On Monday, November 15, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi announced through email that Rev. Deborah Ackley-Killian will serve both the Pittsburgh and Butler districts effective January 1, 2023. Her new appointment to both districts will be effective until at least June 30, 2023. Read more about Rev. Ackley-Killian.
"God is calling us to explore new possibilities in 2023," wrote Bishop Moore-Koikoi. "We are grateful for the gifts that Rev. Ackley-Killian brings to both the annual conference and the Pittsburgh/Butler Districts as we live into the opportunities God has given us."
January 31, 2023 - Statistic Reports Due
March 1, 2023 Fund Balance Report (annual audit) Due
Click the link below for a list of forms with due dates and links!
Link to Annual Forms and Worksheets
Lay Servan Ministry School
It is that time of year when we are preparing our hearts, minds, and souls for the crucifixion of our Savior, Jesus Christ. The Butler Lay Ministry School will once again be at Harmony Zelienople UMC. Classes in the spring of 2023 will be held on five Sundays during Lent (February 26, March 5, 12,19, and 26) from 2 to 5 PM. The four classes that will be offered are Basic, Polity, Preaching, and Fear of the Other: No Fear in Love - a class that explores the sin of racism and what it might mean to dismantle it. The deadline for registration is February 15, 2023. Attached is the registration form. Brochure
Simplified, Accountable Structure - A Simple Structure for Missional Effectiveness
Are you tired of unproductive meetings that seem to go on forever? Does your church have more leadership positions than people to fill them? Do meetings occur without ever discussing how ministries align with the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ? Is your church simply “meetinged-out?” If this sounds like your church and you are looking for another way to lead your church more faithfully, more simply and with greater impact, please join this February 4, 9 - 11 am, Zoom session with Kay Kotan to explore simplified, accountable structure. This event is encouraged for both clergy and laity and will include plenty of Q&A time. RSVP here. You will receive the Zoom link prior to the event.
You may learn more about Kay, co-author of Mission: Possible here.
In this overview workshop, you will learn:
Mission Barn Feature Story: The New Castle News highlighted the Mission Barn, located in Lawrence County, which builds residential ramps for handicapped persons and people in wheelchairs and serves as a national collection and distribution center for thousands of disaster relief supply kits. The Mission Barn will soon relocate. Read story.
Additionally, the Mission Barn is in need of hygiene kits and cleaning buckets. Supplies are running low. Click for more information on what is included in a kit. Looking to volunteer? The Mission Barn currently has openings on some Saturdays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10-2 for groups 2-15 people. Email Katie at email@example.com to schedule your team.
Clergy Session: The 2023 Clergy Session will be held Saturday, June 3, 2023 at 10:30 am at Dutilh UMC (1270 Dutilh Road, Cranberry Township, PA 16066) to vote on the Board of Ordained Ministry's recommendations regarding Clergy Conference Relations. Register.
2023 Worship Planning Calendar: This resource is the full music and worship planning calendar for each Sunday in 2023, as well as special days and times throughout the year. Designed to help pastors, worship leaders, Sunday School teachers, and more. Download Here!
2023 Revised Common Lectionary Calendar: The Revised Common Lectionary is a three-year cycle of scripture texts following the liturgical year and is designed to be used in worship week by week. Download Here!
UPCOMING EVENTSJanuary 27: Spark 2023
January 28: Orientation to Ministry
January 28-29: Camping Weekend
February 15 & 16: PTS Albright-Deering Workshop & Lecture
Local Church Employment: There are a number of employment opportunities posted on the Conference classifieds webpage, including postings for a youth leader, worship leader and communications coordinator.
Postings for other Conference staff positions, as well as some local church positions, were added to the Conference website this week at wpaumc.org/classifieds
6 Mission Projects to Adopt in 2023
Check out this list of Special Sundays with access to Pastor & Leader Kits that include helpful resources and an overview of the mission impact it will have on the community.
General Conference 2024 will be held April 23 – May 3, 2024
at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. Read more.
6 Seth & Beth McClymonds
12 Earl & Cathy Dykes
17 Alan & Lois Morrison
Please send us your prayer concerns and joys, to Butler.Office@wpaumc.org
Rev Eric and Tara Park as they move to a new appointment in New York.
-Communities and people suffering from violence and lost loved ones
UMC/ELCA Shared CCOP Pilot Project: A new shared opportunity is being launched this fall for clergy who are serving in the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. Group participation requires 2-4 hours per month in addition to the assigned reading for the sessions. Both in-person and Zoom options are available. Each meeting will be led by a trained facilitator who is a clergy peer. Learn more or register.
Clergy Communities of Practice: CCOPs are a type of covenant group meant to support development and focus on engagement with peers, helping to reverse trends of isolation among clergy. Meetings invite participants to share in prayer and fellowship, as well as a time of learning and application with an emphasis is on bringing learning into practice. Learn more or register.
Wesley Woods 2023: It is time to register your campers for Summer Camp 2023! We are offering $100 off to anyone who registers by the end of the year. All you have to do is:
1. Find a camp you love at www.wesleywoods.com
2. Register for the camp, using the code PAID23
3. Pay in full by 12/31/2022.
THE DEEPLY ROOTED, UPWARD-REACHING CAMPAIGN
In May, the Deeply Rooted, Upward Reaching campaign released a report on what's been raised, what's been done and what's to come. See the report. Feeling inspired to give? Donate here
Promotional materials for churches conducting a campaign are available for pick-up at the District Office during office hours. If possible, run a Camping Campaign Appeal before Advent 2022. Questions? Contact Rev. Dean Ziegler at firstname.lastname@example.org. Help support our conference camping and retreat ministries!
Cherry Run Camp Meeting Association
Sponsor an item to bless Cherry Run Camp Meeting Association! Select any items you wish to sponsor and it will be sent directly to Kayla Burke who will take them to the camp. Keep checking for updates. Sponsor an item
Donate to Cherry Run Camp. It is a non-profit organization and is completely dependent on donations from individuals and churches. It takes approximately $60,000 annually to keep the camp up and running. You can help! Make checks payable to: Cherry Run Camp Meeting Association. Mail to the camp treasurer: Don Shaffer, 4765 Ramsaytown Road, Brookville, PA 15825. Online donations may be made at CherryRunCamp.com.
OLMSTED MANOR RETREAT CENTER- Stay in our modern hotel-style lodge or the historic Tudor-style manor house as you enjoy the peace and beauty of the Allegheny National Forest. Learn more. Call us today at (814) 945-6512. Calendar of Events:
Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Statistical Reports are to be completed by Tuesday, January 31. Senior pastors should have received an email from John Wilson, Conference Secretary, on December 5, 2022, with detailed instructions. If you have any questions, please contact him at email@example.com.
This process takes time, so it’s not too early for pastors to get started, especially if you have never done them before. Please don't leave this task until the last minute or you risk being late with the reports. It takes time to gather the information for the three Tables. It is the pastor’s responsibility to see that the information is gathered from church leadership and entered online by January 31, 2023.
Wednesday, February 1, 2023 to March 31
2023 Disability Ministries Committee (DMC) Grant Cycle will open February 1 and close March 31, 2023.
If your church or organization has a qualifying project in mind, visit our Grants webpage to learn more and download a 2023 Project Grant Application.
Resources that will help congregations create welcoming spaces for children and adults who may get overwhelmed with the noise and sensory overload of typical Sunday morning activities:
Thursday, February 2, 2023 to March 9
|Have you ever felt frustrated with the way you or others reacted in a situation, or maybe you need help understanding why you or others responded a certain way? Do you long for a fresh perspective that will help you identify new paths forward in life & ministry — as well as help you learn more about yourself and the people you lead?
Leadership Lab: EQ in the Wild is your opportunity to discover your best self, understand & enhance your EQ (Emotional Intelligence) and improve your leadership and relationships on every level!
Leadership Lab: EQ in the Wild is a real-life cohort to provide you with interactive accelerated learning as the “community becomes the curriculum.” We’ll combine short weekly teachings alongside the lab cohort participants’ own real-life scenarios as case studies, which offer the best opportunity to learn and apply Emotional Intelligence “in the wild.” Rev. John McGill, WeDoEQ trainer and consultant, will facilitate this leadership cohort, where the lessons will be taken directly from our leadership lives.
Thursday, February 2, 2023
Join pastor and best-selling author Adam Hamilton as he shares what he has learned through teaching church-wide and small group study, as well as preaching in the Lenten season. Engaging in a Bible study together as a church family has tremendous potential to bring a congregation together, deepen a sense of community, and foster spiritual growth. It also provides an opportunity for community outreach, creating a clear and specific touchpoint for inviting new people to worship and study. Adam will give practical advice on how you can have the greatest impact during the Lenten season.
Adam will also preview his new Lenten study, Luke: Jesus and the Outsiders, Outcasts, and Outlaws, exploring the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus as told in the Gospel of Luke. Through Luke’s stories we find Jesus’ care and compassion for all as he welcomes sinners and outcasts.
And, as a special bonus, all webinar attendees will receive a free Luke: Jesus and the Outsiders, Outcasts, and Outlaws Worship and Media Download (retail value $29.99). The resource includes a promotional worship video, presentation slides for use in worship and study, social media images, a program guide, sermon outlines, and other worship helps for each week of Lent.
Register today to prepare for a meaningful Lenten season.
Friday, February 24, 2023 4:00 PM to March 31
Cabot UMC Fish Fry
Fridays, Feb 24 through March 31, 4:00-7:00 pm
Fish, shrimp, chicken--plus the largest selection of hot sauces in the county!
707 Winfield Rd, Cabot, PA 16023
Tuesday, February 28, 2023
New York Conference United Methodist Men, starting at $2,798* from New York, NY departing on February 23, 2023 for eight days. Journey to places such as Bethlehem, Galilee, Jerusalem, and much more! Sign-up
Wednesday, March 1, 2023
Annual Fund Balance Reports, required for each church, are due in the District Office by March 1st. If you need an extension, you must contact the District Office before the deadline.
The United Methodist Book of Discipline assigns the responsibility for the annual audit of financial records to the committee on finance. The committee “shall make provisions for an annual audit of the financial statements of the local church and all its organizations and accounts. The committee shall make a full and complete report to the annual charge conference” (¶258.4d). The purpose of this audit guide is to assist the committee in its work. The Fund Balance Report (and other financial forms and guidelines) is found at www.wpaumc.org/formsandinformation.
Where: Olmsted Manor Retreat Center
Tuesday, March 14, 2023 to March 15
Join Western PA laity and clergy at Olmsted Manor Retreat Center for Mission u 2023, scheduled for March 12-14. This program is based on the theme of community and Rev. Renee' Mikell will lead the study on the book "Who Can We Be Together? A Biblical Exploration of Luke 13" by Candace Simpson. Learn more and register.
Wednesday, March 22, 2023
Healthy Congregations uses the insights of family systems theory to help church leaders become more effective stewards of their congregations. This workshop was developed by Dr. Peter Steinke and is based on the work of Dr. Edwin Friedman, author of Generation to Generation: Family Process in Church and Synagogue.
The Healthy Congregations workshop is designed to equip leaders to respond to the presence or potential threat of anxiety in a congregational system in ways that prevent destructive conflict and help the church stay focused on its unique mission and purpose. This workshop will help you:
The facilitator for such a program would be Jay Wittmeyer, LMPC Executive Director.
To see the standard outline of this workshop, click on the Workshop Flyer. Please note that this workshop schedule can be customized for groups if needed.
Thursday, March 30, 2023 to March 31
Confirmation classes are invited to attend one of two afternoon events held on March 30 and 31 to meet Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi and learn more about connectional ministries. Hosted by the Conference staff at Ingomar United Methodist Church in Franklin Park, Journey 2023 offers an opportunity for local church Confirmation Classes to gather together to meet our Bishop, worship, play games, learn with Conference program staff and dive deeper into this thing we call discipleship. Learn more and register.
Tuesday, April 11, 2023
Conflict is a normal part of life; unfortunately, the church is not exempt. This workshop will give participants the knowledge and skills necessary to manage conflicts within their congregations in a healthier manner. Join us and learn to regard conflict not as a negative force, but as a positive opportunity for reconciliation, spiritual growth, and a renewed awareness of God’s will for your church.
In this workshop, you will learn:
de this training to your staff, leaders, or members of your community. For more information about sponsoring and hosting this event in your area, call us at 630-627-0507, or email us at admin@LMPeaceCenter.org.
Conflict in the Church: Entrusted With the Message of ReconciliationDescription
Where: Dutilh UMC (1270 Dutilh Road, Cranberry Township, PA 16066
Saturday, June 3, 2023
The 2023 Clergy Session will be held Saturday, June 3, 2023 at 10:30 am at Dutilh UMC (1270 Dutilh Road, Cranberry Township, PA 16066) to vote on Board of Ordained Ministry's recommendations regarding Clergy Conference Relations. Register.
Where: Erie Bayfront Convention Center
Thursday, June 15, 2023 to June 17
Clergy: Plan your vacation, weddings, mission trips, etc. around these dates and plan to attend
Monday, July 10, 2023 to July 20
Deepen Your Understanding of Wesleyan Heritage! Explore historic sites while walking in the footsteps of John and Charles Wesley. Scholarships are available to provisional elders and deacons, and this event qualifies for three Continuing Education Units! We’ll share updates, tips, scholarship information, and testimonials from past attendees. Join the Mailing List!
Where: Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina
Tuesday, April 23, 2024 to May 3
Dear Senior Pastors, The General Council on Finance & Administration has changed vendors in 2021 for reporting the 2022 Statistical Tables. The Forms were revised for 2021-2024. Line numbers are the same as last year. However, please read the questions carefully. If you need additional help slide the “Display Question Help” button in the top left corner to turn on additional instructions for many of the questions. Since these are still NEW FORMS, I am again sending this letter. You can find the ... read more
On September 18, 2022, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi announced a new appointment for current Butler District superintendent Rev. Dr. Eric Park. "It is with mixed emotions that I announce the appointment of Rev. Dr. Eric Park to the Christ Church, United Methodist in New York City effective February 1, 2023," wrote Bishop Moore-Koikoi. "Several months ago Bishop Thomas Bickerton called me to ask permission to contact Rev. Park in order to invite him into the discernment process. Bishop Bickerton ... read more
We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain, where Jesus, a forerunner on our behalf has entered, having become a high priest for ever according to the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 6:19-20 Siblings in Christ, I pray that all our souls are anchored in Christ, who is our hope. This past summer I had the opportunity to rest and relax with my husband and fur baby, be educated around leadership and my African American ... read more
Reflections from the Western PA Conference Anti-Racism Summit: Carlen Blackstone, a member of Dutilh UMC in Cranberry Township, reflects on her experience at the Western PA Conference Anti-Racism Summit. This summit was organized by the Conference Anti-Racism team and focused on the intersection of faith and race. Read more
"What Is?" Series: In its new series, the United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race offers a compilation of concise definitions, examples and biblical/theological foundations to create common vocabulary for Christians engaging in anti-racism work. Topics addressed include ableism, cultural bias and gaslighting. See resource.
Racial Justice Prayer Service Outline: The General Commission on Religion and Race recently released a prayer service outline aimed at helping churches host a racial justice prayer service in their ministry context. Download the prayer service outline.
Asking the Hard Questions About Race: The Rev. Giovanni Arroyo poses a difficult question to white United Methodists who say they want an end to racism. “Do you want racial justice enough to voluntarily relinquish some of your power?” A native of Puerto Rico, he knows firsthand what it’s like to be a minority in America, and that experience informs the way he pursues his mission as The United Methodist Church’s point person on inclusion. Read UM News story. here https://www.umnews.org/en/news/asking-the-hard-questions-about-race
Listen to Our Conexión podcast with Arroyo on racism and Christianity here https://www.resourceumc.org/en/content/our-conexion-episode-1
Racial Justice Prayer and Action Challenge: The General Commission on Religion and Race will launch its Racial Justice Prayer and Action Challenge on Juneteenth, but now’s the time to sign up. Rev. Debbie Hills has submitted one of the prayers. You and your congregation are invited to join in the challenge. Learn more here https://www.r2hub.org/racial-justice-prayer-action-challenge
African American Methodist Heritage Center: The African American Methodist Heritage Center in Madison, NJ needs money and attention so it can continue to preserve the history of African American Methodists. The center is prioritizing fundraising in 2022 and considering a name change. See UM News story. here https://www.umnews.org/en/news/preserving-black-church-history
Risky Discipleship: Watch a video to learn the story of The Village at Glencliff, a unique respite care community for persons experiencing homelessness, and the risky discipleship required by the
United Methodists who made it happen. Watch here https://www.umc.org/en/content/risky-discipleship-the-village-at-glencliff
Tips for Building Relationships: Elizabeth Mae Magill wanted to create a food ministry that wasn’t a charity, but a demonstration of Christ’s radical welcome. For months, she did street ministry to get to know food-insecure neighbors, hear their stories, and build relationships. In Leading Ideas, she shares nine practical tips for meeting people and learning their needs. Learn more.
Discipleship and Anti-Racism: Realize the connection and learn how to have courageous conversations on a difficult topic through a new online course from Discipleship Ministries. There’s no cost. See video and learn more
If you are looking for a way to count your blessings while learning more about the people served by the Nyadire United Methodist Mission in Zimbabwe and helping empower girls to attend school, please consider using this Lenten Calendar. It is designed to be printed and folded using legal-sized paper but can be scaled to fit letter-sized paper.
This download contains the full text of the Gospel of Luke in the Common English
Bible (CEB) translation, as well as a 40-day reading plan for Luke’s Gospel. You’ll
also find some short reflections, adapted from Adams' book Luke: Jesus and the Outsiders,
Outcasts, and Outlaws, to introduce each section of readings. Download your free copy today.
|To Lead Change, Leaders Need the Courage to Change Themselves|
|7 Key Characteristics of Diversity-Oriented Churches|
|The Right Question
Leaders do not need answers. Leaders must have the right questions.
|Eric Hoeke suggests that church teams and committees use their first meeting of the year, or the one at which new group members are first present, to set guidelines for how they will work together. Some call this a behavioral covenant. These questions may help:
How shall we work together? What can we count on from each other? How will we handle differences?
Want more Right Questions? Read Right Questions for Church Leaders.
Ask The UMC-FAQs
Have questions? We have answers!
Here you'll find our responses to many of the ones we're asked most often, and a place to submit a question of your own.
Committed to The UMC: As churches take votes to disaffiliate, some may wish to remain in the United Methodist Church. Information for those committed to The UMC can find resources here. Return to this page regularly to explore the latest resources as they emerge.Get bookish in 2023: NASHVILLE, Tenn. — For many United Methodists, a new year is a good time to plan to read more, research a new area of interest or dig deeper in the Bible. Crystal Caviness has recommendations to help with those studious endeavors. Read story.
Camp Allegheny is hiring for Summer 2023. Camp Allegheny is hiring Senior Staff (college students) as resident counselors, wranglers, lifeguards, food service, office, photographer and more. High school students (16 and 17 year olds) as Jr. staff who work 4 to 6 weeks of the summer, usually in a counseling role. Staff receives paid training. Staff is trained in a wide variety of areas: communication, leadership, activities, CPR and first aid, Bible study, age level characteristics and so much more. More information is here.
Giving Resource Library: Lake Institute of Faith and Giving curates a range of resources that can help deepen understanding and practice at the intersection of faith and giving. Search by keywords or browse by themes to find current research, leadership insights, inspiring stories and more. Search now
Disaster Response: We have had many natural disasters in the past couple of months. In the near future, we will be setting up teams to assist in those disaster stricken areas. An interest form will be coming soon. If you are interested and have questions in the meantime, contact Sandra Matoushaya.
Reclaim the Mission of the Church: With all of the uncertainty and division in The United Methodist Church and around the globe, there’s a danger of losing the purpose and mission of the church, or sweeping it aside in the desire to keep everyone together and safe. When we remember “who we are and whose we are,” writes Anne Bosarge, director of Leadership Strategies and Local Church Resources in the South Georgia Conference, “we are rediscovering what we are called to do.” See more.
God's Good Creation: Rethinking Disabilities: Many people with disabilities experience isolation and loneliness, even in their United Methodist church. Jim Patterson reports on how by creating a welcoming environment to those with disabilities, the church and its members can experience the giftedness and goodness of all. More.
Passing on Faith: What determines whether children will carry on the faith of their parents? Ann Michel of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership interviews noted sociologist Christian Smith about new research examining how parents shape their children’s faith. Watch iWatch interview or Read transcript
Empowering Parents to Raise God-Connected Children: Rachel Turner, author of It Takes a Church to Raise a Parent, began her keynote address at the Children’s Spirituality Summit with a question: “How can churches become centers for empowering parents to raise God-connected children?” Some shift changes are required. Learn more from Discipleship Ministries
Crash Courses in Youth Ministry: Complete Series Now Available! This set of 10 e-books are easy to read and simple to put into practice, equipping you with the knowledge and ideas necessary to create an effective youth ministry. The newest additions to the bunch are Speaking Adolescent, Discipleship, and Digital Youth Ministry. Learn more and download
A Christian Teenager’s Guide to Surviving High School by Ashley Conner. This guide was born from a
private blog Ashley Conner created to help her younger brother navigate high school as an incoming freshman. There were hundreds of posts from big sister to little brother, like "Who pays for the date" and “How to get along with THAT teacher." Much of what she shared with her brother is found in this book. Download free chapter
Benefits of Conducting an HR Assessment for Your Ministry: Improving the basic functions of your ministry will help you improve the effectiveness of your work. Performing a Human Resources assessment will help your ministry identify areas of improvement and growth. Benefit #1 is....
Connecting Faith and Justice: A new curriculum to help junior and senior high students actively engage the intersection of faith and justice and explore why our faith compels us toward justice. It is available to download today for free. Learn more and download
Connecting with Young Adults: In this week’s Leading Ideas, Discipleship Ministries’ Chris Wilterdink says a critical strategy for engaging young adults is to create discipleship opportunities and build relationships in the online communities where they are active. Within these spaces, the church can provide young adults an opportunity to explore identity, belonging, and purpose. Read more.
50 Ways to Strengthen Your Ministry with Youth: This resource sheet from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership is available to read or download in PDF.
YOUTH INFORMATION: on the web at https://www.wpaumc.org/youthevents
WPAUMC Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/pg/wpaumc/notes/
Local church grants available for outreach: The Foundation for Evangelism has opened the 2023 Equipping the Local Church grant cycle. A total of $350,000 is available for grants of $5,000 or $10,000 to small and medium-size congregations, or clusters of churches working together, in a Wesleyan-tradition denomination. A grant application webinar is set for 2-3 p.m. U.S. Eastern time Jan. 26. Learn more.Scholarship for lay women available: The deadline to apply for the United Women in Faith National Scholarship for lay women is April 18. The scholarships are designed to be used for undergraduate or graduate study or student internships in religion or a related field such as social work. Preference will be given to people affiliated with The United Methodist Church and women involved with UWF. The average scholarship is $1,000, and the maximum is $5,000. Read press release.