District Superintendent: Rev. Pat Nelson 724-461-7178 firstname.lastname@example.org
District Administrative Assistant: Mrs. Joyce Shaffer 724-461-7178 email@example.com
District Lay Leader: Mr. Paul Huey 724-787-7629 firstname.lastname@example.org
District Director of Lay Servant Ministries: Miss Sherri Gambrill 412-823-4446 email@example.com
As you all know, Covid-19 is making a sweeping surge across the state of Pennsylvania. In an effort to curb its spread, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi stated in her most recent letter on the subject that, “our Abundant Health Team has provided recommendations and guidelines to assist you in protecting everyone who comes into your building for any purpose… Also, the PA State Health Department has recommended against gathering with people outside of our household for Thanksgiving or Christmas celebrations.” Please continue to use Bishop Cynthia’s recommended Georgia Tech’s tool (https://covid19risk.biosci.gatech.edu) to evaluate and assess the risk and infection rates in your county.
Sources of Contact
Due to this pandemic, our office hours will be limited as Pat and I will both be working remotely. We will be periodically checking the mail and voicemail as well as be available by phone, email or if needed in office by appointment only. You can reach Pat by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and by calling her cell at 724-496-8951, You can reach Joyce by email at email@example.com and by calling her cell at 724-984-8756. The district phone at 724-461-7178 is always on and available for messages if we are unable to answer directly; and of course, your emails are always welcome.
After much prayer and dialogue, the Bishop has made the following to be effective January 1, 2021:
Pam Ramsey (part-time local) who is presently serving the Youngwood: St. Paul UMC will add the South Greensburg UMC to the appointment charge.
Paul Funk (part-time local) who is presently at the Germany UMC (Indiana District) will partner in ministry with the people at the Youngwood: Christ UMC as a new student appointment. Paul originally comes from the Hillside UMC. Welcome back!
Patty Blosat (Certified Lay Minister) is a familiar face because of pulpit supply, nursing home ministry, and as a lay speaker who often puts the Scripture to rhyme! Patty has accepted the assignment from the Bishop to be the CLM at the Tri-City Charge and use her laity skills and expertise to help the three congregations of Arnold, Braeburn, and New Kensington continue in the ministries they have in their communities. Rev. Bill Kemp will be her supervising pastor and mentor.
For full details of the above appointment changes (Greensburg District office) or to view ALL appointment changes for the Western PA Conference click here.
Jan. 17 - 4 p.m. Martin Luther King, Jr Worship Celebration. This annual district celebration will be a pre-recorded virtual event to be viewed at your convenience. The premiere showing will be at 4 p.m. and will feature Rev. Debra Mason (WPAUMC Coordinator of Diversity Development and Inclusion) as our keynote speaker and a number of guests from the district who will provide leadership and music throughout the service. Links and information to view the service will be made available to you.
March 6 – Developing An Outward Mindset seminar for both clergy and laity will be led by Rev. Dr. Brad Lauster, a trained facilitator for the Arbinger Institute. Pre-registration will be required and available in January. This event will help participants look “beyond themselves” to improve their own self-awareness and consider the needs/perspectives of others with whom they are in relationship.
April 24 – 10 a.m. District Conference will be held. Details to be forthcoming.
June 17-19 WPAUMC Annual Conference will be held at the Bayfront Convention Center in Erie, PA. More details will be coming.
GB DISTRICT CHALLENGE CONTINUES!
GOAL $20,000 total
SUPPORT THE HARAWE WEST ZIMBABWE PARTNERSHIP
ZIMBABWE PARTNERSHIP FOOD EMERGENCY- $5000 CHALLENGE BY DECEMBER 1, 2020 to alleviate the immediate food emergency has been reached in excess! THANK YOU! AND THANK GOD FOR YOUR GENEROUS SUPPORT! However, the food emergency will be ongoing, and your continued support is needed and appreciated. Please continue to share generously!
Here are some of the thank you notes that Sandra Matoushaya (WPA Zimbabwe Partnership Coordinator) has received:
Good morning Sandra
Calvary greetings. Please pass on my sincere thanks to the Bishop for this help to alleviate food challenges in Harare West District here in Zimbabwe.
Grace and Peace Bishop Nhiwatiwa
Thank very much Sandra for the communication. We give glory to God for this Partnership. We thank our Bishops for blessing the Partnership. This food assistance will go a long way in assisting us.
Be blessed DS Musharu
Thank you for the support for the ministry of the Church in Zimbabwe and particularly on this matter for food relief to identified families in the Harare West. Definitely it will go a long way in alleviating the effects of Covid-19 induced food security.
Regards Austern Chepiri (Zimbabwe Episcopal Area Projects Coordinator)
Thank you also to the following individuals and churches for your generosity:
Patty Blosat Calvary UMC (Ligonier) Cindy Carasia
Christ UMC (McKeesport) Jeff Conn First UMC (Derry)
Andi Heasley Hillside UMC Barb Hilty
Holiday Park UMC Luxor UMC Monroeville UMC
Paul/Pat Nelson Saltsburg UMC Aimee Twigg
We have a remaining balance of $8,600 needed to complete our current dream of Chapadza and extend a helping hand to the congregations of our Harare West Partnership. I invite you to continue to encourage your congregations, small groups, Sunday School classes, youth/children, and individual members to continue to step up and work together to provide food, benches, windows, etc. for the people in Kojakoto and Kariba.
Please write your checks to WPAUMC and put (in the memo line): GB/Harare West Partnership. Mail your check to: Sandra Matoushaya, 1204 Freedom Drive, PO Box 5002, Cranberry Twp., PA 16066.
Contact the district office (724-461-7178) or Sandra Matoushaya (1-800-886-3382) for more information or to determine an online giving option.
We can do this! You can help! Thank you in advance for your generosity!
Here’s the background info on both churches:
KAJOKOTO – started as a preaching point in 2006, and in 2008 the church started growing. There are 10 families that attend. These are mostly teachers from the secondary and primary school as they are right next to the church. The church has a membership of 48 with 4 men and the rest are women and children. The church is located in a very big catchment area including Mount Darwin and Dotito making it a great place for growth. Many people in the area have said that they will be coming to the church once it has been completed. While much of the building has been completed, there is still a need for benches on which to sit, and a number of finishing touches. More pictures will soon be available.
KARIBA -This is a church located in one of the high density areas in Kariba, known as Nyamhunga. The church is currently at the roof level. They have no window frames and are in need of bricks to complete the bathroom block. The plan for the bathroom block is to build all the way to window level and then put in some windows. Kariba is a very hot area of the country which makes it hard for people to worship in a church with no roof.
The church started as a local church in 1962, but did not start growing until 1994 when it became a circuit. They put up the shed in 2010. They have a church membership of 300, and many have said that they will be coming to the church once it has been completed. This church is the only one in the area so once completed the church will see high growth. People are afraid of attending at the present moment in fear of being asked for additional money to help out with church construction. Most of the funding up to date has been from members. Another fundraising strategy they are using: if people donate roofing materials and 3 bags of cement, their names will be put into the church archives.
They would also like to buy another piece of land in the other high density suburb within Kariba town for future growth of the church. This second congregation currently worships at an Anglican Church which is 2km away. This church usually has about 150 people who come to the church at any given time and they are mostly men and women. They pay $25 a month as rent. Their worship time slot is from 8am-10am and they have to make sure they are done by that time and can’t extend it. They hope to acquire this by the end of the year and built a shed where they can worship in the meantime.
They hope to have a nursery school on the area in the future as an income generating project.
Missional Engagement Coordinator
1204 Freedom Road
Cranberry Township, PA
724-776-2300 ext. 249
Click Here https://www.wpaumc.org/benefits
Drop down to misc files and it can be found there.
Please note, there is a slight increase from 2020 in that the Benefit Reserve is changing from .1% to .5% for 2021.
Would you like us to pray for you or your loved ones? Please keep the following people in your prayers.
All of the district church and clergy families as we partner in ministry together reaching those who are in need of the love, presence, and grace of Jesus.
Prayer for the clergy and congregations who have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus.
Prayer for the family and friends of Rev. Joe Yurko on his Dec. 17, 2020 death.
Prayer for Christine Fetter as she addresses some vascular problems in her leg.
Cindy L Raptosh (spouse of Clergy Ron Raptosh from Faith Church in Delmont) - continued prayers for her health and healing.
Rev. Kevin Haley (Greensburg: First) Prayers are appreciated as he prepares for a procedure to address an issue with his thyroid.
Rev. Dawn Check (Greensburg: Otterbein) prayers as she recovers from surgeries related to stage 1 breast cancer. Dawn will be facing radiation procedures.
Please feel free to share your prayer requests and "yay God" celebrations by sending them to those who are subscribed to the Greensburg District Connector.
Congratulations on this special milestone in your life. We celebrate your birth and your life and pray God's blessing on this new year.
17- Rev. Beverly Spore
21 -Rev. Olivia E Graham
If we have inadvertently omitted your name or birthday/anniversary, please call or email the district office so that we can correct our information for next year!
IN FOCUS Newsletters
In Focus is designed with the church leader in mind. Revived and expanded in January 2019, each month In Focus brings news and feature stories from around Western PA, messages from our Bishop and other leaders, and information on upcoming events. The content relates to our Five Areas of Focus: Leadership Development; Abundant Health; Ministry with the Poor; New Places for New People and Dismantling Racism. Most articles are written by volunteer writer/reporters in each district. The goal is to equip church leaders with information and resources to make a difference for Christ in their churches, communities, the Western Pennsylvania Conference and beyond.
Click here to view previous and current newsletters
Martin Luther King Jr. weekend -- Jan. 16-18, 2021 -- has been a time to celebrate Dr. King’s life and remember how his work in the Civil Rights Movement prepared the foundation for dismantling racism. This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic and other reasons, observances will be very different. In Western Pennsylvania, Rev. Debra Mason, WPAUMC coordinator of diversity development and inclusion, will preach during a virtual service that will premiere at 4 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 17. Produced by ... read more
Conference Announcements Updated Dec. 11, 2020. Our Bishop and District Superintendents urge church leaders to follow current state and local health mandates and guidelines to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus and to consider the risk to the most vulnerable in our churches and communities in determining whether to hold in-person worship services. On Dec. 11, 2020, after Gov. Tom Wolf issued a temporary executive order reducing the number of people permitted to gather both indoors and ... read more
To assist clergy as they strive to meet the on-going challenges of ministry in the age of the novel coronavirus, the Western PA Conference is offering Coaching on Demand. Trained coaches in the Conference are offering their skills at no charge as a ministry to their colleagues. "Right now, we are each navigating personal and professional challenges, new realities, and unexpected ministry opportunities," said the Rev. Amy Wagner, who took a lead role in organizing the Coaching on Demand ... read more
The Cove **Newsletter** click here to review
The Cove is an arts-based youth drop-in center at Greenstone UMC in Avalon. It is an accessible, magnetically designed space for youth to experiment with various art expressions, all within an environment that cultivates discipleship.
Area young people, ages 12 to 18 are welcomed into the space Monday - Friday, 3pm to 6pm, by artists-in-residence that reside at Greenstone UMC's Home of the Nomad. The Home of the Nomad is an artistic hub for touring musicians & artisans as well, which has facilitated growth in Greenstone's young adult ministry.
Young people continue to be engaged through The Cove's ministry called "Skill Share." These are individual lessons in visual & performing arts that seeks to build disciple-making relationships between a young person and artist.
I am excited to announce that The Cove has a WPAUMC Advance Special Number. To support The Cove, checks can be made out to WPAUMC with the advance special "COVE" or "The COVE Art Center" in the memo line. Mail to 1204 Freedom Road, Cranberry Twp, PA 16066.
Antiracism Tips for White Christians: M. Garlinda Burton, the interim top executive for the General Commission on Religion and Race, offers some Do’s and Don’ts for white Christians starting on the antiracism journey. Read her commentary
Talking About Race: No matter where you are on your journey of understanding, the resources on the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture can help. Explore Talking About Race
Be Part of the Change! How can the church reach out with sensitivity about race and injustice? To effectively communicate beyond your congregation and culture, try to forge a true, interpersonal connection with those you want to reach. It would help to also do some homework, says John Coleman, Communications Director in the Eastern PA Conference. Read more.
United Methodists stand against racism: A new campaign is uniting the denomination against racism. Church leaders can turn to ResourceUMC.org to find the latest diversity and inclusiveness information and tools, including downloadable campaign graphics. Resources to engage members as they listen, act, speak and pray are available at UMC.org/EndRacism.
Learn how United Methodists are taking a stand against racism at UMC.org/EndRacism.
Race and Protest: Two relevant resources regarding race and protest for young people: How to Acknowledge Hurt in Youth Ministry and Tools for Processing Protests with Teens
Racial Justice Conversations: GCORR offers excellent resources to help churches discuss and learn more about racial justice. See Racial Justice Conversations Guide.
The Eastbrook Mission Barn is one of six UMCOR Relief Supply Network depots across the United States.
Mission Barn & UMCOR Supplies- Due to Annual Conference in June being cancelled and therefore the UMCOR collection, Mission Barn Director Katie Peterson is looking for a church willing to be the collection point for their district for UMCOR supplies, cleaning buckets, and hygiene kits on a one or two time basis this summer. Preferably they can keep track of what church brought the donations and then store the kits and supplies in a secure location. People can bring the kits and supplies from the collection directly to the barn or the conference center, or she can arrange to send a truck or trailer to pick them up. Contact: Katie Peterson