Confirmation Class Events: Registration will open at 9 a.m., January 15 for church leaders who want to bring their Confirmation Classes to one of our 2019 Commit events. Get details at wpaumc.org/Confirmation2019 .
Olmsted Director Retiring: Jody Larson has announced that he will retire as Executive Director of Olmsted Manor this summer after 40 years of service to the retreat center. He served for 21 years as property and facilities manager and has been executive director for 19 years. Jody informed the board of his decision last year and a search for his successor is underway. Get details at wpaumc.org/classifieds.
Learn more about Olmsted Manor
Prayer Initiative Sessions Underway: Laity and clergy who feel called to prayer are invited to be part of a special Conference-wide prayer initiative which began this month and will continue until the 2019 Western PA annual conference session in June. Saegertown UMC and St. Mary’s hosted sessions for their region this week. Get details and see locations.
Prayers Needed! Two children who were baptized and attended preschool at Calvary UMC in Uniontown died in an early morning fire at their home Tuesday. Ryleigh Weasenforth, 7, and her brother Gunner, 5, were trapped in their first-floor bedroom by the fire. Rev. Bev Roscoe, senior pastor of Calvary, requested prayers for the family and all others in the community who have been affected. She’ll conduct the funeral service on Saturday morning .
Read Herald-Standard news story
See WPXI interview with Pastor
Deaths: A memorial service is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 10 for Lois Rippin, the wife of the Rev. Ken Rippin. See obituary.
Licensing School/CLM Training: The application/registration form for the 2019 Spring Commuter Licensing School and CLM training, set to begin with a retreat Thursday, Feb. 28-March 2 at Manorville UMC, is now available. For details, download the form
Statistical Reports: Year-end statistical reports (Ezra) are due by the end of January. John Wilson, Conference Statistician, sent a detailed email to senior pastors in December. If you have questions, contact him at email@example.com.
Help Us Connect with Your Church! If the church email listed on your church dashboard belongs to a pastor or other church leader, please create a separate church email, then update the dashboard to reflect the change. Free email is available through Google (gmail) and other providers. A separate email address will make communication easier especially if there are pastoral or leadership changes. To see what email is listed for your church, put your church name in the search box at wpaumc.org/churches
Leadership Connections: If your church leaders have changed with the New Year, update your church dashboard to reflect the change(s). Include contact information for the leaders, especially email addresses. wpaumc.org/dashboard
Clearances: If you're a pastor and haven’t already done so, send copies of your current clearances (PA Criminal History report from the PA State Police, Certification from the PA Department of Human Services, and Federal Criminal History report from the FBI) to your District Office asap. Details on clearances are at wpaumc.org/safesanctuaries.
Special Sundays: The dates for Conference and Churchwide Special Sundays (weekends) with offerings have been updated for 2019 on the Conference website. Find them at wpaumc.org/SpecialSundays
Next Chapter for Your Church: Leading a congregation into the future requires understanding its story -- and helping it envision what new chapters might come next, says Graham Standish, executive director of Samaritan Counseling Center in Sewickley in an article for Duke Divinity’s Faith and Leadership. Read more.
Developing Next Gen Leaders: Marv Nelson says church leaders are often too quick to dismiss the potential of next generation leaders. He lists four keys to developing younger leaders. Learn more
Avoid Clergy Burnout: If you feel like you’re up against a wall, Rev. Dr. Steve Wende offers five questions to ask yourself.
UMC 2019 Scholarship Applications Available: The online application for Fall 2019 scholarships through the UMC General Board of Higher Education and Ministry is now available. Get details at gbhem.org/loans-and-scholarships/scholarships
Churches Respond During Government Shutdown: As the partial U.S. government shutdown continues into its third week, the impact is being felt in people's pocketbooks. Do some need help in your community? Churches in the Baltimore-Washington Conference are responding to federal employees and other people hurting because of the shutdown. Read story
MLK Day Gathering in Johnstown: Grove Ave. UMC will host the 34th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration of Peace and Unity in the Community sponsored by the NAACP Johnstown Branch. All are welcome on Monday, Jan. 21 at 4 p.m. for the program and the 6 p.m. reception. Keynote speaker will be Chris Moore of KDKA Radio in Pittsburgh. Get details
How Will You Observe MLK Weekend? If your church will have an event, attend something as a group or do service project, let us know about it. Email details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ride with the King! Open Doors Pittsburgh will co-sponsor Ride with the King: A Black History Tour on Saturday, Jan. 19 from 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Tour locations include three historic black churches in the city and the August Wilson Center. Get details.
We Have to Talk! Soon after the shootings at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, 150 clergy and faith community leaders representing six world religions, four Jewish and 22 Christian denominations gathered at the Jewish Community Center of Pittsburgh to talk. Now, inspired by ideas that arose in that gathering, Christian Associates of SWPA and the JCC offer another opportunity for clergy to come together and move toward actions to bring healing and and wholeness to their communities. Clergy are invited to meet on Wednesday, January 23 at 4 p.m. at East End Cooperative Ministries, 6140 Station St, Pittsburgh 15206. RSVP by clicking here.
Correction on Tax Seminar: In last week’s enews, there was a typo in the date for the UM Foundation’s Feb. 27 (NOT 29) tax seminar at the UM Center in Cranberry. The good news is that if you clicked the link for more information, the Foundation website has the correct date. Register for seminar in Johnstown or Cranberry at umfoundation.org/seminars.