Conference News

NEJ Bishops Announce Retirements, Coverage

March 29, 2021
The Bishops of the Northeastern Jurisdiction have announced the voluntary retirements of two bishops and plans for coverage of their episcopal areas for the 16 months from the Sept.1, 2021 effective date through the end of 2022.  Bishops Peggy Johnson of the Philadelphia Area and Jeremiah Park of the Harrisburg Area have been granted voluntary retirement and will move to new roles starting Sept. 1 under paragraph 408.2 (b) of The Book of Discipline.  Pittsburgh Area Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi,... read more

UM Human Services Partners to Combat Poverty

March 29, 2021
Throughout the pandemic, United Methodist Human Services of Johnstown has continued its ministry and stepped up to help people navigate getting the services they need for housing and utility security, as well as offering direct financial assistance through their Bridges to Success and Emergency Financial Assistance programs. In 2020, meeting needs during the pandemic required a significant shift for UMHS.  In recent years, UMHS had scaled back its emergency financial assistance program, ... read more

WPAUMC enews - March 24, 2021

March 25, 2021
Call to Prayer and Action: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi issued a pastoral letter this week calling United Methodists to prayer and action to address gun violence and the increasing number of assaults on Asian Americans in the United States. Read her letter A day earlier, the Conference Anti-Racism Team issued a statement urging all Christians to speak up against hate. Learn more General Conference Update: The UM Council of Bishops on Monday canceled its call for a special virtual session of ... read more

A Call to Prayer and Action

March 23, 2021
Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi issued a pastoral letter this morning calling United Methodists to prayer and action to address gun violence and the increasing number of assaults on Asian Americans in the United States. The text of her letter follows: Siblings in Christ,   We all continue to grieve and lament the gun violence in our society.     I pray for the community of Boulder, Colorado that has now lost 10 persons, including a police officer in a supermarket shooting. Ironically, a state judge... read more

Methodists Urged to Speak Against Hate

March 22, 2021
The Western PA Conference Anti-Racism Team is urging United Methodists to speak out against hate, particularly racialized hate.  The Team issued the following statement addressing escalating violence against Asian Americans.  The news tells us a man buys a gun in Atlanta and uses it to kill eight people, six of them Asian American women. The news tells us that the law enforcement officer speaking to the press reported the man with the gun was “having a bad day”.  This comment prompts outrage ... read more

WPAUMC enews - March 17, 2021

March 18, 2021
District Ministry Assistants Appointed: As part of the Shared Ministry Model being piloted in the Indiana District, the Rev. Howard Greenfield will be appointed as the District Ministry Assistant. He will work with DS Jodie Smith, who will serve as Superintendent of both the Franklin and Indiana Districts. She’ll be assisted by DS Bob Zilhaver of the Connellsville District, where the  Rev. Bob Ellson, pastor of Mt. Pleasant UMC, will serve as the District Ministry Assistant. Learn more and see ... read more

Pastor Produces Kids' Lenten Worship Videos

March 11, 2021
As a pastor and mom of two young children, Rev. Kelly Smith had a rare Sunday off in January and wanted to find a way to worship WITH her kids from home, but she found few options.  Rev. Kelly Smith “I know some churches are doing children's sermons during streaming/virtual worship, but it's just not the same,” she said. “Jeremiah (her 5-year-old) has done Zoom Sunday School since September, but that's not worship -- and I want my kids to learn how important worship is in our lives.”... read more

WPAUMC enews - March 10, 2021

March 10, 2021
Hybrid Annual Conference Planned: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi has announced that the 2021 Annual Conference will be held in hybrid form on June 18-19. Clergy session will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, May 3 via Zoom Webinar. The Bishop explained the reasons for the decision in an email to clergy and voting lay members. She also created a video message that can be shared. Read more and see video See Bishop’s email Virtual Prayer Room: Our Virtual Prayer Room will be open Thursday evening and ... read more

Bishop: Annual Conference To Be Hybrid

March 6, 2021
Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi, after consultation with Conference Sessions Chair Alan Morrison and other leaders, has announced that the 2021 Annual Conference will be held in hybrid form on June 18-19. Clergy session will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, May 3 via Zoom Webinar.  “Due to the limitations on the size of gatherings and concerns for the safety of all participants, we’ve made the decision to care for the celebrations of ministry with as many people as we can accommodate in person,” said ... read more

WPAUMC enews - March 3, 2021

March 4, 2021
General Conference Updates: After an announcement last week that the postponed 2020 General Conference session cannot be held until August 29 – September 6, 2022, the Council of Bishops called for a Special Session to convene May 8, 2021 to act on 12 pieces of legislation. Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi explained what it all means in a video. See video and learn more. Read UMNS report on delegates’ reactions Remembering Rev. Junius Dotson: United Methodists across the denomination are mourning the... read more

Saving Grace: A Guide to Financial Wellbeing

March 3, 2021
Local church pastors are invited to join in a six-week online study of Saving Grace: A Guide to Financial Well-Being, a new personal money management curriculum that seeks to promote financial wellness for clergy and laity. The Zoom study, led by the Rev. Jeff Vanderhoff, will run Wednesday evenings from April 14-May 19 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The six-session curriculum is guided by Wesleyan values and speaks to key money management topics—such as saving, earning, giving, spending and debt. ... read more

Bishops Cancel Call for Special Session

February 25, 2021
UPDATED March 22, 2021 The United Methodist Council of Bishops has canceled its call for a special virtual General Conference on May 8.  The bishops made the decision to cancel during a March 22 online meeting that was closed to the public. The bishops also announced that they plan to use their regularly scheduled April meeting to discuss results of listening sessions and discern a possible new timeline. “Much has been learned over the past few weeks and the extended timeline will allow for ... read more

WPAUMC enews - Feb. 24, 2021

February 24, 2021
New Pittsburgh DS Named: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi announced that the Rev. Deborah Ackley-Killian will begin serving as Superintendent of the Pittsburgh District on July 1. Read more See other new appointments Virtual Prayer Room: The Virtual Prayer Room during the 2020 Annual Conference was meaningful for many who visited. Rev. Alyce Weaver Dunn writes about her own experience and a new opportunity this Spring. Read her blog post. Safe Sanctuaries in 60 Seconds: Episode 4 of Chris Kindle’s ... read more

Ackley-Killian To Serve as Pittsburgh Superintendent

February 23, 2021
Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi today named a new member of her Cabinet to lead the Pittsburgh District, where the Rev. Dawn Hand currently serves as Superintendent. Rev. Hand has accepted an appointment in the Baltimore-Washington Conference, effective July 1. The Bishop's announcement follows: It is my great privilege and honor to announce that Rev. Deborah Ackley-Killian will serve as the next  Superintendent of the Pittsburgh District.  Rev. Ackley-Killian will bring to the Pittsburgh District... read more

WPAUMC enews - Feb. 17, 2021

February 18, 2021
New District Leadership Model: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi announced this week that when Indiana District Superintendent Jim Pond retires on June 30, a new shared leadership model will be tested. Rev. Jodie Smith will be appointed Indiana DS in addition to continuing as Franklin DS. Connellsville DS Robert Zilhaver will assist in the Indiana District while continuing in the Connellsville post. Read more Appointment Season is Underway: Some are posted at Need a Break, ... read more

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