News from the Pittsburgh District

Dates to Remember


5 Parkview Towers Open House & 50th Anniversary Celebration
6 Way Forward Task Force Listening Post @ Christ UMC (44 Highland Rd, Bethel Park)
8 VIM Team Leader Training @ Conference Center
9 Installation of Rev. Eric Park as Butler District Superintendent
15 District UMW Fall Meeting @ Christ UMC
15 Installation of District Superintendent, Rev. Dawn M. Hand
17-19 Adult Vacation Bible School @ Coraopolis UMC (1205 Ridge Ave, Coraopolis)
21-22 Clergy Spouse Retreat @ Olmstead Manor
28-30 Annual Autism Retreat @ Jumonville
30 Installation of Rev. Dennis Swineford as Erie-Meadville District Superintendent


7 Installation of Rev. Sung Chung as Johnstown District Superintendent 
21 Pittsburgh Clergy Meeting (mandatory) @ Pittsburgh Presbytery (901 Allegheny Ave, Pittsburgh)
24-25 Clergy Pre-Retirement Seminar @ Pittsburgh Marriott North


11 Way Forward Task Force Listening Post @ Calvary UMC (971 Beech Ave, Pittsburgh)
16-17 Pittsburgh District Lay Servant Classes @ Mt. Lebanon UMC (3319 W Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh)

Upcoming Events & Information

2018 Charge/Church Conferences

Here are links to the documents handed out at the pre-charge conference briefings:

  • Charge/Church Conference Report Checklist - See the instructions at the top for how to submit your forms & documents during your CC
  • Required Annual and Charge Conference Forms - This 2 page document has CC & 1-on-1 requirements & direction on the 1st page; other annual required forms are on the 2nd page
  • Using the Church Dashboard - The Church Dashboard is to be used for each church to update information about your church, parsonage and leaders
  • WPAUMC 5 Areas of Focus Guidance - This document was prepared by the Conference Cabinet.  The 5 Areas of Focus are UMC-wide.  The guidance from the Cabinet suggests each church develop short, medium and long-range goals for each area of focus.  Your District wants to see short-range goals as a minimum. 

Pittsburgh District Lay Servant Classes

Friday, November 16th, 6 - 9 pm, and Saturday, November 17th, 9 am - 6 pm (classes end 4:30 followed by program and refreshments) @ Mt. Lebanon UMC (3319 W Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh).  There will be 4 courses:
Basic Course - instructor, Mary Ellen Dickinson
Advanced courses:     
    Lead in Worship - instructor, TBD
    Our United Methodist Beliefs - instructor, TBD
    Lead in Conflict - instructor, TBD
**Registration and additional details are forthcoming**

2019 Blended Health Insurance Rate

The CBOP approved the 2019 monthly health insurance rate for the local churches. The blended rate for full time clergy for 2019 will be $1536.00 a month.  Included in this cost are medical, vision and dental. This represents a 1.7% or $25.00 a month increase for 2019.  The 2019 member monthly cost share will remain the same at : $20.00 single / $35.00 two persons / $70.00 family.

Pittsburgh District UMW

Click here for the Fall 2018 District UMW Newsletter.

Adult Vacation Bible School

Coraopolis UMC (1205 Ridge Ave, Coraopolis) is holding an Adult Vacation Bible School led by Ed Kilbourne, who is a great storyteller, singer, and folk theologian along the lines of a Garrison Keillor.  He'll be preaching at their 10am worship service on September 16, with the adult vacation bible school taking place on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (September 17, 18, 19) in the morning, beginning at 10 am with lunch included.  It is free of charge. Please call the church office @412-264-3727 to let them know you will attend.  Click here to see the flyer.

Lay Servant School - Washington District

Washington District is offering 3 classes (Basic, Leading Worship & God's Mission) during their November 3 & 10 Lay Servant School at First UMC (29 N. College St, Washington, PA).  Deadline to register is September 28.  Click here for more info.

Refugee & Immigrant Care Conference

This conference aims to increase church leaders’ awareness of the needs of refugees, immigrants and other internationals and highlight strategies churches can use to proactively offer welcoming and global care initiatives within their communities.
Monday, September 17, 8:30 am-4 pm @ Allegheny Center Alliance Church, Union Place Building (Red brick bldg., 801 Union Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15212)  $15 per person includes Registration & Lunch. Click these links for the Conference Program & Informational Poster.

 Developing Older Adult Ministries at Your Church

September 23-25 @ Olmsted Manor with Rev. Will Randolph and Greensburg District Superintendent Pat Nelson.   Cost: $186 (includes tuition, room & board). Commuter rates (as well as overnight rates) are available.

A seminar for church leaders who want to start Older Adult Ministries or to do more for the Older Adults they serve. Clergy and laity are invited to explore ways to be in ministry "by, with, and for" older adults. Join us at Olmsted as we learn to minister more effectively to older adults in the local church from Rev. Dr. William Randolph, who worked as the Director of Aging & Older Adult Ministries for the national UMC Discipleship Ministries. Click here for more information and to register.  

“Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality & The United Methodist Church”

In September & October, Slippery Rock UM Church will be hosting a Bible study based on the book “Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality & The United Methodist Church.” Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi & Pastor Keith Mcilwain will be co-teaching each session. Everyone is invited to join us!  The study will be held on Tuesday evenings - September 11, 18, & 25 and October 2. We will begin each evening at 6:30 PM & conclude by 8:30 PM. Please prayerfully consider joining us for these unique learning opportunities. Slippery Rock UMC is located at 130 Franklin Street, Slippery Rock, PA 16057. For more information, please contact the church at 724-794-4500 or

Clergy Book Study

The Clergy book study that has been meeting for 20 years in our district is changing it meeting dates for the 2018-2019 season to the first and third Thursdays of the month, 11 am - 12:30 pm, at Baldwin UMC (5001 Baptist Rd, Pittsburgh).  The study book for September-October is: Kneeling with Giants: Learning to Pray with History’s Best Teachers  by Gary Neal Hansen.  September 6 is the first meeting date.  Dale Reese is the primary coordinator, and the group would love to have more people participate.

The Way Forward Task Force Listening Posts

The WPAUMC Way Forward Task Force has planned 20 “Listening Post” events (two in each District) to allow clergy and laity to meet in-person and engage in facilitated, small group discussions around a series of specific questions (e.g., What hopes do you have with the One Church Plan?  What concerns do you have about the One Church Plan?).
Pittsburgh District Dates are:
     September 6 - Thursday, 6:30 - 8:30 pm - Christ UMC (44 Highland Rd, Bethel Park)
     November 11 - Sunday, 2:30 - 4:30 pm - Calvary UMC (971 Beech Ave, Pittsburgh)
To Register for one of these dates or for one being held in another district click here:  A Way Forward Listening Posts

Clergy Pre-Retirement Seminar 

Wednesday, October 24 – Thursday, October 25 at the Pittsburgh Marriott North (100 Cranberry Woods Drive, Cranberry Twp). Click here for more information. Contact person: Alexis Soohy

Installation Services

  • Sunday, September 9, 3 pm - Rev. Eric Park as Butler District Superintendent at Chippewa UMC, (2545 Darlington Rd, Beaver Falls). Food and fellowship will follow in the Community Life Center.  
  • Sunday, September 30, 3 pm - Rev. Dennis Swineford as Erie-Meadville District Superintendent at Edinboro UMC (113 High Street, Edinboro).
  • Sunday, October 7,  3 pmRev. Sung Chung as Johnstown District Superintendent at Oakland UMC (1504 Bedford St, Johnstown). 

Continuing Education Opportunities

Click here to see the many Continuing Ed opportunities being offered in September, October and beyond.

Mission Vision

 Do you have old eyeglasses at home? Donate them to Mission Vision, a non-profit based in Cranberry Twp. that equips mission volunteers to offer eyeglass clinics where people can be fitted and get glasses matching their prescriptions. Volunteers from Zion UMC in Sarver clean and categorize the used glasses. Teams from that church take them to Haiti and other locations. Others go with The Nyadire Connection teams to Zimbabwe. Used glasses are now being collected at the United Methodist Center in Cranberry and the Eastbrook Mission Barn. Learn more at

Churches, you received a packet from Keystone Federal Credit Union in the mail (end of July/early August). Be sure to check it out and make sure you have updated your Corporate Resolution and Account Authorization Forms.  Click here for forms. 

All United Methodist Members can join and take advantage of these great deals:  Back to School Loan, Visa Balance Transfer, Term Share Certificate Rates, Term Share Certificate Form.  Additional forms and information for churches and for members available on web site:  There are many great services available:  Savings, Fee Free checking, Picture Deposit, Mobile Banking & Online Banking, REWARDS Visa Credit Card, MANY types of loans, and much, much more!!!!!

To raise awareness in your congregations, please use this flier.  To become a member, complete the Membership Form.  

If your church did not receive the packet, please contact Keystone Federal Credit Union at 724-252-3200 or email:

Orientation to Ministry

An Orientation to Ministry, sponsored by the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, will be held Saturday, January 5, 2019, 9:30 am - noon at Charter Oak UMC (449 Frye Farm Road, Greensburg). 

The Orientation is a requirement for anyone pursuing licensed or ordained ministry, but this initial gathering is open to anyone who would like to learn more about the various types of set-apart ministry within the United Methodist Church.  Information will be presented about the broad range of opportunities including service as a Certified Lay Ministry, professional certification, local pastor, and ordained ministry. 

Registration will be open soon through the conference website. All questions should be sent to Rev. Janet Lord, Coordinator of Ministerial Services (

Let Your District Know

We want to hear from you!  As you have programming and/or events that in any way support any of the Five Areas of Focus or the Bishop's Camping Initiative, let us know what you are doing and the impact it is having.  Please keep your District updated at

The Five Areas of Focus:

  1. Developing principled Christian leaders for the church and the world
  2. Creating new places for new people by starting new congregations and renewing existing ones
  3. Engaging in ministry with the poor
  4. Stamping out killer diseases by improving health globally
  5. Dismantling racism

SPARK 2019
will be January 11-13, 2019 at the Sheraton Station Square. This retreat is for youth in 6th – 12th grades. DJ: Big Al. Speaker: Duffy Robbins. Details to be announced at a later date.

2019 Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference will be Thursday, June 6 - Saturday, June 8, 2019.

The United Methodist Church Handbook

The new United Methodist Church Handbook, for 2017 - 2020, is available, providing a detailed overview of the denomination’s beliefs, mission, structure, and history. The handbook is a free, go-to resource for anyone in search of information about the church and is helpful for leaders and new members. Click here to order.

Circles Sharpsburg

Roots of Faith (800 Main Street, Sharpsburg) hosts this anti-poverty campaign that surrounds and empowers families living in poverty with positive relationships of accountability on Tuesdays at 6 pm.  This program is part of Circles Greater Pittsburgh.

Autism Retreat

A family retreat will be held at Jumonville, September 28-30.  All ages are welcome.  The cost is $125 per adult / $65 per child (3-11 yrs).  The registration deadline is September 21See the flyer here.  For more information and to register, click here.

Western Pennsylvania Prison Outreach Ministry

The WPA Prison Outreach Ministry hopes churches will promote the prison ministry throughout Western Pennsylvania.  Here is a link to their 2018 Summer Newsletter.

Sharpsburg Rocks   

Join us as we paint rocks, make new friends, and help spread joy in Sharpsburg. Mondays, 10:30 am at Roots of Faith, 800 Main Street, Sharpsburg.   Sharpsburg Rocks is a group that paints rocks with inspirational phrases and hides them around Sharpsburg. Residents find them and can connect with Roots of Faith. We encourage people to re-hide them, and we’ve had a few rocks travel long distance – Kenya, Switzerland, across the US. You can see more about it here:


The Neighborhood Table

Roots of Faith (800 Main Street, Sharpsburg), invites everyone to a free community dinner the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Thursdays of each month at 6 pm.  A free legal clinic is available on the 1st Thursday and free health clinic on the 3rd Thursday.