WPAUMC enews for Feb. 12, 2020



Camping Campaign Coordinator Named: As the Deeply Rooted, Upward Reaching campaign to support Western PA Conference Camping and Retreat Ministries enters its third year, Judy Barkus Meehan, an experienced non-profit executive and fundraiser, has been selected as the new campaign coordinator, effective Feb. 17. Read more

At The Lake Ministries has released their open dates for the 2020 season! ATLM offers opportunities for persons with special needs to enjoy fishing and cruising on Lake Erie. To view the dates and for directions on how to schedule a charter for your family or group, visit atthelakeministries.org

Leadership Development

Visionary Leadership Event: Rev. Dr. Jacqui King, Director of Leadership for Congregational Vitality at United Methodist Discipleship Ministries, will be the keynote speaker at a Visionary Leadership event for local church leaders on Saturday, March 7 at the Crossfire Campus of Butler First UMC. The Butler District is hosting the event, designed for laity and clergy. Get details

Ministry with the Poor

EUMA Leader to Speak in Kane District: Kurt Crays, executive director of the Erie Methodist Alliance, will be the guest speaker February 20 at Olmsted Manor Retreat Center. This event begins with lunch at 12:15 p.m., followed by a session focused on ministry with people experiencing poverty. There is a $5 cost and reservations are required. To register email kane.office@wpaumc.org or call 814-837-6115 by 9 a.m., Feb. 17.  

Habitat, Erie Offers Housing Aid: In Erie, Habitat for Humanity recently finished a new four-bedroom, two-bath home in the city of Ere and its executive director hopes the city’s expanded local expanded Loal Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance program encourages others to do the same. Read Times-News story

Get Involved with Habitat in Erie: Habitat for Humanity plans a faith build each summer, inviting anyone from the faith community to get involved. To find out more about what’s planned for 2020, attend an informational meeting at the Habitat for Humanity offices at 4922 Pittsburgh Avenue, in the community room. Sessions are offered Wednesday, March 25 at 10a.m. or Thursday, March 26 at 6:30p.m. Call Nancy Milkowski at the Habitat offices at 814-454-7025, ext. 104 to RSVP. 

Youth Ministry

Annual Conference: Do you have youth (from 7th grade - 12th grade) who are interested in being a page or youth delegate (voting member) at Annual Conference? They will need to come to Conference on June 9 at 1 pm and stay through June 13. There is no cost. Application forms are due March 30. Contact Amanda Gilligan at the conference office with questions. Get application.

Soul Shop: Ministering to Suicidal Desperation will be held on Feb. 29 at Christ UMC in Bethel Park at 10 a.m. Geared for youth leaders and other church leaders, the one-day, faith-based training is designed to equip people to minister to youth who are impacted by suicide and depression. Cost is $20 and includes lunch. Register here 

General Conference 2020

Protocol Legislation Released: At least two United Methodist annual conferences plan to vote next month on whether to forward legislation to the 2020 General Conference for the Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation. The protocol made international news when it was announced in early January, but the legislation to enact it has just been released. Read story
See FAQs and protocol legislation

Financial Realities Update: The General Council on Finance and Administration is providing information about the financial realities of the general church to various official agencies to help with ongoing conversations on the denomination’s future. It will also review feedback from the groups when it meets in-person in March. Learn more and read document 

Webinar on U.S. Regional Conference Plan: A live webinar, "Five Things to Know About United States Regional Conference," is planned for Feb. 20. It will address questions and concerns about legislation that the Connectional Table submitted to General Conference 2020 for consideration. Read news release

Online General Conference TrainingDoes your congregation need a better understanding of the importance and function of General Conference? Check out the free, self-directed Exploring General Conference online training course. During interactive, multimedia sessions, participants will learn about how the church works, its rich history and its legislative process. Get details

For the Record: In last week’s e-news, an incorrect CEU value was given for completing the Erie-Meadville District class on the General Conference with Rev. Alan Morrison. The March class offers 0.5 CEUs (NOT 5). Registration for the class, an elective in Erie-Meadville’s laity school, is open to clergy, but was due today, Feb. 12.

Dismantling Racism

Wrestling with Racism Road Trip: The Wrestling with Racism Team, a multi-racial group with members from Pittsburgh First and Warren United Methodist churches and and other communities of faith in the Pittsburgh area, will host a one-day trip to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC on March 14. The cost is $145 and scholarships are available for those who need financial assistance. Get flyer with details.


Is Your Church in Decline? Ron Edmondson says addressing decline promptly and honestly is difficult, but critical work for congregations in a slump. In a Leading Ideas piece, he recommends Seven Things to Do. See what they are

Starting a New Small Group or Ministry Team? Resource UMC offers Seven Creative Icebreakers to help people get to know each other. See them.

Use the 2020 Social Principles in Your Church! The new Social Principles are a resource  the whole church can use. Learn how you can use the Social Principles preface and preamble in your pulpit, Sunday school class, and in advocacy. Visit umcsocialprinciples2020.org/resources

Consider This

WWJD...on Valentine’s Day? Somehow we wouldn't expect to see Jesus desperately wandering the drug-store aisle, inspecting the remains of a picked-over candy selection. What if, on the holiday that generates $19.6 billion in American purchases of candy hearts, heart-shaped chocolate boxes, flower and jewelry, we adopted Jesus’ model of unconditional love? What if we started a tradition of forgiveness, service, and random acts of kindness? Read more