Young Adults Invited to Exploration 2017

published 7/5/2017
Adults age 18-26 are invited to attend Exploration, a three-day event held every two years to help young adults explore their gifts for service as a deacon or elder in The United Methodist Church. It's a program of the office of young adult discernment and enlistment at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM).   This year’s event will be held November 3-5 in Portland, Oregon. Young adults who have a sense that God might be calling them to ordained ministry, who have wondered ...

Two UM Pastors Receive PTS Awards

published 7/4/2017
Two United Methodist pastors were among members of the Class of 2017 at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary who were awarded prizes during graduation exercises. The Rev. Darryl S. Lockie, pastor of College Hill UMC in Beaver Falls and provisional elder in the Western Pennsylvania Conference, received: The Jennie Rigg Barbour Memorial Prize, for second highest class rank  The Henry A. Riddle Fund for Graduate Study The John Watson Prize in New Testament Greek Shane Joseph Siciliano, who began ...

Bishop Leads Worship at Ballpark

published 7/1/2017
Click photo to see more In a twist on Jesus's direction in Matthew 10:27 to proclaim his Word from the rooftops, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi preached from atop the third-base dugout during a 4:30 p.m. worship service before the evening Erie SeaWolves baseball game Sunday, July 2, at UPMC Park. She also threw out the ceremonial first pitch for the SeaWolves game against the Altoona Curve.  While the worship service was free and open to the public, tickets were required for the baseball game ...

Ramping It Up in Erie-Meadville

published 6/26/2017
Ramp-building ministries are thriving in several areas of the Western PA Conference, making a difference in the lives of many who face difficulty with mobility.  The Ramps of Hope Ministry in the Erie-Meadville District, which helped "give birth" to some of those in other districts, is particularly active. Rev. Debbie Hills, an ordained deacon who guides the ministry, describes an amazing amount of activity by various volunteer teams that came after a planned blitz-build.  By Rev. Debbie Hills ...

Volunteers Still Aiding Connellsville Recovery

published 6/26/2017
First came the flood, than came the volunteers. Both were life-changing for Connellsville residents hit by a devastating storm ten months ago. The good news is that volunteers are still coming.  “If you've never seen a flood, you have no idea,” said John Allen, 62, of Breakneck Road. He rushed home to beat the storm as three wind systems converged overhead and vividly remembers what he saw: “There was a hole in the sky, it was weird looking, spooky!”   Five inches of rain fell in the next two ...

Grant to Fund Ministry Discernment Internships

published 6/21/2017
The Western Pennsylvania Conference will receive a grant from the Young Clergy Initiative of $30,000 over the next two years for Ministry Discernment Internships. If the effort goes well, the Conference may reapply for another two years of funding.  The application process was completed earlier this year, and word came last week after a period of waiting and praying, said the Rev. Susan Moudry, Conference Coordinator of Clergy Excellence, pictured above with Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi.       ...

Annual Conference Wrap-Up

published 6/14/2017
Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi, presiding at her first Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference session June 8-11, 2017,  told the 1250 clergy and laity gathered at Grove City College to put aside their anxiety, fear and disagreements and declared the campus “A Love Zone.” The annual conference theme was WPA Chic: Dressed in Love, taken from Colossians 3:12-17.   “If you’ve come here ready for a fight, you are totally out of order!” she said, adding that anxiety and fear are an addiction in our ...

Camping Initiative Spurs Generosity

published 6/12/2017
As she opened her first Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi referred to “all the miracles that God has performed that let me know sure enough that this is exactly where God would have me be today.” Two days later, participants witnessed what several people saw as a miracle after she announced her initiative to raise $5 million over the next four years for camping and retreat ministries.   One man stood up, walked forward and put a donation at her feet on the ...

AC2017: Bishop Declares Love Zone

published 6/8/2017
Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi, presiding at her first Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference session from June 8-11, declared the campus of Grove City College a “Love Zone. The official attire for this Love Zone is Western Pennsylvania Chic…Dressed in Love!”   “Wherever you go on this campus, you must be dressed in love,” she said, referring to Colossians: 3:12-17.  “Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way. It is not ...

Event Aims at Revitalizing BMCR in WPA

published 5/24/2017
--By Dianne Glave-- National and jurisdictional leaders of Black Methodists for Church Renewal (BMCR) visited Pittsburgh May 20-21 to share their stories with black Methodists and allies from the Western Pennsylvania Conference.  Sharon Gregory, WPAUMC Lay Leader, organized the gathering and issued an open invitation in an effort to revitalize the BMCR in the Conference. Rev. Antoine Love    Rev. Dr. Dred Scott Rev. Antoine “Tony” Love, the vice chairperson of the national BMCR, and Rev. ...

Center To Close May 26 for Site Work

published 5/16/2017
The United Methodist Center in Cranberry Twp. will be closed on Friday, May 26 while construction work on the new entrance from Freedom Road and the parking areas are completed. Paving of the new driveway required a closing on May 19. Workers have expanded the parking areas, installed new lighting and and sidewalks as required by local ordinance. New entrance from Freedom Rd. at left. Conference staff and visitors used the entranceway laid with rough gravel since March and parked  on ...

Racial, Ethnic Clergy Focus on Spiritual Formation

published 5/15/2017
Rev. In-Sook Hwang, who has served in leadership roles in the Illinois Great Rivers Conference and on the General Board of Discipleship, was the guest speaker for the Western PA Conference’s annual ethnic clergy retreat early in May.  Her focus was on spiritual formation.   “I have been passionate about three areas in my ministry,” Rev. Hwang said. “One is disciple-making through short-term and long term Bible studies. The second one is spiritual formation. I was very blessed to complete the ...

GCFA Adds UM Credit Union Group as Sponsor

published 5/10/2017
In 2002, United Methodist credit unions throughout the United States formed the United Methodist Credit Union Association (UMCUA). Patti Columbe, former CEO of Western Pennsylvania's Keystone United Methodist Federal Credit Union (KUMFCU), was one of four founders of the group.  UMCUA recently was approved as a vetted corporate sponsor of the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA).    Through the sponsorship program, GCFA aligns with companies and organizations that have solid ...

Painting Party Planned At The Lake!

published 5/3/2017
--By Jackie Campbell-- At The Lake Ministries has scheduled a big painting party for late May, but the party-goers won’t create colorful wall art to take home.  Their canvas will be the JoAnn M., a commercial fishing boat that’s being repurposed as a charter vessel to take children and adults with special needs and their families onto Lake Erie for fishing or cruising. Rev. Rob Wilson, left, and his dad Dan talk with Bill Jacka as work progresses on the JoAnn M. Click the image to see more ...

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 ...

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