WPAUMC enews --Oct. 9, 2019



Deadline for Mission Support Grants Near! The deadline to apply for Mission Support Grants is October 21. Grant amounts vary, with half of the funds designated for WPAUMC Regional Mission Agencies. The remaining grants are available for new outreach ministries started by local churches; ongoing local church outreach ministries; mission churches, and outreach ministries of ecumenical agencies affiliated with UMC.  An evaluation form must be submitted if the applicant received a grant in 2019. Download guidelines, instructions and forms

VIM Awareness Weekend  is Oct. 20/21! Churches are encouraged to celebrate those who use their God-given gifts to serve in short-term missions and the ways that Volunteers in Mission work deepens understanding of and connection among people from different cultures or circumstances.

New UMCOR Mission Kit: Responding to disasters in the U.S. and around the world through UMCOR ensures that relief is “early in and last out.” By working with communities and local partners, UMCOR specializes in solutions that help people become self-reliant. Now there is a new way to support UMCOR!  To build awareness in your church and raise funds for whatever project the congregation wants to support, download and explore resources in this mission kit 


What About Halloween? For Christians, Halloween can be controversial. Its origin as a pagan festival and the emphasis on death, fear, and witchcraft raise theological concerns for some. The UMC has no official stand on Halloween. Many congregations offer alternatives to traditional activities, choosing events that celebrate life rather than death, offer safe fun for children or make the day one to give as well as get. Read more

Communications Training: Want to learn more about using Digital Media, marketing your church, social media engagement or other communication tools? UM Communications offers a variety of affordable online training courses and free micro-training led by professional instructors that you can take on your schedule. See what’s available.

Tailgate Church? A team from Hope UMC in Bedford, Ohio took "tailgate church" to a parking lot for a Cleveland Browns game. How did it go? Read story

UMC News

General Conference 2020:  Anyone interested can find the latest news about the May 2020 session and a wealth of other information in one place through -- the Resource UMC General Conference webpage. It is updated and expanded frequently. Visit General Conference 2020 website.

Bring UMC Together in Mission! The UM Communications board, which includes Revs. Tracy Cox and Alyce Weaver Dunn from Western PA,  advocated for the use of effective communication practices to help bring the denomination together in mission during its Oct. 1-2 meeting. The 27-member board directed agency staff to work toward helping church members engage those with whom they disagree. Read press release

Behind Closed Doors: United Methodists have a self-image that we are an open and welcoming faith community, and meetings of church bodies, with a few exceptions, should be open, writes Rev. William B. Lawrence, the former President of the UMC Judicial Council. What are the exceptions? Read commentary

Sssh! Let’s Not Talk About That! Rev. Dr. Karen McClintock of COSROW conducted a survey to explore the procedures, policies and effective responses when a district superintendent receives an allegation of sexual abuse and harassment. It's aim was to identify problems district superintendents and bishops face when allegations are raised. The latest COSROW Women by the Numbers article examines the  research and draws some conclusions on why sexual misconduct may not be talked about in our churches. Read it here


Methodist Peacemakers Honored: The two most recent recipients of the World Methodist Peace Award, the Revs. James T. Laney and Inderjit Singh Bhogal, have very different backgrounds but share a commitment to peacemaking. Read story

Biblical Diversity Scholar Dies: The Rev. Cain Hope Felder, an early leader in the civil rights movement whose “fierce and edgy” scholarship challenged Eurocentric interpretations of the Bible, died of cancer Oct. 1 in Alabama. A scholar who taught at Howard University and Princeton Theological Seminary, Felder’s research showed that Scriptures contain ethnic diversity that has been downplayed. He also pointed out that as a Middle Eastern Jew, Jesus — while not black — would not have been considered Caucasian by today’s standards. Read more

Multicultural Ministries in Migration: As Methodist congregations across Europe open their doors to migrants, leaders see the need to adapt their ministry to include new and different cultures. UMC Global Ministries has a pilot project to train pastors and laity leading congregations affected by migration. Read story

Abundant Health

It’s Mental Illness Awareness Week: Christians are called to offer healing and compassion to all those who suffer whether their pain is physical, emotional or mental. Does your congregation support people with mental illness and their families? Here are 10 ways you can.
Explore resources for Mental Health Ministries 

Ministry With the Poor

Church sells land for affordable housing: Battle Ground Community United Methodist Church has found a use for 5 acres in its backyard — a Habitat for Humanity neighborhood. The development could feature up to 20 homes for low-income families. Read story


Ring Your Bells on October 27!  As part of the Jewish community’s official commemorations of the anniversary of the attack on Tree of Life Synagogue, churches are asked to ring their bells at the time of the attack, 9:50 am on October 27.  As part of the day to “Remember. Repair. Together,” in Pittsburgh, there are opportunities for service and study available to the public. Registration is open at www.pittsburghoct27.org.  

All In Men’s Event: Former Pittsburgh Pirate Manager Clint Hurdle will be the featured speaker at a Christian Sports International All-In Men’s dinner and program at Butler First UMC’s Crossfire Campus at 6 p.m. November 7. Tom McGough of Cornerstone TV’s Faith and Family Channel will emcee. McGough is a member of Holiday Park UMC. Get details at teamcsi.org/all-in-men-ministry

Had Your Coffee Yet? Remember #300CupsofCoffee -- your chance to get to know a fellow clergyperson from a different background over coffee paid for by Christian Associates of SWPA? It’s a way to build understanding, trust and unity. The project is funded by a grant -- and time’s running out to use it. Do your part by setting up a #300 cups meeting in the next six weeks! See how

Check Our Recent Classifieds: They include an offer of free hymnals, a preschool teaching position and an interfaith ministries director. Learn more at wpaumc.org/classifieds.