WPAUMC enews --Sept. 19, 2018


Pittsburgh DS Installed: Clergy and laity from Western PA, Washington, DC area and North Carolina gathered at St. Paul’s UMC in Allison Park Saturday for the installation of Rev. Dawn Hand as superintendent of the Pittsburgh District. The focus was on being one in Christ and building bridges between the church and those who are isolated for whatever reason. See the photo album

Wesley Heritage Tour: A limited number of spaces are available for individuals to join the April 7-16, 2018 tour of John Wesley’s England with Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi and members of the 2019 ordination class. Get brochure.

#SeeAllthePeople: The deadline to sign up for the discounted rate for one of the two See All the People events with Jorge Acevedo has been extended to Sept. 24. Get details and register now for the Sept. 28 event at Glenwood UMC in Erie
Get details and register for Sept.29 event at Crossroads UMC's North Fayette campus.

Sexuality and the Church Study: The second session of the Living Faithfully book study with Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi and Rev. Keith McIlwain was held Tuesday night at Slippery Rock UMC. Learn more and listen to podcasts of Session 1 and 2.

Domestic Violence, Sexual Harassment

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The General Board of Church and Society has created a study to help congregations reflect on what the Bible and The United Methodist Church have to say about domestic violence. Learn more and download study 

Preaching on Abuse in #MeToo Age: Religion News Service reports on a survey by LifeWay Research that offers a detailed look at Protestant pastors' attitudes and actions related to abuse and harassment. Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi is quoted in the story. Read article
#MeToo in the Church: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi was part of a panel of women who shared their perspectives and experience related to the #MeToo movement and sexual harassment in the church last week at the Religion News Association's annual meeting.  See video

Amending Through Faith: Gil Hanke, the  General Commission on United Methodist Men General Secretary was recognized by the YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee as community leader of the year for his work with UMM's Amending Through Faith program, an eight-week group series for the faith community that explores how men and women are harmed by a culture that supports violence against women. Get details on Amending Through Faith

Leadership Development

Chaplain Creates Crisis Intervention Training Program: Capt. Gretchen Hulse, a 171st Air Refueling Wing Chaplain and a WPAUMC elder, recently became the first female chaplain to complete the Leadership Development Institute in Pittsburgh. As part of the program she developed a crisis intervention and suicide prevention training program to help fill a gap in training and better prepare chaplains for real-life situations. Read more.

Connect with Relevant Preaching: “Preachers connect with people in the pews better when they realize they are in the pulpit, not the classroom, and strive for messages that are less academic and more relevant to everyday life,” says Charley Reeb, author of two books on preaching and one of the keynote speakers at WPAUMC’s “Preach” event Sept. 24-25. Read more

Ministry With the Poor

Poverty Team Grants: The Conference Poverty Team has a new form for local churches and agencies to apply for funding for projects and ministries with the poor. Get more information at wpaumc.org/povertyteam.
Download the application form.

Hardest Thing I've Ever Done: Mary Ellen Kris, who leads the denomination's Ministry with the Poor and was a speaker at WPAUMC's Poverty Summit last spring, said the six days she spent at an ICE detention center was heartbreaking and challenging. A  UM deaconess and lawyer, she provided limited legal representation to women preparing to present an initial claim for asylum. “It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” she writes in a commentary.

Disaster Response

Urgent Need for Cleaning Buckets! In Western PA last week an estimated 1500 Cleaning (Flood) Buckets were distributed by Eastbrook Mission Barn in eight southwestern and central Pennsylvania counties. Since then Hurricane Florence made landfall and moved through the Carolinas, where many rivers were yet to crest today. Get an update on Disaster Response needs and how you can help.

Donate to UMCOR: Donations to the United Methodist Committee on Relief are often the best way to help those affected by flooding and other natural disasters. One hundred percent of your donations go to those in need. Contribute through your local church or at UMCOR.org.

Being Church Amidst Disaster: When Hurricane Florence’s approach forced the people of Trinity UMC in Southport, NC to evacuate, the pastor and church leaders found a creative way for them to stay in touch and experience worship together despite being scattered across several states. See video.


Missionary to Visit WPA: Lourdes Ramirez, GBGM missionary from Nicaragua and Guatemala, will visit our conference October 7 - 15.  She’ll share information about what the Methodist church is doing in Nicaragua and Guatemala, as well discuss the refugee crisis in Costa Rica, where many Nicaraguans have fled to escape the violence at home. To meet with her or invite her to your church, contact either Richard Schall at rschall.mschall@gmail.com or Rich Mroczka at richmroczka@gmail.com. See Missionary Profile

Mission Support Grants: Applications for 2019 Mission Support Grants are due Oct. 15. Find and download the form, along with the 2018 evaluation form, here.

Youth and Young Adult Ministry

SPARK 2019 registration opens Monday, Sept. 24th! Bring your youth in 6th-12 grades for our conference youth retreat! It’s Jan. 11-13, 2019 at Sheraton Station Square. Early bird registration runs until Nov. 2. Check it out at wpaumc.org/spark

Confirmation Tours 2019: Dates and locations have been set for Commit 2019 (aka - the confirmation tours). They are: Friday, March 8 at Wesley Woods; Friday, March 15 at Jumonville; Friday, March 22 at Camp Allegheny; and Friday and Saturday, March 29 and 30 at the Conference Center.  Registration will open later this year.

Young Adults Work at Mission Barn: Check out photos from the recent Young Adult Work Day at the Eastbrook Mission Barn.

Dismantling Racism

Raising Concerns: A diverse group of United Methodists, including about 60 clergy, gathered at Dallas police headquarters today to raise concerns about the handling of a white police officer’s fatal shooting of a young black man in his apartment.Read story


Showing Movies at Church? At the Conference office, we sometimes get questions about whether it’s legal to show movies at church. One article we found seems to give a good explanation of what can be done and what can’t. Read it

4 Ways to Involve Young People in Stewardship: “If the only way your church takes donations is through cash or checks, you’re not going to get young people to give,” writes Ian Urriola, director of discipleship at Dulin UMC in Virginia and a writer for UMC Young People’s Ministries. Read more in Leading Ideas.

World Communion Sunday: Some brand new videos have been added to the resources for World Communion Sunday on UMCGiving.org. See what’s there to promote this churchwide Special Sunday.

Resource UMC: If you don’t already, you may want to follow ResourceUMC on Facebook (or #ResourceUMC on Twitter). ResourceUMC connects churches and their leaders with inspirational and informational content, resources and products tailored to their needs. Visit facebook.com/ResourceUMC/

UMC Pensions and Benefits

Follow Wespath! The denomination’s Wespath Benefits and Investments has a new Facebook page to provide greater access to information about its plans and programs. Check it out at facebook.com/Wespath.

Pensions and GC2019: Wespath has been caring for those who serve since 1908—sixty years before this church was “United,” writes Barbara Boigegrain, general secretary of Wespath Benefits and Investments. “We intend to continue caring for those who serve for generations to come...Read more.

Classifieds: The Conference Finance Department is seeking an accounts receivable administrative assistant and churches have advertised for some staff positions. Visit wpaumc.org/classifieds.