WPAUMC enews for Jan. 15, 2020



MLK Day Events: Several Western PA United Methodists will be involved in events to celebrate the life and ministry of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during services and community events on Jan. 18, 19 and 20, 2020. Dr. King’s son, Martin Luther King III spoke in Erie last Saturday.  Read more.
NOTE: The Conference Center will be closed on Monday, Jan. 20, 2020 to observe MLK Jr. Day. 

Faith Community Conversations about Race is a resource about race in America that may be used to help your church bring people together to talk about moving forward bravely and boldly in the name of Christ. The free resource is divided into four videos. See Moving Faith Communities to Fruitful Conversations about Race 

Protocol for Separation

Protocol Panel Video: The full recording of the panel discussion with the people who developed the proposed Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation is now available. This archived version of the video fixes transmission issues that interrupted parts of the livestream. 
Watch video on UM News
Watch on YouTube
Read Panel offers peek behind scenes of separation plan

The Methodists, the Mediator and The Divorce Plan was the headline on Pittsburgh Post-Gazette religion reporter Peter Smith’s most recent story on how leaders came to agreement on the proposed protocol for separation of the denomination. Read it

Tribune Reports on Proposal: Stephen Huba interviewed WPA leaders for his news article on the proposal for TribLive. Read report.

Protocol Panel Member to Speak in WPA: Rev. Junius Dotson, CEO of UM Discipleship Ministries and a member of the group which proposed the protocol for separation, will be the keynote speaker at The Current, a gathering to envision a fully inclusive and theologically diverse United Methodist Church. It's scheduled for Saturday, March 28 from 1-5 p.m. at Christ UMC in Bethel Park. Get details. 

It’s About Your Church: Arkansas Bishop Gary E. Mueller admits he cannot fix what's broken in The United Methodist Church, but he believes people need local churches more than denominations. "Embrace your identity," he writes. "Your church is literally the Body of Christ." 
Read commentary


Zim Immersion Deadline Near! If you want to be part of the 2020 Zimbabwe Immersion Program, an opportunity to spend July 13-August 6 in Zimbabwe, the deadline to apply is February 1.  Get details and download application at wpaumc.org/ZIP

Have a Memorable Mission Moment? In the weeks leading up to our Global Mission Revival on March 11, we’re sharing brief video stories of memorable mission moments. First up is Jessica Speer, who chairs our Global Partnership committee. You’re invited to share a story too. Watch 

Make Mission Memories! Bring a group to the Global Mission Revival to lay the groundwork for them to have a memorable mission moment. Learn more and register

Disaster Response: The Methodist Church of Puerto Rico is responding to the recent series of earthquakes that hit the island through its own disaster response organization and through partnership with the United Methodist Committee on Relief. Read more.

Ivorian UM Women Cooking Up Profits: In Côte d'Ivoire United Methodist Women and church leaders this week celebrated the launch of a plant to process a popular local food that’s expected to provide steady income for many. They’ll make attiéké, a traditional Ivorian dish made from cassava flour. UMCOR contributed a $200,000 grant to help fund the sustainable development project that will provide income for the women. Learn more

New Places for New People

Fish Differently: Established congregations seeking to develop transformational ministries must learn to fish differently by taking full advantage of all the capital resources available to them -- Faith Capital, Intellectual Capital, Social Capital, and Human Capital, says consultant and author Sidney Williams. Read more from Leading Ideas 

Leadership Development

5 Characteristics of Thriving Leadership Teams: Studying more than 2,500 church leadership teams over two years, Ryan T. Hartwig And Warren Bird discovered several distinctive features of thriving leadership teams. See what they are.

 A Question of Trust:  Amy Valdez Barker, who will discuss issues of trust when she is in Western PA for the Albright-Deering workshop and lectures March 11 and 12, recommends watching a TED Talk on the subject by Rachel Botsman. She points out that in the digital age, people trust strangers more than institutions. Watch
Register for workshop with Valdez Barker
Get details on Albright-Deering lecture Learning to Trust at pts.edu/AD-2020

Pastors Workshop on Preaching: Many churches aren’t reaching “nones, dones, or spiritual, but not religious” people, says Dr. Graham Standish of Samaritan Counseling.  It's because “the words we use, the ways we speak, and the styles we employ aren’t working.” He’ll lead a series of three Wednesday morning workshops in February to help pastors understand and perhaps reach more people. Get details

Ministry with the Poor

Check Out Hunger: During February, shoppers can help fight hunger in Northwest PA through the Check Out Hunger campaign. Customers at participating stores can contribute to the Second Harvest Food Bank ministries by scanning a coupon at checkout that adds a specific dollar amount ($1-$5), or more to their order. 100% of the donation goes  to the Second Harvest, which serves 16 counties in Northwest PA.  Participating stores include Wegmans, Tops Markets, ShopRite and Shur-fine stores. Learn more at nwpafoodbank.org/events/

Public Awareness of Hunger: Making the public more aware of hunger in the United States is a key priority of Feeding America, the largest hunger-relief organization in the country. Feeding America's marketing director talked about awreness with the director of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank in TribLive's food podcast.


Clergy Tax Seminar: The UM Foundation of Western PA will offer a Clergy Tax Seminar in two locations to help clergy better understand how to address their unique issues when filing Federal Income Tax returns. Rev. Ed Bailey will lead sessions on Feb. 18 in Altoona and March 3 in Cranberry Township. Get details

In the News

Security Grants: Gov. Tom Wolf today announced that $5 million in security grants will be available to religious organizations and other nonprofits serving communities deemed vulnerable to hate crimes. Read TribLIve story