WPAUMC enews - March 24, 2021



Call to Prayer and Action: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi issued a pastoral letter this week calling United Methodists to prayer and action to address gun violence and the increasing number of assaults on Asian Americans in the United States. Read her letter

A day earlier, the Conference Anti-Racism Team issued a statement urging all Christians to speak up against hate. Learn more

General Conference Update: The UM Council of Bishops on Monday canceled its call for a special virtual session of General Conference on May 8. The call was issued just after the Commission on the General Conference announced that the full event, originally set for May 2020, could not be held until Aug. 29-Sept. 6, 2022.  Read more


Workers’ Comp Reminder: The 2021 Workers’ Compensation Premium for local churches is due on March 31, 2021. If your church has not submitted your payment and worksheet yet, please do so by next Wednesday. Even if your church has no paid employees, you still must submit the worksheet with the mandatory $35 Short-Term Incapacity Fund payment. Questions? Need help? Contact Kristin Poerschke at 724-776-2300 x261.” A copy of the worksheet can be found here

Classifieds: United Methodist Advocacy in PA is seeking a new coordinator. The coordinator reports to the three bishops in the state. Get details. ?
For more job posting, visit wpaumc.org/classifieds

Another Email Scam Warning! If you receive an email from your district superintendent or bishop and it doesn’t come from an email address ending with  @wpaumc.org OR  wpa@brtapp.com, do not respond or click any links! Assume it’s a scam. 


Dream Big! The Conference Young Adult Council will host a 5-week Zoom study on Bob Goff’s book Dream Big:  Know What You Want, Why You Want It, and What You're Going to Do About It. The study will be on Tuesday evenings at 7p.m. beginning April 13. The first five participants will get a free copy of the book!  Join the group on a journey to rediscover your dreams and turn them into reality! Register.

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. Limited space is still available to attend in person. Others will see the livestream at churches. Learn more and register at wpaumc.org/spark

Young Adults and UMC Ordination: The Lewis Center for Church Leadership conducted an informal survey to find out why young adults opted out of ordination in The United Methodist Church. The denomination's struggle around homosexuality emerged as a significant factor, but other factors contribute. Ann A. Michel reports on the results from the 239 respondents. Read story

Nevertheless, She Preached! “They were told to sit down, to shut-up, to assume their “proper place. But they didn’t,” writes Dr. Ashley Boggan Dreff, staff executive of the General Commission on Archives and History. In a blog post for Women’s History Month, she highlights some women, both Methodist and non-Methodist, who have changed the U.S. religious and political landscape through persistence. Read her post on the GCSROW blog.


Hands On Mission Opportunity: Christ UMC in Bethel Park has scheduled a Saturday work day at Warren UMC in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. Volunteers are invited to join them from 8:30 a.m - 2:30 p.m. on April 10.  They'll be upgrading the fellowship hall and a handicap ramp. All skill levels welcome. Participants are responsible for their own transportation. Email jmsimmons@christumc.net with questions. Register and learn more 
Mission Amid the Pandemic: UM News Service recently reported on how United Methodists from Indiana to Ireland managed to keep various mission projects going amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  Read more

UMMen Focus on Mission: For many, mission is an essential part of their faith. That includes United Methodist Men. The spring issue of UM Men magazine highlights the many forms of mission the agency promotes, both big and small. Read issue

Lent and Easter

Talking to Kids About Easter: Explaining the multi-layered, complex Easter story to children can be as simple as taking a cue from fables, folk tales and even Disney movies that have death scenes in them. Asking one question is a good starting place: "What do you think?" Learn more

Why Is It Called GOOD Friday? Does it seem ironic that one of the most tragic days in Christian history is called Good Friday? This new United Methodist Communications video explains why.

Post-Easter Worship Service: 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. 

In the News

Navigating the Pandemic: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi and Rev. Calvin Cook are quoted in a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette feature on how faith communities have navigated through the pandemic over the past year. Read it. 

Vaccine Clinic: WESA reported on the COVID vaccine clinic held at Ingomar UMC last Friday. Pastor Greg Cox explained how the church handled the distribution. Learn more

Camp in the News: Camp Allegheny’s Dennis Tawney and board member/parent Carla Holderbaum were interviewed by an Erie Times-News reporter for a feature story on summer camping opportunities.  Read it

Dismantling Racism

Insights into Racism: In a UM News commentary, the Rev. Dr. Josephine Whitely-Fields, a retired WPAUMC elder, notes that many of the Black clergywomen in the UMC are pioneers. She believes their stories can provide insight to a denomination seeking to dismantle racism. Read commentary

Profiling in the Neighborhood? Pastor J. Michael Culbreth was riding his bicycle in his neighborhood when he was stopped by the police. A neighbor had reported "a suspicious man riding a bicycle," writes Culbreth, who is Black. He describes what happened next in a  commentary, part of UM News' "We Are God’s Family: Personal Encounters with Racism" project. Read commentary

Upcoming Events

Christian Unity Workshop:  Registration is open for the U.S. National Workshop on Christian Unity, to be held online April 12-15. The United Methodist Ecumenical and Interreligious Training will be held parallel with the workshop, so United Methodists can register for both events at the same time. California-Nevada Conference Bishop Minerva Carcaño will participate in a panel discussion about migrant ministry in the U.S. The registration fee is $75. To register

Saving Grace: The registration deadline for Jeff Vanderhoff’s six-week Wednesday evening online study, Saving Grace: A Guide to Financial Well-Being is fast approaching. The clergy group will gather from 7-8:30 p.m. from April 14-May 19. Those who complete the course will earn 1 CEU.  Register.
Learn more about the study

Native American Ministries Sunday is April 19! As a preview, on Sunday March 28, 2021 @ 3 p.m., the WPA Committee on Native American Ministries offers an educational and experiential experience with a YouTube premiere of a Full Moon Ceremony in the Taino tradition. Full Moon ceremonies are shared at O.W.L (One World Love) in Hazelwood (Pittsburgh) led by Behike Dayvanna, a leader in the Caney Indigenous Spiritual Circle. The WPA CONAM is committed to building relationships with local indigenous people and learning about their culture. A link for the premiere will be posted on the "Committee on Native American Ministries W. Pa. Conference—United Methodist" Facebook page. Contact the WPA CONAM at 2020CONAM@gmail.com
Get details on Native American Ministries Sunday