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 ...

Truck Smashes Wellersburg Church

published 4/5/2017
-- By Jackie Campbell-- The historic Mount Harmony United Methodist Church was severely damaged on Tuesday, April 4 when a fully loaded tractor-trailer hauling small-diameter steel rods crashed into the building. No one was hurt except the driver, who reportedly injured his hand.  The church building, however, is a total loss, said the Rev. Kenneth Haines, pastor.  "The entire load of several hundred one-inch steel rods flew all over the place. Some of them ended up buried in the ground and ...

Pastors Take on Spartan Challenge

published 2/27/2017
Pastors Scott Gallagher and Justin Judy are launching a new fitness and team-building challenge -- and they are inviting others to join them.   Last year, the two United Methodist elders walked more than 500 miles together around the perimeter of the Western Pennsylvania Conference in the weeks leading up to the 2016 Annual Conference session at Grove City College. They made it to Grove City on time despite an early setback. Read about it.   The 2017 Challenge is not as long, but may be more ...

Team Seeks Denman Nominations

published 2/27/2017
Each year the Conference Evangelism Team honors three persons who consistently introduce others to the Good News of Jesus Christ with a Harry Denman Award. The team encourages congregations to submit nominations. An award winner's ministry should be exceptional for the number of new Christ Followers who credit them with helping to start or reignite a faith journey. Awards are given in three categories: Clergy, Youth and Laity.  Nominations will be accepted through May 5.  Learn more about the ...

AC2017 Leadership Day Teachers Named

published 2/22/2017
The Rev. Dr. Dawn Chesser and the Rev. Dr. L. Roger Owens will be the teachers for the 2017 Leadership Day on Wednesday, June 7 at Grove City College. The courses, both with afternoon and evening sessions, are open to clergy and laity. "There was such a good response to the leadership session during last year's Annual Conference Day of Preparation that two course options are being planned this year," said the Rev. Susan Moudry, Conference director of clergy excellence.  "Workshops will be ...

Lenten Devotional Focused on Diversity

published 2/15/2017
The Conference Anti-Racism Team sometime in mid-2016 enlisted the Rev. Dr. Steven Tuell, Kelso Professor of Hebrew and Old Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, to produce a devotional that addresses God’s love for all people. The results is a resource for the individuals or groups to use during the  2017 Lenten season. Dr. Steven Tuell “The content of the devotionals does address our current situation—but by stressing the positive: the Bible’s emphasis on God’s love for racial and ...

Disability Awareness Sunday is Feb. 19!

published 2/14/2017
Celebrating Disability Awareness Sunday gives congregations the opportunity to assess how they welcome and include people with disabilities and find ways to acknowledge and utilize the gifts and graces of all people. The Annual Conference set Feb. 19, 2017 as the date to observe Disability Awareness Sunday, but local churches may use a different date.  "Nearly 20 percent of the population lives with some type of disability, and many more are affected through loved ones who have disabilities,"...

Black History Month: Hear the Voices

published 2/13/2017
Historic audio in the United Methodist archives from Night Call, the first national call-in radio show in America when it was launched in 1965, allows current and future generations the opportunity to hear the voices of key denominational and national civil rights leaders through the website SoundTheology.org. The nightly show, which ran from 1965-69, was produced by the United Methodist Church in conjunction with the Urban League, the National Council of Churches and other faith partners.   The...

Internships Help Define Call to Ministry

published 2/7/2017
The story of ministry internships in Western Pennsylvania is one that isn't often told.  Yet a quick search of the Pastoral Records will show that our Conference has been engaged with interns since at least the 1960s.  That’s an impressive realization: Ministry internships have been a part of our life together for at least 50 years.  Rev. C. Franklin Helt, a retired elder, got involved in the internship program in 1962, which he believes was the first year it was offered. "I was a shy, ...

PA Bishops Explore Refugee Ministry

published 2/3/2017
The Northeastern Jurisdiction College of Bishops' met in Lancaster, PA, days after U.S. executive orders affecting refugees and immigration were issued. While in the historic, ethnically diverse city recently referred to as the "refugee capital of the U.S.," Pennsylvania's three resident bishops and one retired bishop took the opportunity to learn more about ministry with the refugees.  Bishops Cynthia Moore-Koikoi of the Pittsburgh Area, Jeremiah Park of the Harrisburg Area and Peggy Johnson ...

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