News from the Pittsburgh District

Dates to Remember


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)
22-23 District Office Closed


9 Clergy & Family Christmas Gathering @ Sewickley UMC
24-31 District Office Closed


1 District Office Closed
5 Orientation to Ministry
27 Pittsburgh District Clergy Gathering, 4 pm @ Pittsburgh Presbytery

Upcoming Events & Information

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 - Valerie Wilson
    Our United Methodist Beliefs - Rev. John Wilson
    Lead in Conflict - Rev. Brad Lauster
Click here to download the course flyerYou may register online by clicking here.

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. 

A Message about the Tragedy at the
Tree of Life Synagogue from DS Dawn Hand

In response to the horrific tragedy that took place at the Tree of Life Synagogue, I ask you to lead your congregation in lifting up our Jewish brothers and sisters at the Tree of Life Synagogue as well as the entire Jewish community. Click here for my letter in response to this tragedy.

Children's Ministry Director Needed

McKnight UMC is looking for a part-time Children's Ministry Director.  Click here to see a blurb about the job, and here for a fuller job description.  If you can refer people our way, it would be greatly appreciated!  Yours in collegiality, Bruce Stollings

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. 

Click here to register. All questions should be sent to Rev. Janet Lord, Coordinator of Ministerial Services (

Ministry & Fellowship Day

There will be a Ministry & Fellowship Day on Saturday, November 10, at Grace UMC, 210 South Broad Street, Grove City. Keynote Speaker will be Pastor Ruben Alvarez.  Cost is $10 and includes lunch. Registration information is included here. Sponsored by the Franklin District Council.
Breakout Sessions:
~Autism in the Church with Rev. Ed Saxman
~Young adult Ministry with Sydney Widdersheim
~Deeply Rooted, Upward Reaching with the Camping Initiative Team
~Handicap and Disability Awareness with Rev Chad Bogdewic
~Celebrate Recovery with Verna Carson
~Puerto Rico Mission Trip with Rev. Nelson Thayer
~Spiritual Disciplines with Rev. John Bargar

Safe Sanctuary Training/Certification

Rev. Chris Kindle, WPA Discipleship & Spiritual Formation, will lead a Safe Sanctuary certification/training course for anyone who would like to become certified on Saturday, November 10, 9 am - noon at Delmont Faith UMC (305 Freeport Street, Delmont, PA 15626) .  For questions, contact the Delmont Faith UMC at 724-468-0040 between 9 AM and 3 PM. To register, click here.

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.

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

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


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.

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.