Mission u 2019 Wraps Up: About 100 adults, youth and children gathered over the past long weekend at California University of PA for 2019 Mission u. See the photo album.
Olmsted Dedication: This year Olmsted Manor Retreat Center is celebrating 50 years of offering Christian hospitality in a hostile world. On Sunday, July 14, about 75 donors, board members, staff, leaders and friends of Olmsted Manor gathered to celebrate and to consecrate the addition and renovation of Groves Lodge and The Manor House. Read more and see photos
Pray for Zim Camp Group! A team of youth and adults arrived in Harare earlier this week to begin their Zim Camp Adventure. They met Wednesday with Zimbabwe Bishop Eben Nhiwatiwa and Conference staff at the Zimbabwe West head office, then visited an orphanage where 82 children live. Watch for updates on the WPAUMC Facebook page.
Fiji Mission Trip: Fourteen WPAUMC leaders and volunteers, including Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi and Connellsville DS Bob Zilhaver, will head to Suva, Fiji in early August to witness the signing of the new Western PA Fijian Partnership Covenant and work at the Methodist Lay Training Center. They’ll paint dorms, install gutters, and set up the kitchen for both student meal prep and cottage industry/job training. Donations to offset the approximately $8,000 cost for goods and materials. Make checks payable to WPAUMC with “Fijian Partnership” in the memo line. Send to Western PA Conference, 1204 Freedom Rd., P.O. Box 5002, Cranberry Twp., PA 16066. Attn: Kristin.
Guatemala Mission Team Forming: The WPAUMC Encounter With Christ in Latin America and the Caribbean is recruiting volunteers to “spread the love” and grow their faith during a Volunteers in Mission (VIM) trip to Guatemala scheduled for Oct. 31 – Nov 9, 2019. The team will work with the indigenous Mayan people who live in the Guatemalan Highlands. Get details
Hunger and Poverty Grants: The UM Appalachian Ministry Networks awards grants twice each year for ministries addressing issues of hunger and poverty. The next deadline to apply is Sept. 15 --and several signatures are needed. Download application with details.
Homeless Children Scholarships: All 43 school districts in Allegheny County have homeless students and last Friday six recent graduates who have experienced homelessness received scholarships from the Homeless Children's Foundation. Read more in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Makeover Day in Erie: Table of Grace Church in Erie held their second bedroom makeover day last weekend. The ministry helps families with young children give them a fully furnished bedroom of their dreams at no cost. Read story
Ride for the Refuge: On Labor Day, Erie UM Alliance will celebrate 20 years of cycling to end homelessness for families with children during the Ride for the Refuge. They’ve added a $20/$20 challenge for the occasion. Registration is open now. Get details.
New Structure for U.S. Churches? The Connectional Table approved sending legislation to General Conference 2020 that will create a new structure for churches in the United States, called a regional conference, during an online meeting July 18, 2019. Read more.
UMC Financial Support Down: The General Council on Finance and Administration board learned at their July 18-19 meeting that financial support for general church work is down compared with last year. Some churches have withheld funds to protest passage of the Traditional Plan at the 2019 General Conference. The board decided to keep bishops' salaries for 2020 at the 2019 level. Read story
Remembering Native Leaders: Native Americans were the first to settle in Western PA, giving names to rivers and towns, but many of their leaders have been forgotten. WESA, Pittsburgh’s Public Radio station remembers one Shawnee chieftess as part of its series on women in Pittsburgh history. Learn more.
Human Trafficking in NW PA: Human trafficking is occurring all over the U.S. and the Erie Times-News reports that the I-90 corridor “makes Erie a prime location for traffickers and a constant battle for law enforcement agencies and community organizations trying to save victims from modern day slavery.” Read more.
Korea Reunification Prayer: The Korean Christian Federation Central Committee (North Korea) and the National Council of Churches in Korea (South Korea) have composed their annual joint prayer for peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula for 2019. The World Council of Churches encourages churches to translate this prayer into their national languages and observe a Sunday of Prayer for the Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula on Aug. 11. Read press release
Are You in a Clergy Community of Practice? Better find one and sign up now. Some begin meeting in early August. There are a few special groups -- one focused on new and innovative ministry and two designed for those in the first year of a new appointment. Others are general. Get details and register.
Is a Pastor’s Job Really Tougher Than Others? A piece in Leading Ideas by Jayson Bradley reminds readers that job frustrations and challenges are not unique to the ministry. Constantly harping on the difficulties projects personal frustration onto congregants and implies that their struggles and challenges aren't as significant, he writes, before looking at some common complaints. Read more.
Have We Got a Deal for You! For the next few days, special group pricing is available for the NEJ's Navigate leadership training event scheduled for August 22-24 at the Harrisburg Radisson. The special pricing is good through July 26. Get details at susumc.org/navigate.
Learn more with this video
Prepare/Enrich Training: Charter Oak Church will host a one-day training on Thursday, Aug. 22 for pastors on the Prepare/Enrich premarital and marriage assessment program. Richard Hoffman Ph.D. will be the facilitator for the training from 8 a.m. to noon at the Frye Farm campus. The cost is $99 if you register by August 1. After that, it’s $125. Get details at www.prepare-enrich.com.
Register for the training here.
Back to School Bash! Chippewa UMC will hold its annual Back to School Bash Event on Wednesday August 21, from 4 -6:30pm in the Community Life Center. The event will feature Free Haircuts for Kids by professional hairstylists, face painting, a balloon artist, Touch a Truck Station, and free school supply giveaways. A highlight is the family resource center with more than 50 nonprofits and retail businesses showcasing parenting information and resources. Last year over 500 people attended. See video
Hampson Memorial Golf Tournament: The third annual Dave Hampson Memorial is set for 10 am Saturday, August 24, at Lucky Hills, where Hampson played many rounds while serving as pastor at the Galloway church. The 18-hole event will feature a shotgun start, prizes, snacks and a picnic after play. The entry fee is $200 per foursome. Proceeds benefit Reach One Touch One Ministries, a mission organization that Hampson helped to create in Uganda. To enter or learn more, contact Chris Porter (814-437-7396 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dennis Baker (814-437-5066 or email@example.com). Entry deadline is Wednesday, Aug. 14.