WPAUMC enews --Feb. 20, 2019


Prayer for General Conference: A prayer has been written as part of the Praying Our Way Forward process and will be part of the worship liturgy at the opening of the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference. The Council of Bishops invites you to use it in your churches during worship services on Sunday, February 24. Download prayer in PDF
Download prayer in Word

Denominational Divorces: As United Methodists prepare for the special General Conference they might learn from the experiences of their ecumenical partners. U.S. Episcopalians, Lutherans and Presbyterians have dealt with their own divides over the roles of LGBTQ Christians. All are still standing and doing ministry — and so are the new denominations that have struck out on their own. Read UM News story

WPAUMC at GC2019: About 30 Western PA United Methodists will be in St. Louis for General Conference as delegates, volunteer marshals, observers, secretarial staff, and communicators. Updates and photos on  will appear on WPAUMC social media and the Conference website, but the best way to keep up with the legislative action is through the links below.

Ways to Follow General Conference: United Methodist Communications will livestream proceedings at the special General Conference in English, French and American Sign Language. The stream at umc.org/live will include all open sessions when the lawmaking assembly meets Feb. 23-26.
See GC info and other ways to follow on GC2019

Post-GC Debriefings Scheduled: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi and representatives of the WPA delegation and A Way Forward Task Force will conduct debriefing sessions in each of our ten districts following the special called session of General Conference. They’re designed to allow lay and clergy to hear accurate information about the decisions made by the General Conference and the process for implementing them. See schedule


Meet Our New Mission Ambassadors! Two former teachers with extensive experience as mission volunteers have been selected to serve as Mission Ambassadors for Western PA for the next two years. Learn more.

Mission of Peace Applications Due: Youth in grades 10-12 can apply to be part of Mission of Peace, a cultural immersion trip to India with other youth from our Northeast Jurisdiction. The trip is Dec. 27, 2019-Jan. 14, 2020. Western PA can send up to four youth. The application is due March 1. Don’t miss out on this life-changing trip! Application and more info can be found at wpaumc.org/mop.

UMCOR Sunday is March 31! UMC Giving has an infographic with 5 ideas for celebrating UMCOR Sunday. See infographic.
Get more resources in the pastors and leaders’ kit.

Leadership Development

Leadership Training: Training sessions for clergy and laity interested in serving as leaders for legislative sections at the 2019 Western PA Annual Conference session have been scheduled for Saturday, April 6 and Saturday, May 4 at the UM Conference Center in Cranberry Twp. Both training events will run from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with lunch provided. Learn more

DOMS Training: The first of five one-day training events to help clergy and laity develop an "Outward Mindset" was held Tuesday at Crossroads UMC. The next event is in at Somerset Grace UMC on Saturday, March 2. There's not much time to reserve your spot. Get details.

Seminary Website Features Moudry: Rev. Susan Moudry, WPAUMC coordinator of clergy excellence, is featured on Pittsburgh Theological Seminary's website. A PTS alum, she will defend her dissertation for a PhD in church history from Baylor University next week. Her work focuses on Bishop Matthew Simpson who was a delegate to the 1844 General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church when it considered a plan of separation. See PTS feature
Read Susan’s blog post

Registration Open for 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 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. Register now

Women Speak of God: From the earliest days of the church, women have spoken and written of their faith. An eight-session study by Amy Oden focuses on six women who struggled with issues of identity, character, and calling, and were able to attest to God's living presence amidst their struggles. Women Speak of God is ideal for small groups, adult Bible studies, and Sunday School classes. Learn more

Nonprofit Advocacy Rights: Learn what nonprofit organizations are allowed to do in the political arena and advocacy in a free webinar from noon to 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 5. United Methodist Advocacy in Pennsylvania and Lutheran Advocacy Ministries have teamed up to make the webinar available free to their faith community members who want to act on their concerns and social principles, but are uncertain how to do that. The webinar is led by Bolder Advocacy  
Register here

Ministry With the Poor

Displaced Persons: Perspectives on the migrant crisis, marginalized native communities and the exodus of young adults from the church are covered in a new book published by the UMC Board of Higher Education and Ministry. "Displaced Persons: Theological Reflection on Immigration, Refugees and Marginalization" grew out of dialogue among collegiate ministers, university chaplains, pastors and teachers from all over the world. Read press release

Dismantling Racism

Breaking Free: A podcast from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership looks at how a congregation can address implicit racism within its own institutional and community life. Amanda Poppei, Senior Leader of the Washington Ethical Society, describes how her community has made anti-racism work an overarching priority -- shaping its identity and congregational practices.
Listen now.

Looking Ahead

Appointments: A few 2019 appointments have been announced. See them at wpaumc.org/appointments.

Campership Bike-a-thon: The second annual Campership Bike-a-Thon, a 315-mile ride over six days from Pittsburgh to Washington D.C along the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Trail, is scheduled from Sept. 30 - Oct. 6. It benefits camperships. Get details and register.