WPAUMC enews --August 15, 2018


Bike-a-Thon Underway! WPAUMC’s team of bicyclists made it from Cumberland to Hancock, Maryland on Wednesday, the third day of their 315-mile ride from the McKeesport area to Washington, DC, to raise money for camping scholarships. You can support them. Learn more and see photos
See Chris Kindle's daily video updates at Facebook.com/wpaumc/

Pre-Retirement Seminar: Registration is now open for the 2018 Clergy Pre-Retirement Seminar, held every two years for those looking toward retirement in the next few years. The event is scheduled for Oct. 24-25 at the Pittsburgh Marriott North in Cranberry Twp. Get details and register.

Way Forward Listening Posts: The first WPAUMC listening posts to learn more about and discuss the report of the Commission on A Way Forward are scheduled next week. Read the report and register for a listening post in your area at wpaumc.org/A-Way-Forward.

Deaths: Memorial services have been scheduled for two Conference clergy members who passed away recently.  Funeral services were held in the past week for two others. See obituaries

UMW News: The Fall newsletter of the Conference United Methodist Women is available now on the UMW page of the WPAUMC website. See what’s happening.

Developing Christian Leaders

Lay Servant Classes Online: Conference Evangelists John and Christine Zimmerman will teach online Lay Servant classes Sept. 17-28 through BeADisciple.com. Christine will teach
Devotional Life in the Wesleyan Tradition.
John’s September class is Leading Public Prayer.

Healthy Leadership: Moving into a new season of ministry as a District Superintendent, Eric Park has been reading, thinking and praying about leadership in the church. Some things about healthy leadership have become clear to him and he shares them in a blog post.

UMC News

Judicial Council Hearings: The UMC Judicial Council will hold three oral hearings the first day of its Oct. 23-26 meeting in Zurich. One is on a request by the Council of Bishops for the court to rule on whether the proposed legislation for the One Church, Connectional Conference and Traditional plans for the 2019 special General Conference is constitutional. Read more.

Update on UM Men: The Commission on United Methodist Men is focusing on ways to expand ministries to men, Scouting and other youth-serving agencies. Read story

Deaf Ministry Update: At the recent annual meeting of the UMC Deaf and Hard of Hearing Ministries Committee, participants learned about a shift in how deaf ministry is done and experienced training in ZOOM, an online video  conference platform the committee believes can provide tutoring in American Sign Language (ASL) to churches that are interested in or wish to learn more about beginning a Deaf ministry. Learn more.

UMC Bridges Gap in Marange: During the rainy season in the Marange District, high water often prevented students from attending United Methodist Marange High School. To solve the problem, The United Methodist Church in Zimbabwe commissioned a new bridge, which also links the school to the local community and businesses. Read story


A Lesson from Mr. Rogers: When we look for what’s best in others, “We’re doing what God does.” The Rev. Joe Iovino of UM Communications writes about the special way Western PA native Fred Rogers modeled love and acceptance of others on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” Read story

Where is God in This? In thinking about a Pennsylvania grand jury report released this week detailing sexual abuse of children in Roman Catholic dioceses across Pennsylvania, Butler District Supt. Eric Park offers a lament. Read When the Church Abuses: A Lament.

Dismantling Racism

UM Counterprotest Draws 1500: When Bishop LaTrelle Easterling of the Baltimore-Washington Conference heard there might be a white supremacy rally in her area, she issued a call to prayer and action. The resulting United to Love Rally brought close to 1,500 people to the National Mall for four hours of worship and witness. Read story

Resources and Ideas

How Do New People See Your Church? It's hard to see your church from a visitor’s perspective, so the Lewis Center for Church Leadership asked people in several states to attend nearby churches and share what they experienced. See some of their key findings.

Parenting Grandchildren: In many communities, grandparents find themselves raising their grandchildren. An Ohio church has partnered with the local school district to provide help and support. Read more

7 Ways to Improve Data Security: One area that most nonprofits, especially churches, struggle with is data security. Given that personal and financial information is at stake, it is something to take seriously. The Information Technology experts at the UMC General Council on Finance and Administration GCFA have put together a Data Security resource as a place for churches to start. Download this free resource.

Upcoming Event

Parkview Open House: On Sept. 5, Parkview Towers, operated by United Methodist Church Union, will celebrate 50 years of providing affordable housing for seniors in the greater Pittsburgh area. Events scheduled throughout the afternoon at the high-rise building in Munhall include tours and an open house. See press release.