Congratulations to Bishop George and Carolyn Bashore, who celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary on Friday, September 20. That same day, President Kent Millard of United Theological Seminary awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree to the Bishop in Baum Chapel at Asbury Heights. Learn more
Religion and the First Amendment: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi was on a panel of leaders who discussed the role of religion in the public arena on Monday at the JCC in Pittsburgh. Addressing divisions in society, she quoted John Wesley: “Though we cannot think alike, may we not love alike?” The First Amendment for the 21st Century event featured NPR’s long-time legal correspondent Nina Totenberg and Judge Michael McConnell, director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School who served from 2002-2009 on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit. Read Post-Gazette story
Funeral services will be held Thursday in Cranberry Township for the Rev. Robert S. Lash, a former Washington District Superintendent and pastor with 55 years of service, who passed away Sunday. Get details
SPARK Registration Open! Sign up your youth for the annual weekend event at Pittsburgh’s Sheraton Station Square. The Early Bird Discount ends Nov. 1. Get details and register
New Hymns of Justice: Salem UMC in Wexford will host a New Hymns for Justice workshop with hymn writer Carolyn Winfrey Gillette on Monday, September 30, from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. Rev. Gillette pairs new texts with familiar tunes, allowing congregations to confidently sing fresh and timely texts within worship. There will be two sessions on New Hymns for Justice and an afternoon bonus session on finding justice themes in Advent 2019. The cost is $40 and scholarships are available. To register visit Salem-UMC.org, call 724-935-1627 or email Communitylife@salem-umc.org.
Learn more about Gillette at carolynshymns.com/
Conference UMW Gathering to Celebrate: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi and Pittsburgh District Superintendent Dawn Hand will lead morning and afternoon worship at the Conference UMW Annual Meeting celebrating 150 years of mission and ministry. Christ UMC in Bethel Park will host the meeting from 8:45 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26. Read more
Wesley Heritage Tour Correction: The dates in last week’s enews for our Bishop’s tour of John Wesley’s England were incorrect. The good news is that the correct dates -- March 30-April 7, 2020 -- are on the brochure for those who clicked the link. A few slots remain.The basic cost is $2999, including airfare from Pittsburgh. Contact Sara McLain at the Conference Center if you are interested. Get brochure with details
Missionary Visiting WPA: Dr. Belinda Forbes, a dentist and United Methodist missionary serving with Christian Medical Action in Managua, Nicaragua, will speak at several Western PA churches during November.She visited the Conference Center last week. Learn more and see schedule.
Mission Support Grants: The application form and guidelines to apply for 2020 Mission Support Grants from the Conference are now available. The deadline to apply for the grants is October 21. An evaluation form must also be submitted if the applicant received a grant in 2019. Download the forms
2020 Zimbabwe Immersion: The dates for the 2020 Zimbabwe Immersion Program have been set for July 13-August 6, 2020, and the application is online now. Deadline to apply is Feb. 1 2020. Learn more and get forms at wpaumc.org/ZIP.
Global Mission Revival Postponed: The celebration of our mission partnerships and opportunities, originally scheduled for Oct. 5, has been postponed until Spring.
ERT Training: Early Response Team training is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 1 at Mill Run UMC. Learn more and register at wpaumc.org/disasterresponse
Long-Term Recovery: As Hurricane Dorian grazed Puerto Rico’s coast, residents were relieved to be spared an encore of the historic, widespread destruction they suffered two years ago from Hurricane Maria, on the heels of Hurricane Irma, both of which struck in September 2017. Puerto Rico’s recovery has progressed slowly but steadily, but it’s still going on. Read more
What’s Next for GC 2020? With the deadline to submit legislation to the 2020 General Conference past, Heather Hahn of UM News reports on the process ahead as a fuller picture emerges of what options will be before the denomination's top law-making assembly. Read story
N.E.W Plan=Four Denominations: Among the legislation proposed for the 2020 General Conference is one that would split the UMC into four denominations. Read UM News story
What’s Ahead for Black Church in UMC? Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi was among dozens of key African-American laity, clergy and episcopal leaders who met in Chicago on Thursday and Friday to discern and map out the future of the Black Church in The United Methodist Church as a prelude to the 2020 General Conference. Learn more
Pray for Zimbabwe Water Crisis: Water was shut off this week to about 2 million residents of the capital of Harare, according to CBS News. Learn more
Imagine No Malaria in Liberia: The health department of the UMC in Liberia received $40,000 worth of malaria medications and other supplies donated by the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. The shipment is among the donations through the church's Imagine No Malaria initiative, a part of Global Ministries' Abundant Health program. Read story
More Children Living in Poverty in PA: New data released Tuesday shows that the number of children living in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty continues to increase in Pennsylvania. Learn more.
Address Causes of Childhood Poverty: Numerous nonprofits, foundations, government agencies, schools, businesses and individuals are working to combat the effects of poverty -- and sometimes the root causes--in southwestern PA. But there is no unified plan and no single place to go to find out who is doing what, according to a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story. Initiatives have worked in other places, but have not been tried in the region. See what they are.
Implicit Bias Course Offered Online: The United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race now offers a free online course on implicit bias, designed for people to take at their own pace. The course aims to help people take an intentional look at implicit bias, learn the ways it works in brains and in actions so they can break down barriers. Learn more
Symphony and Spirituals: The Rev. Dianne Glave, Conference Coordinator of Diversity Development, will introduce the opening group, Christian Trio, to sing African American spirituals during the second annual Evening of Sparkle with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra String Quartet from 6:30-7:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 7 at Wilkinsburg Arts and Culture Center @Eastridge (1900 Graham Blvd., 15235). Glave will introduce herself as a UMC pastor and historian/theologian and give background on the history/theology of the spirituals. The event is open to all ages and it’s pay what you can, $5 and up.
Text to Support Our Bikers! You can now text the word “funds” to 833.243.0074 and follow the instructions to support one of the bikers who will set off Monday 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. Each rider has committed to raise at least $500 to send kids to camp. You can also donate to one or more on our donation page.
Use mobile donation page
What is the Future of the Church? Spend October 25 with Brian McLaren exploring concepts from his book, The Great Spiritual Migration, to understand “how to be church in an ever-changing world without either putting our heads in the sand or chasing every trend that comes along.” WPAUMC is a cooperating sponsor of the event presented by the Beaver-Butler Presbytery at the Calvin Presbyterian Church in Zelienople. Get brochure and register
Why Are Pastors Depressed? A news story on ChurchLeaders.com looks at the research and offers some clues. Read it.
A Spiritual Approach to Community Assessment: To increase church vitality and reach new people, many congregations do some form of community assessment. Luke Edwards suggests using the same spiritual practices that deepen our understanding of God’s Word. He has adapted the practice of Lectio Divina as a tool for “reading” the neighborhood surrounding a church in a new, more prayerful way. Read more
Chuck’s Back (Sort of)! A free online teaching series based on Chuck Knows Church and designed to help congregations discuss critical issues that potentially are preventing them from being vital churches, is now available from Discipleship Ministries. Learn more.