About Erica B. Wellner
Erica Wellner grew up in the little town of Saxonburg in Butler County and was raised in the Cabot United Methodist Church. After high school she earned a degree in Elementary Education at Slippery Rock University. During four years of substitute teaching, she discerned and answered her call into ministry through mission trips to Louisiana and Paraguay.
Erica attended Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore Kentucky, where she earned her Master of Divinity degree along with a Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation. She began full-time pastoral ministry in January 2015 after graduating from Asbury Seminary.
Erica's passions and gifts for ministry are, in no particular order, missions, preaching and teaching, spiritual formation, Wesleyan small groups, and working with clergy and laity from other denominations. She has taught at and co-chair Lay Servant Ministry School and has served on the board for Wesley Woods for five years. Erica has also helped to create a weekly podcast with two Lutheran pastors for several years. She loves to attend and support the children and youth of the church and local community at their different events, such as the local fair, band and choral concerts, and sporting events.
Erica is single and is the proud parent of a sweet terrier mix, Miss FeFe, whom she adopted shortly after beginning full-time ministry. Miss FeFe will be 12 this October, and while she’s a bit of a senior dog, she still acts like a puppy and loves to meet new people.
About Northeast Somerset Cooperative Ministry
This is a new cooperative ministry in Johnstown District which consists of four churches: Central City, Scalp Level Trinity, Shanksville, and Windber Calvary. This is an exciting time for the churches.
Central City UMC is deeply committed to meeting the needs of community members through a variety of soup meals and “Love Give Away” events that provide household essentials and clothing offered without price in a yard-sale format. The congregation is dedicated to supporting UM camping ministries. In addition to supporting many local ministries such as the Central City Food Pantry, church members of all generations go all in to plan, host and participate in their yearly VBS program, attracting children from other local churches and offered each week during the Lenten season. Most recently, the church became aware of their reputation as a church trusted to faithfully pray for the people of Central City.They plan to be even more intentional in those efforts.
Scalp Level Trinity UMC was established as an Evangelical congregation in 1866. The current building is its fourth, the third building having been destroyed in the 1977 flood. Upon the previous building’s loss, the church moved to a site of about 10 acres on a nearby hill and has become known as “Christ’s Lighthouse on the Hill.” The church’s building and grounds are used for a variety of community activities including Scouts, soccer practice for the local high school, and as a location for supervised parental visitations for child services. The church’s mission is based on Matthew 25:40 – that when we care for those in our community, we are encountering Jesus in everyone we serve. The church’s annual coat drive has given away more than 2,000 coats to area residents in need. It's annual school supply drive has collected materials for many local school districts, and the annual Christmas food drive has provided necessary supplies for multiple area families.
At Shanksville UMC, worship is a vital practice of this faithful community. They became known more recently for being a vital resource in the response to the September 11 terrorist attacks and providing comfort to the families of the Flight 93 victims, as well as local emergency responders. Currently, they financially support many vital, local and international ministries such as the Berlin Food Pantry, Operation Christmas Child, collections of toys and gifts for local families in need at Christmas and Heifer International.
Calvary UMC is a community-minded congregation located in the heart of the Windber area. It is known for its hospitality to many outside groups that operate and meet within its walls, including Cub and Girl Scout groups, Christian Counseling Associates, AA, Al-Anon, GED classes and, most prominently, the Windber Area Community Kitchen or WACK. WACK serves hundreds of meals twice a month to anyone in the community who wishes to come and be nourished, body and soul. In cooperation with local schools, this vital ministry also serves area school children by providing “WACKpack” meals for weekends and health essentials such as toothpaste and toiletry items. In addition, Calvary hosts a Tea Time fellowship and Prayer Shawl ministry that includes members from other area churches. They continue to step up in mission efforts, recently partnering with other local UM churches for outreach events such as Trunk r Treat, Easter Egg Hunt and the Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box project. Internally, they support both local and international missionaries and both clergy and laity members are active in the Windber ministerial group.