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 ...

Damaged Scrolls Crisis Turns into Blessing

published 2/21/2014
By Tom Harrison* Of all the misfortunes that could befall a Jewish congregation, the one that recently visited Congregation B'nai Abraham in Butler, PA was especially painful. The Torah scrolls — the Butler synagogue's most cherished and most holy items — got wet. Cantor Michal Gray-Schaffer, the spiritual leader, discovered the damage during shabbat — the sabbath service — on Jan. 10 when she pulled one of five scrolls from the tabernacle to read a passage from Exodus. The fabric covering ...

UMCOR Offers One Great Hour of Sharing Study

published 2/21/2014
One Great Hour of Sharing 2014 from Global Ministries on Vimeo. Connect to the work of UMCOR through a new church-wide Sunday school study for adults, youth, and children. Being Hope, United Methodists in Global Mission is a four-week Bible study that explores the biblical and Wesleyan foundations for our work as a denomination in the areas of disaster relief, global health, and global development, as well as the role we play in our churches’ mission efforts close to home. The study follows ...

Ash Wednesday: Offering Christ Outside the Church

published 2/19/2014
To mark the start of Lent, Rev. Larry Dunn and Lay Leader Carol Diemert of Herminie United Methodist Church took to the streets from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on March 5 offering imposition of ashes to anyone who wanted to receive the Ash Wednesday sign of mortality and repentance. They   were at the corner of Pike St. and Sewickley Ave. in Herminie.  "This gives people the opportunity to begin their Lenten season on the way to work. It also gives us the opportunity to be out in the community sharing...

Mission Barn Ministry Continues to Grow

published 2/19/2014
Eastbrook Mission Barn Director Nelson Thayer reported this week that "despite the snow, we have been making real progress on our ministries." The Mission Barn, which serves as an official UMCOR Depot, has developed a network of satellites to collect kits and donations of relief supplies.    "Volunteers will be glad to hear that we have taken serious steps to complete the indoor bathroom project," Thayer said.  "The old Milking Parlor has been transformed - with glass block windows, new double ...

Volunteers in Mission Training Sessions Scheduled

published 2/18/2014
Rev. Stephanie Gottschalk, Conference Missions/VIM coordinator, has scheduled Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM) training sessions in March and April at 13 locations around Western PA.     The training sessions are open to anyone interested in hands-on mission opportunities and are required for those leading a mission team through the United Methodist Church. Teams with certified leaders are eligible for UMVIM insurance coverage.   UMVIM, which provides everyday people with the opportunity to be ...

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