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.

A Joint Message from Bishops Leeland and Morgan Ward

A Joint Message from Bishops Leeland and Morgan Ward

4/22/2020
April 22, 2020 Dear United Methodist friends,   Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ.   We express deep gratitude to you for your energetic response to the needs of children in this time of COVID-19 crisis.  Within the necessary constraints of physical distancing, you have found ways to offer support for public school children and teachers.  Thank you for providing food, school supplies, and other resources that encourage as learning continues in homes and through technology.     ...
Council of Bishops Releases Tentative Dates for General Conference in 2021

Council of Bishops Releases Tentative Dates for General Conference in 2021

4/22/2020
"After the pandemic-caused postponement, the new prospective dates for The United Methodist Church’s General Conference are Aug. 31-Sept. 10, 2021."
Five Important Tweaks to Make to Your Online Church Service This Sunday

Five Important Tweaks to Make to Your Online Church Service This Sunday

4/22/2020
Five basic tips for improving your online church service.
Live Stream Your Ministry

Live Stream Your Ministry

4/22/2020
Today millions share experiences together, no matter where they are, through live streaming. Let others "attend” your church on the internet in the same way. This resource can help your church live stream your own events on the web.
Local Church Learning Sessions: Technology for worship, small groups, and giving

Local Church Learning Sessions: Technology for worship, small groups, and giving

4/22/2020
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and more churches shift to digital ministry, United Methodist Communications offers a series of Local Church Learning Sessions. All have been developed specifically to support local United Methodist churches during this extraordinary time. More sessions may be developed.
Update from Wespath: Payroll Tax Deferral and UMC Employers

Update from Wespath: Payroll Tax Deferral and UMC Employers

4/22/2020
In addition to PPP loans, the CARES Act creates a payroll tax deferral period (“Payroll Tax Delay”) running from March 27 through December 31, 2020. Employers—including tax-exempt nonprofits like UMC local churches, annual conferences and general agencies—may defer/delay payment of the “employer share” of Social Security taxes that they otherwise are responsible for paying to the federal government with respect to their employees.
Event Cancellations

Event Cancellations

4/20/2020
Stay informed on event cancellations for the WNCC, districts, and related organizations.
The Latest Edition of E-News - Financial Resources, Peer Learning Sessions for COVID-19, and more

The Latest Edition of E-News - Financial Resources, Peer Learning Sessions for COVID-19, and more

4/16/2020
The Latest Edition of E-News - Financial Resources, Peer Learning Sessions for COVID-19, and more...
How Rural Churches Can Help During COVID-19

How Rural Churches Can Help During COVID-19

4/16/2020
Ministry Matters offers some suggestions on how rural churches can use their unique status in the community to help during COVID-19.
UM Group Ruling Website Helps Churches Verify Non-Profit Status

UM Group Ruling Website Helps Churches Verify Non-Profit Status

4/16/2020
Nonprofits with a 501(c)3 status - including churches - are eligible to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program. GCFA has automated the process of obtaining the 501(c)3 documentation for your church or other United Methodist organization. We have updated our user guide to help facilitate this process. Be sure to read through it today. Visit www.umgroupruling.org to get started.
Understanding Virtual Worship Attendance Reporting

Understanding Virtual Worship Attendance Reporting

4/16/2020
As churches explore more digital ministry options, GCFA has developed some guidance on reporting and counting the number of viewers of your online worship and Bible study attendance.
Update on Appointments from Bishop Leeland and the Cabinet

Update on Appointments from Bishop Leeland and the Cabinet

4/16/2020
Bishop Leeland and the Cabinet share an update on appointments this year after discernment and reflection given the current circumstances of social distancing and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bishop Leeland's Guideline for Online Communion During the COVID-19 Crisis

Bishop Leeland's Guideline for Online Communion During the COVID-19 Crisis

4/15/2020
Bishop Leeland outlines specific guidelines for the practice for online communion during the COVID-19 crisis. Please note, this is only to be viewed as temporary. This is not a license to continue this practice when life returns to normal.
Coping with Coronavirus - One Retirement Community's Response to COVID-19

Coping with Coronavirus - One Retirement Community's Response to COVID-19

4/15/2020
Arbor Acres, a continuing care retirement community, responds to the COVID-19 pandemic with safety measures, fun, and compassion for residents.
Disaster Response Safety During a Pandemic - Advice from the Committee on Relief

Disaster Response Safety During a Pandemic - Advice from the Committee on Relief

4/15/2020
The Committee on Relief offers advice on how to respond to disaster situations safely during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Helping Children During the COVID-19 Crisis

Helping Children During the COVID-19 Crisis

4/15/2020
The times are not only troublesome for us, but for our children as well. United Methodist News helps us find the words to say to our children about all that is happening with COVID-19.
How Can I Identify Public Domain Hymns?

How Can I Identify Public Domain Hymns?

4/15/2020
"Ask the UMC" tackles the question of how to find public domain hymns for your worship live stream.
Means of Grace: Good Stewards of God's Creation

Means of Grace: Good Stewards of God's Creation

4/15/2020
In this episode of The Means of Grace Podcast, Kim and Jesse talk with three Western North Carolina Conference EarthKeepers about their passion for the stewardship of God’s creation. Jonathan Brake, pastor of Woodmont UMC in Reidsville, Bill Garrard, retired UM clergy, and Kim Richmond, a member at Maple Springs UMC in Winston-Salem, share with us about their journeys in which they have embraced the work of creation care. They share ideas for individuals, families, churches, and communities through which we can “care” for the resources in which God has entrusted us. You can listen at www.wnccumc.org/meansofgrace or wherever you get your podcasts.
Online Continuing Education Courses for Clergy

Online Continuing Education Courses for Clergy

4/15/2020
ClergyEducation.com is a resource for clergy and church leaders, offering CEUs accepted by most United Methodist annual conferences. Learn more here: https://clergyeducation.com/
Rural Faith Communities Connecting in a Crisis

Rural Faith Communities Connecting in a Crisis

4/15/2020
The rural faith team at the Institute for Emerging Issues is hosting two weekly Zoom chats to check in with faith leaders on HOW you are doing (Tuesdays) and WHAT you are doing (Thursday). Learn more and join: https://iei.ncsu.edu/faith/
Start Planning Your Church's COVID-19 Recovery

Start Planning Your Church's COVID-19 Recovery

4/15/2020
On Thursday, April 23, at 6:30 p.m. Discipleship Ministries will host a webinar to help you start planning your church's COVID-19 recovery ministry.
Join a Peer Learning Session: Learning from One Another During a Time of Physical Distancing

Join a Peer Learning Session: Learning from One Another During a Time of Physical Distancing

4/14/2020
Clergy are invited to participate in upcoming peer learning sessions facilitated by a professional coach to consolidate and share timely insights, experiences, innovations and resources that help them and their churches adapt during a time of physical distancing.
Bishop Leeland and Cabinet Lobby for Extended Unemployment Benefits for Church Employees

Bishop Leeland and Cabinet Lobby for Extended Unemployment Benefits for Church Employees

4/14/2020
Bishop Leeland and other Cabinet members lobby Governor Cooper to include church employees in extended unemployment benefits. Because churches are exempt from paying both federal and state unemployment insurance, church employees are not eligible to receive unemployment benefits at this time.
Information Regarding Continued, Faithful Giving of Apportionment Funds

Information Regarding Continued, Faithful Giving of Apportionment Funds

4/14/2020
Many churches have reached out regarding the payment of apportionment funds given the Conference office closure. WNCC Treasury Services continue to operate and process apportionment payments and payment disbursements weekly. Apportionment payments may still be sent to PO Box 2757,Huntersville, NC 28070. Thank you for your support of our connectional ministries.
The 2019 Journal is Available Online!

The 2019 Journal is Available Online!

4/14/2020
The 2019 Journal is now available for viewing and download on the WNCC Administration page!
The United Methodist Credit Union Helps Churches with CARES Act

The United Methodist Credit Union Helps Churches with CARES Act

4/14/2020
The United Methodist Credit Union (TUMCU) is a participating institution in the Paycheck Protection Program and would be happy to assist any UMC church or related organization who would like to apply. Our online application and other information about the SBA program is available at https://www.tumcu.org/sba-paycheck-protection-program/.
Committee on Relief and Niner United help with Disaster Response at UNCC

Committee on Relief and Niner United help with Disaster Response at UNCC

4/13/2020
Committee on Relief and Niner United work with university officials at UNCC to ready six residence halls in South Village to stage a massive field hospital or stable quarantine housing as needed for COVID-19 response.
WNCC Easter Service

WNCC Easter Service

4/12/2020
Bishop Leeland and the Western North Carolina Cabinet are preparing an Easter worship video for our conference. Many of you are finding wonderful ways to connect with your church communities online and we celebrate that! However, if North Carolina’s restrictions on gathering are impacting your worship planning, use this worship video as a resource for celebrating Easter together. Bishop Leeland will share an Easter message and our District Superintendents will lead us in worship. The link will be sent to clergy on Saturday, April 11 and posted on the Conference website and Facebook page on Easter morning for your use.
2020 SEJ Conference Postponed

2020 SEJ Conference Postponed

4/7/2020
Greetings, Delegates and Alternates to the SEJ Conference:   Grace and peace to each of you in this most unusual of Holy Weeks for all of us. As some of you may have heard by this time, the decision has been made to postpone all 2020 U.S. Jurisdictional Conferences scheduled for July. According to our Book of Discipline, all Jurisdictional Conferences occur simultaneously on a date set by the Council of Bishops. As soon as the dates for the rescheduled General Conference are released, the ...
Making Funerals Meaningful in the Age of COVID-19

Making Funerals Meaningful in the Age of COVID-19

4/7/2020
The Hospice Foundation of America shares a webinar on how to make funerals meaningful during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
WNCC Churches Are Livestreaming! Join Us For Virtual Church!

WNCC Churches Are Livestreaming! Join Us For Virtual Church!

4/7/2020
Numerous churches across the conference are livestreaming their worship services, Bible studies, prayer services, bedtime Bible stories, and more. Connect with them here!
WNCC Churches Can Help COVID-19 First Responders Now

WNCC Churches Can Help COVID-19 First Responders Now

4/7/2020
We are quickly surveying all WNCC churches to determine which churches can help with healthcare needs of their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Holy Week Spotify Playlist

Holy Week Spotify Playlist

4/6/2020
Davidson UMC has curated a soundtrack for your Holy Week experience.
Rendering Unto God

Rendering Unto God

4/6/2020
How do you raise funds faithfully during a crisis?
Resources for Christian Leaders During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Resources for Christian Leaders During the Coronavirus Pandemic

4/6/2020
Faith and Leadership offers a collection of resources for Christian leaders during the Coronavirus pandemic.
A Church in Motion: Putting Legs on Our Prayers

A Church in Motion: Putting Legs on Our Prayers

4/4/2020
There is a graphic making the rounds on social media that makes a powerful statement about the church in our current times, times like none that we have experienced before. It reads: The church is not empty. The church has been deployed. First UMC (FUMC) of Hendersonville put that thought into action. Knowing that the church needed to be active in service and ministry during these challenging times, the church stood up a Coronavirus Response Team (CRT) of seven lay members and the senior pastor to address the needs of their members and their community.
Holy Week & Easter Guide for Reflection from the Christian Century

Holy Week & Easter Guide for Reflection from the Christian Century

4/2/2020
We hope this guide will help you reflect on the final days of Jesus’ earthly ministry, his death, and his ultimate victory over death. We have selected nine previously published articles to help you journey through this time. Each one includes questions and activities to help you reflect on and celebrate these significant days of our faith this week. The guide includes a week's worth of articles for Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday. We invite you to share this resource with friends and family. You may want to talk with them about it, or you might choose to use this guide in your personal study. We pray your Holy Week will be filled with the presence of Christ. – the editors of the Christian Century
Stations of the Cross: Social Distance Edition

Stations of the Cross: Social Distance Edition

4/2/2020
Fresh Expressions offers a guide for setting up a social distancing Stations of the Cross for your community.
Adaptable Easter Egg Hunt for Families During COVID-19

Adaptable Easter Egg Hunt for Families During COVID-19

4/1/2020
This Holy Week Scavenger Hunt/Easter Egg Hunt activity from Resource UMC may be used in a variety of ways. The activities could be done throughout Holy Week or on Easter Sunday. They may be done indoors or outdoors. You may do this activity with or without plastic Easter eggs. Please feel free to customize and adjust this resource as needed.
Church Pulse Weekly: Online Discipleship and the First Digital Easter - A Podcast from The Barna Group

Church Pulse Weekly: Online Discipleship and the First Digital Easter - A Podcast from The Barna Group

4/1/2020
Carey Nieuwhof and David Kinnaman talk to Bobby Gruenewald and Nona Jones about digital discipleship and how to make your Easter service powerful and effective.
COVID-19 Resources Hub

COVID-19 Resources Hub

4/1/2020
We have gathered all COVID-19 related resources into one page organized by category. Here you can find Messages from the Bishop, Event Cancellations and Closings, Financial and Administrative Resources, and Virtual Ministry Resources (including Holy Week/Easter ideas and a list of livestreaming services across Western NC). We hope this page will serve as a vital tool for you and your community as you navigate the uncharted territory of ministry and social distancing.
COVID-19: Update from Bishop Leeland and Other Resources for Preparedness

COVID-19: Update from Bishop Leeland and Other Resources for Preparedness

4/1/2020
Important message from Bishop Leeland of the Western North Carolina Conference. Links to additional resources for church and community preparedness can be found following the Bishop's message.
Easter Story Cookies

Easter Story Cookies

4/1/2020
If you are looking for a yummy way to celebrate Easter, gather the kids in the kitchen and make a batch of Easter Story Cookies. Click here for the recipe and corresponding scriptures.
Financial and Administrative Resources for COVID-19 Relief

Financial and Administrative Resources for COVID-19 Relief

4/1/2020
Find all of the financial and administrative resources now available in on place - including Financial Responses to COVID-19, Online Giving Platform for Churches, Telehealth Benefits, Grants and Financial Aid through the United Methodist Foundation, and Financial Assistance for Zoom Pro Accounts.
GBHEM Loans & Scholarships to Offer Financial Relief Measures

GBHEM Loans & Scholarships to Offer Financial Relief Measures

4/1/2020
In response to the economic impact of the global pandemic, the GBHEM Office of Loans and Scholarships has made some important updates to its policies. New 2020 guidelines – including a loan payment suspension option – are outlined here.
Holy Week Prayers

Holy Week Prayers

4/1/2020
Each day listed below will provide an opportunity for you, either individually or with friends, to experience Jesus' life as He fulfilled His ultimate purpose here on earth. Through these daily encounters with scripture and prayer you will walk in His steps and follow His path to the cross. These Holy Week Prayers are brought to you by Anne Bosarge at Bright Ideas for Church Leaders.
IMPORTANT Update on CARES Paycheck Protection Program

IMPORTANT Update on CARES Paycheck Protection Program

4/1/2020
IMPORTANT Update on CARES Paycheck Protection Program   We have received information that you are NOT required to have a charge conference to apply for this loan.  Please do make sure that your Finance Committee and Church Council know that you are applying.   We have also learned that the application process will open on April 3.  Please work with your bank to get your application in on that date or as close to it as possible as there is a limited pool of money available for these loans. View ...
Not A Normal Holy Week Resources from the North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church

Not A Normal Holy Week Resources from the North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church

4/1/2020
Find resources from the NC Conference to help as you live into the sacred emptiness of this year's Holy Week.
Three Ecumenical Organizations Unite in Holy Week/Easter Celebration Requests

Three Ecumenical Organizations Unite in Holy Week/Easter Celebration Requests

4/1/2020
The leaders of The National Council of Churches, Christians Uniting in Christ, and Christian Churches Together issue a joint letter asking churches across the nation to join together in specific Holy Week remembrances and Easter celebrations. Read the letter and find the ideas and resources here.
Means of Grace: Guided Prayer Meditations with Rev. Dr. Melanie Dobson and Rev. Ashley Pickerel Thomas

Means of Grace: Guided Prayer Meditations with Rev. Dr. Melanie Dobson and Rev. Ashley Pickerel Thomas

3/31/2020
The latest batch of mini-episodes on the Means of Grace podcast shares guided prayer meditations with the Rev. Dr. Melanie Dobson and Rev. Ashley Pickerel Thomas. In the midst of this pandemic, we invite you into a space of stillness to check in with God and with yourself. Listen on our website at www.wnccumc.org/meansofgrace or wherever you get your podcasts.
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