ALIVE! Being the Church Today
Saturday, September 30, 2023 at 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM Eastern Standard Time

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Bakerstown UMC
5760 William Flynn Hwy
Gibsonia, PA 15044-9560

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The Spirit is MOVING and the United Methodist Church is ALIVE! The Pittsburgh District of the Western PA Conference is hosting a day-long seminar offering inspiring examples of exciting ministries in our region, seeking to empower others to develop new ministries in their communities. The day will begin with worship and ministry presentations, and conclude with a hands-on workshop to network and connect across churches while developing a usable, practical plan for ministry to take home.

Saturday, September 30
9 AM - 3 PM
Bakerstown UMC

open to clergy & laity

Register Now for ALIVE! 

Registration is $20 for adults and FREE to children* & youth 18 and under. Registration fee Includes morning coffee and refreshments (provided by Brother Andre's Cafe), and lunch for children, youth, and adults. Online option: $20 registration fee. Online participants will receive a link for the morning session livestream and to join a Zoom breakout group in the afternoon. *Nursery care available for ages 0-PreK. 

Grant funding for Alive! provided by the United Methodist Foundation of Pennsylvania.

If you'd like to promote Alive! with your church/congregation, download a media toolkit below.

Download Alive! Media Toolkit  


Keynote Speakers:

Kurt Crays, Erie United Methodist Alliance (EUMA)
Kurt Crays is the Chief Executive Officer of the Erie United Methodist Alliance (EUMA). EUMA works to end homelessness in Northwest Pennsylvania by providing those in our community who are homeless and in need with safe shelter, basic necessities, and faithful support as they work toward achieving their greatest potential.

In recent years, EUMA has expanded services to address critical needs in our region including piloting Healthcare for the Homeless Partnership that integrated housing and healthcare.

EUMA’s leadership reimagined existing programs in 2017, and committed to a Housing First methodology. In response EUMA became the largest Rapid Re-Housing program in Erie County helping our homeless neighbors find, pay for and stay permanently housed. 

In April of 2023, EUMA purchased properties located at 9th and Liberty Streets in Erie to include the former Quinn Funeral Home. To accommodate a growing ministry EUMA moved its organizational headquarters to this location to accommodate a growing team and provide EUMA’s staff, volunteers, stakeholders and others with a place to meet, fellowship and work to end homelessness in NW Pennsylvania.

Rev. Joe Webb, WV Annual Conference, New Wineskins
Rev. Joe Webb is an Ordained Deacon in the West Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and the founder of New Wineskins, a nontraditional online faith community focused on justice and liberation. He also serves as the New Faith Communities Coordinator for the WV Conference.

New Wineskins is a conversation in community in the progressive Christian spiritual stream. Born as a pub theology group in Southeast Ohio in 2014, our community of spiritual exiles migrated online in 2020 during the height of the global coronavirus pandemic, gathering every Sunday evening via Zoom.

New Wineskins welcomes people from all backgrounds, faiths, cultures, orientations and experiences. While our conversations tend to center around expressions of the Christian faith, we understand that, for many, Christianity has been presented as a religion of oppression and exclusion. Our hope is to create a safe space for people to ask hard questions and express themselves freely.

Rev. Kris Sledge, Journey Church, Harrisburg
Rev. Kris Sledge is an elder in Susquehanna Conference and lead pastor at Journey Church, Harrisburg. The Journey Church is a fun and life-giving four-year old multi-ethnic church plant in urban Harrisburg, PA, where our desire is to help people find belonging, experience the liberative spirit of Jesus, seek justice in the world, and radically love our neighbors.

Journey Church celebrates the diverse nature of our community that spans generations, ethnicities, socio-economic status, sexual orientations, gender identities, and spiritual backgrounds.

The church remains intentional about spiritual formation in and outside the church walls, including inspiring multi-ethnic worship, community groups that foster deep belonging, and a shared commitment to seeking the welfare of the city of Harrisburg.

Ministry Presentation Speakers:

Lou Ann Barbish, Hill Top UMC, Pittsburgh
Lou Ann will discuss the Christmas Store, a program of the South Hills Partnership churches that seeks to offer a full Christmas shopping experience to struggling families at an affordable price.

Rev. BT Gilligan, Nixon UMC, Butler
Will discuss Bar + Church, "like church, but in a bar." Seeks to offer Christian community and wrestle with questions of faith in a setting accessible to those who would not interact with a traditional church setting.

Kathleen Stanley, Roots of Faith, Sharpsburg
Will discuss Roots of Faith, Faith UMC's location in Sharpsburg, that is both a worshipping community and home of Circles (a program "to provide families and individuals with the resources, support, community, and advice that they need to thrive") and the Neighborhood Table, a weekly community meal and hub for health, social, and legal services.

Lori Klingensmith, First UMC, Leechburg
Will discuss First Leechburg's Crockpot Ministry.

Bridgette Loiselle, staff supervisor/occupational therapist, Brother Andre's Cafe, Pittsburgh
"Through the inspiration of our patron, Saint André Bessette, Brother André’s Cafe aims to serve Christ as an outreach of Move a Mountain Missions. By providing employment opportunities for adults living with IDD (intellectual and developmental disabilities) and promoting products from vulnerable communities in developing countries, Brother André’s Cafe will provide a place of community and Christian fellowship."

Featured Speakers