WPAUMC enews -- April 10, 2019



At the Lake Ministries is accepting reservations for its first full season  providing fishing and boating opportunities for individuals with special needs and their families. Get details.

Annual Conference News: Registration for the 2019 Western PA annual conference session will be live next week on the Conference website. You’ll also find an online form to request space in the display area and forms to download to request special meals or rooms for special meetings. Visit wpaumc.org/AC

The Pre-Conference Journal is available now on the same page wpaumc.org/AC

UMC News

Plans for New U.S. Structure: The Connectional Table is preparing legislation to create a decision-making body on U.S. matters such as clergy pensions, retirement plans, property matter. The chair of the subcommittee that will submit the legislation said it would not change the role of the General Conference in deciding ordination standards, clergy conduct and marriage policies.  Read story

Weaver Serving in Virginia: Retired Bishop Peter Weaver, who pastored churches in the Pittsburgh area before being elected a bishop in 1996, is serving as interim bishop of the Virginia Conference. He's filling in while Bishop Sharma Lewis is on six months of medical leave. In greetings, he acknowledged the state of the church following General Conference and said listening is an important part of his role. Read greeting

NJ Pastor Sues Bank, Police: A New Jersey pastor who was falsely arrested and charged with bank fraud has filed suit against the New Jersey State Police and Wells Fargo Bank, according to a Religion News Service report.

Leader Resources

Leadership Tips from Jethro: When you look to the Bible for leadership insight, don’t jump past Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law. Doug Powe of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership offers five leadership lessons from Jethro.

Three Simple rules for Social Media: Following John Wesley’s Three Simple Rules is a good practice for local churches and individuals when using social media. Read more.

UMC Website for Church Leaders: Our denomination has launched a website for church leaders that serves as a central place to find information and tools tailored to specific leadership positions and interests in one place. Read press release
Visit ResourceUMC.org


Methodist Mission Roots: Global Ministries is celebrating 200 years of mission this year. It all began in Ohio with a freeborn African-American working among the Wyandotte Native American people in the 1800s and included a few preachers among natives and pioneers on the American frontier. Today, 360 missionaries from many lands work on behalf of God’s mission worldwide. GBGM executive Thomas Kemper compared the early missionary efforts to those today in a reflection.

Mission Bicentennial Celebration: WPA Mission Engagement Coordinator Sandra Matoushaya is among mission personnel and Methodist leaders from around the globe gathered in Atlanta for the celebration of 200 years of Methodist Mission. Learn more and share stories at methodistmission200.org

Holy Week Resources

Seasonal Social Media Graphics: Download free Holy Week and Easter social media graphics from UMCommunications here.

Holy Week Quiz: How much do you know about the sacred time between Palm Sunday and Easter? These 10 questions will deepen your understanding of the season. Take the Holy Week Quiz

Upcoming Events

Palm Sunday Concert: Pittsburgh’s First UMC and Calvary UMC share a common history: Their buildings were constructed after an 1891 fire destroyed Christ Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Pittsburgh and the congregation refused to “rebuild in dirty filthy Pittsburgh.” They decided instead to split and build in “suburbias”, with both laying cornerstones and commencing construction in 1893. To celebrate the shared 125th anniversary, the choirs of the two churches will combine for a 3 p.m. Palm Sunday Concert at First UMC in city’s Shadyside section. All are welcome. See flyer
Read more about Calvary’s history
Learn more about the concert

Kane District Road Trip!  Adults and youth--laity and clergy--from the Kane District will hit the road on Saturday, April 27 for a day trip to Healthy Village Learning Academy in McKeesport to serve and learn.  Bus departs at 9 a.m. from Sheffield UMC. The cost is $5. Reservations are required. Contact Chris in the district office at 814-837-6115 or kane.office@wpaumc.org to reserve a spot and let her know about any special dietary needs.

Faith and Politics Conference: If you want to make a difference in public policy on social justice issues, consider attending Change the World, United Methodist Advocacy in Pennsylvania’s 2019 Faith and Politics Conference on Saturday, May 18. The following day offers optional interfaith training on civil discourse, legislative visit training, tours of the Pennsylvania Capitol and other activities. Participants may opt to stay Monday to visit with legislators and attend a press conference on a faithful response to climate change. See the full schedule

Reclaim! Western PA native Katy Wrona, who serves as director of Communities of  Transformation in the Alabama-West Florida Conference, will lead a workshop on holistic ministry and what it means to walk with families in transition during the Reclaim! Embracing Wesley’s Radical Missional Spirit event August 9-10 in Bridgeport WV.  Katy, who grew up at Bethel UMC in Lower Burrell and is the daughter of Rev. Sara Wrona, served as a GBGM Global Mission Fellow in Alabama for two years. Get Reclaim brochure

Easter Break: Conference offices will be closed during Holy Week beginning Maundy Thursday and remain closed on Easter Monday.