WPAUMC enews --June 26, 2019


Addiction Recovery Seminar: More than 120 people gathered at First UMC in Butler last Saturday for the Conference-sponsored Addiction Recovery Seminar. They explored how local churches can respond to those struggling with addiction in their communities. Speakers included leaders in the recovery community, certified addiction counselors, leaders from congregations partnering with those in recovery, and representatives of programs and agencies addressing addiction and prevention. See photo album with captions.
See Post-Gazette interactive Recovery Pains, featuring two seminar speakers 

Bike-a-Thon Good News/Bad News: If you were waiting to sign up for the 2019 Campership Bike-a-Thon from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC from Sept. 30-Oct. 6, you’re too late! Registration was closed this week after the number of registrants reached 24, the capacity for some overnight accommodations. Learn more about the trip.

Church Closing: Johnstown Tribune Democrat newsman Randy Griffith, who was a lay member of annual conference, did a story and video on the Trinity UMC in Johnstown, which will hold a decommissioning service on Sunday, June 30. The video highlights the beautiful stained glass windows. Read and watch

Congratulations, Rev. Barlow! Rev. Liddy Barlow, executive minister of Christian Associates of Southwest Pennsylvania, was one of three women awarded the Antoinette Brown Award at the United Church of Christ General Synod. This prestigious award is presented to the "UCC clergywomen who exemplify Brown's spirit of trailblazing leadership in church and society." Rev. Barlow spoke at our annual conference, inviting people to have a cup of coffee and conversation with someone they don’t know well, courtesy of Christian Associates #300 cups program. Read more.

Classifieds: The United Methodist Camp and Retreat Ministries Association (UMCRM) is seeking a mission-driven, ministry-focused, leader of leaders to serve as the first-ever Director of the Association. See UMCRM  job posting and others at wpaumc.org/classifieds.

Leadership Development

Mission u 2019 encourages adults, children and youth to go deeper in learning how to serve God in new and exciting ways. The school for children and adults will be held July 18-21 at the California University of PA, while Youth Mission u will begin July 16 and end July 21. See leader profiles, learn more and register adults and children.
Register for Youth Mission u.

Help Save the Planet! If you feel called to address environmental issues in your community to help care for God’s creation, consider attending UMC Global Ministries’ Earthkeepers training in Philadelphia, Pa., Aug. 8-11. Global ministries will cover the cost of the training, food and lodging, but participants pay for their transportation. Get details. 

Navigate! Unleashing the Leader in You, set for August 22-24 at the Radisson Hotel in Harrisburg, is an equipping event to help current and future leaders impact their congregations and communities for Jesus Christ. Experience dynamic worship, powerful speakers and compelling workshop leaders. Enjoy a medley of equipping opportunities or explore learning tracks for Revitalization, The Small Church, Lay Pastors, New Places for New People, Young Leaders and Conference Leaders. Attend all three days or register for Saturday only for just $69. More info and register.

RevitUp! Wespath's Revitup for a Lifetime in Ministry is a benefits and financial education event for clergy ages 25-39. If you are a young clergy member, join Wespath in Baltimore from Oct. 28-30 to learn strategies that will energize your ministry and leadership for years to come. Get details at wespath.org/events/revitup/

Ministry With the Poor

Sunday of Solidarity for Suffering Children: The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has called for a Sunday of Solidarity for Suffering Children on June 30. A special prayer for churches to use during worship, along with additional information and ways to be involved are available. Learn more

Care for Children! Rev. Jack Amick, director of Global Migration for Global Ministries and UMCOR, shares how the church is responding to the crisis on the U.S. -Mexico border and offers ways in which you can help alleviate the suffering of migrant children and families. Learn more

The Summer of ‘69: The stories of migrant children and family separation at the U.S. southern border prompted the Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe of the General Board of Church and Society to remember an incident from the summer she joined other high school youth to serve with migrants picking tomatoes in South Carolina. Read more.

Matoushaya Tapped for Advisory Group: Sandra Matoushaya, Mission Engagement Coordinator for the Western PA Conference, has been named to an advisory panel to work with the UMC Board of Church and Society on training efforts to help congregations engage in Ministry WITH the poor. Read more

UMC / Religion News

Bishops Pose Questions on Traditional Plan: Although the UMC Judicial Council has ruled on the constitutionality of petitions adopted by the 2019 General Conference as the Traditional Plan, the Council of Bishops (COB) says several issues were not addressed. The COB today petitioned the Judicial Council to answer five questions that would address those issues. See press release

Development Fund Aids WPA Church: When Community UMC in Irwin couldn’t get a loan from a bank for its ambitious $10 million building project, the UM Development Fund says it stepped in to help. The Texas-based nonprofit organization has a feature on the Community loan on its website. See story.

Supreme Court Rules in Cross Case: The Supreme Court has ruled that the 40-foot Peace Cross on a highway median in Bladensburg, MD can stay where it is. See Gene Veith’s take on what to make of the ruling.


See the Possibilities! Churches often see their circumstance through the lens of scarcity and don’t recognize assets and opportunities within their grasp. Adopting a mindset of abundance can reveal overlooked assets and open new possibilities. See how.

New Generosity Resources: When preparing to talk with your congregation about the UMC global connection, the impact we’re making around the world or the importance of a local stewardship campaign, turn to the new Generosity Pastor and Leaders' Kit. It includes a bulletin insert, sermon starters, offering slides and much more to help you approach the subjects of giving and generosity. See the kit.

Planning for Fall? UM Communications offers some ideas to re-charge your congregation’s batteries. See what they are