Churches Respond After Synagogue Massacre

published 10/30/2018
--By Jackie Campbell, Communications Director-- United Methodist churches in Pittsburgh and beyond acted immediately to provide opportunities for their congregants and communities to come together to mourn and honor the 11 people murdered at their city synagogue on Saturday, Oct. 27, to pray for the wounded and emergency responders, and to seek God’s guidance in taking next steps toward healing and reconciliation in the region and nation. Many United Methodists also took part in interfaith ...

Holocaust Survivor in Crossfire at Synagogue

published 10/29/2018
--By Barbara Hilty***-- Eighty-year-old Judah Samet, a long-time congregant and former cantor at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood, was four minutes late arriving for services on Saturday, October 28. He says being late saved his life. The Holocaust survivor said after he drove into a handicapped parking space alongside the building, he heard shots and could see smoke from the gun being fired from inside. As a speaker for the Holocaust Center of ...

Tolerance Not Enough: A Response to Hate

published 10/29/2018
-- By Jackie Campbell, Communications Director-- PITTSBURGH, PA -- There was a visible police presence and a packed sanctuary at Christ United Methodist Church in suburban Bethel Park on Oct. 28 for Tolerance is Not Enough, an afternoon forum featuring a keynote address by an Ohio rabbi who spent years promoting interfaith understanding. Scheduled a few months ago, the relevance and urgency of the forum’s message was underscored when an armed man entered a synagogue in Pittsburgh on Oct. 27,...

Bishop: No Words, Listen to God

published 10/27/2018
PITTSBURGH -- In the wake of a deadly mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue on Saturday, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi said we don't have words to express our our anguish and grief, but  called on all United Methodists to silent, reflective prayer for 17 minutes over seven days for the Pittsburgh Jewish community. "As you pray, I urge you not to suggest to God what you want God to do to bring about change," the Bishop said in a statement.  "But rather, I urge you to listen to God so that God ...

WPAUMC enews --Oct. 24, 2018

published 10/25/2018
Zimbabwe Visitors: Four Lay Leaders from Zimbabwe are in Western PA visiting local churches and sharing their strategies for discipleship, evangelism and small group ministry in an evening “Chabadza Laity Academy” at three locations this week. See a Facebook photo album. UM Sexual Ethics: A WPAUMC team including the Revs. Kelley Schanely, Susan Moudry, Renee Mikell, and Bob Zilhaver, along with psychologist Dr. Sallie Richards of Franklin First UMC, attended the 2018 Do No Harm Conference ...

Making a Difference: World Methodist Peace Award

published 10/23/2018
Tina Whitehead, volunteer missionary from WPA, recently returned to Jerusalem and was present at the Tent of Nations, south of Bethlehem, to witness Daoud Nassar and the Nassar Family being presented with the 2017 World Methodist Peace Award . Tina Whitehead and Daoud Nassar with newly planted lemon tree. On October 11, 2018, Bishop Ivan Abrahams of the World Methodist Council presented the prestigious award to the Nassar family, for their bridge-building efforts through the Tent of Nations ...

WPAUMC enews --Oct. 17, 2018

published 10/18/2018
GC Delegate Elections: At annual conference in June 2019, members will elect delegates to the 2020 General and Jurisdictional conferences. Guidelines and eligibility requirements are listed in a document available at wpaumc.org/conferencesecretary. If you are eligible and nterested in serving as a delegate, fill out the online nomination form on the Conference website before Dec. 31, 208. See form. Alternative Energy at Camp Allegheny: Thanks to the Solar Samaritans ministry based at First UMC ...

Camp Allegheny Adding Solar Power

published 10/13/2018
Thanks to Solar Samaritans of Somerset and some grant funding, Camp Allegheny will begin converting the Heartwood Center to use solar power and rely on more efficient lighting.  "God's creation is an amazing place and it is our responsibility to care for it the best we can," reads an announcement of the projects in the Camp's e-newsletter. That is why we were excited to get a $25,000 grant from the Penelec Sustainable Energy Fund of the Community Foundation of the Alleghenies..." More than 60 ...

WPAUMC enews --Oct. 10, 2018

published 10/11/2018
One Matters: The One Matters Award from UMC Discipleship Ministries was presented to Ebensburg UMC last Sunday.  Although the church just celebrated 175 years of ministry, it continues to grow in average worship attendance and other indicators of a vital congregation. Learn more For Retired Clergy: If you are enrolled in a WPAUMC-sponsored Medicare Plan, you and your spouse are invited to attend an Open Enrollment meeting at the Conference Center at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, October 17. Get ...

Ebensburg UMC Receives One Matters Award

published 10/10/2018
When the Ebensburg United Methodist Church celebrated 175 years of ministry in June 2018, one of the most celebrated highlights was that the current average worship attendance is currently at an all-time high!  That one fact alone announces that this congregation is doing vital and important ministry in the name of Jesus Christ!  In addition to increased worship attendance, there has been a significant increase in recent years in the annual number of baptisms and professions of faith.  Over the...

Rural Advocates Begin Legislative Work

published 10/10/2018
Rev. Sara Wrona, pastor of the Kiski Charge and coordinator of the WPAUMC’s Licensing School, was among more than 35 individuals who participated in the United Methodist Rural Advocates gathering in Minneapolis from Oct. 2-5. During the meeting, the group, all of whom are passionate about small member churches and rural ministries, began working on legislation for the 2020 General Conference.   UMRA is an association of laity and clergy that deals directly with issues related to small membership...

Disaster Response Update -- 10/9/2018

published 10/8/2018
After several areas of southwestern and central Pennsylvania experienced flash flooding in early September and Hurricane Florence made landfall around Wilmington, NC on Friday, Sept. 14, the need for UMCOR cleaning buckets and hygiene kits became urgent.  Invitations came in early October for Early Response Teams from Western PA  (or teams lead by a trained ERT volunteer) to come to both North Carolina and South Carolina to help in Florence clean-up. Pastor Calvin Cook, WPAUMC Disaster Response ...

Franklin District Wraps Up UMCOR Challenge

published 10/5/2018
The results are in from a September challenge to churches in the Franklin District to collect UMCOR Cleaning Buckets, Hygiene Kits and donations for the Eastbrook Mission Barn during September.  The challenge was in response to an urgent request for more cleaning buckets because the Mission Barn had shipped out an estimated 1500 Cleaning/Flood Buckets during late summer/early fall flooding. Those buckets went to at least eight counties in Southwestern and Central PA.  Franklin District ...

WPAUMC enews --Oct. 3 2018

published 10/4/2018
Unity in Christ: This Sunday, Christians throughout the world celebrate World Communion Sunday. At almost any moment in a 24-hour period, members of God’s family somewhere will be sharing in communion. Read more. What’s Your Vision? When the Conference Connectional Leadership Table met for the first time  under a new leadership team and a new Director of Connectional Ministry, the focus was on vision. Learn more Erie-Meadville DS Installation: Last Sunday Edinboro UMC hosted the service ...

Christians Celebrate World Communion Sunday Together

published 10/3/2018
--by Rev. Stephanie Gottschalk *** Sometimes I need to know that communion is not just about me. Communion is always ‘other-focused.’ We can’t commune by ourselves; we commune ‘with’ something or someone else.  We join with others in a common experience, whether it be the same meal, the same actions, the same environment, the same struggle, or the same spirit.  God brings all of those elements together in the Christian sacrament of Holy Communion as we celebrate being Christ’s body and one ...

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