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 ...

Service, Worship, Events to Honor Dr. King

published 1/6/2015
Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton will speak at a Martin Luther King Day observance at 4 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 18. The annual event, sponsored by the Pittsburgh and Greensburg districts, will be at Monroeville UM Church.   Special music will be provided by the choir from Calvary UMC in McKeesport; the Robert Harper Men’s Chorus from Coraopolis UMC; the bell choir of First UMC in West Newton and the Bethany House Drummers.  The United Methodist Church celebrates Human Relations Day on the Sunday before ...

Parks' New CD Benefits Homestead Ministry

published 12/24/2014
Streets replete with untold stories Buried dreams and hidden glories Some hearts warm and others broken Some prayers voiced and some unspoken   We are joined in our addiction Some to wine and some to fiction Scattered lives in search of center Drawn to depths we rarely enter   The suburbs intersect the street In this haven of commingled souls And nothing ever tastes so sweet As sacred food in simple bowls Poverty and privilege meet On common ground of what’s perceived as true Unlikely saints, we...

More Churches Offer Blue Christmas Services

published 12/17/2014
For those who have suffered the loss of a loved one, a relationship, a job or even good health, the Christmas season can be bittersweet. In United Methodist churches in Western PA and elsewhere, there is a growing attentiveness to the needs of people who are blue at Christmas. Each year, more churches are creating sacred space for people living through dark times. Services referred to as Blue Christmas or Longest Night services are reflective, accepting where people really are, and holding out ...

Teen Launches Hats of Hope Project for Cancer Patients

published 12/12/2014
-By Leslie Spehar- When Joseph Totin couldn’t find a scarf to wear for the first day of hunting season, he decided to try to knit one himself.  A senior at New Castle Junior/Senior High School, the 18-year-old is a self-described do-it-yourselfer. As he was watching instructional videos on YouTube to teach himself to knit, he started thinking about his mother who had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March and was undergoing chemotherapy. It occurred to him that he could knit hats for ...

Pianist Still Strikes a Chord at 100

published 12/8/2014
     Rhea Hornyak was just eight years old when she began playing piano for Bethany United Methodist Church in Portage, PA. That was 92 years ago and she’s still tickling the ivories each week during worship.     Hornyak  turned 100 on November 29.  “I think the secret of a long life is to not worry,” she said. “I made up my mind a long time ago that if I’m going to pray and ask God to help me, then it’s an insult to the Lord to keep worrying. I give it all to the Lord.”     With just one year ...

Bible Study Helps Vets at WVU, Churches

published 12/3/2014
--By Renee Elder-- Entering college after a tour of military duty is a little like stepping into another world. “There’s a feeling of being isolated when you come back,” said Timothy Woody, who spent six years as a member of the Air Force Reserve with tours in the Middle East before starting college at West Virginia University in 2009. “You try to reintegrate, but you have people asking you about military service a lot, so you’re forced to revisit it; sometimes that is something you want to ...

Celebrating Christmas with a Fijian Flair

published 12/3/2014
Christmas worship at Point Marion UMC will be a little different this year. The December 14 service at the church in Fayette County will feature music sung by a Fijian choir in the native Fijian language. The tiny borough, located between Uniontown, PA and Morgantown, WV, had a population of just over 1300 as of the census of 2000, but that number is growing as more and more native Fijians have moved there to work in the shale gas industry.  Many of those immigrants attend worship at Point ...

Credit Union Offers Tips for Holiday Season

published 12/3/2014
Between shopping for presents and wrapping all of them, baking special goodies, planning and attending gatherings, and addressing and mailing Christmas cards, the most wonderful time of the year is also the most stressful time for many of us. Add in reduced daylight hours and plunging temperatures and the combination has the potential to really bring out our inner Scrooge. If Christmastime leaves you feeling more frazzled than festive, Keystone United Methodist Federal Credit Union has some ...

GCFA Continues Sanctions Against East Africa Bishop

published 11/26/2014
The board of The United Methodist Church’s finance agency is taking separate actions against two African bishops over financial and accounting issues. Some relate to issues raised by the Western PA Conference regarding use of $100,000 given to the East Africa Conference.  In one instance, the General Council on Finance and Administration board decided Nov. 21 that the finance agency will withhold funds from East Angola Area Bishop José Quipungo’s episcopal office until he provides “a ...

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