Conference Blog

 

Appointment Values

By Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi

2/22/2017

After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go.  He said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborer are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go on your way.  Luke 10:1-2   Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. Acts 8:14   There is a strong biblical history of God’s ...


Word of God -- Delayed

By Brian Bauknight

2/7/2017

Early one cold and blustery Pittsburgh January morning, I was listening to the school closings and delays on my car radio.  The list was long.  Some schools on the northern tier of our area were closed for the day.  Most were delayed or “modified.”  It was a particularly nasty weather morning for traffic, even though scenic and attractive in many ways. Suddenly one school announcement caught my immediate attention: “Word of God—delayed.”   Located somewhere in Western Pennsylvania is a school ...


Meet Black College Fund Ambassador

By WPa United Methodist Women

2/3/2017

February is Black History Month and presents a good opportunity to learn more about our denomination's historically black colleges and the ways our Conference UMW has helped to tell that story. The historically Black colleges and universities of The United Methodist Church are responsible for educating some active and popular leaders - from preachers, district superintendents and bishops to college professors and presidents to general agency staff, legislators and community leaders. These ...


Leaning into Hope

By Brian Bauknight

1/3/2017

Domenico Ghirlandaio's Zechariah Writes Down the Name of His Son (1490, fresco in the Tornabuoni Chapel, Florence) The first two chapters of Luke tell the heart of the Christmas Story.  Most of us are familiar with Luke 2:1-20 – a narrative which is read, sung, and performed in many churches each December.   But these two chapters are also about four elderly folks: Elizabeth and Zechariah, who Luke says (rather delicately) are “getting on in years.” Simeon, who is ...


Bishop's New Year's Covenant

By Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi

12/29/2016

In my tradition one of the most moving worship experiences we had during the holiday season was the Watch Night Service.  On New Year’s Eve we would gather together and through song and testimony we would praise God and rehearse the many ways God had blessed us throughout the year. Then, about twenty-five minutes before midnight my father, who was my pastor during my childhood and youth, would start preaching.  He was never a long winded preacher, but on New Year’s Eve it was especially ...


A Shepherd Who Stayed Behind?

By Brian Bauknight

12/20/2016

Occasionally, in my imagination, I see one shepherd who did not go to Bethlehem that first Christmas night.  One shepherd stayed with the sheep while the others ran to see if the news was true.  Why would this have been his choice?  Why did he not go?   Consider some possibilities!   He was too tired.  It had been a long week, or a long series of weeks. He did not have the time or the energy to do one more thing What about you?  Are you simply worn from the pace and competing claims of recent ...


Waiting Room

By Brian Bauknight

12/6/2016

Every day in December, our youngest granddaughter asks my wife or me the same question: “How many days now until Christmas?”  I am quite sure she knows the answer.  But still she asks!   We don’t much like waiting.  Most of us have had the experience of sitting and waiting for a doctor office appointment.  We know our turn will come eventually.  But still we check our watch.  And often we fret.  We also wait impatiently (and occasionally, fearfully) for a doctor’s visit to our hospital room or ...


Theological Correctness

By Brian Bauknight

11/22/2016

I am not someone to quickly correct another person’s theology; but on some occasions, I cannot help myself.  We heard a lot of banter about “political correctness” in the recent presidential campaign.  Is there such a thing as “theological correctness?”  I think there may be times….   Recently, someone posted this thought on FaceBook: When God pushes you to the edge, trust him fully, because only two things can happen: either he catches you when you fall or he will teach you how to fly.  On ...


Time to Pray!

By Brian Bauknight

11/8/2016

Like many of you, I will be glad for this day to be over.  It has been a long, grueling, and often ugly election season, unlike any other I can remember in my lifetime.  Like many of you, I have been to the polls and voted—about one hour ago.  Like some of you, I will probably wait up later into tonight to catch a glimpse of how Americans voted today.  Like many of you, I really have no clear idea of how the election will go—either in the presidential race or the (possibly even more important) “...


Numbers Games

By Brian Bauknight

10/26/2016

My eight-year-old granddaughter loves number games.  She enjoys math at school, and frequently wants me to be with her while she practices her addition, subtraction, and multiplication on an ingenious computer web site.   On most Sunday nights, she and I play some games which involve numbers.  A game of Tensie, Phase 10, Yahtzee, 500, or Uno is usually one of the games of choice.  Her mind works quickly in these games, and she often wins—especially in the card games.  She can plan ahead and ...


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