WPAUMC enews --August 22, 2018


Transplant “Engineered by God”: On Aug. 7, Rev. Cyndi Bloise, pastor of Jefferson UMC, donated a kidney to Amy Scott, an active layperson at First Bethel UMC. Both are recovering well. Bloise said she never intended to be an organ donor, but God engineered the whole thing. Read more.

Listening Posts: The first of 20 listening posts to discuss recommendations for A Way Forward for the UMC was held Monday at Somerset Grace UMC with 183 attending. Sessions in other districts continue through Thursday of this week and in the coming weeks. They are open to laity and clergy. Have you registered yet? Use the green button at wpaumc.org/A-Way-Forward.

Chautauqua UM Homes: Did you know that United Methodist Women own and operate two of three United Methodist houses at Chautauqua Institution? Learn more and see photos.

Shine, Jesus, Shine: Evangelists John and Christine Zimmerman will lead an Oct. 19-21 Renewal Weekend at Trinity UMC in Erie. Suzy and Byron Chertik will lead music and the Rev. Chris Kindle speak at the closing session on Sunday morning. Get details and watch video.

Creative Worship:  Do you like to plan worship, lead music, write liturgy, or design altar spaces?  Amy Wagner, WPAUMC Director of Congregational Development & Revitalization, is looking for a team of lay people and clergy to plan worship for several upcoming events. For more information or to indicate interest, email  amy.wagner@wpaumc.org.

Developing Christian Leaders

Leadership in Uncharted Territory: Tod Bolsinger, author of Canoeing the Mountains, will lead a workshop from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, September 21 in Cranberry Twp,  It is jointly sponsored by the Beaver-Butler Presbytery, the Southwestern PA Synod of the ELCA, and the WPA Conference. Learn more and register.

Healthy Leadership Training: The nonprofit Healthy Congregations offers an opportunity  for leaders to work through challenging issues or conflict by thinking in-depth about self, family, and how organizations function. The Healthy Leadership series includes eight one-day seminars that meet monthly from September through May either in-person at the Methodist Theological School in Columbus, OH or online. Learn more.

Leadership Resource Center: The board of directors of the UM Board of Higher Education and Ministry has unanimously approved a new strategy to establish the agency as the resource center for leadership, education and formation to support future and current church leaders. Read press release

UMC News

First Female African Bishop: The first and only female UMC bishop on the African continent has traveled a long and lonely road over the past decade. Bishop Joaquina F. Nhanala is a formidable woman whose colleague bishop call her “Our Queen.” Read more.

GCFA Moves to Cut UMC Budget! The board is recommending substantially cutting the 2021-24 general-church budget in hopes of keeping more funds in U.S. local churches. Read more.

Dismantling Racism

Next Steps in Eradicating Racism: The National Council of Churches will host its Christian Unity Gathering Oct. 15-17 at the College Park Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Hyattsville. The gathering follows the April A.C.T. to End Racism Rally and will focus on identifying next steps to create a world without racism. Learn more and register.

VBS Centered on Native American Teaching: St. John UMC’s Vacation Bible school offers a different experience. The weeklong curriculum is tailored around the traditional teachings of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape and other Native American tribes. Many of the children who attend are tribal members. Read story

New Housing Crisis: In the past 30 years, homeownership rates for almost all groups of Americans have gone up, but for African-Americans, the rate dropped 3 percentage points, to 43 percent. Lower incomes and savings have a lot to do with that, but the legacies of redlining and enforced segregation still reverberate in many cities. Learn more

Local Church Resources

Communications Ministries: UM Communications has renewed its efforts to serve local churches by enhancing services designed just for them. After completing an application and discovery process, churches may be offered services such as: social media support, website development, branding and logo services and more. Learn more.
Have specific questions, e-mail localchurchgrants@umcom.org.

Micro-training: Learn something new in 20 minutes! UM Communications offers “bursts of knowledge” sessions that can be accessed anytime at no cost. Current topics include effectively using Facebook, photos and videos in your church. Learn more and see catalog.

Back to School time offers incredible ministry opportunities —IF you do it right. Here are five important tips for excelling at school outreach.

Upcoming Events

Suicide Prevention Training: Since 1999 the suicide rate in Pennsylvania has increased more than 30 percent, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. At the start of National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, on Tuesday evening, Sept. 4, the Peters Township Public Library will become the first site in the state to host a Question, Persuade, Refer Suicide Prevention Training in partnership with Prevent Suicide PA. It’s free and open to the public. Get details and register
Learn more about suicide prevention at preventsuicidepa.org/

Autism Family Retreat 2018, led by the Rev. Ed Saxman, will be held the weekend of September 28-30 at Jumonville. Registration deadline is  September 21. All ages are welcome. Get details and register at Jumonville.org/event/autism.

Rhythm of a Dream: Sharon First UMC will host a women’s event with Lisa Allen of Proverbs 31 at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4. Proverbs 31 is a non-denominational Christian ministry that seeks to lead women into a personal relationship with Christ, with Proverbs 31:10-31 as a guide. Download flyer
Learn more about Proverbs 31.