The Schmetterlinge Are Coming!

published 9/20/2017
The Schmetterlinge (butterflies), a choral group of about 50 children from the East German Conference of the United Methodist Church, will fly into Western Pennsylvania on September 30 to tour and offer concerts at churches in the Pittsburgh, Johnstown, Indiana and Erie areas. The choir, which includes children ages 8 to 17, was formed in 1968 in Eastern Germany. During the Easter holidays and the autumn Saxon holidays, the group gets together to practice, learn and visit various communities ...

Zilhaver Installed as DS

published 9/20/2017
By Jackie Campbell, Communications Director With robust singing and straight talk, the Rev. Robert Zilhaver delivered a message for "A Time Such as This" during his formal installation service as Connellsville District Superintendent on Sunday, Sept. 17 at Christ UM Church in Scottdale. Using the Old Testament book of Esther, which explores racial hatred, the threat of genocide and other evils, Zilhaver drew comparisons with the situation in the United Methodist Church and the United States ...

Zimbabwe: "A Place of Joy"

published 9/19/2017
Zim Camp Memories  “Zimbabwe is a place of pure joy,” said Andrew Gross, 17, of First UMC in Union City, who traveled to the African nation last summer with nine other Western PA Conference youth for 2017 Zim Camp.   “While the people we met may not have physical things such as money and other things, they have something greater. They have a burning passion for the Lord. They have such joy in worship and when they sing they sing with their hearts,” Andrew, a high school senior, explained. “...

Report from the Mission Field: Colombia

published 9/13/2017
By the Rev. Dr. David Stains On August 15 to 23, the Conference Committee on Encounter with Christ conducted another mission to Colombia. The mission went to Brisas del Mar, an extremely rural location toward the Caribbean coast. Our team of six included Dr. David Stains, Magaly Johnson, Marysue Pearce, Jeffrey Wolbert, Karen Cobbett, and Maria Zurcher. We were joined by Rev. Michael Estep of the West Ohio Conference, who gave the benefit of his experience in Colombia and his administrative ...

Orientation to Ministry Set for January 6

published 9/11/2017
An Orientation to Ministry, sponsored by the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, will be held on Saturday, January 6, 2018 from 9:30 a.m. to Noon at Christ United Methodist Church in Franklin.  The Orientation is a requirement for anyone pursuing licensed or ordained ministry, but this initial gathering is open to anyone who would like to learn more about the various types of set-apart ministry within the United Methodist Church.  Information will be presented about the broad range of ...

How to Help in Hurricane Response -- Update!

published 9/8/2017
As thousands were forced from their homes by heavy rain and flooding from Hurricane Harvey in Southeast Texas and other areas of the Gulf Coast, people throughout the nation looked for ways to help. The Western Pennsylvania Conference office has received numerous questions from churches and individuals looking for ways to respond.  (Download a church bulletin insert/flyer) “Right now, the best ways to help are through prayer, monetary donations to the United Methodist Committee on Relief ...

Wanted: Church Historians

published 9/5/2017
 The WPAUMC Commission on Archives and History is looking for church historians and history lovers -- and trying to recruit some new ones. "We want to help connect church historians and those with an interest in church history to others who share their passion," said the Rev. Susan Moudry, a member of the Commission who is completing work toward a PhD in church history from Baylor University.  "We can help educate church historians about their role and ministry and help to provide them with ...

Clergy Pledge to Continue Struggle for Justice

published 8/28/2017
Several Western Pennsylvania clergy participated in a gathering in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill section to commemorate the 54th anniversary of the March on Washington on August 27.  Acknowledging an urgent need to continue the struggle for justice for all, they they signed a declaration recognizing their calling to speak moral truth, care for the vulnerable and seek justice for the oppressed. Although she was unable to attend the event, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi signed the declaration online. ...

Explore Ministry with the Deaf

published 8/28/2017
With its various models, deaf ministry offers faith communities some exciting ways to grow and make disciples. On Friday evening, Sept. 15 and Saturday, Sept. 16, the Rev. Leo Yates Jr., author of "Deaf MInistry: Ministry Models for Expanding the Kingdom of God" and la consultant to The United Methodist Committee on Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Ministries, will offer workshops at First UMC in Reynoldsville. All are welcome to attend to learn more about how to start or expand the Deaf Ministries in...

Back to School Bash Draws Crowd

published 8/23/2017
--By LIz Lennox**-- Back-to-School time can be stressful for families as they scramble to fill backpacks, plan lunches, purchase new clothes, and finalize schedules. Chippewa United Methodist Church in Beaver County tried to alleviate some of stress by hosting their third annual “Back-to-School Bash,” a free event.   Three years ago, about 25 people attended the first Back-to-School Bash. On August 16 this year, more than 400 came to what was an extravaganza with a variety of food and drinks, ...

Bishop's Statement on Charlottesville Events

published 8/14/2017
From Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi “Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4:29-30)             The events in Charlottesville this past weekend were horrific.  As I heard the stories and saw video of the march, counter-march, fighting and other violence, I was ...

Volunteers Key to Prison Outreach Ministry

published 8/12/2017
--By Jackie Campbell, Communications Director-- Nearly every Tuesday evening, 87-year-old Marie Stumpf leaves her home and drives about seven miles to the State Correctional Institution at Pine Grove to see her "guys." For 11 years, she has taught Disciple Bible study classes for small groups of male prisoners. More importantly, she said, she offers them love, letting them know that she cares about them.   Some of her guys call her “Miss Marie,” others call her “Grandma.” But Marie points out ...

Volunteers Needed for Flood Clean-Up

published 8/8/2017
United Methodist disaster response volunteers have been conducting assessments in areas hit by recent flooding in southwestern PA and have put out a call for volunteers to help with clean-up in the Washington and Butler areas. "We are collaborating with our partners in the Western PA V.O.A.D. (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) to respond as the church and offer care and clean up in the name of Jesus Christ to many individuals who have been affected by the flooding in Butler, Fayette, ...

Derailment Affects Hyndman Clergy, Churches

published 8/4/2017
UPDATED 8/5/17 at 1 p.m. Two United Methodist pastors and their family members were among the residents of the Bedford County community of Hyndman who were evacuated Wednesday, August 2 when a CSX freight train derailed, sparking fires when liquefied natural gas leaked from one and molten sulphur leaked from another. Most residents were allowed to return to their homes Saturday afternoon, August 5.    About 32 cars of the train tumbled from the tracks, prompting the evacuation. The train was ...

Justice Theme Runs Through Mission u

published 8/2/2017
--By Jackie Campbell, Communications Director-- Justice was a common theme at Mission u 2017, which wrapped up Sunday at California University of Pennsylvania. The effects of action – or lack of action -- by one person or group on another could be seen in the classes and study material on God’s covenants, climate justice, and the native people in the Missionary Conferences of the United Methodist Church.   Before the official opening worship, Missionary Tina Whitehead talked about the current...

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