WPAUMC enews, Nov. 4, 2020



Prayers for the Kim Family: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi today called for prayers for the family of Rev. Hae-Jong Kim, who served as Bishop in the Western PA Conference from 2000-2004. He passed away at age 90 on Nov. 3, just seven weeks after the death of his beloved wife of 57 years, Wha Sei Park Kim. Read more

UMW Videos Posted: Videos from the Conference United Methodist Women's 2020 Annual Meeting -- Self Care, Soul Care and Caring for Others -- are posted on the Conference website in a UMW blog entry.

A Gift for You! As church leaders face the prospect of preparing for an Advent and Christmas that will look very different in 2020, the Conference staff offers something to help ease the stress a bit. It’s a bundle of tools, ideas and resources to help you Reimagine Christmas. 

Partnership Advent Devotional: United Methodists in Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Germany have completed their 2020 Advent Devotional in English and German.  Advent begins on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. Read more
Download devotional

Barriers to Generosity: In Episode 3 of his Generosity in the Local Church video series, Rev. Tom Parkinson says generosity has nothing to do with the amount of resources that we have. See why

Deadline Approaches for Boy Scout Filing: Nov. 16 is the deadline  for churches to file paperwork intended to shield them from potential liability stemming from a class action lawsuit against Boy Scouts of America over past sexual abuse claims and the BSA bankruptcy filing. Most of the claims go back more than 30 years, so it's important to file paperwork even if your church no longer has a troop. Read more from UMNews
See how to file a proof of claims request on the Finance Announcements page of the Conference website.


Challenge Grant Offered for Zim Clinic: Donations are being sought to help rebuild rural health clinics in Zimbabwe. Up to $25,000 in donations for the Mashambanhaka Clinic will be matched until Dec. 31 by a grant from The United Methodist Foundation of Western Pennsylvania. The Nyadire Connection has scheduled a one-hour Zoom webinar for Dec. 2 that will feature testimonials about how the clinics save and change lives. Read press release
How to donate

UMCOR Depot West to Close: Citing the need for good stewardship of available resources, leaders of the United Methodist Committee on Relief are consolidating the operations of their relief supply network and relocating materials from UMCOR Office and Depot West in Salt Lake City to UMCOR Sager Brown in Baldwin, Louisiana.
Read press release


The Sunday After Tuesday: No matter the results of this week’s election, pastors who want to engage constructively with a divided congregation may want to consider some ideas from scholar Lea Schade, whose launched a study after the 2016 election to learn how congregations were experiencing partisan division. It resulted in her book Preaching in the Purple Zone: Ministry in the Blue-Red Divide. Read Faith and Leadership article

The Language We Use: Do you intentionally avoid conversations during holiday gatherings with relatives you find unreasonable.  Is the "good news" of Advent overshadowed by arguments over "fake news"? Consider participating in Agreeing and Disagreeing In Love, a 90-minute webinar, available at three different times: December 2 or December 16 from 11:30am to 1 p.m. (ET). Find details and register 

Council on Youth Ministry: The Northeast Jurisdiction Council on Youth Ministry invites all youth in the Conference to the November gathering via Zoom on Saturday, Nov. 14 from 1 - 4 p.m.  WPAUMC’s Youth and Young Adult Coordinator Amanda Gilligan co-chairs the group.  See flyer for details. 

UMC News

Council of Bishops: God's compassion remains steadfast in this time of pandemic, natural disasters and political divisions, Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey reminded her colleagues in her first address as Council of Bishops president. The bishops' virtual meeting also included prayers for the U.S. elections. Read story

Can General Conference Be Held Virtually? A four-video series of interviews with Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton addresses this and other questions related to the next General Conference. Bishop Bickerton is the Council of Bishops’ representative to the Commission on the General Conference. The video series is part of the new Emerging in United Methodism project launched by the UMC’s  Connectional Table. Learn more and see video

Connectional Table Affirms Legislation: In a virtual board meeting on October 29, 2020, the Connectional Table (CT) voted to affirm the Christmas Covenant legislation as a vehicle for providing global regionalism in The United Methodist Church, including the creation of the U.S. as a regional conference. Read more

Dismantling Racism, Poverty

Cultural Poverty Webinar: Part 2 of Discipleship Ministries’ Blessed are the Poor webinar series on Tuesday, November 17 features Rev. David Wilson and Rev. Donna Pewo, who serve in the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference. The focus of will be on cultural poverty and the implications of the invisibility resulting from the genocide that took place as the dominant culture moved westward. Get details

Race-Based Mascots: The WPA Committee on Native American Ministries invites you to join in a virtual workshop on Race-Based Mascots, sponsored by the Eastern Pa Conference NAM committeei n partnership with the Coalition of Native and Allies.  It is at 4 p.m.,Sunday, Nov. 8. It's free, but registration is required for the zoom link. See flyer