WPAUMC enews --Nov. 6, 2019



Looking for an intern? Apply now to provide field education for a Wesley Theological Seminary student this summer. To be approved as an internship site, a clergy person and lay person must be willing to meet with and mentor a student weekly. Wesley will advertise potential sites to their students if they receive your material by early December. If selected, you can join in the Conference's larger seminary internship program where funding, orientation and support are provided. For information, contact Susan Moudry at susan.moudry@wpaumc.org or 724-776-2300 ext. 266.
UMW Annual Meeting: The 2019 annual meeting of the Conference UMW was held recently at at Christ UMC in Bethel Park. Bishop Cynthia and Pittsburgh District Supt. Dawn Hand preached during worship services and representatives of outreach ministries led breakout sessions.  See the photo album

Smith Center Update: Last December, the Ruth M. Smith Center board, facing serious financial difficulties, had to decide whether they could remain open. The Center in Sheffield is a national mission institution of the United Methodist Women and is home to about 25 adults living with various challenges. Most have nowhere else to live, and few are able to pay the full cost. Read what’s happened since then.

New Supervisor at The Refuge: Jennifer Kwiatek is the new supervisor at The Refuge, Erie UM Alliance’s emergency shelter for homeless families. Jen has been with EUMA for several years, serving as a client advocate and Rapid Re-Housing case manager. Visit euma-erie.org/

Church Security: In a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story about enhanced security in houses of worship, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi talks about United Methodist policy and doing things differently. Read story 

Upcoming Events

Holocaust, Tree of Life Survivor to Speak: Judah Samet, a Holocaust survivor who was late for services and was outside Tree of Life synagogue last year when a gunman killed 11 worshippers, will reflect on his experiences at Faith UMC in Delmont at 5 p.m., Sunday, November 17. See flyer

Greensburg Creche Show: The 2019 Creche Show at Greensburg First UMC is Dec. 5,6, and 7. It is free of charge and open to all. If you’d like to display a nativity, download a form at greensburgfirst.org/index.php/creche-show-2019

Council of Bishops

Bishops Elect New Leaders: Louisiana Area Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey was elected president of the Council of Bishops during their  meeting at Lake Junaluska this week. Other new officers include Bishop Thomas Bickerton, president-designate; Bishop Tracy Malone, secretary; Bishop Bruce Ough, executive secretary; Bishop Sally Dyck, ecumenical officer; and Bishop Kenneth H. Carter, past president. They take office after General Conference 2020. Read press release

Fulfill Vow to Seek Unity! The President of the Council of Bishops insists his fellow bishops can still work toward the unity they promised to seek in their consecration vows. He suggests starting with the words of Jesus which list love of God and love of neighbor as the two greatest commandments. “So what if we began to redefine the connection as the love of neighbor?” Bishop Kenneth Carter asked his colleagues gathered  this week. Read more

UMC Judicial Council

WPAUMC Constitutional Questions: Ruling on a request by WPAUMC to determine the constitutionality of several provisions of church law related to the involuntary leave for clergy, the Judicial Council said the provisions were unconstitutional null and void. The ruling does not apply to leaves approved prior to the ruling. The ruling declared that those involved in recommending a leave may not vote on that leave in clergy session. Read decision 1383. 

Exit Plan in Effect: The UMC Judicial Council has ruled that legislation setting special provisions for United Methodist churches that decide to leave the denomination took effect immediately at the end of the special General Conference in February. The ruling at least temporarily bypassed the assertion from a Commission on General Conference investigation that improper voting meant the vote to substitute parts of the disaffiliation petition was null and void. Read more

UMC News

UMC Equality Amendment Ratified: After a re-vote, United Methodists around the globe have ratified an amendment to the denomination's constitution that proclaims: “men and women are of equal value in the eyes of God.” The amendment received a second vote because of incorrect wording in what initially was sent to annual conferences for ratification. Read story

Faith Talk: Join Regional Missionary Grace Musuka on Nov. 7 at 6pm EST, for an informative United Methodist Women's Faith Talks. They'll explore women’s empowerment in Africa and the ecumenical 2020 World Day of Prayer focusing on Zimbabwe. Register

A Story of Great Love:  Small, rural Jay United Methodist Church in Florida conspired with Joseph Iboyi, a doctoral student in agronomy visiting from Nigeria, to surprise his wife from back home with the church wedding of their dreams. Nina Hendricks offers a photo-illustrated first-person account. Read story