WPAUMC e-news for March 28, 2012
Last Chance for Confirmation Visit to UM Center! There are some spaces available for this Saturday’s Confirmation Class visits to the United Methodist Center. Saturday’s tours, which include a visit with the Bishop, are the last ones to be offered in 2012. You can register online or contact Greg Cox at 724-776-9242If or email@example.com with your church name and the number of students and adults.
Training for Local Church Leaders: A complete list of GBOD Webinars for local church leaders (and archives of Webinars you might have missed) can be found at www.gbod.org/committee_resources.
VBS Program: “It’s A Miracle!” is this year’s Vacation Bible School mission program from the Society of St. Andrew anti-hunger ministry. Each day of VBS, students will be introduced to one of Jesus’ miracles; from feeding the multitudes to cleansing the lepers. It can be used as a companion to your VBS curriculum or as a stand-alone program. Learn more.
Hungry People Need Your Help! Bread for the World will sponsor free workshops in Western PA to train people on how to raise important poverty issues to their church, campus or group. Training sessions are scheduled on Saturday April 14 at First UMC in Erie and Saturday, April 28 in Monroeville at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. Both sessions run from 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Click the links for details and to RSVP.
April Interlink Online: The April Interlink, which for reasons beyond our control is dated March 30, 2012 is available in PDF online.
Appointment Changes: Visit wpaumc.org/appointments to see if new names were added to the list of those who will move this year.
Whitehead Reports on Bethlehem Conference: Missionary Tina Whitehead is back in Western PA and filed a report about the Christ at The Checkpoint conference she helped coordinate at Bethlehem Bible College. Tony Campolo , Shane Claiborne and Lynne Hybels were listed among the speakers. Read more.
Seven Chosen for Zimbabwe Immersion: Seven individuals from Western PA will head for a five-week experience living with a family in Zimbabwe in July. Read more.
From Everywhere to Everywhere: Nearly 50 percent of United Methodist missionaries now come from outside the United States, according to Thomas Kemper, general secretary of the UMC General Board of Global Ministries. This new model of mission has led to the need to reevaluate the current missionary services structure so that it fits with the realities found in different cultural contexts, Kemper told members of the GBGM board at their March meeting. Learn more.
Death: The Rev. Edward W. Paup, a former bishop of The United Methodist Church and top executive of the denomination’s mission agency, died March 21 after a long battle with a brain tumor. Paup was a native of Oil City and a former clergy member of the Western PA Conference. Read more.
General Conference Issues: To examine the restructuring proposals coming before the 2012 General Conference approaches, United Methodist News Service has asked the top executives of each agency to answer five questions about their agency's role in the church. Latest responses are from the General Board of Global Ministries, the General Board of Church and Society, and the Board of Pension and Health Benefits.
Keeping Up with GC 2012: Ministry Matters and Circuit Rider Magazine are teaming up to offer "just enough" of the news and commentary you need to be prepared for and follow the events and legislation in Tampa! See what’s offered. UM Communications will have detailed ongoing news reports at GC2012.umc.org
Faith Communities Have Lost Their Voice in the ongoing media revolution, says the Rev. Larry Hollen of UM Communications. When the church can’t participate in the conversations that are shaping moral and ethical values, it loses its relevance in the secular culture. Read more on Hollen’s blog Faith, Media and Culture.
The Land of Shiny Things: Have you fallen into this universe, where there is little room for God? Read more on Ministry Matters.
School of Congregational Development: Registration is now open for the 2012 School of Congregational Development, a United Methodist event for laity and clergy to learn how to grow and develop local churches. The event on Aug. 16-19 in St. Louis is sponsored by the UMC boards of Discipleship and Global Ministries as well as Path 1: New Church Starts. Fees range from $375 to $475. Get details and register.
Come Back Soon! Is your church doing anything to encourage the “Easter crowd” to come back. Read some ideas on Ministry Matters.
Evangelism Today Needs New Wineskins: F. Douglas Powe, professor of evangelism at St. Louis Seminary, says congregations can’t reach new people for Christ using the same old wineskins they used in the 60s. Read his piece in Leading Ideas.
UMs Join Mourning for Trayvon: Worshippers at many churches across the nation have worn hoodies in response to the fatal shooting of a black teen by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida. Local police did not arrest the volunteer, who reportedly told them he felt threatened by the youth, Trayvon Martin. Meanwhile, Bill Mefford of the Board of Church and Society points out that reports of “justifiable homicide” have tripled since Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law was passed in 2005. Read more.
Jesus in The Hunger Games: Write Amy Simpson talks about hope and Jesus in The Hunger Games on a Christianity Today article.
Worship and Christian Education: By scheduling Sunday School at the same time as worship, one church decided it was sending a message that Christian ed wasn’t important for adults, nor was worship important for children. They made some changes and the result has been (mostly) good. Read more in an Alban conversation.
Tebow a Cosmopolitan Christian? Quarterback Tim Tebow is now a Jet, so the New York Times had an article focused on his religious beliefs this week. Read it.
Is Shopping Sinful? The author of a book on a Christian approach to shopping considers the difficulties of truly embodying the Lenten spirit while living in a culture that fosters infinite desire. Read more on the Faith and Leadership website.
In the News: WJAC-Tv had a report on the groundbreaking for a new building for Salem UMC in Luthersburg.
Passion Plays: Many congregations will hold Passion Plays, canatas or other special services during Holy Week. God’s Masterpiece passion play musical at Grace UMC in Coal Center is one of themost popular. This year 120 actors and musicians and crew will bring DaVinci’s Last Supper to life. It runs April 4-6 at 8 p.m. The passion play last year resulted in 32 first-time commitments to Christ. Get details.
Upcoming Events: Check the list and register at wpaumc.org.