WPAUMC enews - May 18, 2022



Need prayer? The Annual Conference Prayer Team will offer in-person opportunities on Thursday and Friday of the upcoming Annual Conference, June 2-3. On Thursday at 11 a.m., teams will form for orientation, then walk and pray over each room where legislation will be decided.
An interactive prayer room with self-guided prayer stations and teams to pray with you upon request, will be open on Thursday, June 2 from 1 p.m.-11p.m. and Friday from 7 a.m. -11 p.m. It will be in room 130C.
Private Prophetic Ministry to receive encouragement in your connection with God will be available by appointment. Contact Susan Thomas at 724-518-1898.

Annual Conference Offerings: Two offerings will be received during Annual Conference. Gifts given at the June 2 Ordination and Commissioning Service will go to the Bishop's Discretionary Fund, while those received during the June 4 Memorial Service and Closing Worship will support camping and retreat ministries through the Deeply Rooted, Upward Reaching Campaign. Donations also may be made online using your bank account or credit card by clicking the green button link on the Annual Conference page of the Conference website wpaumc.org/AC or the Online Payments page wpaumc.org/OnlinePayments

AC Eyeglass Collection: The Nyadire Connection (TNC) will collect eyeglasses at its Annual Conference display table. If you or your friends have any you no longer use, donate them to help improve the vision of people in rural Zimbabwe. TNC’s eyeglass clinics have tested and provided needed glasses to thousands of people in the region around The Nyadire UM Mission. Read about it.
See TNC’s latest newsletter, video and other info at nyadire.org/

Volunteers Needed for Mission Barn Collection: The Eastbrook Mission Barn will collect  hygiene kits, cleaning buckets and supplies for both.  Volunteers are needed to help receive the kits. If you can help, please contact Katie at missionbarn@gmail.com or 906-630-1519. 

Mission Impact Collections: Donations of gently worn shoes, mobility items (wheelchairs, walker and canes etc.), medical supplies and other items will be collected by Erie-area ministries participating in Mission Impact Day the morning of June 2. To see the complete list of collections, scroll down the Mission Impact 2022 page at.wpaumc.org/missionimpact2022

Dismantling Racism

Resources to Address Racist Shootings:  As people in the U.S. struggle to understand deadly shootings at a New York grocery store and a California church, United Methodist Discipleship Ministries is suggesting resources to help leaders undo the work of racism. Among the recommendations are videos on decolonizing the church, a book edited by prominent United Methodist pastor the Rev. Rudy Rasmus and an online anti-racism course from the United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race. See the resources
Read Churches condemn hate, urge action after shootings

Report on Indian Boarding Schools: The United States operated 408 boarding schools for Indigenous children across 37 states or then-territories between 1819 and 1969 — half of them most likely supported by religious institutions including United Methodist predecessors. Emily McFarlan Miller reports for Religion News Service on the first volume of an investigative report by the U.S. Department of the Interior. Read story
See UM News story: Pastor reflects on abuses at Indian boarding schools

Asking the Hard Questions About Race: The Rev. Giovanni Arroyo poses a difficult question to white United Methodists who say they want an end to racism. “Do you want racial justice enough to voluntarily relinquish some of your power?” A native of Puerto Rico, he knows firsthand what it’s like to be a minority in America, and that experience informs the way he pursues his mission as The United Methodist Church’s point person on inclusion. Read UM News story. 
Listen to Our Conexión podcast with Arroyo on racism and Christianity


Uth4Missions Worksites Needed: Conference youth will gather for a week of outreach, worship, and service from July 18-22  at Jumonville. If your church or ministry is in that area and could use youth volunteers, email sandra.matoushaya@wpaumc.org.

Ukraine Aid Shifts: A move from emergency aid to long-term support sums up the current phase of United Methodist efforts for Ukrainian refugees and internally displaced persons. But United Methodist faith communities in Romania, Poland and Hungary continue to send supplies into Ukraine as the Russian invasion continues. Urs Schweizer has an update. Read story

UMC News

Ministry with Migrants Photo Essay: As record numbers of migrants continue to cross Mexico's southern border, the Methodist Church of Mexico is seeking new ways to be in ministry with immigrant families on the move. A UM News team accompanied Mexican church leaders and longtime partners from The United Methodist Church in April on visits with migrants, other faith communities and charitable and civic leaders in southern Mexico as they sought ways to help. See photos by Mike DuBose
UM News immigration photo essay: 'I Was a Stranger …'

Leadership Development/Resources

Pastors Academy: There’s space available for a few more people to attend next week’s Pastors Academy at Olmsted Manor. It’s May 23-25. The Rev. Dr. Anthony Hunt will be teaching on the community-building power of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's work. Register online or call Olmsted at 814- 945-6512. Get details

7 Ways to Re-engage Volunteers: Whether it’s due to post-pandemic fatigue, lingering health concerns, or broader cultural shifts, volunteerism hasn’t bounced back as readily as other aspects of congregational life, writes Susan Beaumont. In Leading Ideas, she outlines seven ways to revitalize volunteer engagement. See what they are

Creation Care in Coal Country: Like many areas of Western PA, West Virginia’s identity is inextricably linked to coal. So discussing creation care ruffles feathers in many congregations. But some churches are taking steps toward addressing the current situation.  Duke Divinity’s Faith and Leadership website includes a story and offers some questions to help leaders address how to approach difficult conversations on controversial topics. Read more.

Disability Awareness: The Disabilities Ministry Committee of the UMC, now chaired by Rev. Debbie Hills of WPAUMC, is offering a variety of new resources to help church members understand Disability Theology, empower churches to work to achieve Disability Justice, and equip all levels of the Church to provide radical Disability Hospitality. They include:

Sign up for the committee’s newsletter at www.umcdmc.org. (The latest issue includes a shout-out to Port Vue UMC for their inclusion efforts and mention of the Sept. 16-18 Autism Family Retreat at Jumonville.


Emerging From Difficult Times: Save the Dates of Aug.20, Oct.3 and Nov. 12, 2022 for three one-day Academy of Spiritual Formation retreats for contemplation, reconciliation and healing.You can attend just one or all three, which will be held in person at Faith UMC in Fox Chapel and online. Registration will open soon. Watch for details.

UMC News

Bishops Seek Ruling on P.2548.2: The United Methodist Council of Bishops is requesting a declaratory decision from the Judicial Council on the meaning and application of Paragraph 2548.2 in the Book of Discipline. The paragraph deals with the deeding of church property to another denomination. Council of Bishops President Thomas Bickerton describes the paragraph as ambiguous. See press release
Read Paragraph 2548.2

Seeking UM Heritage Landmark Status: The deadline to apply for United Methodist Heritage Landmark status has been pushed back to July 1, 2022, because of the delayed General Conference. Heritage landmarks in the church are buildings or locations related to significant history of The United Methodist Church or its antecedents. COVID-19 and related travel restrictions have led to business of the 2020 General Conference being delayed until 2024. Read press release
For guidelines and to apply

Save the Date! On Tuesday, June 21 from 4-7p.m., come to Calvary UMC, a landmark  on Pittsburgh’s North Side, for a Summer Solstice Open House. Experience sunshine and the Spirit on the longest day of the year as the light illuminates Calvary’s stunning Tiffany windows.