WPAUMC enews, Nov. 18, 2020



COVID Updates: With the resurgence of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania bringing a record high number of new cases daily in several counties, the following actions were taken this week:

  • State officials announced new initiatives to mitigate the spread, including mandating masks be worn anytime someone leaves their home.  See details
  • Allegheny County health officials issued a stay-at-home advisory in hopes of avoiding an order requiring enforcement. Read more.
  • Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi sent an email today with things for local church lay leaders and clergy to consider as they make decisions about in-person services and events for Thanksgiving, Advent and Christmas. She pointed to the need for each church to make decisions based on current conditions and guidance for their area. See Bishop’s email

Help Needed for Wesley Woods Storm Clean-Up! Storms blew through Wesley Woods last Sunday, toppling several of the large pine trees that lined the parking lot and damaging others on the property. A workday to clear the trees and clean up debris has been set for Saturday, Nov. 21. Learn more and hear WW updates. 

Classifieds: The Conference is looking for a part-time consultant to coordinate the next phases of the Deeply Rooted, Upward Reaching capital campaign to support Camping and Retreat Ministries. Get details at wpaumc.org/classifieds

Generosity in the Local Church: The fifth and final episode of Rev. Tom Parkinson’s video series on how to cultivate a culture of generosity addresses Generosity as a Spiritual Discipline. It’s posted in the Stewardship Resources section of the Conference website. See the series.  

Looking Ahead 

United Methodist Student Day is Nov. 29! If you have students who benefit from the scholarships funded by the offering, consider inviting them to provide a video message. Get information and resources for this churchwide Special Sunday with offering at Resource UMC. 

Cash for Clinics Challenge: Since 2013,The Nyadire Connection (TNC) has partnered with the Nyadire UM Mission in Zimbabwe to rebuild rural health clinics. Four of six clinics have been refurbished on-time and on-budget. Work continues on the next clinic, Mashambanhaka. The UM Foundation of Western PA has offered to match up to $25,000 in donations received by TNC by Dec. 31 to continue clinic renovations. To help meet the challenge, TNC will host a one-hour Zoom webinar featuring Zimbabweans talking about the life changing/life-saving capabilities of the clinics. It's scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. To hear their stories and join the webinar, see flyer with details.

Reimagine Christmas Update: As part of our Reimagine Christmas package of resources, we’re posting videos shared by pastors and church leaders on creative ideas they are using to celebrate and remain safe. First up is a video from Pastor Sara Wrona. Watch 
See WPAUMC’s Reimagine Christmas package

Join a virtual Christmas Choir! Now’s your chance to be part of a virtual choir for Christmas! Discipleship Ministries invites you to lend your voice to celebrate the birth of Christ our Savior. Congregations will be able to use the video in their Christmas worship services and post to social media. See how to join

Holiday Hustle! Our Holiday Hustle challenge starts Nov. 22. Join in! Get details and register.


Give Some Jesus! As Giving Tuesday (Dec. 1)  approaches, Mission Engagement Coordinator Sandra Matoushaya looks at some ways we can give of ourselves virtually in times when we can’t volunteer in large groups. Read her blog post

One Emergency After Another for UMCOR: In a year when one disaster seems to follow another, the United Methodist Committee on Relief’s longtime investment into the training and support of church members who respond — both in the U.S. and globally — is paying off. See how

Deaf Ministry Amid Pandemic: Deaf church members in Zimbabwe and Liberia have adequate resources and information to fight the coronavirus thanks to United Methodist ministries. Read story

In the News

Time to Heal Relationships: Rev. Eric Hoeke, pastor of Avery UMC in Washington, PA is one of four people interviewed by an Observer-Reporter newspaper writer for a story on whether relationships damaged by the contention political campaign can be repaired. Read story

Dismantling Racism: As we work to educate and dismantle racist systems, an FBI analyst speaking at a symposium on domestic terrorism last week said it’s important to be aware that the Pittsburgh area has become a hub for white supremacy and extremists. Read Post-Gazette story. 

UMC News

Judicial Council Adding to Docket of Postponed Items: The United Methodist Judicial Council expects to decide whether it has the jurisdiction to consider the constitutionality of legislation for a proposed plan for separating the denomination. In virtual meetings, the denomination's top court will conduct business for the first time since the pandemic began. Read story

Abundant Health Exceeds Goal! The United Methodist Church's global health initiative, known as Abundant Health, has now exceeded its goal of reaching 1 million children with lifesaving interventions by 2020. Read press release

Saving Historic Church Buildings: The Rev. Thomas Frank is a longtime United Methodist elder and professor, and author of a standard text on church polity. He's also a historic preservationist. His latest book is a self-described manifesto titled "Historic Houses of Worship in Peril." Read story


Staff COVID Challenges: As the pandemic continues, staff supervision and teamwork issues have become more challenging and significant. Susan Beaumont of the Congregational Consulting Group looks at accountability in the age of COVID