WPAUMC enews - Sept. 15, 2021



Join in Active Waiting: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi suggests that United Methodists spend the time leading up to the next General Conference engaging in the spiritual exercise of active waiting. Rather than a time of anxiety and stagnation, active waiting for believers is a time to cooperate with what God is doing among us while preparing for new manifestations of God’s promises. Read her blog post

Facilities Use Agreement for Scouting: In a Sept. 3 email, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi advised leaders of churches who charter Scout troops not to renew their charter, but replace it with a Facilities Use Agreement. A denominational ad hoc committee has completed work on a Facilities Use Agreement for congregations. Copies are available from District offices. See Bishop’s September 3 email
Read latest on Boy Scouts of America bankruptcy case

Upcoming Events

Run/Walk/Bike-a-thon: Saturday is your next-to-the-last chance to take part in the 2021 Bike-a-thon to support Camping and Retreat Ministries. This time the event will be on the Panhandle Trail, starting in McDonald, PA. Get details.

Oct. 3 is World Communion Sunday! On that day, United Methodists will join Christians of different traditions to recognize our ecumenical oneness in Christ in a spirit of unity and peace. Prepare for your World Communion Sunday service by exploring the Pastor and Leaders’ Kit, full of helpful resources.Download now

I Wonder As I Wander: Enjoy the beauty of the fall foliage and develop your photography skills during a retreat led by Rev. Dean Ziegler at Olmsted Manor Retreat Center from Oct. 11-13. Get brochure with details

Tekyl to Speak in WPA: Save the date to hear the Rev. Dr. Terry Tekyl, author and “prayer evangelist,” when he’s in Western PA on Oct. 23-24. The Kane District is sponsoring his visit. He’ll offer two sessions on Saturday, Oct. 23 at Warren First UMC and one Sunday afternoon, Oct. 24 at Butler First UMC. Online registration will open Monday on the Conference website. Registration will open on the Conference website next week. Learn more about Terry Tekyl

Becoming People of One Book: The Rev. Dr. Steve Tuell, James A. Kelso Professor Emeritus of Hebrew and Old Testament, will present Becoming People of One Book, to begin the annual Albright-Deering event at 10 a.m. on Nov. 3 at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. In the afternoon, he’ll be joined by Rev. Chenda Innis Lee for conversation exploring ways in which our shared sacred texts can unite rather than divide. Get details and register.

Dismantling Poverty

Ride for the Refuge: Join the teams and riders who are pedaling for a purpose this September! With two weeks left in September, there’s plenty of time for you to join in the Erie UM Alliance’s 22nd annual Ride for the Refuge. You can ride wherever you are or donate to support one of the many participating teams or riders. Funds help end homelessness for families through EUMA. Get details.

Poverty in the U.S.: Massive government relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic moved millions of Americans out of poverty last year, even as the official poverty rate increased slightly, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday. The official poverty measure rose 1 percentage point in 2020, with 11.4% of Americans --or more than 37 million people-- living in poverty. While churches respond to immediate needs by providing food, clothing and shelter, we are called also to address the systems and practices that have led to economic inequality, poverty and hunger. Learn more at umcjustice.org.

UMC News

Native Americans respond to vandalism: The caucus that advocates for Native Americans in The United Methodist Church said its members would pray for the vandals who tore down flag poles and toppled a memorial stone honoring veterans at a Native American church. The vandals caused thousands of dollars of damage at St. John United Methodist Church. Read story

Helping Afghans Through Ecumenical Partnerships: Despite the disturbing visuals from Afghanistan, one expert in Islamic-Christian relations said perceptions of Islam by Americans have improved over the past two decades. Through ecumenical partnerships on the ground, United Methodists continue to work to improve life for Afghans, as they have since the 1960s. Learn more
Celebrating Asbury’s Impact: The 250th anniversary of Francis Asbury’s crossing of the Atlantic from England to America is being celebrated jointly by the Methodist Church of Britain and The United Methodist Church. Special events were held Sept. 11-12 in Bristol, England, and the celebration will conclude Oct. 30-31 in Philadelphia. Read more from UMNews.

World Methodist Evangelism Celebrates 50 Years: In a global pandemic, World Methodist Evangelism is celebrating its 50th anniversary and continuing its work of equipping people to share Christ's love across continents. That work includes building a social media community around John Wesley's practice of prayer and fasting. 
Read UM News story
UM Men Magazine Celebrates Hanke: The Fall 2021 issue of UM Men magazine celebrates the contributions of Gil Hanke, who is retiring after 12 years as the top executive of United Methodist Men. The issue also includes six facts about John Wesley, Methodism's founder.
Download issue (PDF)
Pastoral Care in COVID Unit Leaves Lasting Impact: The Rev. Chris Yost, pastor of Wesley UMC in North Texas, has been spending four hours a week at a local hospital, donning personal protective equipment and providing counseling in the COVID and ICU units. In an essay, he recounts some of the harrowing and poignant scenes he's experienced while praying with patients, families and caregivers.
Read commentary

Leadership Resources

Sweet Hour of Prayer:The first time I participated in fixed-hour prayer, I felt like I had come home to a place I had never been and yet a place in which I truly belonged,” writes Ruth Hayley Barton. In a Beyond Words reflection, she explains how fixed-hour prayer nourishes the soul.  Read more

Talking with God: United Seminary offers a 90-minute live webinar with Pastor Adam Weber, best-selling author and host of The Conversation podcast at 10:30 a.m., Thursday Sept. 23. He’ll share his guidebook on how to truly communicate with God. This is a webinar on prayer for the person who has heard it all, or possibly nothing at all, and simply wants their prayer life to grow. See details and register
Ministry with Retirees: Discipleship Ministries offers a webinar at 2 p.m.ET on September 30 exploring how churches can be more intentional about being in ministry with retirees and helping disciples age 50 and older be intentional about living with purpose in a new phase of life. Get details
Disciple-Making Resources: Discipleship Ministries offers a variety of free resources for church leaders and individuals to use. See what’s available and download 
Leading Amid Mask and Vaccine Controversy: Navigating the complicated and divisive issues of vaccines and mask-wearing has made ministry during this pandemic even more fraught for many pastors and congregations. Doug Powe and Jessica Anschutz of the Lewis Center say the key question is how we can be God’s ambassadors in the midst of this tension. They outline four strategies to reframe the debate. Learn more

Need Help with Social Media? Using social media to reach new people might seem complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. If your church could use some help with social media marketing, apply to UM Communications to receive free one-on-one coaching and/or Facebook Ads assistance tailored to your church’s unique needs. Learn more and apply