Conference News

Mini-Ebenezers Celebrate Partnership

March 2, 2016
--By Sandra Matoushaya, Zimbabwe Partnership Coordinator-- This year marks the 6-year anniversary of the Chabadza Partnership between the Western Pennsylvania Conference (WPAUMC) and the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area (ZEA). Chabadza is a Shona word that describes a community spirit of helping someone you know who is already at work. The partnership was formed around the denomination's Four Areas of Focus and includes district-to-district relationships focused on creating new places for new people, ... read more

Glave Authors Guide to Discuss Realities of Race

February 17, 2016
The Rev. Dr. Dianne Glave, coordinator of diversity development in the Western Pennsylvania Conference, has authored a guide to small group discussions on the realities of race and racism for the United Methodist Church's General Commission on Religion and Race(GCORR). The guide is a companion piece to GCORR's video series. The Vital Conversations series features contemporary theologians, sociologists, laity, clergy, and other thought-leaders dealing with challenges of race, culture, and ... read more

Killian To Join in East German Refugee Outreach

February 17, 2016
--By Jackie Campbell-- When Grace Killian came home to Pittsburgh last Fall after two year’s service as a Global Mission Fellow in Israel/Palestine, she learned that her church’s partner congregation and others in Germany were reaching out to help refugees in their communities.  Now Grace is going to work with them. Meet Grace Killian in this UMW video   Mt. Lebanon UM Church, Grace’s home church, is linked with the Zwickau UMC and is part of the Western PA-East German Partnership, set up ... read more

Call to Prayer and Fasting on Feb. 15

February 11, 2016
Western Pennsylvania United Methodists are called to a Day of Prayer and Fasting for Christian Martyrs on Feb. 15, 2016 in memory of 21 Egyptian Christian martyrs who were murdered in Libya by those claiming to be members of the Islamic State (ISIS) a year ago.    Members of the 2015 Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference approved a petition (P808) calling for the Day of Prayer and Fasting on the  first anniversary of the day a video was released of the 21 Coptic Orthodox Christians being ... read more

Clergy Event to Focus on Resurrection of Ministry

January 27, 2016
Seminary professor and author Dr. Andrew Purves has some advice for clergy trying to do it all: Move aside. Let go of the idea that it’s YOUR ministry. Let Jesus take control and share in God’s ministry.   Rev. Dr. Andrew Purves “Conceiving ministry as our ministry is the root problem that ails us in ministry today,” said Purves, the Jean and Nancy Davis Professor Emeritus of Historical Theology at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. “Rather, ministry should be understood as a sharing in the ... read more

UMW Gifts Enable Ministry, Mission

January 27, 2016
United Methodist Women believe in mission, educate about mission, volunteer in mission and give to mission.  They focus on ministries to women, children and youth, those with the most need and least power in our world. The Western Pennsylvania Conference United Methodist Women this week named 2016 Elizabeth Bradley grant recipients and released its 2015 giving totals. In 2015, the Conference United Methodist Women gave more than $165,000 to the national UMW organization for ministry and mission... read more

WPAUMC Aids German Ministry with Refugees

January 27, 2016
UPDATE: Western Pennsylvania United Methodists contributed more than $15,000 to a special appeal by the WPAUMC-East German Partnership Committee to assist congregations in Eastern Germany who are helping refugees. "The gifts will help our churches there conduct cultural, language and work programs to assist the refugees, who are from many places in the Middle East," said Mary Garber of Mt. Lebanon UMC, co-chair of the WPAUMC Partnership committee. Garber said she will travel to her congregation... read more

Orientation to Ministry Set for Feb. 20

January 20, 2016
An Orientation to Ministry session has been scheduled for Saturday, February 20 at Trinity UMC in Brackenridge from 9:30 a.m. – noon.    Sponsored by the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, the Orientation is a requirement under the 2012 Book of Discipline 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.  Representatives... read more

MLK Day: A Call to Action

January 13, 2016
Martin Luther King Jr. weekend -- Jan. 16-18, 2016 -- is a time to celebrate Dr. King’s life and remember how his work in the Civil Rights Movement prepared the foundation for dismantling racism. Lanecia Rouse Tinsley Around Western Pennsylvania, United Methodists celebrate through participation in community events or doing volunteer service. On Sunday, Jan. 17, the Pittsburgh and Greensburg Districts have scheduled a 4 p.m. celebration of Dr. King's life and ministry at Monroeville UM ... read more

Study to Focus on Religions in Monroeville

January 13, 2016
The area in and around the Pittsburgh suburb of Monroeville is distinguished by the wide variety of religious traditions found there. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs are among those with vibrant faith communities. To help increase understanding among neighbors, Monroeville United Methodist Church (MUM) will offer a Monday evening study about the various religions represented in the area. Pastor Ed Schoeneck of MUM and Dr. Dave Morse, retired pastor and adjunct faculty member... read more

UMC Worship Band Member on American Idol

January 13, 2016
--By Leslie Uriss Spehar-- UPDATED!  Some people are born with a lot of God-given talent, and Isaac Cole is one of them. The 15-year-old from Emlenton, PA, sings and plays guitar, violin, banjo, and mandolin. He’s been taking the stage in churches and other venues for years, but he performed for a much larger audience when he made his television debut Jan. 13 auditioning for American Idol and got a "Golden Ticket" to Hollywood. Isaac Cole McNany, who goes by Isaac Cole professionally, got his ... read more

Confirmation Classes To Visit UM Center

January 4, 2016
Registration is open for 2016 Confirmation Class visits to the United Methodist Center. During the visits students in Confirmation classes have a chance to meet and talk with Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton and Conference staff members and explore the many ways United Methodists can make a difference in the world through our connectional ministries. The theme for the 2016 visits is Building the Kingdom, based on Ephesians 2: God is building a home. He's using us what he is building. He’s ... read more

Join in Prayer for General Conference

January 3, 2016
On Tuesday, January 19, United Methodists in the Western Pennsylvania Conference will take their turn in a 131-day prayer vigil for the denomination's 2016  General Conference  (#UMCGC), which meets May 10-20, 2016 in Portland, Oregon.    The quadrennial legislative gathering, which sets policy for the denomination, begins on the 131st day of 2016 and there are 131 annual (regional) conferences in the UMC. The Council of Bishops invited each of the annual conferences to host a 24-hour prayer ... read more

Christmas Event Celebrates Church-Community Partnerships

December 24, 2015
--By Sara Richardson-- A  Christmas dinner at Erie’s San Juan United Methodist Church celebrated business and community partnerships that led to the renovation of the kitchen and fellowship hall used for daily free lunches and neighborhood events. The dinner and ribbon-cutting on Dec. 19 was open to all.  GE Transportation’s GE Outreach and Bay City Mill Works provided manpower and material for major renovations to the space, where San Juan and Erie City Mission provide meals to about 150 ... read more

Foundation Board Gets New Chair

December 16, 2015
As the new chairman of the board of the United Methodist Foundation of Western Pennsylvania, Richard K. (Dick) Thomas said he is proud of the many things the Foundation does well, but he wants to make individuals and local churches more aware of the services available to them.   “What isn’t broken, we won’t fix,” Thomas said, describing some of the strong points this way: We are independent and have a reputation for integrity. Through Foundation accounts, the financial resources of Western PA ... read more

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