WPAUMC enews --May 22, 2019


Annual Conference: About 1300 people are registered to attend the WPAUMC Annual Conference at Grove City College from June 5-8. If you are a voting member and haven’t yet registered, do it now using the link at wpaumc.org/AC.

Delegate Elections: One order of business at Annual Conference will be election of delegates for the 2020 General Conference. The Commission on Religion and Race offers two slide presentations explaining how delegates are elected and how the General Conference operates. See them

Have Old Hearing Aids? The Nyadire Connection’s team supporting the Hearing Impaired program at the Nyadire UM Mission in Zimbabwe will collect used hearing aids at TNC’s display table during Annual Conference. They’ll be refurbished and given to those who need them.

Other Collections: Also at annual conference, used eyeglasses will be collected at the Mission Barn display.  UMCOR cleaning buckets and hygiene kits will be collected in the parking lot behind the plenary building, and All God’s Children Ministries will collect used shoes in their truck in the parking area.

Reporting on AC2019: Lay members and pastors are expected to provide an annual conference report for their church members, but “reading secondhand reports from a business session of annual conference may be the ideal sleep aid,” writes Jeremy Steele. He has some tips on how to present your report so people will notice. Learn more

Leadership Development

Leadership Development Workshop: Whether you're attending annual conference or not, you consider attending the Leadership Workshop on Wednesday afternoon, June 5 at Grove City College. Invite a team from your church and learn together from Rev. Olu Brown and Kay Kotan.   Get flyer with details
Choose the workshop option within the annual conference registration form if you are attending AC. IF you are NOT attending Annual Conference, register using this link: https://wpa-reg.brtapp.com/LeadershipWorkshop2019

This I Believe! Greenstone UMC’s Denise-Nicole Stone, who grew up attending United Methodist Women meetings and now serves on the national UMW board, was one of five members of Boston University's  Class of 2019 chosen to reflect on their personal spiritual journeys at  BU's Marsh Chapel “This I Believe Sunday.”  Read more and watch.

Meet WPA UMW Leaders! Several new people are serving on the Conference UMW Leadership Team this year.  In February, seven of them attended a UMW Leadership Development event in Arizona. See who they are in this UMW Stories blog post.

UMW Dinner: The deadline to register for the UMW dinner at Annual Conference is this Friday, May 24. The dinner is at 5 p.m., Friday, June 7. To register, contact Linda Thayer or use this link: https://wpa-reg.brtapp.com/UMWDinner2019

Higher Education and Ministry

M.Div. Scholarships:  Wesley Theological Seminary now offers Rising Generation Awards, 10 full-tuition scholarships for new Master of Divinity candidates. The grants support the realization of a diverse but unified church envisioned by young United Methodists in their statement at the recent special General Conference. Read press release

Women President at Allegheny: Hilary L. Link will become the first women president of UM-related Allegheny College. Learn more  

Mount Union to Disaffiliate:The University of Mount Union will disaffiliate from the UMC because of its positions on homosexuality.  In announcing the move, Mt. Union officials said the university will continue to emphasize its United Methodist and Wesleyan heritage and commitments. Read press release
Read UM News: Ohio college severs formal ties with denomination

Gore to Speak at MTSO: Former Vice President Al Gore will be among participants at the "On Food and Faith: Ministry in the Time of Climate Change" event at Methodist Theological School in Ohio. Gore will deliver a climate and agriculture presentation during the May 30-June 1 conference. Read press release

UMC News

Grappling with GC2019: “Every day seems to bring another public statement in support of LGBTQ people and their role in The United Methodist Church or in defense of the Traditional Plan, which states homosexuality is “incompatible with Christian teaching,” says a UM News story posted Monday. Read it.

UMC Next Gathering: Eight clergy and laity from Western PA were among about 600 people at the UMC Next gathering that wrapped up today in Leawood,KS. It was billed as a conversation in response to the adoption of The Traditional Plan by the 2019 Special General Conference. Read UMNews story
Learn more at UMCNext website  

Mission and Outreach

Volunteers in Mission: Work teams recently returned from the Bahamas and Puerto Rico. At Bahamas Methodist Habitat, a Conference-sponsored team of Young Adults connected with Rev. Stephanie Gottschalk, former WPAUMC Mission Coordinator. The 12 volunteers in Puerto Rico were from First UMC in Franklin, Saegertown, Grace and Calvary UMCs in Oil City, Nicklin, and Beaver Falls. For photos, follow  WPAUMC on Facebook.

TNC Mourns Early Leader: Members of The Nyadire Connection are mourning the unexpected death of Rev. Julius Tsiga, former station chair at The Nyadire UM Mission in Zimbabwe who hosted the first team from Pittsburgh area that visited Nyadire in 2006. He was a key leader in forming the TNC partnership.and his wife Joyce warmly welcomed the many teams that followed until he moved to pastor a local church a few years ago. He retired Jan. 1, 2019. Funeral services will be on Sunday.

Adopt the Two-Degree Rule:  “If left to their own devices, most churches will invest the vast majority of their time, resources, and energy in themselves,” says Doug Varney. To engage people outside the church, a congregation should look at what it’s doing well and apply the Two-Degree Rule. What’s that?