Advent Prayer Initiative: Members of the Coordinating Cabinet invite laity and clergy to join them in daily devotions using d365, an online devotional that speaks to a broad audience, including youth and young adults. Cabinet Dean Pat Lenox said the hope is that using the same devotional material will help us all grow deeper in our relationship with Jesus Christ, which in turn will make us more available to be used by God to share God’s love and the joy of salvation through Jesus Christ with others. Coordinating Cabinet members have been using d365 for over a month and “have seen God using it to draw us closer to God,” he said. D365 is available by email, via an app from Apple and Google Play, or online at d365.org.
Get Moving with the Holiday Hustle! If you’re already starting to feel the stress of getting ready for the approaching holidays, we’re offering strength for the journey. The Holiday Hustle doesn’t involve $$$, but there are lots of benefits! It’s open to laity and clergy and runs for six weeks beginning Nov. 22. Get the details!
Reinventing the Angel Tree: At Christ United Methodist Church in Bethel Park things are in full holiday prep mode, and that includes reinventing their Angel Tree gift collection to keep people safe during the pandemic. See how it works.
Get additional ideas on Reimagining Christmas at wpaumc.org/adventresources
Generosity in the Local Church: In Episode 4 of Generosity in the Local Church, Rev. Tom Parkinson offers some biblical examples, including David’s capital campaign to raise funds and materials to build a temple. Watch
See other Stewardship Resources at wpaumc.org/stewardship-resources
Time for Change in your Church? “Most people have believed for some time that things in the church have needed to change,” says Michelle Snyder. For the most part it hasn’t happened. The pandemic, however, provides a unique opportunity for churches to embrace an expanded vision of community, catch up with societal trends, and rethink the use of new technologies. Read New Questions for a New Day
Building Relationships in Online Meetings: Virtual relationships can be meaningful, but you have to work a little harder. UM Communications offers some fresh ideas to help. See what they are
Connecting with Young Adults: In this week’s Leading Ideas, Discipleship Ministries’ Chris Wilterdink says a critical strategy for engaging young adults is to create discipleship opportunities and build relationships in the online communities where they are active. Within these spaces, the church can provide young adults an opportunity to explore identity, belonging, and purpose. Read more.
50 Ways to Strengthen Your Ministry with Youth: This resource sheet from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership is available to read or download in PDF.
Hurricane Eta Hits Nicaragua: WPAUMC’s longest Global Partnership is with Nicaragua, where Hurricane Eta hit last week, forcing hundreds to evacuate in some areas. GBGM Missionary Dr. Belinda Forbes, who serves in Managua with Accion Medica Cristiana (AMC/Christian Medical Action)and visited Western PA last year, has been giving updates on her Facebook page. ACM provides community health in impoverished rural communities. See Hurricane Eta aftermath photos Follow Dr. Forbes for more information and updates at facebook.com/belinda.forbesgbgm.
UMCOR Wildfire Response: After three major wildfires engulfed the Plumas National Forest area, Sonja Edd-Bennett, director of disaster response ministry for the California-Nevada Conference, said her biggest concern is for people who live off the grid. The California-Nevada, Pacific-Northwest and Oregon-Idaho conferences have received multiple grants from UMCOR to support wildfire responses in 2020. Read story
Working For Health in Zimbabwe: As health coordinator for the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area Health Board, Hannah Mafunda manages multiple projects to meet the health needs of Zimbabweans seeking care from United Methodist health facilities. The board oversees the health work of two annual conferences, three hospitals and 12 rural health centers. Mafunda’s work often requires coordination with the Zimbabwe Ministry of Health and Child Care, Global Ministries’ Global Health unit and some international partners and friends, including some in Western PA Read more
Council Urges No New U.S. Bishops until 2024: Although 14 U.S. bishops plan to retire in the coming year or take on new roles, the Council of Bishops recommends that the five U.S. jurisdictional conferences — now scheduled for next year — postpone any elections of their successors until 2024. The council also urged a slowdown in plans to add five more bishops in Africa. Read UM News report
Election Aftermath threatens Churches: More than a week after the presidential elections in Côte d'Ivoire, The United Methodist Church works to ease tensions as uncertainty weighs on Ivorians. Protests and clashes have uprooted church leaders and threatened United Methodist churches and health facilities. Read story
Glide Church Leaves Denomination: A battle for control of a landmark church in San Francisco has ended with a multimillion dollar financial settlement in which Glide Memorial leaves The United Methodist Church but retains its famed Ellis St. building. The California-Nevada Conference will retain control of a $4.5 million trust and receive an extra $1.5 million from the Glide Foundation “in recognition of the long-term and unique relationship between Glide and The United Methodist Church.” Read more
Archives/History Commission Names New Leader: Dr. Ashley Boggan Dreff, cradle United Methodist, professor and author of books on American Methodism women’s rights, has been elected as General Secretary of the General Commission on Archives and History (GCAH). Dreff will succeed the Rev. Alfred (Fred) T. Day, III who will retire at the end of the year. Read more
Blessed are the Poor, Part 2: On Tuesday, November 17, Rev. David Wilson and Rev. Donna Pewo, who serve in the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference, will discuss cultural poverty and the implications of the invisibility that resulted from the genocide that took place as the dominant culture moved westward. It's part of the Dsicipleship Ministries series Blessed are the Poor. Learn more
Homeless Shelter Unlike Any Other: The Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority is advancing plans for a $21 million, first-of-its-kind shelter to be built downtown for individuals who are homeless. URA board members are expected to clear the way for the construction of the five-story facility on Second Avenue near the Municipal Courts Building in a series of actions scheduled Thursday, according to a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story.
New Carillon for Fells: The Washington Observer-Reporter reported that the carillon bell system will sound again at Fells UMC after it the bells were silenced by a lightning strike in August. The congregation that dates to 1785 in Fellsburg has raised the money to restore the sound system. Read story
Kim Remembered as Church-Planting Pioneer: A UM News story posted this week after the death of former Bishop Hae-Jong Kim details his zeal as a pioneer in planting Korean immigrant churches. He planted the first Korean church in New Jersey, then 15 others followed. Rev. Sang-Kong Choi, pastor of Christ UMC in North Huntingdon, is quoted in the story. Choi was the first pastor of a Korean congregation that shares space at Mt. Lebanon UMC. Read more