WPAUMC enews, Sept. 30, 2020



Annual Conference Update: Wondering how the Oct. 3rd virtual Annual Conference will work? Alan Morrison, chair of the Sessions Team, explains it in this video.

Did You Register Yet? If you are clergy or a designated church or equalization lay member, please use the links you received in a Sept. 21 email from John Wilson to register. If you can't find the email, or you want to attend as a guest, simply register by clicking the green button at wpaumc.org/AC

Communications Enhancement Grants: The power of the United Methodist connection was evident in our Conference this week! Through collaboration with the Conference Board of Trustees, additional funds were secured to enable a second round of Communication Enhancement Grants. Today Treasurer Roger White notified applicants whose churches were not awarded grants in the initial distribution that they now will receive some funding. In all, grants totaling $171,897.86 have been awarded to all 113 churches that applied: 72 requests were fully funded;13 received 50-99% of their request, and 28 received less than 50%.

S’Mores with Bishop Cynthia: There’s still room for you around the campfire when supporters of the Deeply Rooted, Upward Reaching Campaign for Camping and Retreat Ministries gather via Zoom Thursday night, Oct. 1 from 7 - 8 p.m. for S’Mores with Bishop Cynthia. You can  can celebrate the ways the campaign has helped CRM ministries make a difference in the lives of youth and families, even during the pandemic. Be warned: Due to the virtual nature of the event, you will have to make your own S’mores. Register here

Developing Christian Leaders

Gleanings: If you haven’t seen Chris Kindle’s Discipleship Gleanings video discussion with Pastor Janet Pratt of Methodists United in Faith, check it out.  It explores some of the ways that the churches have come together to continue their ministries for people of all ages during the pandemic. Watch

Summer Camp Deans Needed! Jumonville is seeking several volunteers to serve as Deans for various programs for summer 2021.  Openings are  available for:  elementary sports, elementary adventure, dance, and family events.  For more information on a dean's responsibilities and the dates of the events, contact Rebekah by email at rebekah@jumonville.org

Hymn Sing at Jumonville: You’re invited to Jumonville from 2-4 p.m., October 11 for a Hymn Sing Celebration on the lawn of Wesley. Bring a blanket or chair and a mask.  Social distancing guidelines will be followed. RSVP requested. Learn more

Resources and Training

Harbor of Hope: “To provide a safe gathering for all people, including those with addiction, to explore the writings of the Holy Bible and pursue a relationship with Jesus Christ,” Conference Evangelists John and Christine Zimmerman have developed a simple-to-implement Bible study that any church can use. Learn more and see video at af180.org/harbor-of-hope

The Art of Hospitality is a new book drawing on the radical hospitality practices at the UM Church of the Resurrection, the denomination's best-attended U.S. church. Authors Debi Nixon and Yvonne Gentile were interviewed by David Burke for the "Potluck" podcast. Listen to the podcast
Read about the book

Spiritual Direction and the Metamorphosis of the Church: The newest book from GBHEM Publishing, "Spiritual Direction and the Metamorphosis of Church" can free your church to become more life-giving through a deeper experience of the living presence of Christ. Taking cues from the extraordinary life cycle of the monarch butterfly, the practices in the easy-to-implement book are for all who seek new ways to open God-sized potential for faith, leadership, and being in community together through the art and practice of spiritual direction. It’s available from Cokesbury.
It’s also on Amazon.

Generosity Tools and Resources: Our denominational giving structure ensures that your generosity blesses as many people as possible in sustainable, strategic ways. Because of your support, hundreds of projects are funded each year! Inspire generosity in your congregation with the help of 60+ resources, how-to tools and tips. Explore the resources.

Mediation Skills Training: The last session of Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders for 2020 will be November 16-20 via Zoom.  This outstanding 5-day event from the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center helps participants deal more effectively with interpersonal, congregational, and other forms of group conflict. Questions?  Contact the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center at Admin@LMPeaceCenter.org or 630-627-0507. To receive a $200 tuition discount for the session, register no later than October 16. Get details here
 To register online for any other 2020 Peace Center events visit brownpapertickets.com/producer/720852.


Amazing Grace for Storm Survivors: Hurricane-weary folks in Louisiana welcome the helping hands of United Methodists from near and far as they pick up the pieces from Hurricane Laura. See photos and story from UM News.

Connect with Rich and Lulu: Global Ministries Missionary Lourdes (Lulu) Ramirez and her husband Rich Mroczka, a missionary from our Conference, will be in Western PA from October 12 until the end of November. Rich and Lulu both serve in Guatemala in partnership with Encounter with Christ for Latin America and the Caribbean. To invite them to your church to talk about their ministries, email Rich at richmroczka@gmail.com.

Be An Earthkeeper! Global Ministries’ EarthKeepers training equips US-based United Methodists to launch and grow environmental projects in their communities. Training topics include eco-theology, anti-racism, community organizing, and project planning. Participants plan a project during the training. Participation is limited to people who are actively involved in local churches. Learn more and apply 

Dismantling Racism

Cost of Polarization: The Hispanic-Latinx Center at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is hosting a Hispanic Heritage Month lecture on "The Cost of Polarization to Latinx Communities," featuring activist scholar and author Maria Teresa Dávila. The Zoom event will be Oct. 6 at 6 p.m. U.S. Central time, and is free and open to all. Learn more or register

KKK Activity Surfaces in WPA: The Erie-Meadville Anti-Racism Team is considering how it might respond to reports in the Erie-Times News of threatening messages claiming to be from a KKK organization that were dropped in yards or mailed to individuals in the Erie area. Read Erie-Times News story
In Greene County, where one UM church member reported receiving a similar threatening message weighed down with bird seed bags on the lawn, police officials said they've had reports of dozens of them left on lawns and driveways over the past few weeks. Regional Police Captain William DeForte told the Washington PA Observer-Reporter his department will collaborate with the district attorney’s office to investigate. Read Observer-Reporter story  
Watch KDKA News Report

Dismantling Racism Discussion: Next Wednesday’s Dismantling Racism panel discussion will focus on voter suppression. It’s Oct. 7 at 1 p.m. EDT at UMC.org/EndRacism. Check the schedule and view videos from previous discussions, as well as other denominational Stand Against Racism events here. 

UMC News

Happy 80th Birthday, UMCOM! On October 1, 2020, United Methodist Communications celebrates 80 years of communication ministry. Read more, see photos and video 

Korean United Methodist Snapshot: A retired pastor has spent the past 10 years compiling data on the Korean United Methodist community. His research shows that Korean clergy are younger on average than previously thought and reveals a significant gender gap in appointments to Korean churches. Read story

UM Men News: United Methodist Men is planning for a decline in funding next year, said Gilbert C. Hanke, top executive of the church agency, during its first online national meeting on Sept. 26. Hanke described the funding for the agency as "complex and unpredictable."
Read press release

UMM Give Day is Oct. 19: Because The General Commission on UM Men receives less than 25% of its funding from World Service Funds, they launched Give Day to raise additional funds. To promote the day, use resources in this folder