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.

2015 UM Men's Rally is April 24-26

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

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

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

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 ...


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

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

[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…

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

Disaster response team heeds calls for need (This article appeared in the 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

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

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 ...


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

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.

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

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

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

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

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...


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

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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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,...


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

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

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

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

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

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:

News Service Poll: Ebola Voted Top Story of 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?

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 ...

WEEKLY DIGEST- Week of December 7, 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. MORE JOY, LESS STRESS December 12, 2014 An article from Re-Think Church about enjoying the holiday season more. What are you doing to create more joy, and less stress this Advent/Christmas?   ...

More Joy, Less Stress

from Re-Think Church What's not to love about the holiday season? People are a little more generous, your favorite coffee shop has its seasonal drink ready, and there are more than enough gatherings to fill a social calendar. Festive TV specials are run­ning, and stores have their holiday floor sets up to pique the interests of passersby. Our inboxes are filling up with holiday gift guides, reviews for the latest gadgets, and links to Amazon wish lists. Joyous? Sure. But stressful, no doubt. ...

"Connect" Launches on January 7th

WHAT IS CONNECT? It is a weekly, 30 minute live broadcast on BlogTalkRadio. We will be conversing with United Methodists across the connection. In the beginning, mainly with persons from the Western North Carolina Conference. But, as we continue the process, we will include persons far and wide. Each show will feature a guest (or guests) who will talk about those things that they are passionate about, why they are United Methodists, and what they would like to contribute to the future of the ...

Cokesbury Schedules VBS Showcases

Drew Neill, the Community Resource Consultant for Cokesbury announces the 2015 schedule for VBS Showcases. VBS Showcase 2015 January 10 - 1pm -4pm - Davidson College Presbyterian , DAVIDSON January 24 - 11 -1pm - St. Andrews UMC, CHARLOTTE February 22 - 3-5pm First UMC, GASTONIA Save up to 20%* on all VBS resources plus FREE shipping during Cokesbury's VBS Showcase. Offer good January 1--February 28, 2014 *All VBS items will be sale priced. Group VBS resources are 10% off, other programs are ...

What Makes a Meaningful Gift?

By Susan Passi-Klaus* (article from UMNS) Giving cost-free gifts isn’t always about low budgets or Scrooge-like reputations. Instead, freebies can be about kindness, memories, and creativity. Thought-full-ness. Gifts of meaning and not money are bestowed out of gratitude for the difference someone has made in your life, or to make a difference in the life of another. A COTTON BALL A cotton ball is the best gift Ellen Troy McNish, a member of Christ United Methodist Church, Franklin, Tenn., said ...

WEEKLY DIGEST- Week of November 30, 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. (This edition includes stories from November 24- December 4) UMC #GIVINGTUESDAY SHOWS THE STRENGTH OF A DENOMINATION UNITED December 4, 2014 United Methodists once again responded with extravagant ...

UMC #GivingTuesday Shows the Strength of a Denomination United

United Methodists once again responded with extravagant generosity on UMC #GivingTuesday. On December 2, 2014, more than $2.5 million was donated online throughThe Advance to support mission and ministries around the world. The denomination’s General Board of Global Ministries matched the first $1 million in gifts to help build excitement and leverage donations. More than 770 projects and missionaries received more 8,700 gifts through UMC #GivingTuesday. The response was global with donors ...

TV Weatherman Pastor

For two decades, Steve McKay has been telling TV audiences his best guesses about the impending weather, but he's also a United Methodist pastor who tries to help folks see the future on their spiritual journeys. Both jobs require similar skills it seems. You can watch Steve McKay’s weather forecasts nightly on WLBZ in Bangor, Maine. Or hear Steve Smith preach on Sundays at Orono United Methodist Church. This story was first published on November 13, 2014.  

Take the Advent Quiz!

Advent is a special time in the life of the church. It begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. See how much you know about the traditions and symbols of the season by clicking on the daily questions below. We encourage you to share the link to this page with others. Our goal is to make the quiz enlightening and entertaining. Good luck! Click on a date below to take that day's quiz: Dec. 3: ...

Live Nativity Brings The Christmas Story to Life in Trinity, NC

Are you looking for something fun to do with your family this Christmas Season? Would you like to go back to a more simple time where you can focus on the true meaning of Christmas? Then join with several local churches as they take a journey back in time to the town of Bethlehem on the night of Jesus’ birth. You and your family will be able to stroll through the busy streets with Roman soldiers and townsfolk while you imagine what life might have been like in Israel over 2,000 years ago. You ...

Making Mobility Possible

By Sandra Brands* Imagine having to crawl across the floor, down the road or through a store. Now, imagine being able to get around with dignity. That’s what’s happened to Roshan Johan, a 30-year-old polio patient who has spent most of her life crawling on the floor like, in her words, a small child. Today, she can move without pain thanks to the PET Cart, a three-wheel vehicle, she received through the Rural Health and Community Development Project (RHCDP) of the Clara Swain Hospital in ...

The Third Annual All Hood Alumni & Friends Center for Chaplaincy Symposium   Chaplaincy: The Many Roads of Spiritual Service and Compassionate Caring Thursday, March 15, 2018 5:00 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. Networking Reception: Symposium attendees,  Chaplain Residents, HTS Students, Faculty and Staff Friday, March 16, 2018 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Continental Breakfast Morning Reflections: Rev. Katherine Higgins Association of Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) Director of Community, Practice, & ...
It Only Takes a Spark…..To Get the United Methodist Flame Going!

It Only Takes a Spark…..To Get the United Methodist Flame Going!

I am still in a post Annual Conference haze. Our yearly meeting was busy time. It was a productive time. It was a meaningful time. We have come away from Lake Junaluska some of us pleased with how things turned out and some of us not so pleased. We come away, all of us, returning to our places of ministry and committed to making disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. But beyond the elections and beyond the legislation, I find myself grateful for the connection of ...
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