WPAUMC enews --Oct. 24, 2018


Zimbabwe Visitors: Four Lay Leaders from Zimbabwe are in Western PA visiting local churches and sharing their strategies for discipleship, evangelism and small group ministry in an evening “Chabadza Laity Academy” at three locations this week. See a Facebook photo album.

UM Sexual Ethics: A WPAUMC team including the Revs. Kelley Schanely, Susan Moudry, Renee Mikell, and Bob Zilhaver, along with psychologist Dr. Sallie Richards of Franklin First UMC, attended the 2018 Do No Harm Conference presented by the General Commission of the Status and Role of Women (GCSRW) last week. Zilhaver, a member of the GCSRW executive board who also serves on the Interagency Sexual Ethics Task Force, was a presenter and panelist. Held every two years, the event was made more timely by the #Metoo movement and related news. Read more
Find resources and information at umsexualethics.org

Youth/Young Adults

SPARK Early Bird Registration ends Nov. 3! Don’t miss out on this terrific youth weekend event at a discounted price. SPARK will be held Jan. 11-13, 2019 at the Sheraton Station Square in Pittsburgh. For more info and to register, visit wpaumc.org/spark

Operation Dispatch: A new event for youth. November 3 from 10 am-3 pm at Healthy Village Learning Institute in McKeesport. Youth will help out by painting and doing other various jobs. Free lunch! Register at https://wpa-reg.brtapp.com/OperationDispatch

Youth Service Fund Sunday: Nov. 10/11 are the dates to observe Youth Service Fund Sunday/Weekend. Watch for a downloadable bulletin insert. Offerings benefit ministries for and by youth.

Young Adult Holy Land Pilgrimage: Young adult leaders age 18-35 are invited to apply to be part of an August 4-14, 2019 pilgrimage to the Holy Land sponsored by the UMC Young People’s Ministries. One person from each jurisdiction will be selected. The deadline to apply is Nov. 9 and an endorsement form signed by the Bishop or a District Superintendent is required.   Learn more


Early Response Training: Edinboro UMC will host an UMCOR Early Response Team Training on Saturday, Nov. 17. Individuals and groups are welcome to attend. Early Response Team volunteers are not first responders, but go when invited to areas affected by disasters to begin initial clean-up without causing harm before the recovery phase begins. Get details and register

VIM Teams Needed in St. Croix: FEMA is partnering with UMVIM and Lutheran Disaster Response to get teams to St. Croix, where long-term recovery from September, 2017 hurricanes continues. They need team leaders, skilled volunteers and general helpers for teams that would deploy for 15 days on the following dates: Nov. 17-Dec. 1 and Dec. 1-15.  FEMA will pay the airfare and a $50 per diem to cover food, housing, and miscellaneous expenses for all volunteers. Get details

Whitehead at Peace Award Presentation: Tina Whitehead, volunteer missionary from WPA, recently returned to Jerusalem and on October 11 was at the Tent of Nations south of Bethlehem to witness Daoud Nassar and the Nassar Family being presented with the 2017 World Methodist Peace Award.  Bishop Ivan Abrahams of the World Methodist Council presented the Nassar family with this prestigious award. Read more and see photos.

UMC News

The UMC Judicial Council was urged during an oral hearing yesterday to rule on the constitutionality of three plans proposed as legislation for the February 2019 special session of the General Conference. The session was called to determine A Way Forward for the denomination in the midst of disagreement over the role of homosexuals in the life of the church. Read more.
Watch a webcast of the hearings.

Zilhaver Addresses Judicial Council: Late in the yesterday’s Judicial Council proceedings in Switzerland was a hearing on a request from the Council of Bishops for a ruling on administrative procedures related to an involuntary change of status for a clergyperson. Connellsville DS Bob Zilhaver, who has served as an advocate in judicial matters involving clergy, addressed the issues during the hearing. He appears at about 4:31:24 of the Council webcast video.

Eugene Peterson Dies: United Methodists remember the Rev. Eugene Peterson, the scholar and Presbyterian pastor whose paraphrase, The Message, helped millions look at the Bible anew. Read story

Leadership Event Draws Islanders: Young Pacific Islanders with family roots in Tonga, Samoa and Fiji took part in a United Methodist leadership conference in Washington. While there, the group sang at Foundry UMC. Watch video


Pastor Appreciation: One of the best ways people can support their pastors and show them appreciation is to regularly pray for them. But it can be difficult to know what to pray for. UM Communications lists 15 areas of pastors’ lives and ministries where they would value your prayers. Learn more.

All Saints Sunday is coming up on November 4. It provides an opportunity to remember the saints of your congregation. For worship resources and ideas about how to honor them, click here.

Year-End Giving Strategies: Pastors and church leaders are invited to learn seven strategies to encourage year-end giving through a webinar offered by The UM Foundation of Western PA. It’s scheduled for 10-11 a.m., on Thursday, Nov. 8. Register.

Dismantling Racism

Vital Conversations 4: The General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) released the fourth in a series of Vital Conversations video resources, Vital Conversations 4: Race, Culture, the Church, and Human Sexuality, to bring voices of color to the table as the UMC grapples with the concept and consequences of full inclusion. See the resources

Anti-Racism Training: Limited space is still available in the Nov. 1-3 Crossroads anti-racism training hosted by Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Church leaders and members of anti-racism teams are invited to participate at a dramatically-reduced cost of $100 per person including meals and snacks. The program will run from 5:30-9 p.m., Thursday, Nov 1, 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Friday, Nov 2 and 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov 3. To reserve a space, contact urself or another Gary Glasser at Christian Associates at student@casp.org asap.

Upcoming Events

UMW Annual Meeting: Afternoon breakout sessions at Saturday’s UMW Annual meeting at Oakland UMC in Oil City (Dempseytown) will focus on Puerto Rican families living in New Castle, the Ruth M Smith Center, Substance Abuse. Keynote speaker Jessica Tulloch will also be available for conversations. If you haven’t registered for the meeting, you’re still welcome. Contact Diane Miller at 814-498-2308.  See Annual Meeting Brochure.

Opioid Summit: Warren First UMC will host an opioid summit from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., November 3 at the church, 204 Market Street in Warren, PA.  Warren County Sheriff Kenneth Klakamp and District Attorney Robert Greene along with representatives from Sage’s Army, Redstone Addiction Ministry and CORE, a suicide prevention ministry, will be among the speakers. There is no fee to attend this event and lunch is included. Advance registration is required. Sign-up by calling 814-945-6975 or by emailing Office@Kane.ds@wpaumc.org.

Camp Allegheny Night of Joy! Camp Allegheny’s annual dinner fundraiser will have an air of mystery and a retro feel this year. The Dec. 1 event will feature a professional touring theater company offering an original murder mystery show -- A Christmas Comedy Caper of 1958. Tickets are $25. Get details and register.

Messiah Sing-Along Tickets on Sale! Tickets are now on sale for the Dec. 1 and Dec. 9 Handel’s Messiah Sing-Along Concerts at historic Calvary UMC on Pittsburgh’s Northside. It’s the 8th annual concert and tickets sell quickly. Get details.