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.

In reopening UMC preschools, one size doesn't fit all

In reopening UMC preschools, one size doesn't fit all

8/26/2020
This resource from our sister conference in Florida offers stories from United Methodist Churches across their conference who are making the hard decision this fall regarding preschool - open, or not? "COVID-19 has forced United Methodist Churches throughout the Florida Conference into hard decisions about how to conduct worship services, but the dilemma doesn't end there. Many churches also operate daycare centers and preschools, and with the new school year at hand they faced a simple truth: The challenges are as varied as the churches seeking answers."
Support the AC2020 offering

Support the AC2020 offering

8/26/2020
You can still support the AC2020 offering to benefit the ministries of UMAR and the Northern Haiti Mission Connection!
Webinar: A Closer Look at the Offering

Webinar: A Closer Look at the Offering

8/26/2020
Join us, on September 10 at 8 p.m. EST, as Ken Sloane (Director, Stewardship & Generosity) and his guest, Dr. Ed Phillips (Associate Professor of Worship, Candler School of Theology), discuss the past, present, and future of "the offering" in worship as the vehicle for funding ministry. They also mention some best practices for moving into the future.
Colossian Way Facilitator Training

Colossian Way Facilitator Training

8/25/2020
From The Colossian Forum, a ministry connected with Duke Endowment, in less than two hours, learn to guide your church through The Colossian Way. Master the core concepts and learn how to lead small groups to experience the transforming power of conflict.
Helping People Follow Jesus in a Divided World

Helping People Follow Jesus in a Divided World

8/25/2020
As we head into the fall, we’re feeling the effects of an increasingly polarized world. The rise of an “us versus them” mentality seems to be ever-present - even in the church. So, how are we to navigate the complexities and difficulties of this reality? In this webinar, J.R. Briggs will: • Explore the ways in which Jesus lived faithfully in a both/and reality in a divisive world • See the ways in which the Christian life is found within a healthy kingdom tension • Discover specific practices which can help us be faithfully overlapping people of God • Unpack how we must embrace wisdom, courage, and compassion in the days ahead Join us for this free webinar on this crucial topic for you and your church - Sept, 1, 2020 // 1:00 PM EST
IT Services Recommendations for Websites and Online Worship Streaming

IT Services Recommendations for Websites and Online Worship Streaming

8/25/2020
In an ever changing world, having an online presence is critical. With the outbreak of COVID-19, many churches have been thrust into the world of website building and streaming as a necessity for success. This new world has left many feeling lost or confused as to where to start. Some may feel overwhelmed by the prospect that these things are outside of their reach. Below are some recommendations as well as some helpful tips and tricks to enable you and your church increase your online presence. We hope that this guide points you in the right direction and provides some comfort in knowing that you are not alone.  We are here to help.
Panelists urge action on race issues

Panelists urge action on race issues

8/20/2020
During yesterday's Town Hall panel discussion, retired Bishop Joel N. Martinez said, "Sisters and brothers, we can either stand on the sidewalk as bystanders and let the forces … have the day or we can get off the sidewalk and march into justice history. We cannot give up the hope.” Watch the full discussion here.
Annual Conference 2020 Voting Results

Annual Conference 2020 Voting Results

8/19/2020
The results from the Annual Conference 2020 Voting Ballot are now available.
Evangelism for Non-Evangelists

Evangelism for Non-Evangelists

8/19/2020
This six-week online evangelism course introduces you to evangelism as a practice that helps you grow in your faith at the same time you develop the skills to share your faith with others.
Hinton YouthLead Academy

Hinton YouthLead Academy

8/19/2020
Hinton Rural Life Center is hosting Hinton YouthLead Academy, Dec 4-6, 2020. The Academy is a weekend leadership training event for United Methodist high school youth who stand out as leaders in their churches, schools, and/or communities. The Academy will help them explore their spiritual gifts and "wiring" for ministry, as well as offer practical workshops on effective writing and presentation. Plus devotions, worship, and relaxing time at our scenic lakeside/mountain setting. *COVID-19 protocols are in place to ensure safety of guests and participants.
Important Reminder During this Election Season

Important Reminder During this Election Season

8/19/2020
As we move closer to the election, Clergy and church leaders are reminded of the laws that exist related to political activity by churches and other 501(c)(3) organizations.
In Memoriam: Sierra Leone Bishop John K. Yambasu

In Memoriam: Sierra Leone Bishop John K. Yambasu

8/19/2020
"Sierra Leone Area Bishop John K. Yambasu, who died in a car accident Aug. 16, is being remembered for his courage, leadership and love of The United Methodist Church and Jesus Christ."
Means of Grace: Campus Ministry & COVID-19

Means of Grace: Campus Ministry & COVID-19

8/19/2020
In this episode, Brian Mateer has a conversation with Rev. Steve Cheney, Campus Minister at UNC-Charlotte and Rev. Diron Chloe, Campus Minister at North Carolina A&T University and Pastor of Metropolitan United Methodist in Greensboro, NC. Connect with these ministries: UNC-Charlotte, www.ninerunited.org and A&T University Wesley Foundation, wfem.info@gmail.com.
Recover.Restore.Retreat Webinar: Creating the Ultimate Online Guest Experience

Recover.Restore.Retreat Webinar: Creating the Ultimate Online Guest Experience

8/19/2020
Join us Tuesday, August 25th at 10:00 a.m. as we hear from Tamell Green, the CEO of the PR firm Metamorphosis! She’ll be discussing how to create the ultimate online guest experience.
Subscribe to eLEAD Today

Subscribe to eLEAD Today

8/19/2020
Focusing on a different topic of leadership development each month, eLEAD, the newsletter of the WNCC Leadership Development Team delivers the resources you need directly to your inbox! Recent topics include: Resilience (August 2020), Agility (July 2020), and Racial Justice, Equity, and Action (June 2020). Be sure you are subscribed today!
The Promise of Advent Webinar Series

The Promise of Advent Webinar Series

8/19/2020
How can church leaders imaginatively plan and prepare for this beloved season without the traditions of its typical events and rituals? In The Promise of Advent webinar series, host Adam Hamilton – pastor and bestselling author of the upcoming Incarnation Bible study – will discuss church leaders’ hopes and concerns around Advent planning with our panel of pastors and experts. Their conversations will help resource and inspire leaders struggling with planning for Advent and staying spiritually focused on its promise of redemption.
Means of Grace: Campus Ministry and COVID-19

Means of Grace: Campus Ministry and COVID-19

8/18/2020
In this episode, Brian Mateer has a conversation with Rev. Steve Cheney, Campus Minister at UNC-Charlotte and Rev. Diron Chloe, Campus Minister at North Carolina A&T University and Pastor of Metropolitan United Methodist in Greensboro, NC.
Community Yoga - Karma and Community

Community Yoga - Karma and Community

8/17/2020
When thinking of what we can do differently to reach our communities, very few people would consider offering a program at a building that isn’t connected with the church at all as an option.
Catawba Valley District churches participate in Potato Drop Ministry

Catawba Valley District churches participate in Potato Drop Ministry

8/12/2020
On Tuesday, July 8th a tractor trailer backed up to the BackPack Weekend Food Program (BWFP) warehouse loading dock with approximately 40,000 pounds of potatoes which would become food for hundreds of families across Gaston, Lincoln and Cleveland Counties!
Faith in Rural Communities CONNECT Cohort Applications Open Now

Faith in Rural Communities CONNECT Cohort Applications Open Now

8/12/2020
CONNECT is a program offered by the NC Rural Center's Faith in Rural Communities initiative, which aims to help churches renew their faithful witness and connect with opportunities to improve the health and prosperity of their communities. There is no fee for Duke Endowment-eligible churches to participate.
It's Your Right...Vote!

It's Your Right...Vote!

8/12/2020
WNCC UMC Justice and Reconciliation Team encourages you to use your right to vote with this nonpartisan election information coming from The United Methodist Church - General Church and Society, WNC Black Methodists for Church Renewal (BMCR), League of Women Voters and the Catawba Valley League of Women Voters!
Live Stream Counting for Year End Reports 2020

Live Stream Counting for Year End Reports 2020

8/12/2020
In 2020, with the onset of Covid-19 and the recommendation not to hold inside worship, many churches have opted to provide services via live streaming. Because so many churches are switching to this digital ministry, questions have surfaced regarding virtual attendance and how to count those participants. Please read this guide on how to count live stream attendance for your Year End Reports. If you have any questions, please reach out to Dr. R. Mark King, Conference Statistician at mking@wnccumc.org or 704-535-2260.
Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness FAQS

Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness FAQS

8/12/2020
The Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, is providing this guidance to address borrower and lender questions concerning forgiveness of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, as provided for under section 1106 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), as amended by the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (Flexibility Act). Borrowers and lenders may rely on the guidance provided in this document as SBA’s interpretation, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, of the CARES Act, the Flexibility Act, and the Paycheck Protection Program Interim Final Rules (“PPP Interim Final Rules”).
Recover. Restore. Retreat. Webinar: Grow Your Church's Digital Reach through Social Media

Recover. Restore. Retreat. Webinar: Grow Your Church's Digital Reach through Social Media

8/12/2020
Tamell Green, CEO of Metamorphosis PR Firm, is joining us in the Recover Restore Retreat webinar series for black clergy members! Starting at 10:00 a.m., she’ll dive into how to grow your church’s digital reach through social media!
Treasury Services announces new Online Payments Portal for 2021

Treasury Services announces new Online Payments Portal for 2021

8/12/2020
Treasury Services is pleased to announce a new avenue for making Apportionment and Benefits payments via electronic payments. This new feature will be available in early 2021. To get started, however, we need to set up the payers.
Voting Our Values Forum Sessions

Voting Our Values Forum Sessions

8/12/2020
Join NC Interfaith Power & Light (NCIPL) and the North Carolina Council of Churches for an eight-week forum series detailing the important issues facing us this election. These events will highlight our multi-issue faith voter reflection guide – Democracy, Values & the 2020 Election: A Reflection Guide for Faith Communities – in addition to featuring expert speakers, and educating attendees on policy and the reality of voting during a pandemic.
AC2020 Worship Service

AC2020 Worship Service

8/10/2020
Enjoy the opening worship from Annual Conference 2020.
Just-In-Time Early Response Team Training

Just-In-Time Early Response Team Training

8/10/2020
Early Response Training - Online Class Now Available
Mission Engagement Blog - August 2020

Mission Engagement Blog - August 2020

8/10/2020
Check out the latest Mission Engagement Blog.
AC2020 updates now available from UMF, UMM, UMW, and Justice & Reconciliation

AC2020 updates now available from UMF, UMM, UMW, and Justice & Reconciliation

8/5/2020
Since Annual Conference is virtual this year, various conference ministries have provided video updates on their mission and ministry. You can watch them at www.wnccumc.org/ac2020-updates.   For the full reports from Conference Boards, Committees, Ministries, and Commissions, visit the Program and Reports book at www.wnccumc.org/ac2020.
Institute for Emerging Issues introduces webinar series on community capacity building

Institute for Emerging Issues introduces webinar series on community capacity building

8/5/2020
IEI is committed to engaging and building capacity within our communities. IEI’s Summer School Series will offer a number of online discussions, training, and workshops that will help communities work better together to identify challenges, problem-solve, and connect to resources. This four-part capacity building series will engage participants in virtual learning and sharing on the following topics: Civic Engagement, Storytelling, Adaptive Leadership, and Collective Impact.
Means of Grace: Renegade Ministry

Means of Grace: Renegade Ministry

8/5/2020
In this episode, Rev. Kim Ingram talks with Rev. Scott Osterberg.  Growing up in a non-church going family in Texas, he never thought he’d be a minister when he headed to Duke for seminary.  His life and journey in ministry have presented challenges and devastating loss.  Eight years ago, Scott’s renegade spirit led him to start New Story Church in Winston-Salem. Through all of these experiences, Scott has learned about leadership, service, and faith. Sometimes the hard way. In this episode of Means of Grace, we hear Scott’s story and discover how we can become renegades in ministry too.
Recover.Restore.Retreat: Social Media 101 - Creating Consistent Ministry Content

Recover.Restore.Retreat: Social Media 101 - Creating Consistent Ministry Content

8/5/2020
Diamond Nurse, the CEO and Chief Social Media Strategist of Diamond M.I.N.E. Group in Charlotte, NC, will be speaking at next Tuesday's Recover. Restore. Retreat. webinar series! She’ll be talking about how to build genuine communities online, strengthening your presence across platforms and will answer any of your social media related questions.
St. Stephen UMC Donates $20,000 to Loaves & Fishes

St. Stephen UMC Donates $20,000 to Loaves & Fishes

8/5/2020
In the Bible, when Jesus’s disciples were faced with feeding 5,000 people with just five loaves of bread and two fish, you could forgive them if they were discouraged. Similarly, when the coronavirus lock down prevented members of St. Stephen from volunteering or even donating food, members of the South Charlotte church were left feeling like they couldn’t help. Members of the community were hurting, and the church, founded on mission work and dedicated to be the Hands, Feet and Heart of Jesus Christ in the world, had to stay home.
2020 Annual Conference Awards Recipients

2020 Annual Conference Awards Recipients

8/4/2020
Each year during Annual Conference, we recognize outstanding lay and clergy leaders with the presentations of the Harry Denman Evangelism Award and the Francis Asbury Award. Learn more about this year's recipients - Rev. Susan Suarez Webster, Mr. Royce Reynolds, and Dr. Dennis Carroll.
Means of Grace: Renegade Ministry

Means of Grace: Renegade Ministry

8/4/2020
In this episode, Rev. Kim Ingram talks with Rev. Scott Osterberg. Growing up in a non-church going family in Texas, he never thought he’d be a minister when he headed to Duke for seminary. His life and journey in ministry have presented challenges and devastating loss. Eight years ago, Scott’s renegade spirit led him to start New Story Church in Winston-Salem. Through all of these experiences, Scott has learned about leadership, service, and faith. Sometimes the hard way. In this episode of Means of Grace, we hear Scott’s story and discover how we can become renegades in ministry too.
Reflections on the Last Four Years: The Order of Deacons

Reflections on the Last Four Years: The Order of Deacons

8/4/2020
A Reflection from serving as chair of the order for the last four years
Save, Give, Grow: Foundation Ministries to Clergy

Save, Give, Grow: Foundation Ministries to Clergy

8/4/2020
How can the Foundation serve individual clergy and their families?
Bishop Leeland Encourages Giving to Disciple Bible Outreach Ministries

Bishop Leeland Encourages Giving to Disciple Bible Outreach Ministries

8/3/2020
"The current COVID-19 crisis has revealed many inequalities in our society. Among them are inequalities in our criminal justice system. Prison reform and advocacy for change is greatly needed. In addition, education for our congregations concerning these issues is vital so that we can respond faithfully and appropriately....DBOM depends on the support of our churches. I want to encourage you to enthusiastically support the Disciple Bible Outreach Ministries (DBOM) offering on August 23 or any date of your choice this summer or fall."
IEI Announces New Grant Program to Fund Digital Inclusion Plans Across NC

IEI Announces New Grant Program to Fund Digital Inclusion Plans Across NC

8/3/2020
"...in the wake of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the world has only become more reliant on technology and an internet connection. Our schooling, our jobs, our health care, and our social lives have all been forced online—and those without access to affordable internet, devices, or the ability to use them are increasingly being left behind. COVID-19 is exposing the digital divide in North Carolina and its consequences for all of us. In response, IEI has partnered with the Broadband Infrastructure Office (BIO) at the NC Department of Information Technology to create a new grant program called “Building a New Digital Economy,” or BAND-NC."
Renfro Trust Fund Grants

Renfro Trust Fund Grants

8/3/2020
Renfro Trust Fund Grant Application Now Open
St. Luke's Dinner Church - Gathering Re-imagined

St. Luke's Dinner Church - Gathering Re-imagined

8/3/2020
Doing church well often means looking at what we are currently doing and re-imagining it to help more people.
A Sanctuary for Learning: Could Your Church Become a Community Internet Hotspot?

A Sanctuary for Learning: Could Your Church Become a Community Internet Hotspot?

7/30/2020
"COVID-19, and our responses to it, continue to create new needs in the community. Those new needs mean new opportunities for churches to connect with young people and their families."

"Unto All Their Due": John Wesley, Slavery, and Anti-Racism

7/29/2020
From the early days of his ministry, Methodism founder John Wesley was a staunch abolitionist. Professing that all humans are made in the image of God, he worked continually to end slavery, offer salvation to all, and spread scriptural holiness throughout the world. The is webinar will explore how John Wesley's anti-slavery writings can inform and inspire our anti-racist work today.
Annual Conference 2020 Livestream Information

Annual Conference 2020 Livestream Information

7/29/2020
Join us for the live stream of Annual Conference 2020!
Does your congregation have rights to unclaimed property?

Does your congregation have rights to unclaimed property?

7/29/2020
Did you know that the State of North Carolina has a website that lists unclaimed property- bank accounts, wages, utility deposits, insurance policy proceeds, stocks, bonds, etc.? A good number of our United Methodist Churches are listed as the owner for many of these unclaimed properties. You can access the website to see if your church may have some funds owed to your congregation.
Free worship planning webinar from Marcia McFee

Free worship planning webinar from Marcia McFee

7/29/2020
How do we plan ahead for worship in times that are "a-changing?" What is the key to flexibility in planning that will help us to pivot no matter the physical circumstances? Why is the liturgical year more important than ever right now as a framework for our spiritual journeys? How can we offer deeply meaningful and memorable worship when we are distanced, fractured, restricted, and tired? These topics and more as we prepare for planning ahead and planning together for the 2020-2021 liturgical year!
New remote worship training resources from United Methodist Communications

New remote worship training resources from United Methodist Communications

7/29/2020
Amidst heightened demand, the United Methodist Communications training team has launched a new set of online courses designed to assist those in leadership tasked with creating and maintaining engaging online worship experiences in a socially distanced world.
Update to retiree health benefits plan

Update to retiree health benefits plan

7/29/2020
The Western North Carolina Conference is pleased to announce an update to the retiree health program effective January 1, 2021. We have selected new providers for your medical and prescription drug coverage. The new providers selected are:   Medical Plan: Humana Prescription Drug Plan: Humana Plan Servicing and Administration: Benistar Admin Services, Inc.   We are transitioning from a self-funded health benefit program to the Humana Medicare Employer preferred provider organization (PPO) plan. ...
2020 Annual Conference Awards Presentation to be held virtually on Monday, August 3rd

2020 Annual Conference Awards Presentation to be held virtually on Monday, August 3rd

7/28/2020
Every year during our Annual Conference, we pause to recognize outstanding lay and clergy leaders. This year, as part of our COVID-19 response, we will be presenting these awards during a live, online webinar. Please plan to join us by Zoom webinar on Monday, August 3rd, at 7:00 PM for the presentations of the Harry Denman Evangelism Award and the Francis Asbury Award.
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