WPAUMC enews -- Nov. 13, 2019



Fire Damages Punxsutawney Church: The state police fire marshal was investigating the cause of a four-alarm fire that broke out Monday evening Nov. 11 at Albion Heights UMC in Punxsutawney. The blaze severely damaged a wood frame addition to the back of the red brick church, built in 1905. There were no injuries reported. Read more

A Celebration of Life Service was held on Sunday at Calvary UMC in Pittsburgh for the Rev. Bob Richards, former Franklin DS, the first pastor of Charter Oak UMC, and long-time leader of United Methodist Church Union. Visit wpaumc.org/obituaries

UPMC Health Plan Deadline: Participants in the Conference UPMC health insurance plan must must submit enrollment applications for 2020 coverage by Friday, November 15!  The application is required for any UPMC Plan participant who wants to remain covered as of 1/1/2020. Send completed applications to the WPAUMC Benefits Office by mail to United Methodist Center, 1204 Freedom Road PO BOX 5002, Cranberry Twp. PA 16066;  by email to Alexis.Soohy@wpaumc.org or fax to 724-776-4358.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: UMC Discipleship Ministries, in collaboration with Sony Entertainment, has produced a faith-based companion guide to the Tom Hanks movie about Mister Rogers. It's designed to help groups learn to process feelings, understand forgiveness, talk about hard things, seek reconciliation and practice positive spiritual discipline. Read press release 

Leadership Development

New Look, More Resources! Discipleship Ministries has launched a redesigned website offering new and improved ways to access resources for preaching, planning worship, and equipping local church leaders. Explore UMCDiscipleship.org
The denomination also offers ideas and resources for local church leaders at resourceumc.org.

Upcoming Events

Messiah Sing-Along Concert: The 9th annual Handel’s Messiah Sing-Along Concert is scheduled for 4 p.m. on both Saturday, Dec. 7 and  Sunday, Dec. 8 at historic Calvary United Methodist Church in Pittsburgh. Get details and tickets.
Download a flyer to share.

Global Mission Revival: Rev. Ron and Bonnie Hipwell will be featured speakers at a Global Mission Revival, scheduled for Saturday, March 14 at Crossroads Church’s North Fayette campus. It’s being organized by the Conference Global Ministries team. Learn more

General Conference 2020

WPA Delegation Report: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi was a special guest for the morning session of the WPAUMC General and Jurisdictional Conference delegation’s November 2 meeting. Read what happened..

Chart of Proposed UMC Plans: A new chart summarizes and compares proposals that have been submitted from various groups to General Conference 2020 about the future of The UMC. The chart does not include plans from individuals and may be updated after all legislation is published. Read chart

WCA Moves to Launch New Church: Saying a breakup of the United Methodist Church in necessary and inevitable, Wesleyan Covenant Association leaders are “preparing for the launch of a new Methodist church” after General Conference 2020. The group’s president, Rev. Keith Boyette, made the statement at the WCA’s Global Gathering on Nov. 9. Read UMNews report

UMC News

Bishops Celebrate Fall of Berlin Wall: United Methodist bishops held a special service Nov. 5 to mark the 30th anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s fall and the peaceful revolution that led to reuniting East and West. At the same meeting, they also agreed to work toward removing modern-day barriers to refugees seeking safety and freedom. Read more.

Churches Offer Aid in Wildfires: United Methodist responses to the annual wildfires in California include immediate help such as gift cards and charging centers for electronics, to longer-term efforts to tend to the psyches of children who’ve been through traumatic events. Read story

Just Resolution in Iowa:  A just resolution has been reached in a complaint against the Rev. Anna Blaedel, the Iowa Conference announced Nov. 13. Blaedel has faced several complaints after publicly embracing the description "self-avowed practicing homosexual" at the 2016 Iowa Annual Conference. The Iowa elder faced a church trial in the latest complaint. Read story

Ministry with the Poor

Alternative Christmas Cards: With a $15 (minimum gift donation to The Society of St. Andrew you can honor a friend or loved one AND provide about 500 servings of fresh, nutritious food to America’s hungry families. Each person you honor will receive SOSA’s exclusive Alternative Christmas Card announcing your gift in their name. Learn more at endhunger.org/acc/

Poverty Listening Tour: Low pay, inadequate transportation, inaccessible child care and unaffordable housing trap people in poverty, says State Sen. Art Haywood. He made a return trip to McKeesport last Friday to report on the results of his earlier Poverty Listening Tour. Learn more

Religion and Race

November is Native American Heritage Month. There are many online resources to help your congregation commemorate these days. Learn more 

Practicing Gratitude: Gratitude is a hallmark of Christianity. ResourceUMC offers some ideas for bringing your people together in the joyous practice of gratitude. See what they are