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Conference Announces New Supervisory Model 

The past few years have been difficult for us all, due in large part to the COVID pandemic and conversations around disaffiliation. Yet, despite this challenging season we have been witness to innovative ways of doing ministry that cares for both United Methodists and new people seeking a faith community. We celebrate the emerging relationships and opportunities as vital and unique ministries flourish, in spite of significant upheaval. While the full impact of disaffiliation is yet unknown, ... read more 

The 2023 Clergy Evaluation 
It’s has been updated and released for S/PPRC!  
The original document is a WORD document and you can find it here.  Click in the gray rectangle to type your answer.
A PDF version if you prefer to print the evaluation to complete it.  You can find a PDF version here. 

Laity and clergy attending Annual Conference are invited to join the Butler/Pittsburgh District Cruise on Lake Erie Bay, Thursday, June 15 at 9:30am for those who didn’t cruise last year.  Children are also welcome if accompanied by a parent.  The cost of the cruise is being covered by the Butler & Pittsburgh Districts.  Reservations will be taken through June 1. RSVP here.

Lighthouse Congregation Map: The Conference has released an interactive map of churches in the WPA Conference that have made the commitment to be Lighthouse Congregations. This map will be updated as more churches complete the process. See map.  


2023 Clergy Session
Saturday, June 3, 2023 at 10:30 AM Eastern Standard Time

Register →

Dutilh UMC
1270 Dutilh Road
Cranberry Twp., PA 16066

View map →

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). We will be voting on Board of Ordained Ministry's recommendations regarding Clergy Conference Relations.

 Annual Conference June 15 -17

Stay up-to-date with the latest information about Annual Conference 


This year's theme is Pressing on to Higher Ground, based on Philippians 3:14.

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Read the full announcement and register by clicking here.


2023 Annual Conference Mission Impact   

Mission opportunities at Annual Conference: 

Pre-Conference Mission Impact: On June 15, there will be an opportunity for attendees to Annual Conference to be in mission with local agencies. There are a number of mission opportunities available both on site at the Convention Center and at nearby locations. Learn more

Shoe Drive: Erie United Methodist Alliance is once again collecting shoes. The EUMA box truck will be at Annual Conference in the Convention Center parking lot to collect donations. See flyer.

Hygiene Kits:  The onsite option will be to assemble Hygiene Kits based on the guidelines provided by UMCOR and will be distributed to various groups throughout Western Pennsylvania. Monetary Donations for Hygiene Kits will be accepted here.

Diaper Collection:  Donations of diapers (sizes 4,5 and 6) will be collected at AC by the Diaper Depot. The Erie Family Center launched the Diaper Depot diaper program in January 2020. Since then, they have distributed more than 500,000 diapers and are serving over 350 families per month, distributing an average of 50 diapers per child per month.


Special Session:

In addition to the Regular Session of the 2023 Annual Conference, the Bishop has called a Special Session on Wednesday, June 14, 2023 at 4:00 pm for the purpose of approving the list of qualified disaffiliating churches. Please indicate if you are planning to attend this additional event using this link:

Link to Register For Special Session


 It Takes a Church to Raise a Parent: Helping the Church Community Empower Families

Discipleship Ministries is excited to announce the return of this popular online course. Children’s and family ministries look different from just a few years ago. Parents have fast become the most important component of faith formation within their family. Church leaders are wondering how to transform the lives of parents, caregivers, grandparents, and church communities. Parents are on the frontline of faith formation with their children. Throughout this course, church leaders will discover how to journey alongside parents to nurture, equip, empower, and effectively communicate with them.

The course is designed and hosted by the Rev. Dr. Kevin Johnson, Director of Children’s Ministries, in collaboration with Rachel Turner, author of the book It Takes a Church to Raise a Parent, published by Parenting for Faith and Bible Reading Fellowship. Each of the six sessions contains readings from the book, a recorded video conversation between Kevin and Rachel that delves deeper into key points from the reading, and opportunities to interact and ask Rachel questions via an ongoing chat feature. In addition, two live Zoom webinars will be offered with Kevin. At the conclusion of the six sessions, both Rachel and Kevin will continue discussions with participants in another live Zoom webinar.  Click the links below to register:


 Join our NEW

Butler District Facebook Group! 

This group is for laity and clergy in the Butler District of the Western Pennsylvania Conference of the UMC and others who may be interested in what's happening within the district.
We will share opportunities that are taking place in and through our district churches and communities. We will also share articles and information about ministry taking place in our conference and the broader church.
You are welcome to post information that will be of interest to the group, but please keep your posts and/or comments gracious and loving, to do no harm to others in the group! 
The opportunities shared here will be in keeping with the Social Principles of the UMC. FAQ
Q. Will this replace the newsletters?
A. No.  The Butler District News Page will be under construction in the days to come. Less scrolling, fewer links!
Q. How do I join? 
A. Click here to be taken to the Facebook group  and then select the blue button "Join group."  To eliminate bots and the like you will be asked to answer 2 easy questions to join the group.  1. Which Butler District church are you affiliated and  2. What are you hoping to gain from the group?  


Simplified, Accountable Structure (SAS) Workshop with Kay Kotan

REGISTER NOW - Pittsburgh & Butler District church leadership teams are invited to attend a workshop led by Kay Kotan on Saturday, August 19, 9 am - 3 pm at Dutilh UMC.  This event is open to those who are currently using the SAS leadership structure as well as those considering SAS.  There is a $150 fee for each church attending to help offset costs. Register your team.
Learn more about Kay Kotan, co-author of Mission: Possible here.  

The Fall 2023 Pittsburgh District Lay Servant Ministry School is pleased to be offering the classes listed below to help laity respond to their personal call in ministry and the life of the church. Each class is being held on different dates, allowing you to take more than one class if you wish.  All classes, except From Your Heart to Theirs, has the option of attending in person, hybrid or online.  There is a $15 fee per class plus you need to purchase the class book(s).  This flyer has more information.  You may register online here or through the flyer.  The Book of Discipline (¶251) urges Church Lay Leaders to become Certified Lay Servants.

  • The BASIC Course - Saturdays, Sep. 30 & Oct 14, 9 am - 2:30 pm
  • From Your Heart to Theirs: Delivering an Effective Sermon - Sundays, Oct 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 2 - 4 pm
  • Leading Worship - Saturdays, Oct. 28 and Nov 4 & 11, 2 - 5:30 pm
  • Fear of the Other – Nov. 17, 6 - 9 pm & Nov. 18, 9 am - 5 pm

Come Warm Your Hearts
The next gathering will be held in New Castle. Watch for the time and date!

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.
Learn more


Tuesday, April 23, 2024 to May 3

General Conference is scheduled for April 23-May 3, 2024 at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. Originally scheduled for 2020, it's been postponed three times due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Read more.  

Happy Birthday



6    Rev Earl Dykes
9    Lois (Rev Alan) Morrison
9    Jan (Rev Dan) Owen
16   Rev Jams Sands
22  Karen (Rev Kenn) Jacobs
26  Rev David Wilson

Happy Anniversary



2      Rev Thom & Sheelagh Bonomo
2      Rev Richard & Karen Heitzenrater
3      Rev Kathy & Bob Mikesell
12    Rev Glenn & Janet Kohlhepp
18    Rev Tim & Melissa Goodman
22    Revs Kenn & Karen Jacobs
26    Rev James & Kathy Young
30    Rev Mark & Sue Goswick



Prayer Concerns and Joys

Please send us your prayer concerns and joys, to Butler.Office@wpaumc.org

Please keep Pastor Angie Ciarimboli in prayer as she navigates testing and treatment for early breast cancer diagnosis. 

Please keep in prayer, the Rev. Ed Rogosky family. Ed passed away May .22.2023.

Please keep in prayer the WPA Annual Conference and all who will attend. May it be peaceful and joy-filled as we gather, some for the last time.

-Communities and people suffering from violence and lost loved ones

Rev. Deborah Ackley-Killian as she serves as District Superintendent in the Butler and Pittsburgh Districts.

Those in the midst of appointment changes.
  • Ukraine and Countries helping the Ukrainian refugees
  • Our world, our Country, and our leaders 
  • All who are suffering from the effects of Covid and the flu this season.
  • Our military and military families.
  • Those awaiting test results, surgery, and medical treatment.
  • Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi and the WPA Cabinet                                                           
  • The United Methodist Church


Youth News

Uth 4 Missions  Looking for a local mission experience this summer for your youth group? Join us for Uth 4 Missions July 31- August 4 @ Jumonville! Registration is now open! See forms, schedule and registration

Youth Ministry Resources: Discipleship Ministries just released new free downloadable ebooks -- Crash Courses in Youth Ministry. Each is loaded with practical tips and basic wisdom you can read today and put into practice tomorrow. Topics include Recruiting Volunteers, Keeping Volunteers, Fundraising, Methodist Heritage and Beliefs, Trips and Retreats, and more. View and download the resources. here https://store.umcdiscipleship.org/product-category/leadership_resources/crash-courses-youth-ministry/

YSF Grants!
Your church can apply for a Youth Service Fund grant! Need some money to help run or launch a youth-led program or mission trip? Apply at  www.wpaumc.org/ysfapplication. Applications are accepted all year long.

Camps and Retreat Center Updates

WPA Camp Registrations are now open
Jumonville: www.jumonville.org/summer-camp
Camp Allegheny: www.campallegheny.org
Wesley Woods: www.wesleywoods.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:



Calendar Items

Healthy Congregations

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:

  • Learn how you as a leader can influence the health of your congregation – how to detect and avoid unhealthy patterns of living together in community
  • Learn how to keep anxiety from becoming infectious
  • Gain confidence in responding to challenges and opportunities
  • Learn how to put limits on invasive behavior, manage reactivity, and overcome sabotage
  • Discover how leaders can function as the congregation’s immune system
  • Learn to focus on strengths, resources, options, and the future


The facilitator for such a program would be Jay Wittmeyer, LMPC Executive Director.

Workshop Outline

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.


March 22, 2023   

June 1, 2023   

Sep. 9, 2023   

Nov. 29, 2023

Youth Wilderness Canoe Trip

Sunday, June 11, 2023 to June 13

Wilderness canoe tripping is a great way to experience God's presence in the beauty of his creation and in the fellowship of teamwork and

adventure together. The shorter experience on the Clarion River for youth ages 11-16 is scheduled for June 11-13 and is now $125! Register today.

2023 Annual Conference

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

2023 Wesley Pilgrimage in England

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!

Uth 4 Missions

Monday, July 31, 2023 to August 4

Looking for a local mission experience this summer for your youth group? Join us for Uth 4 Missions July 31- August 4 @ Jumonville! Registration is now open! See forms, schedule and registration

Simplified, Accountable Structure (SAS) Workshop with Kay Kotan

Monday, August 14, 2023

Pittsburgh & Butler District church leadership teams are invited to attend a workshop led by Kay Kotan on Saturday, August 19, 9 am - 3 pm at Dutilh UMC.  This event is open to those who are currently using the SAS leadership structure as well as those considering SAS.  There is a $150 fee for each church attending to help offset costs. Register your team.

General Conference 2024

Where: Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tuesday, April 23, 2024 to May 3

News Articles

Mission (read more )


Mission Barn -  We need your help! The Mission Barn is accepting teams Tuesday to Saturday, 10 am - 2 pm from  2-20 people kindergarten and above. Email Katie at missionbarn@gmail.com to schedule your team to come. They accept teams from kindergarten and above with adult supervision. The Mission Barn is in need of hygiene kits, menstrual and cleaning buckets. Supplies are running low considering all the disasters we encountered last year. For more information on what is included in a kit, ... read more


Resources for Responding to Racism    more info

"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

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 

Resources - Helpful Links

IMAP Update
Our website has been updated with the most recent information about the Intentional Missional Alignment Process, including an explanation video and the full legislation. See updates.
Conference Benefits Office Shares Resource
Please view this Resiliency Toolkit compiled by Wespath Benefits for a glimpse into how our five dimensions of well-being can help build resiliency. 


  1. Ministry Partner
    1. Vanco-Jenny Lutter; Director of Faith Partnerships
  2. GCFA-UMC Support Resources-Brandy Bivens; Chief Officer of Communications and Marketing
    1. Ministry Video Service
    2. GCFA Website Update
    3. United Methodist Insurance Webinar
  3. GCFA Legal-Leticia Mayberry-Wright; Deputy General Counsel
    1. Student Loan Debt Forgiveness and strategy for ensuring non-profit designation for organizations.
    2. Guide: https://www.gcfa.org/resource/loan-forgiveness-for-ministry-employees

Current Webinars:
Clergy Discretionary Funds Webinar Registration: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/4916806212721/WN_Zsk_McuuQhOJv1cdXoofwA#/registration
Upcoming Webinars: https://www.gcfa.org/webinars
Cool Communications Tools
Understanding, Preventing, &Protecting Against Cyber Crime Part 1 and Part 2
Additional Information:
Academy of Church Business Administration Training June 20-30,2023 Nashville, TN.
For more information see attached flyer and register by the link below
Subscribe to the Collaborator Newsletter for more information directly to your INBOX https://www.gcfa.org/subscribe



Quick Links

WPA Facebook Page
Diversity Development
Scholarships and Grants

There are a variety of scholarships available at www.umc.org/resources/scholarships and at www.wpaumc.org/scholarshipforms.

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.

Scholarships Available for United Methodist Students! Applications are now open for scholarships from the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation. Every year, UMHEF awards $2+ million to students planning to attend one of the 100+ UM-related colleges, universities, and seminaries across the country. Don’t let finances get in the way of achieving your dreams of a quality education! Apply by March 1. (Scholarships from UMHEF are separate from those offered by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.)