Nyadire Mission School Aids Hearing Impaired

published 5/13/2014
By Vicki Brown* The 27 deaf or hearing impaired students at the Nyadire Primary School in Zimbabwe have found more than an education at The United Methodist Church mission near Mutoko. The children and their parents have found hope. “Now I can do what other kids can do. I thank God!” said Maclean Masimo, one of the students. Her grandmother said the program has been life-changing for Maclean. “I did not know how to handle my child as I did not where to go with her. Coming to Nyadire and ...

AC2014 Stop Hunger Effort Yields 44,600 Meals

published 5/7/2014
In downtime during the 2014 Western PA Annual Conference packed 44,670 meals for Stop Hunger Now, nearly 20,000 more than during the 2013 annual conference session.  Every day, an estimated 25,000 people across the world die from hunger and related illnesses. To address the situation in a hands-on way, our Conference partnered with Stop Hunger Now, the international relief organization that coordinates the distribution of food and other lifesaving aid to countries in need around the world. “...

UM Women Ready to Make It Happen!

published 4/29/2014
By Jackie Campbell Fifty-two United Methodist Women from Western PA were among the nearly 7,000 from all over the world gathered in Louisville, KY April 25-27 for Assembly 2014. The event included inspiring worship,music by a diverse all-female band, many workshops, a march in support of a living wage, and a Saturday address by former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, a lifelong United Methodist. UMW Board President Yvette Kim Richards introduced Clinton as “a daughter of The ...

Thanks for Helping Us Imagine No Malaria!

published 4/25/2014
Today on World Malaria Day, Imagine No Malaria moved forward with plans to distribute nearly 400,000 life-saving insecticide-treated bed nets in the Bo District of Sierra Leone on June 5, 2014. Trained volunteers plan to distribute nets door-to-door, as well as educate people how to use and maintain them properly. Such efforts have made a big difference. “We know this ministry is working,” said Bishop Thomas Bickerton, who chairs the United Methodist Global Health Initiative. “In the past ...

Wagner to Lead Congregational Development

published 4/16/2014
Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton has announced that the Rev. Amy Wagner, pastor of Coraopolis United Methodist Church, will be appointed to the Conference staff as Director of Congregational Development, effective July 1.  She’ll step into the post currently held by the Rev. Jim Walker, who will move to Oakland, CA to serve an urban congregation. “We are very excited about Amy Wagner’s appointment to the Congregational Development office.  Amy brings a passionate desire to see congregations thrive in...

Orientation to Ministry Scheduled for June 7

published 4/15/2014
An Orientation to Ministry, sponsored by the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, will be held on Wednesday, June 7, 2014 in Rathburn Hall at Grove City College.   Two tracks are offered:  Track A:  9:30-noon:  The Orientation is a requirement for anyone pursuing licensed or ordained ministry.  However, this initial gathering is open to anyone who would like to learn more about the various types of set-apart ministry that exist within the United Methodist Church.  Information will be ...

Imagine No Malaria Hits 80% of Goal

published 4/14/2014
United Methodists are 80 percent of the way toward reaching their goal of raising $75 million to end deaths from malaria in Africa by 2015, according to an announcement from Imagine No Malaria leaders. In the past year alone, the people of The United Methodist Church have made contributions and pledges of more than $28 million, boosting the total raised to more than $60 million. In the coming weeks, five annual (regional) conferences will launch fundraising efforts, joining 19 other active ...

Bishop, Churches Respond to School Stabbings

published 4/9/2014
Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton called upon all people of faith to be in prayer for the students and families of Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, where 21 students and one adult were stabbed as the school day began. Police said a 16-year-old sophomore was tackled and disarmed by an assistant principal and security guard and taken into custody.  The injured were taken to several area hospitals.  At least four required surgery, among them a member of First United Methodist Church in ...

Camps, Olmsted Invite Clergy for Easter Renewal

published 4/8/2014
Lent and Holy week are times of focus, fasting, preparation, and introspection. On Easter Sunday, our spirits are uplifted as we remember the resurrection and the new life that comes with it. This season brings a sense of renewal for the coming seasons.   This is true for many of us in the pews; however the exhaustion, stress, and anxiety of work that is done in this season leaves many of our clergy feeling drained and run down. Post-Holy week is the perfect time to encourage your Pastor to take...

Mt. Lebanon Missionary Serving with Refugees in Jordan

published 3/24/2014
By Jackie Campbell Grace Killian, a member of Mt. Lebanon UMC who until mid-March was a mission intern in Israel/Palestine, will serve the next few months at a Syrian refugee camp in Mafraq, Jordan. She will work at the Christian Missionary Alliance Church's Ministry to Syrian Refugees at the Zaatari Refugee Camp, about 15km from the Syrian border. Nearly 107,000 refugees are living at the camp. Grace was serving with the Wi'am Palestinian Conflict Resolution Center when her tourist visa ...

Potato Project Feeds Hungry in Franklin Area

published 3/19/2014
About 40 laity and clergy volunteers turned up at Franklin Industrial Park on St. Patrick’s Day morning to unload about 43,000 pounds of potatoes in 50-pound sacks from a tractor-trailer, then pack them into waiting vehicles for delivery to area food pantries, churches and other agenices that feed the hunger.   “Each year, funds are given from churches throughout the Conference for this project.  It is coordinated by the Franklin District,” said District Superintendent George Porter.  “An entire...

North East Lenten Effort Aids Stop Hunger

published 3/12/2014
Instead of a traditional Ash Wednesday service, leaders at Park UMC in North East opted for a brief devotion followed by a few hours spent packing meals for Stop Hunger Now, an international hunger relief organization.  The event drew about 150 volunteers from the church and community and fit in with Park’s efforts to put faith into action.    Photo courtesy Rick King   Past Ash Wednesday evening services would draw 40 people at most, said Pam Whitmore, accountability chair at Park. “In ...

Apportionment Giving Up; Financial Outlook Better

published 3/11/2014
Western Pennsylvania is one of 20 of the 59 annual conferences in the U.S. that paid 100 percent of its general church apportionments in 2013.  The achievement was made possible in part because 615 of our 830 local churches contributed 100 percent or more of what they were asked to fund the Conference apportionment budget. In Western PA, the apportionment receipts were $8.46 million -- 90.3 percent of what was asked.   Last year, United Methodists gave nearly $128.6 million to general church ...

Keystone UM Credit Union Wins National Award

published 3/4/2014
The Keystone United Methodist Federal Credit Union (KUMFCU) recently was presented with the national Dora Maxwell Award for Social Responsibility and Community Service by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).  The award recognizes a credit union for its social responsibility work and charitable projects that support its community. Applicants must first win their state’s award before moving on to the national competition. KUMFCU was recognized for their work with the United Methodist ...

Imagine No Malaria Gift Surprises Bishop

published 3/1/2014
Members of the 2014 Confirmation Class of Grace UM Church in Indiana, PA surprised Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton with a check for $11,500 for Imagine No Malaria during a visit to the United Methodist Center in Cranberry Township at the end of February. The gift came from Indiana Grace's Christmas Eve offerings. It was presented to the Bishop, who leads the denomination's Imagine No Malaria ministry, at the start of an afternoon of Confirmation Class visits to the Center.  "As part of our Advent ...

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