WPAUMC enews --July 10, 2019


Watch Mollie at Youth 2019! Outgoing Conference Youth Ministry Team President Mollie Landman will be a main speaker during opening worship Wednesday night at Youth 2019 in Kansas City. The service is being live-streamed and Mollie’s scheduled to go on stage about 9:10 p.m. EDT (8:10 in St. Louis). Several members of YMT traveled to the event with Youth/Young Adult Ministries Coordinator Amanda Gilligan and other youth leaders. Watch and learn more at youth2019.com/
See Livestream
Read more about Mollie

Event to Look at Suicide among LGBTQ Youth: Mt. Lebanon UMC will host a discussion on suicide among LGBTQ youth at 7 p.m., Sunday, July 21. Featured speaker will be Mitchell Hortert, MSW, an activist and educator who works with families with children who identify as LGBTQ. He is president of the Pittsburgh area PFLAG, a nonprofit that provides support for families, allies and members of the LGBTQ community. Get details.

UMW Supports Work to Thwart Youth Suicide: United Methodist Women has awarded two $50,000 grants for work to thwart suicide among LGBTQ youth to The Trevor Project and the Tyler Clementi Foundation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth between the ages of 10 and 24, resulting in approximately 4,600 lives lost each year. LGBTQ youth are three to six times more likely to attempt suicide than other youth. Read press release

Figuring Out Your Next Step in Ministry? Consider joining a specialized Clergy Community of Practice focused on Navigating Change with New Ministry Models. This CCOP will examine how we understand concepts such as discernment, leadership, and design theory to learn how to use these models for new and innovative ministry. Ben Phipps will be facilitator. Space is limited, so  sign up today
Looking for a more all-encompassing CCOP? You can register for general CCOPs too! Groups get organized in August. To learn more and register, use this link .


New Mission Barn Satellite! Smethport UMC officially became a collection and storage satellite for Eastbrook Mission Barn today. It’s in the Kane District. Get details on satellites.

WPA Team Heading Back from Africa: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi and other WPAUMC leaders spent the last two days in South Africa on their way home from leading sessions at the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area’s Lay Academy at Africa University. During the trip, Bishop Cynthia and Bishop Eben Nhiwatiwa signed a new Partnership Covenant. See photos at facebook.com/wpaumc/.

Mission U starts later next week, but you can still register. Get details.

UMC News

Is UMC Membership Data Accurate? Church membership data plays a critical role in denominational decision-making, but ensuring accurate up-to-date data is somewhat challenging. Gathering the information is difficult in some areas, particularly in Africa. But Zimbabwe is described as the “gold standard” for gathering accurate membership data. Read story

Cal-Nevada Cabinet rejects Disaffiliation: The California-Nevada Conference Cabinet said disaffiliation of the Western Jurisdiction from the UMC is not the answer to moving forward and that withholding apportionments is an expression of white privilege that could lead to lives being lost. Read more.

Two Bishops Propose New Plan for UMC: Bishops David Bard and Scott Jones propose making The United Methodist Church an umbrella organization for new, self-governing church groups that would offer different approaches on same-sex unions and ordination of gay clergy. Read story

Ministry with the Poor

Immigrants Living in Churches Face Major Fines: Undocumented immigrants facing deportation and living in churches, including one staying at Wesley Memorial UMC in Charlottesville, began receiving notices of fines the week of July 4th. Edith Espinol, who received a deportation order after two decades in the U.S., has been living for 21 months at a Mennonite Church in Columbus. She received notice that she owes a fine of $497,777. Read NY Times story

Call to Action: Nine UMC congregations, two in Pennsylvania, are hosting people facing deportation. The UMC Immigration Task Force, the Boards of Church and Society and Global Ministries and United Methodist Women urge all church members to support these people through prayer and and action. Read UMC Call to Action

Native American Vigil for Immigrant Children: The Rev. David Wilson, superintendent of the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference, recently led a prayer vigil at Fort Sill’s Apache POW Cemetery. Wilson and other Native American United Methodists prayed for immigrant children who are expected to be housed at the fort. They noted a parallel with the historic internment of Apaches there. Read The Oklahoman story

UMCOR Grants Aid Native Communities: In Alaska, UMCOR grants help with sustainable development initiatives to support the well-being and livelihoods of native communities that have been impacted by the effects of climate change. One village losing about 70 feet of land a year to rising waters is moving to a new location. Learn more.

Resources for Local Churches

Time for a Check-Up! When you're getting set for fall ministries or building your church budget for 2020, be sure to do a check-up of your building. An annual building check-up can prevent small maintenance issues from becoming major. The Academy of Church Business Administrators offers a checklist. Download building checklist.

Tell Stories through Photos: Without a story as its foundation, a photograph fails. “Capturing a telling moment of human interaction is what it's all about," writes UM News photographer Mike DuBose. He gives some tips on how to position yourself to be ready when those moments come your way. See photos and learn more.

Start Using Video! UM Communications offers six easy steps to get started and help you make the most out of any church video — from worship services to bake sales promotions. Get your messages out to a larger audience for greater impact. There's no better way to connect, especially online. See how.

Faith and Facts cards are a set of half-sheet cards providing concise information on a number of social issues. They explore what the Bible says, what The United Methodist Church says, some facts about the issue and action steps to address it. The General Board of Church and Society, the UMC social justice agency, produces the cards and other resources. 

Is Your Church Like Fine China? Cynthia Weems says that our churches have become like fine china -- perfect and proper, but locked away in a cabinet for special occasions and increasingly irrelevant. Renewal requires a different, less fragile image of Christian life -- the biblical image of a potter constantly reworking a flawed vessel until it becomes useful. Read more.

Dismantling Racism

Methodists and Racial Equality: Although John Wesley decried slavery in a letter to John Wilberforce, white Methodists have had great difficulty seeing the way to genuine equality. To this day, says Alfred Day of the UMC Commission on Archives and History, there are United Methodist pulpits where black clergy are unlikely to be appointed because of their skin color-- and “we sort of tacitly accept that.” Three UMC agencies have assembled a collection of events and print resources to help people study and commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first slaves brought to what is now the U.S. in 1619. Read story

Worship Matters

Song Leader in Worship--or Not? Patheos Ponder Anew blogger Jonathan Aigner disagrees with the idea that a song leader is key to great congregation singing. He offers “Six Reasons We Don’t Need Song Leaders in Worship.”