WPAUMC enews - March 10, 2021



Hybrid Annual Conference Planned: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi has announced that the 2021 Annual Conference will be held in hybrid form on June 18-19. Clergy session will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, May 3 via Zoom Webinar. The Bishop explained the reasons for the decision in an email to clergy and voting lay members. She also created a video message that can be shared. Read more and see video
See Bishop’s email

Virtual Prayer Room: Our Virtual Prayer Room will be open Thursday evening and Friday, March 11-12 for anyone who wants to have personal prayer with a member of the Annual Conference Prayer Team. Use the links on the website calendar to reserve a time. You can also drop in.  Get details and reserve a time.

In the News: Dr. Jessica Price, chair of the Conference Abundant Health Team, is featured in a Public Source feature on health care workers and how they have drawn on their faith throughout the COVID-pandemic. See Faith on the Frontlines

Lent Worship Videos for Kids: Rev. Kelly Smith wanted to worship at home with her kids on a rare Sunday off in January. But she couldn't find much in the way of online services for children and families. So she recruited some fellow clergy and produced some Lenten worship videos for kids. Read more.

Easter Break Worship Update: To give pastors and church staff a well-deserved break, the Coordinating Cabinet will provide a video worship service that can be used April 11 or another Sunday during Eastertide. Churches can use a video of the entire service or just Bishop Cynthia’s sermon, which will also be available as a separate segment. An order of service/bulletin will also be available. It should be available for download by March 31. 

SPARK is ON! March 26 is the last day to register to attend SPARK on Stage, the 2021 version of WPAUMC’s Youth weekend. It’s on April 17 at the Bayfront Convention Center in Erie. Space is still available for youth and leaders who want to attend in person, but it is limited. The one-day program also will be livestreamed to several locations. Learn more and register at wpaumc.org/spark

Reboot Youth Ministry: A team at SMU’s Perkins School of Theology have been developing a Reboot Youth Ministry package of resources for more than a year. A free starter Guide for Imagination, Dreaming and Planning is available now. It can help your church see where your youth ministry has been and where you want it to go. Learn more

Youth Lessons for Easter: Young People’s Ministries offers seven Sundays worth of lessons for April 4-May 16, 2021 to get you through the Easter season. You can use them in conjunction with the 2021 Living the Resurrection worship series that follow the lectionary--or on their own. They’re free of charge and written by those serving youth ministries at local UM churches. See them


Save the Date! On Saturday, May 15, Jason Moore of Midnight Oil Productions will lead a Both/And Webinar for WPAUMC on best practices for hybrid worship as some congregants return to the church buildings and others continue to worship online. See video and get details.

Three Faithful Next Steps: After a pandemic year, looking ahead can be overwhelming for church leaders. Dave Odom, executive director of Leadership Education at Duke Divinity School recommended focusing on the next three steps--and he offers some questions to help determine what they are. Learn more 

The Myth of the One Big Idea! Change efforts often fail because we risk everything on one big idea, says Scott Cormode, author of The Innovative Church.  Innovation flourishes within systems that generate lots of ideas. And a leader’s task is to plant and water the seeds of change to see which take root and grow. Read more in Leading Ideas.


Mission Pastor/Staff Training: UMVIM is offering a short training and cohort kick off event for mission and outreach pastors/ staff who are seeking on-going community and training. Join UMVIM at 11 a.m. ET on April 29 for a short training and cohort kick off event!  To register click here.

Dismantling Racism

Share Personal Encounters with Racism: UM News is inviting people to share their stories about encounters with racism, as well as hopes and ideas for combating it, in a new forum titled, "We Are God's Family: Personal Encounters with Racism." The feature is designed to foster dialogue and build understanding of how racism affects people at a personal level. Read more

Resources and Ideas

WWW is Our Parish: If you missed our Zoom series on virtual ministry tools, you can watch the recordings on this YouTube playlist.

BBC, Wesley and Methodism: The BBC Radio 4 program "In Our Time" recently explored the life of John Wesley and the influence of the Methodist movement he helped found. Three scholars joined host Melvyn Bragg for the 52-minute discussion. Program notes include a reading list about Wesley and Methodism. Listen to broadcast

Encourage Positivity on social media with the help of free, downloadable graphics from UM Communications. The spring collection includes shareable graphics for Holy Week, Easter, Mother’s and Father’s Days, upcoming Special Sundays and more. Post each image alongside a written invitation to worship, a Scripture verse or a message from a pastor. Download graphics

Ace-UMC Partnership: The General Council on Finance and Administration has announced Ace Hardware as The United Methodist Church's newest vetted ministry partner. The partnership will allow churches to shop online and in local Ace Hardware stores and receive 10% off purchases. Read press release

Upcoming Events

March 14 is UMCOR Sunday! This Special Sunday with offering underwrites the administrative costs of the United Methodist Committee on Relief so that all designated gifts will go to the project givers specify. Resources, including worship ideas, are available to help churches celebrate the day. See resources

UMW Day of Giving! United Methodist Women members continue to put their faith, hope, and love into action on behalf of women, children and youth in our communities and around the world.  On Day of Giving, March 23rd, they’ll host a special 6-hour Live Day of Giving Facebook Event. Programming was chosen to cover the full breath of UMW work, with panel discussions, speakers on justice issues, meaningful workship and much more. Get details.

World StoryTelling Day Special Event! United Methodist Communications invites United Methodists to join them in a special World Storytelling Day celebration on March 20. You’ll get a behind-the-scenes perspective on telling the stories of God’s work in the world through The United Methodist Church. Access will be available via Facebook Live at Facebook.com/UMCom and on the denomination’s website at UMC.org/Storytellers.

Lest We Forget: Daylight Savings Time begins this coming Sunday, March 14! Spring FORWARD!