Men, Women Welcome at UMW Gathering

published 10/18/2017
You don’t have to be a United Methodist Woman to celebrate women in mission at the Conference UMW annual meeting. Men are welcome too!  Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi will be the featured speaker at the gathering from 9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 28 at Faith UMC in Delmont. It will be a day of learning about empowering women, the UMW, and making a difference in our world. In addition to the Bishop’s address, those attending will select a breakout session from the following options: ...

Larry Bridge to Retire as Treasurer

published 10/17/2017
Larry Bridge, who joined the Western PA Conference staff as controller in 2007 and has served as director of administrative services and treasurer since 2014, has announced plans to retire in June 2018.   The Conference Personnel Team has engaged the Shared Services Division of the denomination’s General Council on Finance and Administration as a consultant in the search for Bridge’s replacement.  The goal is to complete the hiring process by April 1 to allow adequate time for transition.   A ...

City Churches to Celebrate 137th Anniversary Together

published 10/13/2017
Warren United Methodist Church, a historically black congregation in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, will celebrate its 137th Anniversary from Nov. 12-19 with a weeklong series of events held jointly with First United Methodist Church in Shadyside, a predominately white congregation. Pittsburgh Area Bishop Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi Cynthia Moore-Koikoi will preach during the concluding Nov. 19 combined worship service at Warren. The combined celebration is an outgrowth of friendships formed ...

The Schmetterlinge Are Here!

published 10/4/2017
The East German children's choir walked the labyrinth at the United Methodist Center in Cranberry Twp. and offered a few songs on Wednesday, Oct. 4. Click the photo to see an album and hear them sing in two videos. The Schmetterlinge (butterflies), a choral group of about 50 children from the East German Conference of the United Methodist Church, flew into Western Pennsylvania on September 30 to tour and offer concerts at churches in the Pittsburgh, Johnstown, Indiana and Erie areas. The ...

Bishop's Response to Las Vegas Gun Violence

published 10/3/2017
From Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi In times like these, our response must be grounded in prayer. I urge every United Methodist in Western Pennsylvania to commit to pray for the next 59 days for the families who were impacted by this violence.   I am still in a state of disbelief regarding the massacre in Las Vegas.   I have been vascillating between disbelief and feelings of anger, grief, and profound sadness.  I have tried to make sense of a senseless act and that has left me frustrated.  I ...

New Franklin DS: Get Out of the Boat!

published 9/27/2017
“Christianity is not like Steeler Nation,“ the Rev. Jodie Smith told the congregation at her installation as Franklin District Superintendent on Sunday, Sept. 24. “We cannot be fans of Jesus. We have to be followers!   “Jesus wants people who will walk in his footsteps…who will deny themselves and take up their cross and follow him every single day,..especially into the deep waters,” she said in her message, based on Matthew 14:22-33. It tells of Jesus walking on water and Peter following—until ...

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
UPDATED Oct. 9, 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 ...

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, ...

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