Connellsville District News

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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.   Read More Here:

2023 Annual Conference


WHEN: Thursday, June 15, 2023 to Saturday, June 17, 2023

WHERE: Erie Bayfront Convention Center, 1 Sassafras Pier, Erie, PA 16507  View map →

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.  
Biometric Screenings: If you’re part of the Conference health plan and are attending Annual Conference, you can register now for a biometric screening. You can schedule your screening online. Log in to MyHealth OnLine and follow this path: Better Health & Wellness > Biometric Screening Registration > additional screening options and results. From there, it will log you into your Quest portal to register either at Annual Conference (click "At an Event") or at a Patient Service Center (Quest Labs).

Clergy Evaluation Form - Due June 10th

Clergy Evaluation Form: The 2023 Clergy Evaluation Form is now available. The deadline for submission is June 10th. 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. 


General Conference is scheduled for April 23-May 3, 2024

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.                      

The Amani Children's Choir

Somerset First

Somerset First: Hosting The Amani Children's Choir Saturday, Sept. 17 at 10:30 a.m. and Monday, Sept. 18 (evening). They are looking to have additional concerts while   staying here. Main promo video Please  call 845-650-1854  for more info or email or 

Pittsburgh District Lay Servant Ministry School

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


Please Pray For:
Rev. Keith Lohr: Health issues.
Annual Conference
New Appointments-

Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi and the WPA Cabinet.
Rev. Bob Zilhaver, DS, as he cares for the churches and pastors of the district.
The United Methodist Church General and Jurisdictional Conferences.
Our world, our Country, and our leaders
Our military and military families
Health care workers
Please send your Prayer concerns to:

Olmstead Manor, Camp News & Retreats

Olmstead Manor

Clergy Summer Getaway- Summer Discounts for Pastors July and August 2023:Olmsted is once again inviting WPAUMC clergy and their families to get away during July and August for some respite, renewal, and time to grow. Pastors can come alone for an individual retreat or bring along immediate family to make some memories in the woods. This reduced rate is available through the Clergy Respite Retreat Scholarship - click here to appl

Church Admin  Training- July 16-18th 2023:This training is designed for those who serve a church, ministry, or similar organization in an administrative role. Pittsburgh District Administrative Assistant Pam Honeychurch will offer a variety of sessions on resources, technology, workplace boundaries, and more. Plan to go back to your church rested and ready!

Couple's Retreat-w/Christian Counseling Associates July 21-23, 2023: Olmsted is once again partnering with Christian Counseling Associates of Western Pennsylvania to bring you and your most special person a weekend to focus on your relationship. The CCA team will offer Bible study, relationship assessments, communication skill-building, and activities to help you feel closer no matter how long you've been together. Outside of sessions, enjoy the beautiful retreat center and surroundings, let someone else cook you delicious meals, and invest in making memories together.

Jumonville - 
Walk to The Cross: Guests are welcome to walk up to the cross. There is a paved walking path and benches. The road is not open to driving traffic. Please park at the parking lot at the base of the hill.

Volunteer Opportunities at Jumonville:Jumonville is still in need of some volunteer chaplains for the weeks of June 11-16 and August 6-9.  They are also have openings for deans for a variety of programs including mini and adventure programs.  Interested individuals can send an email to for more information.

Day Camps- Childcare that your kid will love: Our Day Camps offer daily activities including: crafts, STEAM, Bible studies, swimming, games and much much more!

Summer Camps: Jumonville summer camp is a fun, friendly, faith-building sleep-a-way program for all ages. Located about 50 miles south of Pittsburgh, Jumonville hosts 3-6 day camps for ages 8-18. For information regarding packing lists and check in click here

Camp Allegheny -  Camp Allegheny is hiring for the summer. 
Camp Allegheny has been blessed to have a group of anonymous donors that are challenging us to raise funds to support the ministry happening at Camp Allegheny. Every dollar donated will be matched up to $17,000! If you donate $10 it becomes $20, and if you donate $50 it becomes $100! We would appreciate your support in sharing the flyer/PowerPoint with your congregation. 
Donate on Camp Allegheny's website by clicking here.  Find the flyer here   Find the PowerPoint slide here

Wesley Woods - Seeking Executive Director: Wesley Woods Christian Camp is seeking its next Executive Director, who will provide oversight for all camp operations, while helping  expand their impact with a focus on sustainability and excellence in all that they do. See job description.                                           



Continuing Education for United Methodist Clergy
Since 2018, United Methodist clergy and other church leaders have taken one-hour continuing education classes at In addition to admission into live sessions, registrants receive a video recording of the webinar and a certificate representing 1-hour CEU credit. The cost for each session is $25.

District Calendar and Save the Date



Save The Dates: 

  • Local Pastor's Lunch:  Friday, June 2nd - Brady's Restaurant Acme PA. Contact Mark Sholtis for information:  mtpastormark@gmail
  • Special Session Called for June 14   
  • Annual Conference Thursday June 15- Saturday June 17th                 

Mission/Disaster Response


Ready to Serve "In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16 

Passenger Van: Does your Church or Ministry have a 15 passenger van they are willing to rent out to mission teams? If so please contact Sandra Matoushaya at with details. 

Ready to Serve

"In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16 

Our Conference Volunteers In Mission (VIM) tool trailer is ready to be of service to your Mission Teams. This trailer is equipped for a mission team that is going to be rebuilding the homes of survivors after they were damaged in a disaster. The trailer has hand and power tools as well as equipment to enable your team to install drywall (including a lift for the ceiling), finish and paint a home. It also has a compliment of hand tools for any yard work that may need to be done.

The Recovery/Rebuild trailer is available to all church teams for your next Mission Journey. If you would like to reserve the trailer or get additional information, please contact David Kissinger at, or Sandra Matoushaya at


We need your help!
Menstrual Hygiene is a Human Right  
Did you know that United Methodists are meeting a critical need for neighbors across the United States who lack access to feminine care supplies during both natural and socio-economic disasters? 
In partnership with CWS, UMCOR’s new Menstrual Hygiene Kit ("Period Pack") is helping people regain a sense of dignity. More than 12,000 kits have been assembled! Today is #MenstrualHygieneDay. Join us and make a kit. Learn more.

Consider making kits at your churches and sending them to our Relief Supply

  • The Mission Barn is accepting teams Tuesday to Saturday, 10 am - 2 pm from  2-20 people kindergarten and above. Email Katie at 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, click here. We would like to restock.
  • The Mission Barn has a new address, please send all mailings to the new address - 181 Columbus Drive, New Castle, PA 16101. Donors need to contact Katie Peterson @ or 906-630-1519
  • Click here to find a fundraising letter from The Mission Barn. Please consider a one- time or recurring gift. Thank you for all your prayers throughout this new journey.

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 Information: on the web at

  • Resources for Youth Workers
  • Explore weekly updates, devotions, games, and lessons on the Youth Worker Collective. Some of the top UM youth workers offer free resources from their real-world ministries. 
  • Check out all of the Youth news at
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
Applications are accepted all year long.

Celebrate June



Happy Birthday
Pastor Joseph Caola-14                                        
Pastor Art Gotjen-10                              
Pastor Mark Sholtis-22                                        
Beverly Lamb-Spouse-22                          
Pastor Doug Burns-30                                                      
 Happy Anniversary                           
Dave & Patricia  McCall-6                          
 Art & Marlene Gotjen-8                          
Roger & Lois Howard-10                          
Brenda & Tom Shaffer-11                          
Eric & Kim Raygor-11                                        
Tom & Sharon Brown  -17                          
Steve & Beverly Lamb-21
Jeffrey & Audrey Popson-26



  Christian Counseling Associates (CCA), seeks to be a support in this time of challenge for all who are searching for stability and guidance. CCA is available to provide counseling at their offices or online. Call 724-396-1510 to set up an appointment. Listen to their newest podcast! Resiliency in Times of Crisis

   Online Payments: The Conference Center offers online payment capability. This service will allow churches and individuals to submit payments electronically instead of mailing checks to the Conference Center. Separate webpages have been set-up for Bishop's Initiative – WPA Coronavirus Relief Fund, Bishop's Initiative-Camping Campaign, Pension & Healthcare Payments and Local Church Remittances. Details

District Notables

 (more info )

 Clergy Session
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.

Early Response Team Basic Training  Saturday, June 3, 2023  This is an  UMCOR certified training for Disaster Response ministries of Volunteers in Mission. Non-United Methodist participants are welcome but will not be badged or deployed through the UMCOR-UMVIM ministry network. Clearances are required from United Methodists on the day of the training. Saturday, June 3, 2023 @ Baldwin Community UMC, Pittsburgh Register


Northern Wilderness Canoe Trip
WHEN: Sunday, July 30, 2023 to Tuesday, August 8, 2023 
Register →

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.

  • July 30-Aug 8, 2023, Northern Wilderness Trip - led by Revs. Scott Hamley, Doug Burns, Craig Lindahl and Paige Townley
    • For more information, contact: Rev. Scott Hamley,
    • Cost: $525 for adults 18+, $500 for under 18.
  • June 11-14, 2023, Clarion River Canoeing - Cost for Clarion River Trip is $170


Conference News

Below you will find some conference news relevant to Connellsville District. To see all conference news, go to the News section at the very top of this page.
Conference Announces New Supervisory Model (read more )


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

Conference Launches Lighthouse Congregations (read more )


This season of disaffiliation is painful for many, especially for those who wish to remain part of the United Methodist Church but are members of churches that have voted to leave the denomination. Conference leadership has heard from some of these individuals and the most pervasive question is, “Where do I go now?” As conversations evolved about how to best care for those who may be feeling adrift, leadership turned to the connection and researched how other conferences are caring for people ... read more

Jesus Christ is Our Anchor (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

Episcopacy Committee Thanks Bishop Moore-Koikoi (read more )


The 2021-2022 Committee on Episcopacy today released a statement thanking Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi for her continued care and leadership of the Western Pennsylvania Conference, while she also served with Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball of West Virginia as Interim Bishops of the Harrisburg Area, which includes the Susquehanna Conference. The shared leadership model was announced shortly before Harrisburg Area Bishop Jeremiah Park retired in 2021. The 2021-2022 Committee on Episcopacy of The ... read more

Chenda Lee Named Coordinator of Clergy and Lay Excellence (read more )


The Rev. Chenda Innis Lee, a lifelong United Methodist and ordained elder in the Virginia Conference, has been selected by the WPA Conference Personnel Committee to serve as the new Coordinator of Clergy and Lay Excellence.  Rev. Lee has been serving as the Regional Coordinator of Spiritual Formation in the Pittsburgh/Butler area since December 1, 2021. She will begin her new position on the Conference Program Staff on July 1, 2022.   “Rev. Lee has a quiet confidence and a deep spiritual ... read more

Quick Links

Scholarships and Grants

There are a variety of scholarships available at and at

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.)