Conference Blog


Guarantees and Security

By Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton


As many of you are now aware, the Judicial Council of The United Methodist Church recently ruled that the church’s long-standing tradition of offering guaranteed appointments to its clergy will continue, thus keeping ¶337 and ¶354 of The Book of Discipline intact.  The Council’s decision addressed the action of the 2012 General Conference to eliminate what the Book of Discipline calls “security of appointment.”   This decision came as no surprise to me.  I believed all along that the General ...

Picking Olives in Palestine

By Tina Whitehead


  Picking Olives in Palestine This past week a Palestinian friend invited a group of us to join her in a day of olive picking near a village between Ramallah and Nablus. I half teased her as I asked if we would be near any settlements as settler violence is heightened during olive season and especially this fall there had been numerous reports of the destruction of olive trees as well as violence against those who were attempting to begin the harvest. She assured me that this particular grove, ...

Sewing Ministry in WPA

By Diane Miller


   Sewing ministry/mission in Western Pennsylvania is going strong!  Volunteers from Christ UMC in Franklin sewed personalized quilts for Zimbabwe orphans. Each quilt was made using material that matched the age and gender of the recipient. Each one had a tag sewed in the corner with the child’s name on it. When that child is old enough to leave the Home of Hope orphanage in Nyadire, he/she will take the quilt along.   Volunteers from the Fertigs Charge make specially designed hospital gowns ...

Building and Nurturing Relationships

By Diane Miller


Building and Nurturing Relationships Relationships are fertile soil for growing disciples; they are the cement that holds our connectional system together.  Wednesday (8/15) I dropped everything to make a quick trip to King’s Restaurant at the Barkeyville Exit of I-80.  Rebecca Airgood Miller (GBGM missionary Michael Airgood’s sister) called as she entered Pennsylvania on her way to Kane and we agreed to meet at Barkeyville. With her was Nazar, a newly commissioned GBGM mission intern who has ...

Prayer Energy

By Brian Bauknight


I have been through at least two severe crises in my adult life.  One was the winter night in 1994 when my wife, Elaine, sustained major injuries in a terrible crash caused by a drunk driver.  She was months in recovery when doctors thought she might never walk again.   The second crisis came a few days ago when a large Maple tree fell on our youngest son (Dwayne) who is the “farmer” on our 40-acre property.  He was trying to take down the tree with the help of others when it cracked and fell in...

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