Clergy Pre-Retirement Event: The biennial Clergy Pre-Retirement seminar will be held on October 24 and 25 at the Pittsburgh North Marriott (Cranberry Twp., PA). It will feature presentations from Wespath and EY advisors, as well as segments on Social Security, healthcare in retirement, financial planning and more. Participants will be able to sign up for one-on-one personal pension projections with Wespath. A tentative schedule will be on the Conference website when registration opens August 15!
Register for Preach! Five clergy from the Florida, North Georgia, South Georgia and Baltimore-Washington Conferences will be in Western Pennsylvania September 24-25 to offer workshops, preaching resources and inspirational messages on contemporary topics during Preach! Learn more.
Bike-a-thon: After a 9 a.m. worship service next Monday, Aug. 13 at Boston UMC, about 10 bicyclists will set off on a 315-mile ride to Washington, D.C. to raise money for camperships. Learn more about Bike-a-Thon.
Women and Power: Church consultant Susan Beaumont suggests that female leaders can undermine themselves when it comes to their use of power. A Leading Ideas article lists five ways this can happen.
Listen to Women and the Dynamics of Power
Allegheny College is the only United Methodist-affiliated school in Western PA. If you know students who will be entering Allegheny this fall, let Chaplain Jane Ellen Nickell know. The College also would love to hear from prospective students. For info on religious life, visit the Spiritual and Religious Life website.
Information on scholarships available to UMC students is available here.
Youth Ministry Team: At a meeting last Saturday, the Conference Youth Ministry Team elected officers for 2018-19. They are Mollie Landman of Herminie and West Newton UMCs, president; Wiley Bozada of McKnight UMC, vice president; Kendra Shoffstall of Somerset Grace UMC, secretary, and Andrew Chung of Greensburg: Otterbein UMC, treasurer.
In the News: The Explore Jefferson County website had a feature story about McKenna Keltz, a board member of the UMC Division on Young People's Ministries, who was one of three from Western PA who were in South Africa recently for the 2018 Global Young People's Convocation Read it and see photos.
Dismantling Barriers: An innovative mission program at The Center in Baltimore gives groups of mission volunteers from across the country the opportunity to not only do good works, but also to immerse themselves in the theology of missions and the social and economic roots of poverty and racism. Read more on Duke Divinity’s Leadership Education website.
Pray for United to Love! “We, as the church of Jesus Christ, must come as one body to appeal to our God to end hate, racism and injustice in America,” say organizers of the prayer effort supporting the United to Love rally on the National Mall in Washington, DC on Aug. 12. Consider joining in “to bombard the heavens with prayer as we join with all people to be united in love.” Learn more about the prayer effort.
Read about United to Love.
Native People Pray for Immigrant Children: A Cheyenne prayer woman and two clergy from the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference traveled to Texas to offer prayers for children housed in Casa Padre, a former WalMart that is the largest shelter in the U.S. for immigrant minors. Learn more
Serving a New Church? The first 30 days of pastoring a church are days of learning, listening, understanding and gaining insights. When those 30 days pass, it’s time to take action. A UMCom.org article explores steps pastors can take to achieve “quick wins” in days 31, 60, 90 and beyond. Making the first 90 days count can lead to many years of fruitful ministry. Learn more.
Need to improve internal church communication? A new online training course can help! UM Communications supports you as you seek better ways to connect with your congregation. You’ll create an internal communications plan, study consistent messaging, learn to maximize interactions with members, effective email and newsletter communications, recruiting and maintaining volunteers, managing change and more. Enroll
Social Media: Are you inspiring people through social media? Learn how by watching the recent Live Q&A: Social Media for Churches webinar!
Back to School Blessings: A new school year can be exciting or scary--or both. Let’s give thanks for the people in our schools. Share this video and back-to-school prayer from Discipleship Ministries with your friends, family, church, and classmates to help prepare hearts and minds for the upcoming year. See video and litany
50 Ways to Welcome New People: This free resource from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership is available to read or download.
Circuit Rider Special: A special edition of Circuit Rider from UM Publishing House features commentaries from a variety of perspectives as the denomination looks toward the special 2019 session of General Conference. See commentaries
Sessions Complaints Dismissed: The formal complaints against U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions filed by fellow United Methodists under church law have been dismissed by a district superintendent, with backing by the Alabama-West Florida Conference bishop. The complaints concerned Sessions’ role in zero-tolerance border enforcement. Read story
Safe Sanctuary Training: Calvary UMC in Pittsburgh offers two opportunities for local church leaders and volunteers to receive Safe Sanctuaries training. Choose to attend on Monday, September 17, from 7-9 p.m. OR Monday, September 24, 10 a.m.-noon in the Patrick Room at the Pittsburgh Presbytery (901 Allegheny Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233). The training is mandatory for anyone who volunteers and interacts with children. Rev. Beth Nelson, will lead a lively class with lots of discussion about keeping kids safe and giving parents peace of mind. RSVP to the Calvary church office (412-231-2007) one week before the session you choose.
NEJ BMCR Meeting: The early bird registration discount ends August 14 for the annual meeting of the Northeastern Jurisdiction Black Methodists for Church Renewal, scheduled Oct. 11-12 at St. Marks UMC in Hanover, MD. Get details