Pre-Teen Sings Praise in Paradise Band

published 3/30/2016
--By Leslie Uriss Spehar-- When Reagan Shick and her dad Brian sing and play guitar for the congregation during the contemporary praise service on Sundays at Paradise United Methodist Church in Mount Pleasant, it’s easy to see that musical talent runs in the family. For 10--year-old Reagan, however, there may be little nature and a lot of nurture in the mix. Brian and Cheryl Schick adopted Reagan from Kemerovo, Russia, in Siberia when she was 14 months old. Reagan started playing guitar and ...

Vital Congregations: Hopeful Signs in 3 Areas

published 3/21/2016
Highly vital congregations are focused on growing their vitality by making and maturing disciples, not achieving numbers. Highly vital congregations grow and support disciples and leaders through worship, small groups, lay and clergy leadership development and ministry and mission engagement. Highly vital congregations are in every geographic region of the U.S. and are of all sizes and ethnicity. Vital Congregations is a broad based movement within the church that is making disciples and ...

World Vision Leader to Speak at Ingomar

published 3/9/2016
--By Leslie Uriss Spehar-- Ingomar Church will welcome World Vision President Richard Stearns on Sunday, April 3. Stearns has traveled to more than 40 of the nearly 100 countries where World Vision works, and has a first-hand understanding of the issues that affect the poor. His message, “Somebody Else’s Kids,” is one that many members of the church have come to understand through small group studies of two of Stearn’s books.  “We did a church-wide study in 2011 of Rich Stearns’ book, The Hole...

2016 Zim Immersion Participants Named

published 3/2/2016
Three clergy and three lay people have been selected to participate in the fifth annual Zimbabwe Immersion Program (ZIP) this summer.  ZIP was developed to enable individuals from Western PA United Methodist churches to spend significant time in Zimbabwe to learn church growth, discipleship, and leadership dynamics. ZIP participants live with host families and most will be in Zimbabwe from about June 28  to August 4, 2016.  The 2016 ZIP participants include: Saundra McKee- Manorville UMC in ...

Mini-Ebenezers Celebrate Partnership

published 3/2/2016
--By Sandra Matoushaya, Zimbabwe Partnership Coordinator-- This year marks the 6-year anniversary of the Chabadza Partnership between the Western Pennsylvania Conference (WPAUMC) and the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area (ZEA). Chabadza is a Shona word that describes a community spirit of helping someone you know who is already at work. The partnership was formed around the denomination's Four Areas of Focus and includes district-to-district relationships focused on creating new places for new people, ...

Glave Authors Guide to Discuss Realities of Race

published 2/17/2016
The Rev. Dr. Dianne Glave, coordinator of diversity development in the Western Pennsylvania Conference, has authored a guide to small group discussions on the realities of race and racism for the United Methodist Church's General Commission on Religion and Race(GCORR). The guide is a companion piece to GCORR's video series. The Vital Conversations series features contemporary theologians, sociologists, laity, clergy, and other thought-leaders dealing with challenges of race, culture, and ...

Killian To Join in East German Refugee Outreach

published 2/17/2016
--By Jackie Campbell-- When Grace Killian came home to Pittsburgh last Fall after two year’s service as a Global Mission Fellow in Israel/Palestine, she learned that her church’s partner congregation and others in Germany were reaching out to help refugees in their communities.  Now Grace is going to work with them. Meet Grace Killian in this UMW video   Mt. Lebanon UM Church, Grace’s home church, is linked with the Zwickau UMC and is part of the Western PA-East German Partnership, set up ...

Call to Prayer and Fasting on Feb. 15

published 2/11/2016
Western Pennsylvania United Methodists are called to a Day of Prayer and Fasting for Christian Martyrs on Feb. 15, 2016 in memory of 21 Egyptian Christian martyrs who were murdered in Libya by those claiming to be members of the Islamic State (ISIS) a year ago.    Members of the 2015 Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference approved a petition (P808) calling for the Day of Prayer and Fasting on the  first anniversary of the day a video was released of the 21 Coptic Orthodox Christians being ...

Training Set for Legislative Section Leaders

published 2/3/2016
Training sessions for those interested in serving as leaders for legislative sections at the 2016 Western PA Annual Conference session have been scheduled for Saturday, March 12 and Saturday, May 14 at the UM Conference Center in Cranberry Twp. Both training events run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Annual Conference run from June 9 -12 at Grove City College.  Section leaders facilitate discussion among Conference members assigned to consider legislation submitted to the annual conference for ...

Clergy Event to Focus on Resurrection of Ministry

published 1/27/2016
Seminary professor and author Dr. Andrew Purves has some advice for clergy trying to do it all: Move aside. Let go of the idea that it’s YOUR ministry. Let Jesus take control and share in God’s ministry.   Rev. Dr. Andrew Purves “Conceiving ministry as our ministry is the root problem that ails us in ministry today,” said Purves, the Jean and Nancy Davis Professor Emeritus of Historical Theology at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. “Rather, ministry should be understood as a sharing in the ...

UMW Gifts Enable Ministry, Mission

published 1/27/2016
United Methodist Women believe in mission, educate about mission, volunteer in mission and give to mission.  They focus on ministries to women, children and youth, those with the most need and least power in our world. The Western Pennsylvania Conference United Methodist Women this week named 2016 Elizabeth Bradley grant recipients and released its 2015 giving totals. In 2015, the Conference United Methodist Women gave more than $165,000 to the national UMW organization for ministry and mission...

WPAUMC Aids German Ministry with Refugees

published 1/27/2016
UPDATE: Western Pennsylvania United Methodists contributed more than $15,000 to a special appeal by the WPAUMC-East German Partnership Committee to assist congregations in Eastern Germany who are helping refugees. "The gifts will help our churches there conduct cultural, language and work programs to assist the refugees, who are from many places in the Middle East," said Mary Garber of Mt. Lebanon UMC, co-chair of the WPAUMC Partnership committee. Garber said she will travel to her congregation...

Orientation to Ministry Set for Feb. 20

published 1/20/2016
An Orientation to Ministry session has been scheduled for Saturday, February 20 at Trinity UMC in Brackenridge from 9:30 a.m. – noon.    Sponsored by the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, the Orientation is a requirement under the 2012 Book of Discipline for anyone pursuing licensed or ordained ministry.  However, this initial gathering is open to anyone who would like to learn more about the various types of set-apart ministry that exist within the United Methodist Church.  Representatives...

MLK Day: A Call to Action

published 1/13/2016
Martin Luther King Jr. weekend -- Jan. 16-18, 2016 -- is a time to celebrate Dr. King’s life and remember how his work in the Civil Rights Movement prepared the foundation for dismantling racism. Lanecia Rouse Tinsley Around Western Pennsylvania, United Methodists celebrate through participation in community events or doing volunteer service. On Sunday, Jan. 17, the Pittsburgh and Greensburg Districts have scheduled a 4 p.m. celebration of Dr. King's life and ministry at Monroeville UM ...

Study to Focus on Religions in Monroeville

published 1/13/2016
The area in and around the Pittsburgh suburb of Monroeville is distinguished by the wide variety of religious traditions found there. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs are among those with vibrant faith communities. To help increase understanding among neighbors, Monroeville United Methodist Church (MUM) will offer a Monday evening study about the various religions represented in the area. Pastor Ed Schoeneck of MUM and Dr. Dave Morse, retired pastor and adjunct faculty member...

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