WPAUMC e-news for February 29, 2012
Call to Prayer for General Conference: The beauty of being part of a connectional church is that we can call on each other for prayer support. As the 2012 General Conference approaches, it is important to have a firm prayer foundation. Ask your congregation to be part of a global prayer network for GC2012. The are lots of ways to participate. Learn more.
Rich Church, Poor Church: Which are you? It may not be so obvious. To learn the difference, and how to develop the resources you need for ministry, bring a team from your church to a stewardship training event with Clif Christopher on Saturday, April 14 at the Marriott North in Cranberry Twp.
Midwest Tornadoes: The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is in contact with United Methodist Disaster Response personnel in Midwest conferences affected by Wednesday morning’s severe storms to assess relief needs. Tornadoes were reported in the Kansas East, Missouri, Illinois, and Illinois Great River conferences. There is widespread damage, but UMCOR says it’s too soon to know the full extent. Learn more and pray for those affected.
VIM Awareness Sunday: If you plan to observe Volunteers in Mission Recognition Sunday on March 11 (or another Sunday), consider showing this video from UMTV about a 91-year-old first-time volunteer or this one about the Boaz Field projects in Western PA. Or highlight the work of volunteers from your own congregation.
Newspaper Honors Volunteer in Mission: Jim Bickford of Oakland UMC in Johnstown was named Person of the Week by the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat for his mission work – 16 mission trips over the last 10 years, several as a VIM leader. Read feature story.
Mission Speakers: If you’re looking for Mission speakers anytime during the year, check out the list on WPAUMC.org. It was updated recently.
Addressing Substance Abuse: The United Methodist Special Program on Substance Abuse and Related Violence (SPSARV) offers a two-day workshop to train clergy and lay leaders to support individuals and families who are battling alcohol and other drug addictions and related violence. Strengthening the Ties that Bind: A Holistic Approach to Addressing Substance Abuse for Families, Churches and Communities will be held March 16 – 17 at Mother African Zoar UMC in Philadelphia. Learn more.
Churches Respond to Chardon Shooting: Just down the street from the northeast Ohio high school where a teen-aged gunman killed three students and wounded two others on Feb. 27, the Chardon UMC opened its doors to a grieving community. More than 200 gathered to support each other and share memories. Read more.
Who Are You Voting For? Should a pastor answer that question? In the second part of a Ministry Matters series on serving as a pastor during a contentious election season, Robert Ratcliff offers some thoughts on the conventional wisdom. You may agree or disagree, but it’s worth a read.
Religion in Public Campaigns: The UMC Board of Church and Society is one of 14 faith groups that have endorsed an Interfaith State of Principles on religion in political campaigns. Learn more and share your thoughts.
Reading for Lent: If you’re reading to feed your spirit during Lent, you might want to check out this list of popular recommendations from readers of Interpreter magazine.
Good Friday for Kids: The story of Christ’s death before the resurrection is a hard one to tell. It’s a hard one to make sense of at any age, says Bromleigh McCleneghan, but how do we share it with the children in ways that help them to hear the Good News and grow in the love and knowledge of God? Read more on Ministry Matters.
Mission Work Isn’t Just for Adults! Check out the brochures for this summer’s Mission Discovery for youth in Grades 9-12 and Mission Adventure for youth in grades 6-8. Bring a group from your church to Grove City College from July 8-13 to do hands-on mission work, learn, and have fun. If you sign up before June 15, the cost is $250 per youth, including room and board.
PK’s Got the Voice: Christianity Today has an interview with PK and gospel singer Anthony Evans, a contestant on NBC’s The Voice.
Attention Googlers! March 1 is the day Google’s new privacy (or lack thereof) policy goes into effect. If you have any concerns, you may want to check out How to Adjust Your Privacy Settings on NPR’s All Tech Considered blog.
Prayer Guide Sales Benefit INM, AIDs Fund: The General Board of Church and Society has published a book of meditations, commentaries, devotions, prayers, and critical analyses about the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Part of the sales of this not-for-profit publication benefits Imagine No Malaria and the UM Global Aids Fund. To order the book, click here. Direct questions to Rev. Liberato Bautista, the lead author and editor, at LBautista@umc-gbcs.org.
In the News: The Rev. Jonathan Bell, pastor of Blacklick Community UMC, recently received the Pennsylvania Air National Guard’s first Catto award for community service. He is a major and chaplain with the guard’s 171st Refueling Wing, based in Moon Twp. Read Pittsburgh Tribune story.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review also had a story on the talk by a former death row inmate at Mt. Lebanon UMC. He was exonerated by DNA evidence. Read more.
The Daily Courier reports that Wesley UMC in Connellsville will celebrate 200 years of ministry on March 18. The celebration will begin with a worship service at 9:30 a.m., led by Pastor Dave Ealy, and former pastors will share memories at 10:30 a.m. Lunch will follow.