Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 (NIV)

Bringing Hope to Many 

Bringing hope to many and being an example of Christ's love is what we are called to do as Christians. The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic brought a lot of anxiety and frustration, which is still evident to this day. As the body of Christ, we strive to uplift and help one our neighbors. Churches and ministries in our conference have been bringing hope to their communities by lifting up those who are struggling. One of these ministries has been Roots of Faith, a ministry out of Faith UMC, Pittsburgh. Roots of Faith is building community in Sharpsburg, PA by reconciling people with God and one another.

Roots of Faith has been faith in action throughout this pandemic.They were able to partner with Second Harvest Thrift Store, Sharpsburg Family Worship Center, Sharpsburg Food Pantry, Sharpsburg Neighborhood Organization and Sharpsburg Library. Below are some of the ways they have helped out the community.

  • During March 19 and June 3 they delivered 4,677 bags of groceries.
  • Between May 21 and July 29 they handed out 3,000, 20 pound boxes of fresh produce.
  • Between May 21 and July 30 they handed out 750 bags of pet food.
  • In July, they handed out 450 Neighborhood Table "To-Go" meals



Kathleen Stanley, Director of Outreach Ministries, describes their activities during the pandemic.

"When Covid19 forced us all into quarantine, Roots of Faith jumped into action and quickly gathered community partners to launch a project called "Sharing the Harvest". Sharpsburg has a dense population of seniors, shut-ins and disabled residents. Shuttle services that typically took seniors to the grocery store were shut down, leaving our most vulnerable at risk. We delivered a bag of non-perishable groceries on a weekly basis to 400 residents a week and we handed out another 100 bags at our door front. We had a team of faithful volunteers who worked really hard. In the midst of the busyness, there were always heartfelt stories of residents calling to tell us how much they appreciated what we were doing. Many of the seniors would call just to say thanks (and could you throw in an extra jar of spaghetti sauce). Cards of appreciation were coming in weekly. I am honestly not sure whose lives were impacted more, the people receiving the food or the volunteers delivering all the food. I would look into what normally would be our "worship area" and it was filled and overflowing with food and I would tell the volunteers that this was the picture of God's abundance."

All God's Children Ministries

All God’s Children Ministries provides consultative services and training programs to help churches become places of welcome and belonging for those affected by disability. Not only are the ramps built by volunteers, but many of them are repaired and kept in good shape by volunteers.  Many of the recipients are elderly, many with no family or friends available to help them!  

All God's Children Ministries needs our help.

  • Ramp inspections - evaluating the ramps for our records (usually 1/2 hr or less per ramp).  Currently east side of Erie out to Wesleyville area needs to be done.
  • Applying non-skid on ramps in need  (depending on the ramps' condition - whether it needs scraped down and swept - and how big it is, can be done in 1 - 1 1/2 hrs.)  Also, needs to be coordinated with the user as it needs 2 - 3 hours dry time before walking on it.  
  • Applying the sealant - the biggest and more time consuming of all, but so important in preventing the deterioration and enabling the reuse for future recipients. 

Because of the pandemic, they are unable to have youth groups come in and help- which they normally rely on heavily during the summer months. Individuals or small family groups could help with these projects while practicing the social distancing recommendations.

If you could give some time - 1/2 day, 1 day, a weekend, multiple days, please contact Colleen Miller-Donor the Program Director for All God's Children / Ramps of Hope. She is available to train and assist in these tasks!  Colleen Miller-Donor-

Follow All God's Childrens Ministries on Facebook.

Global Ministries offers ways to connect


Since the end of May, Global Ministries has been offering opportunities for us to connect with missionaries. They have had 10 episodes and they have been very successful. Out of these episodes we have heard over 50 presentations from missionaries, serving in God's mission all over the world. This has connected over 700 people that are supporting missionaries during this crisis. This is absolutely amazing and its great to see God's hand at work.

Global Ministries has also offered a platform to be able to view the recordings of the past episodes by clicking here.

This week they will be taking a break, but will resume with a fall schedule.

  • Thursday August 13, 2020. 2:00PM EDT: #StillinMission Episode 11Brooke Atchley, Sara Flores and Lorraine Charinda. Please spread the word by sharing the flyerRegister
  • Thursday August 20, 2020. 1:00PM EDT: #StillinMission Episode 12. Our very own Western PA CCW- Natalie Marionneaux, Emily Everett and Umba llunga Kalangwa. Please spread the word by sharing the flyer. Register
  • Saturday, August 29, 2020 at 10 AM – 11:30 AM: Jane Kies is a United Methodist missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries teaching Intensive English to students from non-English-speaking countries at Africa University in Mutare, Zimbabwe, southern Africa. Jane's husband Larry Kies is also a United Methodist missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries serving as technical advisor to the Africa University Farm at Mutare, Zimbabwe in southern Africa.

    Connect with Larry and Jane Kies who are mission partners with some of our churches in East Ohio.

    Join the ZOOM presentation on Saturday, August 29, 2020 at 10 AM – 11:30 AM. Hosted by Tammy Kuntz, United Methodist Volunteers in Mission North Central Jurisdiction Coordinator. Learn about the important work of missionaries Larry and Jane Kies at Africa University. For more information email Tammy Kuntz @

    Watch this video that showcases their work at Africa University.

Missionaries need your support more than ever these days as they remain in mission during this crisis.  These events are one small way that we can all support and connect with missionaries. 

Volunteers in Mission Opportunties in Western PA

Rebuild opportunities

  • WPA Missions is looking for volunteers willing to help rebuild a home in Reynoldsville, PA in partnership with the Red Cross. A tree fell on a home, so there is need for roof repair on the second floor, including shingles and siding. If you have any construction experience or are willing to offer any assistance please contact the missions office at
  • WPA Missions is looking for volunteers to assist with a home in Jeannette. The home had extensive water damage and the Disaster Response Teams from Greensburg and Johnstown Districts had to demolish most of the first floor of the home. The homeowner has acquired cabinets, doors and windows to replace what had to be removed and is asking for help. If you are able to assist or know anyone willing to help please share have them contact our Conference Disaster Response Coordinator David Kissinger at 814-243-3254.

Mission around the World

Turning to Wesley’s class model amid pandemic

Due to the rising Covid cases in Zimbabwe, some churches have sought out creative ways to meet and to continue ministries. Rev. Gift Kudakwashe Machinga, Zimbabwe East Conference board of discipleship chairperson and pastor-in-charge at Cranborne United Methodist Church in the Harare East District, said most United Methodist churches in Zimbabwe have turned to the use of class meetings, often called sections.

“Many churches within the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area have rekindled the Wesleyan class meeting type of worship services as the return to in-person worship came to play. The concept has varied advantages applicable now,” Machinga said.

“In most circuits, including Cranborne, the use of sections is meant to maintain the required number of 50 (worshippers) and it is easy to adhere to the strict health prescribed preventative measures since the figure is small,” he added.

He said the classes allow for easy contact tracing if a member tests positive for the coronavirus. More...

Africa University students skip meals to feed struggling families

Talk about community and looking out for each other. At this difficult and uncertain time in Zimbabwe, Africa University (AU) students have been giving up their meals to help struggling families.

“Being a student in a foreign country is not easy, but Zimbabwean communities have impacted my life on campus through showing love and care toward me personally,” said Cesar Lodiha Akoka, a Congolese divinity student who helped start the program. “Giving back to the community as students is a way to appreciate the kindheartedness they have presented to us.”

Everlyne Kukah Esther from Kenya, president of the East Africa Students Association and Africa University’s Volunteers in Mission, said she challenged her fellow students to skip at least one meal a week and donate the money saved to the campaign.

“If you can afford three meals a day, sacrifice one and eat two. If you can afford two meals a day, eat one and donate one. And if you can afford one meal a day, please eat for six days and donate for one day. You will not die. There is someone somewhere who is in a situation which is more serious than yours. (That) has been our song,” said Esther.

The Feed a Family program was launched in collaboration with the Institute of Theology and Religious Studies and Students Representative Council. With the help of United Methodist pastors, Esther said, the students were able to identify people — members and non-members — who needed help. More ...

Virtual Mission Journeys within the Jurisdiction

The jurisdiction is continually offering ways for us to connect with ministries around the world. One of the ways they are doing this is by offering virtual mission journeys. This is another way for us to continues to support our partners as well as build on our relationships. 

  • Solar Oven Partners working in the Dominican Republic.

    Join an online mission team to learn more about the ministry of Solar Oven Partners, what life is like in the Dominican Republic and why. Then reflect on how God is calling us to live in light of what we learn. Together, we will learn what we can on our own, and then we will connect via Zoom or a similar cyber link with our partners in the Dominican Republic to go more in-depth.

    To register email name, address, phone number and previous Solar Oven Partners experience, if any, to Then mail $20 check to Solar Oven Partners, 910 4th St., Ste G, Brookings, SD 57006 with a note that it is registration for virtual mission.

    Contact Marj NOW with questions. Marj Evans-de-Carpio (612)226-6556

  • Honduras: Join for a Virtual mission to Honduras! Share in the discussions and learning with Milton Ilovares, the UMVIM coordinator in Honduras, other mission staff, and pastors of Honduras Mission.

    Team meetings: August 13, 15. Mission week: August 18, 20, 22 8:00pm (Eastern) Register.

Finding Peace in an Anxious World

Conference UMW Meeting Going Virtual: The Conference United Methodist Women’s annual meeting, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 24, will be offered in an online webinar format, rather than in person. The keynote address by the Rev. Debra Flint, an ordained deacon and licensed clinical social worker, is entitled “There’s Nothing Selfish About Self Care.” Registration will open on the Conference website by September 1.

Mission u Scheduling Note: The decision to move the Oct. 24 Conference UMW meeting to a virtual format prompted Mission u leaders to cancel the planned Finding Peace in an Anxious World class planned for Oct. 23 at the same location, Butler First UMC. As of now Plans are still in place to offer the class on Oct. 2, the day before Annual Conference, at Lakewood UMC in Erie. 

Mission Volunteer Training

Due to concerns related to COVID-19, the Mission Volunteer office is postponing in-person training events. It will, however, offer a virtual orientation experience on September 3 and 4, 2020 for all individuals and couples interested in learning more about the Mission Volunteer program or those who are discerning future long-term volunteer service as part of their journey.  For more information visit Global Ministries.

Things to look forward to

  • Mission moments in the conference and around the world

    • Missionaries supported by the Western PA Conference

    • Covid-19 Pandemic in Zimbabwe and the UMC Health Care System

    • Mission Ambassador Program

  • Basics for planning a mission journey

    • Being proactive and preparing for future missions. Time to get ready 


From the office of Sandra Matoushaya, Missional Engagement
Email or call 724.776.2300 ext. 249

Current NEJ UMVIM Insurance Forms & Info

Current Mission Opportunities

Looking for an item from a previous Mission News? Check our online Archives

Report your completed Mission/VIM Activities online

Relief Supply Network

Be sure to contact collection sites before drop off to make sure they are open and still accepting especially on the specific dates listed in the sidebar. Please visit whichever location is closest to you.

Johnstown District

David Kissinger - 814-243-3254. Zion Elton,1089 Mount Airy Drive Elton, PA  

WPA Conference Center

 724-776-2300. 1204 Freedom Road, Cranberry Twp, PA 16066

Butler District 

Mission Barn. Katie Peterson 724-856-8241. 226 Church Lane, New Castle

Pittsburgh District

Trinity Tower UMC
Rev. Dale Reese, 412-793-9000 (church), 6729 Saltsburg Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15235

Kane District

Smethport UMC
West King Dr.,Smethport PA 814-887-2455

Connellsville District

Connellsville Area Community Ministries
110 W. Crawford Ave., Connellsville, PA 15425  724-626-1120

WPA UMC, 1204 Freedom Road, Cranberry Township, PA 160660 | 1-800-886-3382 | Fax: 724-776-2300