WPAUMC enews --Sept. 11, 2019



Fire Destroys Pittsburgh Church: The congregation of Sheraden UMC, devastated by Monday’s four-alarm fire that burned through and collapsed the roof, will hold a 9:45 a.m. worship service on the lawn Sunday, Sept. 15. It will be a service of healing and celebration of ministries. Read more and see photos. 

March to Unite: United Methodists led by "John Wesley" joined with people from other Methodist denominations, Christian organizations and a mosque in a March to Unite in Pittsburgh last Saturday morning. Groups gathered at Freedom Corner in the Hill District and Calvary United Methodist Church on the North Shore and marched to Market Square downtown for a rally. It was an effort to demonstrate unity among people of God against racism, political disharmony, and other forces that cause division. Read more and see photo album

Delegation Report: WPAUMC’s General and Jurisdictional Delegation met last Saturday. Read meeting report.

WPAUMC Staff Prepares for 2019-2020: Conference program staff took time away from the office yesterday to learn more about navigating  through change and ways to focus less on informational/functional activities and more on formational and spiritual programs and ministries. The Rev. Dr. N. Graham Standish, executive director of Samaritan Counseling-Guidance-Consulting and author of several books related to church leadership, led the sessions. The staff also reviewed goals and plans for the coming year. See photos on Facebook

A Culture of Kindness: Some encounters during Susan Moudy’s recent family trip to a Disney park convinced her that it’s people who create the magic. There may be a lesson in her experience for our laity and clergy. Read her blog post.

Disaster Response

UMCOR Response to Hurricane Dorian: As Hurricane Dorian formed in the Atlantic Ocean, United Methodists began forming scenarios of how they would respond to the storm, with UMCOR serving as a link to connect partners with one another.  Read more 

Support for UMCOR Vital! Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton, president of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) board of directors, sees a need for urgency in our response to extreme weather events. In a letter, he says the support of United Methodists across the connection is vital. Read letter.

Diversity Development

UMC to Return Native Land: Join UMC Global Ministries and the Commission on Archives and History on Saturday, Sept. 21 in Upper Sandusky, Ohio as they mark the next chapter of a shared history spanning over 200 years by returning sacred land to The Wyandotte Nation. Learn more

Fall Equinox Celebration: First UMC of Pittsburgh will host a Fall Equinox Celebration led by Native Americans on Saturday, Sept. 21 from 3-7 p.m. The Conference Committee on Native American Ministries is sponsoring the event. See bulletin insert. 

Race and Cultural Competence: The Washington District will host six weeks of Vital Conversations small group discussions around race, racism, and cultural competency in four locations. The sessions begin the week of Sept. 22, 2019. Learn more.

Explore Implicit Bias: Christ UMC in Bethel Park will host a workshop on Implicit Bias, something that affects everyone’s behavior, on Saturday, Sept. 28 from 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. The cost is $15 for meals and materials. Pay online or at the door. Registration is required. Get details and register at christumc.net/antiracism.

UMC News

Philippines Bishops Oppose Dissolution: The Philippines Central Conference College of Bishops signed a resolution "intensely" opposing dissolution of The United Methodist Church. The bishops' resolution recommended restructuring that would allow for regional autonomy to deal with divisive issues like homosexuality. Read story

Bishops in Africa have resolved not to support any proposed legislations or plans that may result in a split or dissolution of The United Methodist Church. At the close of the Africa College of Bishops retreat Sept 2-6, the bishops said the church would continue in Africa after the 2020 General Conference. Read more 

African Congregation Becomes Reconciling: A United Methodist church in Kenya unanimously voted to identify as reconciling — making it the first African congregation to do so. Read more

Abundant Health

Depression and the Church: "I believe that God heals through doctors and medicines and surgeries, but healing comes from God," says the Rev. Junius B. Dotson, executive for UMC Discipleship Ministries.  He shares his story of breakdown, breakthrough, and the journey to wholeness as highlighted in his new book "Soul Reset," and in an Upper Room blog post. 

Ministry with the Poor

Thanks, Shanksville Students! Students from Shanksville High Schools Future Farmers group helped to harvest about 2500 bell peppers (about 1,000 pounds) today for the Somerset County Mobile Food Bank’s  produce distribution this Saturday. They saw some farm equipment in use and got a tour of the foodbank. 

Salem UMC Rises Against Hunger: TribLive reported on Salem UMC in Wexford’s meal-packing event last weekend. The congregation assembled 10,000 meals. See photo and story