Meet our Regional Coordinators: Two laywomen and two clergywomen have been selected to coordinate our Regional Staff Pilot Project in two areas of the Conference. The regional leadership model is designed to get back to the basics of the Christian faith -- Loving God and Loving Neighbor-- through local church ministries. Learn more
Transforming Evangelism: The Conference Evangelism Team has funded a limited number of seats for WPA laity to take the online “Transforming Evangelism” class that fulfills continuing education requirements for Certified Lay Servants, Certified Lay Speakers or Certified Lay Ministers. Taught by Conference Evangelists John and Christine Zimmerman, the course requires about one hour per day, Monday through Friday, for two weeks (10 days). It’s offered June 7 -18 or Sept 20 - Oct 1, 2021. Information and registration are available at af180.org/transforming-evangelism
Memorial Services have been scheduled on May 27 in Entriken and May 29 in Erie for the Rev. James B. Patterson, who passed away last November. See updated obituary for details.
United Methodist Advocacy Gets New Leader: Joyce M. Davis, a respected journalist and non-profit CEO who serves as the Lay Leader of the Susquehanna Conference, has been selected as coordinator of United Methodist Advocacy in Pennsylvania. In the role, she will work to increase awareness of legislative activity related to the denomination’s Social Principles and encourage local church members to engage in advocacy as a means of living out their faith. Read more
Love God, Love Neighbor! As Christians we can’t choose one or the other. The Great Commandment and our Wesleyan heritage call for commitment to both, writes Rev. Susan Moudry in a post on the Conference blog.
May 23 is Heritage Sunday! The 2021 theme is Pride, Shame and Pain: Methodist History with Racism and Efforts to Dismantle It. The General Commission on Archives and History has created a toolkit of resources, including a workbook on our history. Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi is quoted in the introduction. See it, as well as podcasts, videos and other resources here.
Anti-Racist Discipleship and Social Justice: Discipleship Ministries offers resources to equip local churches to make disciples who fully embrace working for justice and reconciliation as an integral part of discipleship. Learn more
Support Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act! May is Asian American/Pacific Island Heritage Month, a good time to stand in solidarity against the increasing number of violent attacks against people of Asian heritage. In a statement Wednesday, the Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe of the UMC Board of Church and Society commended the U.S. Senate for passing the bi-partisan anti-Asian hate crimes bill by an overwhelming margin of 94-1. She urges United Methodists to contact their representatives in support of the bill as it moves to the House of Representatives. Learn more
Summer Licensing School: The 2021 Summer Residential Licensing School and CLM Training will be held at Olmsted Manor Retreat Center from Sunday evening, July 25 - Wednesday afternoon, May 4. A completed application with essays and a $100 (non-refundable) deposit must be received by the registrar before July 10, 2021. Priority will be given to Western PA candidates. Download the application at wpaumc.org/forms.
Countdown to Congregational Singing: As the COVID-19 vaccination rate increases and state officials plan to lift occupancy limits, United Methodists look forward to the time when masks can come off during worship. A Frequently Asked Question seems to be: When will it be safe to resume congregational singing? To determine the answer for your church, the Center for Congregational Song has a handy tool.
Recently released results of a scientific study may also help
Is Your Church an Organization or a Movement? Sue Nilson Kibbey says churches often focus so much on organizational maintenance that they lose sight of the church’s ultimate spiritual mission. She challenges leaders to think about whether their church operates with the mindset of an organization or a movement intent on transforming the world. Read more.
Connect with Rich Mroczka in June! Rich Mroczka, a missionary from WPAUMC working in Guatemala, will visit Western PA for about 6 weeks, starting June 1, 2021. He’s available to speak to your church or group about his work. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He’d also appreciate it if anyone has a spare vehicle he could use while he’s here.
Rummage Sale for Nyadire Mission: The Nyadire Connection is hosting an outdoor rummage sale on June 5, with the proceeds benefiting the Home of Hope Orphanage at Nyadire. It’s at Christ UMC in Bethel Park. There are three ways to participate: Shop from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.;
Volunteer to staff a TNC table, with items to sell provided Download volunteer form; OR
Rent a space to sell your own items Download registration form
New Leader for Henderson Settlement: Pastor John Newman begins work June 7 as the new executive director of Henderson Settlement, which works to improve life for residents of Appalachia. Henderson Settlement is a mission institution of the Red Bird Missionary Conference. Western PA United Methodists have traveled there to do mission work.
WPA Mission Ambassadors Lynn Sibley and Sandra McKee posted reports about Henderson Settlement during their 2019 visits to mission sites. Read their first post
Read Henderson Settlement, Part 2
Need Postcards for Reopening? Invite your community to join you if you’re gathering for in-person worship! Postcards have been specifically designed – all you have to do is add your worship details. The production, postage and mailing to homes will be handled for you. A UMCom discount code covers the cost of 500 postcards. Get details
50 Ways to Welcome a New Pastor: If your congregation will get a new pastor this year, this resource from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership provides tips on how to say goodbye to your current pastor in a healthy way and offers helpful advice on how to welcome your new pastor. Read or download
VBS 2021: Virtual, Hybrid, or Outdoors? Discipleship Ministries looks at the options, offers things to consider when determining what’s best for your church and shares some creative ideas and resources. Learn more
Last Chance! Tuesday evening May 18 is the second of our webinars where you can learn about a new smartphone app to help your church communicate directly with members. It’s at 6:30 p.m. Get details and register
Peace With Justice Sunday is May 30! The Pastor and Leader Kit includes everything you’ll need to empower your congregation to give generously. From promotional to devotional resources, a wide variety of ready-to-use tools are available to download and share