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.

Mission Engagement Blog - November 2020

Mission Engagement Blog - November 2020

11/4/2020
Check out the latest Mission Engagement Blog.
Global Mission Fellows Application is Open!

Global Mission Fellows Application is Open!

11/4/2020
We are now accepting application for young adults, ages 20-30, to serve within the United States. U.S. Citizens, Residents, Green Card holders, and DACA Students are all eligible to apply to the GMF: US-2 Track.
Manna: Soul Tending Space for Pastors

Manna: Soul Tending Space for Pastors

11/4/2020
Living through a pandemic is very much a wilderness experience, and for the past eight months, pastors have been called upon to help their communities navigate the pain and loss of this season. Clergy, like Moses, are holding space for the people around them as the world dreams of life on the other side. But who’s holding space for clergy? Where are pastors finding manna in this pandemic wilderness? This Advent, the NCC Center for Leadership Excellence and the Rev. Lisa Yebuah will host a 3-session soul-tending platform for pastors to name and even grieve the realities of clergy life during these stressful times, while also acquiring spiritual practices to buoy their hope.
Means of Grace: Leading in Politically Divided Times

Means of Grace: Leading in Politically Divided Times

11/3/2020
America is divided and the church is not immune. The divisions are largely motivated by this and the previous election cycle. In this episode, Jesse Enniss is joined by Dr. Trevor Eppehimer, Academic Dean and Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Hood Theological Seminary, Rev. Jan Brittain, Lead Pastor, Williamson’s Chapel UMC, and Rev. Jamie Hamrick, Senior Pastor, Rocky Mount UMC who discuss the role of the church in this political climate.
Bishops Called to Bring Stability in Chaos

Bishops Called to Bring Stability in Chaos

11/2/2020
United Methodist bishops opened their online meeting in a season of turmoil. Around the globe, people are contending with the pandemic, struggling economies, natural disasters and a reckoning with racial injustice. In the U.S., United Methodists also face political polarization on the eve of Election Day on Nov. 3.
Dinner Church at New Covenant UMC

Dinner Church at New Covenant UMC

11/2/2020
After reflecting and assessing the neighborhood and needs of the residents in Lenoir, New Covenant UMC decided to re-engage and restore the community.
Retiring Well: A Pre-Retirement Webinar from Wespath

Retiring Well: A Pre-Retirement Webinar from Wespath

11/2/2020
Clergy who are 3-5 years from retirement are invited to join representatives from Wespath and EY to discuss retirement provisions, plans, and services. Register before November 4th and a personalized, confidential Benefit Projection will be mailed to you. PLUS sign up for a 30-minute individual virtual consultation with a member of the Wespath Benefit Education Team. Spouses are welcomed to join the webinar and consultation!
The Latest Edition of E-News - Remembering the Saints, Keeping Western NC Warm this Winter, Praying for Peace, and more

The Latest Edition of E-News - Remembering the Saints, Keeping Western NC Warm this Winter, Praying for Peace, and more

10/28/2020
E-News - October 28, 2020 E-News is an email newsletter sent out by the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. It contains important news, stories, and events from around our conference. Submit articles for the next e-news. Submit events. NEWS Means of Grace: Remembering the Saints As we approach All Saints Day, we want to pause to remember the Saints we’ve lost this year in our churches, in our ...
Important Notice About Boy Scouts Bankruptcy

Important Notice About Boy Scouts Bankruptcy

10/28/2020
Important information for churches concerning Boy Scouts of America Bankruptcy.
Simpler PPP Forgiveness for Loans of $50,000 or Less

Simpler PPP Forgiveness for Loans of $50,000 or Less

10/28/2020
The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the Treasury Department, today released a simpler loan forgiveness application for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of $50,000 or less. This action streamlines the PPP forgiveness process to provide financial and administrative relief to America’s smallest businesses while also ensuring sound stewardship of taxpayer dollars.
Advent 2020: Seeking Jesus, The Advent of Justice and Peace

Advent 2020: Seeking Jesus, The Advent of Justice and Peace

10/27/2020
Advent is a time for church leaders to guide their congregation through a soul-enriching time of reflection, lamentation, anticipation and renewal. The General Commission on Religion and Race announces a five-week Advent resource, Seeking Jesus: The Advent of Justice and Peace.
Dismantling Racism Events

Dismantling Racism Events

10/27/2020
Around the connection, United Methodists are gathering online and in-person to do the difficult work of dismantling racism. Find an event to attend or watch the video of one that has already occurred.
High Point University Fall Lecture Series: “A Century of Struggle: The Battle for Women’s Rights in American Religion and Politics” Virtual Lecture

High Point University Fall Lecture Series: “A Century of Struggle: The Battle for Women’s Rights in American Religion and Politics” Virtual Lecture

10/27/2020
Join High Point University as they welcome Dr. R. Marie Griffith, the John C. Danforth Distinguished Professor in the Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis, director of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, and editor of the Center’s journal, Religion & Politics, for “A Century of Struggle: The Battle for Women’s Rights in American Religion and Politics” Virtual Lecture.
Local Church Learning Sessions: Technology for Worship, Small Groups, and Giving

Local Church Learning Sessions: Technology for Worship, Small Groups, and Giving

10/27/2020
As the COVID-19 pandemic continued and more churches shifted to or increased their digital ministry, United Methodist Communications began developing a series of Local Church Learning Sessions. All have been developed specifically to support local United Methodist churches during this extraordinary time. New sessions will be added here as they are produced..
Means of Grace: Remembering the Saints

Means of Grace: Remembering the Saints

10/27/2020
As we approach All Saints Day, we want to pause to remember the Saints we’ve lost this year in our churches, in our communities and in our world. The pandemic has impacted every aspect of our lives including death, dying and how we celebrate life and find ways grieve together. How do we balance sacred and safety in our rites surrounding death? Melissa McGill talks with Kay Morrison-Sanders, a cemetery bereavement counselor and lay member of St. Mark’s United Methodist in Charlotte and the Rev. Carter Ferguson, who pastors Prospect UMC in Archdale and Pleasant Hill UMC in Thomasville.
When the frost is on the pumpkin...

When the frost is on the pumpkin...

10/27/2020
St. Mark's celebrates five years of pumpkin patch fun.
WNCC Disaster Response helps Woodchuckers keep Western NC warm this winter

WNCC Disaster Response helps Woodchuckers keep Western NC warm this winter

10/27/2020
WNCC Disaster Response and the Mission Response Center delivered two log splitters to the Hinton Rural Life Center to assist with their firewood ministry, the Woodchuckers.
Youth Mental Health First Aid

Youth Mental Health First Aid

10/27/2020
The conference is thrilled to partner with Hinton Rural Life Center to offer Youth Mental Health First Aid virtual training on November 21, 2020.
Four denominations pray for peace

Four denominations pray for peace

10/26/2020
On October 31, you are invited to join with members from four denominations in praying for peace and healing, in a non-partisan way, in preparation for the 2020 election. There will be speakers from the AME, CME, AME ZION, AND UM CHURCHES.
Journey Inward - The Big Silence Retreat: January 17-20, 2021

Journey Inward - The Big Silence Retreat: January 17-20, 2021

10/26/2020
We are all on a spiritual journey in this life, but so much of our journey is spent outside of ourselves. How often do you get away from the distractions of this world to find a holy place within? When was the last time you just hung out with God with no expectations whatsoever? Maybe it’s time for you to journey inward at The Big Silence Retreat. Start the New Year with a different kind of experience.
Grace Kitchen To Go: Wednesday Meal Program Adapts to COVID-19

Grace Kitchen To Go: Wednesday Meal Program Adapts to COVID-19

10/22/2020
Bob Bamberg, editor of The Alleghany News, shares the story of Sparta UMC - a story about the grace that manifests through the simple acts of kids playing basketball, neighbors sharing a meal, and a church willing to open their minds, doors, and hearts.
Weekly Resource Roundup

Weekly Resource Roundup

10/22/2020
We scanned the internet for resources that will be of interest and value to you and your ministries. This week's roundup includes: Discipleship Ministries 2021 Revised Common Lectionary Calendar, Illustrated Ministries pre-recordable, Zoom-able Virtual Christmas Pageant, best ways to distribute weekly bulletins to your congregation, and more.
The Latest Edition of E-News - Peace Scholarship for Clergy, Collected Wisdom from Rural Churches, Means of Grace podcast, and more

The Latest Edition of E-News - Peace Scholarship for Clergy, Collected Wisdom from Rural Churches, Means of Grace podcast, and more

10/21/2020
This week's E-Newsletter includes peace scholarships for clergy from the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center, collected wisdom from WNCC rural churches and pastors from the United Methodist Rural Advocates, the latest Means of Grace podcast episode, and more.
Rev. Mark King Retains Certification as UMC Administrator

Rev. Mark King Retains Certification as UMC Administrator

10/21/2020
It is with great joy, we share that Dr. Mark King, Conference Treasurer and Director of Administrative Services, has retained certification as a United Methodist Church Administrator.
WNCC United Methodist Women - Mission U 2020 LIVE

WNCC United Methodist Women - Mission U 2020 LIVE

10/21/2020
At this time of COVID-19 we are surrounded by much uncertainty and anxiety all over the world.  We are not able to  “Pass the Peace” at our houses of worship, our children are not able to attend school, so many lives have been lost and many are facing economic uncertainty.  Across the country there are marches everyday demanding justice and calling for police reform following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others.  The stress level for many of us is at an all-time high. Sandrea Williamson will lead us through the study using the Serenity Prayer as a guide to help us de-stress and refresh so we may continue to live out our Purpose as United Methodist Women.
Means of Grace: Meet Our Church Planters

Means of Grace: Meet Our Church Planters

10/20/2020
In this episode, Luke Edwards catches up with two church planters, Ashley Crowder Stanley of the Wellspring Congregation near Asheville and Rev. Charlie Rivens of The Place in Charlotte, to talk about their ministries, the highs and lows of starting a church and how they’ve adjusted during the pandemic.
NC Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions Program

NC Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions Program

10/19/2020
The Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions (HOPE) Program is a new statewide initiative that may provide rent and utility assistance to eligible low- and moderate-income renters experiencing financial hardship due to the economic effects of COVID-19. The new program will help prevent evictions and utility disconnections in order to promote housing stability during the ongoing pandemic.
Announcing a 2-Part Online Eating Together Faithfully (ETF) Training Sponsored by MTSO on Nov 5th & 6th

Announcing a 2-Part Online Eating Together Faithfully (ETF) Training Sponsored by MTSO on Nov 5th & 6th

10/16/2020
Join us for a new 2-Part Online Eating Together Faithfully (ETF) Training with Life Around the Table, sponsored by the Methodist Theological School in Ohio (MTSO) on November 5th & 6th!
Collected Wisdom from Rural and Small Membership Churches

Collected Wisdom from Rural and Small Membership Churches

10/16/2020
The United Methodist Rural Advocates would like to offer some help to churches who are struggling with worship in these tumultuous times. As churches decide to move back to indoor worship it is important that this decision be arrived at with much prayer and interactive planning. The virus is serious, as is the need for gathering as the body of Christ. Safety must be of utmost concern as we endeavor to do no harm, do good and stay in love with God. Our hope is to offer at the very least hope and acknowledgement that you are not alone. Here is some of the collected wisdom, as well as some advice from rural pastors.
Pastor's Breakfast Brings Small Community Together

Pastor's Breakfast Brings Small Community Together

10/15/2020
When we find ourselves living in remote places it can be hard to find ways to fellowship. If you find yourself in a small town with no places to gather, perhaps it is time to consider making the local diner a new favorite for community gathering.
The Latest Edition of E-News - Message from U.S. Bishops, Haiti Offering Report, Means of Grace Podcast, and more

The Latest Edition of E-News - Message from U.S. Bishops, Haiti Offering Report, Means of Grace Podcast, and more

10/15/2020
This week's E-Newsletter includes a message from the UMC Bishops in the United States, an update on the AC2020 Offering, which was used to purchase oxygen tanks for COVID-19 patients in Haiti, the latest Means of Grace podcast, and more.
ERT Deployment

ERT Deployment

10/14/2020
For WNCC Early Response Team Members
AC2020 Offering purchases oxygen for COVID-19 patients in Haiti

AC2020 Offering purchases oxygen for COVID-19 patients in Haiti

10/14/2020
“We are using the oxygen for the patients who have respiratory distress including patients with COVID. We receive a lot of patients with respiratory distress at this period of time. We suspect this may be due to COVID. Usually we refer those patients to another facility since we don't have enough oxygen available at the hospital. Now, we are better able to serve the Haitian people.” - Eugene Maklin MD.
Best cameras for livestreaming

Best cameras for livestreaming

10/14/2020
If you’re looking for the best camera for your church’s stream, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve listed down the top webcams and cameras that are suitable for your church’s live stream.
Building and maintaining a relationship with virtual worshipers through email, part 2

Building and maintaining a relationship with virtual worshipers through email, part 2

10/14/2020
The COVID-19 era has closed public gatherings, but social media and streaming has likely brought new virtual worshipers to your services. How do you form a lasting relationship with the people behind the screens? Strengthen ties with members who may opt to worship virtually even when buildings reopen?
October eLEAD Newsletter - Leading in Politically Divisive Times

October eLEAD Newsletter - Leading in Politically Divisive Times

10/14/2020
"Our country is experiencing significant divisiveness right now that is spilling over into personal lives, churches, and communities. There is increasing chaos that is made more difficult through distanced relationships. An election is a month away and it fills the news daily. This edition of e-LEAD, [the newsletter from WNCC Leadership Development], is intended to provide resources to enable leaders to navigate through the rough waters, bridge the divide, and find HOPE. Leaders are encouraged to seek one another out for comfort, empathy, and understanding. We need each other now more than ever."
Resource Roundup - Week of October 12, 2020

Resource Roundup - Week of October 12, 2020

10/14/2020
We scanned the internet for resources that will be of interest and value to you and your ministries. This week's roundup includes: Advent devotionals, free youth worship lessons, spiritually healthy ways to take a break, and more.
Means of Grace: Park and Praise: A Reset on Worship, Community & Church During a Pandemic

Means of Grace: Park and Praise: A Reset on Worship, Community & Church During a Pandemic

10/13/2020
In this episode, we take a trip to Simpson Gillespie United Methodist where the Rev. Darryl Dayson and his church gather in the parking lot for Park & Praise Worship. They’re in the midst of a sermon series entitled Reset and we can all benefit from pondering this question with them – will we resume or will we take this time to reimagine and reset to create something better than what we had before? For more information on the church and worship times, visit their website at https://www.simpsongillespie.com. Join them on Sundays at 10am online on Facebook and YouTube or in the parking lot on third Sunday of the month.
U.S. Bishops call for full participation in November elections

U.S. Bishops call for full participation in November elections

10/13/2020
United Methodist bishops based in the United States today issued a statement on Faith and Democracy, calling on the people of The United Methodist Church to support voter registration and encourage people to vote in the November 3 elections.
Mission Engagement Blog - October 2020

Mission Engagement Blog - October 2020

10/8/2020
Check out the latest Mission Engagement Blog.
The Latest Edition of E-News - Phase Three Guidelines, Prayers for Artsakh, Antiracism Ethics Training, and more

The Latest Edition of E-News - Phase Three Guidelines, Prayers for Artsakh, Antiracism Ethics Training, and more

10/8/2020
This week's E-Newsletter includes the Phase Three Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry During COVID-19, a call to prayer for Project Agape, Armenia, & Artsakh, the upcoming antiracism clergy ethics training sessions, and more.
Antiracism Clergy Ethics Training

Antiracism Clergy Ethics Training

10/7/2020
ALL clergy under appointment in WNC and all certified lay ministers/lay supply pastors under assignment in the WNCC are required to attend a two-day session by June 2024. Clergy are strongly encouraged to bring a lay person from their ministry setting to the training with them.
Blessed are the Poor: Engaging the Community Towards Social Transformation

Blessed are the Poor: Engaging the Community Towards Social Transformation

10/7/2020
Blessed are the Poor, is a webinar series designed to help church leaders engage with the people in their communities and reflect on the different ways in which people experience poverty. Discipleship Ministries and Path 1 will be exploring the many experiences of poverty in two-hour sessions that will take place once a month for five months, from October 2020 through February 2021.
Fulfillment of Faith Women's Retreat

Fulfillment of Faith Women's Retreat

10/7/2020
Prepare yourself for the Advent season with this special, one-night retreat November 6th – November 7th hosted by the Catholic Conference Center.
Ordination service postponed until June 2021

Ordination service postponed until June 2021

10/7/2020
In an effort to “Do No Harm” as well as to ensure that the Ordering of Ministry Service be the high and holy moment that we all desire it to be, the Bishop and Extended Cabinet have made the difficult decision to cancel the service planned on October 11, 2020. Both the 2020 and 2021 classes will be commissioned and ordained next June at Lake Junaluska.
Pray for Project Agape Armenia and Artsakh

Pray for Project Agape Armenia and Artsakh

10/7/2020
For over 27 years, United Methodists of North Carolina have been helping our sisters and brothers in Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh through Project AGAPE. We continue to provide humanitarian aid, educational classes, the Agricultural Development Project, and other missions and ministries. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the distributions more difficult and the economic toll on families has been increased. Now the war between the Republic of Artsakh and Azerbaijan has made the distributions even harder. All lights have been ordered to be turned off at night, families have been in the basements of their homes, the essentials of life will be harder to come by in the next several months. May we in the Western North Carolina Conference lift up in prayer our sisters and brothers in Artsakh during this time of hostility and war. May we pray for the families who will struggle to provide food, clothing, and possibly safe shelter during this time. And may we also pray for a lasting peace for this entire region.
Resource Roundup - Week of October 5, 2020

Resource Roundup - Week of October 5, 2020

10/7/2020
We scanned the internet for resources that will be of interest and value to you and your ministries. This week's roundup includes: Pandemic-proof ways to celebrate Pastor Appreciation Sunday, ideas for building and maintaining relationships with virtual worshippers, resources for Advent planning & marketing, and more.
Virtual Homecoming Celebrates United Methodist Higher Education & Scholars

Virtual Homecoming Celebrates United Methodist Higher Education & Scholars

10/7/2020
On Tuesday, October 27 the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation will host a virtual “homecoming” to celebrate Methodism and higher education, UMHEF scholars, and more. Festivities will include messages from United Methodist students, spotlights of UM-related institutions of higher education, interactive activities, messages from prominent leaders, and more.
Means of Grace: Building Effective, Sustainable Partnerships Between Schools and Churches

Means of Grace: Building Effective, Sustainable Partnerships Between Schools and Churches

10/6/2020
In this episode of Means of Grace, Brian Mateer is joined by Camille Roddy, the chair of the Western North Carolina Conference Congregations 4 Children initiative and the Rev. Ed Jones, pastor of Trinity United Methodist in Houston, Texas for a conversation how churches can partner with schools in their communities to meet the needs of students and families during the pandemic and beyond.
Phase Three Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry During COVID-19

Phase Three Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry During COVID-19

10/6/2020
As faithful disciples of Jesus Christ in the midst of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we remain committed to our Biblical mandate to "love our neighbors as ourselves" and our Wesleyan call to “do no harm.” In doing so, we seek ways to engage faithfully in worship, study, and ministry while ensuring the health and safety of our members and communities. We advise that all churches continue following CDC, state and local guidelines for indoor and outdoor gatherings, including handwashing, wearing masks, and observing physical distancing rules and group size limits.
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