The one-day Annual Conference Session- Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020.
World Communion Sunday is October 4: In an email to pastors this week, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi noted that every United Methodist congregation is expected to celebrate World Communion Sunday and receive a special offering to support scholarships for General Board of Global Ministries work and for ethnic persons pursuing higher education and in-service training. She also addressed how to celebrate communion during a pandemic. Read her email
Get worship and promotional resources in the Pastor and Leader’s Kit
Ordination Service - at New Stanton UMC for Greensburg, Connellsville, and Washington Districts CANCELLED
Christmas Party-Paradise UMC Saturday, December 12th (11:30am-1:30pm)
Christmas Office Open House- Monday, December 14th (1:00pm-3:00pm)
Lay Ministry School: February 21-March 21, 2021 Paradise UMC
UMW Day Apart on September Thursday, September 9, 2021
KEEP UP WITH OUR DISTRICT CALENDAR HERE
Please be aware we have updated the 2021 pension calculation worksheet on our webpage.
It can be found by visiting us at :
Drop down to misc files and it can be found there.
Please note, there is a slight increase from 2020 in that the Benefit Reserve is changing from .1% to .5% for 2021.
2021 Benefits Rate Set: The Conference Board of Pensions approved the 2021 blended health care billing rate to the local church for those covered by the Conference Benefits program. Effective Jan. 1, 2021, the rate will be $1453.00 a month, including medical, vision and dental coverage. This represents an increase of $40 a month. The monthly member cost share remains the same for 2021 at: $20 single / $35 two persons / $70 family. Get details
Covid Update for Churches: The Conference Abundant Health Team has updated guidelines for churches to protect congregants and the community from the spread of COVID-19. It includes a link to recommendations from the CDC for upcoming holidays. See WPAUMC guidelines
See CDC guidelines for holiday celebrations.
Rev. Chuck Hildbold and his wife Cheryl. Cheryl has been battling cancer for the past 4 years and they are hoping for an invitation to an immunotherapy trial.
COVID-19 Prayer Initiative: You’re invited to join in a Conference-wide COVID-19 Prayer Initiative that begins October 5. A daily video with scripture and prayers by the Rev. Dr. Renee Mikell and Rev. Chris Kindle will be posted on the Conference website and social media each weekday for 19 days to guide you. Watch for more details next week. Invite your friends, neighbors and congregation, especially prayer groups and small groups, to join in.
Annual Conference 2020
School administrators, teachers, students, custodians, and kitchen personal.
Jville U: This program is designed to provide a safe, supervised space where school aged children may come for the day to complete online schoolwork and participate in daily camp and recreational activities.
Praise to the God of All Comfort
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
Rev. Jay Polowsky passed away on September 30, 2020.
Harbor of Hope Training: Conference Evangelists John and Christine Zimmerman will offer an online (Zoom) training session on their new Harbor of Hope Bible study from 7-9 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12. The study can be used by any church to provide a safe gathering for all people, including those with addiction, to explore the writings of the Holy Bible and pursue a relationship with Jesus Christ. Learn more and see video at af180.org/harbor-of-hope
Register for the Nov. 12 online training
Clergy Continuing Ed Scholarships: The Board of Ministry is now accepting applications for Continuing Education Scholarships from clergy. For 2020, the maximum grant for any single event is $250 instead of the usual $500. Find the application form with details at wpaumc.org/forms
Download directly here.
Continuing Education for United Methodist Clergy
Since 2018, United Methodist clergy and other church leaders have taken one-hour continuing education classes at clergyeducation.com. In addition to admission into live sessions, registrants receive a video recording of the webinar and a certificate representing 1-hour CEU credit. The cost for each session is $25.
Clergy webinars: ClergyEducation.com to see the latest list of upcoming webinars. In addition to live webinars, recordings of previous webinars are available in our "Recorded Courses" section.
Foundations for Ministry online course August 31, 2020 – May 16, 2021: This course helps Certified Lay Ministers, first-time pastors, and District Superintendent assigned persons to develop best practices for serving the local church in sermon writing, developing relationships with their congregation, building mission and vision. The course focuses on a different aspect of ministry each month with all work and discussion forums taking place online, including monthly meetings. www.larcm.org
Join the Youth Ministry Team: Let your youth know that there’s still time to apply to be part of the 2020-2021 Conference Youth Ministry Team. Watch video. Fill out the online YMT application
YOUTH INFORMATION: on the web at https://www.wpaumc.org/youthevents
UMCOR is assisting in conference response to the Gulf Coast hurricanes and wildfires in the West. Get updates at facebook.com/UMCOR
Mission News: Check out updates on local and global ministries in this week’s issue of the Mission News.
Video Editing: Church leaders can learn how to use the Adobe Rush video-editing tool through a new, free training program from UM Communications. Adobe Rush enables church staff and volunteers to produce ministry videos with a polished look for posting on church websites and social media channels. Learn more
Using phones to worship remotely: Most churches have members who can connect to online worship platforms and members who cannot. Incorporating call-in capability bridges the gap. See best practices and tips for making sure everyone can worship remotely, with or without internet access. Read more.
Conference Announcements Updated June 12, 2020. Read Bishop's Update on Reopening Churches See What's Next for Churches video with Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi and Dr. Jessica Price. Download our Guidelines for Church Reopening Download Green Phase Guidelines Get take-aways and other info from our twice weekly Covid-19 Clergy Conversations. See our Coronavirus Stimulus and Relief Package information for churches. Check our Covid-19 Church Planning Resources page on Facebook. Due to ... read more
To assist clergy as they strive to meet the on-going challenges of ministry in the age of the novel coronavirus, the Western PA Conference is offering Coaching on Demand. Trained coaches in the Conference are offering their skills at no charge as a ministry to their colleagues. "Right now, we are each navigating personal and professional challenges, new realities, and unexpected ministry opportunities," said the Rev. Amy Wagner, who took a lead role in organizing the Coaching on Demand ... read more
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1, NRSV) As our world has become encased in fear and uncertainty because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Western Pennsylvania Conference calls all laity and clergy to an intentional, daily time of prayer. In the midst of the chaos, we need to stand in the power of prayer. On March 24, 2020, Rev. Randall Bain, senior pastor at the Oakland United Methodist ... read more
UPDATE: The Commission on the General Conference, in a March 16 press release said: As concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic continue to escalate, the Commission on the General Conference will meet on March 21 via teleconference to discuss plans for the 2020 General Conference, scheduled for May 5-15, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minn. According to the United Methodist Book of Discipline, in the absence of a convened General Conference, only the full Commission, as the duly authorized ... read more
UPDATED - 3/16/20 On March 15, the Center for Disease Control recommended that for the next 8 weeks, throughout the U.S., organizers cancel or postpone in-person events that involve 50 people or more. Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi will issue a statement on hope-filled ways United Methodists can offer ministry during this season. Updated CDC info on Mass Gatherings is at https://www.cdc.gov/…/mass-gatherings-ready-for-covid-19.ht… With the number of Coronavirus 2019 (COVID19) cases increasing ... read more
Racism and Faith: Three theologians from across the U.S. wrestled with how Christianity can overcome racism at a time when polls show that many white Christians don’t see racial injustice as a problem. Heather Hahn reports on the most recent online panel in the UMC series on dismantling racism. Read story
New Online Course for Christians on Race & Racism: You Are Here: First Steps for White Christians on Race and Racism is an online course for Christians who want to acquire a fundamental understanding of race and racism from a biblical perspective. This four-part self-directed course offers videos featuring Robin DiAngelo and Rev. Dr. Anderson Hooker, reflections, and activities to help people of faith to recognize racism and begin to challenge it in their lives. Enroll here.
Seminary Dean Discusses Racial Justice: Leah Gunning Francis, author and dean of the faculty at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, bases her anti-racism work on the concept of imago dei — that all beings are created in the image of God. In the latest episode of the "Get Your Spirit in Shape" podcast, she and the Rev. Joe Iovino discuss where The United Methodist Church is already at work in the area of racial justice and what more needs to be done. Listen to episode.
Wake Up Call for White Christian America: By confronting their faith’s legacy of racism, white Christians can build a better future for themselves, and their fellow Americans, writes Robert F. Jones, author of White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity. Read more.
The Conference Anti-Racism Team (ART) compiled a list of suggestions for Western PA churches to address racism. Download it from the Conference's Responding to Racism page.
Listen First! As congregations work toward equality for all, it may be helpful to hear from some local church experts on how to improve communication with people from different racial and ethnic groups. Here are some tips about listening, language choices and more. Read story
Bishops Vow This Time Will Be Different! Watch and learn more about the official launch of the UMC’s renewed effort to dismantle racism and press on to freedom. Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi is one of five bishops in the video announcement on Juneteenth. See video and story
Talking About Race: No matter where you are on your journey of understanding, the resources on the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture can help. Explore Talking About Race
Be Part of the Change! How can the church reach out with sensitivity about race and injustice? To effectively communicate beyond your congregation and culture, try to forge a true, interpersonal connection with those you want to reach. It would help to also do some homework, says John Coleman, Communications Director in the Eastern PA Conference. Read more.
United Methodists stand against racism: A new campaign is uniting the denomination against racism. Church leaders can turn to ResourceUMC.org to find the latest diversity and inclusiveness information and tools, including downloadable campaign graphics. Resources to engage members as they listen, act, speak and pray are available at UMC.org/EndRacism.
Learn how United Methodists are taking a stand against racism at UMC.org/EndRacism.
Race and Protest: Two relevant resources regarding race and protest for young people: How to Acknowledge Hurt in Youth Ministry and Tools for Processing Protests with Teens
Racial Justice Conversations: GCORR offers excellent resources to help churches discuss and learn more about racial justice. See Racial Justice Conversations Guide.
The Eastbrook Mission Barn is one of six UMCOR Relief Supply Network depots across the United States.
Mission Barn & UMCOR Supplies- Due to Annual Conference in June being cancelled and therefore the UMCOR collection, Mission Barn Director Katie Peterson is looking for a church willing to be the collection point for their district for UMCOR supplies, cleaning buckets, and hygiene kits on a one or two time basis this summer. Preferably they can keep track of what church brought the donations and then store the kits and supplies in a secure location. People can bring the kits and supplies from the collection directly to the barn or the conference center, or she can arrange to send a truck or trailer to pick them up. Contact: Katie Peterson