WPAUMC e-news for June 13, 2012
Annual Conference Summary: It’s finally finished and on our website! Lay members and clergy are welcome to use any or all of it in making their report to the congregation. You may also use any of our YouTube videos or photos. Small (or large) groups may enjoy hearing Dr. John Holbert’s Bible study sessions or the Bishop’s State of the Church address, Pam Gardner’s message at opening worship, Justin Muchoney’s presentation or other highlights.
UMCOR Kit Collection: During annual conference, volunteers received 4,451 UMCOR kits valued at $63,177, as well as numerous supplies to make additional kits. The Rev. Nelson Thayer, director of the Mission Barn said the total received is less than previous years, but the number of kits delivered directly to the Mission Barn has been steadily increasing, with 5,203 this year (not counting those collected at AC2012). Thayer said UMCOR plans at least four shipments of School Kits and Health Kits – to Zimbabwe, Southern Sudan, Armenia, and the Republic of Georgia -- and has asked that our Mission Barn ship everything to them by the end of July. So volunteers will be needed through June and July to create and verify kits.
UM Foundation Awards Grants: Fourteen UM churches and eight UM agencies in Western PA were awarded grants for 2012. The Foundation noted that the amounts granted will total $43,000. List of churches and agencies.
Individual Mission Volunteer: Rich Mroczka of Cramer UMC has completed Individual Volunteer in Mission Training with the General Board of Global Ministries and will leave June 19 for Nicaragua for six months. Rich will assist VIM teams with arrangements. To help support him, you can send a check made out to WPAUMC to the Conference Treasurer at the United Methodist Center, Box 5002, 1204 Freedom Rd., Cranberry Twp., PA 16066-0002 and note Mroczka Advance Special Nicaragua.
Who Do You See? Who Does God See? Signs and T-shirts sporting these questions were seen in many places during annual conference to highlight our call to love all people, including those who are different from us and have special needs. The Rev. Debbie Hills, chair of the Disabilities Awareness Team, will take orders for the shirts in purple with white lettering for about two more weeks. The cost is $10 plus $2 shipping for sizes Small, Medium, Large, and XL. It’s $12 plus $2 shipping for XXL and XXXL. Send a check and a note with quantities, sizes, and mailing address ASAP to Rev. Debbie Hills, PO Box 74, West Springfield, PA 16443. E-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Golden Sneaker Threepeat: Congratulations to the Kane District for winning the Golden Sneaker award AGAIN in 2012! It was the third time Kane won. This year, no other district was even close! If you want to see how your district compared in logging miles or physical activity over the past year, check out the statistics. Scroll down the page to see the district totals. Learn more about the Sneaker – and plan to get your congregation moving in 2012.
Clergy Spouse Resources: The Health as Wholeness team has posted some new resources for spouses of clergy on its webpages found through wpaumc.org/health, click on Clergy, Clergy Families and Staff on top right side and then on that page click on Clergy Spouses Information on left sidebar.
Guide to a Good Move: The Conference Health as Wholeness team has a page of resources for Staff-Parish Relations Committee, including a link to a Guide to a Good Pastoral Move for laity, created and used with the permission of the East Ohio Conference.
New Angle on Guaranteed Appointments: the secretary of the General Conference informed the Council of Bishops this week that the 2012 Book of Discipline “does not eliminate the security of appointment for elders.” He said that while the General Conference changed one reference to the matter, another paragraph remains unchanged. Other denominational leaders question Reist’s interpretation. The matter goes before the UMC Judicial Council in the fall. Learn more.
New (Online) Places for New People: New sophisticated online tools are giving more substance to the time we spend online. UM Communications offers a list of five sites (new places) where people of faith can reach out to others in their community (new people).
Focus on Family Leader for Immigration Reform: The Christian Post reports that Focus on the Family President Jim Daly on Monday joined over 100 other evangelical leaders who signed a statement calling for immigration reform, saying that most of the country's illegal immigrants should be granted U.S. citizenship. He said the issue of immigration is not simply a legal issue, but a family one as well. Read more.
Dependent on Wireless Data? The new pricing plans announced by Verizon wireless this week reportedly will be copied by other carriers. Basically calls and texts, which cost the carrier very little, are unlimited, but data will cost you. Learn more.