WPAUMC enews - Feb. 24, 2021



New Pittsburgh DS Named: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi announced that the Rev. Deborah Ackley-Killian will begin serving as Superintendent of the Pittsburgh District on July 1. Read more
See other new appointments

Virtual Prayer Room: The Virtual Prayer Room during the 2020 Annual Conference was meaningful for many who visited. Rev. Alyce Weaver Dunn writes about her own experience and a new opportunity this Spring. Read her blog post.

Safe Sanctuaries in 60 Seconds: Episode 4 of Chris Kindle’s series is posted on the Conference YouTube Channel. Watch it.

WPAUMC Zoom Conversations: Our World Wide Web is My Parish series on digital ministry wrapped up this on Monday night, but you can watch any of the videos on our YouTube Channel. See the Playlist

Navigating the World of Digital Media: In the next week or so, local churches will have access to a Guide for Copyright Licensing and Digital Strategies prepared for the Conference by a copyright attorney with the firm of Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney and funded through a grant from the United Methodist Foundation of Western PA. On March 8 at 7 p.m., John Sullivan, the attorney who prepared the guide, will be Amy Wagner’s guest for a Zoom conversation about it. Register

Black History Month

In the News: The Washington Observer Reporter had a front-page story about an unknown Black Civil War hero, T. Morgan Jones, who was honored by the Washington County Commissioners last Friday after a historian recounted the soldier’s story. About 10 years ago, the historian noticed a lack of information about Black history in Pennsylvania before the 19th Century and began doing research. Learn more    

Past Progress: The O-R also featured a story on progress made in the civil rights movement 60 years ago. Read it.

Discipleship/Spiritual Formation

#pictureLent was created to help you and your family encounter God daily through Scripture, picture, and reflection. It revolves around daily devotionals. While each devotion will stand on its own, there is also a continuity that allows you to read throughout this Season and to refer to a previous day if you missed one. The first step is to subscribe to the daily devotionals at pictureLent.com.
Then visit the How to section to learn how to respond and share photos.

Faith Formation Basics: Discipleship Ministries offers several online courses. The newest, Basics of Faith Formation, is a five-session series designed to equip local churches for disciple-making through helping staff and volunteers understand the role of the church in forming faith. Learn more

 UMC News

Vision Map for UMC Future: An international group of General Conference delegates asked United Methodists from around the globe to help them envision a better church. Using that feedback, the group unveiled "Out of Chaos, Creation," a vision map for the denomination's future. Read story

What’s Next for UMC? The future of The United Methodist Church has lately been the subject of a flurry of statements and opinion pieces from groups and individuals. They come as the denomination awaits a decision on whether the 2021 General Conference can happen, given the ongoing pandemic. Read story

The Power of a Song: The language of God" is what Karen Crenshaw Swenson calls hymns. The retired librarian and journalist says hymns inspired her to support civil rights in the 1960s and more recently cope with the coronavirus pandemic. Read UMNews story

Methodist History

Five Minute History -- Start of American Methodism: The historic preservation group Baltimore Heritage has released a short video on Lovely Lane United Methodist Church. Lovely Lane's original meeting house was where the Methodist Episcopal Church formed on Christmas Eve in 1774.  Watch video

World Methodist Museum Closing: History lovers in South Carolina and beyond are mourning the announced closure of the World Methodist Museum on the campus of the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center. The museum, part of the World Methodist Council, has significant artifacts from the early days of Methodism. Read story
Read museum's announcement


WPAUMC Partnerships: This week’s issue of the MIssion News features updates on come of our Conference’s ongoing partnerships. Read it

Cyclone Recovery: Nearly two years ago, Cyclone Idai left catastrophic damage and a humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi. Now, four families in Zimbabwe have moved into new houses built through a rehabilitation program sponsored by the Baltimore-Washington Conference. Read story

Family Mission Activity: During Lent, many of us look for ways to help others. Lent is a good time to commit to giving money for a project that helps those in need. It’s not too late to start this year. Involve the whole family in collecting coins in a jar or container and donating the money after Easter. Read more and get calendar

All God’s Children Ministries Seeks Executive Director: Rev. Debbie Hills, an ordained deacon and licensed physical therapist who served since 2012 as executive director of the ministry is retiring. The board of the Erie-based ministry serving people living with disabilities is seeking a new executive director. See the posting at wpaumc.org/classifieds.

In the News: The Kane District ramp ministry was featured in a Warren Times Observer column recently.  Read it 

Online Ministry

7 Reasons Not to Abandon Online Services: Thom Rainer says it is a mistake for churches to give up their digital or streaming services after returning to in-person worship. He outlines seven reasons online worship can augment your place-based worship and reach the community. Read more

Digital Ministry Training: Have you watched UM Communication’s Local Church Learning Sessions? Each session explores a different online ministry tool or topic, such as social media, livestreaming, online giving, Zoom, and text messaging. See what’s available.

Digital Worship Webinar: On March 6 New Brunswick Theological Seminary will hold a day-long webinar offering training in digital worship - not just for now but the future. It will provide much to think about as we return to in-person worship, what should be done to maintain an online presence.Thanks to a Calvin Vital Worship Grant, the webinar is free. Get details

Leading Meaningful Digital Worship: Learn how to take your leadership of digital worship to the next level in this 90-minute interactive presentation with Dr. Tim Snyder at noon, Tuesday, March 23.  He’ll explore key guiding questions that should drive digital worship design, case studies from the Religious Workforce Project (funded by the Lilly Endowment, Inc.), and answer your questions. Learn more and register