WPAUMC enews - March 9, 2022



Choi Named Kane District Superintendent: The Rev. Dr. Sang Kong Choi will be appointed Superintendent of the Kane District, effective July 1. “Rev Choi will bring a number of gifts to the Kane District, including effective leadership experience in rural and suburban churches and in starting a new congregation, said Bishop Cynthia moore-Koikoi. Read more

Confirmation Journey: The first group of Confirmation Classes gathered at Dutilh UMC last week to meet our Bishop and Conference staff, have some fun and learn more about connectional ministries. Another session will be held this Friday and the third event on March 18. See photos from last Friday’s event. 

Prayer and Discernment: In times like these, how do we know where God is leading us? The Christian spiritual tradition is rich with teachings about discernment. It’s an essential aspect of the life of prayer. Over lunch on March 24, join Daniel Wolpert and the Conference Discipleship team on Zoom to learn more about the practice of discernment and how to examine your life to notice the Spirit’s calling. (The session is the second in a series of three related to prayer, but registration for each is separate and attendance at Session 1 is not required to register for session 2.)
 Get details and register
Learn more about Daniel Wolpert

Questions Follow General Conference Delay: Last Thursday, the Commission on the General Conference announced that the postponed 2020 global gathering must be postponed again, citing visa delays for non-U.S. delegates. United Methodists are responding to the third General Conference postponement with emotions ranging from outrage to relief. Some theological conservatives who have been prepared to launch a new denomination see the postponement as unnecessary. For everyone, questions remain. Read UM News report

A Message from Our Bishop: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi, in the midst of meeting with Confirmation classes, recorded a video message addressing the delay. She urged Western PA United Methodists to continue doing the work of making disciples. Earlier this week, the Council of Bishops asked the denomination’s Judicial Council for a declaratory judgment addressing six questions related to the current situation. Watch video and read more

United Methodists and Ukraine

A Church Under Siege: The small United Methodist communities in Ukraine continue to help their neighbors amid the chaos and violence of the Russian invasion. Elliott Wright writes about the priorities of the current United Methodist humanitarian work and shares background on the Methodist history and presence in the country. Read story
Read UM News story: United Methodists in and near Ukraine help refugees

United Methodists Stand with Ukraine: United Methodists around the world are condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine and responding to the plight of those affected. The denomination’s ResourceUMC.org website has created a landing page, “United Methodists Stand with Ukraine,” offering articles, statements from church leaders, social media graphics and information on how to provide support.
Learn more

Eurasia Bishop Discusses War in Ukraine: Bishop Eduard Khegay is resident bishop of the Eurasia Episcopal Area, which includes both Russia and Ukraine. In a Zoom interview with Rev. Dr. Fred Vanderwerf, a former UMC missionary in Ukraine, Bishop Khegay reflects on the war, the trauma Ukrainians are facing, how we might respond, and how he is personally wrestling with Russia’s future. Watch video
See related interviews at minnesotaumc.org/newsdetail/videos-reacting-to-ukraine-16384031

Voices from the Field-Ukraine: On Monday, March 14, 2022, at noon EDT, join via Zoom to hear the latest from Women’s Peace Dialogue Platform members reporting from Ukraine and other neighboring countries on issues specific to the crisis/state of emergency in Ukraine. The Women’s Peace Dialogue Forum grew out of a 2015 effort by United Methodist Women to bring Ukranian and Russian women together to talk peace. It has evolved into a permanent regional forum and members are helping in a real war situation. Don’t miss the opportunity to hear from them. Register to get the Zoom link


TNC Plans June/July Mission Trip: The Nyadire Connection is looking for volunteers with skills in a variety of areas such as education, ministry, agriculture, health, maintenance, to join a Volunteers in Mission Team heading to Zimbabwe this summer for three weeks. Tentative dates are June 16-July 7. Required training will be provided. Get details 
Learn more about TNC at nyadire.org. 

Who Am I Called to Be? Laity who feel called by God to make a lifetime commitment to full-time ministries of love, justice and service are invited to learn about an opportunity to become part of a covenant community at a virtual Discernment Event on Saturday, April 2 at 1p.m. ET. 
Download flyer
Register at  http://tinyurl.com/DHMApril2022

UMCOR Sunday is March 27: Get resources and ideas in the Pastors and Leaders Kit at Resource UMC. 

Dismantling Racism

CRT and Education: The Pittsburgh District Anti-Racism Team will hold an event designed to unpack and demystify the current tensions around Critical Race Theory and the education system in the U.S.. Giving Up is Not an Option: A Discussion on CRT and Education is scheduled for Saturday, March 26 from 6pm-8pm @ First UMC in Pittsburgh. Learn more and register here.  
See GCORR Infographics on Critical Race Theory
Meet in the Middle: In this week’s edition of the Meet in the Middle podcast, Pastor Zayzay Kpadeh interviews two leaders of Together We Can, a faith-based group that uses a community-based approach to work for social justice and increased understanding to bridge the racial divide in Venango County, PA.  Listen
I Could Go On Singing: Nearly 80 people gathered at Dutilh UMC in Cranberry Twp. recently for I Go On Singing: Paul Robeson’s Life in His Words and Songs, a multimedia musical performance by Anthony Brown. “Brown’s rich baritone voice combined with piano accompaniment, narration, and photo/video archival footage made for an entertaining yet profoundly moving look at the life of singer, actor, and activist Paul Robeson,” writes Liz Lennox in an update on anti-racism events in the Pittsburgh area. Read more
Anti-Racism 4REALS: Leading Ideas Talks features a discussion with Sheila Beckford about strategies for equipping church leaders to do the hard work of anti-racism in order to move toward real change. Listen or watch video.

Celebrating Women’s History Month

 March is Women's History Month. Check out the General Commission on Religion and Race’s Women's History Month resource here.
New Wineskins for UMW: United Methodist Women was founded in March 1869, so this seemed a perfect time for the national organization to honor its history and unveil a new name, logo, website, and improved programming. As United Women in Faith, the organization hopes to nurture current members and welcome new women who together will put love into action for women, children and youth around the globe. Learn more at https://uwfaith.org/.
Learn more in the March/April issue of Response magazine (offered free as part of the celebration)

GCSROW Celebrates 50 with New Website: The United Methodist Commission on the Status and Role of Women has launched a new website in conjunction with the celebration of its 50th anniversary. The site connects United Methodists to information on sexual ethics, pay equity,   guidance on sexual misconduct complaints, and many other resources to support full and equal participation of both lay and clergy women in the life of the church. Read press release
View website


Upper Room Update: There’s a new way to share the Upper Room Daily Devotional with your congregation or group. A new Digital Group Subscription option will replace the PDF download and make it easier for members to access the devotional at their convenience. You set the number of subscriptions you need within a term period, but you only pay for the number of redeemed. Get details
Thanking God It’s Good Friday! Jessica L. Anschutz writes in Leading Ideas about an intergenerational Good Friday ministry event developed at Connecticut UM Church to educate children about Holy Week and Easter. She shares insights for how any congregation could launch a similar effort to educate children and reach new people. Learn more


Apply for Annual Conference Youth Caucus! Youth in 7th -12 grade are invited to apply to serve as a page or a youth delegate to the Western PA Annual Conference from 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. See application with detail

Biometric Screening at Annual Conference: Active Clergy and staff enrolled in Conference’s Active Healthcare Plan can register for on-site biometric screenings at Annual Conference through their MyHealth Online accounts (www.upmchealthplan.com). Screenings are available Friday, June 3, 2022 from 6:30- 11:30 am. Registration is first-come, first-served basis and walk-ins will not be accommodated. Contact the benefits department with questions.

Save the Date! The United Methodist Appalachian Ministry Network will hold its 50th anniversary Assembly from Oct. 5-7 at Oglebay Resort and Conference Center in Wheeling, WVA. The theme is Building a Beloved Community. Registration will open in the Spring.