WPAUMC enews - July 21, 2021



Prayers and Praise for Uth4Missions: Fifty youth and 10 adult leaders are out and about doing hands-on mission work of all kinds this week in the Connellsville District.  It’s part of Uth4Mission, based at Jumonville and led by the Conference Youth Ministry Team. See photos on the WPAUMC Missions Facebook page
 Read story and see photos in this week’s Mission News.

Celebrating 15 years of Fruitful Ministry! Started after a mission trip by Pittsburgh-area United Methodists to The Nyadire UM Mission in Zimbabwe, The Nyadire Connection has resulted in projects and programs valued at more than $5.5 million. They include rehabilitation of Nyadire’s water-reticulation system, construction of rural health clinics, supplying vehicles and medical equipment, solar installations, and vision testing/eyeglasses for around 10,000 people. But Drew Harvey, chair of TNC, says the relationships, spiritual growth and the impact on individual lives are the foundation of this partnership. Read UM News story by Kudzai Chingwe

Relationships Key to Successful Outreach: Doug Powe of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership writes that focusing on relationships helps a church connect with its neighbors in genuine and effective ways. Successful outreach efforts truly engage others by listening, extending invitations, and building community connections. Read more in Leading Ideas

In the News: TribLive has a feature story about Rev. Angelique Bradford as she begins serving as an associate pastor for Fox Chapel UMC and its Roots of Faith ministry on the main street in Sharpsburg, PA.  See story

Leadership Development

Empowering Women as Leaders: The speaker for the August 7 session in our new Leadership Development webinar series is the CEO of the denomination’s Commission on the Status and Role of Women, but the webinar is definitely not for women only. It’s open to all laity and clergy. Much of the discussion will focus on how to empower women to lead in local churches or other ministry contexts. Get details and register.

Youth Ministry Training: Duffy Robbins will be the leader for the 2021 Youth Ministry Training, scheduled for Sept. 10-12 at Olmsted Manor Retreat Center. The event is designed for everyone who works with youth in the church. Come to build relationships with others in youth ministry, develop new skills for serving your youth, and leave with a couple of tricks up your sleeve. Register by July 30 for a discount. Get details and register

Social Justice 

Understanding the Social Principles: On June 22 at 6 p.m., Joyce Davis, the new coordinator of United Methodist Advocacy in Pennsylvania will host a zoom webinar focused on Understanding the Social Principles of the UMC. It’s the first in a series of informational seminars that will allow clergy and laity to question experts on pressing topics of our day, from climate change to the minimum wage to the high cost of college tuition to the mental health crisis now gripping our nation. Read blog post and see video
Get details and register for webinar

Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools is the social issue study for 2021 Mission u.  It’s based on a book by the same name. WPAUMC’s Mission u team will offer the study via Zoom on Wednesdays from 7 to 9 p.m. beginning August 25 and running through September 15. Get details and register

Prayers and Public Witness: Gun violence is on the rise nationwide, and Philadelphia is experiencing a 34% increase in 2021, with 224 shootings in the month of June alone. Eastern Pennsylvania Bishop Peggy Johnson and other United Methodist leaders have joined ecumenical faith groups holding prayer vigils and T-shirt memorials, and calling for city leaders to increase funding for anti-violence efforts. Read more

Bringing Faithful Change in a Polarized World: Duke Divinity professor Luke Bretherton interviews community organizers in a podcast that both explains and models the democratizing power of organizing in marginalized communities. In a Q&A, he talks about the aims of his Listen, Organize, Act podcast and why the church should take part in community organizing. Learn more

UMC News

Jurisdictions Plan for Future: Two United Methodist jurisdictions held special online sessions recently with an eye to The United Methodist Church's future. The Southeastern Jurisdiction approved the union of two annual conferences and the Western Jurisdiction looked at possible changes ahead, including to its number of bishops. Read UMNews story   

Does the UMC Fund That?  Ask The UMC frequently receives questions about whether The United Methodist Church funds particular non-United Methodist organizations. Like many others, you may be surprised by the answers. Learn more

Online Ministry

Digital Discipleship: As Christians, we aim to share grace and love wherever we are - even online. Learn how in this Get Your Spirit in Shape podcast episode.

Copyright Extended: The United Methodist Publishing House is extending full permission to all churches for use of its copyrighted worship materials through Dec. 31. This includes the use of the Common English Bible. Read the press release.

Ever Check Your Find-A-Church Page? People sometimes search online for information about churches in your zip code, so take a moment to update your profile today. Extend invitations, share details about worship services and link to your website and social media pages. Visit Find-a-Church

Summer Activities

Saturday Forecast: The weather looks promising for this Saturday’s Walk/Run/Bike-a-Thon event on the Rockwood to Confluence section of the Great Allegheny Passage. Sign up now to meet Rev. Chris Kindle and other supporters of our Camping and Retreat Ministries at 9 a.m. on July 24 at Rockwood to walk, run or ride as far as you’d like. It's the first of five Saturday outings planned this year. Get details and register. 

Clergy Spouse Retreat: It’s About Time!  Scheduled for August 27-28 (with an option to come a day early) at Olmsted Manor, this event offers an interesting line-up of activities, opportunities for learning and time for fun and fellowship. Get details

Hot Summer Reads: Cokesbury shares its most popular books of the summer. See what they are.