WPAUMC enews --May 1, 2019



Annual Conference Registration Deadline is May 17. After that, the price goes up $25! To get details and register, go to wpaumc.org/AC

Leadership Workshop: Whether you're attending annual conference or not, you are encouraged to participate in the Conference-sponsored Leadership Workshop on Wednesday afternoon, June 5 at Grove City College. Bring a team from your church and learn together from Rev. Olu Brown and Kay Kotan. Get flyer with details
Register here if you are NOT attending Annual Conference: https://wpa-reg.brtapp.com/LeadershipWorkshop2019
If you ARE attending, register as part of the Annual Conference registration form.
Change the World! This Friday is your last chance to sign up for the Faith and Politics Conference sponsored by UM Advocacy in PA. It’s scheduled for Change the World Weekend, May 18, at Paxton UMC in the Harrisburg area. Get details.

Ministry With the Poor

Table of Grace: WICU-TV recently aired a story about one of the ministries of Table of Grace in Erie. Part of the Erie Urban Ministry Cooperative, Table of Grace is focused on getting outside the church walls to reach people with God's love. Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi and the Coordinating Cabinet visited Table of Grace and other outreach ministries while meeting in Erie last week. See TV news report.

Hunger Advocacy Workshop: “Better Nutrition, Better Tomorrow" is the focus of the 2019 Hunger Advocacy Workshop that will be held from 9 a.m. - noon,  Saturday, May 4 at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Get details and register.

Connections Benefit Care for Moms, Babies: Professionals at United Methodist Mary Johnston Hospital in the Philippines trained eight doctors and five nurses from Africa in handling emergency maternity cases. Doctors and nurses from church missionary hospitals in Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe received training in performing Caesarean sections. Read story and watch video


Mission Trip to Fiji: A few spaces remain on a team that will travel to Suva, Fiji from August 8-22. Particularly needed are mission volunteers with construction, teaching, music, sewing/cooking skills or experience with solar energy. The team will attend the annual conference of the Methodist Church of Fiji and assist with needed repairs on its lay training facility.The cost, including transportation, materials and meals, is $3,000. Questions? Contact Rev. Bev Roscoe at 724-466-2102 or bevroscoe@gmail.com. Complete online application.
Mission Team News: This past week, one Western PA Volunteers in Mission team has been in Puerto Rico and another was in Baton Rouge, Lousiana. Both were doing hurricane recovery work. Keep track of VIM opportunities using the links at wpaumc.org/missions.
UMC Aids Zim Cyclone Survivors: Phillip Mushiri, 78, was among the Cyclone Idai survivors who came to receive supplies from The United Methodist Church in Zimbabwe recently. “I am now going to cook the food instantly. I had nothing as of now, but this aid has given me something for my family,” he said. In the Chimanimani district, 169 people died and more than 11,000 were displaced by the storms. Read more about the distribution of more than $25,000 in aid.
Read how pastors are providing emotional support to survivors

General Conference/Judicial Council

Mission & Denominational Divide: “We have divisions between generations, divisions between parts of my annual conference, divisions between churches and within churches,” Bishop Sue Haupert of Georgia told her fellow Global Ministries board members at a recent meeting. “The sad thing is everybody thinks they’re right.” Read more about the GBGM and UMCOR leaders’ discussion.

God’s Mission Continues! The need for God's mission continues, the board's directors pointed out. “We believe we have an opportunity to work for healing, peace and reconciliation — no matter what form the future of United Methodism takes,” the statement said.
Read statement

Understanding Judicial Council Rulings: In late April, the UMC's top court reviewed actions taken by the 2019 General Conference regarding the Traditional Plan and church disaffiliation requirements. Ask The UMC, a ministry of United Methodist Communications, breaks down the rulings and when changes take effect. Read story

Court Rulings Escalate Split Talk: While some celebrate the rulings of the Judicial Council upholding parts of The Traditional Plan and envision a denominational split, others are seeking a way for the denomination to remain together in mission and ministry. Read more

UM-Related Colleges React

Baldwin-Wallace Disaffiliates: Trustees of Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio, have voted unanimously to end the school’s formal affiliation with the UMC. The April 26 decision came in response to the 2019 General Conference’s affirmation of bans against same-sex unions and ordination of LGBTQ persons, and strengthening of enforcement against violators. Read more.

Ohio Wesleyan Concerned: Meanwhile, Ohio Wesleyan University asked the UMC University Senate to postpone a site visit for one year. The school remains affiliated with the denomination, but requested the delay “in hopes that current discussions result in a new form of Methodism that is fully inclusive in matters related to the LGBTQIA community.” Read press release

Faith and Justice

Love and Immigration: The congregation of an Arkansas church learned a lot about immigration as their young pastor, Rev. Taylor Loy, navigated the “incredibly difficult” process to gain legal entry for his fiance. Loy, now married, prays that more people would learn about the immigration process by turning off MSNBC, CNN or Fox News, going out to talk to an immigrant and asking them about their story. Read more.

Board Recommends Revising Social Principles: The board of directors of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society voted to recommend a major revision of the Social Principles to the 2020 General Conference.
Read story

Preaching Creation Care:  Before she was a pastor, the Rev. Dottie Yunger was a marine biologist. She lives her faith by educating others about the living miracles of God's creation and, through the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries' EarthKeepers program, preaches the church's commitment to care for the environment as spelled out in the Social Principles. Watch video

Lugar’s Faith Influenced Public Service: Former U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, who died April 28 at age 87, was deeply influenced by his United Methodist faith. Read more.

Training Opportunities

Pittsburgh Pastoral Care Conference: United Methodist clergy who attend the May 10 Conference at Christ Church at Grove Farm in the North Hills will receive a half-scholarship, courtesy of The Episcopal Diocese. To get the half- scholarship price of just $25, register as a student. Get details, see the list of speakers and register at pghpcc.org/registration/

Church Publicity Webinar: UM Communications offers a free 45-minute webinar on Wednesday, May 15 at 1 p.m. Eastern time with tips for boosting publicity for your local church. Register

Deaf Ministry Boot Camp: Join others interested in learning about ministry with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing at this May 18 event hosted by Trinity UMC in McMurray. Rev. Leo Yates, the UMC Deaf and Hard of Hearing Ministries coordinator, will lead the Boot Camp. Get details and register.

Bible Quiz: Does the Bible say who Adam's children were? Find the answer and test your knowledge with the latest quiz from United Methodist Communications.Take the quiz