Conference News

Edinboro UMC Launches Speaker Series

September 16, 2014
If you ask 100 people about how faith impacts their lives you will get 100 different answers. We often think that faith only plays a part in our Sunday morning schedules or in how often we say our prayers. But faith is a dynamic force behind so many of the decisions we make and the ways in which we approach obstacles that occur in our lives. With this in mind, the Edinboro United Methodist Church (EUMC) has scheduled a six-part speakers' series to dig deeper into the interaction of faith and…   ... read more

Students Raising Funds for Zimbabwe Clinics

September 8, 2014
By Jackie Campbell Two United Methodist college students from the Pittsburgh area have launched an online campaign to raise $30,000 to help rebuild the rural Nyahuku health clinic in northeastern Zimbabwe. Natalie Geer, a junior at Ohio Wesleyan College, and Jessi Mazzoni, a senior at Allegheny College, said that if they reach their goal, they’ll take the 2014 Pittsburgh Polar Bear Plunge into the frigid waters of the Allegheny River in December. Jessi, a member of Dutilh UMC in Cranberry ... read more

New York Bishop Martin McLee Dies

September 7, 2014
United Methodist Bishop Martin D. McLee, 58, who has served the New York Area since his election to the episcopacy in 2012, died on Saturday, Sept. 6. He had been on leave due to illness since July. Known as a champion of marginalized people, Bishop McLee was superintendent of the Metro Boston Hope District of the New England Conference before being elected a bishop. He was a native of Brooklyn, New York. Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton asked for “thoughtful and earnest prayers for the family of ... read more

Struchen Seminary Scholarship Fund Established

September 5, 2014
Family and friends of a retired Western PA elder, the Rev. Donald Struchen have established the Donald E. Struchen Endowed Scholarship at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. It recognizes Struchen's "outstanding ministry and significant contributions to the church and our world," according to a press release from Garrett-Evangelical.  A graduate of Garrett Biblical Institute (1948), one of the three institutions that formed Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Struchen has been in ... read more

Books Benefit Zim Libraries, Imagine No Malaria

September 2, 2014
By Jackie Campbell Eleven members of The Nyadire Connection (TNC) spent a recent Saturday sorting and boxing about 30,000 children’s books that will be sent to libraries in Zimbabwe. The books were donated or gathered by Western PA United Methodists this summer from their homes, public libraries, school libraries, a bookstore and Brother's Brother Foundation. Joan Bowser of Faith UMC in Delmont coordinated the TNC collection. In addition, to the opportunity to provide books, the collection ... read more

Fire Damages Pittsburgh Hill Top Church

August 29, 2014
“It’s pretty devastating, but God is bigger than any fire,” the Rev. Sue Hutchins told the news media after a three-alarm fire burned through the roof of Hill Top United Methodist Church in Pittsburgh’s Allentown neighborhood.  The blaze, which broke out shortly after 4 p.m., August 28,  “was caused by workers who were using propane torches to repair the roof and gutters,”according to a Pittsburgh Public Safety Department news release.  “The fire caused heavy damage to the roof structure and ... read more

AC2014 Stop Hunger Meals Go To Haiti

August 27, 2014
Stop Hunger Now has reported that 44,600 meals packed by volunteers at the 2014 Western PA Annual Conference have been shipped in a container filled with a total of 285,120 meals from the organization's Philadelphia warehouse to Haiti. "These meals will be distributed through our partners, The YouthBuild Haiti Rebuilding Academy (YHRA). The YouthBuild Haiti Rebuilding Academy (YHRA) is a five-year initiative designed to improve the livelihood prospects of Haitian youth and mobilize young people... read more

Walmart Helps Connellsville Ministries Fight Hunger

August 20, 2014
The Walmart Foundation awarded the Connellsville Area Community Ministries $35,000 to help CACM continue its mission to feed the hungry in Fayette County. The grant, announced recently, was used to purchase a new, larger delivery truck that will be used to transport fresh fruit and vegetables for the people CACM serves. “Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have a mission to fight hunger, especially in the communities where we operate,” said Jack Yard, Connellsville Walmart Store Manager. “... read more

WPAUMC Youth, Adults Join Zimbabweans for Ebenezer Celebration

August 13, 2014
UPDATE: The Western PA contingent of youth, leaders and Zimbabwe Immersion Program participants returned home on Thursday, Aug. 21.   A contingent of about 30 United Methodists from Western PA joined up to 50,000 others for the three-day Ebenezer revival in Harare, Zimbabwe, from August   This year the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area (ZEA) celebrates 117 years of Methodist ministry in the southern Africa nation and the Ebenezer event in the National Sports Stadium drew 15,000 the first day and built to... read more

WPAUMC Group Focused on Peace, Justice in Palestine

August 11, 2014
Eleven Western PA United Methodists who attended the Walking With Palestinian Christians conference at Ginghamsburg UMC in Ohio have committed themselves to working in their churches and the Conference to share the message of the untold suffering of all Arabs, including Christians in Israel and Palestine. The two day conference, co-sponsored by the General Board of Global Ministries and the Ginghamsburg UMC, centered on education and United Methodist relations with the Palestinian Christian ... read more

Young People Call for UMC Unity

July 23, 2014
MANILA, Philippines July 20, 2014/GBOD* – United Methodist young people from around the world have urged leaders of the denomination to “seek solutions that promote our global unity” and not be divided by issues such as homosexuality. The Global Young People's Convocation & Legislative Assembly, attended by more than 300 young people and observers, including four delegates from Western PA, adopted the unity statement the night before ending its quadrennial gathering with a worship service ... read more

Church Reaches Out with Banana Splits

July 16, 2014
On Tuesday evening in Oil City, members of Grace UMC grabbed buckets of ice cream, bananas and toppings and set up 160-feet of banana splits to share with anyone who came by.  It was the second year for the Banana Split Extravaganza, which last year drew about 250. This year not quite as many came, but the Rev. Byron Myers said it was still well worth the effort. “We have been doing these kinds of things for several years because we want to create events that give us a chance to meet the people... read more

WPAUMC Mission Fellows, Youth, Young Adults in Philippines During Typhoon

July 16, 2014
Forty-two young adults from 11 countries, including two from Western PA, were gathered in Tagaytay in the Philippines to get ready for service as Generation Transformation Global Mission Fellows when Typhoon Rammasun, known locally as Glenda hit. The group, along with delegates to the Global Young People's Convention, including for from WPAUMC, initially sheltered in place when the typhoon hit, but damage forced a move to Island Cove near Manila. The event was to open today.  Polly Zilhaver ... read more

Ridgway Flood Cleanup: Unfolded

June 25, 2014
After flash flooding hit Ridgway, Pa., on March 21, Trinity UMC, which was not affected by the flooding, became the center of United Methodist disaster response efforts. Trinity's pastor provided this description of the efforts and an update on the current situation.  By Rev. Roger Peterson The evening of May 21st, as the flood waters of the Clarion River receded, Lance Tucker, pastor of First UMC in DuBois who coordinated the 2013 flood response there, arrived with a trailer full of flood ... read more

Annual Conference 2014 Wrap-Up

June 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 ... read more

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