DS Nelson to Serve Holiday Park: The Rev. Pat Nelson has been appointed to serve as pastor of Holiday Park United Methodist Church, effective Jan. 1, 2022. She is currently the Greensburg District Superintendent. Rev. Tony Fallisi, who served as pastor of Holiday Park since 2013, recently moved to New Hampshire with his wife to be near family. Rev. Augie Twigg is serving as interim pastor. Read Rev. Nelson’s appointment announcement.
Pittsburgh DS Installation: The Rev. Deborah Ackley-Killian will be officially installed as the Pittsburgh District Superintendent in a service at Mt. Lebanon UMC on Sunday, Oct. 24 at 4 p.m. Face masks are required and childcare will be available. In lieu of a reception, attendees will receive gift bags. RSVP is encouraged to help with planning. RSVP at this link or call the District Office at 412-281-7152.
Walk/Ride/Bike-a-Thon Stats: Following the last of five 2021 Bike-a-Thon events to raise funds for Camping and Retreat Ministries, Rev. Chris Kindle reports that 53 participants together walked, ran or biked a total of 2,142 miles. Kindle noted that Rev. John Flower and Darren MacKenzie rode on all five of the trails. He also offered thanks to the Rockwood UMC, Franklin Christ UMC and McDonald UMC for their hospitality and kindness.
Join Bishop on Alpine Journey: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi will lead an Educational Opportunities Alpine Odyssey Tour, including a visit to the Oberammergau Passion Play, from Sept. 19-27, 2022. Through a partnership with Olmsted Manor Retreat Center, Western PA Conference clergy are eligible to apply for a scholarship to cover half of the cost of the trip for themselves and their spouse. Funds come from Olmsted's Russell E. and Evelyn June Perry Educational Trust. Learn more
Meet in the Middle podcast: A new episode of our Conference podcast focuses on Movement Forward, which sponsors Faith in Blue and other efforts to build bridges between churches, police and community members. Rev. Renee Mikell talks with Rev. BT Gilligan and two leaders of the Atlanta-based Movement Forward. Listen
Young Adult Opportunity: Wesley Theological Seminary has launched Wesley Design Fellowship, a one-year, cohort-based experience for young adults that includes community formation, spiritual direction, graduate-level courses, and hands-on experience leading innovation. Open to young people ages 23-29 interested in leading new ways to connect young adults with the whole church, each fellow will earn an $8,000 stipend and four graduate academic course credits. Application deadline is Feb. 1, 2022. Learn more.
Innovate to Reach New/Younger People: Director F. Douglas Powe Jr. of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership interviews Mikka McCracken about innovation, building relationships, and creating person-focused ministries so more people know the way of Jesus and discover community, justice, and love. McCracken leads the ELCA Innovation Hub. Read more
What Census Results Mean for Churches: Some key findings in the 2020 U.S. Census Report may be significant for churches, including an aging overall population, the first-ever decline in the white population, and greater diversity. Lovett Weems of the Lewis Center writes that the census results upend many of the working assumptions churches hold about their future. Read more
Digital Church Planting Training: New Faith Expressions and Path 1 are excited to announce the launch of the Digital Church Planting Training for 2021. Led by experts in the field, this course walks you through the new world of digital planting and provides detailed ideas for launching and sustaining online worship, faith communities, and starting other creative digital ministry solutions. The first session is Thursday, Oct. 21. Learn more and register.
New Faith Community Model: The Woodlawn Community Fellowship, a merger of two United Methodist congregations, is trying a new model of a faith community that will use development of its property to fund its ministry. Plans call for building 36 townhomes to help generate income.
Winter Coat Drive: UM Church Union is holding its Winter Coat Drive. Churches, groups and individuals are invited to participate by donating NEW winter clothing: scarves, hats and coats of all sizes. Church Union will distribute coats at The Bridge in Northview Heights on Dec. 4. Drop-off locations and dates --Calvary UMC in Pittsburgh, The Olive Branch in Wexford and The Bridge-- are listed on this flyer
Collect coats at your church using this customizable flyer.
Do No More Harm! The General Commission on the Status and Role of Women has released a new resource, Do No More Harm! It was developed to assist those navigating the complexities of the complaint process by providing clear step-by-step guidance, information on what to expect from other participants in the process, and videos that highlight key parts in the process from different perspectives. See the resource at donomoreharm.org.
Improved Sexual Ethics Website: The GCSRW, in partnership with UM Communications (UMCOM), has re-launched the UM Sexual Ethics website on ResourceUMC. Check it out at umsexualethics.org.
Did Jesus Really Say That? In a new Rethink Church podcast, biblical scholar Amy-Jill Levine explains teachings of Jesus that seem harsh. Levine is a Vanderbilt Divinity School professor and New Testament scholar. She wrote "The Difficult Words of Jesus." Listen to podcast
Must We Choose Between God and Science? A course available through the Lewis Center offers a way to live in today’s world as scientifically informed believers. Dr. Francis S. Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, hosts this adult education series in which more than a dozen leading scientists, theologians, and philosophers explore the contrasts and similarities between religion and science. Learn more
Important Info on Boy Scout Bankruptcy: United Methodist churches that have sponsored Boy Scout troops should expect to receive a “disclosure statement package” from the Boy Scouts of America regarding its pending bankruptcy proceeding. The United Methodist Ad Hoc Committee, which advocates for United Methodist interests within the bankruptcy process, has guidance for handling this mailing. Bottom line: Don’t fill out or sign any forms in the package at this time. Read press release
See Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi’s Oct. 12 email to pastors/church leaders
UM News: BSA bankruptcy concerns church leaders
Church Historian Dies at 84: The Rev. Dr. Kenneth Rowe, an ordained elder in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference who served as Methodist Librarian at the United Methodist Archives and History Center on the campus of Drew University for 32 years (1970-2002) passed away on October 8. Read UM News story
Learn more and see tributes.
Filipino Churchgoers Minister as Pandemic Rages: In the Philippines, more than 2.6 million people have contracted COVID-19 since the pandemic began, with over 500,000 cases and 4,400 deaths in the past 28 days, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Churches have responded with prayer vigils, outreach to those affected, fast-tracked vaccinations for church workers and ongoing information sharing. Read UM News story
Olmsted Fall Women’s Retreat: Sometimes life can get so full of “stuff” that we lose our way. We forget what is really important and the great call our Savior has put on our life. perspective. During this Oct. 24 -26 retreat, Christine Zimmerman will share how the Lord helped her in this journey and give you hope and courage to take the steps needed to move forward unencumbered in mission and ministry. Get details
Webinar on UMC Gender Pay Equity: In a GCSRW Lunch and Learn webinar on Thursday, Oct. 21 at 1 p.m. EDT, researcher Dr. Magaela Bethune will go through parts of the 2020 Salary Study showing gender disparities in the UMC. She’ll specifically look at the geographic trends.During a September 23 Lunch and Learn, Dr. Bethune walked through some of her initial findings. See the first session.
For details on how to join the Salary Study Part II Lunch and Learn on October 21, click here.
Celebrating Asbury’s Arrival in Philadelphia: On Oct. 27, 1771, lay preacher Francis Asbury landed in Philadelphia, after responding to John Wesley’s call to head the Methodist movement in the Americas. The United Methodist Church will culminate a two-month commemoration, in partnership with The Methodist Church in Britain (MCB), of the 250th anniversary of Asbury’s journey with a two-day event at Historic St. George’s UMC on Oct. 30-31. Learn more.
Visit Eastern PA Conference website for event details
Learn more about Francis Asbury
Organ Recital and Workshop: Dan Miller, an international organ soloist, teacher and recording artist, will be at Trinity UMC in Indiana on Oct. 16 and 17. He’ll offer a workshop on Saturday, Oct. 16 at 10:30 a.m., a recital on Sunday at 3 p.m. and serve as guest organist at the church’s 11 a.m. worship service. See poster for details.
Clarion Concert To Celebrate 100-year-old Pipe Organ: Several area organists will play Clarion First UMC’s 100-year-old Austen pipe organ during a concert at the church on Sunday, Nov. 7. Get details.