Conference News

Pittsburgh DS Moving to New Post

January 25, 2021
Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi today announced that Pittsburgh District Superintendent Dawn M. Hand will return to the Baltimore-Washington Conference to serve as a district superintendent.  "It is with mixed emotions that I share with you that District Superintendent Dawn Hand has been offered and accepted an appointment to the Baltimore Washington Annual Conference, effective July 1, 2021,"  Bishop Moore-Koikoi said. "Rev. Hand has been appointed as the District Superintendent for the Central ... read more

WPAUMC enews, Jan. 20, 2021

January 21, 2021
W.W.W is My Parish! Registration is open for all sessions of the Conference’s new five-week Zoom series on virtual ministry that begins Monday, Jan. 25 at 7p.m. The conversations will be on Monday evenings so church volunteers, as well as clergy or staff involved in or considering new online ministry options, can participate. Special guest for the first session will be the Rev. Jeff St. Clair, who launched a new church in Florida in February 2020 and had to rely primarily on virtual ministry to ... read more

Celebrate Camping, Retreat Ministry!

January 20, 2021
As churches prepare to highlight Camping and Retreat Ministries on the last weekend of January (or another time of their choice), camps unveiled plans for Summer 2021 and Conference leaders got good news on the capital campaign to support these ministries. "As of December 31, 2020, the Deeply Rooted, Upward Reaching camping campaign has received $996,426.24!  As we near the $1 million marker, we celebrate that clergy and laity across the WPA Conference are helping people of all ages hear the ... read more

MLK Day Events, Call to Action

January 15, 2021
Martin Luther King Jr. weekend -- Jan. 16-18, 2021 -- has been a time to celebrate Dr. King’s life and remember how his work in the Civil Rights Movement prepared the foundation for dismantling racism. This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic and other reasons, observances were very different.  In Western Pennsylvania, Rev. Debra Mason, WPAUMC coordinator of diversity development and inclusion, preached during a virtual service that premiered at 4 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 17.  Produced by the ... read more

WPAUMC enews, Jan. 13, 2021

January 14, 2021
Join in prayer for the families of Pastor Kathryn Reitz and Jean Harriger, who both passed away recently. Visitation is Thursday and a funeral service will be held Friday in Clarion for Pastor Kate, who was serving in retirement as pastor of Sligo and East Brady UMCs. A memorial service for Jean, wife of retired elder Clayton Harriger, is planned for June 12.  See obituaries  Opportunities to Serve: In the Conference Reflections blog this week,  Rev. Alyce Weaver Dunn talks about the volunteers... read more

Bishop's Statement on Insurrection

January 7, 2021
Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi issued the following statement today after violent events at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021.  I collect crosses.  There are crosses from all around the world in my office prayer corner. One of them is a simple cross made from repurposed wood that came from cabinetry in one of the U.S. Senate office buildings.  That cross was given to me by a former parishioner who, before his retirement, was in charge of the ongoing maintenance of the Senate buildings.  ... read more

WPAUMC enews, Jan. 6, 2021

January 6, 2021
Prayers of the People Pray for the Healing of Our Nation! Rev. Susan Henry Crowe of the General Board of Church and Society, headquartered on Capitol Hill, suggested using words from the Prayer in a Time of National Crisis (UM Book of Worship 517): May leaders be led by your wisdom; May they search your will and see it clearly If we have turned from your way, Reverse our ways and help us to repent. Give us your light and your truth, let them guide us; Through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of this ... read more

A Prayer for the New Year

December 30, 2020
Greetings to the People Called “Methodist” in Eastern Germany and Western Pennsylvania:   What challenges we have seen in the year that is past! Many times we have thought of one another, and prayed for one another, as we have heard of the events in each other’s countries. Our prayers are with each other as we begin this New Year of 2021 in the strength of our trans-Atlantic partnership. For our New Year’s Prayer, we offer the words of the famous German-American minister and theologian Walter ... read more

WPAUMC enews, Dec. 23, 2020

December 24, 2020
As we celebrate the birth of our Savior in new ways this year, look for opportunities to share the hope and joy with all who need assurance that God is with us.  Reimagining Christmas: More than half of our churches have moved to virtual services to guard against the spread of coronavirus in their congregations and communities. Some also will offer parking lot services. Others have chosen to offer in-person worship, some by reservation. As Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi put it in a Pittsburgh ... read more

WPAUMC enews, Dec. 16, 2020

December 17, 2020
Rejoice! Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi has some hopeful words for us this week in an Advent message. Read it. Don’t Lose Sight of Joy! Rev. Susan Moudry invites you to leave the disorienting fog that has hung in the air since Easter. “Do not let yourself be pulled down into thinking this Christmas is any less than it should be,” she writes in a blog post. “This Christmas is what we need, exactly as it is.” Read her post Need Resources for Online Services? The increased community spread of ... read more

WPAUMC enews, Dec. 9, 2020

December 10, 2020
Reflections on Lament: In this difficult season, Rev. Amy Wagner offers reflections on lament and some suggestions for leading a congregation in the practice of lament. They could be used during a traditional Blue Christmas or Longest Night service, at the end of a particularly challenging year, following a community or national tragedy, or any time a congregation and community faces corporate grief. See her blog post Frustrated? Breathe! "COVID has messed up everything -- our life, our mental ... read more

WPAUMC enews, Dec. 2, 2020

December 3, 2020
Harbor of Hope Training: The final online training of the year for Harbor of Hope, an easy-to-implement addiction recovery Bible Study developed by Rev. John and Christine Zimmerman, is scheduled for Thursday, December 17 from 7-8:30 p.m. The training is free and participants will receive free resources thanks to support from the WPAUMC Evangelism Team. Get details and register. Advent Devotional for Disability Awareness: The Conference Disability Awareness Team compiled an Advent devotional to... read more

WPAUMC enews, Nov. 25, 2020

November 26, 2020
As we prepare to celebrate a different kind of Thanksgiving than most of us are used to, we are grateful for the faithfulness of God and our United Methodist clergy, laity and churches in Western PA.  This week, we wish you a blessed Thanksgiving and offer a few items related to this season.  A Pandemic Thanksgiving: Like most everything about our lives in 2020, we need to make some alterations to stay safe during the holiday season. Here are some suggestions. The First Thanksgiving: The origin ... read more

WPAUMC enews, Nov. 18, 2020

November 19, 2020
COVID Updates: With the resurgence of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania bringing a record high number of new cases daily in several counties, the following actions were taken this week: State officials announced new initiatives to mitigate the spread, including mandating masks be worn anytime someone leaves their home.  See details Allegheny County health officials issued a stay-at-home advisory in hopes of avoiding an order requiring enforcement. Read more. Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi sent an email ... read more

Wesley Woods Storm Clean-Up

November 17, 2020
Sunday windstorms swept through Wesley Woods camp in Grand Valley, PA, knocking down a row of large pines that lined the parking lot of the camp store and office.  There was minor damage to a few buildings and power outages from the storms, said Shane Hinderliter, coordinator of camping and retreat ministries for the Western PA Conference.  A workday to help remove the trees and generally clean up after the storms was planned for Saturday, Nov. 21, he said. Lunch will be provided.  Those ... read more

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