Bishop Delivers Historic Gift to Fight Malaria

published 4/22/2015
Bishop Thomas Bickerton and the Rev. Gary Henderson (right) present Dr. Mark Dybul, executive director of the Global Fund, with a gift for $9.6 million, a donation from Imagine No Malaria, an initiative of the people of The United Methodist Church to eliminate malaria deaths. Photo by Jay Mallin, UMNS   See more photos WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton today presented a historic donation from the people of The United Methodist Church to the Global Fund. The gift of $9.6 million ...

Bishops Endorse PA Non-Discrimination Act

published 4/22/2015
Pennsylvania's three United Methodist bishops have called on state lawmakers to pass legislation known as the Pennsylvania Non-Discrimination Act  during the current session. It would extend protections against discrimination guaranteed to most residents in the 60-year-old Human Relations Act to lesbian, bi-sexual, gay and transgender individuals. A joint letter from Bishops Peggy Johnson of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, Jeremiah Park of the Susquehanna Conference and Thomas J. ...

Staff, Cabinet Set Goals to Strengthen Ministry

published 4/12/2015
--By Jackie Campbell-- After nine months of discussion and collaboration in large and small group meetings, Conference leaders and staff  have developed a plan with specific goals and action steps designed to strengthen United Methodist ministry in Western PA. Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton described it as “a short-term strategic plan to get us into a healthier posture.  It includes goal-driven desired outcomes that staff and cabinet will begin to work on.” The Bishop launched the effort, which ...

Build on Strengths to Improve Effectiveness, Bishop Says

published 4/1/2015
Bishop Grant Hagiya of the Greater Northwest Area traveled to Western Pennsylvania March 31 to help Conference staff and district superintendents learn more about leadership based on identified individual strengths and look at ways to build teams of people with different strengths for more effective ministry. Prior to the daylong session with Bishop Hagiya, the Cabinet, staff, and Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton used StrengthFinder 2.0, an assessment tool developed by Gallup, to identify their ...

Conference Supports UMC Ministry Worldwide

published 3/27/2015
Western Pennsylvania is among 25 of 57 annual conferences in the U. S. that paid 100 percent of their apportionments to support United Methodist Church connectional ministry throughout the world.   By Heather Hahn March 26, 2015 | NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) If The United Methodist Church had a “Paid in Full” rubber stamp, it would likely need more ink. That’s because — looking at recent  years at least — a record number of conferences have paid 100 percent of their apportionments, part of an ...

Church Fills Birthday Bags for Kids, Elderly

published 3/25/2015
--By Leslie Uriss Spehar-- No matter how young or old, we all like to be remembered on our birthday. For children, this is especially true. The folks at Janes United Methodist Church in Creighton, PA, are helping to make sure that at least 30 area children have something to celebrate on their special day through their birthday bag outreach program. The ministry works in conjunction with the Allegheny Valley Association of Churches, providing gift bags for children, ages 3 to 12, whose families...

Bishops Urge Support for Death Penalty Moratorium

published 2/24/2015
--By Jackie Campbell-- Pennsylvania’s three United Methodist bishops have commended Gov. Tom Wolf for imposing a moratorium on the death penalty and called on church members to endorse the action by contacting the governor’s office as well as their state senators and legislators.   Gov. Tom Wolf Calling Pennsylvania’s system of capital punishment “error prone, expensive and anything but infallible,” Gov. Wolf said in a memorandum Feb. 13 that the moratorium will remain in effect ...

Imagine No Malaria Gets Superhero Award

published 2/20/2015
Imagine No Malaria, an initiative of The United Methodist Church to prevent and treat malaria, has received a Superhero Award from the Rotarians Action Group on Malaria. The award was given during the recent annual meeting of the Alliance for Malaria Prevention in Geneva. Imagine No Malaria, the only faith-based organization represented among the award recipients, was recognized for its grassroots efforts in reaching rural and hard to reach areas with its prevention methods. Dr. Olusimbo Ige, ...

Just Sharing Fellowship Moving Forward

published 2/18/2015
The Just Sharing Fellowship, a partnership between young women in Bethlehem and Unstoppable young United Methodist Women in Western Pennsylvania, allows participants to exchange stories and get to know others of  their generation who are living in a completely different context. The goal is to empower young female voices to use story-telling as a tool for advocacy and conflict transformation. It was organized after Global Mission Fellow Grace Killian, a member of Mt. Lebanon UMC, spoke via ...

A New Mission u

published 2/17/2015
Big changes are being made for Mission u, a summer event co-sponsored by the Conference and the United Methodist Women that focuses on learning about mission, growing spiritually and doing hands-on mission work. For the 2015 Mission u, the venue will change from Grove City College to California University of Pennsylvania and the programs for adults and children will be offered over a long weekend, beginning Thursday evening, July 9.  (Youth Mission u will begin earlier in the week, on July 7, ...

Pastor Puts Radio Focus on Faith

published 2/16/2015
--By Leslie Uriss Spehar-- Tune into many radio stations and it’s likely you’ll hear some shocking music, ranting, or  racy content. But one local radio personality is dialing down the shock factor and raising spiritual awareness instead. More Jesus jock than shock jock, Rev. Rod Smith of Chippewa United Methodist Church can be found in front of a radio microphone every Wednesday afternoon from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. doing a live talk show on WBVP 1230 AM in Beaver Falls and WMBA 1460 AM in Ambridge...

Morgan to Lead UM Advocacy in PA

published 2/6/2015
Dai Morgan, a Pittsburgh area pastor who serves on the Pennsylvania Council of Churches’ public witness commission, has been selected as coordinator for United Methodist Advocacy in Pennsylvania. Morgan is pastor of Swissvale United Methodist Church, a multi-cultural mission church just outside the City of Pittsburgh.  He also chairs the Commission on Christian Unity of the Western Pennsylvania UM Conference. As the denomination’s Advocacy Coordinator in the state, Morgan will bring together ...

Brooks to Serve As Franklin DS

published 2/4/2015
--By Jackie Campbell--   Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton has selected the Rev. Allan Brooks, lead pastor of Baldwin Community UMC, to become the new superintendent of the Franklin District, effective July 1.  Current District Superintendent George Porter plans to retire from active ministry June 30 after completing a six-year term on the Bishop’s cabinet. A native of Pittsburgh’s South Hills, Brooks grew up in the Baldwin church he now serves. It is where he was “nurtured and challenged” in his ...

Grace Goes Over the Top for Zim Church

published 1/26/2015
Through a generous Christmas Eve "miracle offering", Indiana Grace United Methodist Church took a major step in helping the people of Ringai Church in Zimbabwe put a roof over their heads.   The Rev. David Henderson presented a check for $11,300 to Indiana District Superintendent Jim Pond during Jan. 25 worship services celebrating the hope the donation represents.    Henderson said the estimated cost to roof the Ringai structure is $9,000. He was delighted the collection literally went “over ...

WPAUMC Churches Get Aging in Poverty Grants

published 1/21/2015
Two Western Pennsylvania churches were among 31 churches around the world that were awarded grants totaling $75,000 from the United Methodist Committee on Older Adult Ministries (OAM) to support Aging in Poverty ministry programs. The Aging in Poverty grants seek to address a core issue in the mission of The United Methodist Church concerning worldwide poverty, said William Randolph, director of the Office on Aging and Older Adult Ministries at Discipleship Ministries. “Our focus was to be in ...

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