WPAUMC enews for March 4, 2020



Don't Miss Church on Sunday! Daylight Savings Time starts at 2 a.m. on Sunday March 8. Be sure to turn your clocks ahead.

Don’t Miss Rev. Amy Valdez Barker! You have less than a day to register for the March 11 workshop on building trust led by the UM Global Ministries executive and author of Trust By Design: The Beautiful Behaviors of an Effective Church Culture.  It’s at Christ UMC in Franklin. You can also hear her deliver the Albright Deering Lecture at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary the following day. Get details

Tennessee Tornado Response: Soon after tornadoes and hailstorms devastated several communities in Tennessee during the early morning hours of March 3, United Methodists were praying and working together to help those affected.  UMCOR has provided an emergency grant. At least three churches and a parsonage were severely damaged. The communities are not yet ready to receive outside volunteers. Learn more and see how you can help.

Abundant Health

Churches Adapt to Flu Season, Virus: With flu season in full swing and an increasing number of Coronavirus 2019 (COVID19) cases reported in the U.S., churches here and across the nation are modifying worship practices to guard against spreading disease. Learn how.

Coronavirus Info: UM Communications has compiled some information on what you should know and how to help as the Coronavirus spreads. Read it.


Mission Journey to Ecuador: The Conference Encounter with Christ in Latin America and the Caribbean is planning a mission journey to Ecuador in late July-early August. They are coordinating plans with the bishop's office in Ecuador to help build a Methodist grade school about two hours from the capital city of Quito. They may also help to facilitate a retreat for pastors and their families.  Planned dates are Monday, July 27 through August 4 or 5. People of all skill levels are encouraged to apply for this trip; Spanish language ability is not required. The cost will be less than $2,000. Questions? Contact Jodale Barnhart at jodalebarnhart@gmail.com or 724.753.2821. The group is also planning a trip to Guatemala for a wheelchair distribution the second week of November.

Learn More about Mission Opportunities! Come to the Mission Revival, scheduled for March 14 at Crossroads UMC’s North Fayette Campus (near the Pittsburgh airport)! Preregistration is welcome but not required. Get details

Ministry With the Poor

Zimbabwe Food Shortages: Zimbabwe is facing acute food shortages caused by persistent droughts and economic turmoil. The U.N. World Food Program estimates that half the population is facing food insecurity. The church is responding to help affected United Methodists in rural and urban communities. Read story

Smith Center Depends on Gifts:  None of the 28 residents at the Ruth M Smith Center, a national mission institution of the UMW, can pay the full cost of their care at the center in Sheffield, Kane District. They are dependent upon benevolent giving to make up the difference. See how you can help

Leadership Development

Be a Lewis Fellow! The Lewis Center for Church Leadership is accepting applications until April 20 for its Lewis Fellows program for outstanding young clergy. To learn more, or see who you recognize in the picture, click here. 

Hate Meetings? We’ve all sat through meetings that make us sad, mad, and bad. Sad about the wasted time and expertise. Mad about the outcomes. Feeling Bad can make us want to behave badly too! So what to do about the things we hate about meetings? Here are some ideas

Restarting Churches: A church that is fast losing attendance has two choices, according to a church restart expert. It can become a “hospice church” until there are no members left--or take dramatic steps to recruit new, younger members. A church in Florida is taking the latter approach, putting its property on the market and holding services in the Geek Easy bar. Read story

Helping Churches Thrive: Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. has received $1 million from Lilly Endowment Inc. for its Thriving Congregations Initiative. The initiative aims to empower United Methodist congregations who are “ready and eager to take the next faithful step towards vitality,” said the project leader. Learn more

Lacking Resources to Grow Your Ministry? Listen to the latest podcast from Leading Ideas Talks. You can hear Sidney Williams of Crossing Capital talk about how congregations can develop new sources of capital in the marketplace, engage community partners, and develop unrecognized sources of social, intellectual, and human capital within the pews. Listen

General Conference

Local Church Options Under Separation Plans:  A news analysis by Kathy Gilbert of UM News Service looks at the procedures for disaffiliation under the various separation plans coming before the 2020 General Conference and the options for local churches.  Learn more

GC and Coronavirus: The Executive Committee of the Commission on the General Conference is monitoring developments in the spread of coronavirus and will collaborate with public health authorities regarding recommended health and safety precautions to reduce exposure or transmission of illness when the 2020 General Conference meets in Minneapolis, Minn. May 5-15. Read more

Upcoming Spring Events

Work Week at Camp Allegheny is April 19-25. The annual work week is vital to getting everything read for an awesome summer of ministry! Projects for folks of nearly any skill level include: Baumann Annex remodeling; outdoor stair construction; lawn and grounds cleanup; slingshot course construction; landscaping, and the roof on the Health Center. To volunteer or learn more, contact Dennis at dennis@campallegheny.org.

Spring Spiritual Renewal at Olmsted Manor! Mini Mission u with Eric Park is scheduled for April 19-21 at Olmsted. There are $50 scholarships available for those who have never been to Olmsted.  Register by phone at 814-945-6512 and let them know it’s your first time coming there or learn more and register online