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.

General Conference Postponed to 2022

General Conference Postponed to 2022

2/25/2021
Meeting on February 20, the Commission on the General Conference made a decision to further postpone the 2020 General Conference until August 29 – September 6, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minn. as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the safety of mass gatherings and travel.
Amplify Live: Justice or Just Us? The Biblical Call to Confront Racism

Amplify Live: Justice or Just Us? The Biblical Call to Confront Racism

2/24/2021
Justice or Just Us? explores what it means to be a faith community that’s committed to anti-racist and justice-seeking work. Pastors Jevon Caldwell-Gross, Nicole Caldwell-Gross, and Rob Fuquay – who all serve at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana – developed this four-week study based on their experiences in leading the church to confront racism.
Council of Bishops Concordat Working Group requests submissions of case studies from churches ministering with migrant/diaspora groups

Council of Bishops Concordat Working Group requests submissions of case studies from churches ministering with migrant/diaspora groups

2/24/2021
Since 2018, the ecumenical and interreligious staff with the Council of Bishops have been working to renew and invigorate the concordat agreement we have with the Methodist Church of Britain (MCB).  For 2021, one of the foci the Concordat Working Group selected was migrant and diaspora ministry. Bishop Patrick Streiff has worked with his counterpart from the MCB to create a method to collect information about migrant ministries. The information collected will be used to learn how migrants are faring in our United Methodist churches and in areas in which The United Methodist Church exists. In order to collect this information, we are asking that all United Methodist churches who minister with migrants consider submitting one or more case studies. From these stories, the Concordat Working Group will begin to discern both the pains and the joys of migrants in The United Methodist Church.
Metro District hosts Journey to Transformation Lenten Study

Metro District hosts Journey to Transformation Lenten Study

2/24/2021
If you are not yet in a Lenten study, the Metro District invites you to journey with us, as we pray, read scripture, reflect and act during the 2021 Lenten Season.
NC Council of Churches Partners in Health & Wholeness Collaborative Pledge and Mini-Grant Cycle Now Open

NC Council of Churches Partners in Health & Wholeness Collaborative Pledge and Mini-Grant Cycle Now Open

2/24/2021
The PHW Collaborative Pledge is open as of January 15, and the first PHW Mini-Grant Cycle of 2021 opened on February 1. The PHW Collaborative Pledge is a commitment to continuing to put your faith into action for healthier more abundant communities. PHW mini-grants support Collaborative congregations to begin or expand projects that promote health and wholeness while engaging the community. Faith communities are able to request up to $1000 for an individual mini-grant, and up to $5000 for a community mini-grant among a minimum of 3 congregations. Faith communities must have submitted a PHW Collaborative Pledge in the last 12 months to be eligible for a mini-grant.
The Latest Edition of E-News - Spiritual Renewal Grants, Hybrid Worship Webinar, Getting to Know the United Methodist Foundation of WNC, and more

The Latest Edition of E-News - Spiritual Renewal Grants, Hybrid Worship Webinar, Getting to Know the United Methodist Foundation of WNC, and more

2/24/2021
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.
Means of Grace: Getting to Know the United Methodist Foundation of Western NC

Means of Grace: Getting to Know the United Methodist Foundation of Western NC

2/23/2021
In this episode, David Snipes, President and CEO for the UMF WNCC and Caroline Cox, Director of Reynolds Ministries and Programming have a conversation with Caroline Wood. They share part of their own stories as well as stories of the Foundation, its programs and offerings and how lives are changed through the ministries that build the church for generations to come.
The Latest Edition of E-News - Grants for Churches Helping with COVID-19 care, Lenten Devotions from UMC Bishops, Maximizing Hybrid Worship with Jason Moore, and more

The Latest Edition of E-News - Grants for Churches Helping with COVID-19 care, Lenten Devotions from UMC Bishops, Maximizing Hybrid Worship with Jason Moore, and more

2/17/2021
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.
2021 Wesley Theological Seminary MILK, Jr. Lectures

2021 Wesley Theological Seminary MILK, Jr. Lectures

2/17/2021
Wesley is pleased to invite all to hear this year's guest lecturer, Allissa V. Richardson, PhD, assistant professor of journalism at The University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism (USCAnnenberg) in Los Angeles, CA.
Cloth masks available through the WNCC Mission Engagement Team

Cloth masks available through the WNCC Mission Engagement Team

2/17/2021
The Mission Engagement Team has nearly 3,500 cloth masks available. If your ministry or congregation can use them send your request to Ben Rogers at brogers@wnccumc.org.
Council on Finance & Administration to offer grants for churches serving as COVID-19 community stations

Council on Finance & Administration to offer grants for churches serving as COVID-19 community stations

2/17/2021
The WNCC Council on Finance & Administration is setting up a fund for churches to make application for COVID 19 strategies, principally testing and vaccine administration. We know our congregations are being called upon to assist as stations for COVID 19 needs. There is a cost to such in both set up as well as cleaning afterwards. Therefore, the CFA has set aside $250,000 for this effort, with $125,000 specifically set aside to assist our churches of color. Learn how you can apply.
Eating Together Faithfully Online Introductory Training

Eating Together Faithfully Online Introductory Training

2/17/2021
Life Around the Table invites you to join us for our next Eating Together Faithfully (ETF) Online Introductory Training on Wednesday, March 24th at 6pm-8pm EST.
ERT UPDATE: February 18th Ice Storm

ERT UPDATE: February 18th Ice Storm

2/17/2021
ERT’s, as we get ready for the potential for significant ice overnight, be sure to prepare in case you are called on to assist.
UMC bishops offer Lenten Season Devotions

UMC bishops offer Lenten Season Devotions

2/17/2021
The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church will be offering a weekly devotion during the Lenten season which begins this week. Each Wednesday during Lent and every day during Holy Week, a 15-minute recorded devotion, led by a bishop and leaders from their episcopal areas will be released.
Means of Grace: Online Worship is Here to Stay with Jason Moore

Means of Grace: Online Worship is Here to Stay with Jason Moore

2/16/2021
In this week's episode Luke Edwards talks with Dan Pezet, Director of Church Development, and Jason Moore of Midnight Oil Productions about designing worship for both in-person and online participants. On Sunday, March 14, 2021, the WNCC Office of Church Development invites you to join Jason Moore for Both/And: Maximizing Hybrid Worship Experiences For Online and In-Person Audiences.
Recognition of Anniversary Churches

Recognition of Anniversary Churches

2/15/2021
As has been the practice for some years, the WNC Conference Commission on Archives and History will recognize all churches celebrating their 100th, 150th, and 200th anniversaries in 2021.  If your congregation is celebrating one of these anniversaries this year, please contact Jim Pyatt, Archivist, at jpyatt@wnccumc.org by April 1, so that your church will be included in this year’s recognitions.
Webinar: Justice for Black Farmers Act

Webinar: Justice for Black Farmers Act

2/12/2021
In honor of Black History Month, join the team at Life Around the Table for an important conversation about the Justice for Black Farmers Act. All are welcome and there is no cost to attend this virtual webinar! Register HERE. 
Who are Black women pioneers in US Methodism?

Who are Black women pioneers in US Methodism?

2/12/2021
Part 2 of a two-part series on pioneering Black women in Methodist history celebrates The Rev. Sallie Crenshaw and Bishop Leontine Kelly.
Bishop Leeland extends Lenten invitation, word of appreciation for WNCC clergy

Bishop Leeland extends Lenten invitation, word of appreciation for WNCC clergy

2/11/2021
As we enter the Lenten season, beginning with next week’s Ash Wednesday observance, Bishop Leeland extends a Lenten invitation and word of appreciation to Western NC UMC clergy.
The Latest Edition of E-News - Lenten Study from BWUMC, Resources for Black History Month, Brotherhood/Sisterhood Sunday, and more

The Latest Edition of E-News - Lenten Study from BWUMC, Resources for Black History Month, Brotherhood/Sisterhood Sunday, and more

2/10/2021
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. This week's edition features a new Lenten study from the Baltimore-Washington Conference, resources for Black History Month, a message about Brotherhood/Sisterhood Sunday, and more.
Means of Grace: Developing a Ministry of Reconciliation in Your Context

Means of Grace: Developing a Ministry of Reconciliation in Your Context

2/9/2021
Rev. Kim Ingram talks with Deborah Daniels and Cindy Thompson, active lay leaders in the Western North Carolina Conference about the ways they have been involved with ministries of reconciliation, specifically related to racial reconciliation. Cindy and Deborah reflect on their experiences and highlight ways leaders and churches can participate in reconciliation in their congregations and communities.
Brotherhood/Sisterhood of the WNCC 2021: Special Recognition and Membership Drive

Brotherhood/Sisterhood of the WNCC 2021: Special Recognition and Membership Drive

2/9/2021
The WNCC annually approves the third Sunday in February (or other times deemed more suitable) for special recognition of the Brotherhood/Sisterhood. The interest and support of local churches, organizations, and individual members is deeply appreciated and vital since this Affiliated Ministry is entirely self-funded. With the love of God, the grace of Jesus Christ, and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, let us continue to affirm our clergy and their families.
New Lenten study offers hope, reconnection through covenant

New Lenten study offers hope, reconnection through covenant

2/9/2021
A new adult Lenten study, “Reclaiming and Living Covenant,” published by the Baltimore-Washington Conference, is a deep dive into biblical covenant and hope, and reconnecting relationships. This study has been endorsed by the WNCC Comprehensive Plan of Equity Education Task Team.
UWM shares resources for Black History Month

UWM shares resources for Black History Month

2/9/2021
February is Black History Month — a time to reflect on the history of Black Americans and to honor the individuals and groups who have worked tirelessly toward racial justice. The United Methodist Women invite you to join them in their effort to eliminate all institutional racism. This curated list of resources for study and worship during Black History Month is a great place to start!
WNCC Churches Are Livestreaming! Join Us For Virtual Church!

WNCC Churches Are Livestreaming! Join Us For Virtual Church!

2/4/2021
Numerous churches across the conference are livestreaming their worship services, Bible studies, prayer services, bedtime Bible stories, and more. Connect with them here!
The Latest Edition of E-News - Ash Wednesday & Lenten Resources, Spiritual Renewal Grants, and More

The Latest Edition of E-News - Ash Wednesday & Lenten Resources, Spiritual Renewal Grants, and More

2/3/2021
E-News is an email newsletter sent out by the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. This week's E-News contains resources for COVID-safe Ash Wednesday and Lenten observances, information on several grant opportunities for churches, and more.
Come to the Table offers mini-grants for rural churches

Come to the Table offers mini-grants for rural churches

2/3/2021
With support from The Duke Endowment, Come to the Table is excited to once again offer technical assistance funds to assist up to 30 rural United Methodist churches throughout North Carolina. CTTT will fund churches that are engaging in emergency hunger relief efforts during the coronavirus crisis with mini-grants of up to $1,000.
De-Colonizing the Church: A Commitment to Anti-Racism

De-Colonizing the Church: A Commitment to Anti-Racism

2/3/2021
A team of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) pastors and church planters developed a five-week webinar in the hopes that judicatory leaders, pastors, and laity could learn more about the inherent racism in the church and commit to de-colonize The United Methodist Church in America. We invite you to join Path 1 on a journey to name and explore our own history of racism and what it means to be intentionally anti-racist as we start new ministries and faith communities in the UMC. Join this five-week event every Thursday from 1-2:15 p.m. Central time beginning February 18.
Resilience: The Staying Power of the Black Church

Resilience: The Staying Power of the Black Church

2/3/2021
Join Strengthening the Black Church for weekly Facebook Live conversations during the month of February. We will discuss topics such as trauma, social activism, politics, and economics. Plan to engage clergy and community members as we reflect on the history of the Black Church and it's exciting future!
Mission Engagement Blog - February 2021

Mission Engagement Blog - February 2021

2/2/2021
Check out the Mission Engagement Blog page for a new blog by Erin Burleson. This month's topic is "Turning Your Ideas Into Actions".
Means of Grace: The Missional Collective

Means of Grace: The Missional Collective

2/2/2021
This week’s episode is about the Missional Collective, which desires to help churches and ministries shift the work of mission from relief to empowerment. Missional Collective participants attend a series of retreats together and remain in connection through the support of one another’s work.  Brian Mateer speaks with Missional Collective Coordinator, Erin Burleson, who shares details of the cohort and how you can participate.
Greg Jones named President of Belmont University: Edgardo Colón-Emeric to lead divinity school

Greg Jones named President of Belmont University: Edgardo Colón-Emeric to lead divinity school

2/2/2021
Greg Jones, dean of the Duke Divinity School, will be stepping down at the end of the academic year to become president of Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. Effective July 1, Edgardo Colón-Emeric will begin a two-year term as Dean of the Divinity School.
Resources for COVID-Safe Ash Wednesday & Lenten Observances

Resources for COVID-Safe Ash Wednesday & Lenten Observances

2/2/2021
As the Lenten season approaches, we find ourselves still in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we have witnessed this past year, however, even COVID cannot keep the Church of God down. As you make plan to observe the season of Lent in your churches, we have compiled a list of resources that can help you have a COVID-safe time of remembrance and reflection.
Spiritual Renewal Grant for Clergy/Lay Ministry Professionals

Spiritual Renewal Grant for Clergy/Lay Ministry Professionals

2/2/2021
This season of ministry has been hard on leaders and many are exhausted, discouraged, and in need of soul-deep renewal and self-care. The Leadership Development Team wants to help nurture your spirit, for you to be renewed and restored in life and ministry. Apply for a grant for one of the identified offerings, to receive up to $400 for your renewal needs. Funds are available because of the generosity of churches who pay their apportionments.
The Latest Edition of E-News - Means of Grace, Marking Ash Wednesday Safely, Certificate for Church Treasurers, and more

The Latest Edition of E-News - Means of Grace, Marking Ash Wednesday Safely, Certificate for Church Treasurers, and more

1/27/2021
The Western NC Conference E-Newsletter is published weekly. This week's newsletter includes the latest episode of the Means of Grace podcast, guidance for observing Ash Wednesday safely, WNCC Office of the Treasury certification for church treasurers, and more.
A Season of New Beginnings: How Rural Churches Can Use Pandemic-Inspired Innovations

A Season of New Beginnings: How Rural Churches Can Use Pandemic-Inspired Innovations

1/27/2021
As the pandemic evolves, our churches continue to learn, innovate, and respond to the needs of our communities. This webinar series explores ways in which we can continue to use and adapt the pandemic-generated tools, resources, and approaches as we move into new seasons of church life post COVID-19.
Certificate for Church Treasurers

Certificate for Church Treasurers

1/27/2021
The Conference Office of Treasury Services and the United Methodist Foundation of Western North Carolina will offer a certificate training program for United Methodist volunteer treasurers within our conference.
Guidance for observing Ash Wednesday safely

Guidance for observing Ash Wednesday safely

1/27/2021
With COVID-19 still spreading rapidly, an ecumenical group of experts, including representatives from Emory's Candler School of Theology and the Center for Disease Control, released this six-page guide for observing Ash Wednesday safely.
January billings for health and pension benefits to be rolled in with February billings

January billings for health and pension benefits to be rolled in with February billings

1/27/2021
Due to the January season of changing all the rates, clergy selection in the various health plans and updating the database appropriately with salary adjustments for the new year, the January billings for Health and Pensions benefits will occur, as in years past, with the February billing for a combined two month invoice.
Piney Creek UMC participates in ministry to provide free eggs to fight poverty

Piney Creek UMC participates in ministry to provide free eggs to fight poverty

1/27/2021
Piney Creek UMC, in partnership with the Alleghany County Ministerium, is working to alleviate poverty in the county with free eggs from their henhouse, as well as providing interested families in need with their own flock of hens.
Rebate money available for churches to go solar

Rebate money available for churches to go solar

1/27/2021
Duke Energy is currently giving away FREE MONEY to nonprofit organizations that decide to Go Solar!
Still In Mission: Connect with UM missionaries around the world

Still In Mission: Connect with UM missionaries around the world

1/27/2021
Despite the pandemic, United Methodist missionaries remain deeply engaged in work around the world. Each month, Global Ministries invites four missionaries to be in conversation with laity and clergy throughout the church to share the joys and challenges they've experienced. Learn how you can join the conversation on February 4th.
WNCC United Methodist Women meets and exceeds 2020 pledge

WNCC United Methodist Women meets and exceeds 2020 pledge

1/27/2021
Despite the many challenges of 2020, the WNCC United Methodist Women met and exceeded their contribution goal of $525,000 thanks to the faithful gifts of Western NC United Methodists.
Means of Grace: The Church and Rural Food Systems

Means of Grace: The Church and Rural Food Systems

1/26/2021
This week's episode is about rural food systems and how churches can make an impact on our communities in economic and environmental ways. Luke Edwards talks with Jaimie McGirt of Resourceful Communities which focuses on environmental stewardship, social justice and sustainable economic development across rural NC. He also talks with Bob Sturge, Pastor of Mill Grove UMC in Midland, NC where he and his congregation have been encouraging the missional and evangelistic impact of predominantly rural congregations by partnering with local farmers to provide beef for neighboring food ministries and dinner churches.
UMVIM Winter Mission Academy

UMVIM Winter Mission Academy

1/26/2021
Sign up for classes February 1-12. All classes will meet online from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time / 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Central Time / 5:00 - 7:00 p.m Mountain Time / 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time.
Virtual Buzz Session by Innovators' Table (Postponed)

Virtual Buzz Session by Innovators' Table (Postponed)

1/25/2021
Dreaming up a new form of ministry? Not sure what to do next to make it work? Come be part of a Buzz Session!
The Latest Edition of E-News - Annual Conference Announcement, Webinar Training Recordings Available, Explore Summer Internships, and more

The Latest Edition of E-News - Annual Conference Announcement, Webinar Training Recordings Available, Explore Summer Internships, and more

1/21/2021
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. This week's newsletter contains information about the virtual 2021 Annual Conference, Explore Summer Ministry Internships, Reynolds Grant Applications, and more.
Annual Conference 2021 Updates

Annual Conference 2021 Updates

1/20/2021
The 2021 session of Annual Conference will be held virtually on Saturday, June 12 at 10:00 a.m., using the same format as the 2020 virtual session. The clergy session will be Friday, June 11, also held virtually. Due to ongoing presence of COVID 19 and our continued dedication to “Do No Harm,” we don’t anticipate that a gathering of this size will be feasible in person by June 2021. The Ordering of Ministry service will be held in person on Saturday, June 19 at Lake Junaluska. The combined service for clergy being commissioned and ordained will include 2020 and 2021 classes, with likely limits on attendance numbers and social distancing. More details will be shared in the coming weeks.
Means of Grace: Partnerships, Vitality, and Mission - The Uwharrie District

Means of Grace: Partnerships, Vitality, and Mission - The Uwharrie District

1/19/2021
In this episode of the Means of Grace podcast, Kim Ingram visits with Uwharrie District leaders: Rev. Laura Auten, District Superintendent, Rev. Katie Lineberger, District Vitality Associate; Rev. Kris Mares, Missional Engagement Associate. We hear stories of how churches in the Uwharrie District are reaching their communities, discover a new way to engage statistical reporting as a sign of church vitality, and learn some about the unique characteristics of the Uwharrie Region in North Carolina.
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