WPAUMC enews --Jan. 16, 2019

1/17/2019

Pray for Zimbabwe: United Methodists in Zimbabwe request prayers for peace amid violence that has taken lives, shuttered businesses and led the government to block the Internet.  Students from Carnegie-Mellon University’s Engineers without Borders group who were at The Nyadire UM Mission returned home on schedule just before the protests.The Mission and its hospital are reportedly unaffected by the unrest. Read UMNS story.

40 Days of Prayer for General Conference: Beginning Tuesday, January 15, local church members throughout Western Pennsylvania began 40 days of praying a special prayer each day until until the February 23-26 special session of General Conference in St. Louis. Learn more and join in!

Rising Hope for GC2019?  Rev. Alyce Weaver Dunn, a General Conference delegate and our Director of Connectional Ministries, was apprehensive while traveling to Texas for last weekend’s meeting of the GC Committee on Reference. She serves on the group that determined what petitions will be considered at the 2019 special session of the General Conference. Read her reflection
See press release
Read UM News Service report Panel Clarifies Options for GC

Mission Engagement

WPA Team in Fiji: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi, Pastor Bev Roscoe, Mission Engagement Coordinator Sandra Matoushaya and Communicator Liz Lennox are in Suva, Fiji this week to finalize plans for signing a Mission Partnership Covenant with the Methodist Church of Fiji and Rotuma. Several Fijians are active in WPA United Methodist Churches and small mission teams have made connections there over the past three years. See Facebook photos from Fiji

Youth

Registration is open for spring Confirmation class events around the Conference. Space is limited. Get details and register at wpaumc.org/Confirmation2019

#SPARK 2k19: Youth and their leaders packed the Sheraton Station Square in Pittsburgh last weekend for SPARK. DJ Bill Al Cherry had everyone on their feet; Josh Price led inspirational worship and Duffy Robbins provided insight into negotiating life’s challenges. District Superintendents sprang for pizza and the Rev. Lance Tucker took the karaoke prize! Photos and video on Facebook #spark2k19

Leadership Training, Resources

Outward Mindset Training: Anyone who wants to effect change and make a positive difference can benefit from understanding and operating from an outward mindset -- shifting from a focus on personal objectives to consideration of the impact on others. Learn how by attending one of five Developing an Outward Mindset workshops offered in the Conference between Feb. 19  and April 4. Get details and register

Head vs. Heart Decision-making: Communication specialist Theodore May explains that the tendency to lead from the heart often impedes rational decision making in churches. But it can be an advantage when it comes to implementing key decisions. Read more from Leading Ideas

Email Marketing for Churches: Email continues to be the most effective way to reach people, says UM Communications. Learn to use email to better connect with your congregation through a 1 p.m. webinar on Wednesday, Jan. 30. Get details and register

UMC News

UMC Agencies Cutting Budgets: Most United Methodist general agencies are facing substantial budget cuts starting in 2021. Agency leaders are now making hard choices about what ministries to curtail or drop altogether. The goal is for more money to remain in local churches. Read more.

Bishops’ Back from India: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi was among a group of UMC bishops and UMC ecumenical leaders who recently returned from a pilgrimage to India. See photos from the trip on the Council of Bishops’ Facebook page.

Justice and Only Justice You Shall Pursue! That’s the theme of the 2019 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which runs from Jan. 18-25. Get resources and information.

Poverty

Growing Up Through the Cracks: Children surrounded by poverty face narrowed futures and, often, shortened lives. In Western Pennsylvania, they're also likely to live in places without the resources to provide safety, recreation and a healthy environment. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette launched a series this week looking at the lives of children in areas where more than 50 percent live in poverty. See news interactive

Gala Benefits Homeless Ministries: Tickets for Erie UM Alliance's Our Way Home Gala on Friday, March 1 are available now. Get details.

Upcoming Events

Funds Management Forum: The UM Foundation will host a Funds Management Forum for account holders and anyone interested in learning more about its Funds Management program. The Foundation’s new investment manager, Merrill-Lynch’s Humphrey-Kelly Group, will present the program. The event is scheduled for the afternoon of Feb. 25 at the UM Conference Center in Cranberry Twp. It is also available via webcast. Get details and register

Heritage Sunday: This year's UMC Commission on Archives and History's Heritage Sunday theme, "Bold Faith, Audacious Women" highlights the 150th anniversary of United Methodist Women. The date for Heritage Sunday 2019 is May 19.  Resources will be available beginning mid-March. Mark your calendars now!