WPAUMC enews - March 2, 2022



As Lent begins, pause to reflect, repent and believe…
We’ve revived our Cross Sections video series of meditations by Conference leaders to use on your Lenten Journey. Learn more.
Find other Lent and Easter Resources at wpaumc.org/lentandeasterresources

Bishop Urges Prayer, Action for Ukraine: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi called on United Methodists to pray for peace in Ukraine, which acting to aid the Ukrainian people impacted by the war. She suggested three ways to help. Read her statement.

Thoughts from a UMC Pastor in Ukraine: The pastor of a campus ministry in Lviv, Ukraine, where Western PA  Pastor Michael Airgood once served as a mission intern, has provided an update on conditions there. Pastor Volodymyr Prokip described what's happened to his family and community in an interview with a Minnesota Conference District Superintendent who founded the Lviv campus ministry. Watch the interview
To help: Pastor Prokip reports that Ukraine UMC has created a crisis committee to make decisions on use of funds coming in through Global Ministries' Advance #14053A Eurasia In Mission Together - Ukraine and Moldova 

Pittsburgh Pastor Rescues Orphans in Ukraine: After preaching a sermon Feb. 24 at Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church in the Pittsburgh suburb of Carnegie, Rev. Jason Charron and a Pittsburgh businessman flew to Poland, crossed the border into Ukraine and escorted 20 orphans and their guardian back across the border to safety. See Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report

Erie Company Raising Funds for Ukraine Team: Logistic Plus, an Erie-based company tht does business worldwide, is donating and raising funds for its team of about 50 employees in Ukraine. Read more on GoErie.com.

Leadership Development

Laity Leadership Academy “Grad” Honored: Peggy Senior, who was part of the first class when the United Methodist Foundation launched its Laity Leadership Academy, recently became the fourth participant to finish the training. She received her Certificate of Completion from the Dean of the Academy, the Rev. Dr. Joseph Patterson, during worship on Sunday, February 27 at her church, DuBois Lakeside UMC. Read more

WPA Leadership Job Posting: The Conference is seeking a staff member to serve full-time as Coordinator of Clergy and Lay Leadership Excellence.  Learn more at wpaumc.org/classifieds.
NOTE: The position is also posted on the UMC.org Jobs Board. Any United Methodist church, agency or official organization may submit job listings. This resource is also made available free of charge to job seekers. To submit or find an opening

Ritchey Installed as Greensburg DS: Although he served nearly two years as Washington District Superintendent, Rev. Paul Ritchey was never formally installed due to the pandemic. He began serving as Greensburg DS on Jan. 1 and was installed last Sunday afternoon in a service at Community UMC in Harrison City. See photo album.
Read about DS Ritchey

Scholarship Deadline Extended: The United Methodist Higher Education Foundation has extended the deadline to apply for scholarships to March 15. Get details

Youth Needed for Annual Conference: Youth in 7th -12 grade are invited to apply to serve as a page or a youth delegate to the Western PA Annual Conference, scheduled for June 2-4 at the Erie Bayfront Convention Center. Delegates are voting members of the annual conference and are expected to attend all sessions and participate in Youth Caucus activities. Pages serve in a variety of roles. The deadline to apply is March 30, but the number of positions is limited, so apply early.  See application with details

Youth Leader Planning Retreats: Coordinator Amanda Mitchell has scheduled two planning retreats for local church youth leaders. One is scheduled for March 25-26 at Jumonville and the other is May 6-7 at Camp Allegheny. See schedule

Dismantling Racism

Faith, Race, Place: A Public Source report posted this week looks at how Warren UMC, a historic black church in Pittsburgh’s Hill District and First UMC, a predominately white congregation about two miles away in Shadyside, had to face their segregated pasts before they were able to work together to “Wrestle with Racism.”  See feature 

Meet in the Middle: In this week’s podcast, Pastor Drew Gordon interviews Deven Clarke, an old friend and journalist currently with KPRC-TV in Houston, Texas, about how the media reports on issues of race and memorable stories that affected him. Clarke, an African-American, is a graduate of Howard University who once worked in DuBois. Listen to The Reporter’s Eye

Justice Ministry

UM Advocacy Update: Joyce Davis, the coordinator for United Methodist Advocacy in Pennsylvania, shared an update on recent happenings in state government, proposed legislation, juvenile justice reform efforts and redistricting. Read her report


New UMVIM-NEJ Coordinator: Ray Yarnall is the new Volunteers in Mission coordinator for the Northeast Jurisdiction. He comes to the post with leadership and management skills gained during more than 22 years working in finance and insurance and 28 years in United Methodist leadership. He's served as Board President for Pecometh Camp and Retreat Ministries, was a founding member of Jacob’s Well Church in Chesapeake City, MD, and serves on Peninsula-Delaware Conference committees and teaches High School Sunday School at Wesley UMC, Dover, DE, where his wife is a pastor.   

Rich and Lulu Mrozcka, missionaries serving in Guatemala, will be visiting Pennsylvania for most of the month of June 2022. They hope to  book speaking engagements at local churches or with groups such as UMW.  Contact them via email to lourdesramirez@umcmission.org to schedule an event for your church or group.

Early Response Team (ERT) Training: An in-person training session for volunteers to be certified by UMCOR for Disaster Response Ministry has been scheduled for Saturday, March 19 from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at Zion UMC in Sarver. Clearances are required on the day of the training. Get details and register. 
ERT Recertification training will be offered online from 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. on March 26 and April 30 for those who need to renew their certification.  Register
Learn more at wpaumc.org/disasterrespons

Refugee Resettlement: On March 4-6, UMCOR is co-sponsoring the Together We Welcome conference with Church World Service (CWS). Designed as a virtual national gathering to strengthen support for refugees, immigrants and migrants, the event will provide an opportunity to hear from refugees, faith leaders, resettlement staff and other experts in forced migration. Participants will learn, share with one another, build relationships and come away with specific actions to foster welcome in their local communities. To learn more and to register, visit Together We Welcome Faith Leader's Conference 2022.

UMC News

General Agency Budget Allocations: The General Council on Finance and Administration board and Connectional Table each approved proposed new budget allocations for most general agencies, Africa University and other denomination-wide ministries. The 2023-24 allocations are part of the budget heading to the next General Conference. The two leadership bodies plan to revisit allocations again in May.  Learn more