WPAUMC enews, July 15, 2020



Bishop To Lead GCORR: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi was elected president of the board of the UMC General Commission on Religion and Race last Saturday. Learn more

Race and the Church 2020: Five United Methodist bishops, including Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi, explored the role of the church in this time on a Hip Politics discussion forum last weekend.  They shared scriptural and polity mandates to advocate for the oppressed, and explored a variety of subjects, including the need to advocate for expanded internet access for those in underserved rural areas. Watch

Communication Enhancement Grants: Less than 48 hours after email  notification of grants available to help with costs churches incurred to connect with constituents online during the pandemic, nearly 40 had applied. The Conference received funds from the UM Foundation of Western PA for the grants. Priority is given to churches that had no online worship or live-streaming capabilities prior to the pandemic.  Learn more. 

All Aboard? With proper protocols in place to protect guests with special needs, At the Lake Ministries hopes to begin fishing and sailing charters on Lake Erie the week of July 31. Get details

Last Chance for Generosity Development Intro: You have until next Monday to register for the July 22 Zoom discussion with Mike Ward on Beginning a Culture of Generosity. It’s from 9-10 a.m. Get details and Register. 

Finding Peace in An Anxious World: There are still a few spaces left in Rev. Lisa Grant's  4-week Tuesday morning Zoom study Finding Peace in an Anxious World. It’s an adaptation of the Spiritual Growth study planned for Mission u 2020 and it begins on July 21. All are welcome to register.  Learn more.

Check Your Mikes! Thanks to Pastor Preston Hutchins of the Oswayo Valley Charge and Kane DS Pat Lenox, we learned that wireless microphones using 617-652 MHz and 663-698 MHz frequencies can no longer be used. The FCC sold off those frequencies in 2017 and 7/13/2020 was the cutoff date for using them. Learn more

Cherry Run Virtual Camp Meeting: The camp meeting is moving online with worship each night at 7 p.m. from July 26-30. Join Rev. John Zimmerman, Conference Evangelist, at cherryruncamp.online.church.  
See and share video invitation


Olmsted Manor Welcomes Mission Groups: If your summer mission plans were cancelled and you’re looking for opportunities closer to home, consider working on indoor or outdoor projects at Olmsted Manor or using the retreat center as home base for volunteering elsewhere in the area. Individuals or small groups are welcome, but must abide by Olmsted’s COVID-related guest guidelines. Email Rev. Al Hammer (al@olmstedmanor.org) for more information. Visit olmstedmanor.org

Rebuild Opportunity: WPA Missions is looking for volunteers willing to help rebuild a home in Reynoldsville, PA in partnership with the Red Cross. A tree fell on the two-story home, so roof repair including shingles and siding is needed.  If you have construction experience or are willing to offer any assistance, email sandra.matoushaya@wpaumc.org

Connect with Church and Community Workers! Our newest CCW, Colleen Miller-Donor is one of the featured missionaries in this week's Global Ministries #stillinmission virtual conversation on Thursday, July 16,  at 1 p.m.  Register.

WPA Missions Conversation: All three of our Church and Community Workers will talk about their lives as missionaries and what they do in Western PA during a Mission Conversation on July 23 at 7 p.m. Register

Leadership Development

Building Community Partnerships: Rev. Liddy Barlow’s Powerpoint presentation from last week’s Clergy Conversation on building community partnerships has been posted on the Conference website at wpaumc.org/covid-19-clergy-conversations
Rev. Barlow also recommended a video to learn how to communicate effectively with elected officials. Watch Southwest PA Bread for the World’s 2020 Advocacy Workshop Top Ten Tips for Effective Congressional Office Visits 

Want to Preserve Your Church's History? The UMC Commission on Archives and History is offering a free online course that will cover a range of skills needed to become a church historian. The 12-week course will begin Sept. 14 and people can take it at their own pace.  Read press release

Leading in Crisis: The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry is offering a series of e-panel discussions for church leaders. Today’s edition dealt was Setting Next Steps when your Feet Are Weary. Watch
Past sessions, including one on Church Finance, are on the GBHEM YouTube Channel

I’m Not Alone: Most of us have been taught that we are individuals and we analyze problems from an individual perspective. But the world functions systematically. Systems rule, yet they are invisible to us. To learn about the nature of systems, join a Facebook Live Event from 2-5 p.m. EDT July 20 hosted by MICAH and the Upper Room Spiritual Formation Academy at facebook.com/events/249062899723590 
or get details at micahprays.org/events/learning.htm

Dismantling Racism

Listen First! As congregations work toward equality for all, it may be helpful to hear from some local church experts on how to improve communication with people from different racial and ethnic groups. Here are some tips about listening, language choices and more. Read story

UMC News and Views

Megachurch Leaves UMC: Granger Community Church, a 3,300-member congregation in north central Indiana, has left The United Methodist Church and has agreed to pay the Indiana Conference $2.6 million. Church leaders said they wanted to name the successor to the founding pastor rather than have one appointed. Read story

Any Word from the Lord? If the world at last is having a disruptive, emotional, truthful conversation about race, it’s appropriate for Christians to ask their preachers, “Any word from the Lord?”, says retired Bishop and Duke Divinity Professor Will Willimon. Read his Preaching Grace for an Antiracist Church. 

White Privilege? Growing up in a financially challenged household, Bishop Sally Dyck didn't consider herself privileged. Yet the Chicago Area Bishop says she now realizes the advantages she had because of her white skin. Read commentary and watch video

Shaped by Institutional Racism: Rev. Rich Peck, the director of communications for United Methodist Men, says he didn’t emerge from the womb with any concept of race. But he was shaped by a society that shielded him from understanding the difficulties experienced by people with darker skin. Read his commentary

In the News

PA Adopts Police Reform Bills: Two policing reform bills which passed the Pennsylvania House and Senate unanimously were signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Tom Wolf.  One law is designed to prevent problematic officers from continuing to find employment in police departments. The other requires specific training related to cultural sensitivity and de-escalation techniques, and requires mental health screening for PTSD for officers after using lethal force or if requested by a supervisor. Learn more.

World Hunger Increasing: The number of people going hungry increased for the fifth consecutive year, affecting almost 690 million in 2019 and reversing a decades-long trend of decline that ended in 2014.  The coronavirus pandemic could push up to 132 million people into hunger by the end of 2020, according to a new report from the U.N. Read more.