WPAUMC e-news for August 15, 2012
Be a Mission Ambassador! If you want to explore another culture in depth and experience United Methodist missions in other parts of the world, the Global Ministries Mission Ambassador program is accepting applications now through Sept. 15 for the 2013-2014 study program focusing on the Roma of Europe. For more information, contact Stephanie Gottschalk at email@example.com or Diane Miller at MissionVIM@wpaumc.org.
Help Host Paint the Town! United Methodist churches have a great opportunity to share in ministry with nationally syndicated radio host Delilah and Premier Radio for Paint the Town on Saturday, September 8. Get details. We hope to get 200 volunteers, not only to help with painting between about 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. in the Lawrenceville section of Pittsburgh, but also to serve as hospitality volunteers. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer for hospitality -- or if you have questions.
Shifting Entry Points: Traditionally, people entered congregations through worship, but today many enter through outreach or service opportunities. An article in this week’s Leading Ideas talks about these Shifting Entry Points.
Illustrating the Point Above: The Joplin Globe did a feature story on Kelly and Nathan Johnston, who spent their honeymoon volunteering in Joplin, MO with a Western PA mission team. Last summer, the pair worked in Joplin with Rev. Larry Homitsky and others from Calvary UMC in tornado recovery. When they returned home, they joined Calvary. Other churches represented on this year’s team were Pittsburgh: Emmauel and New Hope, Epworth, Greensburg First, First Bethel, Clarendon Tiona and Kane First UMCs.
Methodist School of Supernatural Ministry: Aldersgate Renewal Ministries [ARM], an affiliate of the General Board of Discipleship, will bring its Methodist School for Supernatural Ministry (MSSM) to Jumonville this fall. The Western PA Renewal Fellowship will host the event set for Oct. 3-6. Get details.
Anti-Poverty Summit: Register now for UM Advocacy in Pennsylvania’s anti-poverty summit, set for October 7-8. The speakers should make it worth the trip to Harrisburg area. Get details.
Congratulations, Rev. Greway! Rev. Kimberly Greway, who serves as director of chaplaincy services at the Allegheny County Jail, has been selected as one of 40 under 40 making a positive impact on the Pittsburgh region. The winners were selected from among 220 nominees for their “passion, commitment, visibility, diversity and overall impact on the region.” They will be featured in the November issue of Pittsburgh Magazine and honored Nov. 2 at an event the Wyndham Hotel. See UMTV video.
Computer Tricks to Save You Time and $$$$! These nine computer tips from UM Communications are definitely worth checking out.
Questions Church Visitors Aren’t Asking – Or Are They? This blog post on Ministry Matters might provide food for thought -- or just irritate you. Be sure to read the comments – including the one with questions the writer thinks visitors ARE asking. You might want to add a comment of your own.
Agencies Adapt to Board, Budget Cuts: General Church boards and agencies have shifted priorities and adopted new strategies in response to General Conference actions that reduced budgets and the size of their boards. Read about changes
Watch Out for Stewardship Pitfalls! Recognize any of these Common Stewardship Pitfalls listed by Bob Crossman, a strategist with Horizons Stewardship, in a Ministry Matters article?
Foundation Board Gets New Leaders - Jim Sekel is the new Board Chair of the UM Foundation of Western PA. A banking professional since 1978, he has worked in Bradford, Erie, and Pittsburgh, where he is currently Senior Vice President at TriState Capital Bank. Now a member of the Mars Campus of Dutilh UMC., he previously was a member of Park UMC in North East, First UMC in Bradford, and Edinboro UMC. Other new officers are: Vice Chair Dick Thomas, Secretary Rev. Don Scandrol, Treasurer Tom Heisey, and Assistant Treasurers Sara Mercer and Fred Watts.
Presidential Politics and Religion: As the U.S. Presidential race heads toward the national party conventions, CNN’s Belief blog reports that an atheist group plans to sponsor billboards in Charlotte NC attacking the religious beliefs of both presumed Republican nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama. Another story notes that the Romney-Ryan pairing marks the first time in modern political history that a major party has not had a Protestant Christian on the ticket.
Election Dos and Don’ts: Can a congregation endorse or raise money for a candidate? Short answer: No. Churches and religious organizations in the United States qualify for exemption from federal income tax, and are generally eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions. But the church can jeopardize this status if it violates the IRS prohibition on “participating or intervening in any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office." Read Interpreter magazine’s list of election dos and don’ts.
UMC Organizational ADD? Jim Winkler of the General Board of Church and Society suspects that the United Methodist Church may be suffering from an organizational form of Attention Deficit Disorder. “We can’t focus on anything for very long, discarding plans and commitments quickly,” he writes in the August 6 edition of Faith in Action. Many of the stresses United Methodists face are real, he says, but “the response to them will not be adequate as long as we focus on “dashboard” numerical growth.” Read Word from Winkler.
Anti-Malaria Leaders Meet in Ghana: Representatives of in-country health boards charged with overseeing malaria programs throughout Africa are gathered this week in Accra, Ghana for the Pan-Africa Summit. The participants, including doctors, community health workers, educators and malaria program coordinators, will receive training in effective program planning, financial management, and best practices for monitoring and evaluation. The meeting is sponsored by Imagine No Malaria and hosted by the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). Read more.
RUN! If you haven’t signed up for this Saturday’s Mosquito Run to benefit Imagine No Malaria at Allegheny County’s North Park, you can still register online or just come and participate. (It will just cost a few dollars more.) Get details!
Jumonville Kidz2Camp 5K: If you need a little more lead time, how about running or walking in Jumonville’s 5K on Sept. 29 to help raise money for kids to go to camp? If you sign up now, you can get the early bird rate. Learn more and download a brochure.
Know a Student Heading for Slippery Rock? Slippery Rock UMC wants to connect with students from your congregation who will be at Slippery Rock University this fall. Rev. Keith McIlwain asks that you email him at email@example.com with any names and contact information, if you are able to provide it.
In the News: Rev. Bruce Bryce, a 75-year-old retired pastor, is "swimming to Philadelphia" to raise funds for Baldwin Community UMC, according to a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette feature on people taking on challenges to raise money for a cause.