NEJ Bishops Address Actions Affecting Refugees, Immigrants

published 2/1/2017
The Northeastern Jurisdiction College of Bishops issued a statement and invitation to prayer about what they described as a disconnect between the biblical mandate to welcome foreigners and recent actions affecting refugees and immigrants. Here is their statement and prayer:   "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free . . .” These words, written by poet Emma Lazarus and posted on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty have, for decades, welcomed the foreigner to...

Annual Conference Section Leaders Needed

published 1/31/2017
Clergy and Laity, Male and Female, Youth (Sr. High) and adults are invited to help provide leadership to the 2017 Annual Conference by becoming a Section Leader. About 40 persons are needed for the teams who lead annual conference voting members as they review the legislation in their assigned sections during the June 8-11 session at Grove City College. Section leaders do not have to be elected conference members to serve in this ministry. Training and team building is provided at two group ...

Youth Seek a Renewed Kingdom of God

published 1/30/2017
By Mollie Landman, Youth Ministry Team Secretary At this year's youth retreat, SPARK, I was able to Seek and Prepare A Renewed Kingdom of God with over 500 other young believers across the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference for the UMC.  This incredible retreat lasted through January 20-22, and was held at the Sheraton Pittsburgh Hotel in Station Square. Mollie Landman   Throughout the weekend, I had the opportunity to worship my Almighty Father with Sanctus Real, and I heard our powerful...

WPAUMC Pays 100% to UMC Funds

published 1/26/2017
The Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference is one of 27 conferences in the United States that have paid 100 percent of their 2016 apportionments to the seven General United Methodist Church funds, according to the denomination's Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA).  This is a slight increase over the previous year during which 26 of the 56 annual conferences in the U.S. reached this milestone.  The 2016 payout rate of 91.8% is the highest it has been.   In addition to Western ...

Bishop: Church Blessed by WPAUMC Youth

published 1/25/2017
See SPARK Photo Album Nearly 550 youth and leaders from 56 churches throughout Western Pennsylvania participated in SPARK, an annual weekend gathering sponsored by the Conference Youth Ministry Team (YMT).  The 2017 event was held Jan. 20-22 at the Sheraton Station Square in Pittsburgh. "This retreat has strengthened my relationship with Christ. It also brought 39 students to commit their lives to Jesus for the first time, and 75 other students recommitted their life to Christ," said Mollie ...

Mission Ambassadors Learn, Educate Others

published 1/25/2017
Two clergywomen and a layman begin a two-year journey as Conference Mission Ambassadors this year, while Geraldine Truog and Jodale Barnhart, the current Mission Ambassadors continue to share stories of their mission experiences in Latin America with local churches and groups throughout Western Pennsylvania.  Every two years the Mission Ambassador Committee selects people to receive partial funding (approximately half the cost) to travel to the area of the world that will be studied at Mission ...

Koikoi to Build Ministry In Allegheny Valley

published 1/20/2017
When Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi was assigned to lead United Methodists in Western Pennsylvania last July, she and her husband, Pastor Raphael Koikoi, found themselves in a situation facing many clergy couples, but with an added twist.   Pastor Koikoi was serving the Sharp Street UMC in the Baltimore-Washington Conference, where the Bishop had served as a superintendent until her election as Bishop. When she moved to the Pittsburgh area on September 1, 2016, the couple had to live apart, but ...

Young Adults Offered Aid for Christian Unity Event

published 1/10/2017
The Council of Bishops offers scholarships for young adult (age 18-25), first-time participants to attend the National Workshop on Christian Unity and United Methodist Ecumenical and Inter-religious Training (UMEIT:USA).   The National Workshop (NWCU) and UMEIT occur parallel to each other once a year in a different area of the US.  The 2017 sessions will be in Minneapolis, Minnesota May 1-4.   The NWCU is an opportunity for Christians who care about ecumenical and inter-religious ministry to ...

Residents Return to Parkview Towers

published 1/9/2017
Residents who were evacuated from their apartments when a pre-dawn fire broke out Dec. 16 in Parkview Towers, a senior high-rise in Munhall owned by United Methodist Church Union, began returning to their homes with the help of volunteers on Jan. 18.  Two residents died as a result of the fire, which broke out in a seventh-floor unit. Richard Miller, 61, a former paramedic and volunteer firefighter died while trying to help his neighbors in the area where the fire started.  Elizabeth "Betty" ...

Bishop Honored as Woman of Excellence

published 1/6/2017
Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi was one honored at a downtown Pittsburgh luncheon on Friday, Jan. 6 as one of the New Pittsburgh Courier's 2017 Women of Excellence.  The honor recognizes African American women who are leaving lasting marks by making great strides in their professions and positively impacting their communities. The honorees, who were selected from nominations sent in by the newspaper’s readership, have made significant contributions and achievements. “We are very pleased to recognize...

Martin Luther King Day Events, Resources

published 1/4/2017
Several United Methodist churches were involved in services celebrating the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the weekend of the federal holiday honoring the preacher who in 1964 at age 35 became the youngest man to win the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 35 for his nonviolent leadership of the U.S. civil rights movement. See photos from the service Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi was the preacher for a Jan.15 evening worship service celebrating the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther...

United Methodists Aid in Flood Recovery

published 1/2/2017
United Methodists currently are playing key roles in  flood relief efforts in two southwestern Pennsylvania counties after heavy rain caused creeks to rise, affecting dozens of families and forcing some from their homes in the Waynesburg and Rogersville areas of Greene County the weekend before Christmas. See news video report. As assessments and early response efforts got underway there, recovery work by Volunteers in Mission teams and recovery coordinators in Connellsville area continue.  ...

A Prayer for the New Year 2017

published 12/28/2016
At the start of each year, members of the Western Pennsylvania-East German Conference Partnership offer a Prayer for the New Year. The prayer is prepared in alternate years by a member of the partnership committee in Western PA or in Germany so that congregations in both areas can unite in prayer on the first Sunday or another Sunday in January.  It may also be used by individuals or groups as the Spirit leads. The 2017 prayer was composed by the Rev. Thomas Q. Strandburg, pastor of Mt. ...

Scam Alert: Churches Targeted

published 12/23/2016
Some Western PA Conference churches recently have been targets of a scam in which a request for wire transfers of significant amounts of money come from what appears to be the senior pastor’s email address.   Similar schemes hit churches in North Carolina and North Georgia in December 2015 and early 2016. The most recent reported attempt in Western PA began with a late afternoon email to a church secretary from a gmail address that appeared to be the senior pastor’s.   A blog post on ...

Bishop Receives Extraordinary Gift

published 12/16/2016
--By Jackie Campbell-- Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi was surprised when the Rev. Jonathan and Anne Bell arrived in her office recently bearing a unique gift -- a quilted wall hanging created by Anne from communion cloths she made for the Bishop’s welcome service last October. The 60-inch square wall-hanging uses colors that reflect the Cross and Flame and Pentecost, Anne explained. “The crosses are different sizes like the congregations of Western Pennsylvania, and the perspective from which we ...

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