Work Progresses on UM Center Parking Lot

published 4/13/2017
Closing of The United Methodist Center on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Monday allowed workers to make considerable progress on paving of the new entrance and expanded parking lot of the site along Freedom Road in Cranberry Township. A temporary gravel entrance had  been used since early March and parking has been limited since late January when site work began. The project is intended to improve traffic flow, enhance safety for cars entering the property and provide needed ...

2017 Zim Camp Participants Chosen

published 4/5/2017
Eleven high school youth from Western PA churches have been selected for this summer’s Zim Camp, an opportunity to experience life and ministry in Zimbabwe for about two weeks. Zim Camp is part of the Conference partnership with the United Methodist Church in Zimbabwe and is designed for youth ages 15-18.  The group will travel to Zimbabwe June 20 and return July 5, 2017. They will spend time enjoying fellowship, getting to know youth in Zimbabwe and working together on some of the ...

Truck Smashes Wellersburg Church

published 4/5/2017
-- By Jackie Campbell-- The historic Mount Harmony United Methodist Church was severely damaged on Tuesday, April 4 when a fully loaded tractor-trailer hauling small-diameter steel rods crashed into the building. No one was hurt except the driver, who reportedly injured his hand.  The church building, however, is a total loss, said the Rev. Kenneth Haines, pastor.  "The entire load of several hundred one-inch steel rods flew all over the place. Some of them ended up buried in the ground and ...

Pastors Take on Spartan Challenge

published 2/27/2017
Pastors Scott Gallagher and Justin Judy are launching a new fitness and team-building challenge -- and they are inviting others to join them.   Last year, the two United Methodist elders walked more than 500 miles together around the perimeter of the Western Pennsylvania Conference in the weeks leading up to the 2016 Annual Conference session at Grove City College. They made it to Grove City on time despite an early setback. Read about it.   The 2017 Challenge is not as long, but may be more ...

Team Seeks Denman Nominations

published 2/27/2017
Each year the Conference Evangelism Team honors three persons who consistently introduce others to the Good News of Jesus Christ with a Harry Denman Award. The team encourages congregations to submit nominations. An award winner's ministry should be exceptional for the number of new Christ Followers who credit them with helping to start or reignite a faith journey. Awards are given in three categories: Clergy, Youth and Laity.  Nominations will be accepted through May 5.  Learn more about the ...

AC2017 Leadership Day Teachers Named

published 2/22/2017
The Rev. Dr. Dawn Chesser and the Rev. Dr. L. Roger Owens will be the teachers for the 2017 Leadership Day on Wednesday, June 7 at Grove City College. The courses, both with afternoon and evening sessions, are open to clergy and laity. "There was such a good response to the leadership session during last year's Annual Conference Day of Preparation that two course options are being planned this year," said the Rev. Susan Moudry, Conference director of clergy excellence.  "Workshops will be ...

Lenten Devotional Focused on Diversity

published 2/15/2017
The Conference Anti-Racism Team sometime in mid-2016 enlisted the Rev. Dr. Steven Tuell, Kelso Professor of Hebrew and Old Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, to produce a devotional that addresses God’s love for all people. The results is a resource for the individuals or groups to use during the  2017 Lenten season. Dr. Steven Tuell “The content of the devotionals does address our current situation—but by stressing the positive: the Bible’s emphasis on God’s love for racial and ...

Disability Awareness Sunday is Feb. 19!

published 2/14/2017
Celebrating Disability Awareness Sunday gives congregations the opportunity to assess how they welcome and include people with disabilities and find ways to acknowledge and utilize the gifts and graces of all people. The Annual Conference set Feb. 19, 2017 as the date to observe Disability Awareness Sunday, but local churches may use a different date.  "Nearly 20 percent of the population lives with some type of disability, and many more are affected through loved ones who have disabilities,"...

Black History Month: Hear the Voices

published 2/13/2017
Historic audio in the United Methodist archives from Night Call, the first national call-in radio show in America when it was launched in 1965, allows current and future generations the opportunity to hear the voices of key denominational and national civil rights leaders through the website SoundTheology.org. The nightly show, which ran from 1965-69, was produced by the United Methodist Church in conjunction with the Urban League, the National Council of Churches and other faith partners.   The...

Internships Help Define Call to Ministry

published 2/7/2017
The story of ministry internships in Western Pennsylvania is one that isn't often told.  Yet a quick search of the Pastoral Records will show that our Conference has been engaged with interns since at least the 1960s.  That’s an impressive realization: Ministry internships have been a part of our life together for at least 50 years.  Rev. C. Franklin Helt, a retired elder, got involved in the internship program in 1962, which he believes was the first year it was offered. "I was a shy, ...

PA Bishops Explore Refugee Ministry

published 2/3/2017
The Northeastern Jurisdiction College of Bishops' met in Lancaster, PA, days after U.S. executive orders affecting refugees and immigration were issued. While in the historic, ethnically diverse city recently referred to as the "refugee capital of the U.S.," Pennsylvania's three resident bishops and one retired bishop took the opportunity to learn more about ministry with the refugees.  Bishops Cynthia Moore-Koikoi of the Pittsburgh Area, Jeremiah Park of the Harrisburg Area and Peggy Johnson ...

Pittsburgh Water Order Affects East End Ministries

published 2/3/2017
After the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) issued "boil water advisory" affecting about 100,000 residents and businesses in the central and eastern parts of the city on Jan. 31, East End Cooperative Ministries (EECM) acted quickly to see that community needs were met. When the advisory was issued on Jan. 31, volunteers, residents and staff began making sandwiches, gathering fruit and other items for bag lunches to replace the cooked meal usually provided free of charge to about 150 ...

NEJ Bishops Address Actions Affecting Refugees, Immigrants

published 2/1/2017
The Northeastern Jurisdiction College of Bishops issued a statement and invitation to prayer about what they described as a disconnect between the biblical mandate to welcome foreigners and recent actions affecting refugees and immigrants. Here is their statement and prayer:   "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free . . .” These words, written by poet Emma Lazarus and posted on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty have, for decades, welcomed the foreigner to...

Annual Conference Section Leaders Needed

published 1/31/2017
Clergy and Laity, Male and Female, Youth (Sr. High) and adults are invited to help provide leadership to the 2017 Annual Conference by becoming a Section Leader. About 40 persons are needed for the teams who lead annual conference voting members as they review the legislation in their assigned sections during the June 8-11 session at Grove City College. Section leaders do not have to be elected conference members to serve in this ministry. Training and team building is provided at two group ...

Youth Seek a Renewed Kingdom of God

published 1/30/2017
By Mollie Landman, Youth Ministry Team Secretary At this year's youth retreat, SPARK, I was able to Seek and Prepare A Renewed Kingdom of God with over 500 other young believers across the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference for the UMC.  This incredible retreat lasted through January 20-22, and was held at the Sheraton Pittsburgh Hotel in Station Square. Mollie Landman   Throughout the weekend, I had the opportunity to worship my Almighty Father with Sanctus Real, and I heard our powerful...

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