News from the Pittsburgh District

Dates to Remember


25 Church Admin Staff & Volunteers "Lunch and Learn" at Pittsburgh Presbytery
30 Pre-Charge Conference and Information Briefing @ Pittsburgh Presbytery


7 Church Admin Staff & Volunteers "Lunch and Learn" at Pittsburgh Presbytery
15 Pre-Charge Conference and Information Briefing @ Pittsburgh Presbytery
24 Orientation to Ministry @ Conference Center


7 "March to Unite" in Pittsburgh
22 Clergy Meeting @ Pittsburgh Presbytery


15 Clergy Family Christmas Gathering @ Mt. Lebanon UMC

Upcoming Events & Information

Orientation to Ministry

August 17, 9:30 am - 12 pm at the Conference Center.  The Orientation is a requirement for anyone pursuing licensed or ordained ministry.  However, this initial gathering is open to anyone who would like to learn more about the various types of set-apart ministry that exist within the United Methodist Church.  Information will be presented about the broad range of opportunities including Certified Local Minister (CLM), professional certification, local pastor, and ordained ministry. To register, click here.

First Place for Health

Living strong and healthy is about freedom, not perfection. Join us as we focus on your wellness.  This Virtual Health Group for Clergy runs Sept 18 - Dec 11.  Click here for more information.

At The Lake Ministries

At The Lake Ministries is a special needs fishing ministry located in Erie, Pennsylvania. Our goal is to provide specialized fishing/boating experiences to people with special needs who otherwise may not be able to enjoy Lake Erie on the water. The captains and crew have been trained according to U.S. Coast Guard requirements, and the Jo-Ann M is wheelchair accessible and therapy dog friendly. The entire boat is covered to protect our guests from the elements. Fishing gear and bait are also provided for the trip along with U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets. Read more. See pictures on Facebook. Here is the schedule.

Open Streets Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh District Missional Strategy Team is making plans to have a United Methodist presence at Open Streets Pittsburgh on Sunday 7/28 from 9 am-1 pm. Our dream is to have 100% of the churches in the Pittsburgh District participate, as a sign of our shared witness for Christ in the Pittsburgh area, and a foretaste of greater cooperation to come among the churches in the Pittsburgh District. We will achieve this cooperation by inviting all churches to collect items for Blessing Bags, and achieve this witness by inviting Open Streets participants to stop by our tent, join in conversation as they pack a Blessing Bag, and take a bag with them to keep in their car and give when they see someone in need. 

Here is what you can today to help with this effort:

  1. Print and post the attached Flyer in your churches, and advertise this collection effort in your Church communications (bulletins, website, (e)newsletters, etc).
  2. Visit and sign up for one or more items that your church can commit to collecting before 7/14; sign up or recruit someone from your church to sign up to transport the items to Christ UMC or Salem UMC between 7/14-7/19; and invite church members who are gifted for engaging with the public to sign up as Greeters to serve on 7/28.
  3. Pray for, announce, and celebrate this effort in your worship services! 

Recommended Clergy Reading

A new mini-edition of our clergy recommended reading list is focused specifically on leadership books because this year's continuing education focus area is leadership.  Both business classics, as well as church specific readings, are highlighted. Pick out one and make a commitment to read it.  Let’s pray that our collective reading strengthens our work in ministry. Here's the list.

Resources for Responding to Racism

The Conference Anti-Racism Team (ART) compiled a list of suggestions for Western PA churches to address racism. Download it from the Conference's Discussing Racism page.

2019 Olmstead Events

Here's a listing of upcoming events at Omstead Manor Retreat Center:

  • Jul 21 – 23 Church Professionals’ Retreat w/ Donna Doutt
  • Aug 9 – 23 Discover Olmsted Days w/ Olmsted Staff
  • Aug 25-27 Writing Workshop w/ Rev. Bill Kemp
  • Sept 29-Oct 1 Fall Women’s Retreat w/ Michele Huey
  • Oct 4 – 6 Beginner Fly-Fishing School w/ Gary Kell
  • Nov 10 – 12 Rest & Renewal Retreat w/ Rev. Kim Barker-Brugman
  • Nov 15 – 17 Youth Ministry Training w/ Perkins School of Theology
  • Dec 1 & 8 Christmas Open House: “Olmsted Fashioned Christmas”

Come join us as we celebrate 50 years of Olmstead Retreats!  Space is available throughout the year for personal or group retreats, meetings, and events. Click here to register for an event
OLMSTEDMANOR.ORG | 814-945-6512

Pittsburgh Theological Seminary Library

All clergy are invited to visit the Barbour Library at PTS and complete the form to become a member of the library.  The $15 fee is waived for 2019.  Learn more about the library at their website, calling 412-924-1354 or emailing  PTS is located at 616 North Highland Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15206.

WPAUMC Facebook Page for Church Communicators

Liz Lennox, Visual Communications & Social Media Coordinator at the Conference Center, created a Facebook group on the WPAUMC Facebook page specifically for church communicators (social media managers, newsletter writers, admins, media directors, etc). The purpose of the group is to connect communicators and to share resources and advice and to give a place for communicators to ask questions and connect with one another: 

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

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.

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:

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.


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.