Pittsburgh District News


Events

Clergy Spouse Retreat

Where: Whitehall Camp & Conference Center, 580 Whitehall Rd, Emlenton, PA 16373

Friday, October 7, 2022 to October 8

The WPA Clergy Spouse Association invites clergy spouses to attend the 2022 Clergy Spouse Retreat. RSVP by September 15.  Cost includes Friday dinner, Saturday breakfast and lunch, accommodations and workshops.  "Saturday Only" and "Optional Thursday Night Retreat Time" options also available.  Registration Form and additional information is here!

Sacred Conversations to End Racism  (more info )

Where: Olmsted Manor, 17 East Main St., Ludlow, PA

Sunday, October 9, 2022 to October 11

This October 9-11, Olmsted Manor Retreat Center in Ludlow, PA, will partner with CCW Transformation Ministries to offer Sacred Conversations to End Racism, a contemplative retreat on the equitable treatment of all God’s people. This event is for both clergy and laity who hunger for a deep spiritual experience and who are interested in joining God in becoming agents of reconciliation. Leaders Claire Cox-Woodlief and Latercha McKnight will teach participants practical ways to have sacred and brave conversations towards ending racism. To learn more and register, visit www.olmstedmanor.org/conversations-to-end-racism.  $200 covers tuition, private lodging, and all meals.  

Fall Clergy Family Gathering

Where: Apache Pavilion, Settlers Cabin Park, 608 Ridge Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15205

Sunday, October 9, 2022 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM

All Pittsburgh District Clergy and their families are invited to a fall gathering complete with the Pittsburgh Smokehouse Food Truck.  Apache shelter is the second grove on the right on Teepee Road.  Apache is an ADA accessible shelter with an accessible restroom.  There is an open grassy area surrounding the shelter, with a playset and slide.  Driving directions.  An email invitation was sent to Pittsburgh District Clergy on September 12.  If you didn't receive it or need assistance, please contact the District Office.

new Clergy Mandatory Training (added 9/29/2022) (more info )

Saturday, October 15, 2022 to October 27

All clergy currently serving in an appointment are required to participate in a 2-hour online training entitled Connecting Neighbors: A ‘Disaster Ready Congregations’ Curriculum of the United Methodist Church. The online Zoom training will be conducted by consultants from United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). There are only 3 training dates available, so register today. (Saturday, October 15, 9:30-11:30am; Tuesday, October 25, 6:30-8:30pm; Thursday, October 27, 10am-12noon).


Photography for Everyone with Jeff Sterling  (more info )

Where: Olmsted Manor, 17 East Main St., Ludlow, PA

Monday, October 17, 2022 to October 19

We are excited to offer this opportunity for anyone interested in taking better photos to gather and develop their skills. All you need for this retreat is your camera of choice - even a cell phone - and a love of taking photos. You will have a chance to meet others with a photography hobby, enjoy capturing images of the beautiful retreat center and surrounding area, and learn some new tips and tricks to create your best photos yet.

Retiring in the next 5-10 years?  (more info )

Tuesday, October 18, 2022 to October 19

2022 Biennial Pre-Retirement Event: This biennial event is open to all clergy and strongly encouraged for clergy who are considering retirement in the next 5-10 years. Contact Alexis.Soohy@wpaumc.org with questions. Registration will open in September.

Building with Strengths for Small Congregations  (more info )

Tuesday, October 18, 2022 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Small congregations are not miniaturized big congregations. They have different challenges. Fortunately, they also have different strengths–ones that are deeply forming, urgently needed, and generally unavailable in big settings. Learn how to build with these strengths and stop imitating models that never fit to begin with. Register.  Participants receive a certificate for 1-hour CEU following the online class.

CORR Anti-racism Summit  (more info )

Thursday, October 20, 2022 to October 22

Are you beginning to become involved in anti-racism?  Are you a seasoned ally and want to stretch? Then the SUMMIT ON RACE AND FAITH gathering on October 20-22, 2022 is for YOU!!  The Intersection of Race and Faith will help us become a conference of anti-racist congregations.  This summit, organized by the Conference Commission of Religion and Race in collaboration with other groups, will feature Bible study, worship, panel presentations, and table talks.  Sessions will be both in person and virtual.  Visit the event page for details and to register:  wpaumc.org/eventdetail/16538538.  Help advertise the summit with these communication tools: bulletin insert, announcement slide and social media graphic.

2022 United Women in Faith Conference Annual Meeting  (more info )

Where: Dutilh UMC, 1270 Dutilh Rd, Cranberry Twp, Pa 16066

Saturday, October 22, 2022

The WPAUMC Annual Meeting of UWM will be held on Saturday, October 22.  More info will be shared as it becomes available.

Fall Women's Retreat with Dawn Hand  (more info )

Where: Olmsted Manor, 17 East Main St., Ludlow, PA

Sunday, October 23, 2022 to October 25

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.

Announcements

Pittsburgh District Lay Servant Ministries School - Fall 2022

The Fall 2022 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 $15 fee per class plus you need to purchase the class book.  This flyer has more information.  You may register online here or through the flyer.  The Book of Discipline (¶251) urges Church Lay Leaders to become Certified Lay Servants.

  • The BASIC Course (Saturdays, 9/24 and 10/8, 9 am - 2:30 pm)
  • Spiritual Gifts (Saturdays, 10/15, 10/29 and 11/12, 1 - 4:30 pm)
  • UM Polity (Sundays, 10/2, 10/9, 10/16 and 10/30, 2 - 5:30 pm)


2022 Charge Conference Material

Here are links to documents for your 2022 Charge Conference:

  • Report Checklist (includes links and  notes for the reports that are to be submitted during your CC; all items are required unless they are not applicable
    ***there is a new Charge Conference Summary Form this year, so be sure to download and use the new version***)
  • Agenda:   as a PDF / as a Word document
  • Housing Allowance Exclusion Resolution (this fillable form can be prepared ahead of your CC and signed after it is approved)
  • Quick Sheet (this fillable form can be prepared ahead of your CC with additional info and signatures added during the CC)
  • Using the Church Dashboard (instructions for maintaining your church leaders in your Church Dashboard)
  • Sample Sex Offender Involvement Policy (This policy needs to be developed and implemented if you have a sex offender in your congregation – churches that don’t have sex offenders are encouraged to develop a policy so they are prepared)
  • 2022 Charge/Church Conference Schedule  (Note the deadline to submit your completed CC Summary Form to the District Office – 2 weeks prior to your CC)
Be prepared as a congregation to respond to these Baptismal Reaffirmation questions during your Charge/Church Conference:
  • How do you renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject evil and repent of your sin?
  • How do you resist evil, injustice and oppression?
  • How do you confess Christ, place your trust in Him and serve Him as Lord?
  • How are you loyal to Christ through the work of the UMC?
  • How do you participate in its ministries with your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service, and your witness? – All of the above reports and actions


2023 Health Insurance Billing Rate    more info

Effective January 1, 2023, the 2023 health insurance billing rate to the local church will be $1493.00 a month.  This rate includes medical, vision, and dental coverage.  The new rate represents a $12.00 a month increase over the 2022 rates.  Member cost share remains the same for 2023 at $20.00 single / $35.00 two persons / $70.00 family.  This information is for all active clergy and laity enrolled in our WPA conference-sponsored UPMC Health Plan.

 


Zoom Book Study - “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together”

Join the 3-week study of Heather McGhee’s book, “The Sum of Us:  What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together.”  This study via Zoom will be led by Jay Pendleton and Rev. Don Blinn, Jr., co-chairs of the Pittsburgh District Anti-Racism Team, Thursdays, October 6, 13 and 20, at 6 pm.  Please contact Jay (nard2k1@hotmail.com) or Don (donandben9894@gmail.com) to register and secure the ZOOM link.  For the first session, please read the introduction through chapter 3 of the book.  Session 2 will cover chapters 4 to 6, and session 3, chapter 7 to the end.


$25,000 Challenge to Help Rebuild the Chindenga Clinic    more info

A generous couple in the Pittsburgh District has made a challenge grant to TNC: They will match every dollar the organization raises up to $25,000, which means we can receive $50,000 if they "meet the match." Money raised will help build the Chindenga clinic. Learn more and donate
 


Incubation Lab: Social Christian Entreprueurial Skills    more info

The Incubation Lab, for church leaders who desire the development of social Christian entrepreneurial skills, is an experiential opportunity to explore social innovation that intersects and integrates with Kingdom impact.  Register here.  It takes place October 26, 9 am - 2 pm, at the Rice Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs in Atlanta, Georgia.  Throw on your lab coat and join us if . . .

  • You’ve wanted to explore & have a deeper understanding of how to get your church involved with Christian social innovation
  • Your church is open to something new, but not sure how to get started or what that something new might be
  • You’d like to know how to leverage your church’s assets for the most possible Kingdom impact
  • Learn the top mistakes & tips Christian social entrepreneurs make & how to avoid them


Volunteer Opportunities - North Hills Community Outreach    more info

North Hills Community Outreach is in need of volunteers in a number of capacities, including driving seniors to appointments, doing yard work for seniors, and family law attorneys for pro bono legal consultatons.  Learn more about these and other volunteer opportunities at www.nhco.org/volunteer.
 


Winter Coat Collection    more info

North Hills Community Outreach is collecting and distributing new coats to children ages infant to 18-years-old. New hats, scarves and gloves are also being accepted. Gift cards to purchase coats are also greatly appreciated. Donations can be dropped off at any of our three offices (Allison Park, Millvale and Avalon), or you can order from our Amazon Wish list and have the coats shipped directly to us.
 


Wanted: Church Organist    more info

Mifflin Avenue UMC is seeking an organist (preferred) or pianist for weekly worship. This position is currently open.  Interested parties can email Barbara Cooley Thaw (bcthaw@aol.com) for more information and/or set up an appointment.  $150/week.
Education, Skills and Ability:  Be able to display a professional level of musical talent from training and experience.  Have a working knowledge of high liturgical worship service’s musical needs.
Requirements:  Provide organ and piano music for Sunday morning worship including hymns, prelude, postlude and choral responses.  Choose a prelude, postlude and offertory music and convey this information to the church office no later than the Wednesday before worship.  Music to begin at 11:10 AM with worship beginning at 11:15 AM.  Occasionally (as available) provide organ and piano music for weddings and funerals.


Conference Youth Ministry Team    more info

Do you know a youth who is a strong leader in your church and is entering 7th-12th grade? Encourage them to join our conference Youth Ministry Team, which plans events like SPARK and Uth 4 Missions and is part of the youth caucus at Annual Conference. The team has opportunities to serve our jurisdiction and in national and global ways. Contact Amanda Mitchell at the conference office for more info and share the YMT application with a youth you know.


How to Set Your Pastor's Salary for 2023    more info

The Commission on Equitable Compensation of WPAUMC issued this letter on how to set your pastor's salary for 2023.

 


Mask Policy Request from DS Deborah    more info

Our counties have returned to a HIGH transmission level. Please follow CDC guidelines, which includes wearning masks indoors in public settings.  Please continue to monitor risk factors as the pandemic is still ever-changing.


 


Roots of Faith Neighborhood Table    more info

Roots of Faith is serving "Grab-N-Go" meals. Even though they had to make some modifications, they are excited to see the community again!  This is a perfect opportunity for you and your family to get involved. Won't you join them?  When: 1st, 2nd and 3rd Thursdays @ 6pm.  *Masks are required, gloves are provided. * Social distancing is a must. More info: Kathleen Stanley - Director of Outreach at 412-977-9136


SPARK 2023    more info

Save the Dates! SPARK 2023 – January 27-29 at Pittsburgh Station Square.  A weekend retreat for youth in 6th-12th grade and their leaders!  Contact amanda.mitchell@wpaumc.org
 


Wanted: Leadership Development Coordinator    more info

This part-time position is charged with the responsibility of equipping and calling church members and community volunteers into lives of active service.  Through training, recruiting, and prayerful discernment, the Leadership Development Coordinator will help individuals discover their spiritual gifts and passion for ministry at Baldwin Community UMC and the larger world.  View the full job description at bit.ly/BCUMCLeadership and send your resume/letter of interest to Pastor Pam Gardner at pgardner@baldwincommunityumc.com.


Wanted: Circles Program Coach    more info

Roots of Faith is seeking a part-time Circles Program Coach.  Circles Sharpsburg is a chapter of the Circles USA anti-poverty program, located at the Roots of Faith Ministry Center (800 Main St., Sharpsburg PA 15215). The Circles Program Coach is responsible for collaborating with the Director of Outreach Ministries in the planning and implementation of the Circles Sharpsburg anti-poverty program.  Click here for more information.


Wanted: Roots of Faith Worship Leader    more info

Roots of Faith is seeking a part-time Worship Leader for their worship service that gathers on Sundays at 11:30AM.  Roots of Faith in Sharpsburg, PA, is a location of Faith United Methodist Church in Fox Chapel. A guitarist and/or keyboardist is preferred with strong vocals, leadership skills, and a willingness to work with persons from a variety of ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Worship Leader will be paid $130 per week. To apply, please send resume to Rev. Angelique Bradford at pastorangelique@faithfoxchapel.org.


2023 WPAUMC Annual Conference

Mark your calendar now!  2023 Annual Conference will be Thursday – Saturday, June 8 - 10, 2023, at the Erie Bayfront Convention Center.  Clergy: Plan your vacation, weddings, mission trips, etc. around these dates and plan to attend.

 


WPA Scholarship for Christian Vocations

Any United Methodist student of the Western Pennsylvania Conference who plans to enter a full-time, church-related vocation and is in need of financial assistance may apply. The student may apply for their junior or senior year of college, graduate school year or seminary study.  Applications due October 15 for Spring Term. Christian Education Scholarship Application.


Resources

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. 


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.
Jesus Christ is Our Anchor (read more )

9/6/2022

We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain, where Jesus, a forerunner on our behalf has entered, having become a high priest for ever according to the order of Melchizedek.  Hebrews 6:19-20 Siblings in Christ,   I pray that all our souls are anchored in Christ, who is our hope.    This past summer I had the opportunity to rest and relax with my husband and fur baby, be educated around leadership and my African American ... read more


Episcopacy Committee Thanks Bishop Moore-Koikoi (read more )

7/7/2022

The 2021-2022 Committee on Episcopacy today released a statement thanking Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi for her continued care and leadership of the Western Pennsylvania Conference, while she also served with Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball of West Virginia as Interim Bishops of the Harrisburg Area, which includes the Susquehanna Conference. The shared leadership model was announced shortly before Harrisburg Area Bishop Jeremiah Park retired in 2021. The 2021-2022 Committee on Episcopacy of The ... read more


Chenda Lee Named Coordinator of Clergy and Lay Excellence (read more )

4/24/2022

The Rev. Chenda Innis Lee, a lifelong United Methodist and ordained elder in the Virginia Conference, has been selected by the WPA Conference Personnel Committee to serve as the new Coordinator of Clergy and Lay Excellence.  Rev. Lee has been serving as the Regional Coordinator of Spiritual Formation in the Pittsburgh/Butler area since December 1, 2021. She will begin her new position on the Conference Program Staff on July 1, 2022.   “Rev. Lee has a quiet confidence and a deep spiritual ... read more


Brown's Robeson Tribute Wraps Up Black History Month (read more )

3/7/2022

By Liz Lennox, WPAUMC Communications Staff Nearly 80 people gathered at Dutilh UMC in Cranberry Twp. on Feb. 28 for I Go On Singing: Paul Robeson’s Life in His Words and Songs, a multimedia musical presentation written by Andrew Flack and performed by Anthony Brown. Brown’s rich baritone voice combined with piano accompaniment, narration, and photo/video archival footage made for an entertaining yet profoundly moving look at the life of singer, actor, and activist Paul Robeson. Anthony Brown ... read more


Pastor Creates Study Guide for "Loneliness Epidemic" Book (read more )

2/16/2022

Rev. Tom Parkinson Rev. Tom Parkinson, senior pastor of Dutilh United Methodist Church in Cranberry Township, published a book last summer entitled The Loneliness Epidemic: How the Church Can Cure Our Gravest Sickness. Now, just in time for Lent, he's created a study guide for use by small groups. The book, Parkinson's first, has been lauded for its insight, authenticity, and practical guidance. “Parkinson blends pastoral sensitivity and deep intelligence. This is important for a ... read more