundays at 10:30 am in the church fellowship hall. They are full members of Mouzon UMC and they have a service in their own language. The transition for the church has been nearly seamless. Rev. Linwood Brooks, the senior pastor at Mouzon UMC, gives a little detail to their history, “This group of Vietnamese Christians were an independent congregation who were renting space in southwest ...

Ecumenical project grants available

8/4/2016
WASHINGTON (UMNS) — Grants for 2017 to create ecumenical and interreligious ministries on a local level are available from the United Methodist Council of Bishops Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships to groups within the denomination’s conferences. Grant recipients for 2016 organized modular class sessions, sponsored a collaborative women’s retreat and summer urban ministry fellow and created study guides and a video series. The application deadline for 2017 is Sept. 16. ...

Disciple Bible Outreach Ministries Special Offering is August 28

8/4/2016
On Sunday, August 28, 2016, a Special Sunday Offering will be received in the churches of North Carolina to support the ministry of Disciple Bible Outreach. Direct contributions can be mailed to the following address (Please note that this is a NEW address): Disciple Bible Outreach Ministries PO Box 358 Oak Island, NC 28465 The Special Sunday offering provides funding for over half of our annual budgetary needs. Please prayerfully consider what you can contribute to the ministry to provide ...

News You Can Use- Communications

8/3/2016
Here are some tips and ideas from UM Communications: How to save money with technology Pinching pennies is never fun, but cutting costs can be good stewardship. While acquiring technology can be expensive, some computer tricks can save you time and money. Using technology wisely can actually help cut costs for your church. 1) Cut tree costs 2) Freebies and discounts 3) Cut communication costs 4) Don't buy books 5) Be creative Free logos for United Methodist churches United Methodist branding ...

Keeping the Sacred Spaces Sacred Workshops this Fall

8/1/2016
Keeping Sacred Spaces Sacred Please save the date for one of the following workshops this fall across North Carolina. Registration is limited to the first 50 people at each site. Workshops will run from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Please use this link, which includes payment options. Tuesday, September 20 St. Paul's Episcopal Church 401 East 4th Street, Greenville Wednesday, September 21 First Presbyterian Church 305 East Main Street, Durham Thursday, September 22 Selwyn Presbyterian Church 2929 Selwyn ...

WEEKLY UPDATE 072916

7/28/2016
PAST UPDATES Here are this past week’s major changes to the website. What did you miss? LATEST NEWS Small Choir Festival- August 20 & 27 An Open Letter from the Bishop and Cabinet Council Executive Committee Affirms Unity, Moves Forward BeADisciple.com features “Creation Care, Biblical Basics” this fall LATEST CAREERS Lay Pastor of Youth and Adult Ministries Director of Youth Activities Director of Leadership Development Administrative Secretary Director of Youth Ministries Treasurer and ...

Small Choir Festival- August 20 & 27

7/27/2016
At last, there is a workshop especially for small choirs! And we do mean small. We define a small choir as less than 20 and as few as 3. On August 20 and 27, the WNC Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts, the Smoky Mountain District, and Highlands UMC present our second annual Small Choir Festival. This year, our theme is "Singing Through the Year". This is an all-day Saturday event from 9 to 3:30, this year in two locations for your convenience: Long's Chapel UMC near Lake ...

An Open Letter from the Bishop and Cabinet

7/26/2016
An Open Letter From the Bishop and the Cabinet To the people of the Western North Carolina Conference Like many others we, the Bishop and the Superintendents of the Western North Carolina Conference, recognize the crossroads at which we stand in The United Methodist Church. Many across our Conference are deeply concerned and have expressed frustration and regret about the meetings and decisions of some Annual Conferences and Jurisdictional Conferences over the past two months not to follow ...

Council Executive Committee Affirms Unity, Moves Forward

7/25/2016
Nashville, Tenn.: Meeting in Chicago last week, the Council of Bishops' Executive Committee approved a framework for implementing the Commission on a Way Forward and took a step toward a called session of the General Conference in 2018. The Council acknowledged that the landscape of the church has changed dramatically since the General Conference approved the Council's proposal in May, but re-affirmed their commitment to lead the church forward. "The reported declarations of non-compliance from ...

BeADisciple.com features "Creation Care, Biblical Basics" this fall

7/25/2016
Rev. Jonathan Brake, of Centenary UMC in Winston-Salem, will be teaching a brand-new online course open to anyone in the world this fall. His course, which is hosted on BeADisciple.com, is entitled “Creation Care: Biblical Basics,” and walks students through the differences between secular environmentalism and Christian ‘creation care,’ Biblical bases for creation care, and ways individuals and churches can put their faith into action to care for God’s world. The course will be in session from ...

WEEKLY UPDATE 072216

7/22/2016
PAST UPDATES Here are this past week’s major changes to the website. What did you miss? LATEST NEWS Ministry Development Services offers workshops this fall New Overtime Ruling Takes Effect on December 1 Help Campus Ministries Connect with Your College Students! LATEST CAREERS Administrative Assistant Director of Christian Education and Programs Musician/Choir Director LATEST EVENTS World Communion Sunday – October 2 (additions) PAGES CHANGED 2016-17 Clergy Appointments (revised) Leading ...

Ministry Development Services offers workshops this fall

7/21/2016
Western North Carolina Clergy and Ministry Professionals of The United Methodist Church receive a 50% discount thanks to funding by the WNC Leadership Development Team. Registration for all workshops is online at www.ministryds.org or by calling 704.554.9222. Spiritual Formation delivered by MDS Counselor Ed Coambs Has God left the room? Discover what to do when your normal spiritual practices leave you dry. Moving to a deeper interior space of intimacy with God has a predictable path once we ...

New Overtime Ruling Takes Effect on December 1

7/20/2016
On December 1, 2016 the federal annual salary threshold for employees exempt from overtime pay will double, increasing to $47,476 from $23,660. Employees who make less than the threshold must be paid time-and-a-half for any hours worked beyond the 40-hour workweek. While the overtime rule does not mandate that employers use any specific method for recording work hours, it does require the records be accurate. Simply stating that an individual’s work schedule is 9 am to 5 pm won’t suffice ...

Help Campus Ministries Connect with Your College Students!

7/18/2016
PASTORS & CHURCH LEADERS - Help Campus Ministries Connect With Your College Students! If your church as incoming freshmen or students already on one or our campuses, please send their contact information (name, email, mobile phone) to our campus ministers and chaplains so we can reach out to them. For most of us, unless you send us their information we do not know they are on our campuses, so it is VITAL that we receive contact information about your college students from you. Thank you for ...

WEEKLY UPDATE 071516

7/15/2016
PAST UPDATES Here are this past week’s major changes to the website. What did you miss? RECENT NEWS Bishop Goodpaster Celebrated at SEJ 2016 Bishop Paul Leeland assigned to Western North Carolina Conference (July 15 follow-up) Bishop Paul Leeland assigned to the Western North Carolina Conference Southeastern bishops decry ‘nonconformity’ plans Five bishops elected at SEJ 2016 A Pastoral Letter from the Southeastern Jurisdictional College of Bishops to the United Methodists in the Southeastern ...

Bishop Goodpaster Celebrated at SEJ 2016

7/15/2016
On Thursday evening at SEJ 2016, all of the bishops who retired at this session were recognized. Each bishop was given a tribute by a person from their annual conference. Rev. Amy Coles, assistant to the bishop, gave the tribute for the Western North Carolina Conference. "This evening, we give thanks for passionate and visionary leadership of Bishop Larry Goodpaster, who for the past 16 years has served as bishop in the Alabama-West Florida and Western North Carolina Conferences, and for his ...

Bishop Paul Leeland assigned to Western North Carolina Conference (July 15 follow-up)

7/15/2016
On Thursday evening at the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference held at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in Lake Junaluska, N.C., Bishop Paul Leeland, currently serving in the Alabama-West Florida Conference, has been assigned to the Western North Carolina Conference by the Southeastern Jurisdiction Committee on the Episcopacy. Jennifer Davis, the head of the Western North Carolina delegation, and a member the of the episcopacy committee, remarked about his assignment: “We are ...

Bishop Paul Leeland assigned to the Western North Carolina Conference

7/14/2016
Bishop Paul Leeland, currently serving in the Alabama-West Florida Conference, has been assigned to the Western North Carolina Conference by the Southeastern Jurisdiction Committee on Episcopacy. Bishop Leeland, 67, is originally from North Carolina and a graduate of North Carolina Wesleyan, Duke Divinity School, and North Carolina State University. He was elected to the episcopacy in 2008, and was assigned to the Alabama-West Florida Conference. Leeland was ordained by Bishop Robert Blackburn ...

Southeastern bishops decry ‘nonconformity’ plans

7/14/2016
By Heather Hahn July 13, 2016 | LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. (UMNS) Bishops in the U.S. Southeast denounced as “divisive and disruptive” the public refusal by some conferences to conform with church restrictions related to LGBTQ individuals. “We recognize the pain felt both by those advocating for and those opposing change,” the Southeastern Jurisdiction College of Bishops said in a pastoral letter. “We also view the acts of nonconformity as a violation of our covenant and as divisive and disruptive.” ...

Five bishops elected at SEJ 2016

7/13/2016
It was a historic day at the Southeastern Jursidictional Conference being held at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center, Lake Junaluska, N.C. The first African-American clergy woman was elected by the delegates of the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference in its history. Rev. Sharma Lewis from the North Georgia Conference was the first African-American clergywoman elected as a bishop of The United Methodist Church since 2000. She was also the first bishop elected in the 2016 quadrennium....

A Pastoral Letter from the Southeastern Jurisdictional College of Bishops to the United Methodists in the Southeastern Jurisdiction

7/12/2016
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, Greetings to you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We celebrate the way God is working through you and the churches you represent to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Your witness is making a difference in the lives of individuals and communities around the world. We write this pastoral letter with hope in Jesus Christ. Yet our hearts are heavy as we recognize that as a result of our denominational conflicts we...

Quadrennial Leadership Training Held on July 9th

7/11/2016
The Western North Carolina Conference held its quadrennial leadership organizing and training event for the 2016-2020 quadrennium at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Hickory, N.C. on Saturday, July 8, 2016, from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. The theme for the day was: " Leading Into the Future." Those invited to the event included all conference and district staff, and all elected members of boards, commissions and committees of the annual conference. These persons were elected as leaders of the ...

What happens at SEJ Conference this week?

7/11/2016
Basic Schedule Here is a quick synopsis of what will happen at the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference this week: The official dates for Jurisdictional Conference are July 13-15, 2016. However, delegates and others are already gathering at Lake Junaluska for meetings and opportunities to meet with episcopal nominees. Check the schedule for the entire week. At 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday (July 12) there will be introductions of all of the nominees in Stuart Auditorium, and then following lunch, each...

Council President Speaks Following Shooting Deaths

7/9/2016
Bishop Bruce R. Ough, president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, issued the following statement on behalf of the Council in the wake of shootings in the U.S. this week. In the aftermath of violent deaths this week in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Dallas, Texas, we speak to a nation that is overwhelmed with anger, grief, frustration, and despair. These deaths have left our hearts and voices crying for justice. The preliminary evidence and the shocking video images ...

WEEKLY UPDATE 070816

7/8/2016
PAST UPDATES Here are this past week’s major changes to the website. What did you miss? LATEST NEWS July Conferences Elect New Bishops Walking on Holy Ground “Fish Frenzy Free-For-All” is July 14-15 Epworth UMC- Backyard Mission Camp 2016 Mark your calendar: Building Teams Fall Conference- September 16-18 Courage to Lead offered in 2016-17 LATEST CAREERS Assistant Director of Music/Organist Assistant Director of Music Director of Youth and College-Age Ministries Director of Discipleship ...

July Conferences Elect New Bishops

7/8/2016
[caption id="attachment_6457" align="aligncenter" width="634"] Retired Bishop Marion Edwards kisses newly elected Bishop Paul Leeland during the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference's service of consecration in 2008. The five U.S. jurisdictions will elect 15 new bishops and assigned its new and continuing bishops July 13-16, 2016.[/caption] by Heather Hahn (UMNS) While the U.S. political scene focuses on who is winning red and blue states, many United Methodists are preparing to vote on who ...

Walking on Holy Ground

7/8/2016
by Pratt Davis Several people asked me if I kept a journal or wrote something about my recent experience of donating a kidney to my son. My dear friend Faye, who is married to my husband’s second cousin, asked if I had written something about what God has shown me. Her wording of that question caught my attention because I felt strongly that two of my long-held beliefs were lived out and shown to me again and again as I was in the hospital and recuperating afterwards. I believe that people are ...

"Fish Frenzy Free-For-All" is July 14-15

7/6/2016
The "Fish Frenzy Free-For-All" is back! The WNCC Fishin’ Hole, is moving out older resources to make room for newer ones. Old curriculum, books, VHS, and DVDs that just aren't being used will be spread out in the auditorium at the conference center. Come one, come all! Browse through the resources, and if you see something you would like to have—take it! They’re all free!!! When: Thursday, July 14, 9 am - 7 pm, and Friday, July 15, 9 am - 3 pm. Where: The WNC Conference Center (3400 Shamrock ...

Epworth UMC- Backyard Mission Camp 2016

7/6/2016
After 15 years of summer mission trips with Carolina Cross Connection, the youth group at Epworth UMC in Concord, N.C. decided to stay home. “Carolina Cross Connection had always challenged us to ‘take it home’,” according to Jen Hedrick, Director of Youth Ministry at Epworth, “and for a long time we would bring that enthusiasm back with us but the energy would dwindle and we'd wait it out until the next summer.” When they got back from CCC in 2014, they designated the second Saturday of every ...

Mark your calendar: Building Teams Fall Conference- September 16-18

7/6/2016
The WNCC- UMVIM Building Teams Committee announces its 2016 Fall Conference for September 16-18, 2016 at Camp Tekoa in Hendersonville. There are two national speakers scheduled to be at the event: Paulette West, Executive Director of UMVIM Southeastern Jurisdiction, and Rev. Patrick L. Friday, Wisdom Sharing Lead, Center for Mission Innovation, United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries. The weekend will include numerous workshop opportunities, team leader training, displays and books. ...

Courage to Lead offered in 2016-17

7/5/2016
Courage to Lead® is a five event leadership training program being offered in the Western North Carolina Conference, starting October 19-21, 2016 through October 18-20, 2017 and will be held at St. Francis Springs Prayer Center in Stoneville, N.C. Developed by Parker J. Palmer and the Center for Courage & Renewal, Courage to Lead® is a new model of leadership development known as leader formation. It is based on the belief that effective leadership is rooted in the identity and integrity of the ...

UM Foundation Offers Debt Reduction Loans

7/1/2016
"Building the Church for Generations to Come" Clergy Debt Reduction Loan Program Creating good stewards of God’s financial resources Application Deadline August 1, 2016 The Clergy Debt Reduction Loan Program is now available. Loans will be offered at 1.5% interest for a period not to exceed 15 years in an effort to relieve clergy of paralyzing debt that can result in physical, emotional, and spiritual burden. This program is a partnership of the United Methodist Foundation of Western North ...

Year Two at Chestnut Grove UMC! Here we go!

7/1/2016
(This is the first day of the "new year" for clergy appointed across the conference. Evelyn Lemons shares about starting her second year at Chestnut Grove UMC) by Evelyn Lemons Last year about 10 minutes after I was handed the keys to my office here at Chestnut Grove, I took an emergency call for Mary Martin's mom. Her mom died the next morning. That was the first of several emergencies that were getting ready to come our way. The transition into the parsonage was not exactly smooth as the ...

Rev. Bob Combs Retires from Brotherhood/Sisterhood

6/30/2016
On Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at Annual Conference, the Rev. Jim Pyatt, President of the Board of Directors of the WNC Conference Brotherhood/Sisterhood, announced that the Rev. Robert Wesley Combs would be retiring as Executive Director of the Brotherhood/Sisterhood, effective June 30, 2016. In recognition of this, the Brotherhood/Sisterhood has elected him Executive Director Emeritus. In addition, the Brotherhood/Sisterhood will have a reception honoring Bob Combs for his seventeen years of ...

Grace Break Offerings for Clergy

6/30/2016
Big Sigh Ministries, Inc. has upcoming workshops for clergy in August and September. "Have you ever dreamed of taking an extended sabbatical or renewal leave, but didn’t know how to get started? Do you feel the need to retreat and seek God’s next steps for your leadership? Or maybe you are planning in advance for extended time away with God. GRACE BREAK is for you." Led by co-founders, Jacqueline and Jack Tookey, this workshop will help you plan your leave, pattern your leave after Christ, and ...

New Web Site for the Brotherhood/Sisterhood

6/29/2016
During the presentation of the Brotherhood/Sisterhood at Annual Conference, the Rev. Jim Pyatt, President of the Board of Directors, announced the launching of a web site for the Brotherhood/Sisterhood: brotherhoodsisterhood.com. This site provides information about this ministry, provides the opportunity to join, and allows for on-line payments of assessments. Please check it out.

Fresh Expressions Vision Day at Lake Junaluska on July 9-10

6/29/2016
Fresh Expressions US is hosting a vision day at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center on July 9-10. What is Fresh Expressions? Fresh Expressions is a movement that is cultivating new forms of church alongside existing congregations in order to reach a changing world. Begun in England 10 years ago, it has resulted in the birth of over 2,500 new communities in the UK alone. Fresh Expressions has spread to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and is also taking shape in the US. At its heart, ...

West Virginia Flood Response

6/28/2016
To help the People of West Virginia suffering in the aftermath of historic flooding, you may give to UMCOR U.S. Disaster Response Advance #901670. You may also give directly to the West Virginia Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church at http://wvumc.org/News/2016/Bishop-offers-prayer-for-flood;-way-to-donate. If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact me. Grace and Peace, Ken Anderson WNCC Disaster Response/ Domestic UMVIM Coordinator cell phone 828-260-3724

Partners in Health and Wholeness (PHW) Certification Program Now Open for 2016

6/27/2016
Since the launch of the PHW Certification Program in 2009, over 350 congregations representing more than 70,000 people across NC have participated in activities designed to add years – abundant years – to the lives of the people in their congregations and communities. We are inviting congregations to join us on this journey for 2016. Partners in Health and Wholeness works with local faith communities to effect positive change for their own congregation that can be leveraged to influence change ...

WEEKLY UPDATE 062416

6/24/2016
PAST UPDATES Here are this past week’s major changes to the website. What did you miss? LATEST NEWS 4 Tips for Healthy Church Politics Commentary- All I wanted was a pack of bologna Mt. Shepherd Offers Middle School Mission Camp St. Paul UMC, Reidsville – Driven by deeds and needs of God’s people LATEST CAREERS Director of Chancel Choir Director of Youth Ministries Partner Services Representative Director of Music Director of Christian Education Accompanist Director of Youth Ministry ...

4 Tips for Healthy Church Politics

6/23/2016
From Leading Ideas, from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership at Wesley Theological Seminary. June 22, 2016 by David Brubaker Read the entire article 1. Clear and consistent decision-making policies and practice Destructive political activity often results when individuals and groups in a congregation do not understand — or do not trust — existing decision-making mechanisms. Fuzziness in decision-making is a chronic cause of negative politics in congregations. 2. Clear lines of authority and ...

Commentary- All I wanted was a pack of bologna

6/22/2016
by Kathy Odell All I wanted was a pack of bologna . . . It has been a busy week at Annual Conference. I usually come alone, but this year my husband and two of the grandchildren were able to join me. Between helping with registration, and serving as a district delegate, having time to eat lunch with my family was going to be a special treat. They picked me up after the morning session, and we headed back to where we were staying for a quick picnic lunch – but not before stopping at a local ...
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