WPAUMC enews, Sept. 9, 2020


Annual Conference Going Virtual: In an email to clergy and voting members of the 2020 Annual Conference, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi announced late last week that the Annual Conference session on October 3 will be an online event. Get details and watch video

Photo Request Reminder for Annual Conference! Churches throughout Western PA are asked to send a (high resolution) photo or two of ministries they have engaged in since our 2019 Annual Conference. These pictures will be used to highlight the incredible work of our Conference and connection. Please email your pictures to amy.wagner@wpaumc.org by September 15, 2020.

Mason Named Diversity Development Coordinator: After a nationwide search, the Conference Personnel Team has selected the Rev. Debra Mason as the new Coordinator of Diversity Development and Inclusion. She had been serving in the position on an interim basis since Rev. Dianne Glave returned to local church ministry in May as an associate pastor at Christ UMC in Bethel Park. Read more.

Urgent Hunger Appeal: With COVID-19 worsening in Zimbabwe, Pittsburgh leaders of The Nyadire Connection have issued an urgent appeal for funds provide food for friends at The Nyadire Mission, its rural health clinics, and pastors of the Mutoko-Mudzi District. A TNC appeal in May resulted in $38,000 sent in four installments that paid for food deliveries. As the enconomy and food insecurity grows worse, the need is great. To donate, go to .nyadire.org/donate.html

Upcoming Events

Faith and Blue: The National "Faith & Blue Weekend," an exciting, ecumenical initiative designed to foster good relationships between local law enforcement and the community they serve, is scheduled for October 9-12, 2020.  Local congregations are invited to plan and host activities (in person or virtual) that break down biases and build bridges of understanding and reconciliation.  In the midst of polarization and tension magnified by Covid-19, churches have an opportunity to promote healing within their local communities.  For more information about this effort and how to plan an event, go to www.faithandblue.org.

I Am Her Women’s Leadership Summit: Not your ordinary conference, women are invited to come together to be inspired, empowered and equipped at this Oct. 8 -10 virtual event hosted by the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women and sponsored by Garrett Seminary and others. This summit will focus on worship and relationship building, and offer courses to help participants learn how women in leadership have overcome challenges, and created solutions that supported their success. Get details.

Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15-October 15. Get details and resources.


Youth Worker Recharge: In this taxing time, Discipleship Ministries invites youth workers to find time to spiritually recharge. Join them for up to 45 minutes at noon on Thursdays and receive encouragement from a leading youth ministry voice. Fit this into your daily spiritual health routine and reflect on how it is with your own soul around people who know what it's like to minister to teens! Register once, attend any time. Get details.

SPARK 2021 has been rescheduled for April 17 at the Bayfront convention Center in Erie. Plans include options to attend in person or virtually. Details TBA.

Church and Scouting Now: How does a church successfully navigate conversations with active scout troops about social distancing guidelines, masks, and use of church buildings these days? Read more from Young People’s Ministries.

UMC News

Justice Crusader dies The Rev. Gilbert H. Caldwell called himself a “foot soldier” in the U.S. civil rights movement. But many across his beloved United Methodist Church remember him as a general for justice. He died in hospice care Sept. 4 at age 86. Read more
Fernandes Leading Global Ministries: Roland Fernandes, who has served in various roles at UMC Global Ministries since 1995 has begun serving as the head of the mission agency. He succeeds Thomas Kemper, who did not seek re-election as General Secretary and returned to his native Germany to be with family. Read more
UM Men Plan Ecumenical Day of Prayer: In an effort to address racism and the continuing violence against African Americans, United Methodist Men will host a National Day of Prayer with leaders of men's ministries from the African Methodist Episcopal Church, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church and Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. The event will be held via Zoom Sept. 26 at noon Eastern time and is open to all.
Read story
Church Disaffiliates in support of LGBTQ Inclusion: The United Methodist Church has seen multiple congregations disaffiliate since the contentious 2019 General Conference. Asbury Memorial Church in Savannah, Georgia is the first to leave in recent years expressly in support of its LGBTQ members, and a New England congregation has plans to do likewise.  Read story


3 Steps to Guard Against Sexual Abuse: Phill Martin, a clergy coach and executive with the National Association of Church Business Administrators, says churches should take proactive steps to guard against  the possibility of sexual abuse or misconduct before an incident occurs. See Leading Ideas article