WPAUMC enews, August 5, 2020



Setting Your Pastor’s Salary: Although the 2020 Annual Conference has not met, the Conference Commission on Equitable Compensation issued its annual letter on how to set pastors’ salaries for 2021, including the minimum base salaries for those appointed to local churches. The commission is not recommending any change to the minimum salaries set for this year.  The letter will be emailed to pastors and local church leaders this week. See the letter.

Orientation to Ministry, ZOOM Edition! God is still calling people into ministry, perhaps more so during these challenging times.  To respond, attend an Orientation to Ministry, a ZOOM event offered on Saturday, September 12 from 9:30 to noon.  Learn more and register  

Summer Residential Licensing School wrapped up today at Olmsted Manor Retreat Center, where participants were masked and practiced social distancing. Leaders and teachers spoke from behind a plexiglas shield.  You can watch video from the graduation on Olmsted Manor’s Facebook page.  

Communication Enhancement Grants: The Conference has received 74 requests totaling more than $212,000 for communication enhancement grants that were offered to help churches with related costs of providing online worship during the current pandemic. The United Methodist Foundation provided about $20,000 for the grants. Because the need is obviously great, the Conference is looking for additional funding sources. Priority for grants is given to churches that had no online streaming capabilities before the pandemic. 

Death: Pray for the family of Dorothy Youngdahl, who passed away on July 29. She was the surviving spouse of the Rev. David Youngdahl,Sr., who passed away Oct. 2, 2018. They had been married 66 years. A private service for family only was scheduled. No additional details were available.

In the News: Rev. Joe Short, pastor of First UMC in Emporium, was interviewed for WJAC-TV’s story about the Kane District Ramp Ministry team installing a ramp for someone in need in the community. Watch

What’s Happening in Harrisburg? You can learn a lot about issues of interest to United Methodists by reading Rev. Dai Morgan’s latest United Methodist Advocacy in PA report, issued July 31. 

Dismantling Racism

Meharry v. COVID-19: From testing to research to serving on the front lines, Meharry Medical College doctors, students and alumni are fighting to overcome the global pandemic. Meharry is a historically Black medical school related to The United Methodist Church. Read story

White Christians and Racism: Racism among white Christians is higher than among the nonreligious, and that's no coincidence, says Robert F. Jones, founder and CEO of Public Religion Research Institute. For most of American history, he explains, the light-skinned Jesus conjured up by white congregations demanded the preservation of inequality as part of the divine order. Read more.

Race, the Pandemic and The Environment: The updated Northeastern Jurisdiction Native American Ministries website offers a variety of informative articles, training opportunities and resources that can be helpful for local churches and leaders in exploring current issues from a Native viewpoint. Explore nejnamc.org

Children and Family Ministry

Camp Allegheny reports that more than 370 campers experienced God's renewing love with fun activities in Christian community this summer! Camp staff had to change how things operated, but the core of Camp Allegheny remained the same. They’ve had no reports of cases of COVID-19 connected to the camp. Learn more about Camp Allegheny, including info on  weekend retreat discounts  and the Sept. 4 golf outing at campallegheny.org/

J-ville U: To help support local families and school districts, Jumonville will be hosting Jville U this fall. The program is designed to provide a safe, supervised space where school-aged children may come for the day to complete online schoolwork and participate in camp and recreational activities. Get details at jumonville.org/jville-u/

Family Ministry Challenges:This week’s Leading Ideas offers some practical suggestions for how congregations can help meet the material, spiritual, and emotional needs of children, youth and families. Learn more

10 Youth Ministry Lessons: SMU's Perkins School of Youth Ministry offers free youth ministry lessons that make it easy to stay connected with youth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Download the curriculum  


Keeping the Mission Alive: GBHEM will offer a free webinar Leading in Crisis: Keeping the Mission Alive at noon, Wednesday, August 12 with Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey and F. Douglas Powe Jr. director of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership. They’ll discuss ways to continue evangelizing and keep your mission moving forward.  Watch live August 12 on GBHEM's Facebook page and YouTube channel

Next Steps When Your Feet are Weary: Clergy and lay leaders are facing serious risks for burnout and exhaustion right now. As we confront the twin pandemics of coronavirus and systemic racism, it may be difficult to discern the right path forward for your ministry. A recent Leading  in Crisis webinar from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry presented some ideas that might help. Watch.

Tips for Fighting Disaster Fatigue:  Five months of living in the coronavirus pandemic, with no end in sight, can wear on anyone. Early in a disaster, people pull together in unity, but as time goes on those positive feelings often give way to cynicism and discouragement. The Rev. Rick Vance, director of the Center for Men's Ministries for the Commission on United Methodist Men, offers some tips for combating disaster fatigue. Read story


Feeding the Hungry: Two small-membership churches in the Pittsburgh District -- Highland Grove and Whitaker UMC-- worked together to raise enough money to buy 7000 pounds of food, which they distributed last Saturday in their communities. Karen Hecht is the pastor.

Partnership Provides Food Bundles:  With challenging conditions in Zimbabwe, food shortages create an urgent need. Thanks to The Nyadire Connection partners in Western PA and at The Nyadire UM Mission in Zimbabwe, minimum food bundles were distributed August 5 to 407 families. The bundles included 20kg of mealie-meal, 2kg beans, 2kg sugar, and 4 liters of cooking oil was purchased and distributed on Aug 5. The Social Committee organized, procured, transported, and managed distribution of the food. Visit TNC’s Facebook page to see photos
The food distribution was the third this summer. Learn more in TNC’s July newsletter

Roots of Faith in Action: Throughout the pandemic, Roots of Faith in Sharpsburg partnered with community groups to deliver 4,677 bags of groceries, distribute 3,000 twenty-pound boxes of fresh produce, 750 bags of pet food and 450 Neighborhood Table to-go meals. Learn about these and other mission/outreach efforts in this week’s WPAUMC Mission News.