WPAUMC enews --March 6, 2019


After GC2019: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi, General Conference delegates and A Way Forward Task Force members have held three of 10 scheduled debriefing sessions after GC2019. Space has been extremely limited at some. The next two are Saturday,, March 9. See schedule

GC2019 Video: United Methodist Communications put together a five-minute summary video with footage from the Feb. 23-26 special called General Conference. Watch video

Bishops Seek Decision on Disaffiliation Action: The Council of Bishops today asked the Judicial Council for a declaratory decision as to the constitutionality of Petition 90066, which provided a method for disaffiliation and was approved by the Special Session of the General Conference on February 26. Read more

GC2019 Reactions: One week after the special called General Conference, United Methodists of varying perspectives continue to react to the decision to strengthen restrictions against ordination of openly gay clergy and same-sex unions. Protests have been widespread, and meetings by local churches and conferences to discuss the future are underway or planned. Read UMNews story

Looking Ahead: The Wesleyan Covenant Association is sticking around, and so are a number of church members who say they’ll continue defying the denomination's policies on homosexuality. Healing remains a work in progress. Read story

Local Reactions

Local Media Focus on GC: There have been more news reports on General Conference action since last week’s enews. Read Steve Huba’s report quoting several local clergy in The Tribune.
WICU-TV in Erie interviewed Rev. Matt Judd for its story. See video

Pittsburgh Church Response: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on the response of First UMC in Pittsburgh the Sunday after General Conference 2019. Read story

Reaction in Christian Post: The Rev. Keith McIlwain, pastor of Slippery Rock UMC, is quoted in the Christian Post’s story about reaction to the General Conference passage of a Traditional Plan. Read story

Communication News from St. Louis

WPA Video Wins Award: WPAUMC’s 2018 video, A Way Forward, A Clergy Family’s Story tied for first place in its category of the United Methodist Association of Communicators’ (UMAC) award competition. Award winners were announced at the UMAC annual meeting before the 2019 General Conference. Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi and Communications Director Jackie Campbell worked with Kisker Productions on the video, which features the Revs. Justin and Jacob Judy and Rev. Hannah Loughman. (Gwen and Clay Kisker attend Christ UMC in Bethel Park.) See the video

Helping Hand Fund: A fund established in honor of Pittsburgh DS Dawn Hand after she led as the UM Association of Communicators helps a communicator from a Central Conference attend the UMAC Annual Meeting. This year it was Deaconess Gladys P. Mangiduyos, a Wesleyan University faculty member and UM News Service correspondent from the Philippines. Hand met Gladys at the annual meeting and learned funds were short for future recipients. She launched a fundraising effort immediately, taking the microphone and garnering pledges from several communicators and conferences.

Minstry with the Poor

EUMA Gala: Erie UM Alliance’s Way Home Gala drew a crowd of about 300 supporters of its efforts to end homelessness. See WJET video

Childhood Poverty Report: The cost of new programs that would reduce child poverty by 50 percent would cost the United States much less than the current estimated $800 billion to $1.1 trillion estimated annual costs associated with the harmful impacts of poverty on children, says a recently releasted report for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Learn more.


Join a VIM Team! The deadline has been extended through March 15 to sign up for the April 28 - May 3 mission trip to do storm recovery in Baton Rouge, LA. It’s open to anyone age 16 or over and the cost is $800. Contact Sandra.Matoushaya@wpaumc.org for details or to apply.

Zim Camp Openings: There are still openings for youth ages 15-18 to join Zim Camp and travel to Zimbabwe from July 22-August 7. The application deadline has been extended to March 15. Learn more and get application

Meet Haitian Missionary: Rev. Calvin Cook invites you to a get-acquainted gathering on Monday, March 11 with Travis Knipple, a former Wesley Woods camper and Johnstown resident who has been working with mission organizations and the people of Haiti the past six years. Travis, his wife and children  returned to Johnstown during recent unrest in Haiti. Their ministry F1 Missions Engineering involves such things as installing sustainable energy systems. The gathering is begins at 11 a.m. at Clarion First United Methodist Church.  Learn more at f1engineering.org

NEJ Mission Academy: The 2019 NEJ Mission Academy, sponsored by UMCOR and UMVIM, will be held at the Rolling Ridge Retreat Center in North Andover, MA  from April 1-4, 2019. The theme is "When Helping Helps." and the focus will be on ministry initiatives that are responsible, sustainable, and asset-based. Learn more and register

Women’s History Month

Women in the UMC: GC 2019 prompted Dr. Dana L. Roberts, professor and director of the Center for Global Christianity and Mission at Boston U School of Theology, to reflect on the history of women in the denomination. Read her post.

Pray for Women’s Empowerment: The World Council of Churches encourages its fellowship and partners to join “31 Days of Prayer for Women’s Empowerment” this month. The Global Women’s Prayer Guide features 31 days of prayer supporting justice and equality for women. See prayer guide

Women by the Numbers at GC: Western PA’s delegation to General Conference had six female and six male members. Overall women represented just 36 percent of delegates. See the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women’s report.

Lenten Resources

WPAUMC Resource Page: Check out the list and links at wpaumc.org/lentandeasterresources

GCORR Resources: The General Commission on Religion and Races offers a spiritual-based study, a podcast series and a package focused on resisting racism.  See what’s available.

Chuck Explains Ash Wednesday: Watch the Ash Wednesday episode of Chuck Knows Church.

Lenten Quiz: Take the latest Lenten Quiz from umc.org.