WPAUMC enews, June 24, 2020



Bishops Vow This Time Will Be Different! Watch and learn more about the official launch of the UMC’s renewed effort to dismantle racism and press on to freedom. Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi is one of five bishops in the video announcement on Juneteenth. See video and story

Hear Bishop Cynthia discussing the initiative with Lynne Hayes-Freeland on her KDKA Radio 1020 AM show on Saturday, June 27 at 3:05 p.m. 

Regional Ordination Services: The dates and times for the three regional ordination services have been set for Saturdays in October and November. Get details at wpaumc.org/AC.

Summer Licensing School: The 2020 Summer Residential Licensing School will be held from Sunday evening, July 26 - Wednesday, August 5 at Olmsted Manor Retreat Center in Ludlow. Apply as soon as possible. Class size will be limited due to COVID-19 precautions. Get application with details. 

New Mt. Harmony Church Dedicated: Three years after a tractor-trailer crashed into the historic Mt. Harmony UMC in Wellersburg and the building was condemned, the congregation dedicated a new church building farther back on its property. Read more

District Office Moves: Along with the clergy  in the process of moving to new appointments, two District offices will also be in new locations on July 1.  The Erie-Meadville office will be located at Edinboro UMC, 113 High Street, Edinboro, PA 16412, and the Pittsburgh District office moved last week to space in the Pittsburgh Presbytery Bldg. at 901 Allegheny Ave., across from Calvary UMC on Pittsburgh’s North Side. 

Dismantling Racism 

A Service of Lament: On Wednesday afternoon, United Methodist leaders from across the nation gathered online to pray and lament for the racism in our midst. The service helps individuals hear God’s call to join in the work of dismantling racism and pressing on to freedom for all. Watch the service, then see what you can do, at www.umc.org/endracism

Be Part of the Change! How can the church reach out with sensitivity about race and injustice? To effectively communicate beyond your congregation and culture, try to forge a true, interpersonal connection with those you want to reach. It would help to also do some homework, says John Coleman, Communications Director in the Eastern PA Conference. Read more.

Making Cross- Cultural Connections: WPA United Methodists who have made cross-cultural connections participated in a June 10 Clergy Conversation via Zoom. Check out the takeaways from the session.

White Privilege is a hard concept to understand for white people.   But Dr. Robin DeAngelo, a white author and antiracist educator, deconstructs it and addresses some of the arguments people use to deny it applies to them. Watch video 
The Pittsburgh Arts and Lecture Series offers $10 tickets to a virtual event with Robin DeAngelo on Sept. 10 at 7 p.m. Get details
Teaching Cultural Compassion: Tura Foster Gillespie, who will soon receive Deacon’s Orders in the Northern Illinois Conference, has created a database of books to help children learn about cultures other than their own so they can see all people as human beings and treat them with dignity and respect. Through her website, you can find books featuring children of color, links to authors reading their books, and much more. Visit TeachingCulturalCompassion.org
Talking About Race: No matter where you are on your journey of understanding, the resources on the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture can help. Explore Talking About Race


Clergy Education: This week Clergy Education features webinars on Using Storytelling to Make Your Sermons Memorable with Charles Maynard on June 25, and Growing the Church by Becoming Part of the Community with Olu Brown on July 8. 
See upcoming online classes at clergyeducation.com/about/

Youth Worker/Young People Heads Up: Later this summer, the Youth Worker Collective website will become part of a larger umbrella of ministry resources for young people at an updated UMCyoungpeople.org, the homepage for Young People’s Ministries. Young People’s Ministries is a part of UMC Discipleship Ministries and the crew that runs UMCyoungpeople.org is also runs the Youth Worker Collective, so the same quality content will still be easy to find. Visit umcyoungpeople.org
Visit youthworkercollective.com

For Churches with Female Pastors: A harsh reality is that most clergywomen still face sexism. The tradition of women in ministry goes back to biblical times. Learn to celebrate female pastoral leadership with To the Point: Suggestions for Churches with a Clergywoman.

 In the News

Mergers can breathe life into new ministries. The Beaver County Times published a story about the merger process of College Hill UMC in Beaver Falls and Beaver UMC in Beaver, and the sense of hope felt by the new College Ave. UMC. Read it
Bishop Helps Launch Antiracism Initiative: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette posted a story last Friday on Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi’s role in  launching the denomination’s effort to mobilize members to work toward dismantling racism in the church and society. Read story
Council of Churches Applauds DACA Decision: In a 5-4 ruling on June 18, the U.S. Supreme Court said the Trump Administration violated the Administrative Procedures Act when it terminated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The majority opinion, written by Chief Justice Roberts, means that the program remains in effect, affecting nearly 700,000 DACA recipients and thousands of families who would be torn apart by detention and deportation of DACA recipients who are parents and spouses. Read statement


 This week’s Mission News has a feature on The Cove, an accessible and magnetic space at Greenstone UMC for area youth to experiment with various art expressions in an environment that cultivates discipleship. There’s also a list of collection spots for UMCOR kits. Read it
Abundant Health: An Africa University student and a Yale student co-founded a company they hope can fill health care gaps in African communities. Dubbed the "Ubuntu Clinic," their idea involves the use of micro-franchising to roll out solar-powered mini-clinics in places where health care infrastructure is nonexistent, deteriorating or woefully inadequate. Read story

Dismantling Poverty

Project Shoes: United Methodist Human Services is participating in a  Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community virtual fundraiser to support Project Shoes, providing new, seasonally appropriate, well-fitting shoes to under-resourced kids in close to 50 schools and agencies across five counties. There was a real walk with photos submitted of their journey. To support the effort, send checks with Highmark Walk in the memo line to UMHS at 510 Locust Street, Johnstown, PA 15901 by July 15 or visit the UMHS walk page. 

Acute Food Insecurity: The World Food Program reports that the number of people facing acute food insecurity could rise to 265 million in 2020 due to the economic impact of COVID-19, nearly double the number in 2019. Food-related ministries, a mainstay of UMC mission work, have provided a way for the church to respond to the pandemic even when pews were empty. An UMCOR fund was set up to provide grants to help churches and partners assist vulnerable populations. Learn more in UM News three-part series on food insecurity. 

Thanks from EUMA: Executive Director Kurt Crays and the staff at the Erie UM Alliance (EUMA) recently posted a video thank you to supporters. To get an idea of EUMA’s ministries to help those facing a housing crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, watch it.