WPAUMC enews - July 28, 2021



Licensing School Underway at Olmsted: Pray for the 11 students, coordinator Sara Wrona and other leaders teaching sessions of the Summer Residential Licensing School at Olmsted Manor this week.  See photos 
Read post from DS Eric Park

Considering Ministry in the UMC? Time’s running out to register for the Aug. 3 Orientation to Ministry, where you can learn more about the various types of set-apart ministry in the United Methodist Church. The orientation is a requirement for anyone pursuing licensed or ordained ministry. Learn more.

Poverty Simulation: To increase understanding of what it’s really like to survive on poverty-level income, the Conference Poverty Team invites clergy, laity and community leaders to a Poverty Simulation on Saturday, October 9th at Clarks Mills UMC. Get details and register

Understanding the Social Principles: Conference UMW President Linda Thayer was one of four panelists for last week’s webinar on understanding our denomination’s Social Principles and how they can be used. If you missed it, you can watch and read about it in the news section of the Conference website.

Thanks, UMW! Erie UM Alliance Director Kurt Crays created a video to thank the Conference UMW for their support of EUMA programs that are making a difference in the lives of women, children and teens. To hear from some of them, watch the video. 

Abundant Health

Masks or Not? The Center for Disease Control recommends that even vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in places where the coronavirus is spreading rapidly. In Western PA, current maps show substantial or high spread only in Crawford and Lawrence counties. The CDC also recommends  indoor masks for all teachers, staff, students and visitors at schools nationwide. For more about guidelines and a map by county, see NPR health shots. 
See what the recommendations mean for WPA at TribLive. 
Read GoErie story on Crawford County situation

WPAUMC’s Abundant Health Team leaders continue to recommend following CDC and local health guidelines, considering conditions in your community, and taking steps to protect the most vulnerable during  worship and other church activities.

The Cost of Staying Healthy: In a blog post for the Abundant Health Team, B.T. Gilligan looks at the UPMC Health Plan’s Book of Business to assess how making some lifestyle changes might result in better health and lower health care spending. Read his post 

UMC News

WPA Church in the News: Last Thursday’s UMNews Daily Digest featured a video about Elrama UMC that was part of Bishop Cynthia’s recent State of the Church address. The Digest item said, “A very small church in a very small village (population 356) has become outward-focused and is reaching new people. Because of the pandemic, Elrama United Methodist Church began having outdoor drive-in worship services at the local fire hall's parking lot and pavilion so that its own members could come to worship, but those services became an outreach that is still growing.”  Watch video

Emerging Methodism: In a recent interview, the Rev. Kennetha Bigham-Tsai and Harriett Jane Olson discussed the mission work of United Methodist Women, United Methodist identity and ecumenism, and the work of the church moving forward. The interview is part of the “Emerging: God is Doing a New Thing in United Methodism” series. Learn more and watch interview

#BeUMC! United Methodist Communications, in collaboration with other denominational leaders, is building on the People of God campaign, launched in 2020. A new hashtag and call-to-action – #BeUMC – invites church members to embody the church’s values, embrace its aspirations, and remain with The United Methodist Church even in difficult times. Learn more


Empowering Women as Leaders: There’s a week left before the first in our series of Leadership Development webinars. But the August 7 virtual workshop with Dawn Wiggins Hare of the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women is filling up fast. Don’t miss it! Register now.

Serving a New Church? Conference Secretary John Wilson recently sent an email asking all clergy to check their contact information for the clergy directory. It's especially important if you are in a new appointment. To check or make changes, log into your clergy profile at wpaumc.org/PeopleDashboard

Clergy Housing Allowance: To help churches better understand the clergy housing allowance, Bryan Mills, head of the legal staff at the General Council on Finance & Administration, will join Ken Sloane, Director of Stewardship & Generosity for Discipleship Ministries, for an August 10 webinar. They’ll explore the “ins and outs” of how to set up these allowances and what can be included. Learn more and register

Data Security Tips from GCFA:  Being proactive about your cybersecurity can help save your ministry time and money. With the recent jump in cyber attacks, the IT Services team at the General Council on Finance and Administration has some tips to help your ministry secure data. Download this resource 

Want to Have Healthy Intergenerational Worship? David Manner says the goal is unattainable unless the different generations within your church are first interacting together outside of worship. In this week’s Leading Ideas, he outlines six suggestions for bringing those of different ages together in prayer, Bible study, service, song, fellowship, and communion. Read more.

Dismantling Racism

Justice, Inclusion Efforts in Erie: An Erie Time-News columnist writes about methods Erie and other cities are using to examine racial justice and inclusion. Read column

Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in School, this year’s Mission u issue study, provides an opportunity to raise awareness of a crisis in the lives of Black girls and provide an opportunity for missional engagement and social justice advocacy by Christian women, congregants, and the community of faith. The study will be offered via Zoom on four Wednesday evenings beginning August 25. Get details and register

Methodists Who Integrated Baseball: The man who integrated Major League Baseball had a little-known ally in his quest. Jackie Robinson had his Methodist faith, something he shared with Brooklyn Dodger executive Branch Rickey, who recruited him for the task. Robinson never publicly lost his composure while dealing with death threats, racial abuse and physical danger. Read UMNews story

Upcoming Events

 Families and Politics Workshop: Were your family reunions this year marred by arguments over current events? For help in navigating serious political differences among the people we love, join in a free workshop on Monday, August 16, from 7 to 9 p.m. via Zoom. "Families and Politics" is offered by Braver Angels and co-sponsored by several faith-based groups including Christian Associates of SWPA. Advance registration is requested so participants will have time to review materials prior to the workshop. Register now

Clergy Spouse Retreat: 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

Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders: Registration is open for training to deal with conflict offered by the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center on October 11-15 or November 15-19, 2021. The two identical sessions will be held remotely via Zoom. This workshop is designed to help church leaders deal more effectively with interpersonal, congregational, and other forms of group conflict.  For details consult this MSTI Brochure.  Register at lmpeacecenter.org/all-events.  

Save the Date: The Nyadire Connection will celebrate its 15th Anniversary at Dutilh UM Church in Cranberry Township on Sunday, Nov. 14 at 6 pm.  They hope to have some guests from Nyadire attend. Get details.