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Announcements

CANCELED: Regional Ordination Services

The WPAUMC Ordination services for 2020 have been canceled due to the COVID-19 virus.

WPA Ordination services will be held regionally at three locations: 
 
Grace UMC, Warren, at 1 p.m., Saturday, October 10
Crossroads UMC, N. Fayette Campus, at 3 p.m., Sunday, October 25
New Stanton UMC at 1 p.m., Saturday, November 7

 


2020 General Conference Dates Announced

Dates set for General Conference: August 29 - September 7, 2021, at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Learn more.
 
 
General Conference to move to 2021 Read the news release
 


Moxham Mom's Club Volunteers Needed    more info

WOULD YOU LIKE TO VOLUNTEER???
We need you. Moxham needs you.
 
Dates needed: October 5, 12, 19, 25 and November 1, 9, 16, 23 and 30 – whenever you are available is fine (1 week or 9 weeks!!!) Please call Natalie Marionneaux at (814) 410-5457
 
Volunteer opportunities include:
1.            Meal preparation and clean up (5-6:15pm)
2.            Assist in supervising mom’s group – topics to include finance, parenting, health (physical, mental & spiritual) – Be a presence and support for the women. If you would like to lead a topic, that can be arranged. If you have ideas for topics, please share. Call Natalie to discuss.
3.            Assist in youth activity – will usually be an art activity where youth will need supervision and guidance. Would you like to lead? Have ideas for activities?
4.            Assist in childcare (up to age 4) – keep a watchful eye on the children as they play. (Youth and childcare will require clearances which all UMC churches follow. We will help with those requirements.)
 
If you are unable to be with us in person, there are other ways to participate:
1.            Donate a meal one week (prepare it or donate cost of meal $25+)
2.            Match saving account funds up to $100 for those who open savings accounts (we will verify accounts and deposit directly)
3.            Donate art supplies one week ($20/week)
4.            Donate to sponsor paid supervision for youth and childcare ($50/week)
5.            Donate a turkey for Thanksgiving week – “Make a Meal” meeting
 
THANK YOU THANK THANK YOU for your consideration in being part of this new venture with Moxham Moms. We look forward to what may come and hope you will be a part of it with us. Please feel free to reach out to Natalie with questions and when you can volunteer. Call her directly at (814) 410-5457
 


Eunice Smith Coat Giveaway

6th Annual “Eunice Smith” Coat Giveaway, Sponsored by Scalp Level Trinity UMC will be held on Saturday, October 17th, 12:00PM to 4:30PM at the Windber Community Building, located at 1605 Graham Ave, Windber, PA 15963. 

Nearly 1,500 coats have been distributed through the Coat Giveaway over the past 6 years. We expect that the need for this ministry will be greater than ever.

We welcome donations of new or gently used coats of all sizes, infant to adult! Monetary donations, as well as, donations of hats, gloves, and scarves are also appreciated. Donations can be brought to the church by October 13th. Call (814)467-9051 to arrange a time to drop off items. Monetary donations can be mailed to Scalp Level Trinity UMC, 751 Horn Road, Windber, PA 15963.

 

Help us to share God’s warmth and love with the community!


Training at Olmsted

In light of the last several months, it is clear that the future of ministry will rely on technology. These tools have helped us to continue serving our congregations through a pandemic and have opened doors to allow the church to reach wider and serve better. After a season of “just figuring it out,” Olmsted is offering a Ministry Technology Training on September 13-15, 2020 to help church leaders become experts at all things virtual. Topics will include utilizing virtual spaces for all of church life, software, equipment, social media, legality, and best practices. Have a specific skill you are looking to master? Bring your questions and go home ready for the future!
Speakers: Bill Jacka, Liz Lennox, Alan Morrison, Sean Lewis
Location: Olmsted Manor Retreat Center, 17 East Main St. Ludlow PA 16333
https://www.olmstedmanor.org/ministry-technology-training.html
 


Opportunity for Clergy

We are again offering Clergy Communities of Practice—a type of covenant-learning group for pastors in various locations around our Conference. This year we’ve even offered added an online group which will meet in the evening so that more clergy can be involved. The groups meet together monthly beginning in September. Each meeting includes worship, conversation, learning and accountability. Now is a great time to be involved, as pastors can connect with other clergy and hear new ideas, while supporting one another! Each meeting focuses on a different topic such as:  worship, leadership, mission, diversity, etc. Questions can be directed to Susan Moudry:  susan.moudry@wpaumc.org.
For more information and to register visit:  https://wpa-reg.brtapp.com/CCOP2020
 


UM Human Services Project Shoes

Please consider making a donation on behalf of United Methodist Human Services, for their Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community fundraiser. All proceeds go to support Project Shoes,  providing new, seasonally appropriate, well fitting shoes to under-resourced kids in close to 50 schools and agencies across five counties. This year we participated in a Virtual Walk! A real walk, but on our terms, with photos submitted of our journey. You can go to our Highmark Page to give by no later than July 15th:  http://hcf.convio.net/site/TR?fr_id=3009&pg=entry  Or you can send donations to UMHS at 510 Locust Street, Johnstown, PA 15901. Please put Highmark Walk in the memo line.


Events

Annual Reviews/Evaluations

Monday, March 9, 2020

The due date for all three evaluations - May 15, 2020

Evaluation links were sent on Monday, March 2, 2020.  Reminder that the links to all three evaluations have been sent to the senior pastor.  Please make sure the links are sent to those responsible for completing the 2020 evaluations.  If you need help, please don't hesitate to call the district office.  


Leadership Institute 2020:

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 sharechurchconferences@cor.org or call (913) 232-4139
 


Mediation Skills Training

Monday, October 5, 2020 to November 20

Mediation Skills Training: Registration is now open for sessions of Mediation Skills Training Institute scheduled for October 5-9 and November 16-20, 2020.  The institute is designed for clergy and church leaders to learn skills that will help them deal more effectively with interpersonal, congregational, and other forms of group conflict.  Registrants will attend remotely and will need a device with both a camera and microphone in order to participate fully.  Download brochure 


2020 Biennial Clergy Pre-retirement Seminar
Where: DoubleTree by Hilton, 910 Sheraton Drive, Mars, PA 16046

Tuesday, October 20, 2020 to October 21

2020 Biennial Clergy Pre-retirement Seminar is scheduled for Tuesday, October 20 - Wednesday, October 21 at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 910 Sheraton Drive, Mars, PA  16046. This event will feature topics such as Wespath/Pensions, EY Financial Services, Highmark, UPMC, WorkPartners EAP, healthcare in retirement, Social Security and more! Contact Alexis Soohy, Assistant Benefits Officer, at 724.776.2300 x 278. Register Participants who wish to have a one on one personal pension projection with Wespath during the event will be scheduled in the order they register. If we have to postpone, cancel, or reformat this event to virtual, participants will be refunded.   
 
Please note: this event is open to any Clergy and their spouse! 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



Conference UMW Annual Meeting Going Virtual  (more info )

Saturday, October 24, 2020 (1-Start date exaclty the same as end date)

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.” Register by clicking here.


News Articles

Acts 29 Study (read more )

9/11/2020

ACTS 29 Study In the book of ACTS (with 28 chapters), we read about the Holy Spirit at work in the lives of believers & about his power unleashed in the communities in which they lived & traveled. How did that happen? It all began with prayer! Before Jesus ascended into heaven, he told his disciples to stay in Jerusalem & wait for his gift, promised by the Father. As they waited, they all joined together constantly in prayer. And, God sent his Holy Spirit to fill them. God is the ... read more


Schedule Your Retreat at Camp Allegheny (read more )

8/26/2020

Camp Allegheny is already known as the “Best Retreat Value” around.  Camp Allegheny has had a successful summer of ministry serving over 600 folks.  We have worked hard to be able to provide a safe camping and retreat experience.   But now the best is even better.!  Thanks to a generous bequest and during this unfortunate pandemic, Camp Allegheny is able to offer our United Methodist Churches the following opportunity.    Schedule your retreat NOW! The Best Retreat Value is now even better!  ... read more


University of Pittsburgh's Tech Support for Teachers (read more )

4/28/2020

View this email in your browser University of Pittsburgh's Tech Support for Teachers/Community-Based Organizations   Editor’s note: This information was originally shared in an email from Lina Dostilio, Associate Vice Chancellor for Community Engagement   We’ve been hearing from within our networks that in many cases our teachers are the front line of helping students and families navigate ... read more


United Methodist Human Services (read more )

3/9/2020

5x1000 Campaign:  $5 is all it takes to change lives!  A small way to make a big difference! We all want to do good with our money, but sometimes there just isn't much left at the end of the month!  A little can go a long way with the Power of Multiplication!   The 5x1000 Campaign for UMHS $5 a month is all it takes to change lives! Your $5 monthly gift will help put shoes on children's feet and food on the tables of families and senior citizens.  You'll help provide diapers and hygiene kits to ... read more


Holy Land Pilgrimage (read more )

2/20/2020

Revs. John & Patsy Ciampa invite you to join them in a journey to the Holy Land on February 16-26, 2021. Have you ever considered walking where Jesus walked, or sailing on the Sea of Galilee, how about walking the streets of Old Jerusalem?  What it would be like to visit the birthplace of Jesus, or stand at the site of the crucifixion, or better still, the empty tomb? An opportunity to do these things and much more is coming.  Pastors John & Patsy Ciampa will lead a Holy Land Tour early next ... read more


Umcor Updates to Cleaning Kit (read more )

2/10/2020

Cleaning Kit Value: $75.00 per kit Cleaning Kit Materials One five-gallon round bucket with lid (14.35” h x 12.19” w x 12.19” d) o No screw lids o May be used, but must be free from all residual product o Advertisement on the outside acceptable One 32–64 oz. bottle liquid laundry detergent One 16–40 oz. bottle liquid concentrate household cleaner o No spray cleaners One 16–34 oz. bottle liquid dish soap One 4–8 oz. pump spray air freshener One 6–14 oz. pump spray insect repellant (pack of 10... read more


Conference News

Below you will find some conference news relevant to Greensburg District. To see all conference news, go to the News section at the very top of this page.
WPA COVID-19 Updates (read more )

6/5/2020

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


Clergy Coaching Sessions Offered (read more )

5/6/2020

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


Conference Call to Prayer (read more )

4/13/2020

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


Resources

Leadership Development

3 Steps to Guard Against Sexual Abuse: Phill Martin, a clergy coach and executive with the National Association of Church Business Administrators, says churches should take proactive steps to guard against  the possibility of sexual abuse or misconduct before an incident occurs. See Leading Ideas article
See WPAUMC Sexual Ethics Policy

Building Community Partnerships: Rev. Liddy Barlow’s Powerpoint presentation from last week’s Clergy Conversation on building community partnerships has been posted on the Conference website at wpaumc.org/covid-19-clergy-conversations
Rev. Barlow also recommended a video to learn how to communicate effectively with elected officials. Watch Southwest PA Bread for the World’s 2020 Advocacy Workshop Top Ten Tips for Effective Congressional Office Visits 

Want to Preserve Your Church's History? The UMC Commission on Archives and History is offering a free online course that will cover a range of skills needed to become a church historian. The 12-week course will begin Sept. 14 and people can take it at their own pace.  Read press release

Leading in Crisis: The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry is offering a series of e-panel discussions for church leaders. Today’s edition dealt was Setting Next Steps when your Feet Are Weary. Watch
Past sessions, including one on Church Finance, are on the GBHEM YouTube Channel

 


Resources for Responding to Racism    more info

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.  


Quick Links

Diversity Development
Mission Barn

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

 

Scholarships and Grants

There are a variety of scholarships available at www.umc.org/resources/scholarships and at www.wpaumc.org/scholarshipforms.