Safe Sanctuaries and Online Youth Groups: WPAUMC’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry Coordinator Amanda Gilligan offers things for you to consider, as well as resources to help, as you adapt your church’s Safe Sanctuaries policy to include online gatherings. Read her blog post.
Upcoming Youth Events: Mark your calendars for these Conference youth events:
Grants for Rural Churches: Rural churches can apply for $500 grants to be used to respond to specific needs in their communities. The deadline to apply is Oct. 15. United Methodist Rural Advocates will notify the 10 grant recipients by Dec. 1. Read press release here http://www.umruraladvocates.org/ministry-awards.html?mkt_tok=MDc4LUpYUS02NDMAAAF9tbP0fzY85R4E8PnbKLla9MTdI61SoPyCeCi54FIORBJzxgw9hAyZ2uVk-RXiw-gV67JPpVas71aUhiiA6uEUG8xq-FPJvp97GYhPy1GSQ2ciUA
We're Doing A New Thing! The Cabinets of the West Virginia, Western Pennsylvania and Susquehanna Conferences met together with Bishops Cynthia Moore-Koikoi and Sandra Steiner Ball this week to explore opportunities to collaborate as the bishops prepare to partner in leading the three conferences. The NEJ College of Bishops announced in late March that the two bishops would provide coverage for the Susquehanna Conference, effective September 1 when Bishop Jeremiah Park retires. More information about the experimental shared leadership model will be provided during Annual Conference. See the NEJ announcement. here https://www.wpaumc.org/newsdetail/15185578
Annual Conference 2021 gets underway with Opening Worship and the Ordination and Commissioning service at 7 p.m., Friday, June 18 at the Bayfront Convention Center in Erie. The service, along with the Saturday's events --8 a.m. Bible Study, 8:30 official opening plenary session and closing worship with memorial service at 11:30 a.m. -- will be live-streamed through a link at wpaumc.org/AC.
AC Prayer Opportunities: The Conference Prayer Team will support both onsite and virtual prayer experiences during annual conference. See how you can participate at wpaumc.org/AC2021-prayer-opportunities.
Annual Conference Prayer Opportunities: The Annual Conference Prayer Team will offer both in-person and online prayer opportunities as the hybrid Annual Conference session gets underway on Friday, June 18. They’ll also open a Virtual Prayer Room on Thursday evening, June 17 and all day Friday. Get details and see how you can participate here https://www.wpaumc.org/AC2021-prayer-opportunities
Get Annual Conference updates and watch at wpaumc.org/AC.
Please find below the link for the hotels at Annual Conference. This is for those attending Annual Conference, such as, Retirement, Memorial Service & Ordination. The fee is $159.00 plus tax and they are waiving the parking fee.
You'll find information on legislation, candidates for commissioning and ordination, as well as the link for the livestream on June 17-18 at wpaumc.org/AC.
AC2021 Updates: Conference Secretary John Wilson sent an email to all voting members of the annual conference reminding them to register as soon as possible. To receive a ballot for voting you must register before May 31. If you did not receive the registration link on May 6 or a reminder earlier this week and believe you should have, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get details on AC2021 here https://www.wpaumc.org/AC
Annual Conferences Go Online or Hybrid: Rev. Alan Morrison, chair of our Conference Sessions Team is quoted in a UMNews story about plans for annual conferences across the denomination. Read it here https://www.umnews.org/en/news/annual-conferences-plan-online-hybrid-events
Relaunch Playbook with Kay Kotan: Don't forget to register for our June 21 Ultimate Relaunch Playbook with church consultant and author Kay Kotan. It’s from 6:30-8 p.m. via Zoom. Learn more and register here https://www.wpaumc.org/eventdetail/15254935
From Online Worship to Online Ministry: Kay Kotan says many churches embraced online worship out of necessity during the pandemic without deliberate plans for engaging new people through online ministry. Now is the time to consider how to engage new digital worshipers more fully through intentional welcome, relational connections, and opportunities for Christian formation. Read more here https://www.churchleadership.com/leading-ideas/from-online-worship-to-online-ministry/
SAVE the Date! WPAUMC will host Kay Kotan for a webinar on Being the Church in a Post-Pandemic World on Monday, June 21 from 6:30-8 p.m. Registration will open soon. Learn more here
Summer Licensing School: The 2021 Summer Residential Licensing School and CLM Training will be held at Olmsted Manor Retreat Center from Sunday evening, July 25 - Wednesday afternoon, May 4. A completed application with essays and a $100 (non-refundable) deposit must be received by the registrar before July 10, 2021. Priority will be given to Western PA candidates. Download the application at wpaumc.org/forms.
Election of Bishops: The Council of Bishops held fast to their plans to delay electing new leaders until after the postponed General Conference. But the bishops rescinded a recommendation that no U.S. bishops be elected until 2024, opening the door for new leaders to be elected in November 2022. Read more here https://www.umnews.org/en/news/bishops-no-episcopal-elections-until-2022
Judicial Council Rulings: New rulings released May 5 by The United Methodist Church's top court include five decisions related to the Greater New Jersey Conference. Working through pandemic restrictions, the Judicial Council has been deliberating on an extended docket via multiple Zoom meetings. Read story here https://www.umnews.org/en/news/judicial-council-releases-more-decisions?mkt_tok=MDc4LUpYUS02NDMAAAF83Wm3MtJcDDOsxDbAeU5vgTCnqKXbijO71biCkM_0wjafVjhiGdPTnuxSezsd9WZx-WpcaCizwFb49YchpuQh8N_sL8sPPAeuBD7dG3vDtZ-pRA
WCA Continues Planning for New Denomination: The Wesleyan Covenant Association held a large in-person and online meeting April 30-May 1, continuing to plan for a new, traditionalist Methodist denomination and passing a resolution criticizing three bishops for recent appointment decisions. Read UM News story here https://www.umnews.org/en/news/wca-plans-new-denomination
Blessed Is the Church: The United Methodist Church has continued to carry out its mission despite the challenges and uncertainties of 2020. That's according to the new 2020 State of the Church Report produced by the Connectional Table and United Methodist Communications, themed "Blessed Is the Church." The report features a video message from four bishops. Read report and watch video here https://www.resourceumc.org/en/churchwide/the-connectional-table/sotc-2020?mkt_tok=MDc4LUpYUS02NDMAAAF82JU6XrZ9htHTfMsMFK1IWyOxyRNmqEyDP3Nwk5904T99e6boVcwe7JP8J2rsXY7ZNIlWqzVTbnBbxdurw5ktESVqIH0rxoACiuRzmYSsF8W7WQ
UM Communications Report: United Methodist Communications spent its 80th anniversary year providing resources for church leaders as they grappled with the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and racial injustice. The agency's 2020 annual report highlights that work. Read press release here rceumc.org/en/content/umcom-annual-report-showcases-power-of-communication?mkt_tok=MDc4LUpYUS02NDMAAAF83Wm3MoClx16TvlfjMNRAZd5iKKUqQrAeg56WKdFb53IuW5uSZ2qJs80eqgHihs53KbcwX981fnt2aCsMJJ1vLXRQAlw2QpzauEy2
See annual report here https://www.resourceumc.org/en/content/2020-annual-report?mkt_tok=MDc4LUpYUS02NDMAAAF83Wm3NT7x1EUw9AM_HUUwgborOb8m7odUtxpX69aOyzMc910XaZptKC6L6ZzJrYP7gMuGO2MWy2CsugsMS4M27XFvOVDeAzysaOnQSA9ZcltJZw
Upcoming Olmsted Events for Church Leaders
Music & Worship Week
June 27 – July 1, 2021
Clinicians: Sue Garton, Steve Woods, Bryan Timm, Rob Hernan
Church Admin Training
July 18-20, 2021
Leaders: Rev. Donna Doutt, Rev. Sharon Schwab, Liz Lennox
Youth Ministry Training
September 10-12, 2021
Leader: Dr. Duffy Robbins
Ace-UMC Partnership: The General Council on Finance and Administration has announced Ace Hardware as The United Methodist Church's newest vetted ministry partner. The partnership will allow churches to shop online and in local Ace Hardware stores and receive 10% off purchases. Read press release
Hybrid Annual Conference Planned: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi has announced that the 2021 Annual Conference will be held in hybrid form on June 18-19. Clergy session will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, May 3 via Zoom Webinar. The Bishop explained the reasons for the decision in an email to clergy and voting lay members. She also created a video message that can be shared. Read more and see video
See Bishop’s email
General Conference Update: The UM Council of Bishops on Monday canceled its call for a special virtual session of General Conference on May 8. The call was issued just after the Commission on the General Conference announced that the full event, originally set for May 2020, could not be held until Aug. 29-Sept. 6, 2022. Read more
3/4/2021 General Conference Updates: After an announcement last week that the postponed 2020 General Conference session cannot be held until August 29 – September 6, 2022, the Council of Bishops called for a Special Session to convene May 8, 2021 to act on 12 pieces of legislation. Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi explained what it all means in a video. See video and learn more.
Read UMNS report on delegates’ reactions
Digital Ministry Guidebook: A new guide to copyright licensing and digital media strategies for churches is now available on the Conference website. PDFs will be e-mailed to each local church pastor on Friday. The guide, Navigating the World of Digital Media, was prepared by copyright attorneys with the firm of Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney and funded through a grant from the United Methodist Foundation of Western PA.
See the guide in single-page format
See 2-page spread format
Camp Allegheny Summer 2021 Registrations are OPEN!
We are ready! We have the experience! Whatever this summer looks like we are ready to provide a safe week of Fun, Faith and Friends for the children and youth of our conference. We operated and served over 600 last summer and are preparing for another exciting summer of ministry.
Summer brochures are in the mail, but you can register now at www.CampAllegheny.org.
“I know a number of people had misgivings about camp this summer (2020), but I was not one of them. I was certain that Camp Allegheny would take every precaution necessary to ensure the safety of all attendees while still providing a great experience. Once again, you all knocked it out of the park.” Parent 2020
Diverse Abilities Retreat: Always Room for One More is the theme for the 2021 retreat presented by the WPAUMC Disability Concerns Committee and Olmsted Manor Retreat Center. It’s scheduled for Oct. 3-5 at Olmsted. Download a brochure here https://wpa-email.brtapp.com/files/news/e-news/2021+diverse+abilities+trifold+(1).pdf
RESURRECTION POWER-HOPE FOR ADDICTION
Introducing Resurrection Power!
Since 2001, Resurrection Power’s mission has been to “Carry the Message of God’s Love for People Affected by Addiction.” Our primary strategy to fulfill that mission is through the operation of four (4) recovery houses currently located in the city of Washington, PA. In these gender-specific homes, we provide men and women with a safe, supportive, structured, and spiritually focused environment for recovery. We currently serve more than 40 residents who come to live in our houses where they become a community, focused on learning how to live life without the use of drugs or alcohol, and to take their next step in their relationship with God.
We are a Christ-centered, 501c3 nonprofit organization originally co-founded by multiple congregations in Washington County. Our founding and still current Executive Director is Rev. Robert Hedges, who has served local congregations and the recovery community for more than 20 years.
Rev. Hedges would love to meet you to get to know you and your congregation, and to share more about this important ministry. Give him a call, and grab a coffee!
Rev. Robert Hedges, Executive Director
As you know, recognition for Certified Lay Servants and Certified Lay Speakers are reviewed annually and are required to complete a Lay Servant Ministries ADVANCED course in the last three years. Due to the cancellation of in-person class sessions in most of our WPA districts, our faithful Certified Lay Servants and Certified Lay Speakers current status should not be penalized.
After lengthy discussion, the Conference Leadership has made the decision to offer a UNIFIED "Grace Period" for WPA Annual Conference Lay Servant Ministries participants to complete required courses and annual reviews.
The UNIFIED Grace Period date is: Saturday, December 31, 2022. (yes year 2022)
Please be aware that the Washington District has cancelled all remaining Lay Classes for the year 2020 and will consider options next year.
The Cove is an arts-based youth drop-in center at Greenstone UMC in Avalon. It is an accessible, magnetically designed space for youth to experiment with various art expressions, all within an environment that cultivates discipleship.
Area young people, ages 12 to 18 are welcomed into the space Monday - Friday, 3pm to 6pm, by artists-in-residence that reside at Greenstone UMC's Home of the Nomad. The Home of the Nomad is an artistic hub for touring musicians & artisans as well, which has facilitated growth in Greenstone's young adult ministry.
Young people continue to be engaged through The Cove's ministry called "Skill Share." These are individual lessons in visual & performing arts that seeks to build disciple-making relationships between a young person and artist.
I am excited to announce that The Cove has a WPAUMC Advance Special Number. To support The Cove, checks can be made out to WPAUMC with the advance special "COVE" or "The COVE Art Center" in the memo line. Mail to 1204 Freedom Road, Cranberry Twp, PA 16066.
Fund Development Training: Space is still available for two events at Olmsted Manor Retreat Center co-sponsored by the United Methodist Foundation to help churches learn to tell their story and successfully fund ministry. The first, Telling Your Story with Charles Maynard is May 9-11. The second, Abundant Resources for Ministry with Dr. Amanda Stewart is June 13-15. There’s a discount if you register for both. Get details at olmstedmanor.org/events.html
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.
Online Worship Permissions Extended: The UM Publishing House is extending full permission to all churches for use of its copyrighted worship materials through July 2021. Read press release
4/8/2021 Safe Sanctuaries in 60 Seconds: Episode 5 of Rev. Chris Kindle’s Safe Sanctuaries in 60 Seconds deals with a question on fingerprinting for those who work with children and vulnerable events. Watch it
NEW: Safe Sanctuaries in 60 Seconds: Episode 4 of Chris Kindle’s series is posted on the Conference YouTube Channel. Watch it.
Safe Sanctuaries in 60 Seconds: The third segment of Chris Kindle’s series is posted on the WPAUMC YouTube channel for you to view and download. See it.
Watch the full Safe Sanctuaries in 60 Seconds playlist
Safe Sanctuaries in 60 Seconds: The second installment of Rev. Chris Kindle's series of 60-second videos on various aspects of Pennsylvania laws aimed at protecting children and vulnerable adults was posted today. It talks about what clearances are needed and how often they must be renewed. See it here.
State Park Chaplains Needed: The Pa Council of Churches invites applications for individuals to serve as chaplains for summer campground ministry in Pennsylvania State Parks. The positions offer stipends of $4,950 for full-time and $2,595 for half-time summer positions, plus travel and other expenses. Candidates must be available from May 24 - Sept. 5, 2021. Get details
Apply at pachurches.org/ministries/campground-ministry/
Navigating Denominational Change Webinar: Andy Hendren, Wespath's chief legal and governance officer, plans to present a webinar on navigating church disruption and change as part of the United Methodist Association's 2021 Resilience 365 conference series. Hendren's presentation at 1 p.m. U.S. Central time June 23 will focus on General Conference, proposals for denominational separation and other considerations for United Methodist-affiliated organizations. The association works with United Methodist-affiliated health and welfare ministries. To register
Potchangers: Innovative Change in an Ever-Changing World is the title of a 90-minute webinar designed to help church leaders pivot out of the pandemic. Rev. Dr. J. Elvin Sadler, general secretary of the AME Zion Church and assistant dean for graduate studies at United Theological Seminary, will lead the webinar at 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 24. The cost is $25. Get details and register.here https://united.edu/leading-voices/
Countering Political Polarization: On June 21 from 6:30-9:15 p.m., Christian Associates of SWPA joins with Braver Angels and many community partners to present Depolarizing Within. This workshop teaches participants how to stay true to their own beliefs without demonizing, dismissing or stereotyping “the other side.” Learn strategies for intervening constructively in social conversations with like-minded peers when these conversations veer into contempt and ridicule for people who hold other political views. Register by June 17 at http://bit.ly/depolarizingjune21.
Download depolarizing series flyer
Good Neighbor Training: Discipleship Ministries, as part of its #SeeAllThePeople movement, has formed a partnership with the Good Neighbor Experience to help congregations discover new ways to be in ministry. The Good Neighbor Experiment is a nine-month training process for congregations that want to be better neighbors in their communities. Read press release here https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/about/press-center/discipleship-ministries-partnering-with-good-neighbor-experiment
Learn more here https://neighboringmovement.org/good-neighbor-experiment/
Webinars on Evangelism: The Foundation for Evangelism spring webinar series is now available on demand on the foundation's website. The Revs. Priscilla Pope-Levison of Perkins School of Theology and Jeffrey Conklin-Miller of Duke Divinity School each lead a webinar based on their recent books aimed at helping people share the good news of Christ. View webinars here
Where: Canonsburg First United Methodist Church
Thursday, April 8, 2021 to July 31
Free Spaghetti Dinner at Canonsburg First United Methodist Church located at 161 West Pike St, Canonsburg, PA 15317; 724-745-5771
TAKE OUT ONLY
Every Third Friday of the Month beginning on Friday, April 16, 2021 from 4:00-6:00pm.
Meals distributed through the rear door.
At-Home Bible Study for Kids: Illuminate Bible Series is a new daily curriculum that encourages kids to engage with God’s Word while giving them the assurance they need during difficult times and the tools to grow in their knowledge and love for the Lord! Each book contains 32 week-long studies designed to lead students in grades 1–12 to a deeper understanding of the prominent stories and vital teachings found in Scripture. Learn more at Cokesbury.com
What Is God Like? The late author Rachel Held Evans’ first children’s book, released on June 15, a week after what would have been her 40th birthday, is a picture book aimed at ages 3 to 7. It’s full of colorful, whimsical illustrations by Ying Hui Tan and was completed by best-selling children’s author and friend Matthew Paul Turner. Read Religion News Service story here https://religionnews.com/2021/06/15/what-is-god-like-late-author-rachel-held-evans-first-childrens-book-invites-questions/
See WPAUMC’s guide to copyrights and licensing Navigating the World of Digital Media: Practical Copyright Licensing & Digital Media Strategies for Virtual Ministries, prepared by copyright attorneys with the firm of Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney.
It is available in PDF in a two-page reading spread here https://www.wpaumc.org/files/communications/wpaumc_virtualministryguidebook2021-spreads.pdf
or an 8.5x11" single-page format. herehttps://www.wpaumc.org/files/communications/wpaumc_virtualministryguidebook+-2021-singlepageformat.pdf
Do’s & Don’ts of Digital Worship: Tim Snyder of the Lewis Center staff suggests it’s a good time for congregations to reassess their approach to online worship. He offers five “dos and don’ts” for churches looking to make digital worship a permanent element of their ministry. See what they are here https://www.churchleadership.com/leading-ideas/5-dos-and-donts-to-make-the-most-of-your-digital-worship/
New- Pew Bibles: Free to a good home or ministry. Fifty used pew Bibles - Revised Standard Version. If interested, please contact Rev. Bev Gross at 724-483-2372.
New- Prayer Bears: Prior to the pandemic, Heckathorn UMC had a prayer bear ministry. It is no longer appropriate to distribute bears or stuffed animals that have been in the pews to persons in need of prayer. They have three large plastic bags of stuffed animals that are clean and have been stored for a year. If there is anyone who could use these, please contact Pastor Deborah Ackley-Killian. They would be happy to deliver.
New- Service of Lament at Carnegie United Methodist Church on Sunday June 13, at 3:30PM with Bill Davidson, piano and Sarah Richards, voice. In the year and a half, since COVID arrived we have all suffered losses. As we now begin to move tentatively into an unknown future, we look back and remember loved ones lost; family events missed; loved ones in facilities we couldn’t visit; jobs, income, or economic stability lost; and more time alone than we would have chosen. Join us to speak, pray, and sing our lament to God. Open to the public. Masks required while inside the church.
New- The Nyadire Connection: The Nyadire Connection is celebrating 15 years in Zimbabwe. Here is a link to a Newsletter created by Kudzai Chingwe, Zimbabwe Communicator.
Summer Opportunities: To check out some opportunities to engage in mission this summer, learn or keep up with what’s happening, read this week’s Mission News. here http://wpa-email.brtapp.com/viewinsite/80831924aa0b211be938562a304b5c25
Conversations about COVID-19 vaccines are opportunities for mission, say United Methodist Global Ministries' leaders. While the vaccine has become more available, in the United States, misinformation, mistrust and lack of access keep some communities at risk. But the church can be part of the solution. See how here https://www.umc.org/en/content/mission-opportunity-of-covid-19-vaccines
UMCOR Disaster Response: In the month of May, UMCOR’s humanitarian response has expanded to include: Distribution of hygiene and dignity kits to people affected/displaced by violence in Gaza;
providing food, water, sanitation, and temporary shelter material to people affected by the eruption of Mt. Nyiragongo in East Congo and meeting the basic human needs of those affected by flooding in western Angola.
While these man-made and natural disasters are impacting Africa and the Middle East, COVID-19 is overwhelming partners in India, prompting UMCOR to reopen its COVID-19 Response Fund . Learn more about UMCOR’s InternationalDisaster Relief here https://umcmission.org/advance-project/982450/
7 Reasons Not to Abandon Online Services: Thom Rainer says it is a mistake for churches to give up their digital or streaming services after returning to in-person worship. He outlines seven reasons online worship can augment your place-based worship and reach the community. Read more
Digital Ministry Training: Have you watched UM Communication’s Local Church Learning Sessions? Each session explores a different online ministry tool or topic, such as social media, livestreaming, online giving, Zoom, and text messaging. See what’s available.
Building Relationships in Online Meetings: Virtual relationships can be meaningful, but you have to work a little harder. UM Communications offers some fresh ideas to help. See what they are
Need Help with Online Ministry? UM Communications has seen demand for online church leader training double amid COVID-19 and they’ve stepped up to launch a new set of courses to assist leaders with creating and maintaining engaging online worship experiences in a socially distanced world. Check out what’s offered.
Tips for Connecting in the Digital Realm: As many churches have learned recently, digital platforms provide opportunities to reach more people through listening, prayer, storytelling, and evangelism. Tim Snyder of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership offers six tips to strengthen digital outreach and build relationships that might be as strong as our face-to-face ones. See 6 Tips for connecting in the Digital Realm
Need a Church Website? If your church doesn’t have a website, you’re invited to apply for a Website Development Package from United Methodist Communications. It includes one year of web hosting and domain name registration, WordPress online training and support,pre-designed templates and email accounts and storage. Get details.
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/
W.W.W is My Parish! Next Monday's session of our Zoom series will focus on connecting with and engaging people in your neighborhood through virtual ministry. Special guests will be the Revs. Kendra Balliet,
John Balliet, Pam Gardner and Karen Rohrer, director of the Church Planting Initiative at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Learn more and register.
Saving Grace: A Guide to Financial Well-Being, a new personal money management curriculum guided by Wesleyan values that seeks to promote financial wellness with clergy and laity, is now available. It was created through the Clergy Financial Well-Being Initiative, a United Methodist effort to assist U.S. clergy with financial well-being from the first steps of discerning a call to ministry through retirement. Learn more
5 Ways to Grow New Leaders: Ann Michel of the Lewis Center suggests ways churches can breathe life into stagnant leadership structures by employing simple organic approaches to leadership development. The key is understanding how formal and informal leadership systems can work together in a healthy leadership culture. Read more.
UMW Updates: New application forms for Christian Vocation scholarships, 2021 Mission Today and Mission Study certifications, and a form for the UMW leadership Talent Bank have been posted at wpaumc.org/UMWomen.
Hashtag Hints: Hashtags, those words after a # on social media posts, are where social engagement happens. The goal is to capture the theme or idea behind an event or topic in one or two words. But choosing a hashtag requires some thought. Jeremy Steele offers some best practices.
Need a Website--or a New Look? If your church doesn’t have a website or would like to start over with a fresh, modern website UM Communications offers three Website Development Package options.They include training. See what they are
Feeling Stuck in Sameness? In the latest episode of the "Compass Podcast” from UM communications, Tony Caldwell, a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, discusses resilience and how to identify ways we can move forward in hope when so many of our circumstances feel stuck in sameness. Listen to podcast
UMC Education Showcase: If you or a family member is preparing to take the next step in an educational journey, you may want to check out this showcase of United Methodist-related seminaries, colleges and universities.
Assessing Church Security: The federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has released an easy to use assessment tool to help houses of worship identify and address facility security concerns. Find it and other resources on the Faith Based Organization-Houses of Worship (FBO-HOW) resource page.
Paycheck Protection Program: You still have a day to register for the Conference Zoom meeting with info on the second round of PPP loans on Friday, January 29 at 10 a.m. If your church is considering applying for a second draw PPP loan, refer to this guidance from the SBA to ensure you qualify before making any decisions.
To register for the January 29 meeting, click here
Erie Looks at Racial Justice: Over the next year, a senior fellow from the Brookings Institution will help local leaders in Erie look at issues of equity, racial justice and economic mobility to identify and correct policies that perpetuate racial injustice and inequity in the area. Read Erie Times-News story here https://www.goerie.com/story/news/local/erie-next/2021/06/10/racial-justice-erie-scholar-camille-busette-working-inclusion-action-plan-city/7604408002/
Freedom Day for All: June 19th celebrates a specific event in the U.S., but the day is a time for all people to recommit to antiracism work. Learn more here https://www.umc.org/en/content/juneteenth-celebrates-freedom-from-slavery
See Six Ways White People Can Observe Juneteenth here https://www.r2hub.org/library/juneteenth
May 20, 2021
Understanding Other Cultures: The Commission on Religion and Race has designed two new infographics for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month to help churches provide information about these cultures. “Ten Things to Know About Asian Americans” and “Ten Honorable Traits of Pacific Islander Culture” are available for download on the GCORR resource library. Download resources here https://www.r2hub.org/library?mkt_tok=MDc4LUpYUS02NDMAAAF9Gxo3JHKJmfRvtlw1VTXRbMgf4zXr9A7oGx51N1_fcSe-8jVgaeEIfWEgsLik_IH-0Vr4BcyQE40lLdC_ZYFNB27zaylH9vyXHlrk1LgN-PGsZA
Latin@s, Hispanics, Latinx: ¡Si! To All of it! Latino/Latinx people in the United States are diverse in many ways, including theologically, writes the Rev. Lydia E. Muñoz. She gives an overview of the rich diversity and cautions against assuming that all Latino/Latinx United Methodists would go in the same direction if the denomination were to split. Read commentary here https://marchaumc.org/voices-latins-hispanics-latinx-si-to-all-of-it/?mkt_tok=MDc4LUpYUS02NDMAAAF9IFvaTaLivyvH4wZ6GoMQxx0ruumVfB0Q4FcBT1ukjZRalYqCmzhOs3DmXxnNlF6g2452bgCuxreCzc_FBsqcGIqPA5idFsZCRThF0eMKW8NqMA
Healthy Village Learning Institute (HVLI) in McKeesport continually adapted through the pandemic to support the community and connect youth and families with needed services. HVLI played a big role in providing PPE equipment and encouraging social responsibility and healthy practices. To highlight the effort, Keith Murphy, HVLI executive director, is featured in the Spring edition of The Pittsburgh Foundation’s quarterly magazine Forum. He’s one of 11 community and non-profit leaders and activists who helped the Foundation develop a grant-making program for racial justice. Read Keith Murphy’s HVLI story here https://pittsburghfoundation.org/keith-murphy
Diversity Linked to Church Growth: A recent study of the United Methodist Church by Baylor University found that racial diversity is linked to church growth. In a UM News story, Dr. Mark DeYmaz and Rev. Chip Freed, leaders of the Mosaix House of Studies at United Seminary, shared why they are committed to growing the multi-ethnic church movement. Read UMNews story
Learn more about Mosaix House of Studies at United
Film Looks at Lives of Korean Americans: United Methodists Julian Kim and Peter Lee didn't see their lives represented in Hollywood films, so they did it themselves. Their film "Happy Cleaners" takes a look at the lives and struggles of working-class Korean Americans. Read UM News feature
Diversity Linked to Church Growth: A recent study of the United Methodist Church by Baylor University found that racial diversity is linked to church growth. In a UM News story, Dr. Mark DeYmaz and Rev. Chip Freed, leaders of the Mosaix House of Studies at United Seminary, shared why they are committed to growing the multi-ethnic church movement. Read UMNews stor here https://www.umnews.org/en/news/racial-diversity-linked-to-church-growth
Learn more about Mosaix House of Studies at United here http://united.edu/mosaix-house-of-studies/
Film Looks at Lives of Korean Americans: United Methodists Julian Kim and Peter Lee didn't see their lives represented in Hollywood films, so they did it themselves. Their film "Happy Cleaners" takes a look at the lives and struggles of working-class Korean Americans. Read UM News feature here https://www.umnews.org/en/news/film-puts-korean-americans-center-stage
Advocate to End Hunger! Learn more about the connections between racial inequity, policy, and wealth at this year’s Bread for the World Hunger Advocacy Workshop on Saturday, May 15 from 9:30 to noon via Zoom. It offers an opportunity to participate in an online version of Bread’s Racial Wealth Gap Simulation. It’s a tool that helps participants understand how federal policies created structural inequalities and how those policies have differently impacted black and while communities in the U.S. The session will also offer details of Bread’s 2021 Offering of Letters, an opportunity for churches to advocate to end hunger by reaching out to elected officials. Learn more and register. here https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bread-for-the-world-hunger-advocacy-workshop-racial-wealth-gap-simulation-tickets-149220872647
Making Room for the Other: A three-part blog series with entries by staff from Perkins Theological Seminary and UM Young People’s Ministries, explores the theological and practical importance of making space for the new, for strangers, for what some might call the “other.” Become familiar with discipleship strategies and processes that can help turn strangers into friends and unfamiliar outsiders into cared-for peers. See posts
Racism in Church Ranks? Anonymous letters criticizing the appearance of an African associate pastor have led to self-reflection for a Virginia congregation and a "Do Not Harm" campaign seeking changes in The United Methodist Church. The hairstyle, clothing and accessories of the Rev. Chenda Innis Lee became an issue at Fairlington UMC. Read story
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 Announcements Updated Dec. 11, 2020. Our Bishop and District Superintendents urge church leaders to follow current state and local health mandates and guidelines to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus and to consider the risk to the most vulnerable in our churches and communities in determining whether to hold in-person worship services. On Dec. 11, 2020, after Gov. Tom Wolf issued a temporary executive order reducing the number of people permitted to gather both indoors and ... read more
To assist clergy as they strive to meet the on-going challenges of ministry in the age of the novel coronavirus, the Western PA Conference is offering Coaching on Demand. Trained coaches in the Conference are offering their skills at no charge as a ministry to their colleagues. "Right now, we are each navigating personal and professional challenges, new realities, and unexpected ministry opportunities," said the Rev. Amy Wagner, who took a lead role in organizing the Coaching on Demand ... read more
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1, NRSV) As our world has become encased in fear and uncertainty because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Western Pennsylvania Conference calls all laity and clergy to an intentional, daily time of prayer. In the midst of the chaos, we need to stand in the power of prayer. On March 24, 2020, Rev. Randall Bain, senior pastor at the Oakland United Methodist ... read more
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The Eastbrook Mission Barn is one of six UMCOR Relief Supply Network depots across the United States.
Mission Barn & UMCOR Supplies- Due to Annual Conference in June being cancelled and therefore the UMCOR collection, Mission Barn Director Katie Peterson is looking for a church willing to be the collection point for their district for UMCOR supplies, cleaning buckets, and hygiene kits on a one or two time basis this summer. Preferably they can keep track of what church brought the donations and then store the kits and supplies in a secure location. People can bring the kits and supplies from the collection directly to the barn or the conference center, or she can arrange to send a truck or trailer to pick them up. Contact: Katie Peterson
Cynthia Deter - June 4
Melody Kimmel - June 4
Debra Mason - June 7
Ken Custer - June 14
Beverly Gross - June 15
Karen Jacobs - June 22
Brenda Walker - June 30
Thom Bonomo and Sheelagh Bonomo- June 2
Rico Vespa and Bobbi Vespa- June 4
Duane Thompson and Brenda J Thompson- June 11
Nathan Carlson and Amanda Carlson- June 13
Kelley Schanely and Mark Schanely- June 14
Jim Kimmel and Melody L. Kimmel- June 15
Melody Kimmel and James Kimmel- June 15
Dan Grimes and Kathy Grimes- June 17
Stephen Morse and Lynne Morse- June 18
Scott Lawrence and Kristi Lawrence- June 21
Karen Jacobs and Kenneth Jacobs- June 22
Laura Saffell and Jarrett Saffell- June 25
Steve Cordle and Linda Cordle- June 28