Evangelism Training: Conference Evangelists John and Christine Zimmerman will offer Evangelism Training in the fall for up to 15 people in each of our 10 Districts. The course is a combination of 10 hours of online contact through BeADisciple.com and a daylong gathering in each district. Get details
Disaster Response Update: David Kissinger, who had served as Johnstown District Disaster Response Coordinator, is now leading our Conference Disaster Response Team. He officially began serving as Conference coordinator on July 1 when Pastor Calvin Cook stepped down. Learn more.
Mission u Gets Underway: The leadership team is already at California U of PA and participants begin arriving Thursday afternoon for the long weekend immersion in mission education, worship and hands-on projects. There may still be room for you! Get details.
Hope-Filled Relationships: Keep up with what’s happening with Hope-Filled Relationships, a ministry of Grove Ave. UMC in the Moxham area of Johnstown, in Church and Community Worker Natalie Marionneaux’s newsletter for July.
Youth 2019 Update: The WPA team is back from Youth 2019 in Kansas City, where they had many opportunities to worship, grow, and learn. If you missed seeing Mollie Landman deliver a powerful message during the opening worship, you can see it here.
Uth for Mission starts July 29 and runs to August 2 at Jumonville. It’s for youth in 6th-12th grade with their leaders. Cost is $220. Registration is open!
Details and required forms are at wpaumc.org/youthevents
Know an Unstoppable Young Woman? Quick! There’s still some space available for this weekend’s Unstoppable event for young women ages 14-21 at Olmsted Manor Retreat Center. It’s Saturday and Sunday and registration is free. They just have to register and come. Get details.
ZimCamp: Pray for our team of youth and leaders heading to Zimbabwe for ZimCamp next week.
Training Youth to Resist Drug Abuse: With support from the UMC Board of Church and Society, more than 70 United Methodist youth leaders in Zimbabwe have been trained to spearhead the fight against drug abuse under the Special Program on Substance Abuse and Related Violence. Read story
Leadership and Integrity: Erica Rushing of Edinboro UMC, who was part of the WPAUMC team that just returned from teaching at the Zimbabwe Lay Academy, shared her presentation on leadership.
Turnoffs for Millennials Seeking a Church: Check out the list from Leading Ideas.
Charitable Giving Down: The Giving USA 2019 report came out a few weeks ago and it showed a drop in charitable donations. Churches and religious organizations were among the hardest-hit. A TechSoup blog post offers some insight on why and what to do about it. Learn more
Conferences Weigh In on Future of the UMC: U.S. United Methodist conferences meeting this summer had passionate discussions about the future of the denomination. Mountain Sky, Desert Southwest and Upper New York conferences joined Western PA in asking for the Connectional Table to prepare a process for dividing the denomination. Read report from UM News
Bitter Fruits of Palestinian Occupation: A delegation of Methodist representatives called for Palestinian people to have "a voice in the process of governing their own lives and futures," after visiting Israel on a fact-finding mission. The visit marked the seventh anniversary of the opening of a Methodist Liaison Office in Jerusalem. Read press release
Creation Care Summit: Recycling, getting rid of Styrofoam and driving a Prius just ain’t going to be enough." said The Rev. Pat Watkins, a retired UMC missionary, at the 2019 Creation Care Summit. Major changes are urgently needed. Read more..
Preventing Sexual Misconduct: When boundaries are violated and clergy engage in sexualized behavior, they can shake the spiritual foundation of the other person. Providing resources to prevent sexual misconduct and advocating for victims and survivors is part of the work of Becky Posey Williams of the United Methodist Commission on the Status and Role of Women. She discussed her work with ResourceUMC. Read Q&A from interview
Spirited Life is a wellness intervention and holistic health program that grew out of a Duke Divinity School initiative to assess the health of UMC clergy in North Carolina and develop a program to meet their needs. Research indicates that clergy experience higher than average rates of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and depression. The Spirited Life program, a collaboration between Duke Divinity and the two North Carolina conferences, aims to change those statistics. Read story
Back to School Ideas: As back-to-school time approaches, congregations will be blessing backpacks, collecting and distributing school supplies, hosting seasonal events, offering support for teachers and other staff and beginning or continuing partnerships with schools. Resource UMC offers some examples and resources for back-to-school ministry.
7 Ways to Unlock Outreach Potential: Every church wants to reach new people, but unhelpful attitudes and practices get in the way. Kevin Harney outlines seven simple adjustments to our ways of thinking that can enhance outreach and evangelism. Read more
Adult Video Studies: The Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary has added The Methodist Class Leader and Be the Welcoming Church to its Wesley Ministry Network series of video-based adult Christian study curriculum. All Wesley Ministry Network resources are appropriate for use in Sunday School classes and small groups.The Welcoming Church video is also good for hospitality training. (There’s a deal on the Class Leader study!) Get details.
Small Church-Big Impact: Don’t be afraid to tackle a big idea if your church is small. Consider the opportunities and find one or two that grab your congregation’s hearts and minds. UM Communications offers some ideas.
Can Small and Large Churches Work Together? Small churches often view the large or growing church down the road as something that’s stealing their members. In the larger church, the small church may be invisible or looked on as insignificant. But in a connectional system there are opportunities to work together for the Kingdom. Is your church working with another smaller or larger congregation in mission or ministry? Tell us how by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more in this article on the Small Church Connections website