Our Lenten Journey: As we move into the season of Lent, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi shared a letter from the Northeastern Jurisdiction College of Bishops. See what they have to say.
Ash Wednesday Pastoral Letter: Bishop Kenneth Carter, the president of Council of Bishops, has issued a pastoral letter that is posted on the Council of Bishops website. Read it.
Real Life: Rev. Tony Fallisi, pastor of Holiday Park UMC, was featured in the closing segment of the Ash Wednesday edition of Real Life on Cornerstone TV. He talked about the deeper meaning of Ash Wednesday and shared the story of his own call to ministry. The segment was hosted by Tom McGough, a member of Holiday Park who is general manager of Cornerstone’s Faith and Family Channel. Watch the show
Lenten Photo a Day: Each day during Lent, Rethink Church has designated a word of the day. All are invited to pause, reflect and post a response on social media. Your post should illustrate how you perceive each word of the day. No explanation needed. You can share a photo, poem or even a simple thought. Tag your instagram photos with @rethinkchurch or use [@umrethinkchurch] with #rethinkchurch on Twitter. You can also post on Rethink Church’s Facebook page facebook.com/umcrethinkchurch/
Learn more and get list of words
Coins for Lent: During Lent, many of us are reminded to examine our lifestyles. It’s also a good time to support a project that helps those in need. One way to involve the whole family is to collect coins, then donate what has been collected after Easter. Read more
Download family daily guide and coin calendar.
Deaths: A service celebrating the life of the Rev. Gail McQueen will be held Saturday, Feb. 29 at Harmony-Zelienople UMC. See obituary.
Classifieds: Wesley Woods is seeking a Food Service Director and some local churches have open positions they’d like to fill. Learn more at wpaumc.org/classifieds
Trust By Design: If you’re planning to attend the March 11 Albright-Deering workshop with Amy Valdez Barker at Christ UMC in Franklin and want to be fully engaged, watch the TED talks or read some of material she recommends for contemplation or discussion before the event. Register for the workshop
See the list of recommended resources
Get details on March 12 Albright-Deering Lecture at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary at pts.edu/AD-2020
Section Leader Training: Laity and clergy are invited to a training to equip them to lead legislative sections at annual conference -- or meetings in other venues. The first of two sessions is scheduled for Saturday, March 21. Learn more
Visionary Leadership Event: There’s still time to register for the March 7 Visionary Leadership event with Dr. Jacqui King of UMC Discipleship Ministries. Get details.
College Credit for Course of Study: Women who are licensed local pastors in The United Methodist Church can now use their Course of Study classes toward an online degree with Wesleyan College, a church-related women’s college in Macon, Georgia. United Methodist-related Union College in Barbourville, Kentucky, is planning a similar program that is coeducational. Read press release
The Underground Railroad: As Black History Month comes to a close, some might be interested in an article that surfaced entitled Crawford County’s Secret Stop on the Underground Railroad.
In Allegheny County, one of the stops on a sold-out Open Doors Pittsburgh tour of Underground Railroad sites this weekend will be Dollar Bank, which has served generations of African Americans since 1872. Read more about the bank’s customers and other sites on the tour. See Pittsburgh Post-Gazette feature
Come By Here: Pittsburgh’s WQED broadcasts programming created by and about African-Americans year-round, engaging viewers in an exploration of Black History. Several documentaries aired this month commemorating the contributions of African Americans. The station also plans to air local and national programs about moments in history that helped shape race relations today. You may not get through them before the end of February, but take a look at the Black History Month features
One focuses on five historic black churches around Western PA. See Come By Here
30% More Homeless Students in PA: The number of homeless public school students in Pennsylvania increased by more than 30 percent from 2015-2018, according to a report released by the National Center for Homeless Education. That’s higher than the national average. Learn more
Church Pays Medical Debts for 4,220: People living at or near the poverty line in five Indiana counties will receive letters that their medical debts, totalling $5.9 million, have been paid. St. Andrew UMC worked with the nonprofit RIP Medical Debt to help 4,220 people in Carroll, Clinton, Montgomery, White and Tippecanoe counties. Read story
A Beautiful Day in Your Neighborhood: The DVD/BluRay of the award-winning Tom Hank’s movie about Fred Rogers is now available. If you’ll be viewing it in your home or small group setting, don’t forget that discussion guides for family or groups, developed by UMC Discipleship Ministries, are available to download from the movie website.
Welcoming New People: As we move toward Easter, it might be a good time to review and share Leading Ideas’ list of 50 Ways to Welcome New People.
Preaching to Those Tuning Out! Samaritan offers video versions of their recent three-part workshop on how to preach to those who are tuning out Christianity and Church. The workshops integrate insights from non-typical sources to take a fresh look at how modern media and messaging is changing how people think and listen, and how to adapt your preaching in the face of these challenges. Get details
Slimmer Book of Discipline? Since assigned by the 2012 General Conference, a UMC standing committee has painstakingly gone paragraph-by-paragraph through the current Book of Discipline’s Part VI to determine what parts of it are essential and applicable worldwide for all United Methodists. They’ve also tried to identify what is constitutionally adaptable by central conferences outside the U.S. The working document is online now and they are seeking feedback before completing their work. Learn more
GCFA Looks at “What If’s”: With a possible denominational split on the horizon, the task of preparing The United Methodist Church’s budget for the next four years comes with more uncertainty than usual. During a Feb. 21 online meeting, the General Council on Finance and Administration board discussed some of the what if’s that could affect the church’s financial future. Read more
UMCOR Sunday is March 22! It’s time to prepare and see what resources are available.