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Hello Church!

Have you ever been reluctant to make a purchase because of the cost of an item?  Have you ever refused to make a purchase because of the cost of an item?  Some folks have labeled me parsimonious.  I don’t consider myself to be a stingy person, but making sure my dollars work for me is important.  Counting the cost of merchandise or the cost of future endeavors is something many, if not all of us, do on a regular basis.  Credit card companies entice us with frequent flyer miles that can be earned by using their cards to purchase items.  Other card companies advertise cash back when their card is used to purchase certain items.  “What’s in your wallet?”  Counting the cost is such a part of everyday life, we hardly notice that most decisions are made based on how we benefit from those decisions.  It would be safe to say when it comes to ministry, many count the cost also, but not in a noble way.  They are parsimonious with their time, their gifts, and their resources.  The cost of following Jesus is to be a visible example of Christ every minute of every day. 
 
In the last six verses of Luke 9, Jesus encountered a number of would-be followers.  In these verses, Luke gives three examples of people who talked a good game, but when their number was called, refused to get off the bench.  First, Jesus encounters a gentleman who stated he would follow Him wherever Jesus went. Jesus told this man that foxes and birds knew where they would rest for the evening, “but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head” (9:58).  Jesus was explaining that becoming a disciple of Christ is hard at times.  Nothing is for certain. 
 
Next, Jesus invites another man to follow Him, but the man inquires if he can go back and bury his father.  Sounds great, but he was not going to a funeral.  His father was still alive.  He wanted to stay with his father until his death so he could get his inheritance.  The cost of losing his inheritance was too high to follow Jesus.  Jesus challenged him: “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and spread the news of the kingdom of God” (9:60).  The challenge Jesus made was to let the spiritually dead worry about worldly stuff.  The man had been called to spread the news of the kingdom of God.  That call cannot be put off until later. 
 
Finally, Jesus approaches a third man and Jesus asks this man to follow Him.  This man says yes, but he needed to say goodbye to his household.  Jesus responds, “anyone who puts his hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the kingdom of God” (9:62).  Jesus sees this man as double-minded.  If the man went back to say goodbye to his household, those in the household may have been able to talk him out of following Jesus. Jesus compared him to a person plowing a field while looking behind.  That will result in a crooked field.  We can’t look forward being a disciple of Christ while looking back at the world we left.  Followers of Christ cannot have it both ways, being Jesus’ disciple and keeping control of their own lives.  They have to get off the fence and realize the cost of following Christ, although substantial, is worth it.  Have you ever been reluctant to follow Christ because of the cost of discipleship?
 
God’s blessings in all we do,
Ross
 


INSTALLATION SERVICE!






Join us!
 
As we come together to celebrate the installation of our
Washington District Superintendant,
Rev. Ross T. Pryor
 
Sunday, October 9, 2022
At 3:00 p.m.
At Jefferson Avenue
United Methodist Church
160 Jefferson Ave. Washington, Pa. 15301


PDF Available Here


2022 Church Conference Cluster Dates

Schedule as follows:

(Printable PDF Here)
 

At Claysville on Tuesday, October 11th at 7:00PM
  • Claysville/Zion Charge
  • West Alexander
 
At Mt. Morris on Wednesday, October 12th at 7:00PM
  • Fairall Charge:  Fairall/ Claughton Chapel/Mt. Morris
  • Brave Charge:  Kents/Spraggs/ Valley Chapel
  • Valley Chapel (Holbrook)
  • Carmichaels 1st
 
At Coal Center: Grace on Thursday, October 13 at 7:00PM
  • Bentleyville                                                                
  • Coal Center: Grace
  • Brownsville 1st /California                                                     
  • Marianna
  • Charleroi First/Speers/Dunlevy Charge                                
  • Mt. Zion
  • Davidson                                                                    
  • Scenery Hill
  • UM Community Charge:  Beallsville/ Centerville/ Taylor
  • Greater Purpose Charge:  Jefferson/ Rices Landing/ Fredericktown/ Denbo:St. Paul’s/ Howe/Roscoe
 
At McMurray: Trinity on Tuesday, October 18th at 7:00PM
  • Crossroads                                                     
  • Trinity             
  • Amity/Liberty
  • Best Friends in Christ: Bridgeville 1st /Canonsburg/Fawcett                         
  • Midway/Federal
  • Wrights/Edwards                                                       
  • McDonald
 
At Washington First on Thursday, October 20th at 7PM
  • Avery                                                              
  • John Wesley
  • Washington First                                                        
  • Eldersville
  • Jefferson Ave/West Washington Charge
  • Pike Street Ministries:  Meadowlands,  Houston
 
At Central Highlands on Tuesday, October 25 at 7:00PM
  • Boston/Elizabeth                                            
  • Greenock
  • Central Highlands                                          
  • United 2 Serve: Monongahela First/ Elrama
  • Resurrection Circuit:  Pine Run/ Glassport
  •  
At Waynesburg First on Thursday, October 27 at 7:00PM
  • New Hope Charge: Rogersville/ Pleasant Hill/ Pine Bank
  • Mapletown                                                     
  • Waynesburg First                                                       
  • Mon Parish:  Fordyce/Mt. Pleasant               
  • Oak View
  • Bobtown/Mt.Calvary Charge                                                                        
  • Washington Street/Throckmorton Charge   
  • Greene Hills/Fairmount Charge:  Nineveh/ Union Valley/ Fairmount
  • Fairview/Nebo Charge


From the Bishop

Bishop Moore-Koikoi urged Western PA United Methodists to pray for those affected by the devastating hurricane that hit Florida last week. Read statement

 


UM News

NEJ Calls Special Session: The Northeastern Jurisdiction, of which WPA is a part, has called a special session for Oct. 15 to be held virtually from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Delegates will vote on the number of bishops to elect during the coming Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference to be held Nov. 2-4 in Baltimore. The jurisdiction’s bishops are recommending no elections this November.

Is the UMC Really...? In part five of this series, Ask the UMC clarifies that churches are not required to take a vote to stay United Methodist or join a new denomination, explains that elected clergy and delegates cannot continue to serve as such if they have disaffiliated, and debunks the myth that congregations will be forced to accept self-avowed and practicing homosexuals as their pastor. Read more

Hurricane Recovery Begins in Florida: "United Methodists responded to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Ian with typical compassion for the survivors and determination to respond effectively" writes Jim Patterson, UM News. Patterson reports on the work that is already being done to help those affected.  Read more


Upcoming Events

Session 1: Exploring the Practice of Sabbath and Spiritual Direction: The Conference Discipleship Team is hosting two online events on Exploring the Practice of Sabbath and Spiritual Direction. Join them online for the first one-hour session from 12-1 p.m. on Thursday, October 27. Register

2022 Biennial Pre-Retirement Event: Save the dates of October 18-19 for the biennial Pre-Retirement Event. Clergy of all ages are welcome to attend and clergy anticipating retirement in the next 5-7 years are strongly encouraged to attend.  Presentation topics include retirement plans, healthcare, social security, finances, clergy taxes, and more! Learn more.


Bishop Addresses Disinformation

As churches discern whether to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church and the Western PA Conference, disinformation about who we are as United Methodists has spread. In this video, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi addresses some of that disinformation. Video can be found here

She discusses: 

  • The ways in which the United Methodist Church remains unchanged when it comes to our core beliefs
  • The United Methodist Church's foundational documents (and the unlikelihood of these being changed by the denomination)
  • The accountability of bishops
  • Our commitment to the inclusion of theological diverse laity and clergy
Bishop Moore-Koikoi also committed to sharing frequent communication in the upcoming weeks and months to equip leaders with the tools to talk to others with accurate information. 
 


Clergy Mandatory Training

All clergy who are currently serving in an appointment are required to participate in a 2-hour online training entitled Connecting Neighbors: A ‘Disaster Ready Congregations’ Curriculum of the United Methodist Church. The online Zoom training will be conducted by consultants from United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). There are only three more training dates available, so register today


United Women in Faith

UWF Annual Meeting: The conference United Women in Faith annual meeting is scheduled for October 22 and will be held both in person and virtual. This event will be held from 9:30 am until 3:00 pm. All are invited to attend. See flyer

Justice, Healing for Native Children: From Sept. 30 through Oct. 6, United Methodists are invited to observe a special time of prayer and action in remembrance of the atrocities against Native American children in boarding schools. "Justice for Our Children: Healing for Our Communities" is the theme of this year's observance. United Women in Faith is offering a two-hour virtual event on Oct. 6 that will include prayer, an educational program and reflection in small groups about the abuses suffered by Native American children in the schools. Register for the virtual event.

Women Call for Better Climate Response: United Women in Faith has responded to the flooding in Jackson, Mississippi by calling for focused action to address the climate crisis in communities burdened with systemic inequalities. "These communities must be prioritized not only in the rebuilding process but also in the transition to a green and just new economy and green and just new jobs," the women's group said in a Sept. 7 statement. Read press release


Conference News

Park to Serve Christ Church, NYC:  On September 18, 2022, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi announced a new appointment for current Butler District superintendent Rev. Dr. Eric Park. Effective February 1, 2023 he will serve Christ Church, United Methodist in New York City. Read more


 


Educational Opportunity

World Mission Initiative Conference and W. Don McClure Lecture: Pittsburgh Theological Seminary will host this workshop October 7-8 online and at PTS. This conference will examine the what it means to engage in God’s mission of love, peace, and justice through the major disruptions of our day and how can we lead in mission in new ways amidst the disruption we’ve experienced in the past two years. Learn more and register.


Intentional Missional Alignment Task Force

IMAP Household Description Survey: Since accurate and helpful descriptions of the three Households will be crucial as congregations, laity, and clergy discern their futures, the IMAP Task Force has decided to invite various groups and individuals from across the Annual Conference to assist in developing the Household descriptions. If you are so inclined, please take some time to prayerfully discern which Household you are most likely to join and provide input to the IMAP TF as they do the work to describe each Household. Take survey.

Intentional Missional Alignment Task Force: The IMAP Task Force continues to provide updates on their work. Visit the IMAP webpage to watch a new explanation video about their process and read answers to frequently asked questions.


Available Grants

CORR Action Fund (CAF) Grant Program: The General Commission on Religion and Race announced a new cycle of the CORR Action Fund (CAF) grant program that will support creative initiatives that will transform the United Methodist Church (UMC) and the world. The 2022-2023 grant program will provide up to $10,000 to fund projects that increase intercultural competency and support vital conversations about race, cultural diversity, and systemic equity leading to action. Apply

2023 Mission Support Grant Application: Guidelines and the application for 2023 Mission Support Grants are now available. The Mission Support Team and the Conference Board of Global Ministries will work together to distribute the Mission Share Funds that have been allocated to promote life-impacting ministries. Download the 2023 application


Deeply Rooted

The Deeply Rooted, Upward Reaching Campaign sent out a fall update sharing progress and encouraging congregations to launch a three-week appeal. Read more

 


Antiracism Summit

Are you beginning to become involved in anti-racism?  Are you a seasoned ally and want to stretch? Then the SUMMIT ON RACE AND FAITH gathering on October 20-22, 2022 is for YOU??!!  The intersection of race and faith will be engaged so that we may become a conference of anti-racist congregations.  This summit organized by the Conference Commission of Religion and Race in collaboration with other groups will feature Bible Study, worship, panel presentations, and table talks.  You will be able to name your next action steps as you depart.  Sessions will be both in person and virtual.  Help advertise the summit with communication tools including a bulletin insert, announcement slide and social media graphic. Download the toolkit

Registration for the October 20-22 CORR Anti-Racism Summit  is now available. This summit is for those who are currently involved in anti-racism learning and are ready to move into action and/or those currently involved in advocacy activities. A one-day Youth Summit will be held on Saturday. Register today


#BeUMC

What makes you proud to #BeUMC?

#BeUMC honors the core values that connect the people of The United Methodist Church (The UMC). This grassroots campaign, built upon powerful stories of congregations and people living their faith, celebrates what draws us to The UMC and what we aspire to be.

The UMC is founded on a Wesleyan theology of grace, anchored in Scripture, and based in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and the continuing movement of the Holy Spirit.

Share your story! The full story of The UMC reflects all of our interwoven experiences. Consider our common roots and your answer to the question, “Why am I United Methodist?” Then, post a video, photo or written testimony on your preferred social media platform – don’t forget to use the hashtag #BeUMC.  More information and download the video here.

We Are the Church Together Presentation: United Methodist Communications has created a special presentation called We Are the Church Together that will remind congregations of their identity as United Methodists while also inviting them to have constructive conversations about what they hope the future will bring, both for The UMC as a whole and their congregation. Download the customizable presentation

The Mission We Share: Celebrating Our Call: Following God’s call to transform the world might seem impossible, but it’s a reality for United Methodists. Together, our global connection provides and supports a wide variety of robust ministries that change and save lives every day, from health care to education to social justice, and much more. Watch video.


Spiritual Moments: By the Congregation of the Greenock United Methodist Church

Spiritual Moments is a collection of deeply personal religious experiences—stories told by members of the congregation of the Greenock United Methodist Church in McKeesport, Pennsylvania.  These stories relate moments when God made a powerful difference in someone’s life, moments when they experienced His presence, when they reached out in prayer and He answered their prayers.  Those who have agreed to tell their stories include ordinary people, ranging from mid-life professionals to retired seniors. For most of the authors, it has taken years to summon the courage to share these emotional experiences with anyone. The decision to publish our Spiritual Moments is based upon our belief that It no longer feels right to keep these stories to ourselves.  The book is available through Amazon, AuthorHouse, Barnes & Noble and Walmart.  It is also available for download on Kindle.  All royalties from the sale of the book go directly to the Greenock United Methodist Church.


Ministry Opportunities

Ministry with the Incarcerated: "Some of the world’s greatest leaders found themselves behind bars at some point in their lives," writes coordinator of UMC Advocacy in Pennsylvania, Joyce Davis. "History tells us just because someone went to jail doesn’t mean they’re worthless, dangerous or beyond redemption. Many former prisoners are capable of becoming great leaders in our communities if we give them the chance." Read PennLive article

As Memory Fades, Ministry Grows: As the number of dementia diagnoses grows, congregations have an opportunity to serve their community in meaningful ways. In Leading Ideas, Jessica L. Anschutz of the Lewis Center shares ideas for pastoral care and spiritual support for persons with dementia and their caregivers. See what they are here https://www.churchleadership.com/leading-ideas/as-memory-fades-ministry-grows-ministry-alongside-persons-with-dementia/


Clergy Community of Practice

UMC/ELCA Shared CCOP Pilot Project: A new shared opportunity  is being launched this fall for clergy who are serving in the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. Group participation requires 2-4 hours per month in addition to the assigned reading for the sessions.  Both in-person and Zoom options are available.  Each meeting will be led by a trained facilitator who is a clergy peer. Learn more or register.

Clergy Communities of Practice: CCOPs are a type of covenant group meant to support development and focus on engagement with peers, helping to reverse trends of isolation among clergy. Meetings invite participants to share in prayer and fellowship, as well as a time of learning and application with an emphasis is on bringing learning into practice. Learn more or register.


Discipleship Team

Exploring the Practice of Sabbath and Spiritual Direction. The Conference Discipleship Team is hosting two online events from 12-1 p.m. on Thursdays, October 27 and November 17. The sessions will include times of teaching, prayer practice, and provide an opportunity to ask questions.  Register today.


Olmstead Manor Events

SACRED CONVERSATIONS TO END RACISM  October 9-11:  You are invited to participate in a contemplative retreat as we explore practical ways to have sacred and brave conversations towards ending racism. This retreat is for clergy and laity who hunger for a deep spiritual experience and who are interested in joining God in becoming agents of reconciliation.  We will engage with Biblical texts regarding equitable treatment of all God's people, and we will learn about the mythological construction of race and the reality of racism in America and in the church. Infor Here.

PHOTOGRAPHY FOR EVERYONE  October 17-19:  We are excited to offer this opportunity for anyone interested in taking better photos to gather and develop their skills. All you need for this retreat is your camera of choice - even a cell phone - and a love of taking photos. You will have a chance to meet others with a photography hobby, enjoy capturing images of the beautiful retreat center and surrounding area, and learn some new tips and tricks to create your best photos yet. Info Here

FALL WOMEN'S RETREAT  October 23-25:  You are invited to come away to Olmsted this fall and immerse yourself in rich study and seeking with a cohort of other powerful Christian women. Olmsted's women's retreats offer inspirational speaking, encouraging group discussions, quiet time with God, opportunities to enjoy stillness and nature, and Christian hospitality that will make you feel welcome and cared for. Come and attend to your mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Info HERE


2022 Annual Conference

Five Areas of Focus Videos: The Five Areas of Focus videos shown at Annual Conference are available on YouTube for use in the local church. This week, check out the Abundant Health video highlighting various ministries around health and wellness initiatives in our conference. 

AC Videos and Photos: Videos of the Bishop's State of the Church Address, found here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOsKLyJGgQY as well as the Five Areas of Focus videos  found here https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2F3XS7EBSp-9r_uZYNPHVYmRgATWrGWxto share are available on the WPAUMC YouTube channel. 

Additional  photos of the Ordination Service are posted on the WPAUMC Flickr feed. found here https://www.flickr.com/photos/wpaumc/albums/72177720299628499

 A written wrap-up of the 2022 Annual Conference is posted in the news section of the Conference website here. https://www.wpaumc.org/newsdetail/2022-annual-conference-wrap-up-16527814

AC Livestream: Videos and a wrap-up of the 2022 Annual Conference will be available through links on the Annual Conference page of the Conference website in the coming week. Find the links at www.wpaumc.org/AC.


Meet in the Middle Podcast

WPAUMC has a Podcast!

You can subscribe to the Meet in the Middle podcast on Spotify, Google Podcasts, or online here https://meetinthemiddle.buzzsprout.com/1838961   The podcast is brought to you by the WPAUMC Anti-Racism team and covers a variety of topics.

"A space to engage a broad range of topics that encourage civil discourse and promote common good. Each week we consider issues about racial tolerance and inclusion, social justice and equity, peaceable and collaborative relationships, while issuing the reminder to 'Do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.'"   


Clergy Dashboard Updates

Clergy Dashboard Updates: Pastors need to update their information on clergy dashboards  Contact the District Office at washington.office@wpaumc.org or 724-225-9939 if you need help with your Username and/or Password.  Please get this completed as soon as possible.

 


UMCOR Needs and Responses

UMCOR and CWS Launch New Menstrual Hygiene Kits: The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and Church World Service (CWS) launched a new joint menstrual hygiene kit initiative to provide essential health and dignity products to vulnerable communities across the U.S. See more


Mission u 2022

Mission u Focus: Who Can We Be Together? Revs. Beth L. Nelson and Terry Shaffer, longtime pastors who have been involved in mission and community outreach throughout their ministries, will lead participants at the 2022 Mission u in exploring Who Can We Be Together? The focus will be on Building Communities of Hope and Joy, becoming the communities God wants us to be. Learn more about the leaders or register.


Livestreaming and Licenses

Livestreaming and Licenses: During recent Clergy zoom Conversations  and in phone calls and emails, church leaders have asked about licenses needed to legally livestream worship services. The denomination offers some guidance. Read article
ResourceUMC.org also offers some discussions and other info like this video 
There is more detail in this discussion about livestreaming via multiple platforms.  


Resources

Leadership Resources

Pastor Appreciation Month: October is Pastor (or Clergy) Appreciation Month. It is a time to say “thank you” to the people who may be most visible as preachers and teachers, but who, in reality, are on-call 24/7 standing with congregants and others to offer spiritual and other support in times of confusion and transition, times of heart-wrenching sorrow and times of overwhelming joy. They laugh, cry and pray with those whom they shepherd and serve. Read suggestions on how to show your appreciation.

Order Advent Resources: Invite your community to worship with you this Advent with the help of customizable outreach resources. Choose from banners, signs, postcards, invitation cards, posters and more. All are available in a wide variety of designs, languages and messaging. Get up to $250 off these resources by using code UMCA22. This code is available on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are depleted, so don’t delay. Order now.  


Resources for Responding to Racism    more info

30 Days of Anti-racism: Join CORR this September for 30 days of anti-racism. Each day participants will engage in an activity that helps them to become more anti-racist in the ways they think and act. Join in

Facing the Future Virtual Conference: The "Be Still as a Spiritual Practice: Online Event" is for pastors serving in cross-racial, cross-cultural, and multicultural contexts and anyone engaged with or discerning cross-racial/cross-cultural/multicultural ministry. Participants learn skills to support the CRCC ministry context, personal self-care, and professional development. November 16, 2022, 1-7 pm. Learn more

Racial Justice Prayer Service Outline: The General Commission on Religion and Race recently released a a prayer service outline aimed at helping churches host a racial justice prayer service in their ministry context. Download the prayer service outline

Sacred Conversations to End Racism: This October 9-11, Olmsted Manor Retreat Center in Ludlow, PA, will partner with CCW Transformation Ministries to offer Sacred Conversations to End Racism, a contemplative retreat on the equitable treatment of all God’s people. This event is for both clergy and laity who hunger for a deep spiritual experience and who are interested in joining God in becoming agents of reconciliation. Leaders Claire Cox-Woodlief and Latercha McKnight will teach participants practical ways to have sacred and brave conversations towards ending racism. Learn more and register.

Save the Date: Antiracism Summit: Hosted by the Conference Commission on Religion and Race and scheduled for October 20-22, 2022, this summit will offer workshops, Bible study, panels, self-care, action and more. This event will also include a youth antiracism component and will connect with United Women in Faith. Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi will lead opening worship. More information and registration to be announced soon.

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 herehttps://www.umcdiscipleship.org/articles/resources-for-responding-to-systemic-racism
Read Churches condemn hate, urge action after shootings here https://www.umnews.org/en/news/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 here https://religionnews.com/2022/05/11/department-of-interior-releases-first-report-detailing-u-s-indian-boarding-schools/
See UM News story: Pastor reflects on abuses at Indian boarding schools here https://www.umnews.org/en/news/pastor-reflects-on-dark-days-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.  here https://www.umnews.org/en/news/asking-the-hard-questions-about-race
Listen to Our Conexión podcast with Arroyo on racism and Christianity here https://www.resourceumc.org/en/content/our-conexion-episode-1

Racial Justice Prayer and Action Challenge: The General Commission on Religion and Race will launch its Racial Justice Prayer and Action Challenge on Juneteenth, but now’s the time to sign up. Rev. Debbie Hills has submitted one of the prayers. You and your congregation are invited to join in the challenge. Learn more  here https://www.r2hub.org/racial-justice-prayer-action-challenge

African American Methodist Heritage Center: The African American Methodist Heritage Center in Madison, NJ needs money and attention so it can continue to preserve the history of African American Methodists. The center is prioritizing fundraising in 2022 and considering a name change. See UM News story. here https://www.umnews.org/en/news/preserving-black-church-history

Risky Discipleship: Watch a video to learn the story of The Village at Glencliff, a unique respite care community for persons experiencing homelessness, and the risky discipleship required by the
United Methodists who made it happen. Watch  here https://www.umc.org/en/content/risky-discipleship-the-village-at-glencliff

Tips for Building Relationships: Elizabeth Mae Magill wanted to create a food ministry that wasn’t a charity, but a demonstration of Christ’s radical welcome. For months, she did street ministry to get to know food-insecure neighbors, hear their stories, and build relationships. In Leading Ideas, she shares nine practical tips for meeting people and learning their needs. Learn more. 

Discipleship and Anti-Racism: Realize the connection and learn how to have courageous conversations on a difficult topic through a new online course from Discipleship Ministries. There’s no cost. See video and learn more 


Resources - Helpful Links

Pastor Appreciation Month: October is Pastor (or Clergy) Appreciation Month. It is a time to say “thank you” to the people who may be most visible as preachers and teachers, but who, in reality, are on-call 24/7 standing with congregants and others to offer spiritual and other support in times of confusion and transition, times of heart-wrenching sorrow and times of overwhelming joy. They laugh, cry and pray with those whom they shepherd and serve. Read suggestions on how to show your appreciation.


Laity Sunday Observed on October 16: Laity Sunday celebrates the ministry of all Christians to love God and neighbor. As we (the people) grow in grace to become “all love” disciples in community, we gather with others and connect all to God’s love in Jesus Christ. Download a worship planning guide and graphics for social media. 

Help for Welcoming a Woman Pastor: The United Methodist Commission on the Status and Role of Women is marking its 50th anniversary with the release of the Welcoming a Woman Pastor online resource. The self-paced learning module guides local churches through the orientation process when introducing a female pastor appointed to serve their congregations. Read more or access resource.

Christmas Event Kit- Merry Mania is a downloadable party kit for your whole church, with fun activities that people of all ages will be sure to enjoy! Join Dr. OOPS in his lab as he takes your church on a journey to find The Good News of Christmas! Sign up today to be the first to know when Merry Mania is available for download!


 Celebrate discipleship: Our United Methodist traditions of prayer, studying the Bible, worship, fellowship, sharing the sacraments and serving draw us close to God and one another. Watch all the ways we grow our faith.

 
Helping kids understand baptism: Baptism is a big deal but may be difficult to explain to young ones. Simply put, the holy sacrament means we all belong to God's family. Tips for starting conversations

 Bishop Addresses Disinformation: At a time when churches are discerning whether to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church and the Western PA Conference, disinformation about who we are as United Methodists has spread. In this video, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi addresses some of that disinformation. Bishop Moore-Koikoi also committed to sharing frequent communication in the upcoming weeks and months to equip leaders with the tools to talk to others with accurate information. The video is located on the Conference homepage.

 
Ministries with Persons with Dementia and Their Caregivers: How can congregations support persons with dementia and their caregivers? Jessica Anschutz interviews Elizabeth Shulman, who offers an organic, three-part program to aid congregations in creating ministries to meet the needs of persons with dementia and their caregivers. Read more now.

 

New- UM News

 
Bishops Push Back Against Recruitment Tactics: As churches weigh disaffiliation, bishops are trying to set the record straight on misinformation being spread about The United Methodist Church’s future. They also are working toward building a church where traditionalists, centrists and progressives will all feel they belong. Meanwhile, a recent church court decision could have an impact on disaffiliation lawsuits in civil court. Read report
 
Bishops Ask for Donations: The Council of Bishops is appealing for donations for Puerto Rico after receiving a letter from the Methodist Church in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Fiona's devastation. Council of Bishops President Thomas J. Bickerton urged all Methodists to support the recovery efforts, which are being done in conjunction with the United Methodist Committee on Relief. Read press release.
 
The Recap: Photos of mission work done by WPAUMC youth was recently featured in “The Recap,” a brand new short video news segment produced by United Methodist Communications. The news segments help United Methodists have a better understanding of what is going on in the denomination, find inspiration in stories of ministry and learn how the denomination is transforming the world. Watch the first episode

 

 
 


Conference News

Below you will find some conference news relevant to Washington 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


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Mission Barn

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

October Birthdays

Monica Calvert - October 4

Jacob Judy - October 23

October Anniversaries

Jack Piper and Carol Piper- October 5

Ernie DeLuca and Rebecca J DeLuca- October 7