WPAUMC enews --Feb. 6, 2019


Developing an Outward Mindset: Time is running out to register for the February 19 Developing an Outward Mindset training at Crossroads’ UMC’s Oakdale campus. The one-day workshop is for anyone who wants to improve leadership skills and make a positive difference by operating from an outward mindset. The training will also be offered at other locations in Western PA. Learn more and register.

Pray for General Conference: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi yesterday forwarded a request from the Northeastern Jurisdiction College of Bishops asking each church to lift the upcoming special session of the General Conference in prayer during worship this weekend and throughout the week. See pastoral letter.

See You in St. Louis? If you will attend General Conference as an observer, volunteer, or in another capacity, please let our delegation know by emailing Chair Sharon Gregory at conferencelayleader@wpaumc.org.

GC2019 Day of Prayer: Details of the Day of Prayer, planned for the beginning of the special session of General Conference in St. Louis, have been released by the Council of Bishops' Praying our Way Forward Team. The prayer event is 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. CST Feb. 23, and will be livestreamed. Read press release
See  event schedule


Visual Stories: Talks of legislation and potential schism dominated UM News headlines last year, but there were  also compelling images to be found in United Methodist ministries worldwide. Our photographers captured some of the visual stories of 2018.  View photos

Commentary: As the church continues its debate over homosexuality, Jorge Lockward argues that discussion must be with LGBTQ people, not about them. He offers suggestions for how that can happen. Read commentary


Nyadire Mission Safer with Solar Lights: Zimbabwe West communicator Chenayi Kumuterara writes that walking across the campus of the Nyadire UM Mission at night is safer now, thanks to recently installed solar lights.The project developed through a partnership with the mission, the student chapter of Engineers Without Borders at Carnegie-Mellon University and The Nyadire Connection group in Western PA. Read UM News Service story

Young Adult Mission Work Day: It’s not too late for young adults to register for Saturday’s work day at Connellsville Area Community Ministries. Get details.

Dismantling Racism

Community Conversation on Race and Faith: Join Hebrew Bible scholar Herbert Marbury of Vanderbilt Divinity School, faith community members and students at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 9, to explore the Exodus story, wrestle with what God is asking of us at this time, and build relationships to work for justice. The event is free. Get details and register.

When They Call You a Terrorist: The Wrestling with Racism Team of First and Warren UMCs in Pittsburgh invites you to join them for a four-session study the book When They Call You a Terrorist, by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele, two of the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement. The four-session study is scheduled for 6 p.m. on March 11 and 25 and April 8 and April 29 at Warren UMC, 2604 Centre Avenue in Pittsburgh. Contact Pastor Don Blinn, Sam Procter or Tracy Merrick with questions.


Seeking Timothy! Do you know an outstanding youth who sets a good example in speech, conduct, faith, hope, and love, as described in 1 Timothy 4:11-12? Nominate the teen for this 2019 Timothy Award! Get nomination form.

Youth Worker Award: Know an outstanding youth worker - professional or volunteer? Consider nominating them for the Youth Worker Achievement Award. Nominations are due April 1. Get form.

Be a Page--or Voting Member: Have a youth interested in being a page or lay member at Annual Conference? The application is online and due April 1. Youth Worker of the Year and Timothy Award forms are also available and due April 1. Find them all at www.wpaumc.org/youthevents.

Leadership Development

Engaging Your Community: The Rev. Junius Dotson, who heads UMC Discipleship Ministries, will preach and teach in Western Pennsylvania on March 20 and 21. Dotson's focus is on helping local church leaders develop a system for reaching new people and growing disciples. Learn more.

Top 10 Leadership Skills: What does it take to be a principled, Christian leader? What do strong leaders in the church need to be successful in 2019 and beyond? See what’s most important

Break Out of Old Boxes! In his latest book, Quietly Courageous, Gil Rendle describes the need for leaders who can stand in a threshold of anxiety and uncertainty without giving in to the temptation to rush in with easy explanations or solutions. Learn more.

Continuing Ed Opportunities: Check out a complete list of Leadership Development opportunities at wpaumc.org/LeadershipDevelopment

Communicator Connection: We have created a closed group for WPAUMC Church Communicators on Facebook to share resources, inspiration, and advice. It’s for people who manage social media or websites, create newsletters  or handle other communications in a local church professionally or as a volunteer. To join, click the "join" button on our main page or find the group by clicking "groups" in the menu on the left. Go to Facebook.com/wpaumc

Domestic Violence Response

Stories from the Sanctuary: On Feb. 19, the Rev. Tracy Cox, pastor of First UMC in Pittsburgh, will be one of three southwestern PA clergy sharing a personal story about providing pastoral care in response to domestic and sexual violence. It's part of an event at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in which a panel of experts will respond with further insight and strategies. The gathering is designed to help clergy and leaders deepen their understanding and skills. Get details and reserve a place by February 15 at casp.org/endviolence.

Survivor Care: Many clergy and pastoral-care professionals are unprepared to assist the victims of domestic violence who sit in their churches’ pews, writes Dr. Christy Gunter Sim in “Survivor Care: What Religious Professionals Need to Know About Healing Trauma,” a book recently published by the UMC Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Get details.

Upcoming Events

COSROW Listening Posts: The WPA Commission on the Status and Role of Women wants to hear from laity and clergy about their experiences and their views on issues that are affecting women in Western PA. They’ve scheduled two mid-day listening posts -- Saturday, March 9 at the Hoss’ Steak & Sea House in Indiana, PA and Monday, March 11 at Hoss’ in Grove City. Both are from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Registration will open soon at wpaumc.org/register.

Save the Date for WORSHIP!  This April 29-30 event is a follow-up to last year’s PREACH! but it’s open to all clergy and laity. It will feature three outstanding keynote speakers. The gathering will be at Ingomar UMC. Registration opens soon. Get available details.