Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

published 1/22/2018
As part of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi will join other Pittsburgh area Christian leaders for an Ecumenical Ministerial Eucharist on Thursday, January 25, 2018 at 11 a.m. at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 1700 Bower Hill Road; Pittsburgh, PA 15243.  The Rev. Alina Kanaski, a pastor in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), serves this Lutheran congregation. The United Methodist Council of Bishops is urging all United Methodists to join with other Christians ...

Creating Community in Diverse World

published 1/15/2018
The work of creating a community where diverse people can work together and live in harmony is difficult and messy, but God gave us the ability to do it, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi said during a Martin Luther King Day Unity breakfast at LaRoche College in Pittsburgh’s North Hills. The Genesis 11 story of the Tower of Babel, “teaches us that diversity is from God,” she said. “It also teaches us that diversity makes it hard to get things done!” In the scripture (Gen. 11: 1-9), God intervenes when...

Churches Provide A Home for Christmas

published 1/9/2018
2017 was a tough year for little TJ Anderson and his family. The apparently healthy 5-year-old experienced severe stomach pain last April and was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.  Doctors determined that to survive he would need a full liver transplant and the waiting began. T.J. started kindergarten, but could only attend for one day. He turned 6 in October.     In late November, the Andersons got the call that a liver was available. T.J. and his mother Anna jumped on an Angel Medical ...

Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.

published 1/8/2018
United Methodist leaders and churches will be involved in services and events celebrating the life and ministry of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 14 and 15, 2018. The federal holiday, held on the Monday nearest his birthday, honoring the preacher who in 1964 at age 35 became the youngest man to win the Nobel Peace Prize.  He was selected for his nonviolent leadership of the U.S. civil rights movement. Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi will be the keynote speaker at the 18th annual Martin...

Gottschalk to Lead Ministry in Bahamas

published 12/19/2017
The Rev. Stephanie Gottschalk, the Mission and Volunteers in Mission (VIM) coordinator for the Western Pennsylvania Conference since October, 2013, will begin serving as executive director of Bahamas Methodist Habitat sometime in  January, 2018.    Headquartered in Eleuthera, Bahamas Methodist Habitat hosts U.S. VIM teams and coordinates the VIM and Disaster Response ministries for all of the Bahamas Methodist Church. The independent Methodist denomination has congregations and ministries across...

Disabilities Team Supports McGuire Group Home Plans

published 12/18/2017
Members of the Conference Disability Concerns Committee and other United Methodist clergy and church members in Beaver and Lawrence counties are urging officials in the borough of Koppel to approve plans to build of group homes for  people with disabilities.  McGuire Memorial, a faith-based non-profit headquartered in New Brighton, has proposed building homes offering one-floor living for individuals with mild to severe disabilities in the borough. McGuire's Community Home Program currently has...

A Prayer for the New Year 2018

published 12/17/2017
At the start of each year, members of the Western Pennsylvania-East German Conference Partnership offer a Prayer for the New Year. The prayer is prepared in alternate years by a member of the partnership committee in Western PA or in Germany so that congregations in both areas can unite in prayer on the first Sunday of the year or another Sunday in January.  It may also be used by individuals or groups as the Spirit leads. The 2018 prayer was composed by the Rev. Lutz Bruckner, an East German ...

True Meaning of Christmas Tour Stops in Ebensburg!

published 12/14/2017
Anyone looking for the true meaning of Christmas got a glimpse when a big red tour van pulled up in front of the Cambria County Courthouse in Ebensburg on Dec. 14 offering free hot cocoa, a chance to help neighbors, and an invitation to connect with a faith community. The van, resembling a giant wrapped gift, is visiting 16 states this month as part of The United Methodist Church's “The True Meaning of Christmas Tour”. It will was the centerpiece of the festivities from noon until 3 p.m. in ...

Bishops: Oppose Gambling in Your Community

published 12/1/2017
Pennsylvania’s three United Methodist bishops have signed a letter urging United Methodists who oppose expansion of gambling in their communities to contact their local government officials and request they pass a resolution banning mini-casinos within their borders. The resolutions must be submitted to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board by Dec. 31, 2017.   In late October, both houses of the Pennsylvania legislature passed a bill that significantly expands opportunities for gambling ...

Church Jury Revokes Former Pastor's Credentials

published 11/29/2017
The ministerial credentials of a former Beaver County pastor were revoked on Monday after he pleaded guilty at the start of a church trial to three charges: immorality, committing a crime, and Disobedience to the Order and Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church. The charges stemmed from allegations of missing or misappropriated funds at Chippewa United Methodist Church.   After Rodney Smith entered the guilty plea, a jury of his United Methodist clergy peers heard testimony, with ...

Pastor Publishes Christmas Eve Resource

published 11/29/2017
A retired elder who focuses on using the arts to communicate theology has published a Christmas book entitled “O Night Divine: Celebrating Christmas Eve in Home, Church, and Imagination.” The book by Rev. John Scott of Erie is a collection of original stories, narrative poems, and a song that celebrates the mystery, wonder, awe, and joy of the birth of Christ.   Scott said the collection is “ideal for Christmas worship services,” with some of the stories created specifically for a Christmas ...

Bishop's Message of Hope and Gratitude

published 11/20/2017
In a video message to Western Pennsylvania United Methodists, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi said she is filled with gratitude and hope for the future of The United Methodist Church after discussions of an interim report from the Commission on the Way Forward at the recent Council of Bishops (COB) meeting at Lake Junaluska, NC. “As the result of the dialogue that the members of the Council of Bishops had at our meeting, I am more convinced than ever before in the hope-filled future of the United...

Pittsburgh Churches Celebrate 137th Anniversary

published 11/20/2017
Photos by Rev. Dr. Dianne Glave Warren United Methodist Church, a historically black congregation in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, celebrated its 137th Anniversary with a weeklong series of gatherings held jointly with First United Methodist Church in Shadyside, a predominately white congregation. Pittsburgh Area Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi preached during the concluding Nov. 19 combined worship service at Warren. The combined celebration is an outgrowth of friendships formed among people of ...

Partnership Offers Advent Devotional in English, German

published 11/17/2017
United Methodists in Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Germany have completed their 2017 Advent Devotional in English and German, which can be downloaded and copied.  Advent begins on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017. The partnership, formed in 1988 before the fall of the Berlin Wall, has been producing the Advent devotional annually since the late '90's,  said the Rev. Joe Stains, who co-chaired the Western PA/ East German partnership group for many years. It offers daily devotionals for the beginning of ...

Dress for Hope, Bishop Tells UM Women

published 11/1/2017
  After a year focusing on WPA Chic, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi told Conference United Methodist Women gathered for their annual meeting that it’s time to Dress for Hope! “Unfortunately the feeling of hope is scarce in our culture today,” she said. “We are in the midst of a despair epidemic. It’s an epidemic of pessimism...all the opposites of hope. The good news is that, I believe, women of faith have the antidote to hopelessness! “There’s something about the way that God made women to make us...

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