Conference News

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 wpaumc.org/appointments. Need a Break, ... read more

Bishop Announces Shared District Leadership Model

February 15, 2021
As Indiana District Superintendent Jim Pond prepares to retire, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi announced a new experimental district leadership model. Her announcement follows.           The pandemic has reinforced the importance of our connection, teamwork, innovation, and good stewardship of our resources.  It has further affirmed that in Western Pennsylvania we can manage through change because God has been faithful to us in the midst of changing dynamics as we have had to develop new ways of ... read more

WPAUMC enews - Feb. 10, 2021

February 11, 2021
Coronavirus Vaccines: Jessica Price, M.D., chair of our Abundant Health Team, shares information on COVID-19 vaccines in a new video posted at wpaumc.org/covid-19. Getting in Line for Vaccines: After being advised by UPMC to submit a group application for clergy to receive vaccines when available in Phase 1B, the Conference Benefits Office is gathering names and information from those who choose to be vaccinated. Active WPA clergy, including those not enrolled on the UPMC Health Plan, are ... read more

Whitely-Fields' Book Features Pioneer Black Clergywomen

February 10, 2021
During her 40 years of ministry in Western PA and beyond, the Rev. Dr. Josephine Whitely-Fields noticed a void in the documented history of Black clergywomen in the United Methodist Church. After retiring in 2015, she set out to fill that void. The latest result, released just before the start of Black History Month, is Pioneer Black Clergywomen, a book that shares the stories of nine Black United Methodist clergywomen.  “Black clergywomen are pioneers of the United Methodist Church who ... read more

WPAUMC enews - Feb. 3, 2021

February 4, 2021
Lenten Prayer Initiative: Western PA United Methodists and friends are invited to join together in a spiritual Lenten journey called Cross Sections.  Each Wednesday beginning on Ash Wednesday, February 17,  and every day during Holy Week, a brief video devotion will premiere on the Conference website www.wpaumc.org at 8 a.m. You’re encouraged to watch and pray at that time. If that’s not possible, the video will stay on the website to view later. A print version will also be available. You can ... read more

A Pastoral Letter from Our Bishop

February 3, 2021
Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi sent the following message today to clergy and local church leaders in Western Pennsylvania. The King James Version of Isaiah 53:3 told us that the servant who would come to save would be a man of sorrow who would be acquainted with grief.  If there is any comfort to be had during these times, it is the assurance that my Savior is acquainted with the grief I feel because another member of our annual conference has succumbed to COVID-19.  I know that Jesus weeps with ... read more

Church Issues Personal Care Kit Challenge

February 3, 2021
Since 1989, Global Links has worked to recover surplus medical supplies from hospitals and relied on volunteers to sort and package them to send to areas where they are needed. More recently through partnerships with many "safety-net" organizations in the Pittsburgh region they've also provided basic first-aid and hygiene supplies for homeless people and mobility devices for area residents.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, while their community partners were seeing an increasing need, Global ... read more

Ziegler Named Camping Campaign Coordinator

January 26, 2021
The Rev. Dean D. Ziegler, a retired pastor and former Butler District Superintendent, has been selected to serve as the coordinator of the Deeply Rooted, Upward Reaching (DRUR) campaign to support Western PA Camping and Retreat Ministries.   “Rev. Ziegler brings a lifetime of excellent ministry within the Western Pennsylvania Conference to this new role of Campaign Coordinator. As both a local church pastor and a District Superintendent, Dean developed good connections with clergy and laity ... read more

WPAUMC enews, Jan. 27, 2021

January 25, 2021
Ziegler Takes on New Challenge: Since Rev. Dean Ziegler retired as Butler District Superintendent, he’s remained active, both personally and as a pastor. Now he’s returning to a new Conference leadership role as fundraising coordinator for Western PA Camping and Retreat Ministries. Read more Camping Sunday is this Weekend! Help your congregation celebrate using information and links on this page or visit wpaumc.org/camping Pittsburgh DS Moving to Maryland: Western PA United Methodists will bid ... read more

Pittsburgh DS Moving to New Post

January 25, 2021
Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi today announced that Pittsburgh District Superintendent Dawn M. Hand will return to the Baltimore-Washington Conference to serve as a district superintendent.  "It is with mixed emotions that I share with you that District Superintendent Dawn Hand has been offered and accepted an appointment to the Baltimore Washington Annual Conference, effective July 1, 2021,"  Bishop Moore-Koikoi said. "Rev. Hand has been appointed as the District Superintendent for the Central ... read more

WPAUMC enews, Jan. 20, 2021

January 21, 2021
W.W.W is My Parish! Registration is open for all sessions of the Conference’s new five-week Zoom series on virtual ministry that begins Monday, Jan. 25 at 7p.m. The conversations will be on Monday evenings so church volunteers, as well as clergy or staff involved in or considering new online ministry options, can participate. Special guest for the first session will be the Rev. Jeff St. Clair, who launched a new church in Florida in February 2020 and had to rely primarily on virtual ministry to ... read more

Celebrate Camping, Retreat Ministry!

January 20, 2021
As churches prepare to highlight Camping and Retreat Ministries on the last weekend of January (or another time of their choice), camps unveiled plans for Summer 2021 and Conference leaders got good news on the capital campaign to support these ministries. "As of December 31, 2020, the Deeply Rooted, Upward Reaching camping campaign has received $996,426.24!  As we near the $1 million marker, we celebrate that clergy and laity across the WPA Conference are helping people of all ages hear the ... read more

MLK Day Events, Call to Action

January 15, 2021
Martin Luther King Jr. weekend -- Jan. 16-18, 2021 -- has been a time to celebrate Dr. King’s life and remember how his work in the Civil Rights Movement prepared the foundation for dismantling racism. This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic and other reasons, observances were very different.  In Western Pennsylvania, Rev. Debra Mason, WPAUMC coordinator of diversity development and inclusion, preached during a virtual service that premiered at 4 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 17.  Produced by the ... read more

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