WPAUMC e-news for March 14, 2012
Celebrate One Great Hour of Sharing! The Special Sunday that supports UMCOR’s administrative costs is March 18. It’s probably too late now to order envelopes now, but you can still download bulletin inserts and other resources at umcgiving.org. There’s additional info on UMCOR’s website.
Disaster Response is Both/And: UMCOR has some rather strict policies for volunteers responding immediately after disasters and trained volunteers understand why. But when disaster strikes close to home, United Methodists sometimes find the rules frustrating. Rev. Tom Hazelwood, who heads UMCOR’s disaster response operations, talks about the reasons in this UMCOR Notebook post.
Early Response Team Training: In Western PA, specialized training is provided on a regular basis for Early Response Teams. Volunteers who have completed the training will receive UMCOR badges that allow them entry when FEMA and local law enforcement control access to disaster sites. Trainings will be offered on April 21 at Grace UMC in Coal Center and April 28 at Christ Community UMC in Butler. To register, click the date and location of your choice or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Appointment Changes: There are some new appointments posted on our website.
Deaths: A memorial service will be held Saturday, March 17 at Evangelical UMC in Corry for the Rev. Peter DeGerlando, who died March 11. Read obituary.
Support Our Marathon Effort! We have about 25 runners entered in Pittsburgh Marathon events on May 6 to support Imagine No Malaria. Give them a hand! Let the people in your church know that they can donate to the group or a specific runner through Active.com. (20 of our runners are doing individual fund-raising for INM online.) Also, some volunteers are needed to work at a station on Pittsburgh’s South Side on Race Day. Donate or volunteer at wpaumc.org/marathon.
School of Evangelism Coming to Edinboro: The Conference Evangelism Team is bringing its acclaimed Finding Your Personal Faith-Sharing Style event to the Erie-Meadville area on Saturday, April 14. The program features Western Pennsylvania United Methodists who are reaching others for Christ. Check out the photos from the February School at Grace UMC, Coal Center. Download a bulletin insert for the April 14 event at Edinboro UMC.
Rich Church, Poor Church: Clif Christopher of Horizons Stewardship will be in Western PA on April 14 to conduct a stewardship training event. Learn more and register online.
Bishop Speaks in Sierra Leone: Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton preached during opening worship and a Friday morning service and participated in the ordination service at the Sierra Leone Annual Conference session in Freetown last week. He was among the clergy, guests and delegates in a procession through the town that officially launched the conference. Check out his photos with Bishop John Yambasu.
Sierra Leone DS Covert from Islam:Read about Sierra Leone District Superintendent Mariama Bockari’s path from Islam to Christianity.
School of Mission: Online registration is available now for both the adult and youth Cooperative School of Christian Mission events. The weekend school for adults and children begins July 6 and the four-day school for adults, children and youth begins July 8, all at Grove City College. Learn more.
United Methodism 101: Tell your church members or prospective members about this online course that starts April 4. United Methodism 101 is designed for new church members and anyone else who wants to know more about the denomination and its history, teachings and structure. Even someone who has been a United Methodist for decades might be surprised at all there is to discover about the UMC. The course includes four modules, each with many interactive features. Each module takes about one hour to complete. Move through the modules at your own pace. Course preview. The deadline to register is Monday, April 2.
Congregants Unlikely to Take Course Online? Consider using the United Methodism 101 CD (KIT). The same interactive course blends audio, video and written materials into a fast-moving learning experience. It’s ideal for groups or individuals.
Hunger Games Bible Study: Two North Carolina pastors have developed a bible study called The Gospel According to The Hunger Games Trilogy, based on the teen pop culture phenomenon. Learn more.
Preaching Controversial Issues: Adam Hamilton says it’s important for pastors to help their congregations think theologically and explore all sides of controversial issues. But clergy need to be sure they aren’t just looking to express their own views on an issue. He shares his approach in a Ministry Matters article.
How’s Your Youth Ministry? Check out the key characteristics of a healthy youth ministry listed by Kenda Creasy Dean, professor of youth, church and culture at Princeton Seminary. Among other things, she says integrating youth into every part of the church’s life, rather than segmenting them into “youth activities” is important.
Friending Jesus: God doesn’t want to be your friend, writes Matt Appling in a blog post featured on Ministry Matters. Nor does God want to be ‘in a relationship” with you. Read more and agree or disagree.
Pursuing Pastoral Fame? Bob Hyatt thinks it’s a bad idea, according to this post on the Out of Ur blog.
Progress Reported in Global Health: Sir Richard Feachem, the founding director of the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, last week told participants in a conference on healthcare in Africa that spectacular progress has been made against all three diseases. Get details.
Limbaugh Target Daughter of UM Pastor: Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown law student who was targeted by radio shock jock Rush Limbaugh after testifying before Congressional committee, is a life-long United Methodist whose father pastors a church in Everett,PA.. She told UM News Service that growing up in the church taught her to speak out for others who need help, even if it isn’t a popular thing to do. Read more.
General Conference Issues: As the 2012 General Conference approaches, United Methodist News Service is looking at details of legislation and offering information to help readers better understand how the church works. Several proposals are aimed at restructuring the denomination and its general ministries, so UMNS asked the top executives of each agency to answer five questions about their agency's role in the church. Recent responses came from the Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns; the Commission on Religion and Race and the Commission on Archives and History.
Restructuring and Power: A growing number of United Methodist leaders say the proposed restructuring that will be considered at General Conference will put too much power in the hands of the bishops. The team that developed the restructure proposal says that the recommended changes will advance the bishops’ work on mission — not their power. Read more from UMNS.
Partner in Community Outreach: Partnering with community groups for educational programs or service projects is a way to make connections with those outside the church. Ingomar UMC is partnering with a local police department to offer a “Safety for Seniors” seminar on Thursday, March 29 at 3:30 PM. It is free and open to all senior citizens. Other churches have worked with police departments or school districts to present programs on Internet safety.
Happy Belated Birthday! Connellsville’s Wesley UMC celebrates its 200th anniversary this month. Read Daily Courier story.