WPAUMC enews for Jan. 29, 2020



Surprise! Our Conference website has a new look. It should be easier for you find what you are looking for using the dropdown menus across the top -- and the responsive features with the new design should make it easier to view on cell phones or tablets. Check it out at wpaumc.org.

Sheraden Strong After Fire: About three months after  fire destroyed their church building, the people of the Sheraden United Methodist Church gathered together for a group picture before the church is torn down. Plans are in the making for a new structure to be built on the same corner of Chartiers Ave and Citadel Street in Pittsburgh. Read more

February is Black History Month: Find resources and watch for updates at wpaumc.org/blackhistorymonth.

Disability Awareness Weekend is Feb. 15-16! It’s a time to celebrate the gifts and graces of persons with disabilities and support their full inclusion in the community. Offerings received are used to promote awareness of issues, as well as support ministries that provide opportunities for fuller inclusion of people with disabilities. For resources, visit wpaumc.org/SpecialSundays or the UMC Disability Awareness Ministries website.

Leadership Development

Ministry Internship Applications are due Friday! Get details at wpaumc.org/internships.

A Matter of Trust: Amy Valdez Barker, who will be in Western PA March 11 for an Albright Deering workshop at Christ UMC in Franklin and lectures at Pittsburgh Theological the following day, sent a welcome video so you can learn more about her subject. Watch 
Learn more and register now.

Institute on Preaching: The Rev. O. Wesley Allen Jr., preacher, educator and widely published author, will lead the 2020 Schooler Institute on Preaching at Methodist Theological School in Ohio. The two-day event will be held March 3-4 on the MTSO campus, 3081 Columbus Pike in Delaware, OH. The event is free to the public, as is lunch both days. Read more

Next Step Conference: Discipleship with leadership coach Andy Kerr will be offered at Asbury UMC on March 14. Sponsored by the Erie-Meadville District, it is open to all. Get details and register.

Clergy Education.com offers several online continuing education opportunities for United Methodist leaders. Check out the offerings at ClergyEducation.com


Volunteers in Mission Training for those who want to lead a mission team is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 29 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Conference Center. Register here

Zim Immersion Deadline Near: Saturday, Feb. 1 is the last day to apply for this year’s Zimbabwe Immersion Program.  Get details and application at wpaumc.org/ZIP.

In the News: A recent visit to Western PA by Emmanuel Chiimba of The Nyadire Mission in Zimbabwe spurred Tim Wesley to share the story of the partnerships that have developed through The Nyadire Connection. It was featured in Sunday's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. See story

Ministry with the Poor

Grants Available for Anti-Poverty Ministries: Did you know that the WPAUMC Poverty Team has resources to help with local church poverty ministries? The grants have helped multiple agencies and churches to be God’s people helping others in the world. Learn more

Our Way Home Gala: The Erie UM Alliance’s annual Our Way Home Gala is scheduled for 6 p.m., Friday, February 28 in the Crystal Ballroom of the Ambassador Conference Center, 7794 Peach St., Erie. You’re invited! It's an enjoyable evening that will benefit EUMA’s life-changing ministries for families and veterans experiencing homelessness. Learn more at euma-erie.org.

Stories of Struggle and Survival: In a Storyburgh program tonight at East End Cooperative Ministries, the Rev. Kellie Wild, director of the IMPACTS program others who have experienced or worked with individuals struggling with low wages/poverty/homelessness will share their stories of survival. You can explore some of those stories and gain understanding at.storyburgh.org/R1/


Soul Shop for Youth Workers:The conference is hosting Soul Shop: A mental health training for youth workers on Saturday, Feb. 29 at 10 am at Christ UMC, Bethel Park. Registration is $20 and includes lunch. See the flyer below for more information on this workshop. Download Flier with more info.

Register today at wpa-reg.brtapp.com/SoulShop/register.

SPARK 2020 is in the books!  An event like this doesn’t just happen, says Youth and Young Adult coordinator Amanda Gilligan. There is a wonderful team that works all year long -- too many to name, but thanks to all of the conference youth ministry team youth and leaders, our Bishop and cabinet, our tech team, safety team, vendors, hotel staff, and the countless volunteers and supporters who have helped! And of course to all the great youth leaders and youth in WPA! See photos at facebook.com/wpaumc/


A #MeToo Toolkit has been developed by the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women (GCSRW) which joins others around the world in addressing the problem of sexual misconduct in church and society. Download free toolkit or learn more

GC2020 Scholarships for Rural Advocates: The group United Methodist Rural Advocates is offering 10 scholarships to cover housing and some meals of people attending the 2020 General Conference, IF they meet the group's criteria. Apply by Feb. 28. The scholarships are made possible by a grant from the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. Learn more

UMC News

Traditionalist Event Draws Crowd: UM News’s Sam Hodges reports that more than 1,000 people, mostly from Alabama, attended a Jan. 25 meeting aimed at exploring a traditionalist denomination that would separate from The United Methodist Church. Read story

Negotiators urge hold on trials, closures: Part of the new protocol for The United Methodist Church's separation calls for an immediate pause in closing churches and processing complaints related to LGBTQ restrictions. UM News’ Heather Hahn reports on this part of the agreement and its impact. Read story

Advance DCA Online: The Advance Daily Christian Advocate, which contains the agenda, delegate listings and already submitted legislation for the 2020 General Conference, is now out. Delegates should be receiving print copies in the mail. See Advance Daily Christian Advocat

Church Boots Older Members? Not exactly, but members of Grove UMC pushed back when they found out the church would close and relaunch in six months or so with an emphasis on seeking out younger people for the congregation. With just 30 people worshipping weekly, church leaders say things had to change. Read story

Just for Fun

Celebrate Marriage: Join Rev. Eric and Tara Park for a Valentine’s Weekend retreat at Olmsted Manor. There will be no set agenda, but Eric and Tara will lead a few fun activities. Provide some musical entertainment and leave lots of time for you to celebrate the blessings of your marriage with your best friend.  Get details.