Connellsville District News


Surprise! Our Conference website has a new look.

Surprise! Our Conference website has a new look. It should be easier for you find what you are looking for using the dropdown menus across the top -- and the responsive features with the new design should make it easier to view on cell phones or tablets.

Save the Date

District Conference
Sunday, April 26⋅2:30 – 4:30pm
Paradise United Methodist Church
105 Hoke Rd, Mt Pleasant, PA 15666, USA

June 9-13th: Annual Conference (Grove City College)
July 10-13th: NEJ Youth Convo (Hunt Valley, MD)
July 20-24th: Uth 4 Missions (Jumonville)
July 22-26th: Youth Mission U (CalU)


February Birthday's and Anniversaries

HAPPY BIRTHDAY                                                       

                                                           Candy Shirer—Spouse                1
                                                           Timothy Rogers                            2
                                                           Norma Husk—Spouse                  6
                                                           Eric Raygor—Pastor                     6
                                                           Karen Sholtis– Spouse                 6
                                                           Shirley Rogers—Spouse             11
                                                           Sharon Brown—Spouse              11
                                                           Derek Platt - Pastor                     13
                                                           Tonia Caola -Spouse                   14

                                                            Sandra & Wyatt Fitzgibbons        10

Prayer Concerns and Joys

Please send your Joy's and Prayer concerns to:

  • Military and their families

  • Those awaiting test results, surgery and medical treatment.

  • Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi and the WPA Cabinet

  • Clergy and churches of our conference.

  • 2020 General and Jurisdictional Conference

  • World Leaders

Ezra Reporting

Details for 2019 Ezra reporting.   More information

We are almost there! 
Not Started:

In Progress:


Youth News

Get all of the Youth News here.....

Annual Conference: Do you have youth (from 7th grade - 12th grade) who are interested in being a page or youth delegate (voting member) at Annual Conference? They will need to come to Conference on June 9 at 1 pm and stay through June 13. There is no cost. Application forms are due March 30. Contact Amanda Gilligan at the conference office with questions. Get application.

Soul Shop: Ministering to Suicidal Desperation will be held on Feb. 29 at Christ UMC in Bethel Park at 10 a.m. Geared for youth leaders and other church leaders, the one-day, faith-based training is designed to equip people to minister to youth who are impacted by suicide and depression. Cost is $20 and includes lunch. Register here 

UMC Student Loans: Loan applications for the January to May 2020 period is open until May 5. Students are eligible to apply for up to $10,000 per calendar year from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Click here for eligibility and application information.  
UMC Scholarships: The application period for the Fall 2020 semester will open January 3, 2020, with a deadline of March 5.  Get details at

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
Discussing General Conference 2020 with Youth: For many youth workers, General Conference season can be a confusing time. In 2020, there are many plans that would re-shape the United Methodist Church significantly. General Conference is a representative body, made up of elected clergy and lay people from all over the globe. It is also the only body that can speak officially on behalf of the United Methodist Church! For observations and discussion tips on the “Protocol on Reconciliation & Grace” as well as other legislation and happenings at General Conference, check out the Youth Worker Collective. No matter what happens at General Conference, decisions also get made at Annual Conference meetings and at your local Church Conference. Any youth who has completed Confirmation is a member of your church and has the ability to join those meetings and make their voice and vote heard! Read more  

Feb. 29th: Soul Shop (Christ Bethel Park)
June 9-13th: Annual Conference (Grove City College)
July 10-13th: NEJ Youth Convo (Hunt Valley, MD)
July 20-24th: Uth 4 Missions (Jumonville)
July 22-26th: Youth Mission U (CalU)
Sat., Sept. 19th: National Day of Volunteer YM Training (Dutilh)
Fri, Oct. 30th: Pitt Youth Workers Conference (Grove Farm)
Dec. 27-Jan 15th: Mission of Peace to China

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.

Looking to connect with other UM Youth Leaders?
Be on the lookout for upcoming Youth Leader Networks! A small group regional program for you as a youth leader to grow and live life in
community with others who “get it.”
More info?        On Facebook: Western Pa UMC Youth Leaders



Lay Ministry School Connellsville District

Location: The First United Methodist Church, 149 W. Patriot St., Somerset, PA  15501

We will be offering the following classes:
Basic Course – will be held on Sundays starting March 1 during our Sunday School hour 9:15 am – 10:15 am
Preaching & Prayer – will be starting Sunday, March 1 every Sunday until Sunday, March 29 at 1:30 p.m.
UM Heritage & Polity – will be starting Sunday, February 23 running every other week from 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. with our CLM Classes.
Communication – TBA
Cost: $20.00
Registration: Please contact First UMC by Thursday, February 13  or 814-445-5736 Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 1 p.m.-6 p.m.

Other Lay Speaking Classes

You may be interested in taking a class in another district in the Spring.

Butler Area Lay Servant Classes:

BUTLER District
Sundays 2:00pm-5:00pm
March 1,8,15,22,29, 2020
COST: $35 covers book and materials
Registration deadline
February 10, 2020
Click here for brochure

Johnstown Area Lay Servant Classes
The following classes will be offered in our district.  Please contact J.R. Virgin, instructor, if you are interested in joining!  J.R. can be reached by calling his cell phone at 814-244-5654 or the church office at 814-472-7923.

Basic Lay Servant/Speaking

Ebensburg UMC
February 2 - February 23
1pm - 3:30pm
Cost $30

Spiritual Gifts
Ebensburg UMC
March 1 - March 29
(No class March 22)
1pm - 3:30pm
Cost $15

  • Franklin District 2020 Lay Servant Ministry School on Sundays, March 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29 from 2-4:30 pm at East Grove UMC, 1167 Belmar Road, Franklin, PA.  Deadline to register: February 15th  
  • Erie-Meadville District 2020 Lay Servant Ministry School. Two Locations:
More information and registration form: 2020 LAY SERVANT MINISTRY SCHOOL
Saegertown UMC
Sundays (March 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, & 29th)
2 PM to 4 PM

Waterford: Asbury UMC
Tuesdays (March 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, & 31st)
6:30 PM to 8:30 PM

Washington District School of Lay Servant Ministries Five Sundays March 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29 2020 2:00 PM – 4:30PM Closing Service after final class Registration Deadline: February 10, 2020 Cost: $20.00 Paid in advance Advanced Registration Required First United Methodist Church 29 N. College St Washington, PA 15301 Phone: 724-225-6632


Continuing Education for United Methodist Leaders

Upcoming Webinars at
Continuing Education for United Methodist Leaders

Kevin Slimp: Growing Your Church Through Effective Communications
Wednesday, January 29
Phil Schroeder & Kay Kotan: Developing Leaders in Your Congregation
Thursday, January 30
Bishop Sharma Lewis: Preaching During Lent and Easter
Tuesday, February 4
Jim Robey: Clergy Coaching - What is It and Can it Help?
Wednesday, February 5
Rebekah Simon-Peter: Leading Your Congregation to Dream Like Jesus
Monday, February 10

2020 Mileage Rate Change and other Tax Information

Business Mileage Rate for 2020 has been lowered to $0.575.

2019 Tax Law Changes And The Possible Effects On Churches Recent tax law changes may affect your church's tax filing this year and your church may be eligible for a refund from the IRS. Learn more.

The Ins And Outs Of Tax Exemption For Your Church We have developed an easy and efficient way for you to verify your ministry's tax exempt status. Understand what an EIN is and the ins and outs of tax exemption. Learn more

Commit 2020 Confirmation Tours    more info

Commit 2020 Confirmation Tours offer an opportunity for local church Confirmation Classes to visit the Western PA Conference Center in Cranberry Township, meet our Bishop and staff, worship together and dive deeper into this thing we call Discipleship. Space is limited to 80 for each session. Register
Confirmation Class Dates:
  • Friday, March 20th, 9 AM to 12 PM
  • Friday, March 20th, 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM
  • Saturday, March 21st, 9 AM to 12 PM
  • Friday, April 17th, 9 AM to 12 PM
  • Friday, April 17th, 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM
  • Saturday, April 18th, 9 AM to 12 PM

Tara & Eric Park Release New CD

Still available..........

Parks Release New CD: Tara and Eric Park share their musical gifts on a new CD with several original songs. It's called Feels Like Home. Eric is the Butler District Superintendent. Sales of the CD will benefit WPAUMC Camping and Retreat Ministries. Learn more


United Methodist Women

UM Women e-news: This FREE monthly electronic newsletter contains information on many topics. Subscribe

Mini Mission u – April 19-21
Leader: Rev. Dr. Eric S Park
Cost: $160/person includes class, two-night stay, and all meals
The Gospel of Mark and Radical Discipleship: In Mark’s day and now, Christians are caught in a world of crisis and confusion, a time of uncertainty and fear. There’s a struggle going on and evil appears to be winning: injustice reigns, money and greed measure our living and our dying, divisions deepen and hope is sometimes hard to find. Then and now, part of the crisis is the church’s complicity, complacency, and silence in a world where so much has gone wrong.

Spring Women’s Retreat – May 22-24
Leaders: Aimee & Amber Kaple
Cost: $175/person includes programming, two-night stay, and all meals
Sister speaker team Aimee and Amber will lead you in a time of renewal away from the worries of your everyday life. This retreat is designed for you to spend time away focusing on your mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Come and enjoy the beauty of the forest, supportive women, encouragement, space to share, delicious meals, and purposeful relaxation.

District Notables


  • Wil Cantrell: Looking Ahead to the 2020 General Conference of the United Methodist Church
Wednesday, March 4
  • Kelly Brown & Ken Willard: Creating a Leadership Pathway for Your Church
Monday, March 9
  • Cathy Townley & Gary Step: Creating a New Worship Service in Your Church
Tuesday, March 10

Pre-GC2020 Protocol Briefings

Pre-GC2020 Protocol Briefings: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi, Rev. Alyce Weaver-Dunn, chair of the Western PA Delegation to the General Conference; Rev. John R. Wilson, Conference Secretary, and Donna Vizza, chair of the WPAUMC Connectional Leadership Table, will hold a series of informational sessions on the proposed Protocol for Separation of the denomination at five locations. In addition to the five locations listed below, one of the sessions will be recorded and available on the website for the convenience of those persons unable to physically attend one of the informational sessions. Details are listed on the March Calendar on the Conference website. The dates and locations are: 

  • Sunday, March 22 @ Saint Mary’s from 3 - 5:30 pm 
  • Monday, March 23 @ Saegertown from 6:30– 9 pm 
  • Tuesday, March 24 @ Punxsutawney: First from 6:30 – 9 pm
  • Wednesday, March 25 @ Crossroads: Oakdale from 6:30– 9 pm 
  • Thursday, March 26 @ Somerset: Grace from 6:30 – 9 pm 

Fund Balance Report Due

Fund Balance Report: These are due in the District Office by Sunday, March 1st. If you need an extension, you must contact the District Office before the deadline.

District Conference Sunday, April 26th 2:30 – 4:30 pm
Where: Paradise United Methodist Church 105 Hoke Rd, Mt Pleasant, PA 15666, USA

Wednesday, February 12, 2020 to April 27

Pirates 8th Annual Faith Night
Where: PNC Park

Saturday, June 6, 2020 4:00 PM

Saturday, June 6, which is a 4:05 pm game against St. Louis.  After the game, fans are invited to stay and see a more personal side of our players and coaches where a large number from the team come back out to the field to discuss how faith has impacted their careers and personal lives.  Groups of 10 or more are on sale now, and Groups can be reserved with a deposit. You can reach me directly at (412) 325-4756. Chad Glover, Pirates Account Manager & Seating Sales

2020 Annual Conference
Where: Grove City College

Thursday, June 11, 2020 to June 13

The 2020 session of Annual Conference will be Thursday, June 11th to Saturday, June 13th at Grove City College.
Clergy, plan your vacations, weddings, mission trips, etc. around these dates and plan to attend.

News Articles

United Methodist Men (read more )


United Methodist Men in Review, the Commission on United Methodist Men created more small groups, released its first study of discipleship and tackled domestic violence. Last year, The United Methodist Church also took the lead among denominations in providing a home base for Scouts BSA. Read story See United Methodist Men by the numbers Keep Up with United Methodist Men: The winter issue of UM Men magazine offers an overview of the ministry partners of the Commission on United Methodist Men. ... read more

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.
Meet our new Camping Coordinator! (read more )


Shane Hinderliter, a Western PA native currently serving as director of student ministries at a large-membership church in Houston, Texas, will be the new Conference Coordinator of Camping and Retreat Ministries, effective March 1.  He follows Jessica Gamache, who left the camping coordinator position Nov. 4 to become executive director of the United Methodist Camp and Retreat Ministries Association. “I am excited to come home,” Shane said. “The camps have always been home to me.”  He was a coun... read more

Watch Developers Discuss Separation Protocol (read more )


A Statement from Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi (read more )


I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  ---- John 17:21  As one of our pastors has often said to me, “Bishop, sometimes unity takes on different forms.”  And sometimes to reach unity it takes time, repeated failures, love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, ... read more

Diverse Groups Agree on UMC Separation Protocol (read more )


A 16-member group representing United Methodist advocacy groups with contrasting views and bishops from around the world have proposed an agreement for the separation of The United Methodist Church (UMC) that has the unanimous support of all the parties involved. The agreement, the Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation, was reached on December 17, 2019 and announced today. The document’s signers include individuals from Europe, Africa, the Philippines, and the United States, ... read more

GC2020 Delegation December '19 Report (read more )


The Western Pennsylvania General and Jurisdictional Conference Delegation met on Saturday, December 7, 2019 at the Slippery Rock United Methodist Church.   During the opening worship service, delegates paused to remember the lives of the Rev. Paul Taylor, retired Pittsburgh District Superintendent, and Brady Hunker, a college student who was active with the Conference Youth Ministry Team.  Memorial services for both were being held the same day.   Alyce Weaver Dunn, Chair, presented an ... read more


Faithful Giving

Watch new connectional giving videos: A new video series, "Faithful Giving in a Time of Change," features financial leaders from all levels of the church participating in a discussion about connectional giving, including apportioned funds, the current state of funding and giving, and more. Watch now

Resources for Responding to Racism    more info

Glave Featured on Fierce: Rev. Dianne Glave, WPAUMC coordinator of diversity development, is featured in a post on the Fierce: Healthy- Fit-Fabulous website highlighting her advocacy efforts to combat climate change. See post.

Wrestling with Racism Road Trip: The Wrestling with Racism Team, a multi-racial group with members from Pittsburgh First and Warren United Methodist churches and and other communities of faith in the Pittsburgh area, will host a one-day trip to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC on March 14. The cost is $145 and scholarships are available for those who need financial assistance. Get flyer with details.

The Conference Anti-Racism Team (ART) compiled a list of suggestions for Western PA churches to address racism. Download it from the Conference's Discussing Racism page.

Quick Links

Camping and Retreat Ministries

View the latest news about Conference Camping and Retreat Ministries HERE.

Mission Barn

The Eastbrook Mission Barn is one of six UMCOR Relief Supply Network depots across the United States.

Scholarships and Grants

There are a variety of scholarships available at and at