District Conference (Jumonville) 2:30-4:30 pm August 23rd
VIP.... CANCELLED Lay Servant Ministry School - Paradise (2:00-5:00pm) September 13-October 11th
New Dates: February 21-March 21, 2021 Paradise UMC
The one-day Annual Conference session will be held on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020 at the Erie Bayfront Convention Center.
UMW Day Apart on September 10, 2020 has been cancelled.
NEW DATE Thursday, September 9, 2021
KEEP UP WITH OUR DISTRICT CALENDAR HERE
CONNELLSVILLE DISTRICT LAY MINISTY SCHOOL
FALL 2020 Cancelled!
New Dates February 21-March 21, 2021
Location: Paradise UM Church, 105 Hoke Rd. Mount Pleasant, 15666
Basic* - Karen Sholtis
Called to Preach* - Rev. Roger Howard
Leading Prayer* - Rev. Rick Helsel
United Methodist Polity* - Rev. Arnold McFarland
Lay Pastoral Care Giving - Rev. Tom Shirer
Teach Adults- Barbara Hess
Opening Ourselves to Grace: Basic Christian Practices -Rev. Mark Sholtis
2020 Clergy Pre-Retirement Seminar
DoubleTree by Hilton, Pittsburgh Cranberry: 910 Sheraton Drive, Mars PA 16046 (formerly the Sheraton).
Tuesday, October 20 - Wednesday, October 21, 2020.
We are still hoping and planning to provide our WPA biennial Pre-Retirement Event in an in-person format. We are closely monitoring Covid-19 and will be following all safety recommendations and regulations enacted by the CDC, conference leadership and the PA Governor’s office. The DoubleTree is also carefully following all orders and safety recommendations and is committed to partnering with us to provide a clean and safe environment for our participants.
Your registration will help us plan accordingly. Please be aware if the event is postponed, cancelled, or reformatted to a virtual event your registration costs will be refunded.
Registration costs for the event are as follows: $80 for single participant / $120 for participant plus spouse/guest. Your payment will assist the Conference Board of Pensions in covering the costs of your meals, refreshments, and materials. Spouses are highly encouraged to attend!
Tentatively, this event will run from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm both days with meals provided. A schedule will be released closer to the event.
Guests and topics will include: Wespath/Pensions and retirement, EY Financial Services/Financial wellness, Medicare, Social Security, Health Insurance in Ministry and Retirement, Clergy taxes and more! Wespath will be providing personal one-on-one pension projections that will be scheduled closer to the event. These appointments will be scheduled in the order of registration- so don’t delay!
Please note: this event is open to any Clergy! You do not need to be planning your retirement in the upcoming year or two to attend. Clergy who may be 5-10 or even more years away from their retirement are still welcome and encouraged to attend.
If you wish to stay at the Doubletree: A special room rate is available of $119 per night if booked by October 5, 2020. If there is a change of plans, room reservations must be cancelled 48 hours prior to your stay. For link to room block, please register.
Please note: this event is open to all clergy and their spouses- not just those who are closer to their retirement. The information on pensions and financial wellness is applicable to everyone!
Feedback we’ve received previous years always includes the sentiment of “I wish I had gone to this earlier in my career!”
Registration link: https://wpa-reg.brtapp.com/
Clergy Session has been postponed to August 22nd at Ingomar UM Church, 1501 West Ingomar Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15237. The new date will be confirmed by August 7, 2020. If we are NOT able to have the Clergy Session on August 22, it will be postponed until 2021.
Annual Conference 2020 / Annual Conference Updates: Keep up with Annual Conference news, see a list of Frequently Asked Questions, download the Appointment book, read reports, and legislation at wpaumc.org/AC.
The one-day Annual Conference session will be held on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020 at the Erie Bayfront Convention Center. We hope to arrange for blocks of hotel rooms at special rates for voting members who want to stay overnight at their own expense.
Clergy: Plan your vacation, weddings, mission trips, etc. around this date and plan to attend.
Note: The 2021 session of the Annual Conference also will be held at the Bayfront Convention Center.
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.
Thursday, September 24, 2020 to September 25
Leadership Institute 2020: on Thursday, September 24 - Friday, September 25. The online format is packed with relevant and actionable leadership development content through a live-streamed event. There will be two Breakout Sessions on Friday, with six topics to choose from at each session, followed by Live Q&A with the presenters. PLUS there will be a library of on-demand workshops. These workshops cover a wide variety of ministry topics, all with tangible takeaways. All Sessions will be recorded and available to registered participants for replay. You'll have access to ALL the content to explore and review on-demand for an entire year after the conference. Individual tickets are just $49. With the low ticket price and no travel expenses, you can include and engage more of your team leaders in every ministry area across the church. Register Questions? Email email@example.com or call (913) 232-4139
Tour the Camps Bike-a-thon!
Saturday, September 26, 2020 to September 30
Tour the Camps Bike-a-thon! Since 2018, the Campership Bike-a-Thon has raised more than $44,000 to support the Deeply Rooted, Upward Reaching camping campaign. After two seasons of riding from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C., the 2020 route will take in our three camps, Olmsted Manor retreat center, At the Lake Ministries and Healthy Village Learning Institute. The ride will be September 26-30. Get details and register.
Conference UMW Meeting Going Virtual
Conference UMW Meeting Going Virtual: The Conference United Methodist Women’s annual meeting, scheduled for Saturday, October 24, will be offered in an online webinar format, rather than in person. The keynote address by the Rev. Debra Flint, an ordained deacon and licensed clinical social worker, is entitled “There’s Nothing Selfish About Self Care.” Registration will open on the Conference website by September 1.
Upcoming Events at Olmsted:
Where: Riverview Golf Course 24537 Route 19, Cambridge Springs, PA 16403
Saturday, September 12, 2020 9:00 AM
Wesley Woods Camp 19th Annual Golf Scramble When: Saturday, September 12, 2020 Registration-8am and shotgun start at 9am Where: Riverview Golf Course 24537 Route 19, Cambridge Springs, PA 16403 Cost: $65 per person/$260 per foursome (includes cart, unlimited hot dogs and drinks) All proceeds benefit the ministry of Wesley Woods and sending kids to camp! We will be adhering to distancing and mask protocols. Register by phone (814-456-6268) or email (firstname.lastname@example.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
Like many of you, GCFA is staring at the stark reality of our nation attempting to flatten the curve and spread of Covid-19 by engaging in social distancing. For many of us, that may mean your weekly worship services are going to look a bit different than they have in the past. To support our United Methodist churches as we continue to make disciples, we have pulled out relevant articles that we feel may help during this time. We invite you to look through these, and we pray they may be of some help as we all face this uncertainty.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT eGIVING: In response to Covid-19 and social distancing, many churches many close as they put the health of their congregation first. This may lead to stress around the collection plate. Check out this handy guide to understanding electronic, text, and other forms of online giving.
UNDERSTAND LIVE STREAMING NOW TO BENEFIT YOUR CONGREGATION: As churches, theatres, and sporting events all press the pause button, churches across the nation will turn to live streaming to give their churches an option to worship. Download this guide to understanding different components of live streaming.
Mission News: Check out updates on local and global ministries in this week’s issue of the Mission News.
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.
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
Grant Available: Applications for Racial Ethnic Local Church Grants to strengthen ethnic congregations, are due September 1. Learn 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
Grant Available: Applications for Racial Ethnic Local Church Grants to strengthen ethnic congregations, are due September 1. Learn more
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