World Communion Sunday is October 4: In an email to pastors this week, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi noted that every United Methodist congregation is expected to celebrate World Communion Sunday and receive a special offering to support scholarships for General Board of Global Ministries work and for ethnic persons pursuing higher education and in-service training. She also addressed how to celebrate communion during a pandemic. Read her email
Get worship and promotional resources in the Pastor and Leader’s Kit
COVID-19 Prayer Initiative: You’re invited to join in a Conference-wide COVID-19 Prayer Initiative that begins October 5. A daily video with scripture and prayers by the Rev. Dr. Renee Mikell and Rev. Chris Kindle will be posted on the Conference website and social media each weekday for 19 days to guide you. Watch for more details next week. Invite your friends, neighbors and congregation, especially prayer groups and small groups, to join in.
Clergy Continuing Ed Scholarships: The Board of Ministry is now accepting applications for Continuing Education Scholarships from clergy. For 2020, the maximum grant for any single event is $250 instead of the usual $500. Find the application form with details at wpaumc.org/forms
Download directly here.
Get Some Rest! Rev. Amy Wagner is coordinating an opportunity for laity and clergy to take some time away for Quiet Rest:A Silent Retreat. It’s scheduled Oct. 12-14 at Olmsted Manor Retreat Center. Each participant will have a private room with bath. Get details.
Be Counted in the 2020 Census! Having an accurate population count affects allocation of federal funds to local communities for schools, roads, and other public services for the next 10 years. Results from the 2020 Census will be used to determine the number of seats each state has in Congress and state government. If you haven’t already, fill out a census form at https://my2020census.gov/
Wise Women and Spirituality: Pittsburgh Theological Seminary offers a monthly Community and Conversations Series with women who have found ways to anchor and sustain themselves spiritually in the midst of these times. Presenters include Barbara Brown Taylor, Lerita Coleman Brown and Carrie Newcomer. Sessions are monthly Oct. 22, 2020-April 15, 2021. Get details and register.
Caring Congregation Ministry: Rev. Karen Lampe and the Caring Congregation Team will offer national training via webinar from Oct 13-Nov 2, 2020 in four weekly evening sessions. They will introduce the CCM model of caring for church congregations, with special emphasis of ministry during the challenges of COVID-19. Learn more at thecaringcongregation.com
Watch their promo video.
Family Home Church: United Theological Seminary’s Pohly Leadership Center partners with The Matthew Initiative to present an Oct. 23 webinar on developing family home church models to meet present needs. For details, go to united.edu/family-home-church/
I AM Her! Registration is now open for the October 8-10 virtual women’s leadership summit I AM Her, hosted by The General Commission on the Status and Role of Women (GCSRW), in partnership with Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. For details and to register, go to Garrett.edu/IAMHer.
Hunger Pandemic: “The difference between the COVID-19 pandemic and the hunger pandemic is that we already have the cure for the hunger pandemic,” writes Rev. Tom Parkinson in a Dutilh UMC blog post. “We know exactly how to cure hunger: by getting food into the bellies of those who need it.” He highlights a way to do that for brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe. Read more
Ride for the Refuge: It’s not too late to participate as a rider or donor in the virtual Ride for the Refuge! You have until the end of September to participate as a rider or donate to a team to support The Refuge ministry of the Erie UM Alliance. Get details and see the leaderboard.
Racism and Faith: Three theologians from across the U.S. wrestled with how Christianity can overcome racism at a time when polls show that many white Christians don’t see racial injustice as a problem. Heather Hahn reports on the most recent online panel in the UMC series on dismantling racism. Read story
Koreans Thank Missionaries with Masks: Officials with Yonsei University Health System in South Korea, recently shipped 10,000 protective face masks to Atlanta as a gesture of thanks to the United Methodist missionaries who helped their country decades ago. Retired missionaries receiving the masks live in 38 different states including one in Hawaii; 16 in North Carolina; 14 in Texas; 19 in California; and nine in Florida. Read more from the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Mission Hospital Staff Stays on Job: With Zimbabwe’s health sector paralyzed by labor strikes and a lack of protective equipment and other supplies, more patients are turning to United Methodist mission hospitals and clinics for care. Read more
Hurricane Sally: The Alabama-West Florida Conference has been amassing flood buckets and gearing up in other ways to help after slow-moving Hurricane Sally. Conference officials were beginning to assess damage along the upper Gulf Coast and stressed that it’s too early for response teams to deploy. See latest updates at awfumc.org
Oregon Wildfires: On Sept. 10, the Rev. Heather Riggs of Oak Grove UMC in Oregon received a text message that some of the Oak Grove area transient population was being turned away from wildfire shelters due to COVID-19 restrictions. In less than five hours, the church created a shelter. Read more
UMCOR is assisting in conference response to the Gulf Coast hurricanes and wildfires in the West. Get updates at facebook.com/UMCOR
Ministry Partners: The General Council on Finance and Administration has added two companies to its ministry partner program: Subsplash and Ecolab/Guest Supply. GCFA vets ministry partners to make sure they respond to church needs. Subsplash is an online giving platform and Ecolab sells cleaning and food-handling supplies. Read press release
UM Men Day of Prayer: Rev. Renee Mikell will be a presenter for the Northeastern Jurisdiction United Methodist Men’s Day of Prayer zoom gathering on Saturday, Sept. 19. Her scheduled time is 2:40 p.m. To connect, download the flyer with instructions
Camp Allegheny Fall Work Days are Sept. 26 and Oct. 24 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. (or when you can). Pick your day and help to complete projects or do fall cleanup to get ready for winter retreats. Work for any skill level or age! Email Joe@campallegheny.org if you can help. Lunch is provided.
Prefer Eating to Work? Head to Camp Allegheny between 11 a.m.-2 p.m. for a Chicken Barbecue with homemade noodles and a gob on Sept. 27 and/or October 11. Cost is $10. Visit CampAllegheny.org