Conference Blog


Triple Berry Blast

By Brian Bauknight


Sounds like a new ice cream flavor from Baskin-Robbins or Ben&Jerry’s, right?    Not quite.  The phrase describes the focus of a significant chunk of my activity on our small farm property right now. Blueberries, blackberries, and red raspberries are all coming ripe at the same time.  Late June is prime ripening season for all three!  Most early mornings and later evenings (too hot to pick at mid day!), I am out with bowls and other containers gathering the berries for Elaine to bag for the ...

Unstoppable: Invite a Young Woman!

By WPa United Methodist Women


Denise Nicole Stone, a co-founder and member of Unstoppable in Western PA, has been elected a Director of United Methodist Women.  The UMW Board of Directors consists of 25 members and is responsible for managing the organization’s program policies, finances, property and its top executive staff person.  At 19 years of age, Denise becomes the youngest of those 25 women. UMW President Diane Miller and Denise Stone Since she first attended the Children’s School of Mission (now Mission u) at age...

AC2016 Impressions: Adam Hamilton Gets It!

By Sara Richardson


Sara Richardson served as a Kane District equalization member of the 2016 annual conference. She offers her perspective as a young adult on Adam Hamilton's teaching. Adam Hamilton, the 2016 speaker for Annual Conference teaching sessions, brought messages that focused on leadership, worship and evangelism. He also brought a spirit of innovation and a consciousness of how the church needs to change to meet the next generation.   From the very beginning of his lecture, Hamilton spoke a lot about ...

Why Worship?

By Brian Bauknight


A seasoned preacher once told a class of graduating seminarians:  “Always remember that about half the people in front of you on any given Sunday morning almost decided not to come!”   Why do you go to worship?  Why get up on a beautiful Sunday morning – when there are lots of good possibilities to fill your day—and head out to a service of worship?   I need to ask myself this question these days as a retired preacher—as one no longer actively preaching or leading worship!   Let me suggest some ...

Orlando Massacre Response

By Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton


Earlier this week, I had the amazing privilege of opening our Annual Conference session with the major words from the minor prophet Micah.  Little did I know how important those words would become today when news emerged concerning the senseless and violent killing in Orlando, Florida that left 50 people dead, 53 injured, and countless others stunned by yet another act of violence.   The words of Micah to “Do Justice, Love Kindness, and Walk Humbly with Your God,” were originally spoken in the ...

Between the Sound and the Light

By Brian Bauknight


The evening was perfect for a walk on the beach.  Darkness was falling fast, but there seemed to be ample time.  The Carolina seashore in April was most pleasant—calm and cool.  I walked briskly for about 30 minutes in the evening twilight.  Upon turning to head back, it became quickly apparent that it would be totally dark before I reached the house.    Darkness quickly enveloped me as I retraced my steps along the beach.  A few stars were out overhead, but there was no moon this night.  The ...

Reading Someone Else’s Mail

By WPa United Methodist Women


no, these aren't really Sarah's glasses Let me invite you to read someone else’s mail – without feeling guilty.  The following is an email I sent to my daughter, Carrie, who lives near Philadelphia.  I asked if my granddaughter, Sarah, might come visit me in July and go with me to Children’s Mission u.  I’m so excited.  Carrie said yes. I’ll pick up Sarah the beginning of the week of Mission u; Carrie will come to California the Sunday Mission u ends and take her home.  I’m hooked on Mission u...

Theological Positioning

By Brian Bauknight


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


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


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 ...

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