WPAUMC e-news for July 4, 2012
Mission Team Van Crashes; Prayers Lifted: The sanctuary of First UMC in Waynesburg was filled Monday night at a prayer service after a van carrying a church mission team crashed in Tennessee. Erin Jedlowski, the church’s youth and missions director, was critically injured. The team, which included Pastor Gary Grau, another adult and four teens, was heading for Slidell, LA when the rented van blew a tire and crashed into a guardrail. Erin remained hospitalized in Jefferson City, TN. The others were treated for minor injuries and returned home Monday night. Prayers continue for Erin, her family, friends and all affected by the accident.
Celebrating Water: UMCOR’s YouTube channel has a video on the joint project that brought reliable running water to the Nyadire UM Mission in Zimbabwe. The water project, which took a few years to complete, was a joint effort of the mission’s water committee, UMCOR and The Nyadire Connection, the Western PA group that supports the mission.
Celebrating 50! The Rev. Jim Trusel marked 50 years of active ministry on July 1 by returning to the pulpit of the small rural church where he started-- Saint John’s United Methodist Church, near Slippery Rock. The sanctuary was packed. See photos. Now a member of Rochester UMC, the retired pastor still visits shut-ins, nursing homes and hospitals twice a week. From 2007 until May of this year, he also preached every other Sunday at the First Congregational Church in Beaver Falls.
Jurisdictional Conferences: In two weeks, delegates in three of the denomination’s five U.S. jurisdictions will begin electing new bishops. There will be no elections in two jurisdictions. The General Conference in May approved a plan that reduces the number of bishops in each jurisdiction by one. Our Northeastern Jurisdiction is not affected by the GC action because the number of bishops was reduced four years ago when conferences were merged. Learn more.
NEJ Devotional: Download this devotional booklet, prepared by laity of the NEJ, to use with delegates from July 11-20.
NEJ Candidates for Bishop: At the Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference in Charleston, WV, three new bishops will be elected to replace three who are retiring. Our annual conference has endorsed District Superintendents William B. Meekins Jr. and Eric S. Park as candidates. See the full list of candidates by jurisdiction. After the elections, all Bishops will be assigned to an episcopal area by a committee of laity and clergy representatives from each of the conferences within the jurisdiction.
What’s a Bishop Do Anyway? Bishop Peter Weaver, a Western PA native who retires this year as leader of the Boston area, says the job description he got from a little boy shortly after his 1996 election was right on. Read more.
Congregation-Based CPE Course: The Samaritan Counseling Center of NY will offer a course in Congregation-based Clinical Pastoral Education at Clarion UMC from August 9 – December 14. The class for new and experienced pastors will meet Thursday and Friday every other week. Download information/registration packet here. Learn more or register online at congregationbasedclinicalpastoraleducationwny.org . Questions? Contact Sharon Schwab at Indiana.email@example.com or Robert Spilman at 716-479-7933.
Storms Damage East Ohio Churches,WVA Camp: Storms last Friday blew the roof off rural Somerton UMC, built in 1873, and severely damaged two church buildings in Cambridge, all in Southeast Ohio’s Southern Hills District. In the Three Rivers District, along the I70 corridor, the Bethel UMC, also lost its roof. See photos and learn how the congregations are coping. In West Virginia, the Spring Heights camp was hard hit, had no power and had to cancel camp this week. Several churches opened their doors to provide shelter and food for those in their communities without power. Read more.
Trailblazing Bishop Kelly Dies: Funeral services were scheduled for July 5 at San Francisco’s Jones Memorial UMC for Bishop Leontine T.C. Kelly, who died June 28 at age 92. Bishop Kelly was the first African-American woman to be elected a Bishop of the UMC. She was the daughter of a Methodist minister who also served in the Ohio House of Representatives. Read more.
Why Methodist? Why is the son of a Southern Baptist preacher serving a large church pursuing ordination in the United Methodist Church? Chad Brooks points to the Wesleyan tradition in explaining his reasons. Learn more.
Pensions Health Agency Wins Award: The Center for Health at the United Methodist Board of Pension and Health Benefits was among 30 U.S. employers to receive the National Business Group on Health’s highest award on June 27. The honor, part of the group’s Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles award program, recognizes exceptional employee wellness initiatives. Read more.
Who Benefits from Your Church Decisions? Carol Howard Merritt, author of Tribal Church, attends a lot of denominational gatherings. Generally, she says, most of the people are in their 60s, some are in their 70s and none are in their 20s. Are they, like many in business and government, making decisions that benefit themselves at the expense of younger generations? Read more at Ministry Matters.
Free Worship Images: UMC Giving recommends these gorgeous Australian landscape photos taken by Rob Packer, a pastor whose passion is to show the beauty of creation. They’re free to use as wallpaper or in worship.
Research Help Wanted: Wyl , a PhD candidate at Michigan State, invites pastors to participate in a research project designed to understand how United Methodist churches have adapted as methods of communication have changed. Please follow the link below to take the survey. https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NSVRFVF
Planning ahead? The official 2013 United Methodist calendar is available now – in multiple formats. Learn more.
Jobs: Check our classifieds for job openings at local churches, the Conference and a general agency.
In the News: The Connellsville Daily Courier had a story on Albright UMC’s new pastor. And the Erie Times-News had a brief about the arrival of the Rev. Pam Gardner at Wesley UMC. If you have moved to a new church –or your church has a new pastor—introduce him or her to your local news media. You can call or send a press release via e-mail.