Conference Blog

 

Theological Positioning

By Brian Bauknight

5/18/2016

Once each year during most of my appointed years in United Methodist ministry, I was asked to put my theological position in writing to the Bishop and the District Superintendents. Was I liberal or conservative, fundamentalist or progressive, or some other defined stance?  Supposedly, this position statement would help the appointive cabinet match the right pastoral leader with the right church.   I never liked this requirement.  Partly because I thought it was far too simplistic.  And partly ...


An Unstoppable Young Woman

By WPa United Methodist Women

5/16/2016

What makes an unstoppable young woman?   One who… Sleeps on the floor on a blow-up mattress so she can volunteer at General Conference; Volunteers at the UMW booth and the General Conference information booth; Gets up early to leave the apartment at 6:45 and catch the 7:00 bus so she can attend WPA delegate devotions at 7:30 and General Conference opening worship at 8:00; Interacts with others about what they are experiencing and shares her experiences; Is flexible and considerate of others; ...


WPAUMC General Conference Notes

By Jackie Campbell

5/11/2016

In addition to our WPAUMC delegates and volunteers, others with ties to Western Pennsylvania are involved in the General Conference. As the gathering progresses, we'll offer some news and notes about their activities gleaned from news reports, messages and social media. Gregory to Lead Lay Leaders Association Conference Lay Leader and WPAUMC Delegation Chair is the new president of the Association of Annual Conference Lay Leaders. The organization, which works through UMC Discipleship ...


Words. Words! SO MANY WORDS!

By Amy Wagner

5/9/2016

As General Conference 2016 begins, I am drowning in words!  The Advanced Daily Christian Advocate arrived by mail several weeks ago in five bound volumes containing 1475 pages.  My legislative section – Ministry & Higher Education and Superintendency – will act on more than 225 pieces of legislation.  I’ve received dozens of letters and emails (even a few books and DVDs) advocating for or against particular petitions.  And General Conference-related news stories and blog posts appear on my ...


The Weather Stick

By Brian Bauknight

5/3/2016

I received a most unusual birthday gift a year ago.  I was told it was a weather stick—a twig, really—which could and would predict the outdoor weather. If mostly sunny, the stick would curve upward.  If cloudy with rain or snow, the stick would change and curve in a downward arc. A bit of research told me that the weather stick is a traditional means of weather prediction first used by some Native Americans—a bit of balsam fir or birch mounted outdoors which twists upwards in low humidity and ...


Unstoppable: Learning the issues, finding your voice, changing the world

By WPa United Methodist Women

4/20/2016

 Do you believe that? Can we learn the issues, find our voices, and change the world? There’s a group of young women in Western Pennsylvania who believe they can.   One of the things I love most about young women is their idealism.  As we age, sometimes we lose some of that idealism.  We’ve run into too many brick walls and glass ceilings.  For three years now, I’ve been learning to mentor the young women of “unstoppable.” They’ve been teaching me; I’ve been teaching them.  Sometimes I talk too ...


Three-Point Stance

By Brian Bauknight

4/19/2016

As I watch my grandsons learn something about lining up for a football play, I see them perfecting the all-important three-point stance: both feet planted firmly on the ground, one hand on the ground, and one hand up and cocked back toward the hip or thigh.  The stance allows for a faster start by linemen and running backs.  It’s a pretty easy “learn.”   As I grow older, I have learned something important about my own three point stance: don’t try to bend down to pick up something on the floor ...


What Are You Reading?

By WPa United Methodist Women

4/12/2016

United Methodist Women are readers.  They read for pleasure; they read for information; they read to challenge themselves to grow.  Some of what they read makes them uncomfortable; they’d rather not know some of the painful things that go on in the world around them.  Sometimes they are called to speak up, or support projects in far off places, or actually go and do something.  Those who want an additional reading challenge often participate in one of the four organized “reading plans” set up by...


The Mystery of Hope

By Brian Bauknight

4/5/2016

The season of Eastertide is a season of hope.  Mostly that hope is filled with a special mystery.    Somewhere I read a story about an ad that appeared in the classified section of a large city newspaper. In big, bold letters, it read: “USED TOMBSTONE FOR SALE.”  Underneath was this description, “Used tombstone for sale.  Real bargain to someone named ‘Dingo.’  For more information, call…”   Wouldn’t you love to know about Dingo? Who was he, and why did he no longer have need for a tombstone?   ...


What Are We Paying For? Why?

By Larry Bridge

4/5/2016

A Short Story About Connectional Apportionments I once read a comment about connectional apportionments from someone who asked the question, “Is this like the baggage fee I have to pay when flying?”   Another person wanted to know if Apportionments were similar to dues you pay to belong to a club. I suppose these are not unreasonable questions to ask if you have never had the opportunity to receive an explanation of how Connectional Apportionments are an integral part of the fabric of the ...


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