WPAUMC enews - March 30, 2022



Support UMCOR! Last Sunday, March 27, many local churches observed UMCOR Sunday. But it’s not too late to celebrate or contribute to the special offering, which supports the administrative costs of the United Methodist Committee on Relief. This offering ensures that all funds given for a specific UMCOR project go to that project. Get details for observing UMCOR Sunday

Annual Conference Childcare: Registration is open for childcare and the Recess program during the Annual Conference, but space is limited. Childcare is available for children age 6 or younger. Recess is for children who will be entering 1st through 5th grades in 2022. To register, use the links at wpaumc.org/AC.

Classifieds: Jumonville needs volunteer leaders and Ingomar Church is recruiting for a full-time administrative position. Get details at wpaumc.org/classifieds.

Murphy Honored with Citizenship Award: Congratulations to Keith Murphy, founder and executive director of Healthy Village Learning Institute (HVLI), who will receive the inaugural Outstanding Model Citizenship Award during the Western PA Black Political Assembly’s Public Service Awards Luncheon on Saturday April 2, at the Wyndham Pittsburgh University Center. He’s being honored for “bringing a holistic African-centered experience to Black residents of the McKeesport area” and for his “mentorship of youth that includes pilgrimages to Africa.” HVLI is one of WPAUMC’s Camping and Retreat Ministry sites. Get event details
Learn more about Healthy Village Learning Institute

UM Camping Ministries Get Grants: As nonprofit organizations, United Methodist-affiliated camps and retreats are used to doing big things with small dollars. Thanks to a $2.5 million Ministry Impact grant to the United Methodist Camps & Retreat Ministries Association, 86 projects across the U.S. will have more secure funding. WPAUMC and Camp Allegheny are among those receiving project funds. Read story

Ecumenism, Alliances and Social Justice: In this week’s Meet in the Middle podcast, Rev. Renee Mikell talks with Rev.  Ryan Pusch of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) about the value of  ecumenism and the benefit of a collaborative approach to social justice issues. Listen


Ukraine Refugee Relief Stories: Children and staff from an orphanage in Kyiv, Ukraine, have been taken in by Romanian United Methodists after a thwarted abduction attempt during their refugee journey. That's one of the stories emerging from Eastern European United Methodists' relief work with Ukrainians, mostly women and children, who have fled their country since the Russian invasion began last month. Read story
See March 24 story: Blessed be their Ukrainian ties

Update on Ukraine Relief Efforts: United Methodists in countries near Ukraine continue to provide food, shelter, transportation, language classes and worship opportunities to Ukrainian refugees. The Rev. Ivana Procházková, a superintendent of The United Methodist Church in Czechia, encouraged United Methodist relief workers to pace themselves and prepare for a long-haul effort. Read report

God and The War in Ukraine: The Rev. Dr. John Burgess, a Pittsburgh Theological Seminary professor, two-time Fulbright scholar to Russia and lecturer in Kyiv, Ukraine, will explore the religious dimensions of the conflict in Ukraine and how Christians can work for a just peace during an April 7 webinar. The event, from 7-8:30 p.m., is free and open to the public. PTS alums, students and faculty may attend in person. Learn more and register.

Dismantling Racism

Sermon Starters Promote Intercultural Competency: The General Commission on Religion and Race  has created a downloadable PDF resource to assist both clergy and lay preachers to attend faithfully to the biblical text while engaging Intercultural Competency (ICC) in preaching. Learn more

Native American Ministries Event: As part of a continuing "Journey Toward Healing Relationships with Indigenous Persons,” the Eastern PA Committee on Native American Ministries (coNam) presents Restored Language + Restored Culture = Healing. Guest speaker Halay Turning Heart is a lifelong United Methodist and project administrator of the Yuchi Language Project. Join a webinar at 4 p.m., Sunday, April 3 to hear her story of hope for the future of the Yuchi Nation. Get details and register 

Addressing Poverty

Homes Caring for Low-Income Residents Seek Support: Since 2008, the number of personal care homes that accept the Supplemental Security Income payment to care for low-income residents has dropped by 413, reducing the number of residents who can receive care by 4,121. But a line item in Gov. Wolf’s proposed 2022-23 budget that would increase funding for SSI homes by $50M annually might help reverse the trend. Kim Adams of the Ruth M. Smith Center, a UMW national mission institution in Sheffield that accepts SSI residents, and others in the Alliance for Low-Income Personal Care Home Advancement (ALPHA) are asking those concerned about personal care options for low-income elderly to contact their legislators and ask them to support this budget line item. See fact sheet 
See Cost of Comparative Care
See Advocacy Info

Seed Ministry Helps to Provide Food: About 2,500 gardens are planted each year in the Appalachia region of Ohio with help from Jackson Area Ministries, a mission project of The United Methodist Church. The program, which began in 1972, provides a way for those with a fixed or low income to have access to fresh and healthy foods. Read story
Learn more

UMC News

Commission Works to Avoid Further GC Delays: General Conference organizers are looking at strategies to prevent further delays of the denomination's top lawmaking assembly beyond 2024. At its online meeting March 28, the Commission on the General Conference approved the formation of two strategy teams — one focused on visas and the other on logistics. Learn more

Judicial Council Update: The United Methodist Church’s top court released five rulings March 30. Most stem from bishops’ decisions of law related to annual conference standing rules, General Conference deadlines and equitable compensation. Read UM News story

Upcoming Training

Church Ministry with Dementia: After a great response to its course for local church leaders on how to minister to those with dementia and their caregivers, Discipleship Ministries and Bishop Kenneth Carder will offer the hybrid series again beginning April 28. Get details. 

Communications Learning Week: UM Communications will offer Taking the Next Step, a weeklong learning experience focused on communications from May 9-13. They’ll deliver valuable content and training through a variety of learning pathways, including recorded workshops, podcast episodes and Q&A sessions with church communication professionals. Get details