Pittsburgh District News


Events

General Conference 2024  (more info )

Where: Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tuesday, April 23, 2024 to May 3

General Conference is scheduled for April 23-May 3, 2024 at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. Originally scheduled for 2020, it's been postponed three times due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Read more.

Announcements

Foundations of Anti-Racism

Racism is an issue we are constantly reminded of as we watch the news, but it is a topic many of us are hesitant to discuss for fear of upsetting or offending others.  Join the Pittsburgh District Anti-Racism Team (Pittsburgh ART) for Foundations of Anti-Racism, a discussion based study on how racism impacts our daily lives and what we can do to promote equity in our communities.  

Three sessions are being offered during March: Mondays, March 6, 13, 20 and 27 at Baldwin Community UMC (5001 Baptist Rd, Pittsburgh); Tuesdays, March 7, 14, 21 and 28 at South Avenue UMC (733 South Ave, Pittsburgh); and Thursdays, March 9, 16, 23 and 30 via Zoom.  All sessions will run from 7 - 8:30 pm.  Please register here for the session of your choice by February 27.  Contact Kim Rhoton (krhoton@mlumc.org) or Susie Moffett (susie.fhnc@gmail.com) with any questions.


Stand Up! Songs of Social Justice Concert    more info

Faith UMC in Fox Chapel (261 W Chapel Ridge Rd, Pittsburgh) invites you to join them for two events featuring the Essence of Joy Alumni Singers

  • Saturday, February 11 at 3 pm - A Community-wide Concert 
  • Sunday, February 12, 10:30 am - Worship Service followed by a fellowship lunch - please RSVP headcount for the lunch to office@faithfoxchapel.org


Lenten Calendar - Empowering Girls

If you are looking for a way to count your blessings while learning more about the people served by the Nyadire United Methodist Mission in Zimbabwe and helping empower girls to attend school, please consider using this Lenten Calendar.  It is designed to be printed and folded using legal sized paper, but can be scaled to fit letter sized paper.


Fund Balance Reports Due March 1, 2022

Annual Fund Balance Reports, required for each church, are due in the District Office by March 1st. If you need an extension, you must contact the District Office before the deadline. 

The United Methodist Book of Discipline assigns the responsibility for the annual audit of financial records to the committee on finance. The committee “shall make provisions for an annual audit of the financial statements of the local church and all its organizations and accounts. The committee shall make a full and complete report to the annual charge conference” (¶258.4d). The purpose of this audit guide is to assist the committee in its work.  The Fund Balance Report (and other financial forms and guidelines) is found at www.wpaumc.org/formsandinformation.  


Confirmation Events

Confirmation classes are invited to attend one of two afternoon events held on March 30 and 31 to meet Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi and learn more about connectional ministries. Hosted by the Conference staff at Ingomar United Methodist Church in Franklin Park, Journey 2023 offers an opportunity for local church Confirmation Classes to gather together to meet our Bishop, worship, play games, learn with Conference program staff and dive deeper into this thing we call discipleship. Learn more and register


Scholarships for United Methodist Students

Applications are now open for scholarships from the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation. Every year, UMHEF awards $2+ million to students planning to attend one of the 100+ UM-related colleges, universities, and seminaries across the country. Don’t let finances get in the way of achieving your dreams of quality education! Apply by March 1 at umhef.org/apply.


Simplified, Accountable Structure - A Simple Structure for Missional Effectiveness

Are you tired of unproductive meetings that seem to go on forever?  Does your church have more leadership positions than people to fill them?  Do meetings occur without ever discussing how ministries align with the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ?  Is your church simply “meetinged-out?”  If this sounds like your church and you are looking for another way to lead your church more faithfully, more simply and with greater impact, please join this February 4, 9 - 11 am, Zoom session with Kay Kotan to explore simplified, accountable structure.  This event is encouraged for both clergy and laity, and will include plenty of Q&A time.  RSVP here.  You will receive the Zoom link prior to the event.

You may learn more about Kay, co-author of Mission: Possible here.
 
In this overview workshop, you will learn:

  • The leadership styles of most churches and how effective they are
  • The difference of management and governance through leadership
  • How to meet less but be more effective and missionally focused
  • How to simplify the four administrative committee functions
  • How to offer permission-giving guidelines for day-to-day ministry to occur
  • Why accountability must be part of leadership at all levels
  • The three phases of simplified, accountable structure
  • The 12-steps of Discernment towards Simplified, Accountable Structure


Boy Scout Charter Update    more info

The Council of Bishops has received this Boy Scout update:  Local churches are to not extend existing charters past 12/31/2022 except for any that require additional time to complete. Churches should begin utilizing the new affiliation agreements found here effective 1/1/23 or as soon as possible in 2023. Please contact Steven Scheid, sscheid@gcumm.org, the Scouting Executive for United Methodist Men for additional guidance and questions, if needed.


Spiritual Care Volunteers Needed

Are you compassionate?  A good listener? Spiritual care volunteers are needed to visit inpatients of Allegheny Health Network’s palliative care division. (We also have opportunities for telephone call volunteer teens.) These are “chaplain extenders,” as we only have one chaplain to cover five hospitals:  Allegheny General, Allegheny Valley, Forbes, Jefferson, and West Penn. No prior experience needed. Training and ongoing support is provided. Adults 22 and over are invited to apply. For more information, contact:  Pastor Kim Rapczak, Spiritual Care Coordinator for Palliative Care, 412-738-4650 or Kimberly.Rapczak@ahn.org.  Volunteers are also needed at AHN Wexford - contact Pastor Laura Powell, 724-316-7895.


UMC Minimum Insurance Requirements    more info

The Book of Discipline requires local church trustees to annually review and report on the adequacy of local church property and liability insurance coverage “to ensure that the church, its properties, and its personnel are properly protected against risks."  Further information is found here and here.


Camp Allegheny is Hiring for Summer 2023    more info

Camp Alleghney is hiring Senior Staff (college students) as resident counselors, wranglers, lifeguards, food service, office, photographer and more. and high school students (16 and 17 year olds) as Jr. staff who work 4 to 6 weeks of the summer, usually in a counseling role. Staff receive paid training and are trained in a wide variety of areas; communication, leadership, activities, CPR and first aid, Bible study, age level characteristics and so much more.  More information is here.


Clergy Housing Allowance Resource Bundle

This information was shared in an e-blast from GCFA Legal Services Department and contains helpful information and resources:  A pastor’s housing allowance is excludable from gross income for income tax purposes. This article will help you understand and make the most of the housing allowance. 


Wanted: Roots of Faith Worship Leader    more info

Roots of Faith is seeking a part-time Worship Leader for their worship service that gathers on Sundays at 11:30AM.  Roots of Faith in Sharpsburg, PA, is a location of Faith United Methodist Church in Fox Chapel. A guitarist and/or keyboardist is preferred with strong vocals, leadership skills, and a willingness to work with persons from a variety of ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Worship Leader will be paid $130 per week. To apply, please send resume to Rev. Angelique Bradford at pastorangelique@faithfoxchapel.org.


2023 WPAUMC Annual Conference

Mark your calendar now!  2023 Annual Conference will be Thursday – Saturday, June 14 - 17, 2023, at the Erie Bayfront Convention Center.  Clergy: Plan your vacation, weddings, mission trips, etc. around these dates and plan to attend.

 


Resources

Mission Vision    more info

Do you have old eyeglasses at home? Donate them to Mission Vision, a non-profit based in Cranberry Twp. that equips mission volunteers to offer eyeglass clinics where people can be fitted and get glasses matching their prescriptions. Volunteers from Zion UMC in Sarver clean and categorize the used glasses. Teams from that church take them to Haiti and other locations. Others go with The Nyadire Connection teams to Zimbabwe. Used glasses are now being collected at the United Methodist Center in Cranberry and the Eastbrook Mission Barn. 


Conference News

Below you will find some conference news relevant to Pittsburgh District. To see all conference news, go to the News section at the very top of this page.
Jesus Christ is Our Anchor (read more )

9/6/2022

We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain, where Jesus, a forerunner on our behalf has entered, having become a high priest for ever according to the order of Melchizedek.  Hebrews 6:19-20 Siblings in Christ,   I pray that all our souls are anchored in Christ, who is our hope.    This past summer I had the opportunity to rest and relax with my husband and fur baby, be educated around leadership and my African American ... read more


Episcopacy Committee Thanks Bishop Moore-Koikoi (read more )

7/7/2022

The 2021-2022 Committee on Episcopacy today released a statement thanking Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi for her continued care and leadership of the Western Pennsylvania Conference, while she also served with Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball of West Virginia as Interim Bishops of the Harrisburg Area, which includes the Susquehanna Conference. The shared leadership model was announced shortly before Harrisburg Area Bishop Jeremiah Park retired in 2021. The 2021-2022 Committee on Episcopacy of The ... read more


Chenda Lee Named Coordinator of Clergy and Lay Excellence (read more )

4/24/2022

The Rev. Chenda Innis Lee, a lifelong United Methodist and ordained elder in the Virginia Conference, has been selected by the WPA Conference Personnel Committee to serve as the new Coordinator of Clergy and Lay Excellence.  Rev. Lee has been serving as the Regional Coordinator of Spiritual Formation in the Pittsburgh/Butler area since December 1, 2021. She will begin her new position on the Conference Program Staff on July 1, 2022.   “Rev. Lee has a quiet confidence and a deep spiritual ... read more


Brown's Robeson Tribute Wraps Up Black History Month (read more )

3/7/2022

By Liz Lennox, WPAUMC Communications Staff Nearly 80 people gathered at Dutilh UMC in Cranberry Twp. on Feb. 28 for I Go On Singing: Paul Robeson’s Life in His Words and Songs, a multimedia musical presentation written by Andrew Flack and performed 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. Anthony Brown ... read more


Pastor Creates Study Guide for "Loneliness Epidemic" Book (read more )

2/16/2022

Rev. Tom Parkinson Rev. Tom Parkinson, senior pastor of Dutilh United Methodist Church in Cranberry Township, published a book last summer entitled The Loneliness Epidemic: How the Church Can Cure Our Gravest Sickness. Now, just in time for Lent, he's created a study guide for use by small groups. The book, Parkinson's first, has been lauded for its insight, authenticity, and practical guidance. “Parkinson blends pastoral sensitivity and deep intelligence. This is important for a ... read more


Quick Links

WPA Facebook Page
Diversity Development and Inclusion
Mission Barn

The Eastbrook Mission Barn is one of six UMCOR Relief Supply Network depots across the United States.

Scholarships and Grants

There are a variety of scholarships available at www.umc.org/resources/scholarships and at www.wpaumc.org/scholarshipforms.
 

Local church grants available for outreach: The Foundation for Evangelism has opened the 2023 Equipping the Local Church grant cycle. A total of $350,000 is available for grants of $5,000 or $10,000 to small and medium-size congregations, or clusters of churches working together, in a Wesleyan-tradition denomination. A grant application webinar is set for 2-3 p.m. U.S. Eastern time Jan. 26. Learn more.

Scholarship for lay women available: The deadline to apply for the United Women in Faith National Scholarship for lay women is April 18. The scholarships are designed to be used for undergraduate or graduate study or student internships in religion or a related field such as social work. Preference will be given to people affiliated with The United Methodist Church and women involved with UWF. The average scholarship is $1,000, and the maximum is $5,000. Read press release.

Scholarships Available for United Methodist Students! Applications are now open for scholarships from the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation. Every year, UMHEF awards $2+ million to students planning to attend one of the 100+ UM-related colleges, universities, and seminaries across the country. Don’t let finances get in the way of achieving your dreams of a quality education! Apply by March 1. (Scholarships from UMHEF are separate from those offered by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.)