Conference News

Honk if You Love Jesus!

April 8, 2020
--By Barb Hilty-- After three weeks of COVID-19 lockdown, the people of Faith United Methodist Church in Delmont were more than ready to come together to worship God.  On April 5, 2020, church members and friends drove to the church and parked as usual for a Palm Sunday service with a twist.  They remained in their cars as the Rev. Dr. Ronald W. Raptosh conducted the outdoor time of worship and praise.  Hallelujah, indeed! Since March 15, this closely knit family of believers were like so ... read more

Team Offers Easter 2020 Resources

April 3, 2020
“Hope Unlocked,” a package of 2020 Easter worship resources, was developed by a Western PA clergy team working with Jason Moore of Midnight Oil Productions. It grew out of planning for a May workshop which had to be cancelled.  In August of 2019,  Rev. Amy Wagner, Director of Congregational Development and Revitalization for the Conference, and Rev. Doug Dyson, pastor of Sharon First UMC, began working to bring Moore to Western PA to lead a workshop.  Doug, who met Jason years ago at his ... read more

WPAUMC enews, April 1, 2020

April 1, 2020
Feeling Afraid? Not unusual in this time. Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi recommends reading Fear: Not my Favorite Spiritual Companion, a post by Patricia Adams Farmer. Into the Unknown! Susan Moudry can’t get the song from Frozen 2 out of her head -- only partly because that’s where many church leaders find themselves heading these days. Read more in her latest Lessons in Leadership blog post.  Hope Unlocked: Rev. Amy Wagner assembled a small team to work with Midnight Oil Productions on a bundle... read more

WPAUMC enews for March 25, 2020

March 25, 2020
Worldwide Christian Prayer: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi urged United Methodists in Western PA to join with Christians across the globe in praying The Lord’s Prayer on Wednesday at noon local time wherever they were. The invitation was shared widely by church leaders and on Facebook. Read more See Bishop’s video Lessons in Leadership: Adaptability is the focus of Rev. Susan Moudy’s Lessons in Leadership blog post this week. Key takeaway: “You don’t have to keep doing all the things you were ... read more

Zoom Meetings Connect Clergy

March 24, 2020
The Western PA Conference program staff is hosting twice weekly informational Zoom meetings for pastors to provide resources and support during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Zoom meetings are usually on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10-11:15 a.m.  Clergy who are serving in churches receive an email 24-to-48 hours before each session inviting them to register. Registration is limited to 100 to provide a quality experience for all participants. If there is a demand, some sessions may be offered a ... read more

Bishop Addresses Fear, Anxiety

March 19, 2020
In an email message sent to Western PA United Methodist clergy and local church leaders, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi addressed the fear and anxiety affecting so many in our churches and communities in these rapidly changing and trying times.  Here is the text of the Bishop's message: But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.  We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but not ... read more

GC2020 Postponed

March 18, 2020
From Commission on the General Conference FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 23, 2020  Nashville, Tenn.: Subsequent to the announcement by the Executive Committee of the Commission on the General Conference that the 2020 General Conference will be postponed, the full Commission met March 21, 2020 to determine next steps to take in setting a new date. After hearing recommendations from Sara Hotchkiss, Business Manager of the ... read more

Bishops Ask to Postpone GC2020

March 13, 2020
UPDATE:  The Commission on the General Conference, in a March 16 press release said: As concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic continue to escalate, the Commission on the General Conference will meet on March 21 via teleconference to discuss plans for the 2020 General Conference, scheduled for May 5-15, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minn.  According to the United Methodist Book of Discipline, in the absence of a convened General Conference, only the full Commission, as the duly authorized ... read more

WPAUMC enews for March 11, 2020

March 12, 2020
In Such a Time as This: In an email to local church leaders and pastors on Wednesday night, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi offered some guidelines and information to help them address the current coronavirus situation. The letter included a link to an update prepared by Dr. Jessica Price, chair of the Conference’s Abundant Health Team.  Read more. Sources for Coronavirus Information: Keep up with information and advice from the World Health Organization, and the Centers for Disease Control and ... read more

In Such a Time As This

March 11, 2020
A Message from Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi sent the following message to church leaders and pastors regarding the coronavirus on March 11, 2020.  PSALM 46 God is our refuge and strength,     a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,     though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam,     though the mountains tremble with its tumult.   There is a river whose streams make glad the ... read more

Foundation Offers Laity Academy

March 9, 2020
The United Methodist Foundation’s first Laity Academy class includes, from left, front row: Mary Blackford, Johnstown District; Beth Miller, Butler Dist.; Phyllis Rager, Johnstown District; Karen Martin, Connellsville District; Erica Rushing, Erie-Meadville District and Peggy Senior, Indiana District.  Back row, from left: Pam Honeychurch, Pittsburgh District; Al Getty, Greensburg District; Shaun Panek, Kane District; Rick Thomas, Washington District; Ted Curran, Franklin District, Ed Kennedy, ... read more

Relationships Key to Ministry With the Poor

March 6, 2020
WPAUMC Mission Engagement Coordinator Sandra Matoushaya was one of the participants in “Rooted in Relationship", a three-day gathering hosted by the General Board of Church and Society for experts in relationship-based justice ministries that address the root causes of poverty. The event grew out of Church and Society’s learning and conversations about relation-based anti-poverty ministries over the past quadrennium. Rooted in Relationship allowed ministry leaders to foster connections for ... read more

WPAUMC enews for March 4, 2020

March 5, 2020
Don't Miss Church on Sunday! Daylight Savings Time starts at 2 a.m. on Sunday March 8. Be sure to turn your clocks ahead. Don’t Miss Rev. Amy Valdez Barker! You have less than a day to register for the March 11 workshop on building trust led by the UM Global Ministries executive and author of Trust By Design: The Beautiful Behaviors of an Effective Church Culture.  It’s at Christ UMC in Franklin. You can also hear her deliver the Albright Deering Lecture at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary the ... read more

Help UMCOR Respond in Tennessee

March 4, 2020
Soon after tornadoes and hailstorms devastated several communities in Nashville and other parts of Middle Tennessee during the early morning hours of March 3, United Methodists were praying and working together to help those affected. "I am thankful that through our United Methodist Connection, before daylight, our people were connecting and mobilizing to respond to the disaster," said Bishop Bill McAlilly of the Tennessee Conference. "As we continue to assess damages to churches, homes and ... read more

Worship in Virus/Flu Season

March 3, 2020
UPDATED - 3/16/20 On March 15, the Center for Disease Control recommended that for the next 8 weeks, throughout the U.S., organizers cancel or postpone in-person events that involve 50 people or more. Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi will issue a statement on hope-filled ways United Methodists can offer ministry during this season. Updated CDC info on Mass Gatherings is at…/… With the number of Coronavirus 2019 (COVID19) cases increasing ... read more

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