Butler District News

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Announcements


 

On Monday, November 15, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi announced through email that Rev. Deborah Ackley-Killian will serve both the Pittsburgh and Butler districts effective January 1, 2023. Her new appointment to both districts will be effective until at least June 30, 2023. Read more about Rev. Ackley-Killian.

"God is calling us to explore new possibilities in 2023," wrote Bishop Moore-Koikoi. "We are grateful for the gifts that Rev. Ackley-Killian brings to both the annual conference and the Pittsburgh/Butler Districts as we live into the opportunities God has given us."

January 31, 2023 - Statistic Reports Due
March 1, 2023 Fund Balance Report (annual audit) Due

Click the link below for a list of forms with due dates and links!
Link to Annual Forms and Worksheets

Lay Servan Ministry School

It is that time of year when we are preparing our hearts, minds, and souls for the crucifixion of our Savior, Jesus Christ. The Butler Lay Ministry School will once again be at Harmony Zelienople UMC.  Classes in the spring of 2023 will be held on five Sundays during Lent (February 26, March 5, 12,19, and 26) from 2 to 5 PM. The four classes that will be offered are Basic, Polity, Preaching, and Fear of the Other: No Fear in Love - a class that explores the sin of racism and what it might mean to dismantle it. The deadline for registration is February 15, 2023.  Attached is the registration form.   Brochure

Simplified, Accountable Structure - A Simple Structure for Missional Effectiveness

Are you tired of unproductive meetings that seem to go on forever?  Does your church have more leadership positions than people to fill them?  Do meetings occur without ever discussing how ministries align with the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ?  Is your church simply “meetinged-out?”  If this sounds like your church and you are looking for another way to lead your church more faithfully, more simply and with greater impact, please join this February 4, 9 - 11 am, Zoom session with Kay Kotan to explore simplified, accountable structure.  This event is encouraged for both clergy and laity and will include plenty of Q&A time.  RSVP here.  You will receive the Zoom link prior to the event.

You may learn more about Kay, co-author of Mission: Possible here.
 
In this overview workshop, you will learn:

  • The leadership styles of most churches and how effective they are
  • The difference of management and governance through leadership
  • How to meet less but be more effective and missionally focused
  • How to simplify the four administrative committee functions
  • How to offer permission-giving guidelines for day-to-day ministry to occur
  • Why accountability must be part of leadership at all levels
  • The three phases of a simplified, accountable structure
  • The 12-steps of Discernment towards Simplified, Accountable Structure

Mission Barn Feature Story: The New Castle News highlighted the Mission Barn, located in Lawrence County, which builds residential ramps for handicapped persons and people in wheelchairs and serves as a national collection and distribution center for thousands of disaster relief supply kits. The Mission Barn will soon relocate. Read story

Additionally, the Mission Barn is in need of hygiene kits and cleaning buckets. Supplies are running low. Click for more information on what is included in a kit. Looking to volunteer? The Mission Barn currently has openings on some Saturdays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10-2 for groups 2-15 people. Email Katie at missionbarn@gmail.com to schedule your team.

Clergy Session: The 2023 Clergy Session will be held Saturday, June 3, 2023 at 10:30 am at Dutilh UMC (1270 Dutilh Road, Cranberry Township, PA 16066) to vote on the Board of Ordained Ministry's recommendations regarding Clergy Conference Relations. Register.

2023 Worship Planning Calendar: This resource is the full music and worship planning calendar for each Sunday in 2023, as well as special days and times throughout the year. Designed to help pastors, worship leaders, Sunday School teachers, and more. Download Here!  

2023 Revised Common Lectionary Calendar: The Revised Common Lectionary is a three-year cycle of scripture texts following the liturgical year and is designed to be used in worship week by week. Download Here!  


UPCOMING EVENTS

January 27Spark 2023
January 28: Orientation to Ministry
January 28-29: Camping Weekend
February 15 & 16: PTS Albright-Deering Workshop & Lecture
 
 

 Employment Opportunities

Local Church Employment: There are a number of employment opportunities posted on the Conference classifieds webpage, including postings for a youth leader, worship leader and communications coordinator. 


Postings for other Conference staff positions, as well as some local church positions, were added to the Conference website this week at wpaumc.org/classifieds

6 Mission Projects to Adopt in 2023
Check out this list of Special Sundays with access to Pastor & Leader Kits that include helpful resources and an overview of the mission impact it will have on the community.
Learn more
 

2024
General Conference 2024 will be held April 23 – May 3, 2024
at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. Read more.
 


Happy Birthday

 




January


30    Mary Grey Emmett
31    Janice Hall

February
1     Amanda Mitchell
8     Jonathan Fehl
26   Gary Hilton
28   Greg Spencer



Spouse
 


Happy Anniversary

                                                         

 




February 

6      Seth & Beth McClymonds
12    Earl & Cathy Dykes
17    Alan & Lois Morrison












 



 


Prayer Concerns and Joys


Please send us your prayer concerns and joys, to Butler.Office@wpaumc.org


-Communities and people suffering from violence and lost loved ones
 

Rev Eric and Tara Park as they move to a new appointment in New York.

Rev. Deborah Ackley-Killian as she serves as District Superintendent in the Butler and Pittsburgh Districts.
  • Ukraine and Russia, Countries helping the Ukrainian refugees
  • Our world, our Country, and our leaders 
  • All who are suffering from the effects of Covid and the flu this season.
  • Our military and military families.
  • Those awaiting test results, surgery, and medical treatment.
  • Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi and the WPA Cabinet                                                           
  • The United Methodist Church

 


Clergy Community of Practice

UMC/ELCA Shared CCOP Pilot Project: A new shared opportunity  is being launched this fall for clergy who are serving in the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. Group participation requires 2-4 hours per month in addition to the assigned reading for the sessions.  Both in-person and Zoom options are available.  Each meeting will be led by a trained facilitator who is a clergy peer. Learn more or register.

Clergy Communities of Practice: CCOPs are a type of covenant group meant to support development and focus on engagement with peers, helping to reverse trends of isolation among clergy. Meetings invite participants to share in prayer and fellowship, as well as a time of learning and application with an emphasis is on bringing learning into practice. Learn more or register.


Camps and Retreat Center Updates

WPA Camp Registrations are now open
 
Jumonville: www.jumonville.org/summer-camp
Camp Allegheny: www.campallegheny.org
Wesley Woods: www.wesleywoods.com
 

Wesley Woods 2023: It is time to register your campers for Summer Camp 2023!  We are offering $100 off to anyone who registers by the end of the year.  All you have to do is:
1.  Find a camp you love at www.wesleywoods.com
2.  Register for the camp, using the code PAID23
3.  Pay in full by 12/31/2022.


THE DEEPLY ROOTED, UPWARD-REACHING CAMPAIGN

In May, the Deeply Rooted, Upward Reaching campaign released a report on what's been raised, what's been done and what's to come. See the report. Feeling inspired to give? Donate here


Promotional materials for churches conducting a campaign are available for pick-up at the District Office during office hours. If possible, run a Camping Campaign Appeal before Advent 2022. Questions? Contact Rev. Dean Ziegler at deandziegler@gmail.com. Help support our conference camping and retreat ministries!


Cherry Run Camp Meeting Association

Sponsor an item to bless Cherry Run Camp Meeting Association! Select any items you wish to sponsor and it will be sent directly to Kayla Burke who will take them to the camp. Keep checking for updates. Sponsor an item
 
Donate to Cherry Run Camp. It is a non-profit organization and is completely dependent on donations from individuals and churches. It takes approximately $60,000 annually to keep the camp up and running. You can help! Make checks payable to: Cherry Run Camp Meeting Association. Mail to the camp treasurer: Don Shaffer, 4765 Ramsaytown Road, Brookville, PA 15825. Online donations may be made at CherryRunCamp.com.


OLMSTED MANOR RETREAT CENTER- Stay in our modern hotel-style lodge or the historic Tudor-style manor house as you enjoy the peace and beauty of the Allegheny National Forest. Learn more. Call us today at (814) 945-6512. Calendar of Events:
  
 


 
 
 
 



 

 
  


Calendar Items

new Statistical Report (added 1/25/2023)

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Statistical Reports are to be completed by Tuesday, January 31. Senior pastors should have received an email from John Wilson, Conference Secretary, on December 5, 2022, with detailed instructions. If you have any questions, please contact him at john.wilson@wpaumc.org
 
This process takes time, so it’s not too early for pastors to get started, especially if you have never done them before. Please don't leave this task until the last minute or you risk being late with the reports. It takes time to gather the information for the three Tables. It is the pastor’s responsibility to see that the information is gathered from church leadership and entered online by January 31, 2023.


2023 Disability Ministries Committee (DMC) Grant Cycle

Wednesday, February 1, 2023 to March 31

2023 Disability Ministries Committee (DMC) Grant Cycle will open February 1 and close March 31, 2023.
If your church or organization has a qualifying project in mind, visit our Grants webpage to learn more and download a 2023 Project Grant Application.
 
Resources that will help congregations create welcoming spaces for children and adults who may get overwhelmed with the noise and sensory overload of typical Sunday morning activities:


new Leadership Lab: EQ in the Wild United Theological Seminary (added 1/26/2023)

Thursday, February 2, 2023 to March 9

Have you ever felt frustrated with the way you or others reacted in a situation, or maybe you need help understanding why you or others responded a certain way? Do you long for a fresh perspective that will help you identify new paths forward in life & ministry — as well as help you learn more about yourself and the people you lead?
Leadership Lab: EQ in the Wild is your opportunity to discover your best self, understand & enhance your EQ (Emotional Intelligence) and improve your leadership and relationships on every level!
Leadership Lab: EQ in the Wild is a real-life cohort to provide you with interactive accelerated learning as the “community becomes the curriculum.” We’ll combine short weekly teachings alongside the lab cohort participants’ own real-life scenarios as case studies, which offer the best opportunity to learn and apply Emotional Intelligence “in the wild.” Rev. John McGill, WeDoEQ trainer and consultant, will facilitate this leadership cohort, where the lessons will be taken directly from our leadership lives.


new Teaching and Preaching Lent 2023 (added 1/24/2023)

Where: Webinar

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Join pastor and best-selling author Adam Hamilton as he shares what he has learned through teaching church-wide and small group study, as well as preaching in the Lenten season. Engaging in a Bible study together as a church family has tremendous potential to bring a congregation together, deepen a sense of community, and foster spiritual growth. It also provides an opportunity for community outreach, creating a clear and specific touchpoint for inviting new people to worship and study. Adam will give practical advice on how you can have the greatest impact during the Lenten season.

Adam will also preview his new Lenten study, Luke: Jesus and the Outsiders, Outcasts, and Outlaws, exploring the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus as told in the Gospel of Luke. Through Luke’s stories we find Jesus’ care and compassion for all as he welcomes sinners and outcasts.

And, as a special bonus, all webinar attendees will receive a free Luke: Jesus and the Outsiders, Outcasts, and Outlaws Worship and Media Download (retail value $29.99). The resource includes a promotional worship video, presentation slides for use in worship and study, social media images, a program guide, sermon outlines, and other worship helps for each week of Lent.

Register today to prepare for a meaningful Lenten season.


FREE WEBINAR - REGISTER NOW


new Cabot UMC Lenten Fish Fry (added 1/26/2023)

Friday, February 24, 2023 4:00 PM to March 31

Cabot UMC Fish Fry
Fridays, Feb 24 through March 31, 4:00-7:00 pm
Fish, shrimp, chicken--plus the largest selection of hot sauces in the county!
707 Winfield Rd, Cabot, PA 16023

 


Bible Land Discovery

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

New York Conference United Methodist Men, starting at $2,798* from New York, NY departing on February 23, 2023 for eight days. Journey to places such as Bethlehem, Galilee, Jerusalem, and much more! Sign-up  
 


new Fund Balance Reports (added 1/25/2023)

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Annual Fund Balance Reports, required for each church, are due in the District Office by March 1st. If you need an extension, you must contact the District Office before the deadline. 

The United Methodist Book of Discipline assigns the responsibility for the annual audit of financial records to the committee on finance. The committee “shall make provisions for an annual audit of the financial statements of the local church and all its organizations and accounts. The committee shall make a full and complete report to the annual charge conference” (¶258.4d). The purpose of this audit guide is to assist the committee in its work.  The Fund Balance Report (and other financial forms and guidelines) is found at www.wpaumc.org/formsandinformation.  


new Register for Mission U (added 1/24/2023)

Where: Olmsted Manor Retreat Center

Tuesday, March 14, 2023 to March 15

Join Western PA laity and clergy at Olmsted Manor Retreat Center for Mission u 2023, scheduled for March 12-14. This program is based on the theme of community and Rev. Renee' Mikell will lead the study on the book "Who Can We Be Together? A Biblical Exploration of Luke 13" by Candace Simpson. Learn more and register.


Healthy Congregations

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Healthy Congregations uses the insights of family systems theory to help church leaders become more effective stewards of their congregations. This workshop was developed by Dr. Peter Steinke and is based on the work of Dr. Edwin Friedman, author of Generation to Generation: Family Process in Church and Synagogue.

The Healthy Congregations workshop is designed to equip leaders to respond to the presence or potential threat of anxiety in a congregational system in ways that prevent destructive conflict and help the church stay focused on its unique mission and purpose. This workshop will help you:

  • Learn how you as a leader can influence the health of your congregation – how to detect and avoid unhealthy patterns of living together in community
  • Learn how to keep anxiety from becoming infectious
  • Gain confidence in responding to challenges and opportunities
  • Learn how to put limits on invasive behavior, manage reactivity, and overcome sabotage
  • Discover how leaders can function as the congregation’s immune system
  • Learn to focus on strengths, resources, options, and the future

Facilitator

The facilitator for such a program would be Jay Wittmeyer, LMPC Executive Director.

Workshop Outline

To see the standard outline of this workshop, click on the Workshop Flyer. Please note that this workshop schedule can be customized for groups if needed.

 

March 22, 2023   

June 1, 2023   

Sep. 9, 2023   

Nov. 29, 2023


new Confirmation Events (added 1/25/2023)

Thursday, March 30, 2023 to March 31

Confirmation classes are invited to attend one of two afternoon events held on March 30 and 31 to meet Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi and learn more about connectional ministries. Hosted by the Conference staff at Ingomar United Methodist Church in Franklin Park, Journey 2023 offers an opportunity for local church Confirmation Classes to gather together to meet our Bishop, worship, play games, learn with Conference program staff and dive deeper into this thing we call discipleship. Learn more and register


Conflict Transformation Skills for Churches

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Conflict is a normal part of life; unfortunately, the church is not exempt. This workshop will give participants the knowledge and skills necessary to manage conflicts within their congregations in a healthier manner. Join us and learn to regard conflict not as a negative force, but as a positive opportunity for reconciliation, spiritual growth, and a renewed awareness of God’s will for your church.

In this workshop, you will learn:

  • That conflict need not be bad, but is an opportunity for growth.
  • The Biblical basis for conflict transformation.
  • Your own style of responding to conflict.
  • The communication skills necessary to resolve conflict peacefully.
  • Strategies for preventing destructive conflict in the church family.
  • A model for working at congregational decision-making in a win-win manner.

de this training to your staff, leaders, or members of your community.  For more information about sponsoring and hosting this event in your area, call us at 630-627-0507, or email us at admin@LMPeaceCenter.org.

Conflict in the Church: Entrusted With the Message of Reconciliation

Description
The workshop Conflict in the Church: Entrusted With the Message of Reconciliation is an expanded version of our Conflict Transformation Skills for Churches.
This workshop spans a Friday evening plus all day Saturday, making it suitable for church retreats. It would be an effective workshop for churches that are currently experiencing conflict—or those who simply want to work at preventing destructive conflict in the future.
 

April 11, 2023   

Sep. 16, 2023


Clergy Session

Where: Dutilh UMC (1270 Dutilh Road, Cranberry Township, PA 16066

Saturday, June 3, 2023

The 2023 Clergy Session will be held Saturday, June 3, 2023 at 10:30 am at Dutilh UMC (1270 Dutilh Road, Cranberry Township, PA 16066) to vote on Board of Ordained Ministry's recommendations regarding Clergy Conference Relations. Register.


2023 Annual Conference

Where: Erie Bayfront Convention Center

Thursday, June 15, 2023 to June 17

Clergy: Plan your vacation, weddings, mission trips, etc. around these dates and plan to attend


new 2023 Wesley Pilgrimage in England (added 1/25/2023)

Monday, July 10, 2023 to July 20

Deepen Your Understanding of Wesleyan Heritage! Explore historic sites while walking in the footsteps of John and Charles Wesley. Scholarships are available to provisional elders and deacons, and this event qualifies for three Continuing Education Units! We’ll share updates, tips, scholarship information, and testimonials from past attendees. Join the Mailing List!


General Conference 2024

Where: Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tuesday, April 23, 2024 to May 3


News Articles

2022 Statistic Report Information (read more )

12/15/2022

Dear Senior Pastors, The General Council on Finance & Administration has changed vendors in 2021 for reporting the 2022 Statistical Tables. The Forms were revised for 2021-2024. Line numbers are the same as last year. However, please read the questions carefully. If you need additional help slide the “Display Question Help” button in the top left corner to turn on additional instructions for many of the questions. Since these are still NEW FORMS, I am again sending this letter. You can find the ... read more


Conference News

Below you will find some conference news relevant to Butler District. To see all conference news, go to the News section at the very top of this page.
Park to Serve Christ Church, United Methodist in New York City (read more )

9/18/2022

On September 18, 2022, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi announced a new appointment for current Butler District superintendent Rev. Dr. Eric Park. "It is with mixed emotions that I announce the appointment of Rev. Dr. Eric Park to the Christ Church, United Methodist in New York City effective February 1, 2023," wrote Bishop Moore-Koikoi. "Several months ago Bishop Thomas Bickerton called me to ask permission to contact Rev. Park in order to invite him into the discernment process. Bishop Bickerton ... read more


Jesus Christ is Our Anchor (read more )

9/6/2022

We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain, where Jesus, a forerunner on our behalf has entered, having become a high priest for ever according to the order of Melchizedek.  Hebrews 6:19-20 Siblings in Christ,   I pray that all our souls are anchored in Christ, who is our hope.    This past summer I had the opportunity to rest and relax with my husband and fur baby, be educated around leadership and my African American ... read more


Resources

Resources for Responding to Racism    more info

Reflections from the Western PA Conference Anti-Racism Summit: Carlen Blackstone, a member of Dutilh UMC in Cranberry Township, reflects on her experience at the Western PA Conference Anti-Racism Summit. This summit was organized by the Conference Anti-Racism team and focused on the intersection of faith and race. Read more

"What Is?" Series: In its new series, the United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race offers a compilation of concise definitions, examples and biblical/theological foundations to create common vocabulary for Christians engaging in anti-racism work. Topics addressed include ableism, cultural bias and gaslighting. See resource. 

Racial Justice Prayer Service Outline: The General Commission on Religion and Race recently released a prayer service outline aimed at helping churches host a racial justice prayer service in their ministry context. Download the prayer service outline

Asking the Hard Questions About Race: The Rev. Giovanni Arroyo poses a difficult question to white United Methodists who say they want an end to racism. “Do you want racial justice enough to voluntarily relinquish some of your power?” A native of Puerto Rico, he knows firsthand what it’s like to be a minority in America, and that experience informs the way he pursues his mission as The United Methodist Church’s point person on inclusion. Read UM News story.  here https://www.umnews.org/en/news/asking-the-hard-questions-about-race
Listen to Our Conexión podcast with Arroyo on racism and Christianity here https://www.resourceumc.org/en/content/our-conexion-episode-1

Racial Justice Prayer and Action Challenge: The General Commission on Religion and Race will launch its Racial Justice Prayer and Action Challenge on Juneteenth, but now’s the time to sign up. Rev. Debbie Hills has submitted one of the prayers. You and your congregation are invited to join in the challenge. Learn more  here https://www.r2hub.org/racial-justice-prayer-action-challenge

African American Methodist Heritage Center: The African American Methodist Heritage Center in Madison, NJ needs money and attention so it can continue to preserve the history of African American Methodists. The center is prioritizing fundraising in 2022 and considering a name change. See UM News story. here https://www.umnews.org/en/news/preserving-black-church-history

Risky Discipleship: Watch a video to learn the story of The Village at Glencliff, a unique respite care community for persons experiencing homelessness, and the risky discipleship required by the
United Methodists who made it happen. Watch  here https://www.umc.org/en/content/risky-discipleship-the-village-at-glencliff

Tips for Building Relationships: Elizabeth Mae Magill wanted to create a food ministry that wasn’t a charity, but a demonstration of Christ’s radical welcome. For months, she did street ministry to get to know food-insecure neighbors, hear their stories, and build relationships. In Leading Ideas, she shares nine practical tips for meeting people and learning their needs. Learn more. 

Discipleship and Anti-Racism: Realize the connection and learn how to have courageous conversations on a difficult topic through a new online course from Discipleship Ministries. There’s no cost. See video and learn more 


Resources - Helpful Links

 Lenten Calendar - Empowering Girls

If you are looking for a way to count your blessings while learning more about the people served by the Nyadire United Methodist Mission in Zimbabwe and helping empower girls to attend school, please consider using this Lenten Calendar.  It is designed to be printed and folded using legal-sized paper but can be scaled to fit letter-sized paper.



The Gospel of Luke with 40-Day Reading Plan
FREE CEB companion edition to Luke: Jesus and the Outsiders, Outcasts, and Outlaws.

This download contains the full text of the Gospel of Luke in the Common English
Bible (CEB) translation, as well as a 40-day reading plan for Luke’s Gospel. You’ll
also find some short reflections, adapted from Adams' book Luke: Jesus and the Outsiders,
Outcasts, and Outlaws, to introduce each section of readings. Download your free copy today.


Download The Gospel of Luke
 
To Lead Change, Leaders Need the Courage to Change Themselves
 
Mike Bonem says that healthy organizational change will not occur unless a leader is willing to reflect, learn, and grow. To lead well, you must have the courage to allow yourself to be changed. Read more now.
 
Leading Ideas Talks Podcast — Episode 116
“Mediating Conflict in Congregations” featuring Charles Pillsbury
 
How can church leaders address conflicts? In this episode, we speak with attorney and mediator Charlie Pillsbury about mediating conflicts in congregations. Listen now, read transcript, and watch on YouTube.
 
7 Key Characteristics of Diversity-Oriented Churches
 
Diversity-oriented churches, despite the challenges they face, are some of the fastest growing churches in the United States, says Brian Leander. He names seven characteristics that help explain how these churches are able to embrace greater racial, ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic diversity. Read more now.
 
The Right Question
Leaders do not need answers. Leaders must have the right questions.
Eric Hoeke suggests that church teams and committees use their first meeting of the year, or the one at which new group members are first present, to set guidelines for how they will work together. Some call this a behavioral covenant. These questions may help:
 How shall we work together? What can we count on from each other? How will we handle differences?
 Want more Right Questions? Read Right Questions for Church Leaders.

Ask The UMC-FAQs

Have questions? We have answers!

Here you'll find our responses to many of the ones we're asked most often, and a place to submit a question of your own.

ASK A QUESTION >

Committed to The UMC: As churches take votes to disaffiliate, some may wish to remain in the United Methodist Church. Information for those committed to The UMC can find resources here. Return to this page regularly to explore the latest resources as they emerge.

Get bookish in 2023: NASHVILLE, Tenn. — For many United Methodists, a new year is a good time to plan to read more, research a new area of interest or dig deeper in the Bible. Crystal Caviness has recommendations to help with those studious endeavors. Read story.
 
What to Do When People Leave Your Church: Ron Edmondson writes that people leave churches for all kinds of reasons. He shares five tips to ease the pain of losing those in whom you’ve invested. Read more now.

 
4 Truths About Ministry Revealed by the Pandemic: Tom Berlin says that two years of global pandemic have revealed some key truths about the nature of ministry. Serving in this difficult time has raised the challenge of embracing new skill sets, forced a renewed reliance on the Spirit’s sustenance, brought the centrality of Christ-filled relationships to the fore, and magnified the importance of our foundational callings. Read more now.

 
How to Get People to Follow You When the Way Is Uncertain: How do we lead in a time of chaos, confusion, division, and uncertainty? Carey Nieuwhof suggests five practices that can help leaders maintain focus and influence. Read more now.

 
Reclaim your UM calling: Understand The United Methodist Church’s mission, line by line.
Transform the world  

 
UM Scholarships: We have scholarships to help your UM students further their education. Currently, there are over 70 scholarships available that cover undergraduate and graduate level studies. Encourage your students to apply today. Applications are open now through March 23, 2023. Apply today 


Camp Allegheny is hiring for Summer 2023. Camp Allegheny is hiring Senior Staff (college students) as resident counselors, wranglers, lifeguards, food service, office, photographer and more. High school students (16 and 17 year olds) as Jr. staff who work 4 to 6 weeks of the summer, usually in a counseling role. Staff receives paid training. Staff is trained in a wide variety of areas: communication, leadership, activities, CPR and first aid, Bible study, age level characteristics and so much more.  More information is here.

 

 
Wesbury Participates in AmazonSmile- Support Wesbury when holiday shopping on Amazon at no cost to you. Go to smile.amazon.com and log in with your normal account login. You can choose Wesbury from the list of charities. Eligible items will generate a donation 0.5% of the sale. Wesbury Foundation 814-332-9264.
 

 
2023 Reading Program for United Women in Faith includes books for adults, children, and youth. The 2023 Reading Program book list is now available at uwfaith.org/read. To receive information about Reading Program events throughout the year, click here and subscribe. 

 

 

Giving Resource Library: Lake Institute of Faith and Giving curates a range of resources that can help deepen understanding and practice at the intersection of faith and giving. Search by keywords or browse by themes to find current research, leadership insights, inspiring stories and more. Search now


Disaster Response: We have had many natural disasters in the past couple of months. In the near future, we will be setting up teams to assist in those disaster stricken areas. An interest form will be coming soon. If you are interested and have questions in the meantime, contact Sandra Matoushaya


Reclaim the Mission of the Church: With all of the uncertainty and division in The United Methodist Church and around the globe, there’s a danger of losing the purpose and mission of the church, or sweeping it aside in the desire to keep everyone together and safe. When we remember “who we are and whose we are,” writes Anne Bosarge, director of Leadership Strategies and Local Church Resources in the South Georgia Conference, “we are rediscovering what we are called to do.” See more


 

 God's Good Creation: Rethinking Disabilities: Many people with disabilities experience isolation and loneliness, even in their United Methodist church. Jim Patterson reports on how by creating a welcoming environment to those with disabilities, the church and its members can experience the giftedness and goodness of all. More


 

 

 

 


Youth Resources


Passing on Faith: What determines whether children will carry on the faith of their parents? Ann Michel of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership interviews noted sociologist Christian Smith about new research examining how parents shape their children’s faith. Watch iWatch interview or Read transcript

Empowering Parents to Raise God-Connected Children: Rachel Turner, author of It Takes a Church to Raise a Parent, began her keynote address at the Children’s Spirituality Summit with a question: “How can churches become centers for empowering parents to raise God-connected children?” Some shift changes are required. Learn more from Discipleship Ministries

Crash Courses in Youth Ministry: Complete Series Now Available! This set of 10 e-books are easy to read and simple to put into practice, equipping you with the knowledge and ideas necessary to create an effective youth ministry. The newest additions to the bunch are Speaking Adolescent, Discipleship, and Digital Youth Ministry. Learn more and download

A Christian Teenager’s Guide to Surviving High School by Ashley Conner. This guide was born from a
private blog Ashley Conner created to help her younger brother navigate high school as an incoming freshman. There were hundreds of posts from big sister to little brother, like "Who pays for the date" and “How to get along with THAT teacher." Much of what she shared with her brother is found in this book. Download free chapter

Benefits of Conducting an HR Assessment for Your Ministry: Improving the basic functions of your ministry will help you improve the effectiveness of your work. Performing a Human Resources assessment will help your ministry identify areas of improvement and growth. Benefit #1 is....

Connecting Faith and Justice: A new curriculum to help junior and senior high students actively engage the intersection of faith and justice and explore why our faith compels us toward justice. It is available to download today for free. Learn more and download

Connecting with Young Adults: In this week’s Leading Ideas, Discipleship Ministries’ Chris Wilterdink says a critical strategy for engaging young adults is to create discipleship opportunities and build relationships in the online communities where they are active. Within these spaces, the church can provide young adults an opportunity to explore identity, belonging, and purpose. Read more.

50 Ways to Strengthen Your Ministry with Youth: This resource sheet from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership is available to read or download in PDF. 


Join the Youth Ministry Team: Let your youth know that there’s still time to apply to be part of the 2020-2021 Conference Youth Ministry Team. Watch video. Fill out the online YMT application

10 Youth Ministry Lessons: SMU's Perkins School of Youth Ministry offers free youth ministry lessons that make it easy to stay connected with youth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Download the curriculum  
 


YOUTH INFORMATION: on the web at https://www.wpaumc.org/youthevents

  • Resources for Youth Workers
  • Explore weekly updates, devotions, games, and lessons on the Youth Worker Collective. Some of the top UM youth workers offer free resources from their real-world ministries. 
  • Check out all of the Youth news at https://www.wpaumc.org/Youth
YSF Grants!
Your church can apply for a Youth Service Fund grant! Need some money to help run or launch a youth-led program or mission trip?
Apply at  www.wpaumc.org/ysfapplication.
Applications are accepted all year long.

Looking to connect with other UM Youth Leaders?
Be on the lookout for upcoming Youth Leader Networks! A small group regional program for you as a youth leader to grow and live life in
community with others who “get it.”
More info?     https://www.wpaumc.org/youth        On Facebook: Western Pa UMC Youth Leaders


Quick Links

WPA Facebook Page
Diversity Development
Mission Barn

The Eastbrook Mission Barn is one of six UMCOR Relief Supply Network depots across the United States.

Scholarships and Grants

There are a variety of scholarships available at www.umc.org/resources/scholarships and at www.wpaumc.org/scholarshipforms.
 

Local church grants available for outreach: The Foundation for Evangelism has opened the 2023 Equipping the Local Church grant cycle. A total of $350,000 is available for grants of $5,000 or $10,000 to small and medium-size congregations, or clusters of churches working together, in a Wesleyan-tradition denomination. A grant application webinar is set for 2-3 p.m. U.S. Eastern time Jan. 26. Learn more.

Scholarship for lay women available: The deadline to apply for the United Women in Faith National Scholarship for lay women is April 18. The scholarships are designed to be used for undergraduate or graduate study or student internships in religion or a related field such as social work. Preference will be given to people affiliated with The United Methodist Church and women involved with UWF. The average scholarship is $1,000, and the maximum is $5,000. Read press release.

Scholarships Available for United Methodist Students! Applications are now open for scholarships from the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation. Every year, UMHEF awards $2+ million to students planning to attend one of the 100+ UM-related colleges, universities, and seminaries across the country. Don’t let finances get in the way of achieving your dreams of a quality education! Apply by March 1. (Scholarships from UMHEF are separate from those offered by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.)