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...

Nicaragua Partners Launch Stove Project

published 11/1/2017
As a joint Western PA-East German Partnership mission team heads to Nicaragua to do a reforestation project, the Western PA - Nicaragua partnership has launced a new project that will ease some conditions that cause deforestation. The Nicaragua partnership will distribute high efficiency  wood-burning cooking stoves in Nicaragua.  The "rocket" stoves use less than half the amount of wood required for an open fire and create less than 10 percent of the smoke.  They are also cool to the touch to ...

Save the Date for Clergy Ethics Training

published 11/1/2017
As part of their covenant with one another and with the church, the Book of Discipline requires that every clergy person participate in ethics training every quadrennium.    To address this ongoing need, a WPAUMC team will offer five regional trainings in January and February of 2018. The team is intentionally made up of a deacon, two local pastors and an elder; each of whom has received thorough training through Faith Trust Institute for facilitating this sort of program. Team members are ...

Pittsburgh Seminary Celebrates UM Connections

published 10/31/2017
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, although it is a Presbyterian institution, President David Esterline told about 50 United Methodist alumni, students and friends gathered at Calvary UMC in Pittsburgh in late October to celebrate the relationship between the seminary and the United Methodist Church. President Esterline, who also serves as a professor of cross-cultural theological education, said he sees the seminary as a place for people learning with one another.  You’re “not properly properly ...

Larry Bridge to Retire as Treasurer

published 10/20/2017
Larry Bridge, who joined the Western PA Conference staff as controller in 2007 and has served as director of administrative services and treasurer since 2014, has announced plans to retire in June 2018.   The Conference Personnel Team has engaged the Shared Services Division of the denomination’s General Council on Finance and Administration as a consultant in the search for Bridge’s replacement.  The goal is to complete the hiring process by April 1 to allow adequate time for transition.   A ...

Men, Women Welcome at UMW Gathering

published 10/18/2017
You don’t have to be a United Methodist Woman to celebrate women in mission at the Conference UMW annual meeting. Men are welcome too!  Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi will be the featured speaker at the gathering from 9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 28 at Faith UMC in Delmont. It will be a day of learning about empowering women, the UMW, and making a difference in our world. In addition to the Bishop’s address, those attending will select a breakout session from the following options: ...

The Schmetterlinge Are Here!

published 10/4/2017
The East German children's choir walked the labyrinth at the United Methodist Center in Cranberry Twp. and offered a few songs on Wednesday, Oct. 4. Click the photo to see an album and hear them sing in two videos. The Schmetterlinge (butterflies), a choral group of about 50 children from the East German Conference of the United Methodist Church, flew into Western Pennsylvania on September 30 to tour and offer concerts at churches in the Pittsburgh, Johnstown, Indiana and Erie areas. The ...

Bishop's Response to Las Vegas Gun Violence

published 10/3/2017
From Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi In times like these, our response must be grounded in prayer. I urge every United Methodist in Western Pennsylvania to commit to pray for the next 59 days for the families who were impacted by this violence.   I am still in a state of disbelief regarding the massacre in Las Vegas.   I have been vascillating between disbelief and feelings of anger, grief, and profound sadness.  I have tried to make sense of a senseless act and that has left me frustrated.  I ...

New Franklin DS: Get Out of the Boat!

published 9/27/2017
“Christianity is not like Steeler Nation,“ the Rev. Jodie Smith told the congregation at her installation as Franklin District Superintendent on Sunday, Sept. 24. “We cannot be fans of Jesus. We have to be followers!   “Jesus wants people who will walk in his footsteps…who will deny themselves and take up their cross and follow him every single day,..especially into the deep waters,” she said in her message, based on Matthew 14:22-33. It tells of Jesus walking on water and Peter following—until ...

Zilhaver Installed as DS

published 9/20/2017
By Jackie Campbell, Communications Director With robust singing and straight talk, the Rev. Robert Zilhaver delivered a message for "A Time Such as This" during his formal installation service as Connellsville District Superintendent on Sunday, Sept. 17 at Christ UM Church in Scottdale. Using the Old Testament book of Esther, which explores racial hatred, the threat of genocide and other evils, Zilhaver drew comparisons with the situation in the United Methodist Church and the United States ...

Zimbabwe: "A Place of Joy"

published 9/19/2017
Zim Camp Memories  “Zimbabwe is a place of pure joy,” said Andrew Gross, 17, of First UMC in Union City, who traveled to the African nation last summer with nine other Western PA Conference youth for 2017 Zim Camp.   “While the people we met may not have physical things such as money and other things, they have something greater. They have a burning passion for the Lord. They have such joy in worship and when they sing they sing with their hearts,” Andrew, a high school senior, explained. “...

Report from the Mission Field: Colombia

published 9/13/2017
By the Rev. Dr. David Stains On August 15 to 23, the Conference Committee on Encounter with Christ conducted another mission to Colombia. The mission went to Brisas del Mar, an extremely rural location toward the Caribbean coast. Our team of six included Dr. David Stains, Magaly Johnson, Marysue Pearce, Jeffrey Wolbert, Karen Cobbett, and Maria Zurcher. We were joined by Rev. Michael Estep of the West Ohio Conference, who gave the benefit of his experience in Colombia and his administrative ...

Orientation to Ministry Set for January 6

published 9/11/2017
An Orientation to Ministry, sponsored by the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, will be held on Saturday, January 6, 2018 from 9:30 a.m. to Noon at Christ United Methodist Church in Franklin.  The Orientation is a requirement for anyone pursuing licensed or ordained ministry, but this initial gathering is open to anyone who would like to learn more about the various types of set-apart ministry within the United Methodist Church.  Information will be presented about the broad range of ...

How to Help in Hurricane Response -- Update!

published 9/8/2017
UPDATED Oct. 9, 2017 As thousands were forced from their homes by heavy rain and flooding from Hurricane Harvey in Southeast Texas and other areas of the Gulf Coast, people throughout the nation looked for ways to help. The Western Pennsylvania Conference office has received numerous questions from churches and individuals looking for ways to respond.  (Download a church bulletin insert/flyer) “Right now, the best ways to help are through prayer, monetary donations to the United Methodist ...

Wanted: Church Historians

published 9/5/2017
 The WPAUMC Commission on Archives and History is looking for church historians and history lovers -- and trying to recruit some new ones. "We want to help connect church historians and those with an interest in church history to others who share their passion," said the Rev. Susan Moudry, a member of the Commission who is completing work toward a PhD in church history from Baylor University.  "We can help educate church historians about their role and ministry and help to provide them with ...

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