WPAUMC enews - May 25, 2022



In Times Like These: In a statement after the murder of 19 school children in Uvalde, Texas, Bishop Moore-Koikoi shared a prayer and words from a hymn by Ruth Caye Jones. Read her statement

Take Action to Stop Mass Shootings: Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton, president of the UMC Council of Bishops, today urged clergy and laity to “go on offense to stop mass shootings like the one that killed 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Texas.” Writing on behalf of the COB, he suggested that clergy and laity alike open themselves to the power of God and do “whatever we can to alter the current course of behavior once and for all.” See press release

How United Methodists are Responding: United Methodists in Texas and elsewhere are stepping up to provide prayer and support after the shooting at an elementary school that took the lives of 19 children and two teachers. Read UM News story

A Call to Action to End Gun Violence: Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe, General Secretary of the Board of Church and Society, called on United Methodists to pray and take action on “Our Call to End Gun Violence”, Resolution #2438 in the 2016 UMC Book of Resolutions. Read more
Learn more and find resources to combat gun violence

Annual Conference

AC Livestream: Worship and plenary sessions of the 2022 Annual Conference will be live-streamed from the Bayfront Convention Center. A link to watch will be posted at www.wpaumc.org/AC.

Details on the Annual Conference, as well as links to the Pre-Conference Booklet, are also on the wpaumc.org/AC page.The 2022 Nominations Report and 2022-23 Appointment booklet were recently added.

NOTE: If you are a voting member and have not registered for AC2022, please do it NOW! 

Clergy to Robe for Ordination Service: Arrangements have been made for clergy to robe in white with red stoles and process into the Ordination Worship Service.  So, don't forget your robe and stole! 

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. 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 may be made online using your bank account or credit card by clicking the green button link on at wpaumc.org/AC or at wpaumc.org/OnlinePayments

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 the Mission Impact 2022 page at wpaumc.org/missionimpact2022


Update on UMCOR Aid in Ukraine: A shelter in Batiovo, Ukraine, is supported by the United Methodist Committee on Relief as part of its efforts to assist victims of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It is one of 120 centers supplied with food, water, hygiene products and household appliances. Read story

A New Book from Zimbabwe: Greater Nhiwatiwa, the wife of Bishop Eben Nhiwatiwa of the Zimbabwe Area, shares her reflections on her life and faith journey in a new book. Despite being denied an education as a girl, she went on to become a nurse and a leader in the UMC in Zimbabwe. Read story

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.

UMC News

Jurisdictional Conferences OK'd: The United Methodist Council of Bishops expressed gratitude for the Judicial Council decision released May 20, which said that bishops can schedule jurisdictional conferences to elect and assign new U.S. bishops amid pandemic-caused disruptions. The Council of Bishops has tentatively set Nov. 2-5 for jurisdictional conferences. Read press release
See UM News story: Ruling opens door for bishop elections in 2022

Resources on Denominational Splits: From now through the end of the year, the United Methodist Commission on Archives and History plans to produce and release a number of resources based around the theme “Splits, Separations, and Reconciliations: Rooted in Wesleyan Grace.” The goal is to help the denomination better understand the multifaceted and multi-faced history of the Methodist movement in a global context. The agency posted some  new resources ahead of May 24, when United Methodists celebrate John Wesley’s spiritual renewal. Read press release
See How Aldersgate changed John Wesley

Arrest Made in Pastor’s Slaying: Many are mourning the Rev. Marita Y. Harrell, a 57-year-old United Methodist pastor in Atlanta who was stabbed to death last week. Police in DeKalb County, part of the Metropolitan Atlanta area, issued a statement May 20 saying they have arrested Christopher Griggs, 27, and obtained warrants against him for murder and arson. Griggs is being held in the DeKalb County Jail. Read UM News story

Fire guts East Ohio Church: More than 70 firefighters on May 20 battled the flames shooting through the roof of Grace United Methodist Church's 142-year-old sanctuary. While much of the building was severely damaged, the church's spirit and sense of mission remain as vibrant as the church's portrait of Jesus, which was untouched by the blaze. 
Read story

United Women in Faith

Climate Justice Postcard Campaign: United Women in Faith have launched a postcard campaign to motivate leaders to better address pollution and climate change.Postcards can be printed from the website and there are instructions on sending included. Read story
Postcards and instructions

United Women in Faith Assembly: More than 3,000 gathered at the Orange County Convention Center and online for United Women in Faith’s Assembly 2022, held May 20-22. The event celebrating the work of the church’s women’s organization included speakers, workshops, town halls, worship and the consecration of deaconesses and home missioners. WPAUMC women were among those attending. Read story
See photostream
Read 60 consecrated at women’s event


Emerging From Difficult Times: Registration is open for any or all of three one-day Academy of Spiritual Formation retreats for contemplation, reconciliation and healing. Scheduled for Aug.20, Oct.3 and Nov. 12, 2022 they will be held in person at Faith UMC in Fox Chapel and available online. Get details


The Unfinished Church,  a new podcast focusing on the holy work of antiracism, premiered last week. Hosted by Bishops LaTrelle Easterling, Michael McKee, and Gregory Palmer, it features conversations with well-known activists, authors, preachers and teachers about what it means to love our neighbors in the ways Christ has called us to love. Listen to the first episode Respecting Differences, with Nadia Bolz-Weber

May is Mental Health Month: In this week’s episode of Meet in the Middle, Rev Dawn Lynn Check speaks with Sarah Jeanne Browne, a mental health advocate and Forbes writer. Browne shares her journey with mental illness and shines a light on the stigmas surrounding mental health. Listen
Hear last week’s episode, in which Rabbi Sara Perman describes what it’s like ot be part of a community that’s targeted because of faith and ethnicity. Listen

No e-News Next Week: The Weekly e-News will not be published during the week of Annual Conference.