Pittsburgh District News


2021 Walk/Run/Bike-A-Thon for Camperships  (more info )

Where: Clarion Little Toby Trail, Brockway, PA

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Walkers, runners and bikers are invited to join the 2021 version of WPAUMC's annual Campership Bike-a-Thon -- a series of five regional events at rails-to-trails locations. Anyone who wants to raise funds to help children and youth attend one of our Conference camps is welcome to participate, regardless of fitness level or ability.  Walking/running/riding the entire distance is not required. Because each walk/run/ride is out and back, participants can choose the distance they are comfortable doing. For example, if a participant  only wants to walk/run/ride five miles, they have the option to turn around at mile 2.5.  All trails are handicap accessible and have either a paved or crushed limestone surface. Children and youth are welcome with parents/guardians.  For more information click here or contact Chris Kindle at Chris.kindle@wpaumc.org

The October 2 event is in Brockway, PA on the Clarion Little Toby Trail. Walk/Run/Ride up to 36 miles. More info at http://www.tricountyrailstotrails.org/trails/clarion-little-toby-trail/

Diverse Abilities Retreat @ Olmsted Manor  (more info )

Sunday, October 3, 2021 to October 5

Come away to the annual Diverse Abilities Retreat, October 3-5, providing an opportunity for people with a disability and those who support them to engage in meaningful communication, build relationships, and grow spiritually together.  Early Bird Registration is $50/person by 9/1/2021; $75/person after 9/1/2021.  Pricing includes room, meals, and event tuition; both participants and attendants pay registration fee. Scholarships are available!  Click here for the flyer with more information and registration form.

Photography Retreat @ Olmsted Manor  (more info )

Where: Olmsted Manor Retreat Center - 17 East Main St. - Ludlow, PA 16333

Monday, October 11, 2021 to October 13

I Wonder as I Wander:  Exploring Wonder and the Joy of Nature Photography
Common in children everywhere, wonder too often goes to sleep in adulthood. We can make wonder a habit once again and rediscover its importance as a deep well of spiritual insight, daily discovery, creativity, and productivity. This 3-day retreat, in the height of PA’s fall foliage season, explores the surprising body & brain effects of exposure to the natural world while teaching simple and effective photo skills.  Click here for more information and to register.

Fall Women's Retreat @ Olmsted Manor  (more info )

Where: Olmsted Manor Retreat Center - 17 East Main St. - Ludlow, PA 16333

Sunday, October 24, 2021 to October 26

You are invited to come away to Olmsted this fall and immerse yourself in rich study and seeking with a cohort of other powerful Christian women. Olmsted's women's retreats offer inspirational speaking, encouraging group discussions, quiet time with God, opportunities to enjoy stillness and nature, and Christian hospitality that will make you feel welcome and cared for. Come and attend to your mental, emotional, and spiritual health.  For more information, click here.

Pittsburgh District Superintendent Installation

Where: Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church, 3319 W Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15216

Sunday, October 24, 2021 4:00 PM

The Installation Service for Pittsburgh District Superintendent, Rev. Deborah Ackley-Killian, will be October 24, 4 pm, at Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church.

Christmas at Olmsted Manor  (more info )

Where: Olmsted Manor Retreat Center - 17 East Main St. - Ludlow, PA 16333

Sunday, December 5, 2021

You and your family are invited to come and see the 1917 Manor House and grounds decorated for the season, enjoy some live music and Christmas cookies, and spend time celebrating the birth of Christ together! 

Christmas at Olmsted Manor  (more info )

Where: Olmsted Manor Retreat Center - 17 East Main St. - Ludlow, PA 16333

Sunday, December 12, 2021

You and your family are invited to come and see the 1917 Manor House and grounds decorated for the season, enjoy some live music and Christmas cookies, and spend time celebrating the birth of Christ together! 

Prayer Retreat @ Olmsted Manor  (more info )

Where: Olmsted Manor Retreat Center - 17 East Main St. - Ludlow, PA 16333

Friday, February 25, 2022 to February 27

Join this weekend retreat as we explore Centering Prayer as a path of waking up to our pre-existing oneness with God. We are not ultimately separate from God, and we’ll explore the significance of opening to this reality through teaching, reflection, and centering prayer practice. Click here for more information.

Older Adults Retreat @ Olmsted Manor  (more info )

Where: Olmsted Manor Retreat Center - 17 East Main St. - Ludlow, PA 16333

Tuesday, March 29, 2022 to March 31

We are excited to once again welcome the young-at-heart to Olmsted for a weekend of fellowship and renewal. Olmsted offers beautiful surroundings and comfortable accommodations for the perfect time away with peers. Join us as we celebrate positivity and abundant life. Bring your old friends (pun intended) and make some new ones along the way!  Participants can look forward to sessions including Finding God in Laughter, Finding God in Music, Finding God in Movies, and Finding God in Nature. Also enjoy opportunities for dancing, meditation, hiking, and games.  Click here for more information and to register.

Fly Fishing Retreat @ Olmsted Manor  (more info )

Where: Ol?msted Manor Retreat Center - 17 East Main St. - Ludlow, PA 16333

Friday, April 29, 2022 to May 1

This retreat is designed for aspiring fly-fishers, as well as veteran fly-fishers that have never taken a formal course. This three-day course reveals the all secrets of fly fishing, from setting up your equipment, tying knots, identifying aquatic insects, determining where fish lay in a stream, and selecting a fly, casting and fishing it in a way that leads to success. Come and learn all the essential knowledge and skills of fly fishing from a pro!  For more information click here.


Use Zoom for Digital Ministry

If your church would like to begin using Zoom to connect with members and those in your community, you can be a part of UM Communications’ Enterprise level account through April 19, 2022. Features include: up to 500 participants, no time limits, webinar functionality, and much more. Learn more & apply 


2022 WPAUMC Annual Conference

Mark your calendar now!  2022 Annual Conference will be Thursday – Saturday, June 2 - 4, 2022, at the Erie Bayfront Convention Center

Church Musician Wanted for Salem UMC in Wexford    more info

Salem UM Church is hiring a church musician to develop and lead the music ministry for their church, in consultation with the senior pastor and other music ministry participants, in a way that provides leadership, ideas, and enthusiasm that seeks to glorify God and heightens the worship experience and spiritual awareness of the congregation.  Core requirements include proficiency in playing a high-quality pipe organ and baby grand piano; competency in accompanying a four-part vocal choir on piano; background and experience in playing sacred music and for congregational hymn singing.  Details and instructions for applying can be found here and here and also at www.Salem-umc.org.

Grants Available through Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation    more info

Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation is acception applications through December 3, 2021, for the 2022 cycle of the Historic Religious Properties Grant program. The program offers matching grants of up to $10,000 for the restoration and renovation of architecturally significant historic religious buildings, where congregations also provide social services to their surrounding community.  To learn more and to apply, click here.

Pittsburgh District UMW Fall 2021 Newsletter

Click here for the Fall 2021 edition of the AWARE newsletter.

Pittsburgh District Lay Servant Ministries School - Fall 2021

The Fall 2021 Pittsburgh District Lay Servant Ministry School is pleased to be offering the classes listed below to help laity respond to their personal call in ministry and the life of the church.  Each class is being held on different dates, allowing you to take more than one class if you wish.  There is a $25 fee per class, which includes the book/materials.  You may attend in person and via Zoom - your choice.  This flyer has more information.  You may register online here or through the flyer.

o       The BASIC Course (Saturdays, September 25 & October 9, 9 am - 2:30 pm)
o       Living Our UM Beliefs  (Saturdays, October 2 & October 16, 9 am - 2:30 pm)
o       Public Prayer (Sundays, October 3, 10 & 17, 2 - 5:30 pm)

PT Communications Coordinator Wanted    more info

McKnight United Methodist Church in Pittsburgh's North Hills seeks an individual to develop and carry out a comprehensive communications strategy to advance the core values of the church's Mission Statement: “Love God, Love All People, Impact the World.”  The coordinator will use advertising, public relations, traditional media, web, social media and emerging media to help bring the message of Jesus Christ to everyone, reaching people where and how they are. This position is part-time, $12,000/year, 15 hours per week.  Days and hours worked are flexible in consultation with the pastor. Some work can be done remotely; some would need to be on-site.  A dedicated laptop computer will be provided.  See the complete job description.  To apply, email cover letter and resume to pastorbruce@mcknightumc.org.

Temporary Administrative Assistant Needed - St. Paul's UMC    more info

Our office coordinator is going to be out on leave this fall, and we are in need of a temporary replacement.  Details are below.  If interested, please contact SPRC Representative Jill Campbell (Jill_Campbell5@yahoo.com or 412.804.1195). 
Mid-September through December ― 30-40 hours per week, based on needs and availability ― $12/hour, paid monthly ― comfortable with Microsoft programs
Responsibilities include:  answering and directing phone calls and emails; sending weekly email communication; scheduling and coordinating events and rooms; organizing hospitality needs; coordinating volunteers; assisting with various office tasks

Mask Policy Request from DS Deborah

As we have unfortunately moved again into the substantial risk of the Coronavirus and its variants, I seek your cooperation in following the most recent CDC  recommended guidelines for all persons, vaccinated and unvaccinated, to wear masks once more in indoor public gatherings. Pastors, please work with your lay leadership teams to develop a plan within your context. I know that this is a difficult and polemic discussion in many communities. However, it is the call of Christ to protect the vulnerable in our midst. I expect pastors to model mask-wearing inside during public gatherings. Please encourage your paid and volunteer staff to do likewise. Please develop language to encourage and recommend your parishioners to do so also.

2021 Charge Conference Material

Here are links to documents for your 2021 Charge Conference:

Report Checklist
Agenda:   as a PDF / as a Word document
Housing Allowance Exclusion Resolution
Quick Sheet
Charge Conference Schedule
Using the Church Dashboard
Be prepared to respond to these questions:
  • Where did you see God during the peak of the pandemic?
  • Where do you see God as we emerge from it?
  • Where is God leading you into future of hope and health?

Safe Sanctuary Policy    more info

Does Your Church Have a Safe Sanctuaries Policy? If not, here is a sample template you can use to develop one.  For more resources and information about Safe Sanctuaries, visit the Safe Sanctuary page on the Conference website.

Sunday Morning Nursery/Childcare Worker Wanted    more info

Reliable, caring, and experienced Sunday morning nursery (childcare) worker wanted at Baldwin Community United Methodist Church, 8:40 a.m. - 12:10 p.m. for ages infant to pre-K. Three clearances required. Age 18 or older.  Email resume to NurseryJob@baldwincommunityumc.com.  Applications will be considered immediately.

Tech and Media Coordinator Wanted    more info

Baldwin Community United Methodist Church seeks to hire a part-time (12 hours/week) Tech and Media Coordinator to implement and manage digital multimedia and audio-visual technology in live and online worship, manage technology and media throughout the ministries of the church, and own and manage the church's online presence across platforms. Ideal applicant will have strong skills in project management and problem-solving, and will become actively engaged and involved in supporting the ministries and values of the church. A full job description can be found here. To apply, email cover letter and resume to TechMediaJob@baldwincommunityumc.com. Applications will be considered immediately.

Preschool Teacher Needed    more info

Port Vue United Methodist Church Christian Preschool (1565 Washington Boulevard, Port Vue, PA 15133) is seeking a preschool teacher.  An associate degree and experience working with children are preferred.  Call 412-672-7289 for more information.

Free Bibles

Free - 50 used pew Bibles - Revised Standard Version.  If interested please contact Bev Gross at 724-483-2372.

Program Director – First Charities, Inc.    more info

Program Director – First Charities, Inc.:  Key management leader for First Food & Friends Saturday community meal at First United Methodist Church in Shadyside.  Job begins on July 1 for 2 month paid training period.  Recruits and schedules volunteers, orders food and supplies, manages meal preparation for 100 and associated clean-up.  Responsible for building security and opening/closing facility on Saturday mornings.  Maintains necessary records for Food Bank and Board of Directors.  Must have reliable transportation and access to the internet.  For more information or to obtain a detailed job description, contact Ms. Gwendolen Jackson at (412) 450-8532 or by email at office@fumcpittsburgh.org .   

Transforming Evangelism Online LSM Class    more info

The Western PA Conference Evangelism Team has funded a limited number of seats for laity in the Western PA Conference to take the “Transforming Evangelism” online two-week class that will fulfill the continuing education requirements for renewal of Certified Lay Servants, Certified Lay Speakers, and Certified Lay Ministers.  This online course requires the student to commit about one hour per day, Monday through Friday, for two weeks (10 days), Sept 20 - Oct 1, 2021.

Online Instructors: John and Christine Zimmerman.  Information and registration are available at: af180.org/transforming-evangelism.

Seats will be filled in the order of registrations received until full. Therefore, please only register if you know you can attend.  The class is fully funded but you will need to purchase a copy of Transforming Evangelism: The Wesleyan Way of Sharing Faith by Henry H. Knight III & F. Douglas Powe, Jr. A link to purchase the book is available on the website.

Part-time Circles Program Coach - Roots of Faith Ministry    more info

Faith UMC is seeking to hire a part-time Circles Program Coach position for the Roots of Faith Ministry in Sharpsburg. Details are available here: https://faithfoxchapel.org/circlesjob/.

Kids' Worship Ministry    more info

Seeing a need for Kids' Worship during the pandemic, Rev. Kelly Smith, recruited some clergy colleagues and began producing weekly worship videos for kids.   The playlist is here:  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8qKQIz7bMSt9RIgLpcjzUdtn2JO8rbT0

Decennial Report

Decennial Report Required?  Some local churches have received a postcard from the PA Dept of State (Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations) requesting that a Decennial Report be submitted by December 31, 2021. This is a valid request.  The state requires a Decennial Report of Association Continued Existence form to be filed every 10 years - in years ending with the number 1. Conference Treasurer Roger White reports that the Conference has received the postcard as well, and will be completing the form and submitting the $70 filing fee to the state.  He suggests that churches do the same before the Dec. 31, 2021 deadline. The form and additional details can be found on the Pennsylvania Department of State’s website:  Decennial Filing

Church Reopening?

Returning to Church During COVID-19 Playbook: How your congregation joins in worship and community activities has changed significantly. Members want to come together for services but appreciate the flexibility technology offers. Shifting back to in-person services while maintaining a vibrant virtual ministry presents a unique challenge for churches. But you can make this transition as easy as possible. Vanco created the Returning to Church During COVID-19 Playbook to guide you through safely reopening your church and preparing for the future of worship. In this playbook, you will find essential guidance and recommendations on…
• Adjusting church practices to accommodate safe, contact-free activities, sacraments, events and giving.
• Communicating virtually with staff, volunteers and your congregation.
• Infusing technology into ministry.
• Maintaining a sense of community wherever members are gathering.
Welcome your congregation back to in-person worship with confidence and embrace the new hybrid church. Download your copy of our playbook today.

Church reopening? Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi said in a letter to clergy that you must follow governmental laws and official health guidelines.  Continue to have conversations with your church leadership and your District Superintendent as you make decisions about how and when to reintegrate in-person worship to your ministry. You can find our reopening guidelines and a video discussing our reasoning at wpaumc.org/covid-19-whats-next-for-churches.  

WPA Health Team Updates Reopening Guidelines: As some Western PA counties move toward the Green phase of Gov. Tom Wolf’s Plan for Reopening Pennsylvania, the Conference Abundant Health Team issued updated guidelines for churches in “green” counties. Learn more

Seeds of HOPE    more info

Rev. Anais Hussian, Aftercare Mentor Coordinator at Foundation of HOPE, is hoping raise the level of consciousness regarding issues of incarceration and reentry in Allegheny County and is always happy to speak to congregations about this reality. Click here for a brochure that provides information about the Seeds of HOPE program and how individuals and congregations can help.  

Many former inmates lack the informal and formal support systems (“seeds”) needed to help them reintegrate back into their communities. The HOPE Aftercare Program is an interfaith pre- and post-release adult reintegration program for inmates and reentrants that helps ensure their successful return to the community. HOPE Aftercare Provides basic needs assistance, information resources, referrals, and guidance regarding employment, housing, education, food assistance, mental health services, clothing, and furniture. 

Pastor Appreciation Month @ Olmsted Manor    more info

October is Pastor Appreciation Month, and we are celebrating by offering 50% off (lodging only) for WPAUMC pastors and their families. Come take a break and enjoy the forest in fall! Valid Sunday-Thursday nights only during the month of October.  Click here for details.


Resources for Responding to Racism    more info


Justice, Inclusion Efforts in Erie: An Erie Time-News columnist writes about methods Erie and other cities are using to examine racial justice and inclusion. Read column

Methodists Who Integrated Baseball: The man who integrated Major League Baseball had a little-known ally in his quest. Jackie Robinson had his Methodist faith, something he shared with Brooklyn Dodger executive Branch Rickey, who recruited him for the task. Robinson never publicly lost his composure while dealing with death threats, racial abuse and physical danger. Read UMNews story

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 here https://discipleship-ministries.teachable.com/p/courageous-conversations-racism-free

UMC Dismantling Campaign Hits One-Year Mark: The anti-racism work of the UMC is just getting started after one year of a Dismantling Racism campaign, say bishops and others. Upcoming initiatives include an anti-racism social justice agenda, more educational materials and an Advent devotional series. Read story here 

2021 Native Immersion Experience: Registration is now open for The Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference (OIMC) Immersion, scheduled for October 24-28, 2021 in Oklahoma City. The immersion experience provides history, context, and unique perspectives on Native peoples in the OIMC and their involvement with The United Methodist Church.  In addition, their Native communities will proudly share their traditions and culture throughout the event. Learn more here http://www.umc-oimc.org/2021-immersion-experience-registration-now-open/

Expanding the Table is GCORR's new podcast on practicing anti-racism. In episode 2, three Asian-American Christian theologians examine the history and current realities of anti-Asian racism in the United States and what every Christian should know and do.
Listen or Watch video here https://www.r2hub.org/library/podcast


Circles Sharpsburg    more info

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.

Mission Vision    more info

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. 

Sharpsburg Rocks    more info

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: facebook.com/sharpsburgrocks.

The Neighborhood Table    more info

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. 

Conference News

Below you will find some conference news relevant to Pittsburgh District. To see all conference news, go to the News section at the very top of this page.
WPAUMC enews - Aug. 25, 2021 (read more )


Back to School Anxiety and COVID: To help parents and students better understand the issues and the risks involved in returning to the classroom, PennLive and the World Affairs Council of Harrisburg will co-host a “Back to School” webinar at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 26, featuring educators as well as parents and experts in mental and emotional wellness. Nicole Kirksey, MSW, Associate Lay Leader in the Susquehanna Conference, will be one of the panelists. Joyce Davis, coordinator of UM Advocacy in ... read more

Bishop: Be Cautious in Re-Opening (read more )


Although Pennsylvania's mask mandate was lifted on June 28, some businesses and public facilities such as mass transit still require masks. Overall, the latest advice from Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi and the Abundant Health Team still applies: Exercise caution and consider the vaccination rate and other conditions in your area and among your congregation in resuming worship and other group activities.  In a May 17 e-mail to church leaders, the Bishop shared guidelines to consider.  Here is the ... read more

WPA COVID-19 Updates (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

Clergy Coaching Sessions Offered (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

Conference Call to Prayer (read more )


The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?   (Psalm 27:1, NRSV)   As our world has become encased in fear and uncertainty because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Western Pennsylvania Conference calls all laity and clergy to an intentional, daily time of prayer.  In the midst of the chaos, we need to stand in the power of prayer.   On March 24, 2020, Rev. Randall Bain, senior pastor at the Oakland United Methodist ... read more

Quick Links

WPA Facebook Page
Diversity Development and Inclusion
Mission Barn

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


Scholarships and Grants

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