WPAUMC enews --Sept. 18, 2019


Nominations for Bishop: At least one new bishop is expected to be elected at the Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference in July. The WPAUMC General/Jurisdictional Conference delegation is seeking nominations of ordained elders to consider as it begins a process of endorsing a candidate or candidates. Learn more.  

Support Our Bikers! Nearly 30 bikers and a few support crew members will set off Monday, Sept. 30 on the 2nd Annual Campership Bike-a-Thon, a 315-mile ride from Pittsburgh to Washington D.C along the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Trail. It's the 2nd annual Campership Bike-a-Thon and each rider has committed to raise at least $500 to send kids to camp. You can help by donating to one or more of those listed on our donation page. 
Use mobile donation page

Remember. Repair. Together: As part of the Jewish community’s official commemorations of the anniversary of the attack at Tree of Life Synagogue on October 27, churches are asked to ring their bells at the time of the attack, 9:50 a.m. Opportunities for service and study also are available to individuals and groups. Register at pittsburghoct27.org

Disaster Response

Disaster Response Training: Greg Ellis and Angela Overstreet of UMCOR were in Western PA last Friday and Saturday. They provided Disaster Response Ministry updates and training for the Coordinating Cabinet on Friday and shared updates with District Disaster Response coordinators on Saturday. See photo

Hurricane Dorian Relief: The North Carolina Conference has begun to send early response teams to help with recovery efforts from Hurricane Dorian. Some 290 homes on Ocracoke Island alone received flood damage. The teams will be mucking out homes and spraying for mold. Read story
Donate to UMCOR US Disaster Response

Bahamas Relief Work Continues: Hurricane Dorian’s hit to the Bahamas has been severe. UMCOR awarded a solidarity grant to Bahamas Methodist Habitat, the disaster ministry of the Bahamas Methodist Conference that's led by Rev. Stephanie Gottschalk, a WPAUMC elder. The grant provides immediate, emergency short term funding to address the basic human needs of those affected by this catastrophic storm. To help, donate to UMCOR International Disaster Response 


Service to Honor Bashore Cancelled: United Theological Seminary President Kent Millard was to present an honorary doctoral degree to Bishop George W. Bashore on Friday, Sept. 20 during a service at Mt. Lebanon UMC, but the service has been cancelled. The Bishop’s health will not permit him to attend, so the degree will be presented privately. The Bishop and Carolyn Bashore are grateful for your prayers.

Fall Equinox Celebration Cancelled: This celebration scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 21 at First UMC of Pittsburgh has been cancelled. The Conference Committee on Native American Ministries was sponsoring the event. 

In the News

Homewood UMC Celebrates 150 Years: The Ellwood City Ledger has a story and photo album featuring church leader Hap Wichryk and focusing on outreach efforts and new partnerships developed by the small membership church adjacent to Buttermilk Falls Natural Area. The anniversary homecoming service will be in conjunction with the Sept. 21-22 Homewood Heritage Days. Read story.

Sheraden Strong! About 200 people gathered the lawn of fire-ravaged Sheraden UMC last Sunday for worship celebrating the congregation's ministry and outreach over the last 130 years. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has a story, photo album and video.
See Pittsburgh DS Dawn Hand’s comments and photos on the WPAUMC Facebook page.

The Gift of Clean Water: “Rather than giving Uncle Ned another ugly tie this Christmas, how about we get some water to people who are desperate for the stuff?” That's the opening line of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Brian O’Neill's piece about Ingomar UMC’s Living Waters ministry. Read it.

Discipleship/Leadership Development

Spirituality of Holy Communion: Faith UMC in Fox Chapel will host a lecture by the Rev. Dr. L. Roger Owens discussing how the practice of Holy Communion contributes to Christian spirituality. Free copy of Dr. Owens book "What We Need is Here" to first 25 in attendance. Light Refreshments will be served. Child care will be available. Get details on Facebook

Join Wesley Heritage Tour!  Five spaces remain on our Bishop’s tour of John Wesley’s England with clergy who will be ordained next June. The trip is scheduled for March 30-April 7, 2020 and the basic cost is $3349, including airfare from Pittsburgh. Contact Sara McLain at the Conference Center if you are interested. Get brochure with details

Age Trend Report Shows Big Drop in Young Elders: There has been a dramatic decline in the number of young elders this past year, according to the Clergy Age Trends in the United Methodist Church report released today by the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary. Get details.

Dismantling Racism

Race/Gender Inequality: A study by University of Pittsburgh researchers indicates that black residents of Pittsburgh could move to almost any other U.S. city of comparable size and have a better quality of life, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. The findings were released yesterday by the city’s Gender Equity Commission. Read more 

Ethic Young Adult Gathering: Native young adults spoke about cultural identity and the need for inclusiveness during the first Ethnic Young Adult Gathering. The event, which brought together 63 young adults from diverse backgrounds, was a collaboration between the six ethnic ministry plans of The United Methodist Church. Read story

Offering Hope for 200 Years! United Methodist churches long have provided marginalized people with hope, said the Rev. David Maldonado. In an interview for Hispanic Heritage Month, this leader in Hispanic Methodism reflects on the importance of racial-ethnic ministries in the United States. Watch video

UMC News

Petition for U.S. Regional Conference: The denomination's Connectional Table is publishing its legislative petition to create a U.S. Regional Conference, as well as a one-page frequently asked questions sheet and a narrative booklet. The Connectional Table collaborated closely with Wespath on the legislation. Read press release


One Soul at a Time: Billy Graham’s method was as important as his message, historian Grant Wacker writes in his new book. See excerpt

Church Reaches Seniors, Grows:  Bryan Wesley UMC in rural northwest Ohio went from zero professions of faith in 2017 to 10 last year. The church did it with a concerted effort to reach out to the area's senior population. Read story


Economic Discipleship: Using curricula on economic discipleship, the Boston Faith & Justice Network is inspiring Christians to put biblical values into practice. They’re helping people to rethink how they’re spending their time and money. See story from Faith and Leadership.
Download curriculum for small groups 

World Communion Sunday is October 6. Get info and resources from UMCGiving.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The UMC Board of Church and Society has created a study to help congregations reflect on what the Bible and The United Methodist Church have to say about domestic violence. Learn more.

Say Yes to the Dress-UMC Style: The Rev. Jeremy Smith admits the rumors are true. He really did officiate at a wedding recently featured on the TLC reality TV show "Say Yes to the Dress." The wedding of his mother-in-law gave him a chance to show glimpses of United Methodist ritual to a TV audience. Read commentary