WPAUMC enews, Oct. 14, 2020



Annual Conference Wrap-Up: A story with links to videos is posted on the Conference website. See story 

Strength for the Journey: Finding Balance in Challenging Times In our “new normal”, many people feel out of balance; this can eventually lead to loss of energy and joy. Laity and clergy are invited to join an interactive workshop presented by LifeSolutions Employee Assistance Program to discuss renewal, resilience and self-compassion (including yourself in the circle of care). The Zoom event is co-sponsored by the Conference Program Staff and Benefits Office and is open to everyone. Conference healthcare plan participants will earn 50 TAHS points for attending. It’s scheduled for Monday, October 26 from 2-3 p.m. Get details and register. 

There’s Nothing Selfish About Self-Care! “As human beings, we are not immune to the suffering of others. Vicarious stress is real!" says the Rev.Debra Flint, an ordained deacon, social worker and spiritual director. "The brain, body and spirit experience tremendous change when we are exposed to stress and trauma.” Flint will be the keynote speaker at the Conference UMW annual meeting. The theme of the online event, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 24, is Soul Care, Self Care and Caring for Others. Read more

Calling All Clergy! This year because of the pandemic you have an opportunity to tune in and learn about financial wellness, planning, clergy taxes, pension plans and other information that could affect your future. The bi-annual Clergy Retirement Seminar is free this year and open to clergy of all ages. It is Oct. 20 & 21 beginning at 9 a.m. You can choose which sessions you attend. Get details and register

PPP Loan Forgiveness Update: On Oct.8, the SBA released a simplified Loan Forgiveness Application (and instruction set) for borrowers with loans of $50,000 or less.  While there may still be legislative changes to the forgiveness process, the SBA took action to assist the smaller borrowers, as well as lessen the overall administrative burden on themselves, and the lender banks.  As with previous guidance, consult your bank as to the specifics of their forgiveness process before taking any action. See SBA announcement

Faith and Voting

Voting As An Act of Faith: Even if we are  overwhelmed by the seemingly endless political commercials, yard signs and social media posts, lack of engagement in the electoral process is certainly not representative of our UM heritage, or our calling as Christians, writes the Rev. Dr. Susan Moudry. Read her post on the Conference blog.

U.S. Bishops Encourage Voting:  Bishops in the U.S.have urged United Methodists to encourage people to vote in the Nov. 3 elections. Bishops' President Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey said the statement is not from the Council of Bishops, but is a conciliar statement by United Methodist episcopal leaders living in the United States. The Faith and Democracy statement was signed by 31 active and 28 retired bishops. Other U.S. bishops also issued individual statements.  Read press release
Read UM News story Churches urge voting

Faith Talks: United Methodist Women's monthly podcast conversations, will explore church and politics this month. The one-hour podcast explores themes and resources that empower listeners to put faith, hope and love into action. Guests include Bishop Minerva Carcaño; Liz Theoharis, theologian and co-chair of the Poor People's Campaign; and Emily Jones, UMW executive for racial justice. The church and politics podcast is scheduled for Oct. 22 at 2 p.m. Register now

Dismantling Poverty

Rise Against Hunger by Voting! Voting is one way we can raise our voices to advocate for the communities facing hunger in the U.S. and around the globe. Yes, — around the globe. Elected officials in the U.S. vote on bills that impact lives far beyond our own borders. Contacting your elected officials to raise awareness can affect change worldwide!  Read more

End Hunger Advent Devotional: The Society for St. Andrew, a UMC partner whose mission is to end hunger, offers its 2020 Advent devotional book Peace Be With You. The print copies are gone, but it’s available for download as a PDF or you can register to receive it as a daily email. Visit endhunger.org/Advent

Water is Life: More than 750 million people around the world lack reliable water access. In a special photo project three years in the making, UM News photographer Mike DuBose documents the church's efforts to provide clean water to rural Africa, with reporting by Kathy L. Gilbert. View photo feature 

Blessed Are the Poor: Don’t miss this the Oct. 22 start of this webinar series designed to help church leaders engage with the people in their communities. Get details and register now.

Leadership Resources

Opportunity for Rural Pastors: Pittsburgh Theological Seminary has received a grant to help support rural pastors in responding to mental health concerns in their regions. They’re offering Hope and Healing: Mental Health First Aid Training, a three-part online series to empower rural faith leaders with the knowledge, practices, and grounding they need to respond with grace and effectiveness to mental health concerns and to build viable support systems to advance this work in their churches. There is no cost for the training, which begins Oct. 30, but it is limited to 20 people. Apply by Oct. 22. Get details and apply

How to Create Better Videos: If you are a clergy person, lay leader or ministry volunteer who wants to create videos that stand out, UM Communication’s Video Editing for Churches learning experience is for you! Enroll to access online courses that focus on recording great videos and using Adobe Rush and iMovie to format videos for platforms like Facebook, YouTube or your website. Get details and register

Youth Ministry’s More than Fun and Games: How can youth ministry be more than fun and games? In the latest Leading Ideas podcast, Andy Root talks about how youth can find identity and deep joy in shared narratives and intergenerational connections. Learn more and listen

Newsletters for You! Keep up with the latest news of the church, find communication tips, learn about generosity tools and explore church leader resources by subscribing to UMCom newsletters and podcasts. Each publication will deliver curated information developed to support your ministry. See what’s available

Dismantling Racism, Sexism

No Place for Hate: A teacher who launched a No Place for Hate group at her school says she was “sick to my stomach” when she watched the viral video of a woman hurling racist slurs at Pennsylvania’s Second Lady Gisele Fetterman at a Pittsburgh area grocery store over the weekend. Read Observer-Reporter story
Read more about the incident in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

I AM Her! Sometimes the best response to sexism is through deeds rather than words, says Mozambique Area Bishop Joaquina Nhanala, the first and only female UMC bishop in Africa. She was among the 200 to 250 clergy and laywomen gathering online to share experiences and advice, build relationships and celebrate sisterhood. Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi was also part of the Oct. 8 - 10 event. It was all part of the I AM Her Women's Leadership Summit 2020. Read more