WPAUMC e-news for May 16, 2012
Runners Raise $15,000 to Save Lives! Imagine No Malaria runners and volunteers did a great job in Pittsburgh Marathon events on May 6. All completed their events without injury and they raised nearly $15,000 in donations to help end deaths from malaria in Africa. Organizer Bob Todd reports that six INM runners finished the full marathon; 16 did the half-marathon and 20 were part of relay teams. Read more.
Register for Clergywomen’s Lunch: The Rev. Dr. HiRho Park, Director of Continuing Formation in Ministry at the UMC Board of Higher Education and Ministry, will speak at the Clergywomen’s Lunch during annual conference. The lunch is scheduled for Friday, June 8 at 11:30am in the MAP Special Dining Room. Seating is limited to 50. Register online now. Questions? Contact Rev. Pamela Gardner at 724-794-4501.
Join Annual Conference Choir! All are invited to be part of the Conference Choir for annual conference worship services. Bring your own choir robe and music folder. Rehearsal will be on Wednesday, June 6 at 3:30 p.m. in the Pew Fine Arts Building auditorium.
Guitarists Needed: The annual conference worship team is looking for acoustic guitarists to participate in a song of praise at the Friday evening (June 8) worship service. Anyone interested is asked to bring their acoustic guitars to a rehearsal and tuning at 5:45 p.m. in front of the stage in the Plenary Hall. You’ll be part of a sort of flash mob of guitars for the song. It should be an incredible time of praise and music!
AC2012 Communion Stewards Needed: Volunteers are needed to help prepare communion before the Thursday afternoon and Sunday morning worship services at annual conference. If you can help, contact the Rev. Kevin Haley, coordinator of worship, at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Give Us Some Hands! The Children’s Ministry Team is collecting hands for annual conference – 2,000 of them to be exact! Trace the hands of children in your Christian Education programs, cut out the prints and decorate them. When the handprints are finished, use a special litany to dedicate them at your church. Then get them to the Rev. Pam Gardner ASAP. Mail to: Children’s Project, Slippery Rock United Methodist Church, 130 Franklin Street, Slippery Rock, PA 16057.
Nominate Youth Workers for Award! If your church has an outstanding youth worker (or team), nominate them for a Youth Worker of the Year award. One professional and one volunteer youth worker an award during annual conference in June. Recipients must have served in their position for at least one year. For nomination forms and more information, email Renaye Hoffman at email@example.com.
Clergy Spouse Brunch: This year’s Clergy Spouse Brunch at annual conference will be from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Thursday, June 7 in the Pew Fine Arts Memorial Room. Sue Garton, renowned throughout the region for her solo handbell ringing, will provide entertainment. The cost is $16. Register with Linda Ziegler by May 25. Child care is available. Get details.
Is Your Church Mission-Oriented? You have four days left to apply to be recognized with a Mission Key Award! There are three levels of awards – bronze, silver and gold-- that will be given based on a church’s mission activities. Qualifying activities are listed here. To apply for an award, complete the application form and return it to Rev. Ken Haines, Conference Missions Secretary, no later than May 20. Questions? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 814-842-3857.
Have a Passion for Mission (or Know Someone Who Does)? Don’t miss this year’s Cooperative School of Christian Mission, scheduled July 6-8 and July 8-12 at Grove City College. Bring along a child or encourage a youth to come and be part of the youth events. Adults and the children with them can choose to attend the July 6-8 weekend school or the July 8-12 weekday session. The adult hands-on volunteer opportunities and youth programs are only offered during the weekday session. To learn more or register, click here.
Uth4Mission: The annual youth mission week is scheduled June 26-30 this year. Youth teams and leaders stay at the University of Pittsburgh in Johnstown and work at sites in the area. Get details and register online.
Free Webinars for Church Leaders: Upcoming topics include Summertime Discipleship, which you view anytime, and Clergy Health, set for June 21 at 7:30 p.m. Register or check out the archives of past webinars gbod.org/committee_resources. Send the link to leaders and members of your church committees.
UMC Virtual Networking: If you want to keep up with what’s happening in the UMC, what’s working at other churches and what resources are available, check out our social networking. See what’s available.
Timeline Tips: Love it or hate it, the advent of the Facebook Timeline has implications for churches using Facebook to engage their congregations and communities. Check out this article from UM Communications on how to use Timeline to your church’s advantage.
Social Media Spurs Union City Facelift: The power of social media is illustrated in a GoErie.com story about the volunteer effort to literally paint the town in Union City this Saturday. It was launched by Christopher Lash of Greensburg, who reconnected with his old hometown on Facebook after the 2008 death of his dad, former Kane District Superintendent Don Lash, who had served 10 years as pastor of First UMC in Union City.
Biggest, Ugliest Fight at GC2012: Jim Winkler of the General Board of Church and Society reflects on what happened at General Conference and doesn’t mince words when it comes to the failed efforts to restructure the denomination. Read more.
It’s Done! The Center for Studies in the Wesleyan Tradition at Duke Divinity School has announced that with the publication of the transcription of “MS Acts,” it has completed a project to make publically available in a single setting every known poem or hymn of Charles Wesley. It’s all online. Learn more.
Feeding the Hungry Just Up to Churches? When religious leaders shared concerns about dramatic cuts to SNAP (supplemental nutritional assistance program, formerly known as food stamps) with members of the U.S. House of Representatives recently, some Congressmen said feeding the hungry was really the job of churches. Since there are an estimated 335.000 religious congregations in the U.S., on average each would have to come up with an extra $50,000 a year to make up for the $169 billion in cuts, according to Bread for the World. Learn more. The anti-hunger organization asks laity and clergy to sign an online petition saying feeding the hungry is not the sole responsibility of churches. Visit www.bread.org for more information about what you can do to fight hunger around the world.
Same-Sex Marriage Views: Christianity Today online reports how evangelicals’ views of same-sex marriage have shifted and speculates on the political implications of President Obama’s recent statement that he thinks same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.
Job Openings: The General Board of Church and Society is seeking a Director and Organizer for Women’s Advocacy and the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association in New Jersey is seeking a Chief Operating Officer.
Deaths: The deaths of two retired United Methodist clergymen who had been living in Florida were reported today, but few details were available. The Rev. Jack Fields died last month in Holiday, FL and the Rev. Jack Gail Ammon passed away May 13.
In the News: The Erie Times-News reported that Alex McFarland will share his faith during Wattsburg UMC’s Celebration of Faith at the Wattsburg-Erie County Fairgrounds on May 19. Read story.
Grant Aids Interfaith Boaz Field: South Hills Interfaith Ministries held a blessing service May 10 for a new Boaz Field to help feed those in need. A grant from the UM Foundation provided some “seed money” for the field. Read more.