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.

Commission on General Conference looks toward 2019 and 2020

Commission on General Conference looks toward 2019 and 2020

10/9/2017
Gallant, Ala.: Meeting at Camp Sumatanga in Gallant, Ala. for their fall meeting, the Commission on General Conference announced the America’s Center Convention Complex will be the venue for the 2019 special session of the General Conference, to be held February 23-26 in downtown St. Louis, Missouri. Sara Hotchkiss, General Conference business manager, reported that hospitality for the 2019 event will be provided by the two annual conferences in the surrounding Greater St. Louis area -- the ...
United Methodist bishops call for a ‘Clean Dream Act’

United Methodist bishops call for a ‘Clean Dream Act’

10/5/2017
 WASHINGTON – United Methodist bishops are urging the United States Congress to pass a Clean Dream Act that would allow undocumented young people the opportunity to work, receive an education and serve in the U.S. military. In a statement released today, the bishops said they are praying and urging action for the young people affected by the U.S. government’s decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The young immigrants, also known as Dreamers, had October 5 ...
Mary Huff announced as Director of the Lake Junaluska Singers

Mary Huff announced as Director of the Lake Junaluska Singers

10/5/2017
Lake Junaluska, N.C. – Mary Wannamaker Huff has been named the director of the Lake Junaluska Singers, a choral group that has been a part of Lake Junaluska’s history for more than 60 years. Huff, who served as the group’s interim director for the 2017 season, has agreed to lead the Singers for three more seasons. “I am grateful for the kind welcome and support extended to me this past summer as interim director, and I look forward to extending that welcome and support in song to the Lake ...
Boomer Spirituality Webinars start today

Boomer Spirituality Webinars start today

10/4/2017
Boomer Spirituality Webinar Series The Boomer Spirituality Webinars start this evening.  Join Craig Kennet Miller, author of Boomer Spirituality: Seven Values for the Second Half of Life for this in-depth series which will give you a new understanding of this generation.  Each episode will be recorded, so if you can't watch live, you will be able to view it at on your own time. Webinars will be streamed at 6:30 pm, Central Time (7:30 pm, Eastern; 4:30 pm, Pacific) Register for the webinar ...
Givens Communities announces last phase of Gerber Park

Givens Communities announces last phase of Gerber Park

10/4/2017
Re-Imagine Senior Living Making it possible for more seniors to afford housing with supportive services Givens Gerber Park is the answer for those 55 and older with modest income to enjoy the next chapter in their life. Located in vibrant south Asheville this community offers residents an engaging, convenient community to thrive amongst friends. This new community is excited to announce “60 Gerber Park” – the newest affordable living solution.  This phase includes 60 one-bedroom and 22 ...
Open Letter to Clergy and Church Leaders Following  Las Vegas Shooting From Bishop Leeland

Open Letter to Clergy and Church Leaders Following Las Vegas Shooting From Bishop Leeland

10/3/2017
An Open Letter to Clergy and Church Leaders of the Western North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church. This week many of our congregations will be expressing grief and dismay at the newest assault on the sacredness of human life and Christian values following a violent attack on innocent individuals attending a concert in Las Vegas, NV, last night.  At the time of this writing, CNN News reports more than 58 people killed and 500 plus have been injured in the attack. Many in our ...
United Methodist Credit Union offers churches ways to save

United Methodist Credit Union offers churches ways to save

9/22/2017
The United Methodist Credit Union is pleased to be a financial resource for the church members and churches of the Western North Carolina Conference. Here are just a couple of ways we can help churches grow their savings or cut loan expenses. First, if a church has significant cash balances (earning nearly nothing), we can help them with something we’ve created just for United Methodist churches in the conferences we serve. We call it the Church Reserve Account, and it gives a church the ...
Revision Committee begins work on new version of The United Methodist Hymnal

Revision Committee begins work on new version of The United Methodist Hymnal

9/22/2017
 NASHVILLE, Tenn. Sept. 21, 2017 /Discipleship Ministries/ – Work on a groundbreaking revision of The United Methodist Hymnal, designed to be a print/digital contextually adaptable resource for primary use in the United States, begins this fall following the selection of the full Hymnal Revision Committee. The process for Discipleship Ministries, The United Methodist Publishing House (UMPH), the Council of Bishops, and the Association of United Methodist Theological Schools to select the 15 ...
Commission starts to sketch options for the way forward

Commission starts to sketch options for the way forward

9/21/2017
BERLIN, Germany – The Commission on a Way Forward has started sketching models to share with the Council of Bishops as options for finding a way forward for The United Methodist Church (UMC) regarding human sexuality. During the meeting in Berlin, Germany (Sept. 18-20), members of the Commission expressed the need for the unity of the UMC, yet recognizing the different theological understandings and expressions on human sexuality. From spirit-led devotions through heartfelt discussions to ...
Webinars available from Discipleship Ministries

Webinars available from Discipleship Ministries

9/19/2017
September-December 2017 Register for free at www.umcdiscipleship.org/webinars September Teach US to Pray: Teaching Others to Pray A Webinar Series (3 of 3) https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/worship/teach-us-to-pray-webinar-series Tuesday, September 26, 2017 7:30 pm Central Daylight Time (8:30 pm, Eastern) Presenters: Taylor Burton-Edwards, Mark Stamm, and Joseph Crowe Taylor Burton-Edwards hosts “Teach US to Pray,” a three-part series of webinars with Dr. Mark Stamm to help you strengthen ...

Advent outreach resources available for local churches

9/18/2017
Nashville, Tenn.: New resources that support local church Advent outreach efforts are now available. The resources carry the theme, “Unwrap the true meaning of Christmas,” and complement The United Methodist Church’s national Advent advertising campaign, which will feature children sharing about their faith and what Christmas means to them. “These tools will support United Methodists as they reach out to their communities with a message of hope and invitation during the holiday season,” said ...
Commission on a Way Forward prepares for critical meeting in Berlin

Commission on a Way Forward prepares for critical meeting in Berlin

9/11/2017
 WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the Commission on a Way Forward prepares for its next meeting, the moderators are asking all United Methodists to continue to pray for the Commission members as they work to discern options for a way forward for The United Methodist Church in the midst of disagreement regarding the disciplinary stance related to human sexuality. The moderators, Bishops David Yemba, Sandra Steiner Ball and Ken Carter, are urging people to continue praying as Commission members gather for ...
Bishop Leeland and the Committee on Relief- Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

Bishop Leeland and the Committee on Relief- Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

9/8/2017
As United Methodists, let us stand together in prayer and support of all of those who have been affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The state of North Carolina isn’t in the clear as we anticipate tropical force winds and rains to impact Western North Carolina. Hurricane Jose also looms behind, reminding us that storms are never far away. We are especially aware of Bishop Carter, one of our own, who leads the Florida Conference in the midst of the disaster.  We also remember Bishop Lawson ...
An invitation to attend CCDA in Detroit

An invitation to attend CCDA in Detroit

9/8/2017
The WNCC is becoming a leader in missional efforts, as evidenced by the Missional Wisdom Foundation eastern hub affiliating with our conference, the new partnership with Fresh Expressions, and in piloting the Missions 3.0 Peer Learning Group. While these are important pieces to helping our local churches adapt to meet the needs of a changing world, we believe that a critical piece is missing. All studies show that by 2040 ethnic minorities will comprise the majority of the US population. It is ...

Letter from Bishop of Puerto Rico related to Hurricane Irma

9/6/2017
Iglesia Metodista de Puerto Rico, Inc. September 5, 2017. Mr. Thomas Kemper, General Secretary Global Ministries United Methodist Church Atlanta, GA Re: Hurricane Irma Grace and peace to you and the General Ministries family. Puerto Rico, will be confronting Hurricane Irma in the next hours. This hurricane has been classified as a category 5. In his route it will be affecting Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra, and the Virgin Islands. It is expected that it will be in our vicinity tomorrow, ...
Register Today for

Register Today for "More Church Leaders | Stronger Church Leaders" Conference and Live Stream

9/5/2017
  Register Today for "More Church Leaders | Stronger Church Leaders" Conference and Live Stream Saturday, November 4, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Eastern Churches with vital, growing ministries learn to leverage leadership potential within their congregations.  At More Church Leaders | Stronger Church Leaders you will learn strategies to identify and support new leaders and build and maintain effective ministry teams. Clergy and lay leaders, in churches both large and small, will discover a more ...
Registration Now Open for Winter Youth Retreats at Lake Junaluska

Registration Now Open for Winter Youth Retreats at Lake Junaluska

8/30/2017
Lake Junaluska, N.C. - Registration is open for Lake Junaluska’s Winter Youth Retreats. From December to February the lake will host five program weekends for middle school and high school youth groups. This winter marks the first year of a new format for the youth group retreats, as participants will choose their own daytime activity. In the past, the youth events have focused on ski, but this year groups can choose to zipline, do mission work or ski. “My hope is that as we ski, zipline or ...
Bishop Leeland requests special offering for victims of Hurricane Harvey on September 3rd

Bishop Leeland requests special offering for victims of Hurricane Harvey on September 3rd

8/30/2017
  Please plan to join United Methodists from across the globe on Sunday and take a special offering to assist the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Donations can be remitted to the Conference Treasurer and designated for U.S. Disaster Response, Advance #901670 which will give UMCOR maximum flexibility in responding to needs. Please also pray for the Early Response Teams, disaster coordinators, and many volunteers in The Texas Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, Louisiana Conference of...
Hurricane Harvey Update

Hurricane Harvey Update

8/28/2017
The information has been constantly changing since Sunday night, to get the most recent information--go to the Disaster Response page Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf Coast of the U.S. August 26 affecting millions of people with multiple days of heavy rain, winds, and rising tides. The United Methodist Church is actively present, working with local and state emergency management, FEMA, and other volunteers active in disaster. The Western North Carolina Committee on Relief encourages you to:   ...

WEEKLY UPDATE 082517

8/25/2017
PAST UPDATES Here are the major changes for the past week to the website.  What did you miss?   LATEST NEWS World Communion Sunday is October 1  Extended Cabinet meets and looks at discipleship processes  Laity Sunday is October 15th  Racial Awakening  LATEST CAREERS Choir Director & Pianist  Youth Pastor  Director of Discipleship and staffing  Director of Youth Ministries  Director of Children’s and Family Ministries  LATEST EVENTS The Elephant in the Sanctuary: An Introduction to ...

World Communion Sunday is October 1

8/25/2017
A downloadable World Communion Sunday Pastor and Leader’s Kit has everything you need to promote this Special Sunday and celebrate with a memorable service Oct. 1. You will find sermon starters, social media images, infographics and PowerPoint presentations that you can use right away. You also can watch and share videos featuring some of the ethnic and minority students who have been able to pursue higher education thanks to the World Communion Sunday offering. Use this content in ...

Extended Cabinet meets and looks at discipleship processes

8/25/2017
The Western North Carolina Conference extended cabinet met, Monday, August 21, 2017, for the purpose of continuing to support and encourage our clergy and United Methodist Churches in building sustainable discipleship processes. We continued to affirm our commitment to focus on the Great Commission and to seek the needed leadership for Kingdom work.  Together we embraced Ephesians 4: “Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people...

Laity Sunday is October 15th

8/22/2017
Laity Sunday in the United Methodist Church is on October 15, 2017 and the Board of Laity of the WNCC invites all congregations to celebrate the ministry of the laity on this Sunday. Methodism has long celebrated and recognized the ministry of the laity.  In the early days of American Methodism, the laity served and maintained congregations between visits of the circuit riders.  Today, lay people are at the front line of daily ministry in our congregations and in our communities. Quadrennial...

Racial Awakening

8/21/2017
By Rev. DeVere Williams He was as black as the coal he shoveled into the sooty basement furnace of the old school. Lanky and strong, he was polite but quiet as he went about his duties at a deliberate pace. In his late fifties or early sixties, he was the custodian at the Randleman Elementary School. We may have nodded at each other, but we never spoke. I knew practically nothing about him; still he was the black person I knew best during my formative years in the foothills of central North ...

WEEKLY UPDATE 081817

8/18/2017
PAST UPDATES Here are the major changes for the past two weeks to the website (a busy Friday last week kept the editor out of the office).  What did you miss?   LATEST NEWS UMCom produces “Embrace Love” resources  Call to Prayer  Grace Break offerings coming up  Lake Junaluska to be featured on UNC-TV  Vienna Boys Choir at First UMC, Charlotte on October 18  $80,000 awarded to WNCC Seminary Students Piney Mountain UMC saves 386 tons of CO2 from atmosphere LATEST CAREERS Director of Children’...

UMCom produces "Embrace Love" resources

8/18/2017
United Methodist Communications, headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, has been busy this week after the events in Charlottesville last weekend. Below are a number of resources that you can use in your churches and small groups for discussing the issues of racism and reconciliation. They developed several articles, listed below, which cover the incident but also provide help and guidance on various fronts. Regarding Charlottesville Five tips for addressing racism with children Ways United ...

Call to Prayer

8/17/2017
Call to Prayer from The Board of Laity Western North Carolina Conference  of The United Methodist Church The Board of Laity of the Western North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church does not condone hatred, bigotry, violence, prejudice or any form of oppression in the lives of all God’s children. We reject the hateful actions and rhetoric of hate groups.  We believe the transforming power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is where we strive to reconcile and heal those who have ...

Grace Break offerings coming up

8/15/2017
CHANGING THE CONVERSATION FROM “CRISIS” TO “PREVENTION”! Nine times out of ten, renewal leaves are not sought after by clergy or their district leaders until a crisis situation. We at Big Sigh Ministries are changing the conversation from burnout crisis to prevention and ministry resilience with our GRACE BREAK program. Through this informative program, we help clergy dream and plan ahead for renewal leaves; we educate church Staff and Pastor Parish Relations Committees as to the unique ...

Lake Junaluska to be featured on UNC-TV

8/14/2017
Lake Junaluska, N.C. – Lake Junaluska will be featured on UNC-TV’s program “North Carolina Weekend” on Thursday, August 17 at 9 p.m., and again on Friday, August 18 at 7:30 p.m. North Carolina Weekend is a program that showcases the best things to see and do across North Carolina, including historic sites, festivals, music, restaurants and places to stay. The segment on Lake Junaluska will feature some of guests’ favorite things to do when they stay at Lake Junaluska, including the Lake ...

Vienna Boys Choir at First UMC, Charlotte on October 18

8/9/2017
First United Methodist Church in Charlotte is hosting the Vienna Boys Choir on Wednesday, October 18th at 7:30 pm. The program for the evening is called "Bella Italia." It is a program of popular and classical compositions from Italy, to include classical pieces by Vivaldi, Rossini, Verdi, Mascagni and other Italian composers, along with such popular favorites as ?Santa Lucia, ??O sole mio, ??Volare, and more. This Gothic Revival-style church built in 1927 is known for it acoustics which have ...

$80,000 awarded to WNCC Seminary Students

8/8/2017
On August 1, 2017 The Office of Loans and Scholarships at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry announced that it awarded more than $1.66 million to 206 recipients of the Excellence in Clergy Leadership Scholarship to Master of Divinity students attending one of the thirteen United Methodist seminaries in the United States. Seven Candidates for Ministry in The Western North Carolina Conference received between $7,500 - $12,500 each toward their educational expenses. These students ...

Piney Mountain UMC saves 386 tons of CO2 from atmosphere

8/8/2017
[caption id="attachment_9929" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Rev. Kevin Bates, pastor of Piney Mountain UMC, hands out LED lightbulbs in the neighborhood near the church.[/caption] by Mary Bates Piney Mountain United Methodist Church in Candler will reduce carbon emissions by 386 tons and save $72,000 over 10 years as the result of a new initiative to care for God’s creation. The church received a grant to purchase and give away 1,152 LED lightbulbs to the community. Each household that ...

WEEKLY UPDATE 080417

8/4/2017
PAST UPDATES Here are the major changes for the past week to the website.  What did you miss?   LATEST NEWS Scholarships help relieve clergy debt  Brookhill Community Day sponsored by Charlotte churches  Pfeiffer-Charlotte offers lecture and lunch series  LATEST CAREERS Director of Youth Discipleship  Youth Pastor  Director of Youth Ministries  Administrative Assistant  Praise and Worship Leader/ Music Director for Youth and Children  Youth & Children’s Ministry Coordinator Controller LATEST...

Scholarships help relieve clergy debt

8/4/2017
The Office of Loans and Scholarships at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM), a center for leadership development across the denomination, today awarded more than $1.66 million to 206 recipients of the Excellence in Clergy Leadership Scholarship. The scholarship was created to help United Methodist clergy avoid excessive educational loan debt, minimize financial stress and build financial acumen.   Each recipient is awarded amounts ranging from $2,500 to $12,500. The ...

Brookhill Community Day sponsored by Charlotte churches

8/3/2017
Brookhill Community Day is scheduled for Saturday, August 12th from 10:30 am until 2:00 pm, and is being sponsored by South Tryon Community United Methodist Church and Myers Park United Methodist Church. The event will celebrate the community of Brookhill Village, as churches and residents work together to build a future as promising as the neighborhood’s rich history. The event will be a neighborhood cookout to celebrate what the community can be, and will include children’s games and live ...

Pfeiffer-Charlotte offers lecture and lunch series

8/2/2017
[caption id="attachment_9900" align="alignright" width="232"] Click to get full size poster[/caption] Join Pfeiffer University and a group of distinguished scholars and community leaders as we explore current issues and trends related to the challenges of our region, nation and the world. The Charlotte Symposium, an 11-month lecture and lunch series, offers certification in lifelong learning for those who participate in seven sessions during 2017-18. Sessions may also be taken individually. Cost...

WEEKLY UPDATE 072817

7/28/2017
PAST UPDATES Here are the major changes for the past week to the website. What did you miss? LATEST NEWS Connectional Table meets for evaluative session Commission on a Way Forward issues status report Churches recognized for special anniversaries at Annual Conference What the Archives Has: Trustees and leaders break ground for new conference office Celebrate “Back-to-School” in your congregation Commission on a Way Forward meets in Chicago   LATEST CAREERS Director of Student and Family...

Connectional Table meets for evaluative session

7/27/2017
[caption id="attachment_9870" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Bob Wilhoit (L) giving his report at Connectional Table while David Snipes (R) listens[/caption] The Western North Carolina Conference Connectional Table met for its quarterly meeting on Saturday, July 22, at the United Methodist Foundation in Huntersville. The focus for this meeting was evaluation of conference ministries to ensure alignment with the mission of the church. The Connectional Table’s purpose, based on the Conference ...

Commission on a Way Forward issues status report

7/27/2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Commission on a Way Forward has released a status report to the Council of Bishops and the entire United Methodist Church (UMC), updating the church and the leaders on the faithful work of the Commission after four meetings. The 32-member commission is accountable to the Council of Bishops, which named the members following a mandate from the 2016 General Conference. The charge from the General Conference was for the bishops to find a way forward and for unity in the UMC ...

Churches recognized for special anniversaries at Annual Conference

7/26/2017
Commission on Archives and History 2017 (revised) from The United Methodist Church   During the 2017 session of the WNC Annual Conference, the Conference Commission on Archives and History recognized the following congregations as celebrating significant anniversaries during 2017: Bicentennial (organized 1817): Jackson UMC, Guilford County (an early African-American congregation) Prospect UMC, Union County   Sesquicentennial (organized 1867): Center Grove UMC, Cabarrus County (organized as ...

What the Archives Has:

7/26/2017
Annual Conference Journals of the Western North Carolina Conference and its predecessors Files on many of the clergy in the WNC Conference past and present Files on all active churches in the WNC Conference Records of (some of) the closed churches in the WNC Conference Copies of the North Carolina Christian Advocate and other publications Records of conference committees and organizations Some old Quarterly Conference minutes and records General Minutes of the UMC and its predecessor ...

Trustees and leaders break ground for new conference office

7/25/2017
Less than a month after approving the proposal at Annual Conference, Bishop Leeland, the Board of Trustees, leaders of the conference and conference staff gathered at the property in Huntersville to break ground for the new conference office. The service for breaking ground was held at 12 Noon on Saturday, July 22, 2017 in land adjacent to the United Methodist Foundation of Western North Carolina (13816 Professional Center Drive, Huntersville, NC). Bob Wilhoit, chair of the Board of Trustees,...

Celebrate "Back-to-School" in your congregation

7/24/2017
Dear United Methodist Clergy: We hope you and your congregants will celebrate teachers and students with Back to School activities and recognition in August. First day for most students is August 28 but check your local system. We have seen many powerful ideas for lifting up our teachers and students, and below are some you may want to adopt. 1,720,042 students were enrolled in Kindergarten through Grade 12 in 2016. You may have many teachers in your congregation as well as others who actively ...

Commission on a Way Forward meets in Chicago

7/24/2017
Chicago, Ill.: The Commission on a Way Forward held its fourth meeting on July 19-21 at the Wespath building in Chicago, Illinois. The Commission has been assigned by the Council of Bishops, in response to the action of the 2016 General Conference, to help the denomination to explore new ways of embodying unity that will move the church beyond its impasse around ministry and human sexuality. Moderators Bishop David Yemba, Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball and Bishop Ken Carter led the 32-person global...

WEEKLY UPDATE 072117

7/21/2017
PAST UPDATES Here are the major changes for the past two weeks to the website (last week the editor was on a retreat and didn't get to the task on Friday). What did you miss?   LATEST NEWS WNCC gets largest attendance award from Harambee Duke’s 2017 Convocation & Pastors’ School What are gracious accountability groups? How do they function? Conference in Partnership with Fresh Expressions US Two opportunities from the Council of Bishops   LATEST CAREERS Children’s Music Specialist ...

WNCC gets largest attendance award from Harambee

7/19/2017
The word Harambee is South African in origin and means “Let’s Pull Together.” During June 25-29, 2017, the Western North Carolina Conference had 51 attendees at the 20th Anniversary Harambee Conference at Claflin University in Orangeburg, SC. We were able to “Pull Together” with each other and with hundreds of other youth in the Southeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church. These experiences, underwritten by generosity, prayers, faith and love made visible through persons and ...

Duke’s 2017 Convocation & Pastors’ School

7/18/2017
Registration is now available for the 2017 Convocation & Pastors’ School, Oct. 9-10 at Duke Divinity School. The annual two-day conference offers lectures, worship and seminars for Christian leaders of all traditions. How can the Church confront and heal the bias and hate that breeds fear and division within our families, congregations, and communities? How can clergy and church leaders empower congregations to embrace the freedom God offers to seek justice and love kindness with and for our ...

What are gracious accountability groups? How do they function?

7/17/2017
Last time, we discussed why are gracious accountability groups important. We reference three of Jesus teachings in Matthew and how He and also John Wesley used this type of group to make disciples of Jesus – disciples that make disciples. This time we will discuss the “how” of gracious accountability groups – what are some useful models to consider (there are several) in designing groups for your church. Also, what are some ideas and reference books for you to consider in your decision making ...

Conference in Partnership with Fresh Expressions US

7/17/2017
[caption id="attachment_9762" align="alignright" width="300"] Click to download large flyer[/caption] The Fresh Expressions US Team is pleased to announce a new partnership agreement with the Western North Carolina Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. This is the latest step forward in a growing collaborative cross-denominational movement. John Boggs, former Director of Vital Discipleship in the Western North Carolina Conference said: In a time when more and more people are not ...
Two opportunities from the Council of Bishops

Two opportunities from the Council of Bishops

7/14/2017
The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church announces two exciting opportunities offered through their office: 1. Applications for a partial scholarship to attend The Ecumenical Institute at Bossey during the Fall 2018 Graduate Session are now available.  Seminary students who intend to vocationally serve The UMC are encouraged to consider this opportunity to engage in an ecumenical community for this 5-month, graduate-level course.  The application is due no later than September 15, ...
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