Bible-Reading Launches Church Re-Opening

published 11/30/2015
It took up to four people reading different chapters simultaneously in the last days, but members and supporters of Hill Top United Methodist Church managed to read through the entire Bible in the week leading up to the Sunday service celebrating the reopening of their worship space, which was severely damaged by a fire more than a year before.  The Bible-reading marathon began with the congregation reading Genesis 1 together as the last act of worship together on a late November Sunday morning...

Olive Branch Moves to Business District

published 11/23/2015
See more photos   The Olive Branch, an outreach of Salem United Methodist Church which combines a store offering fair trade items with a gathering place for community activities, will hold its grand opening on Saturday, Dec. 5. Located at 11160 Perry Highway (across from Dunkin’ Donuts) in Wexford, the store will feature one-of-a-kind gifts, jewelry and other items made by impoverished artisans from around the world. The Olive Branch will be open from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays and ...

Lawmakers Attend Pray USA Rally

published 11/19/2015
More than 200 people, including 20 state senators and representatives, attended a Pray USA worship rally on Tuesday evening, November 17, 2015, at Grace United Methodist Church in Harrisburg, PA. Several of the lawmakers spoke about the need to draw upon the beliefs and values of our Christian faith in the political process and halls of government, said Rev. Dai Morgan, pastor of Swissvale UMC and coordinator of UM Advocacy in PA, shown above at right with State Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, a member...

Imagine No Malaria Hits New Milestone

published 11/16/2015
Nearing its $75 million fundraising goal, Imagine No Malaria (INM) continues to spark interest in United Methodist and secular circles. After the launch of the #Give10 Challenge and announcement of a Susquehanna Conference pledge that brings campaign to over 90 percent of the goal, Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton and Rev. Tom Willard, pastor of Camp Hill UMC were interviewed on Harrisburg area radio station WITF. Bishop Bickerton leads the denomination's Global Health Initiative and Rev. Willard ...

Partnership Offers Advent Devotional in English, German

published 11/16/2015
United Methodists in Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Germany have published their 2015 Advent Devotional in English and German, which can be downloaded and copied.  Advent begins on Nov. 29. "The partnership, formed in 1988 before the fall of the Berlin Wall, has been producing the Advent devotional annually since the late '90's,  said the Rev. Joe Stains, who chairs the Western PA partnership group. "It has always been a daily devotional running from the beginning of Advent through New Year's ...

UMC Scholarship Recipients Named

published 11/16/2015
Twenty-two students from Western PA United Methodist congregations have been awarded a total of $23,000 in college or seminary scholarships for the 2015 school year from the UMC’s General Board of Higher Education and Ministries (GBHEM). They are among 2,200 students in the denomination who received a total of $4.5 million in financial assistance this year thanks in part to congregational support for United Methodist Student Day (Nov. 29, 2015), World Communion Sunday, and Native American ...

Young Adults Explore Call to Ministry

published 11/16/2015
Choosing a career path is a difficult decision, but for some Western Pennsylvania young adults who feel a call to ministry, attending Exploration 2015 helped bring things into focus. The three-day event is offered every two years for those age 18-26 by the United Methodist Church's General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. “This weekend at Exploration 2015 has truly been an inspiring experience. It was so amazing to be surrounded by young adults who all feel a strong calling towards ...

Costa Rican Pastor Visits Western PA

published 11/4/2015
One of the most moving moments in Costa Rican Methodist Pastor Eddier Cortes visit to Western Pennsylvania came at a state prison. During their stay with members of Bakerstown UMC, a partner congregation to his, Pastor Eddier and his wife Jessica spent two days with the Rev. David Stains, pastor of Beulah UMC in Johnstown. Stains and his wife Beth led the mission study on Latin America at the 2015 Mission u and for years he has spearheaded the Encounter with Christ in Latin America mission ...

Join Bishop for Tour of Wesley's England

published 11/4/2015
Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton’s  2016 Wesleyan Heritage Tour to England will be his last as leader of Western PA United Methodists. Laity and clergy from local churches are invited to travel with the group from April 17-26. Download a brochure for details. Each year the Bishop invites the upcoming ordination class to join him to get in touch with their Wesleyan roots. The group will visit the communities where John and Charles Wesley were born, educated, and began ministry. Seeing these places,...

More Than a Cuppa Joe

published 11/3/2015
--By Leslie Uriss Spehar-- Something new is brewing in Bradford, PA. Just off of Main Street, in the heart of downtown, A Whole Latte Love Café opened its doors to the public last spring. Staffed entirely by volunteers, the coffee shop is a ministry of the Bradford Area Parish including West Branch, Asbury, Custer City, and Rew United Methodist Churches, with a goal of offering locals of all socio-economic levels the opportunity for fellowship. Some want to call it a Christian coffee shop, but...

Online Campaign Fills Backpacks for Hungry Kids

published 11/3/2015
--By Leslie Uriss Spehar-- The folks at California United Methodist Church want to change the world. One way they’re doing it is by filling backpacks with food for kids who may go hungry on the weekends. They’ve taken their efforts online with a Gofundme campaign to raise money to buy the food for the backpacks.   The church’s weekend feeding program feeds local elementary school students in Kindergarten through 4th grade who don’t have access to regular meals outside of school hours. The idea...

Church Secretary Gives "Extravagant Gift"

published 11/2/2015
November 8 is Organ and Tissue Donor Sunday in the United Methodist Church. Organ and tissue donation is a life-giving act, since transplantation of organs and tissues is scientifically proven to save the lives of persons with terminal diseases and improve the quality of life for the blind, the deaf, and persons with life-threatening illnesses.  This story was originally posted in April for Donate Life Month.    --By Leslie Uriss Spehar-- It’s easy to take for granted the activities that make ...

Overcome Obstacles with Teamwork

published 10/21/2015
There are times when ministry is filled with obstacles.  Every lay person, clergy person, and church has faced their fair share of those hurdles that have to be overcome in order to fulfill the ministry for which we are called.  Admittedly, there are those obstacles that stop us in our tracks.  We know God can and will equip us to overcome all things, but we are often more aware of our personal limitations than we are of God’s limitless power. On Saturday, October 10, three Western Pennsylvania...

Project Helps Churches with Disciple-Making

published 10/21/2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A pilot project initiated by Discipleship Ministries is underway to help United Methodist churches in the United States articulate what discipleship looks like in their context and to engage in dedicated disciple making as they become vital congregations.  Details of the project were discussed at a recent Discipleship Ministries board of directors meeting in Pittsburgh, hosted by the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference, one of the annual conferences where the Building ...

Vital Conversations on Race Set for Oct. 28

published 10/14/2015
The United Methodist Church's General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) will premiere Vital Conversations: An Interactive Video Series on Today's Realities of Race and Racism, at 9 p.m., Wednesday, October 28 on GCORR.org. You're invited to join in.    Vital conversations are a direct connection between the three areas of GCORR's Ministry Model--institutional equity, vital conversations, and intercultural competency--and the lived experiences of people around the world. Through these ...

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