WPAUMC enews - April 21, 2021



Earth Day is April 22! Read why it matters and find resources here.
Join Earth Day Live at noon Thursday at .earthday.org/earth-day-2021/

Funeral services will be held Friday, April 23 at Bradenville UMC for the Rev. Paul E. Wilson, who was serving in retirement as pastor of the church. He passed away Monday at his home in Derry with his family at his side. Visitation will be Thursday, April 22. Read more

Developing Christian Leaders

Congregational Development/Revitalization Director Named: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi announced Monday that the Rev. Robert H. Wilson, pastor of Zion UMC in Sarver, will be appointed to serve as Director of Congregational Development and Revitalization for the Conference, effective on July 1, 2021. He will follow the Rev. Amy Wagner in the position. Read more.
See other appointment announcements

WPAUMC Regional Staff Experiment: Conference leaders have been exploring ways to get back to the basics of Christian faith -- Loving God and Loving Neighbor--through local church ministries. Last week, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi that beginning in July, WPAUMC will launch an experimental regional staff model in two regions that will pair a layperson and a clergyperson assigned part-time to work with  congregations to better equip them for disciple-making. Watch the Bishop and Associate Conference Lay Leader Paul Huey talk about the plan to learn more.

Dismantling Racism

Bishop Responds to Chauvin Verdict: Following three guilty verdicts in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi shared her personal response as a black woman. She also called on all Christians to "work to bring an end to the racism, bias, abuse of power, and the lack of empathy and compassion that lead to the murder of black and brown people across our  nation. Read more.

Mission/Ministry With the Poor

Migrant Children Find Shelter, Hope in Erie: People of faith are pitching in to provide needed clothing, supplies and support for 146 migrant children, females age 7 to 16, who are being sheltered in Erie. They'll stay there until caseworkers are able to link them with relatives or vetted sponsors in the U.S. The process could take a few months. After arriving at a dormitory in Erie this week, the children received medical care, clean beds and clothes. Rev. Calvin Cook has been in contact with emergency management officials and Kurt Crays of EUMA, who offered clothing and other items from EUMA's Rainbow Connection Thrift Store. Other organizations, including the Erie Catholic Diocese, were also offering support.  

Partnering to Welcome the Stranger: The Christian imperative of welcoming the stranger can take many forms. For Kingwood UMC in Texas, it recently meant hosting a six-person team from the Mexican Consulate in Houston. Consular officers set up shop at the mostly Anglo church to issue or renew Mexican passports, ID cards and birth certificates for Mexican citizens living and working in the Houston area and other parts of Texas. Read more

Meet the Mightys! Rev. Guillermo León Mighty, district superintendent of the Havana District of the Methodist Church of Cuba, and his wife Adria Nuñez Ortiz co-pastor Havana Central Methodist Church, a vibrant, Holy Spirit-filled church. In the 12 years that they have been appointed there, the urban church has grown from 80 to 920 members. They focus on reaching those in their community, bringing people out of drug addiction, prostitution, and gangs. The Mightys have been in the U.S. visiting partner churches. You’re invited to meet them and hear their stories via Zoom on Tuesday, April 27 at 6:30 p.m. Register

Youth Ministry

SPARK! Youth who attended SPARK in person at the Erie Bayfront Convention Center last Saturday spent time packing 68 hampers of supplies for families living at The Refuge, operated by the Erie UM Alliance. Read more in this week’s Mission News
 See SPARK photos

Leadership Food for Thought

Do You Describe Your Church As a Family? While intended to convey warm feelings, a sense of belonging, and mutual support for members, the family metaphor might get in the way of the church being open and inclusive. Read why in Leading Ideas.

Upcoming Events

Clergy Session Registration: Clergy Session will be held via Zoom on Monday, May 3 at 1p.m. Conference Secretary John Wilson emailed a registration link to clergy members this week. If you didn’t receive this email and should have, after checking your spam folder, email conference.secretary@wpaumc.org

Things We Don’t Talk About in Church: It’s not too late to register for this event that will be simulcast to several Franklin District churches and available via Zoom. It’s Sunday, April 25 from 2 - 4:30 p.m. Get details and register by Friday.

Faith Talks on Gun Violence: While mass shootings plague our nation, suicides, domestic partner abuse and community-based violence account for the vast majority of U.S. gun deaths. Now more than ever, understanding and interrupting the cycle of gun violence is vital to public health. On April 29 at 2 p.m., Jennifer Farmer, host of the UMW FaithTalks podcast, will interview three women leaders working in their communities and advocating to end the scourge of U.S. gun violence. Register for Zoom webinar.

Both/And--Maximizing Hybrid Worship: Join your WPA colleagues and Jason Moore of Midnight Oil Productions for this May 15 webinar on best practices for post-pandemic worship. Learn more and register

UMC News

Court Won’t Rule on Protocol Now: The UMC’s top court will not rule in advance on the constitutionality of proposed legislation that would provide a way for some churches to separate from the denomination. In a memorandum, the Judicial Council declined jurisdiction in response to a request from the United Methodist Council of Bishops about the proposed Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace Through Separation. The protocol legislation will remain in the hands of the next General Conference. Read more. 

Churches Exiting: With a potential UMC split still up in the air, an increasing number of U.S. churches from across the theological spectrum are already are heading for the exits. Read UM News report

Looking Back

Miss the Church Potluck?  Strawberry fluff salad won’t win any prizes for originality, but Annette Spence reports on how the staple of church basements has become a staple of her church’s drive-thru meal ministry. She also has a recipe for the salad that sweetens the first fruits of spring.
Read story