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Dear Friends

March 2020
Dear Friends:
            I don’t remember where I heard it first, or who I heard it from.  Somewhere along the way though someone instilled in me the importance of “never saying never”.  Apparently, nobody told Peter.  If they did, it was – in the moment – something Peter forgot.  Peter was the one, you’ll remember, who, when Jesus told the disciples about his impending death and his soon-to-be betrayal by one of the disciples, said, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I never will.”  (Matthew 26:33) The fuller text reads this way:
1On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to prepare the Passover meal for you?” . . .  When it was evening, Jesus sat down at the table[c] with the Twelve. While they were eating, he said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.” . . . As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take this and eat it, for this is my body.”  And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, 28 for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant[d] between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many . . . Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.  On the way, Jesus told them, “Tonight all of you will desert me. For the Scriptures say, ‘God will strike[e] the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.  But after I have been raised from the dead, I will go ahead of you to Galilee and meet you there.”  Peter declared, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I will never desert you.” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.”  “No!” Peter insisted. “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” And all the other disciples vowed the same. (Matthew 26:17-35)
            Twice Peter said he would “never”.  Pride, it has been said, was Peter’s stumbling block.  Maybe it’s why the Bible says about pride, Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.’ (Proverbs 16:18) The moment Peter thought in his heart “I never” is the same moment he was most likely to do what he never thought he would.
            As followers of Jesus, there is an appropriate use of the word “never”, however.  The word is best used when we pray to “never” do or be what God wants us to do and become. We see it in the prayer below.  The prayer is entitled “The ‘Nevers’ of the Gospel”. One of several prayers in the book, The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions”, it is a prayer I invite you to join me in praying.  The language is a bit old and, may not roll off the tongue as easy as you are used to.  It’s not the language that matters though in this case.  It’s the sincerity behind it and the humility (in contrast to pride) that finds us praying on our knees even if only in our spirit.  Here’s the prayer:
The ‘Nevers’ of
the Gospel
May I never fail to come to the knowledge
     of the truth,
never rest in a system of doctrine, however scriptural,
     that does not bring or further salvation,
     or teach me to deny ungodliness and
     worldly lusts,
     or help me to live soberly, righteously, godly;
never rely on my own convictions and resolutions,
     but be strong in thee and in thy might;
never cease to find thy grace sufficient in all my duties,
     trials, and conflicts;
never forget to repair to thee
     in all my spiritual distresses and outward
     in all dissatisfactions experienced in creature comforts;
never fail to retreat to him who is full of grace and truth,
     the friend that loveth at all times,
     who is touched with feelings of my infirmities,
     and can do exceedingly abundantly for me;
never continue my religion to extraordinary occasions,
     but acknowledge thee in all my ways;
never limit my devotions to particular seasons
     but be in thy fear all the day long;
never be godly only on the Sabbath or in thy house,
     but on every day abroad and at home;
never make piety a dress but a habit, not only a habit but a nature,
     not only a nature but a life. 
Do good to me by all thy dispensations,
     by all means of grace, by worship, prayers, praises. 
And at last let me enter that world where is no temple,
     but only thy glory and the Lamb’s.
Friends, may it be so.  May it be so.
With faith, hope and love in Christ,

2020 Pastor Evaluations

The links to this year's evaluation have been emailed to both Senior and Associate Pastors ONLY.  Please save these links.  They are the same as last year and must be completed online by May 15, 2020.

At The Lake Ministries-Open Dates Released

At The Lake Ministries has released their open dates for the 2020 season! ATLM offers opportunities for persons with special needs to enjoy fishing and cruising on Lake Erie. To view the dates and for directions on how to schedule a charter for your family or group, visit atthelakeministries.org

Jumonville Sustainer's Club

Join our NEW Sustainer's Club! 
We are so grateful for all of our generous donors that we would like to make it even easier for you to donate to Jumonville! By joining our new Sustainer’s Club, you will be able to set up monthly recurring donations to help support all of the day to day costs it takes to make camp possible. Your donations will help cover the costs of electricity, soap, permits, water, and phone and internet access. All of which are needed to keep camp running. The list goes on and on and so does our need for support. Please consider becoming a charter member of our Sustainers Club. Whether it is $5 or $500 a month, every donation helps. Your monthly gift can ultimately point more people to Christ. We need you to make it happen! 
Thank you again for supporting Jumonville!
  How to Join:
Click here to join today!

Youth News

Get all of the Youth News here.....

Annual Conference: Do you have youth (from 7th grade - 12th grade) who are interested in being a page or youth delegate (voting member) at Annual Conference? They will need to come to Conference on June 9 at 1 pm and stay through June 13. There is no cost. Application forms are due March 30. Contact Amanda Gilligan at the conference office with questions. Get application.

UMC Student Loans: Loan applications for the January to May 2020 period is open until May 5. Students are eligible to apply for up to $10,000 per calendar year from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Click here for eligibility and application information.  
UMC Scholarships: The application period for the Fall 2020 semester will open January 3, 2020, with a deadline of March 5.  Get details at gbhem.org/loans-scholarships/scholarships/

YOUTH INFORMATION: on the web at https://www.wpaumc.org/youthevents

  • Resources for Youth Workers
  • Explore weekly updates, devotions, games, and lessons on the Youth Worker Collective. Some of the top UM youth workers offer free resources from their real-world ministries. 
  • Check out all of the Youth news at https://www.wpaumc.org/Youth
Discussing General Conference 2020 with Youth: For many youth workers, General Conference season can be a confusing time. In 2020, there are many plans that would re-shape the United Methodist Church significantly. General Conference is a representative body, made up of elected clergy and lay people from all over the globe. It is also the only body that can speak officially on behalf of the United Methodist Church! For observations and discussion tips on the “Protocol on Reconciliation & Grace” as well as other legislation and happenings at General Conference, check out the Youth Worker Collective. No matter what happens at General Conference, decisions also get made at Annual Conference meetings and at your local Church Conference. Any youth who has completed Confirmation is a member of your church and has the ability to join those meetings and make their voice and vote heard! Read more  

June 9-13th: Annual Conference (Grove City College)
July 10-13th: NEJ Youth Convo (Hunt Valley, MD)
July 20-24th: Uth 4 Missions (Jumonville)
July 22-26th: Youth Mission U (CalU)
Sat., Sept. 19th: National Day of Volunteer YM Training (Dutilh)
Fri, Oct. 30th: Pitt Youth Workers Conference (Grove Farm)
Dec. 27-Jan 15th: Mission of Peace to China

YSF Grants!
Your church can apply for a Youth Service Fund grant! Need some money to help run or launch a youth-led program or mission trip?
Apply at  www.wpaumc.org/ysfapplication.
Applications are accepted all year long.

Looking to connect with other UM Youth Leaders?
Be on the lookout for upcoming Youth Leader Networks! A small group regional program for you as a youth leader to grow and live life in
community with others who “get it.”
More info?     https://www.wpaumc.org/youth        On Facebook: Western Pa UMC Youth Leaders

National Sex Offender Registry

In January I was leading a Safe Sanctuary training and a question was brought up regarding the National Sex Offender Registry (NSOR). It is a PA clearance that is mandated for childcare workers. I was not aware of the clearance and began too investigate. My initial queries only led to great questions and the possibility of having to have our Chancellor make a recommendation. 
Today I received a response from The Office of Children, Youth and Families answering the question whether church volunteers or paid staff would now need to obtain the NSOR. Here is the response. 
Thank you for your email, it has reached the Office of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF). 

  • No, church volunteers are not required to have the National Sex Offender Registry (NSOR) clearance.  The NSOR clearance requirement is intended for licensed child care facilities. 
  • Yes, churches that have a licensed child care within them would require paid workers to obtain the NSOR clearance,  in addition to other required clearances.
This clarification is that no, staff and/or volunteers do not need the NSOR. If, however, your church has a licensed child care center those workers/volunteers would need the additional clearance and I urge you to follow up on this as soon as possible. 
If you have any questions, please let me know. 

Rev. Christopher Kindle
Discipleship and Spiritual Formation
1204 Freedom Road
Cranberry Township, PA 16066


New Lego Camp

I, Pastor Corben M. Russell, felt inspired to start a new camp at Wesley Woods.  It would be a non-traditional camp meant to reach campers who might not otherwise come and/or because of other ability-ness might not be able to participate fully in a traditional camp.  I initiated conversation to start Lego Camp in the fall of 2018.  In the summer of 2019 we kicked off Lego Camp maxing out the allotted amount campers and adding two from our waiting list enabling us to minister with 14 campers.  It was such a success that we are looking at having two different weeks to offer Lego Camp this year in 2020.  I feel guilty because I feel like I was blessed as much if not more than the campers for taking this leap of faith and Deaning/running Lego Camp.  I am asking for your help in any way you see fit. First and foremost for prayer for camp, campers, their salvation, and growth in the body of Christ. As well as giving everyone the opportunity to participate by gathering used Legos, sending them to either the church I serve Mt Zion UMC of DuBois or directly to Wesley Woods and if anyone feels led also donations toward Lego camp for Lego Camp supplies would be greatly appreciated especially since we are having two separate camp weeks this year.  The church I serve Mt Zion UMC is willing to be a sight collection center for used Legos at 16 Denton Ave, DuBois, Pa. or they can be sent to Wesley Woods, 1001 Fiddlersgreen Road, Grand Valley, Pa 16420.
*Note From the District Office.  If every church in the conference sent in just $10 it would cover the expenses.
You may contact the Indiana District for further information at indiana.district@wpaumc.org.

2020 Connection Ministries Dates

The new meeting dates are as follows:
Monday, May 18, 2020                       Liberty
Monday, August 24, 2020                   Greenock
Monday, October 26, 2020                 Trinity

All meetings are at 7PM.

Pirates 8th annual Faith Night

Saturday, June 6, which is a 4:05 pm game against St. Louis.  After the game, fans are invited to stay and see a more personal side of our players and coaches where a large number from the team come back out to the field to discuss how faith has impacted their careers and personal lives.  Groups of 10 or more are on sale now, and Groups can be reserved with a deposit. You can reach me directly at (412) 325-4756. Chad Glover, Pirates Account Manager & Seating Sales

United Methodist Women

UM Women e-news: This FREE monthly electronic newsletter contains information on many topics. Subscribe

The Butler District Bugle-Spring 2020 Newsletter 
Mini Mission u – April 19-21
Leader: Rev. Dr. Eric S Park
Cost: $160/person includes class, two-night stay, and all meals
The Gospel of Mark and Radical Discipleship: In Mark’s day and now, Christians are caught in a world of crisis and confusion, a time of uncertainty and fear. There’s a struggle going on and evil appears to be winning: injustice reigns, money and greed measure our living and our dying, divisions deepen and hope is sometimes hard to find. Then and now, part of the crisis is the church’s complicity, complacency, and silence in a world where so much has gone wrong.
Dates to Remember in 2020
  • April 24-26, 2020 -Northeastern Jurisdiction United Methodist Women 
Keynote speaker: Rev. Jennifer Crumpton  Come be a part of a movement where we are committed to putting Faith, Hope and Love in Action! 
  • Late Registration January 1 – March 31, 2020            $375
 If you should have any questions, please contact Mikele Delmore, Registrar at:
(302) 853-7512 or northeastern@unitedmethodistwomen.org  For more information, go to: www.nejumw.org

Spring Women’s Retreat – May 22-24
Leaders: Aimee & Amber Kaple
Cost: $175/person includes programming, two-night stay, and all meals
Sister speaker team Aimee and Amber will lead you in a time of renewal away from the worries of your everyday life. This retreat is designed for you to spend time away focusing on your mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Come and enjoy the beauty of the forest, supportive women, encouragement, space to share, delicious meals, and purposeful relaxation.


Online General Conference Training

Thursday, February 13, 2020 to May 22

Online General Conference Training: Does your congregation need a better understanding of the importance and function of General Conference? Check out the free, self-directed Exploring General Conference online training course. During interactive, multimedia sessions, participants will learn about how the church works, its rich history and its legislative process. Get details

Embracing Stewardship

Where: Ingomar UMC

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Embracing Stewardship:  How to put stewardship at the HEART of your congregation's LIFE
Saturday, April 18, 2020 from 9:00 am-3:00 pm
Ingomar UMC located at 1501 W Ingomar Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15237
Cost is $25 per participant and includes lunch and a copy of the speakers' book, "Embracing Stewardship".

Speakers, Grace Duddy Pomroy and Rev. Chick Lane will focus on helping strengthen your congregation's stewardship ministry by offering eight pathways your congregation can follow to deepen your members' understanding of themselves as stewards of the bounty of God.  To learn more and register, visit the UM Foundation of Western Pennsylvania's website at

PA Women Work's New Choices Class

Where: First UMC of Washington

Tuesday, March 10, 2020 to April 10

Transform your life with a new career.
Build your confidence and discover your future with
PA Women Work’s New Choices class.
Receive individualized support through ten in-person sessions and...
•   Realize your goals & find your next job
•   Build your professional network
•   Develop a winning resume
•   Practice interviewing techniques
•   Discover your strengths
•   Identify your transferable skills
•   Learn how to manage your finances
•   Discuss workplace cultures & how to find a good fit
...all at no cost to you!

March 10 - April 9
Tuesdays & Thursdays
9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
 First United Methodist Church
 29 N College St
 Washington, PA 15301

Learn more. Register. Talk with us. Call us at 412-742-4362 today.  

The Last supper

Where: First UMC of Washington

Sunday, March 15, 2020

The Upper Room Group presents "The Last Supper"
What happened at the Last supper"  We feel our presentation provides a Biblical account of the activities that occurred that evening with each of the twelve apostles introducing himself and tells of his encounters with the Master.
Sunday, April 5, 2020 at 7:00 pm

Please join us for this unique WORSHIP experience at First UMC of Washington located at 29 North College Street, Washington, PA 15301.  A free- will offering will be taken.  Visit us on the web:  www.upperroomgroup.com

Good Friday Drama

Where: the Market Place in Charleroi

Tuesday, March 17, 2020 to April 10

Two Washington District ministers will be combining their efforts, gifts and talents on Good Friday, April 10, 2020.  Revs. Beverly Gross and William Lawler will be presenting a drama in Charleroi.  Beverly will be portraying Mary and William will be portraying Jesus.  This will take place with the Charleroi Area Ministerium association during their Good Friday services from 12:00-2:00 pm at the Market Place.  In case of inclement weather, it will be held at the City Church.  If you have any questions, please call Beverly Gross at 412-953-4041.

First Washington's Spring Flea Market and Bake Sale

Where: First UMC of Washington

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Spring Flea Market, Bake Sale and Lunch
Friday, April 24, 2020 from 9:00 am-3:00 pm
Saturday, April 25, 2020 from 9:00 am-1:00 pm

News Articles

Olmsted Manor Upcoming Events (read more )


Mini Mission u – April 19-21 Leader: Rev. Dr. Eric S Park Cost: $160/person includes class, two-night stay, and all meals The Gospel of Mark and Radical Discipleship: In Mark’s day and now, Christians are caught in a world of crisis and confusion, a time of uncertainty and fear. There’s a struggle going on and evil appears to be winning: injustice reigns, money and greed measure our living and our dying, divisions deepen and hope is sometimes hard to find. Then and now, part of the crisis is ... read more

Mission (read more )

Mission Volunteer Openings: Mission Volunteers are individuals or couples (ages 18 and up) seeking to build partnerships and serve in communities around the world. Mission Volunteer opportunities are diverse and range from working with refugees, children and youth, serving as a teacher, pastor, camp director or health care professional. The length of service ranges from two months to more than two years. Learn more New UMCOR Mission Kit: Responding to disasters in the U.S. and around the ... read more


Starting A new Small Group Or Ministry Team

Starting a New Small Group or Ministry Team? Resource UMC offers Seven Creative Icebreakers to help people get to know each other. See them.

Use 2020 Social Principles in Your Church

Use the 2020 Social Principles in Your Church! The new Social Principles are a resource  the whole church can use. Learn how you can use the Social Principles preface and preamble in your pulpit, Sunday school class, and in advocacy. Visit umcsocialprinciples2020.org/resources

Local Church's Communication Guide

United Methodist Communications can help you communicate all the good you can. Use the new Church Leader Guide to find training courses, outreach tools, marketing support, giving resources, web ministry tips, grant opportunities, information sources, inspirational ideas and more. See guide online

Top 10 Leading Ideas

The Lewis Center for Church Leadership’s Top 10 list of trending articles offers you a chance to glean insight and inspiration from the authors and articles most popular with their nearly 20,000 subscribers. See the list

Youth Worker Resources

If you’re planning ahead for your youth ministry or looking for something to do next week, Discipleship Ministries recommends the Youth Worker Collective resources. Everything on it is written by people active in youth ministry. Visit youthworkercollective.com/

UM Resources

UMResources:  you will find resources to assist you in understanding General Conference and how General Conference works.  Also, there is much information on matters that will be addressed 2020 General Conference Session.

Resources for Responding to Racism    more info

The Conference Anti-Racism Team (ART) compiled a list of suggestions for Western PA churches to address racism. Download it from the Conference's Discussing Racism page.

Faith Community Conversations about Race

Faith Community Conversations about Race is a resource about race in America that may be used to help your church bring people together to talk about moving forward bravely and boldly in the name of Christ. The free resource is divided into four videos. See Moving Faith Communities to Fruitful Conversations about Race

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.
WPA COVID-19 Announcements, Info (read more )


Conference Announcements This page will updated as needed.  It is a work in progress. Check our Covid-19 Church Planning Resources page on Facebook. Get take-aways and other info from our twice weekly Covid-19 Clergy Conversations. See our Coronavirus Stimulus and Relief Package information for churches. Due to the March 15 recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and later state and local advisories to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Bishop and Conference leaders ... read more

Bishops Ask to Postpone GC2020 (read more )


UPDATE:  The Commission on the General Conference, in a March 16 press release said: As concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic continue to escalate, the Commission on the General Conference will meet on March 21 via teleconference to discuss plans for the 2020 General Conference, scheduled for May 5-15, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minn.  According to the United Methodist Book of Discipline, in the absence of a convened General Conference, only the full Commission, as the duly authorized ... read more

Worship in Virus/Flu Season (read more )


UPDATED - 3/16/20 On March 15, the Center for Disease Control recommended that for the next 8 weeks, throughout the U.S., organizers cancel or postpone in-person events that involve 50 people or more. Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi will issue a statement on hope-filled ways United Methodists can offer ministry during this season. Updated CDC info on Mass Gatherings is at https://www.cdc.gov/…/mass-gatherings-ready-for-covid-19.ht… With the number of Coronavirus 2019 (COVID19) cases increasing ... read more

Quick Links

Important Links

All Conference News - (https://www.wpaumc.org/news

Keep Up With Upcoming Events - WPAUMC Conference
The website for upcoming events is: http://www.wpaumc.org/events
Clergy Excellence
See all of the upcoming events in Leadership Development.
Mission Insite  - (https://missioninsite.com/)
Statistical Reports-Ezra- login required - (https://www.wpaumc.org/ezra)
Diversity Development -(https://www.wpaumc.org/diversity)
Camps and Retreat Ministries -(https://www.wpaumc.org/camping)
Scholarships and Grants -(http://www.umc.org/resources/scholarships)
Also at (http://www.umc.org/resources/scholarshipforms)
Mission Barn - (https://www.wpaumc.org/missionbarn)
UMCOR Relief Supply Network                   
(http:www.umcor.org/UMCOR/Relief-Supplies/Relief-Supply-Network/Relief-Supply Network)
Connect with us!
United Methodist Communications is dedicated to supporting all types of communications ministry. Connect with us to stay updated about new content, tips, ideas, opportunities, tools and resources just for you!  Explore content
Twitter and Instagram: @UMCommunication
 New training opportunities:  (www.UMCtraining.org)
Free webinar- (www.resourceumc.org)
Online Lay Servant Ministries advanced courses - (www.BeADisciple.com)
See full list of upcoming webinars at   -(www.gbod.org/webinars)     

Learn + Lead Webinars: UMC Discipleship Ministries Path 1 and the Missouri Conference Path are sponsoring a webinar series, which runs every 3rd Tuesday of the month from 1-2 p.m. Central Standard Time. It is aimed at helping congregations of every size learn to reach new people -  (www.moumethodist.org)

April Birthdays

Jeff Vanderhoff - April 7

David Lake - April 11

Rick Bowser - April 21

Jim Kimmel - April 25

Janet Lord - April 25

April Anniversaries

David Lake and Leanna- April 8

Dawn Hargraves and Scott Hargraves- April 18