Conference News

Bishop's Update on Reopening Churches

May 22, 2020
Bishop Cynthia Moore Koikoi emailed the following letter to clergy and church leaders late Friday, May 22, 2020.  Dear Siblings in Christ, In a statement issued Friday morning, President Trump asked governors to allow churches to reopen.  Fortunately, at the beginning of his stay-at-home order, Governor Wolf designated churches, mosques, and temples as “life sustaining businesses”.  Therefore, they could remain open with specific guidelines in place.  Those guidelines were determined by whether... read more

WPA COVID-19 Updates

May 22, 2020
Conference Announcements Updated May 22, 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   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 Pennsylvania and local government actions ... read more

WPAUMC enews, May 20, 2020

May 21, 2020
Discipleship Conversations: Rev. Chris Kindle, WPAUMC coordinator of Discipleship and Spiritual Formation, has launched a video series called Gleanings: Discipleship Conversations. See the first two installments on the WPA Discipleship YouTube Channel.  Morgan To Lead PA Council of Churches: Dai Morgan, a Western PA pastor who has served as coordinator of UM Advocacy in PA for five years, has been named interim executive director of the Pennsylvania Council of Churches. Read more Focus on Women ... read more

Morgan to Lead PA Council of Churches

May 20, 2020
The Pennsylvania Council of Churches has announced the hiring of Dai Morgan as its Interim Executive Director, effective July 1, 2020. The position is part-time and he said he will continue to serve as coordinator of United Methodist Advocacy in Pennsylvania, a joint ministry of Pennsylvania’s three United Methodist conferences. He has held that part-time post since 2015. Morgan, who has been a member of the Council’s Commission on Public Witness since 2010 and vice president since 2017, is a ... read more

Smith Center Copes with Pandemic

May 20, 2020
As millions of Americans sheltered at home because of COVID-19, many slowed down and re-engaged with loved ones and old hobbies. But at the Ruth M. Smith Center in Sheffield, Pa., the 28 physically and mentally challenged residents — many without family and all considered part of the vulnerable population — suddenly found themselves secluded without visitors or short excursions off the property.  Although the Smith Center had serving children and youth since it was given to Women's Home ... read more

WPAUMC enews, May 13, 2020

May 14, 2020
The Power of Through: Susan Moudry sees Heritage Sunday this year as an awesome opportunity for the local church to remember the many things God has brought us through as a denomination, as well as what God has brought your specific congregation, community and people through. Read her blog post. Wesley Woods Shifts Summer Season: After much prayer and deliberation, Wesley Woods has decided to delay the start of its summer camping season until June 28, 2020. It will only open to campers IF ... read more

WPAUMC enews, May 6, 2020

May 6, 2020
COVID-19: What’s Next for Churches? Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi and Dr. Jessica Price of the Conference’s Abundant Health Team sat down last Friday to discuss what it means from churches as areas move from the red to yellow phase in Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan for reopening Pennsylvania. ’s plan Watch the video and download Guidelines for Reopening Ministry Now and Later: Our May 6 Clergy Zoom Conversation dealt with Building Relationships Now and Later and focused on engaging those connecting online ... read more

Clergy Coaching Sessions Offered

May 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

WPAUMC enews, April 29, 2020

April 30, 2020
Bishops Convene via Zoom: "One of the implications of COVID-19 is that we are indeed together as a connection. And in a season of trauma, we claim our strengths — connection, mission, good news of grace," said Bishop Kenneth Carter in his final address as Council of Bishops president on Wednesday. He spoke during the Spring Council meeting held via Zoom and live-streamed on Facebook and Council’s webpage. Learn more  Clergy Conversations: The Clergy Conversations offered by Conference staff and... read more

WPAUMC enews, April 22, 2020

April 23, 2020
Continuing Call to Prayer: The Western Pennsylvania Conference has called all laity and clergy to an intentional, daily time of prayer in the midst of the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the 19th hour of the day, 7p.m., you're invited to stop and pray for seven minutes. Oakland UMC in Johnstown launched the practice in late March. Read more. Deaths: Rev. George Tutwiler, well-known in church music circles and professor emeritus at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, where he taught church music ... read more

WPAUMC enews, April 15, 2020

April 16, 2020
Lessons in Leadership: This Eastertide, the Rev. Susan Moudry notices a disorienting fog in the air. Read about grief in her latest post on the Conference blog. Tracking Online Worship Attendance? Conference Secretary John Wilson points out that there's a place on the annual statistical report form to report online worship attendance. The denomination added the line a few years ago as an experiment. He explains more about it on his webpage wpaumc.org/conferencestatistician. Learn more about ... read more

Conference Call to Prayer

April 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

Honk if You Love Jesus!

April 8, 2020
--By Barb Hilty-- After three weeks of COVID-19 lockdown, the people of Faith United Methodist Church in Delmont were more than ready to come together to worship God.  On April 5, 2020, church members and friends drove to the church and parked as usual for a Palm Sunday service with a twist.  They remained in their cars as the Rev. Dr. Ronald W. Raptosh conducted the outdoor time of worship and praise.  Hallelujah, indeed! Since March 15, this closely knit family of believers were like so ... read more

2020 Annual Conference Rescheduled

April 3, 2020
Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi, after consultation with her Coordinating Cabinet, Conference Secretary John Wilson and Conference Sessions  Chair Alan Morrison, announced today that the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference session scheduled for June 11-13, 2020 at Grove City College has been cancelled. The celebrations and the necessary business of the Conference will be cared for in different ways and at different places, she said. "While much about the spread of coronavirus is still not known,... read more

Team Offers Easter 2020 Resources

April 3, 2020
“Hope Unlocked,” a package of 2020 Easter worship resources, was developed by a Western PA clergy team working with Jason Moore of Midnight Oil Productions. It grew out of planning for a May workshop which had to be cancelled.  In August of 2019,  Rev. Amy Wagner, Director of Congregational Development and Revitalization for the Conference, and Rev. Doug Dyson, pastor of Sharon First UMC, began working to bring Moore to Western PA to lead a workshop.  Doug, who met Jason years ago at his ... read more

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