WPAUMC enews - Jan. 5, 2022



Prayer for the New Year: The 2022 Prayer for the New Year from the East German -Western PA Partnership Committee is featured on the homepage of the Conference website. See the prayer
SPARK 2022! The first of two Spark events for Conference youth and their leaders will be held this weekend at the Sheraton Station Square in Pittsburgh. Please pray for our Youth Ministry Team, as well as the youth and their leaders. Registration is open now for the April 9-10 SPARK event in Erie at the Bayfront Convention Center. Get details at wpaumc.org/spark

Confirmation Event Registration Open: Confirmation Class events with Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi are scheduled on three Fridays in March – March 4, 11 and 18, 2022 – from Noon to 4 p.m. at Dutilh UMC. The event will feature a Confirmation lesson and conversation with the Bishop and begin with an optional lunch. For details, click the link on the day of your choice on the Conference website March calendar. Or use this link to Register
WPA Mission Agency Celebrates Volunteers: Connellsville Area Community Ministries honored its volunteers during a special celebration and Christmas luncheon a few weeks ago. Tammy Marchewka was honored as Volunteer of the Year and a surprise announcement brought good news.  Read more.
Youngsville Church Opening Senior Center: To make good use of its facilities and serve the community, Youngsville First UMC is opening a center where senior adults in the community can gather for fellowship, education and recreation. “We are very excited about the launch of this new ministry,” the Rev. Jeff Canter told the Warren Times-Observer, “because we are called to proactively leverage all of the church’s assets for the benefit of our community.” Read story
Pandemic Prompts “Monumental” Ministry Growth: More than half of Christian congregations say they have started a new ministry or expanded an existing one during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey report from the Hartford Institute for Religion Research. It is part of a five-year project called “Exploring the Pandemic Impact on Congregations.” United Methodist Communications is assisting the ongoing research. Read Religion News Service story
See report (PDF)

Dismantling Racism

Join Cross Racial/Cross Cultural Ministry Training: The Conference Committee on Religion and Race is seeking volunteers to join our Cross Racial Cross Cultural (CRCC) Ministry teams that work in training and support of congregations with CRCC pastors.  A one-year time commitment is required and extensive training is provided. A strong interest in working competently and equitably across cultures and/or across races as part of a diverse team is required, along with adaptability and a willingness to grow and be challenged in the area of racial justice. Two short       information sessions have been scheduled, via Zoom: Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022 at 1 p.m., OR Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022 at  7 p.m. To express interest or get more info, contact Peggy Ward at pdward11@gmail.com , using CRCC in email subject line. Individuals and Antiracism Team members are encouraged to respond.
White Awake Book Study: The Conference Committee on Religion and Race will offer a 6-week Tuesday evening online study of the book White Awake by Daniel Hill, beginning February 1.  The author shows seven stages to expect on the path to cultural awakening. It’s a call to find our deepest sense of identity in Christ, offers a new perspective on being white and empowers readers to be an agent of reconciliation in our increasingly diverse and divided world. Lisa Morse and Rev. Dylan Parson will lead the discussion each Tuesday from 7 to 9 p.m. from February 1 until March 8. Register here through Eventbrite   

African American Methodist Heritage Center: The African American Methodist Heritage Center in Madison, NJ needs money and attention so it can continue to preserve the history of African American Methodists. The center is prioritizing fundraising in 2022 and considering a name change. See UM News story.

Trailblazing Bishop Dies at 103: Bishop Wilbur Wong Yan Choy, a retired Bishop of The United Methodist Church. He died last week in Washington State at age 103. Bishop Choy was elected to the episcopacy in 1972 by the Western Jurisdictional Conference and as bishop, he served the Seattle Area for eight years and the San Francisco Area for four years. He was the first Asian American elected as a UMC bishop in the United States. Read more

Leadership Development

2022 Spring Licensing School: Applications are being accepted for the 2022 Spring Commuter Licensing School and Certified Lay Minister Training, which begins with a Feb. 17-19 weekend retreat at Manorville UMC, continues on Saturdays from Feb. 26-April 9 and closes with an April 21-23 retreat. To apply for Licensing School, you must be a certified candidate for ministry.  Applications and a $100 deposit are due February 5. Participation is limited to 15. Get application with details at wpaumc.org/forms

UM Higher Ed Foundation Scholarships: The United Methodist Higher Education Foundation (UMHEF) is accepting scholarship applications for the 2022-2023 academic year until March 1, 2022. Students who are members of The United Methodist Church and planning to attend a United Methodist-related school, college, university, or seminary full-time are eligible to apply. Learn more at https://www.umhef.org/scholarships/

GBHEM Scholarships: The UM Higher Ed Foundation scholarships are completely separate from those offered by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM), but eligible students may apply for both. The current application period ends March 24, 2022. United Methodist students attending any accredited institution are eligible for GBHEM scholarships. 

Resources for Leaders

Top Ten Resources from Alban: As we begin a new year, you may want to check out the Top 5 Resources of 2021 from Alban 

What to Watch in 2022: F. Douglas Powe Jr. and Ann A. Michel of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership name some changes church leaders should keep in mind as we embark on 2022. They include still evolving patterns of worship and congregational life, worrying attendance trends, churches reevaluating their building needs, and underlying demographic changes that challenge assumptions many churches hold regarding their future. Learn more

Human Relations Sunday is Jan. 16! One of the denomination's Special Sundays, the offering taken this day supports ministries of justice and outreach. Learn more and get resources.


UMCOR 2021 Year in Review: Emergencies in the U.S., Haiti, Afghanistan and other parts of the world kept the United Methodist Committee on Relief busy in 2021. UMCOR also awarded more than 30 U.S. churches with Mustard Seed Migration Grants for one-time, community-based service projects. Read story

Foundation Aids Tornadoes Recovery: The McKendree Village Foundation has donated $100,000 to the Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference for disaster recovery after December tornadoes devastated the region. Nashville Area Bishop Bill McAlilly accepted the check, saying the money would have an immediate impact on many people affected by the twisters. Read story

United Methodists Help Colorado Wildfire Survivors: United Methodists are stepping up after the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history destroyed nearly 1,000 homes and businesses. Colorado Public Radio reported on how Highlands United Methodist Church is helping the Bovens, who lost their home and all of their possessions. Colorado Public Radio: 'What was important was life'
Mountain Sky Conference Bishop Karen P. Oliveto shared how churches are providing shelter and how others can help with prayers, financial donations and fire buckets. Read bishop's statement

Dismantling Poverty Grants: The United Methodist Appalachian Ministry Network offers grants to churches or related organizations for projects that address causes and barriers related to hunger and poverty within the geographic region of Appalachia that serve a majority of Appalachian people. Grants cannot be used for agency/ministry operating expenses but may be used for non-agency/ministry resource persons. Download application with details.

Deadline Reminders

2021 Apportionment  Payments: January 13 is the last day for churches to pay their 2021 connectional apportionments. Your giving is not in vain, and every dollar paid goes to support vital mission and ministry within our Conference, and beyond. Please make every effort to reach your 100% goal. You can verify your church’s current status by using the Connectional Apportionment Reports page of the Conference website at wpaumc.org/apportionment.

 2021 Statistical Reports must be completed by Monday, January 31. Senior pastors should have received an email from Conference Secretary John Wilsonon Monday, November 22 with detailed instructions. If you have any questions, contact him at john.wilson@wpaumc.org.