WPAUMC enews, July 29, 2020



Bishop’s Tribute to Rep. John Lewis: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi wasn’t born when John Lewis made his first march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965, but watching him cross it for the last time he on July 26 brought her to tears. Read her reflection

Bells for John Lewis: Houses of worship around the country will ring their bells for 80 seconds on July 30 at 11 a.m. EDT — during funeral services for Congressman John Lewis. The bell ringing honors the 80 years of the civil rights leader's life. Congregations without church bells can honor Lewis in other ways, including moments of silence and changing church signs. For details, go to bellsforJohnLewis.com

Conference UMW Meeting Going Virtual: The Conference United Methodist Women’s annual meeting, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 24, will be offered in an online webinar format, rather than in person. The keynote address by the Rev. Debra Flint, an ordained deacon and licensed clinical social worker, is entitled “There’s Nothing Selfish About Self Care.” Registration will open on the Conference website by September 1.

 Mission u Scheduling Note: The decision to move the Oct. 24 Conference UMW meeting to a virtual format prompted Mission u leaders to cancel the planned Finding Peace in an Anxious World class planned for Oct. 23 at the same location, Butler First UMC. As of this week, plans were still in place to offer the class on Oct. 2, the day before Annual Conference, at Lakewood UMC in Erie. Rev. Lisa Grant, the study leader, is currently teaching the class on Tuesday mornings via Zoom. Learn more.

Ecumenical/Interreligious Project Grants: The Council of Bishops is offering three grants, each in the amount of US $1,000 to groups within annual conferences for projects designed to strengthen ecumenical and/or interreligious relationships. The application deadline is September 14, 2020. Get details.

Funeral services will be held Friday at Hastings UMC for Dorothy Weaver, wife of retired Rev. John Weaver. Read obituary.

Justice/Dismantling Racism

Pastors with Badges Back Reforms: United Methodist police chaplains and pastors who serve in law enforcement talked with UM News writer Heather Hahn about what changes might help both officers and the people they serve and protect.  Read story

Black Lives Matter a Religious Movement: Rev. James Lawson, a United Methodist pastor chosen by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King to train young civil rights activists to fight racism with love and respect, says calling the Black Lives Matter marches “protests” is focusing on the wrong word. Read more. 


Mediation Skills Training: Registration is now open for sessions of Mediation Skills Training Institute scheduled for October 5-9 and November 16-20, 2020.  The institute is designed for clergy and church leaders to learn skills that will help them deal more effectively with interpersonal, congregational, and other forms of group conflict.  Registrants will attend remotely, and will need a device with both a camera and microphone in order to participate fully.  Download brochure 

Learn to Cope in Pandemic: In addition to this 5-day event, the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center is offering a variety of 90-minute webinars designed to help people cope with the unique challenges that arise from the current pandemic. Discounts of up to $200 are available!  Learn more

Exodus Preaching: United Theological Seminary’s 19th Summer Preaching Seminar will feature Rev. Dr. Kenyatta Gilbert, author of Exodus Preaching: Crafting Sermons about Justice and Hope. Offered as a webinar, it’s scheduled for August 12-14. Get details and register

Moved Lately? If you have recently retired from active ministry or moved to a new appointment, help us keep in touch with you by updating your address through Clergy Dashboard. While your new appointment has been entered into our database, we don’t know your home or preferred mailing address unless you enter the information. Log in at wpaumc.org/peopledashboard

Hunger, Poverty Ministries

Feeding Hungry Kids: TribLive focused on the Grab ‘n Go drive-by Kids’ Meal Program at Otterbein UMC in Greensburg in an article about efforts to feed those in need in the area. The church had planned to serve as a site for UM Church Union’s Kids’ Meal Network before the pandemic hit.  Read it.  

Adapting to Feed Adults and Kids: Throughout the spring and summer, Pittsburgh-based United Methodist Church Union, with the help of volunteers, continued to provide nutritious meals through its Daily Bread ministry three times weekly on the city’s Northside -- but in takeout form. The Kids Meal Network is distributing food at 19 locations across Allegheny/Armstrong/Westmoreland Counties to stand in the gap and deliver to-go meals when schools cannot. Church Union’s Reading & Mentoring Network is adding books to meal deliveries – giving children brand new reading material. Learn more and see how you can help (Read COVID-19 message)

Clean Water Efforts in Zimbabwe, Malawi: The Nyadire Connection’s efforts to add solar power to the two main water pumps at the Nyadire Mission was included in a July 24 United Methodist News story about improvements to water systems in Malawi and Zimbabwe. Read story

Communication Resources

Tips for Connecting in the Digital Realm: As many churches have learned recently, digital platforms provide opportunities to reach more people through listening, prayer, storytelling, and evangelism. Tim Snyder of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership offers six tips to strengthen digital outreach and build relationships that might be as strong as our face-to-face ones. See 6 Tips for connecting in the Digital Realm

Need a Church Website? If your church doesn’t have a website, you’re invited to apply for a Website Development Package from United Methodist Communications. It includes one year of web hosting and domain name registration, WordPress online training and support,pre-designed templates and email accounts and storage. Get details.

Upcoming Events

Wesley Woods Golf Scramble: The 19th annual event benefiting Wesley Woods and camperships is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 12 at Riverview Golf Course in Cambridge Springs, PA.  Get flyer with details.