WPAUMC e-News for March 7, 2012
Daylight Savings Time starts Sunday! Turn your clocks ahead when you go to bed Saturday night.
German Partnership Offers Trips: The Western PA-East German Partnership Committee offers two mission trip opportunities this summer—one to the World Methodist Festival in Krakow and the other to participate in an English Camp for youth in East Germany. Learn more.
Midwest Tornadoes: As United Methodists in the Midwest mourn with their neighbors after several rounds of devastating tornadoes, they continue to reach out to others. Learn more. If people in your church or community want to help, send donations marked Tornadoes 2012 to the UM Center in Cranberry Twp. or donate online at umcor.org.
One Great Hour of Sharing: The Special Sunday for United Methodists to help support UMCOR’s “cost of doing business” is March 18. Gifts received through One Great Hour ensure that money donated throughout the year for specific relief efforts or projects goes directly to those in need. Learn more, order envelopes, find videos or bulletin inserts and other resources at umcgiving.org.
Join Turnaround Prayer Movement! Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton invites all United Methodists in Western PA to pray for a turnaround for our church. Learn more.
Golden Sneaker Update: The competition among districts for the 2012 Golden Sneaker Award is heating up. The standings so far have Erie-Meadville District in first place; Indiana in second; Johnstown in third and Greensburg in fourth. It’s time to step up your physical activity for your own health, but walking or exercising with others makes it more fun – and gives you an extra incentive. Get your church friends involved in the Golden Sneaker competition. Log your miles here.
Check Your Stats! The Conference Treasurer’s 2011 Remittance figures for each church have been added to the Statistical Tables. Local churches can now login to ezra.gcfa.org and print the complete Table 2 for their own files. Conference Secretary/Statistician John Wilson says this is the final to check all three Statistical Tables before he closes 2011 and locks the fields. If you discover errors that you cannot correct, contact the Rev. John R. Wilson at email@example.com.
Keep Up with GC2012: General Conference begins next month, so Ministry Matters and Circuit Rider magazine are teaming up to offer commentary, blogs, tools, and inspiration you won't find anywhere else. At MinistryMatters.com/gc2012 , you’ll find ideas and resources to explore the major issues; quick links to news and information, and Bishop Robert Schnase's "Remember the Future" series. You can also sign up to get emails with articles, useful links, and digests of the most important news from Tampa.
There’s an App for GC2012: UM Communications has a General Conference mobile app you can download for your iPhone or iOS device. The Android version will be ready soon.
Pray for General Conference! Visit the Upper Room’s 50 Days of Prayer for General Conference website. You can download free resources, get a banner for your website, or sign up to get the meditations by e-mail.
UM Foundation Grants: The deadline is approaching to apply for UM Foundation grants. Submit your request through a convenient electronic form before Friday, March 23. All the necessary information is on the Foundation’s Web site.
Rich Church, Poor Church: Online registration is open for the April 14 stewardship training event led by Clif Christopher at the Marriott North in Cranberry Township. Learn more.
A Culture of Generosity: The Methodist Theological School in Ohio (MTSO) and the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving are partnering to help pastors and their leadership teams rethink their role in congregational finances and awaken an ongoing spirit of generosity within their communities. MTSO will host the three-part seminar, titled "Creating Congregational Cultures of Generosity" starting in April. Get details.
Music for Lent and Easter: The General Board of Discipleship offers a number of free music downloads here.
Web Ministry Issues: Check out these tips from United Methodist Communications about privacy and permissions needed for web ministry.
Buried Under Messages? In our “over-messaged” lives, how do we find time for a spiritual life? This video from the General Board of Discipleship offers some ideas. It might be worth sharing with your congregation!
Revelation as Wartime Literature: Author and Princeton religion Professor Elaine Pagels, in her new book Revelations: Vision, Prophecy and Politics in the Book of Revelation, places the scripture in historical context and suggests that the apocalyptic vision of the end of the world may have come from Mt. Vesuvius. Read more.
Doing Life Together: Matt Cochran says one of the tragedies of the life in America today is that “doing life together” is a church program rather than something that happens naturally in community. Suburban culture, he writes, is harming the Christian call to community. Read more.
Man Up VBS: Albert Simon, who directed Vacation Bible School at Belmont UMC in rural West Virginia, thinks he may be the only man to ever field-test a Cokesbury VBS curriculum. He ran a VBS with a staff of 25 volunteers, about half of them male. He thinks it’s important for kids to see men involved. How do you get them involved? Read more.
Poverty Beyond the Number: The poverty line is a little over $22,000 a year for a family of four. Think beyond the number. Listen to what it means in the first installment of a series from American Public Media’s Marketplace.
Views of Poverty Deep-Rooted: There’s great tension over how best to help poor people in America. Many people are in favor of “helping the poor”, but against “welfare spending.” Many others relate poverty and government assistance to race. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette feature examined the roots of these and other views of addressing poverty.
Students Lobby for Imagine No Malaria: Students from Allegheny College, Mt. Union and West Virginia Wesleyan were among 45 college students who went to Capitol Hill this week to lobby for Imagine No Malaria. Rev. Sarah Roncolato, pastor of Stone UMC in Meadville, is chair of INM’s College Connection. Learn more.
In the News: The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat ran a feature story last Saturday on the re-dedication of Shanksville UMC’s 100-year-old church building.
Guns in Church? A request in Lancaster to move a polling place out of a public school and into a United Methodist Church because voters would not be allowed to carry guns into the school has hit a snag. A UMC resolution adopted in 2000 declares UM churches to be weapon-free zones. Read more.
Upcoming Event: March 17 - FURTHERMORE concert at Camp Allegheny,