Annual Conference 2019 is next week, with the official start on Thursday, June 5 and optional Day of Preparation prayer walk, healing service and learning opportunities on Wednesday, June 4. For logistical details, read the Pre-Conference Journal opening pages. Use the link at wpaumc.org/AC.
Summer Licensing School: Application forms are now available for the Summer Residential Licensing School, scheduled for Sunday evening, July 28 through Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 7 at Olmsted Manor Retreat Center. Applications and a deposit must be received by July 7. Download form with details.
History Tour Highlight of Johnstown Gathering: "By Water and Spirit” was the theme of the 2019 spring gathering of the Northeastern Jurisdiction Commission on Archives and History, which drew about 55 laity and clergy to the Johnstown District recently. Read more and see photos of tour.
Mission Ambassadors Report from Belfast: WPA Mission Ambassadors Lynn Sibley and Sandy McKee have just returned from Northern Ireland, where they visited the East Belfast Mission. Read their blog post
Mora Bring Music to Conference Center: While visiting churches in Western PA, Rev. Pablo Mora, who has served as President Pastor of the Evangelical Methodist Community of Paraguay and is finishing four years as a GBGM missionary in Honduras, stopped by the Conference Center to talk with staff. He share his musical gifts, playing the harp, guitar and a hand saw from Home Depot. Some staffers also tried playing the saw. See photos/video.
Kane Ministry in the News: The Warren Times Observer ran a good feature article about the Kane District Ramp Ministry last weekend. Read it.
Prayer and Preparation: As tornados, storms and flooding move through Western PA, our Conference Disaster Response coordinator called for prayers for those affected, especially those in the hardest hit areas in the nation. Rev. Calvin Cook said he has received reports of flooding in Harmony-Zelienople area and around Kane, but local authorities were handling emergency response with VOAD partners ready to help. Emergency Response Teams were encouraged to be ready to respond if called. Churches should report needs to District Superintendents or District Disaster Response Coordinators. If UMCOR cleaning buckets are needed, contact Katie Peterson at the Eastbrook Mission Barn.
UMC Responds to Ohio Emergency: A state of emergency was declared for three counties in western Ohio after a series of tornadoes and severe storms. Volunteers from McKinley, Aley, Ginghamsburg and Hoffman UM churches were providing shelter, meals, bottled water, showers and cell phone charging stations to those in need. Read story
Addiction Response Seminar: Register now for WPAUMC’s Addiction Response Seminar, scheduled for June 22 at Butler First UMC. It's open to clergy and laity. Get details.
Neighbors in Action Addiction Outreach: What started as a brief discussion in a Kroger parking lot has resulted in a simple, but effective addiction outreach ministry in West Virginia. Learn more
From Addict to Pastor: Six years ago, while going through treatment for a daily habit of opioids, alcohol and “whatever else was around,” Rev. Matt Hall became involved with the Celebrate Recovery program at a United Methodist ministry in his hometown. Today he's an associate pastor and recovery ministry leader who says he wants to walk beside people who are struggling just as others walked with him. Read story
Commission Leader Retiring: The Rev. Alfred T. Day, top executive of the General Commission on Archives and History, announced his plans to retire no later than June 30, 2020. At that time he will have served 45 years in pastoral and supervisory ministries in his home conference, Eastern Pennsylvania, and throughout the United States.
Read press release
Leadership Challenges: A recent UMC needs assessment survey looked at challenges faced by modern church leaders. It identified five performance measures that, if improved, would make a significant difference in a church. Read press release
UMC Apportionments: In a two-part series posted May 20 and 22 on the UM & Global blog, the Rev. David W. Scott looks at the apportionments system used to fund many ministries of The UMC and raises practical questions that must be addressed if one part of the denomination splits from the other. Read the blog
Memorial Day: This year’s observance brought forth stories of U.S. troops whose remarkable service went unrecognized until after their death. One example is Private Joseph Oklahombi, a member of the Choctaw Nation and one of the most decorated war heroes from Oklahoma. He was a code-talker in World War I. Read more.
Bishop Honoree for Gala: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi will be one of the honorees at a June 28 Celebration of Life Black Tie Gala at the Pittsburgh City Center Marriott. It’s the start of a June Juneteenth Celebration weekend in the City, with a parade, music and other events at Point State Park, as well as other locations in the area. Juneteenth is a celebration, dating back to 1865, commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States (June 19th).
Download Gala Flyer
Father’s Day: While some men may never have children of their own, they provide guidance to children and youth as scoutmasters, sponsors of youth organizations, big brothers in Big Brothers Big Sisters, school mentors and a score of other ways. United Methodist Men urges churches to celebrate a “Men’s Ministry Sunday” on Fathers’ Day. Read story
Healing Communities Training: Clergy and congregation members are invited to a Healing Communities Training on Saturday, June 22 in Wilkinsburg. The training equips congregations to become a “Station of Hope” by providing support in building relationships of healing, redemption, and reconciliation with individuals and families impacted by the criminal justice system. Get flyer with details.