WPAUMC enews --May 8, 2019


Faith and Politics Event Cancelled: The Change the World weekend event sponsored by UM Advocacy in PA has been cancelled. It had been scheduled to start May 18 at Paxton UMC in the Harrisburg area. 

Abolitionist Tour: The Wrestling with Racism group launched by Warren and First United Methodist churches in Pittsburgh sponsored an Abolitionist Tour of the area Saturday. Learn more and see photos.
See First UMC Facebook photos

New Face at UM Center: Jason Dix has been hired as the new assistant treasurer for the Conference. The position had been vacant since Larry Bridge retired and Roger White became treasurer. Jason was selected by the Personnel Committee from a pool of applicants after interviews. He first came to the Conference office as a temporary accounting employee, then handled assistant treasurer duties for several months as a temp while a search was conducted to fill the position permanently.

Jumonville Celebrates Beattys: Larry and Jay Beatty were honored at Jumonville’s Spring Dinner on Sunday, May 5. See what happened.

Bishop Calls for On-going Conversation: At the end of an email letter summarizing recent decisions by the UMC Judicial Council, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi invited laity and clergy to form groups for continuing discussion seeking ways to continue in ministry together in Western PA in light of differing views. See Bishop’s email

Committee Resolves Petition Inconsistency: Just after the Bishop’s email summary was sent, the committee which edits the Book of Discipline announced that it has added the word “practicing” to a petition passed by the 2019 General Conference as part of the Traditional Plan. The committee said Petition 90036, dealing with consecration of bishops and ordination of clergy, will go into church law with the phrase "self-avowed practicing homosexual." It determined that that adding "practicing" to Petition 90036's phrase "self-avowed homosexual" was in harmony with the Traditional Plan’s intent. Read press release

Ministry with the Poor

Kellie Wild Honored: Pittsburgh Theological Seminary honored Rev. Kellie Wild with the Fred McFeeley Rogers Award for Creative Ministry. She’s worked more than 24 years with people living in poverty and currently directs the IMPACTs program at East End Cooperative Ministries.  Read more.

Rise Against Hunger: As the business portion of the Washington District Conference concluded on Sunday, May 5, clergy and laity donned red hairnets and packed 10,000 meals for Rise Against Hunger. Check out the photos on Facebook.com/wpaumc

Telethon Boosts Community Ministries: Connellsville Area Community Ministries raised about $22,000 through a recent telethon, a revival of an old tradition! Congratulations to all who helped to make the event a success! See photos on Facebook and read Herald-Standard story.

UMC News

The Council of Bishops began its spring meeting amid conversations around the denomination about possibly splitting the church. Bishop Kenneth H. Carter, Council of Bishops president, urged his colleagues to "leave this place different than when we arrived." Read story
See photos from the meeting

Traditionalist advocates met in private with United Methodist bishops from Africa, Europe and the Philippines to listen to concerns and discuss the denomination's future. The traditionalists also heard some pushback. Read story

Church and Society Seeks Smaller Board: Directors of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society are asking the 2020 General Conference, the denomination's top legislative body, to consider reducing the size of the agency's board of directors while increasing international representation. Read spring meeting press release

Disaster Response

Picking Up the Pieces in Mozambique: Cyclone Idai came in the darkest hours of the night, and she did not come quietly. The United Methodist Church is helping people pick up the pieces of their lives after the storm killed hundreds and displaced thousands. See photo story

Puerto Rico Recovery: In Puerto Rico, recovery continues from Hurricane Maria. Efforts are  coordinated by ReHACE, an agency set up by the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico partnering with UMCOR. An English version of ReHACE’s online magazine detailing the work is available here.

Mission Opportunities

Nyadire Mission Team Opening: A Volunteer in Mission team with The Nyadire Connection will travel to Zimbabwe, Africa this June/July for three weeks. TNC is looking for volunteers with skills in the areas of education, ministry, agriculture, health, maintenance, and more. There are opportunities to engage in cross-cultural relationships, develop partnership programs, serve God and others, and grow spiritually. To join the team or learn more, contact Molly at mollyalice.michael@gmail.com or visit www.nyadire.org.

Long-Term Volunteer Opportunities: Kathmandu International Study Centre (KISC) in Kathmandu, Nepal is seeking a teacher or teachers assistant to engage in mission with them for five to 11 months (a full school year). In Arizona, Inn2 America, an organization providing safe and compassionate refuge for immigrant families to stay in during transition, is seeking a ministry assistant. The ministry assistant will help to provide a welcoming atmosphere by greeting families, preparing meals, and participating in daily activities. Basic level Spanish language skills are encouraged. For more info, contact the UMC Mission Volunteer Office at mv@umcmission.org.
For a list of placement sites visit.umcmission.org/serve-with-us/mission-volunteers

Leadership Development

Missionary to Visit WPA Churches: Rev. Pablo Mora, a GBGM missionary serving in Honduras  and an elder in the Evangelical Methodist Community of Paraguay will be in Western PA next week. Learn more and see his schedule

Stains Teaches Pastors in Ecuador: Rev. David Stains, a retired Western PA elder, recently returned from a mission trip to Ecuador, where he taught pastors in Spanish. Learn more

Annual Conference

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

Clergy Spouse Brunch: During clergy session at Annual Conference, on Thursday, June 6, clergy spouses are invited to their annual brunch. Get details and download registration info.
Retiring clergy and ordinand spouses, those needing childcare, and first-time attendees, can get a $5 discount for the brunch.  Download discount coupons.


Is Your God Big Enough? Sometimes people of faith reduce God to human parameters. Rev. Kim Cape of the UMC Board of Higher Education and Ministry offers three challenging questions for believers to examine their own answers to God’s call. Read more

Remembering Rachel: The work of Rachel Held Evans, a Christian writer who challenged traditional views on the roles of women in the church, died May 4 at the age of 37. The Rev. Melissa Meyers  reflected on the life of the influential writer. Read reflection
Read NPR obituary


Get Them Talking is a monthly resource with ideas, scripture and prayer designed to spur conversations about issues of faith during dinner, devotions, a drive or anytime. The focus for May, Christian Home Month, is on the importance of family. See the resources

Church Communications: What message is the look of your church communication materials sending? Put them all up on a wall or lay them out on a table and take a look. Is the look stodgy? Exciting? A mish-mash? See some design tips to improve and unify your messages in this UM Communications video.

Mother's Day

Mighty Moms of the Bible: Being a mother in biblical times was not for the faint of heart. See why. 

Moms of the Bible Quiz: See what you know. Take the quiz.