WPAUMC enews, May 20, 2020



Discipleship Conversations: Rev. Chris Kindle, WPAUMC coordinator of Discipleship and Spiritual Formation, has launched a video series called Gleanings: Discipleship Conversations. See the first two installments on the WPA Discipleship YouTube Channel. 

Morgan To Lead PA Council of Churches: Dai Morgan, a Western PA pastor who has served as coordinator of UM Advocacy in PA for five years, has been named interim executive director of the Pennsylvania Council of Churches. Read more

Focus on Women Leaders: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi will be one of five United Methodist female bishops on a panel focusing on Female Leadership in the Religious Realm during an online Women’s Leadership Conference sponsored by California State University, San Bernardino. The panel discussion is scheduled from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. EDT on May 22. The event is free, but registration is required. Learn more

Clergy Zoom Conversations: Our May 20 Clergy Zoom Conversation featured two WPA pastors who did not routinely offer online worship sharing how they got started and what they learned. Some pointers were offered for taking online experience to the next level. The takeaways are posted at wpaumc.org/covid-19-clergy-conversations

Interested in Creation Care? In last week's enews, anyone interested in occasional conversation about caring for God’ Creation were invited to contact Rev. Lynette Moran. But the email address for her contained a typo. It's not too late to contact her at the correct email address lynettesmoran@gmail.com.

In the News

Worship Without Singing? Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi shared her thoughts on how important singing is to United Methodists in an interview with Pittsburgh Post-Gazette religion reporter Peter Smith. She’s quoted in his story published May 16. Read it.

Annual Conference Plans Vary:  WPAUMC Sessions Chair, Rev. Alan Morrison, is quoted in a UM News story about the variety of plans various annual conferences have for conducting their sessions in the era of COVID-19.  Read story
NOTE: Plans for ordination services have changed since Morrison was interviewed for the story. Keep up with what’s happening at wpaumc.org/AC.

Church Closing Endangers Food Pantry: As efforts continue to find a new home for the food pantry located at Park UMC in Johnstown, WJAC-TV reported on the situation this week. See the report

Poverty, Hunger Ministry

Food Insecurity: This week UM News Service is reporting on efforts by United Methodists to tackle food insecurity. Read more about ministries in the U.S.
In Africa, UM congregations are rallying together to support church members and communities facing the double whammy of hunger and the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more


Global COVID Response: UMCOR continues to offer support to vulnerable populations affected by coronavirus through grants. Forty-seven were awarded recently through the “Sheltering in Love” campaign to partners addressing food and economic insecurity, water, sanitation, hygiene, and health in their communities. An additional 32 grants were sent as an immediate response to the outbreak, bringing the total to $818,626 around the world. Join the response!

Mission News: Check out updates on local and global ministries in this week’s issue of the Mission News.

Ecumenical, Interfaith Ministries

Sofa Spirituality: Rev. Liddy Barlow of Christian Associates of SWPA, and Rabbi Ron Symon of the Center for Loving Kindness in Pittsburgh invite you to join in a new interfaith dialogue initiative from the comfort of your home. Sofa Spirituality offers brief interviews with diverse people of faith and an opportunity to join in a small group Zoom conversation about the interview.. Learn more and see an interview at sofaspirituality.org.  

Reclaiming Hope: The National Council of Churches, Christian Churches Together and Churches Uniting in Christ  jointly offer a May 28 webinar featuring a collection of great speakers suggesting ways to reclaim hope in the midst of the pandemic. Get details and register

 A Time to Mourn: The National Council of Churches USA will hold a public online memorial service at 6 p.m.on Sunday, May 24, 2020 to mourn the more than 300,000 people worldwide who have lost their lives to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 90,000 were in the United States. Get details and register

UMC Memorial Services: Churches in New Jersey are working to help United Methodists mourning deaths in their families to go through the grief process even though the coronavirus is halting full-fledged funerals for now. At Park United Methodist Church, monthly livestreamed memorial services are being planned. Heather Mistretta has the story.
Read story


Do Not Be Afraid! Amplify Media offers free video content based on Adam Hamilton’s Unafraid, a timely churchwide and small-group study that guides readers in spiritual practices to counter anxiety and fear. See video content
Learn more about Amplify Media free content

New Way to Inspire Church Giving: Launch an #IGiveUMC campaign in your congregation! United Methodists donate to local churches in honor of someone who's made a difference to them, then post on social media to inspire others to do the same. Learn more and download resources.


Virtual VBS: Cokesbury’s Vacation Bible School division is revising the content of its 2020 “Knights of North Castle” curriculum to let children and families participate completely online from home. It is also making all of its digital content available free to any church that wants it. Learn more. 
Uth4Mission: Although the 2020 Uth4Mission has been cancelled due to concerns over COVID-19, leaders are encouraging local church youth groups to consider a work project in their community if conditions permit. 

Summer Without Church Camp? While traditional summer camp experiences might not be possible due to social distancing this year,virtual connections are offering new ministry possibilities. Discover how United Methodists across the U.S. are planning to continue camp programming for campers and their families. Read UM News story
(NOTE: As of now, WPAUMC camps still plan to offer programming beginning in late June. For schedules and updates, visit the camp websites using the links at wpaumc.org/camping

Online Training

Video Editing: Church leaders can learn how to use the Adobe Rush video-editing tool through a new, free training program from UM Communications. Adobe Rush enables church staff and volunteers to produce ministry videos with a polished look for posting on church websites and social media channels. Learn more

Wesley Online Classes: Wesley Theological Seminary is offering all its upcoming summer courses online. The semester runs from May 26 to Aug. 1, with courses starting throughout the semester. Highlights include courses on Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Howard Thurman. Learn more or register