Annual Conference 2014 Wrap-Up

published 6/11/2014
By Jackie Campbell Against the backdrop of fishing nets and a dock, Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton and other speakers at the Western PA Annual Conference emphasized the need to be Drawn Deeper beneath surface issues and beyond ourselves to seek and follow God’s will in our lives. In the opening worship, Bishop Bickerton used the story from John 4 of the Samaritan woman at the well to illustrate how Jesus reached out in love across traditional boundaries regardless of the cultural rules. Followers ...

Unstoppable Young Women Organize Summer Retreat

published 6/11/2014
“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” Proverbs 31:25   A group of young United Methodist women have coordinated Unstoppable, a summer retreat to bring women from ninth grade to age 25 together to worship, serve the community, learn about important issues in our world, and to have fun! Unstoppable will be held at Grove City College from 3 p.m. on Thursday, July 10 until 1 p.m. on Sunday, July 13, 2014.   In 2012, the United Methodist Women (UMW) sent ...

Bridge Elected Conference Treasurer

published 6/5/2014
Larry Bridge, a former corporate financial executive who joined the Conference staff as controller in 2007, was elected as Conference Treasurer by members of the 2014 Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference. Bridge has been serving as interim treasurer since Patricia Morris retired in October, 2014. "I am grateful to you for placing this significant trust in me," Bridge told the Conference members. "We will seek as a Conference Center staff to serve you to the best of our abilities so that we ...

South Georgia Bishop King Preaches at AC2014

published 6/4/2014
Bishop James R. King, Jr., episcopal leader of the South Georgia Conference, was guest preacher for the 2014 Western PA Annual Conference June 5-8 at Grove City College.  Bishop King preached at the Friday evening worship service and during the commissioning of new clergy on Saturday.  Bishop King was nurtured in faith at his hometown church, Pleasant Grove UMC in Ashland, Alabama. After answering God’s call to ministry, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree at Clark College and a Master of ...

Allegheny College Offers Discount to Clergy Children

published 5/28/2014
Allegheny College has announced that it will offer a 50 percent discount on tuition to children of clergy under full time appointment, as well as children of retired or deceased full-time elders or deacons. The discount will take effect with the 2015-16 academic year and apply to the class entering that year.   The recently adopted Allegheny College Ministerial Discount Policy:  Applies to unmarried legally dependent children under age 24 of UMC Elders or Deacons in full connection, good ...

Disaster Response Teams Needed in Ridgway

published 5/23/2014
Updated 5/28/2014 Conference Disaster Response coordinators have issued a call for volunteer teams to help muck out, sanitize and and do "triage repair" on about 20 homes in the Ridgway area that were affected by flash flooding last Wednesday, May 21. The Red Cross in the area has been working with homes where utilities have been affected and referred others to Trinity UMC in Ridgway for assessment to determine what response is needed, according to the Conference Disaster Response ...

Youth Clean Up Park Just in Time for Big Event

published 5/22/2014
From Behind the Pew, I’m Here for You was the slogan on the T-shirts worn by youth volunteers from Port Marion UM Church who helped clean up a community park that had been vandalized in time for the Albert Gallatin Regatta, the biggest event of the year in Point Marion. “It’s a big deal here in town,” longtime resident Diane Watson told the Uniontown Herald-Standard newspaper. “From what I understand, it’s the worst vandalism they’ve had down there.” Watson, who chairs the church council on ...

College Honors UM Foundation's Leasure

published 5/14/2014
The Rev. Frederick H. Leasure, who retires this year as executive director of the United Methodist Foundation of Western PA, was awarded a Doctor of Divinity degree by West Virginia Wesleyan College at its commencement May 10.  The degree recognizes Leasure's exceptional life-long contributions and commitment to faith, service, and The United Methodist Church. After graduating from West Virginia Wesleyan and completing post-graduate work at the Theological School of Drew University, Leasure ...

Spotlight on Camping: Jumonville

published 5/14/2014
This week the focus is on Jumonville near Uniontown, PA. At Jumonville everyone is excited about both the classic camps that have been a part of the the place for years, and the events that are new and keeping things fresh.  If you love sports then Elementary Sports Camp with Tim Piper is the place to be. Jumonville's sports events feature a well-rounded camp program with both basic instruction and time to play. Careful attention is paid to age-group abilities and interests. Typical Sports ...

UMW Awards Christian Vocation Scholarships

published 5/14/2014
The Conference United Methodist Women announced three winners of the Scholarship for Christian Vocation given this spring. They are: Michael Airgood, Nicole Crouch and Samantha Penwell. Michael Airgood has returned this week from Ukraine, where he was a General Board of Global Ministries Missionary working with a student ministry in L'viv. . Michael will attend the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary while serving as pastor of Pine Run UMC in Clairton PA. Nicole Crouch graduated from college in ...

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...

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