WPAUMC enews --Oct. 2, 2019



Whew! Despite 96 degree temperatures on the C&O Canal trail, our 27 Campership Bike-a-Thon cyclists and support team made it to Hancock, MD today. Two more days to go on the 315-mile trek--with slightly cooler weather predicted. The team includes Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi, Pittsburgh DS Dawn Hand and several pastors. Support them with daily prayer and donations. Learn more

Camping Sunday: Whether you have a rider in the Bike-a-Thon or not, local churches are encouraged to celebrate Camping Sunday/Weekend on Oct. 12-13. It’s a time to highlight the life-changing ministries offered through our camps and retreat facilities. Invite testimonies from your congregation. Learn more

Wesley Woods Booster Dinner Postponed: Rev. Chuck Fowler, Wesley Woods board member, has announced that the annual booster dinner, originally scheduled for October 10, has been postponed until November 14 at 5:30 p.m.

Camp Allegheny Work Day/Week: Camp Allegheny invites volunteers to come on their own or with a team for its Fall work day/week from October 20-26. Learn more

Making a Difference

Reducing Gun Violence: McKeesport has been awarded funding from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency to support programs to reduce gun violence. Keith Murphy of Healthy Village Learning Institute coordinates the community outreach/mentoring aspects of the effort.  HVLI is part of our camping and retreat ministry. Read more 

Smith Center Salutes Scout: The Ruth M Smith Center, a National Mission Institution of the United Methodist Women, has a new best friend - a young man who chose the Smith Center gymnasium as his Eagle Scout project. Read more

Youth Act to Help Neighbors: A youth group at  Rocky River UMC in Ohio wanted to help their neighbors who may not be able to afford household essentials. Their effort, referred to by someone as a “Blessing Box on Steroids,” has been a big success. Watch Cleveland News 5 report. 


Be A Global Mission Fellow! The two-year Global Mission Fellows program is a great way for young adults to engage with local communities outside of their home area, connect the church in mission, and grow in personal and social holiness. If you are between 20 and 30 and want to put your faith into action addressing the root causes of injustice, apply now. The deadline is Jan. 7, 2020. Learn more at umcmission.org/gmf 

Making History: As Wydanotte from Oklahoma, Kansas and Michigan applauded, Chief Billy Friend of the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma accepted the return of John Stewart UM Church and a nearby cemetery in Ohio from Thomas Kemper, top executive of UMC Global Ministries in late September.  See photos and Read story

Ministry with the Poor

Bahamas Coping With Trauma After Dorian: Life remains very unsettled for those affected by Hurricane Dorian, says the Rev. Stephanie Gottschalk, executive director of Bahamas Methodist Habitat. “The past few weeks have been a blur,” she told UM News. “We are trying to assist evacuees to find a sense of normal in the midst of incredible loss and reassure them that they have support and will not be forgotten.” Read full story

Escaping Generational Poverty: Pittsburgh Theological Seminary’s Urban Leadership Series kicks off Oct. 7 with Tammy Thompson of Circles Pittsburgh presenting Surviving to Thriving: How Communities and Individuals Can Escape Generational Poverty. The series is aimed at equipping organizations and individuals to address issues in urban communities. The free sessions are held on the first Monday of the month beginning at 6 p.m. with networking and hors d'oeuvres and a 6:30 p.m. presentation. Learn more.


Erie Inter-Church Ministries is seeking a new director. See this and other posts at wpaumc.org/classifieds.

50 Ways to Support Your Pastor’s Well-Being: A pastor’s health and well-being are critical to vital ministry and require a partnership between  pastor and congregation. Learn how to lead the congregation to support pastoral well-being and consructive dialogue in a Wespath webinar from 3-4 p.m. EDT on Tuesday October 15.  Register

Free Money for Healthy Steps! Participants in the Conference UPMC health insurance plan (and their eligible spouses) have until the end of this month to complete Take a Healthy Step requirements to earn money for their HRA or HSA for 2020. Get details

Conversations and Community: Being an effective faith leader and a good neighbor involves knowing how to navigate the changing religious landscape socially and theologically. Pittsburgh Theological Seminary invites you to learn more about this and some of the faith traditions represented in our region. Attend one or many sessions—all free. The first one is Oct. 10.  Get details

What’s Your Blind Spot? By definition, you probably don’t know -- but others may. Leaders generally have characteristics they aren’t aware of that can be harmful -- or might be a strength. Doug Powe of the Lewis Center offers three strategies for leading through blind spots.

Money Talk: The more congregations talk about money, the more likely they are to see a corresponding increase in giving, according to the National Study of Congregations' Economic Practices. Learn more

Let It Go? Maybe not! How long should you keep work emails? What about insurance records? Do you need to keep an electronic AND print copy?  Find all you need to know about record retention and destruction in one handy guide from GCFA. Download it

UMC News 

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do! The 2020 United Methodist General Conference will continue the denomination’s 47-year debate on homosexuality. Kathy L. Gilbert reports on the history that has brought the denomination to the brink of breaking up. Read news analysis and timeline

Filipino UMs Submit Unity Legislation: Amid various plans to split the denomination, a group of Filipino United Methodists has submitted 2020 General Conference legislation that aims to prevent separation. This is the first plan for the church’s future to emerge from outside the United States. Read story

Prevent a UMC Cold War!  Eurasia Bishop Eduard Khegay, born in the Soviet Union in 1970, put on a gas mask and hid under a table during school drills to be ready in case of a nuclear missile attack from the West. He remembers the fall of the Berlin Wall.  The Bishop warns that a second Cold War and invisible Berlin Wall may become realities if we as Methodists don’t act like Christians. Read more.

Upcoming Events

Ruck the Bay: Help Erie UM Alliance’s efforts to end veteran homelessness by participating in the 2019 Ruck the Bay, a 10K military style run/walk at Presque Isle State Park on Sunday, Oct. 13. Proceeds benefit EUMA’s Liberty House transitional shelter for veterans. Gathering and sign-in begins at noon, with the event beginning at 2 p.m. Learn more at ruckthebay.com/

Celebrating UMC-ELCA Connection: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi will preside during a worship service at 4 p.m. on Sunday October 20 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Full Communion Agreement between the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. ELCA Bishop Kurt Kusserow will preach at the service at St. John’s Lutheran Church of Highland in Pittsburgh’s North Hills. 

UMMen Giving Day: The General Commission on United Methodist Men set Oct. 21 as a day of giving to the organization to help expand resources and opportunities to reach younger and more diverse men on the local, district and conference levels. Learn more about UMM
Visit UMM Giving Day donation site

Band Together for Autism: Band Together, a music ministry to persons on the Autism Spectrum, will offer an Open Mic event for musicians on the spectrum to sing or play on Sunday, Oct. 27 at Trinity UMC in Brackenridge. The event (including music and refreshments) is free and open to all. Music starts at 2 p.m. 

Happy 120th! Dravosburg United Methodist Church will celebrate their 120th anniversary on Saturday November 2, 2019, with a 3 p.m. worship service, followed by a sit-down dinner at 4 pm. Tickets for the dinner are $25. RSVP to the church office at 412-466-0112 by October 15. 

Advent Resources

Choosing an Advent Study? If you haven’t planned an Advent study for your congregation or small group yet, Cokesbury offers a chart to compare studies. See it (and the discount coupon that pops up) at cokesbury.com/advent-studies-comparison-chart

Advent Invitation Tools: Extend warm invitations to your community with the help of outreach resources through UM Communications! Choose from postcards, invitation cards, banners, yard signs, posters and digital downloads. Use code UMC19A to receive a $300 discount! Learn more