WPAUMC enews --September 4, 2019
Seminary to Honor Bashore: Dr. Kent Millard, the President of United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, will hold a special worship service at Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church on Friday, Sept. 20 at 10 a.m. to confer an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree upon Bishop George Bashore. All are invited to attend the service. Bishop Bashore had served on the board at United.
PRAY! Speaker Profile: Pastor Suzette Caldwell, the board chair and president of The Prayer Institute in Houston, Texas, will be the speaker for PRAY!, an event for laity, clergy and prayer teams scheduled for Sept. 27-28 at Dutilh UMC. Read more about Pastor Suzette Caldwell and register for PRAY! before it’s too late!
Disaster Response and Mission
Hurricane Dorian: Rev. Stephanie Gottschalk, former Mission/Volunteers in Mission coordinator for the Western PA Conference currently serving as executive director of the Bahamas Methodist Habitat, is coordinating plans for long-term disaster response and recovery for Methodists in the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian caused widespread devastation there. Read more about her work.
Want to Provide Assistance? One of the best ways to contribute to disaster relief is to donate money to UMCOR. It can often take months before plans are put into place for teams to help with cleanup, but money can be used immediately. Refrain from donating items such as clothes, because such donations are often more of a hindrance. Read an NPR article from 2013 about how post-disaster donations can overwhelm.
Follow the UMCOR Facebook page for frequent updates
Mission Journey to Guatemala: The WPAUMC Encounter with Christ in Latin America and the Caribbean is still recruiting volunteers to “spread the love” and grow their faith during a Volunteers in Mission (VIM) trip to Guatemala scheduled for October 31 – November 9, 2019. The team will work with the indigenous Mayan people who live in the Guatemalan Highlands. Download application.
Serving the Community
A Discussion on Suicide Among Military Veterans: Mt. Lebanon UMC is hosting a discussion on suicide among military veterans on September 22 at 7:00 p.m. Colonel Thomas J. Stokes, a decorated war veteran, licensed clinical social worker and registered nurse, will be leading the discussion. See flyer.
Couches Don’t Count! A pilot program in southwestern PA is placing homeless youth and young adults with host homes. In Washington County alone this July, there were 264 “unaccompanied” youth, a number that may not account for many youth who “couch surf, moving from one friend or relative’s home to another and sleeping on couches. Read more.
Teen Climate Activist Drops Anchor in US: Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg completed a two-week sail across the Atlantic this week, dropping anchor off Coney Island and coming ashore in Manhattan to attend a UN summit. She said she hopes to spread climate awareness among Americans, although she’s given up on the president: "If no one has been able to convince him about the climate crisis — the urgency — then why should I be able to?”
Church Membership Decline: The percentage of Americans who belong to a church, mosque or synagogue has declined to about 50% in the past 20 years, forcing some congregations to sell their houses of worship. More than 6,800 religious buildings have sold in the past five years and more than 1,400 are currently for sale, according to a real estate database. While some will become home to new worshippers, others are being converted into bed and breakfasts, apartments, coffee shops and more.
UM Foundation of WPA News
The United Methodist Foundation of Western PA (UMFWPA) and the United Methodist Stewardship Foundation (UMSF), which serves the adjacent Susquehanna Conference, announced Aug. 30 that the Rev. Ed Bailey, executive director of the UMFWPA, will also serve as interim Executive Director for the UM Stewardship Foundation. Read more.
Journey to South Korea: The UM Foundation of WPA is taking a trip to South Korea in September, 2020. This trip is for pastors and laity who want to experience Korean culture with an emphasis on spiritual renewal and to learn about the history of the Methodist Church in Korea. See flyer for more information.
World Communion Sunday: It’s not too soon to start planning for World Communion Sunday, which this year is October 6. Download planning resources.
Staying Connected with College Students: Going to college brings significant change to a young person’s life. Students often leave the communities where they have grown up, breaking the bonds with their local church. Finding a new church home that is a good fit can be difficult. It is often easier simply to drop out of church. Local churches can help young people maintain their connection to God and a faith community. Home church members can encourage them to maintain and grow in their relationship with God, as well as succeed in college. Read 13 ways to stay connected.
Awakening Conference: Crossroads Church is hosting the Awakening Conference October 13-15 with Tuesday, October 15th as a special day for Pastors from 10am - 2:30pm to refuel, reignite, refresh, and re-envision God’s heart for you and your Kingdom Impact! Get up close and personal with best-selling author Jack Deere, who will both encourage you and leave you inspired to a closer walk with Jesus.
Because Crossroads has a desire to invest in those who are advancing the Kingdom, this day is their gift to you. This one-time event includes continental breakfast, lunch, worship, prophetic prayer appointments, networking with other pastors, and other surprises to take with you. Space is limited. Reserve your seat.