WPAUMC enews - March 17, 2021



District Ministry Assistants Appointed: As part of the Shared Ministry Model being piloted in the Indiana District, the Rev. Howard Greenfield will be appointed as the District Ministry Assistant. He will work with DS Jodie Smith, who will serve as Superintendent of both the Franklin and Indiana Districts. She’ll be assisted by DS Bob Zilhaver of the Connellsville District, where the  Rev. Bob Ellson, pastor of Mt. Pleasant UMC, will serve as the District Ministry Assistant. Learn more and see other new appointments at wpaumc.org/appointments

Memoirs Form:  Every 10 years, clergy are asked to update their memoirs form for the Conference memoirs files. This is one of those years! The form may be completed and photos uploaded online here. 
If you prefer a paper form, which includes instructions to return it, download it here.  

How Tired Are You? One year into the pandemic, clergy are exhausted, writes Amy Wagner in a post on the Conference blog. Citing Barna research showing that almost 70 percent of clergy reported feeling constantly overwhelmed, she offers some suggestions for what to do about it. Read Clergy Wellness at One Year.
Reminder: Give yourself a break on April 11. The Bishop and Cabinet members will provide a complete video service. You can use all or part of it!

How Are Your Finances? In a video this week, Rev. Jeff Vanderhoff talks about his financial worries and how he found a way to get things under control. Watch.

Bishop Preaching for D.C. Worship Service: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi will be the guest preacher this Sunday during virtual worship at Asbury UMC in Washington, D.C. The service will stream at 10 a.m. on Sunday, March 21, 2021,on Facebook and YouTube.  Both can be accessed through the church website www.asbury umc dc.org
Disability Awareness: If you didn’t have the opportunity to observe Disability Awareness Sunday in February, don’t worry! You can focus on Disability Awareness and make things better for those living with different abilities anytime. The WPAUMC Disability Concerns Team put together a packet of information on a variety of disability concerns and how you can address them. It will be useful all year long. Download it now

WPAUMC Staff Position Posted: The Conference Personnel Committee is seeking applicants for the position of Director of Congregational Development and Revitalization. REv. Amy Wagner, who currently serves in the post, will be appointed to St. Paul’s UMC in Allison Park, effective July 1. See job posting


Called for Mission in the U.S. A Global Ministries web feature on mission workers in the U.S. shares the story of Katie Peterson, a deaconess and Church and Community Worker currently serving as director of our Eastbrook Mission Barn near New Castle.  Read it

Hurricane Recovery in Central America: A recent Global Ministries newsletter highlighted a story of on-going hurricane recovery in Central America, where Lourdes Ramirez Mroczka is serving with Global Ministries and her husband Rich Mroczka is a Western PA Conference Missionary. “Lourdes is quoted in the story. Read it


Understanding Email Scams: Email scams are increasing and tactics to steal personal information have become more sophisticated. Over the past six months, several UMC churches and Conferences have sent warnings about spoofed (impersonated) emails. UMCommunications explains how spammers get email addresses and how you lessen the chance of it happening at your church. Learn more.

Protect Against Zoombombing! Public Source reports that more than 30 virtual Black History Month events, including some at Slippery Rock U. and Penn State, were disrupted by hateful racist slurs and imagery. They offer some tips for securing your virtual space.

Dismantling Racism

'Are You Ready to See Jesus?' Bishop Christian Alsted of the Nordic and Baltic Area continued the Council of Bishops' series of Lenten devotions this week with a message based on John 12:20-26, titled "Are You Ready to See Jesus?" The series is themed to the church-wide Dismantling Racism initiative. Each Wednesday during Lent and every day during Holy Week, a 15-minute recorded devotion led by a bishop and leaders from their episcopal areas is posted. Watch devotionals

Native American UMs Praying for Haaland: United Methodist Native Americans have sent a letter to congratulate Secretary Debra Haaland, the first Native American to head the U.S. Interior Department and first to serve as a  U.S. Cabinet member. The Interior Department manages public land and houses the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The denomination’s Native American Caucus committed to keep Secretary Haaland in dedicated prayer. 

UMC Leaders Decry Attacks on Asians: United Methodist leaders say the pandemic-related rise in attacks on individuals of Asian descent in the U.S. needs to stop. Read story

What the Bible Can Teach About History: Mark K. George, a professor at United Methodist Iliff School of Theology, writes that the Bible's approach to history might inform how Americans study their country's history. "As a Bible scholar, I am struck by the ways the Bible tells both the good and bad of ancient Israel's history," he says. Read commentary

UMC News

Campbell Leading Discipleship Ministries: The Rev. Jeffrey Campbell, who oversees strategic programming at Discipleship Ministries, has been named the agency's acting top executive. Campbell was selected to take on the work of the late Rev. Junius B. Dotson while the agency's board searches for a top executive. Read press release

Gospel Music Brings Hope in Zimbabwe: UM News Service reports on how churches are keeping music alive and bringing hope amid the Covid pandemic in Zimabwe. Read story.

Church Administrators Conference: The Professional Association of United Methodist administrators from local churches, districts, conferences, epsicopal and general agency offices, will hold its annual conference virtually from April 15-17. It offers spiritual enrichment and professional development opportunities. Learn more and register.