Tour the Camps Bike-a-thon! Since 2018, the Campership Bike-a-Thon has raised more than $44,000 to support the Deeply Rooted, Upward Reaching campaign for camping and retreat ministries. After two seasons of riding from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C., the 2020 route will take in our three camps, Olmsted Manor retreat center, At the Lake Ministries and Healthy Village Learning Institute. The ride will be Sept. 26-30. Get details and register.
Wesley Woods Restructuring: After receiving cancellations from three groups who each planned to rent the camp facilities for a week in August, the board of Wesley Woods had to move more quickly than expected with restructuring for financial sustainability. As a result, all but one year-round staff position will be eliminated after the close of the abbreviated 2020 summer camping season. Read announcement.
Oldest Clergy Member Dies: Rev. Donald E. Struchen, whose memorable remarks after receiving the Thoburn Cane as the oldest clergy member were a highlight of last year’s Annual Conference session, passed away Sunday, June 28 at his home. He was 97 ½ years old. Read more
Methodists and Racism: Historians and other church leaders on Wednesday joined a live-streamed town hall to explore Methodism's complicated and sometimes suppressed record on race. They hoped to help United Methodists turn away from past sins and dismantle racism. Read story
A Service of Lament: As part of denomination's anti-racism initiative, church leaders are sharing an unflinching online "Service of Lament, Repentance, Communion and Commitment." The hourlong video weaves in Scripture, prayer, spirituals, photos of racial violence victims — and anguished testimony by United Methodists of color. Read UM News story
Come Together: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi, Pittsburgh District Superintendent Dawn Hand, and Rev. Tom Parkinson, pastor of Dutilh UMC were among the United Methodists present for a Come Together event in a Cranberry Township park last Saturday. All three were mentioned in a Cranberry Eagle story. Read it
Black in Butler County: To help spur positive discussion, two residents of Butler County spoke with a Cranberry Eagle reporter about their experiences. Read story
A Place to Start: As United Methodists are being urged to take action against the sin of racism, one place to begin is by reading books from a variety of perspectives. The United Methodist Publishing House and the Commission on Religion and Race have some recommendations for beginning the journey. Read story
Talking with Children About Racism: Bringing children into calm, educated discussions can help a younger generation confront the reality of racism and be part of ending racial injustice. UMC.org suggests books and other resources to help address this difficult topic with children. Read story
General Conference Q&A: Because of COVID-19, General Conference organizers are grappling with an unprecedented postponement of the lawmaking assembly. The commission that plans the big meeting answered questions from Heather Hahn about some of the ramifications of the delay. Read Q&A
What’s Next for the UMC? When the pandemic ends, confusion will remain in the denomination, writes Rev. William B. Lawrence, former dean of SMU’s Perkins School of Theology and former president of the UMC Judicial Council. Read his commentary.
Masks Mandatory as COVID Cases Jump: Pennsylvania officials on Wednesday expanded the mask-wearing order, saying it is “essential to stopping the recent increase in COVID-19 cases we have seen in Pennsylvania. Those hot spots can be traced to situations where Pennsylvanians were not wearing masks or practicing social distancing – two practices that must be adhered to if we want to maintain the freedoms we have in place under our reopening,” said Gov. Tom Wolf. The order clarified outdoor requirements. Read more
Why/Where the Increases? Over the last two weeks, increases were reported in 21 counties, led by Allegheny and its surrounding counties in SWPA. Allegheny County said cases among younger people were traced to about 15 local bars/restaurants serving alcohol or 60 out-of-state locations, especially coastal areas. Read TribLive story
Read Post-Gazette story
Covid and Health in Zimbabwe: Hannah Mafunda, health coordinator for the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area Health Board, manages multiple projects to meet the health needs of people seeking care from UM health facilities. In combatting Covid-19 she’s working with ecumenical partners, as well as UMC agencies. Read more
Hygiene Kits for Shelters: UMCOR is accepting requests for Hygiene Kits for shelters. If you know of any shelters in the conference that need Hygiene Kits, suggest they fill out the Relief Supply Request Form or contact WPAUMC Disaster Response Coordinator, David Kissinger at firstname.lastname@example.org
UM Advocacy in PA: Rev. Dai Morgan’s latest report on what’s happening in Harrisburg is packed with information on COVID-19 actions, school/university reopenings, police reform bills and other matters of interest. Read it
Keep up with UM Advocacy here
Dementia and the Church: Discipleship Ministries offers a new webinar series starting July 10. The first session will help participants understand and recognize the differences in “normal” and “not normal” aging. They’ll also learn ways to connect with people affected by dementia. Get details and register.
See sessions from the first series on Dementia
Update Your Find-a-Church Profile! Connect with people seeking comfort and community by updating your church’s Find-A-Church profile! You can even add links to online worship opportunities and social media pages. Get started by finding your church profile using the search box (put in your zip code), then clicking “update church” at the bottom of your church’s profile. Go to Find-a-Church.