WPAUMC e-news for August 22, 2012
Want to Improve Worship Attendance? The Lewis Center for Church Leadership offers a free resource Why Worship Attendance Matters and Clues for Improving It. Hosted by Lewis Center Director Lovett H. Weems, Jr., the 10-minute video provides an overview of the importance of worship attendance and offers practical ways to improve it. The video is online at www.churchleadership.com/attendance and may be downloaded.
How Do New People See Your Church? The Lewis Center also offers a variety of other resources, including a page with some suggestions to help congregations view their churches and worship services from the perspective of new people. You can download it as a PDF to distribute before your Rally Day or fall kick-off Sunday.
Free Stewardship Webinar: A free webinar Five Key Elements in Successful Stewardship Strategies is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, September 13.
Although stewardship in the local church is not a "one size fits all" proposition, there are some elements that are consistently present in churches that do stewardship really well. Click here to register.
Resources for Church Musicians: The General Board of Discipleship regularly lists music and worship planning information for upcoming services on its worship webpages. See the latest version.
Learn to Share Pastoral Power at the third annual Wesleyan Leadership Conference Nov.1-3 in Nashville, TN. Participants will explore how sharing power enhances the call of clergy and lay leaders to make disciples for Jesus Christ. Learn more and register at www.gbod.org/wesleyanleadership. Early bird registration ends Sept. 1, when the fee increases from $129 to $159 for individuals or from $109 to $139 per person for groups of three or more.
Ride for the Refuge! A charity bicycle ride benefitting The Refuge, the Erie UM Alliance’s emergency shelter for homeless families, is scheduled for Labor Day, Monday, September 3, at two locations -- Shades Beach in Harborcreek, and the Albion Fairgrounds in Albion. Get details and register at euma-erie.org.
Paint the Town Update: So far 83 individuals and groups have volunteered to Paint the Town with syndicated radio host Delilah in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville section. We’re partnering with WSHH radio and other groups as part of Rethink Church. Learn more. Contact Greg Cox at email@example.com if you want to be part of the UMC volunteer corps.
Mosquito Run Results: Check out the results and photos from the 2nd annual Mosquito Run, held last Saturday to raise money for Imagine No Malaria.
Shootings Sign of Young Adult Crisis: Beth Cooper, a Western PA clergy member serving in campus ministry in California, says there’s a connection between the recent mass shooting in a Colorado movie theater and several similar tragedies. The shooters were young adult college students or drop-outs who were mentally ill. She writes that students are experiencing losses, pressures, and mental illness in epidemic proportions and calls on faith communities to join in a coordinated national response to the pressures faced by young adults. Read more.
Caring for Persons with Mental Illness: Statistics say the one in four families has a member dealing with mental illness and surveys show that 40 percent of people seeking help with mental illness turn first to a minister, rabbi or priest. Seminaries generally don’t equip pastors to handle this. Learn how to recognize signs of mental illness and respond at a Sept. 18 clergy seminar offered by the Conference Health as Wholeness Team at Wesbury UM Community in Meadville. Download a brochure or learn more and register online.
Women’s Spirituality Retreat: Rev. Lisa Grant will lead a retreat entitled “Praying in Color”, based on a book by Sybil MacBeth, at Olmsted Manor Retreat Center in Ludlow, PA from Sept. 23-25. Download a brochure.
Imagine What’s NEXT! Imagine What’s NEXT is a new United Methodist event that will challenge and inspire college students to consider and plan the next faithful steps for their vocations, their communities, the church, and the world. It’s November 9-11 in St. Louis, Mo. Special features include a worship concert by Gungor and preachers Rev. Rudy Rasmus and Bishop Sally Dyck. Learn more.
Young Clergy Have Issues! Inaccessible mentors who don’t know the process, church folk who want to “fix up” single clergy, sitting in a candidacy meeting where everyone is the age of your parents or grandparents were just a few of the situations described by young clergy this week at a summit organized by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Learn more and see recommendations to recruit and retain younger clergy.
Religious Studies Among Worst College Majors? Kiplinger’s magazine recently rated religious studies and other liberal arts fields among the “worst majors for your career.” In a response, Dillard University President Walter M. Kimbrough offers his perspective as the president of a United Methodist-related school. Dr. Kimbrough describes the value of an education that leads to a fulfilling life and career.
Know Students Heading for Allegheny? Chaplain Jane Ellen Nickell sets aside two evenings at the beginning of the semester for dinner with first-year students of faith, to offer a place for conversation and connection to God during this transitional time in their lives. If you know of students who are entering Allegheny College this fall, please contact Rev. Nickell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 814-332-2800.
Juvenile Justice Update: Roger Thomas was among those testifying in Harrisburg on August 15 at Democratic Policy Committee informational hearing on the Juvenile Justice Bill, HB 1994, which was supported by Annual Conference on June 9. Also testifying were Jeffery and Karen Bishop, whose family was affected by a juvenile homicide, Andy Hoover of the ACLU, and Anita Colon of Fair Sentencing of Juveniles. The bill is being considered as part of Gov. Corbett's Crime and Justice Initiative, and as part of the response to the US Supreme Court decision, in Miller v Alabama, that juveniles should not be held in prison for life without parole - even in homicide cases.
Voter ID Needed: If you have elderly citizens in your congregation or community who may not have a current driver’s license or other acceptable form of photo ID, please be sure they are aware that they will need one to vote in the November election. The time to get the cards is now. Get details.
Too Much to Do, Too Little Time? You’re not alone, according to an Alban Institute article. Check out Discovering Work-Life Balance (if you have time).
T-Shirt Evangelism: In Western PA evangelism workshops during the past year, Certified Lay Minister Paul Morelli described how he’s been able to connect with people by wearing T-shirts with graphics that attract their attention. In a recent blog post, Dan Dick, the DCM of the Wisconsin Annual Conference, talks about his own T-shirt evangelism. He says not all encounters are positive, but what’s important is making human contact.
Food, Health and Faith: Test your knowledge of this issue with an online quiz on Duke’s Faith and Leadership website.
Got Facebook Fans? No matter how many fans your church page has, you’re only reaching a fraction of them, says UM Communications. Check out their explanation of Facebook’s “Secret Sauce for engagement.”
VIM Leader Training Set for Sept. 22: Volunteers in Mission team leaders or would-be leaders are invited to a September 22 training session with Northeast Jurisdiction VIM coordinator Greg Forrester at Scalp Level: Trinity UMC in the Johnstown District (751 Horn Road, Windber). The session will run from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Cost is $10 to cover lunch and a Leader’s Manual (including CD). Only one participant from each church must pay $10; others can attend for $5. Get Registration form.
Breaking Youth News! Details of SPARK 2013, the major Conference youth event set for January 11-13 at Pittsburgh’s Sheraton Station Square, were confirmed today. Keynote speaker will be Bob Lenz. and comedy will be provided by Theater Off the Cuff, the Improv duo formerly known as Mad Dogs and Englishmen. Registration will be open online soon. But mark your calendars and start planning now!
Need a 2013 Calendar? With a theme of Changing the World One Life at a Time, the official 2013 United Methodist Program Calendar is now available from United Methodist Communications. The calendar offers vital information on Special Sundays, holidays, the Revised Common Lectionary, liturgical colors and more. Available in a variety of formats, including electronic, this comprehensive planning tool accommodates a variety of work styles and needs. To order, call toll free (888) 346-3862 or go to umcom.org/CalendarStore.
Cross and Flame Reminder: The September Cross and Flame is now available online. Use the links to download a color or grayscale pdf file.
Classifieds: There are a few new job listings among our website classified ads.
It’s Time for some R&R! Your next weekly e-news be sent on September 5. Enjoy the Labor Day weekend.