W.W.W is My Parish! Registration is open for all sessions of the Conference’s new five-week Zoom series on virtual ministry that begins Monday, Jan. 25 at 7p.m. The conversations will be on Monday evenings so church volunteers, as well as clergy or staff involved in or considering new online ministry options, can participate. Special guest for the first session will be the Rev. Jeff St. Clair, who launched a new church in Florida in February 2020 and had to rely primarily on virtual ministry to grow the congregation. Learn more and register.
Descriptions are also on the Leadership Development webpage
Paycheck Protection Program: The SBA has reopened the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) allowing churches that meet certain criteria to apply for a First Draw PPP Loan (did not receive a PPP Loan last year) or a Second Draw PPP Loan (received a PPP Loan last year). The Conference will host a Zoom meeting on Friday, January 29 at 10am to share information on the second round of PPP loans and some of the eligibility requirements, as well as address any questions you may have. If your church is considering applying for a second draw PPP loan, refer to this guidance from the SBA to ensure you qualify before making any decisions.
To register for the January 29 meeting, click here
Camping Sunday is Coming Soon! As churches prepare to highlight Camping and Retreat Ministries on the last weekend of January (or another time of their choice), camps have made plans for Summer 2021 and Conference leaders got good news on the capital campaign to support these ministries. Read more
Jumonville Chaplains Needed: The following weeks are available for Chaplains: June 13-18, June 20-25, July 18-23, and August 8-11. The Chaplain’s role includes speaking at all-camp Tuesday night worship, being present at the Sunday opening campfire and closing ceremony Friday evening, leading a brief morning watch Monday-Friday, and being available to help lead Bible studies and answer questions when requested. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Safe Sanctuaries in 60 Seconds: Rev. Chris Kindle, our Director of Discipleship and Spiritual Formation, has launched a series of 60-second videos to help explain various aspects of Pennsylvania law aimed at protecting children and vulnerable adults. The first episode deals with mandated reporting. See it here.
Safe Sanctuaries and Online Youth Groups: WPAUMC’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry Coordinator Amanda Gilligan offers things for you to consider, as well as resources to help, as you adapt your church’s Safe Sanctuaries policy to include online gatherings. Read her blog post.
Abundant Gratitude: A post for the Conference blog written by Rev. Lynette Moran of the Abundant Health Team focuses on gratitude in the midst of trying times. Read it!
Planning Tips: Although designed to help event planners, an article posted today by Northstar Meetings Group includes guidance to use down the road to assess the risk of gathering in-person. It’s based on CDC guidelines. See article
Reimagine Your Ministry with Ministry Incubators! Teams of up to five people from eight WPAUMC churches will be selected to be part of a five-week collaborative planning cohort this spring designed to help pastors and congregations creatively redesign one congregational event, program or emphasis to address current realities. It runs from Feb. 11-March 11. Before you apply, select one key event in the life of the church that can’t happen the way it usually does this spring or summer: Think Holy Week services, Confirmation or Graduate Sunday, VBS, the spring youth retreat, etc. But just ONE! You’ll need to describe it on the application form. The team must participate in all five weeks of the cohort, which will include two personalized coaching sessions and three cohort conversations via Zoom with coaches and staff from Ministry Incubators.
Get details and apply
Inauguration Day Prayer from Ecuador: For several years the Conference Encounter with Christ in Latin America and the Carribean has been working with Global Ministries Missionary Sara Flores in Ecuador. On Wednesday morning, Jodale Barnhart received an email from Flores with a prayer from the Evangelical Methodist Church of Ecuador:
We pray that in this new year we can work together so that everyone can find better days for health and well-being, especially for those who have fewer opportunities around the world. Today we pray and cry for the loss that so many families feel.
We are united in grief, but we are also united in the hope and promises of new days.
During this week we pray that God will bless the USA with peace, especially in this important week in the life of your country.
We pray that violence of any kind will not have a place. All the churches of Ecuador are joined daily in prayer from home at 3 pm, and this week many will be naming you, your family and your church.
Inspiring Ministries: The January 2021 newsletter from The Nyadire Connection includes stories of life-sustaining ministry going on at The Nyadire UM Mission through the joint efforts of people in Zimbabwe and their partners in Western PA. You’ll also see the story of a 12-year-old entrepreneur and his 10-year-old sister from Dutilh UMC who have been raising money to support these efforts for a few years. See TNC Newsletter.
MLK Service Video: If you didn't get a chance to see the Greensburg-Pittsburgh District virtual Martin Luther King Day worship celebration with Rev. Debra Mason preaching and music by Rev. Gloria Jun and Jessica Jacka, watch it on this page.
Antiracism Tips for White Christians: M. Garlinda Burton, the interim top executive for the General Commission on Religion and Race, offers some Do’s and Don’ts for white Christians starting on the antiracism journey. Read her commentary
United Methodists in Congress: A near-equal number of United Methodists serve on each side of the aisle in the 117th U.S. Congress, which faces the work of responding to a wounded nation and breached Capitol building.The new Congress has 31 United Methodists — 16 Republicans and 15 Democrats. Six serve in the Senate and 25 in the House. Read UM News Report
Resources for People of God! This month, the People of God campaign is celebrating our resilience. We continue to find the strength to persevere through trials and face tomorrow with God at our side. Learn more about the campaign
Share inspiring messages by downloading digital resources.
Want to Graduate from Seminary Debt-Free? The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, in partnership with Saint Paul School of Theology, offers a 3-year Resurrection Fellows Program to educate future church leaders. Resurrection Fellows receive 3 years of full-tuition, books, and fees, a ministry mentor, and a paid fellowship up to 20 hours per week at COR. You’ll have to act quickly to apply. Get details.