Conference Blog


Meeting Brings Hope for General Conference

By Alyce Weaver Dunn


On Thursday, January 10, 2019 at Pittsburgh International Airport, I boarded a plane bound for Dallas/Fort Worth to participate in a January 11-12 meeting of the General Conference Committee on Reference.  I served on the Committee during the 2016 General Conference in Portland, OR, and although the Committee does not normally meet outside a session of the General Conference, we were summoned in mid-December to reconvene in advance of the February 2019 special called session of General ...

New Beginnings

By WPa United Methodist Women


This is a day of new beginnings, time to remember, and move on…  With these words, hymn writer/poet Brian Wren challenges us to think back and then move forward.   For me, “time to remember” brings thoughts of thanksgiving for Malani Watson and her family in my little country church and in UMW.  Relationships (and making disciples) do not happen overnight.  Close to nine years ago, my niece “signed the papers" to sponsor Malani’s journey to citizenship.  Malani came from Zambia and had been ...

Advent: Hope In Uncertain Times

By Dennis Swineford


Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. --Luke 21:28 Jesus prepares His disciples for a coming time of terror. There will be events that will fill human hearts with fear and dread. There will be signs in the heavens and upon the earth. And yet, He counsels us to stand tall as we go through these difficult times. For the disciple, difficulty is ultimately transitory. Jesus reminds us that our redemption is drawing near. ...

Ruth M Smith Center Provides Old Fashioned Care

By WPa United Methodist Women


Nearly 100 years old, the Ruth M Smith Center began its ministry as an orphanage. When the need for an orphanage ended in the late 1960’s, the facility changed Of all the places i have lived, this feel like home - Karen McIntyre focus to provide treatment for troubled youth, one step before those youth might be sent to a “reformatory.” Beginning about 1982 a shift in government support led to the development of the Smith Center’s current outreach as a Personal Care Home facility for elderly ...


By WPa United Methodist Women


All my life I’ve heard leaders refer to the United Methodist Church as a connectional denomination. As a result, when it’s time for a new pastor, a newly appointed pastor is in the pulpit the week after the old pastor moves on. Through our global connection, United Methodists are in ministry and mission in the United States, Africa, Europe, and Asia.  We make decisions for the denomination every four years at a General Conference gathering where delegates pray and worship together, receive ...

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

By Eric Park


I spent a portion of my 8th birthday walking through the streets of a small town in Pennsylvania with my best friend, Tim. On the way home, we walked into Kroger supermarket for the purpose of purchasing a couple of Mountain Dews. As we stood in the check out line, Tim and I chuckled at a little boy, maybe four years of age, who had accidentally knocked over a supermarket display. His mother reprimanded him. As the two of them, mother and child, walked past us in the store, the little boy ...

The Valley of Vision

By WPA Commission on Archives and History


--By Rev. Shane Siciliano-- Growing up in Southwest Florida, I had no concept of what a mountain was. My nana lived four hours north of me. I remember rollerblading down her street, on what I thought was the biggest hill in the whole world.  Where I lived, the only roads with a slope were bridges, built high enough to let the boats through. The highest point in Florida is Britton Hill—only around 300 feet high—and it is 10 hours away from where I grew up, far outside the world of my childhood....

UMW Owns Chautauqua Homes

By WPa United Methodist Women


Take a break!  Sit and rock on the porch and watch the lake.  Enjoy leisurely conversations with interesting people around the breakfast table, eating a meal you didn’t have to fix or clean up after. Take in an incredible concert or stimulating lecture.  During this last week of the season at the Chautauqua Institution, participants are enjoying these things in a setting that speaks of another time, a different pace, and values that are not always affirmed in today’s world. United Methodist ...

A Letter on A Way Forward

By Eric Park


In the past week, Butler District Superintendent Eric Park wrote the following letter to clergy and leaders in the Butler District offering his thoughts on a report from the Commission on a Way Forward. Since then, on Aug. 1, the official translations of the Commission on a Way Forward's report to the General Conference were released. The English version can be found here. Greetings, friends.   Grace and peace to you as you continue to communicate the love of Jesus to a world that desperately ...

A Shooting and a Reflection on Job

By Michael Airgood


On Saturday, June 9, a 17-year-old young man who is serving as a summer intern at Pine Run United Methodist Church in Clairton stopped to check on an older parishioner who had fallen a few days earlier, then continued on to his job as a lifeguard at Clairton park pool. Later that afternoon, he was shot in the stomach at the pool. He was recovering. Pastor Michael Airgood wrote this reflection after the shooting and it served as his sermon the following day.  Listen to this Message Oh Clairton....

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