Connellsville District News

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Announcements

Office Information

 
Office Hours
Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10:00-5:00
Please call before stopping as hours may vary.
724-550-4058
Email: connellsville.office@wpaumc.org
 
Stay Informed and  Current 
Visit The Western PA Conference web page for current news and information:  https://www.wpaumc.org/
                         

 


Bishop: Annual Conference To Be Hybrid


VIP- AC2021 Updates: To receive a ballot for voting you must register for Annual Conference before May 31. If you did not receive the registration link mailed on May 6 or a reminder last week and believe you should have, email conferencesecretary@wpaumc.org.

Get details on AC2021Hybrid Annual Conference Planned: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi has announced that the 2021 Annual Conference will be held in hybrid form on June 18-19. Clergy session will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, May 3 via Zoom Webinar. The Bishop explained the reasons for the decision in an email to clergy and voting lay members. She also created a video message that can be shared. Read more and see video
See Bishop’s email

 


Church Events

New-Albright United Methodist Church
 The following happenings are taking place at Albright United Methodist Church
1626 S. Pittsburgh St
Connellsville, PA 15425
June 5th Strawberry Festival 11-2
June 11th and 12th Sub Sale fresh made 12” subs for $8
 
Ark Encounter Trip
Thurs Sept 9th to Sept 11th Coach Trip to the Ark Encounter, Creation Museum and the Newport Aquarium in Kentucky.
3 day and 2 nights.
The coast is TBD but no more than $400 per person or lower depending on interest.. The church is selling subs to offset the cost of the Coach Bus. There is only 54 seats available for the trip.
All reservations must be in by July 20th and all monies by August 10th.
The price will include coach bus fare, tickets to 3 attractions, a meal voucher on Thursday at the Creation Museum, a buffet meal on Friday at the Ark Encounter and 2 nights lodging.
If interested call Bev Lamb at 724-372-1456
As an added bonus the Ark Encounter will be featuring Jason Crabb as there musical guest and Dr. David Jerimiah as their guest speaker.
 
If your church is hosting an event that you would like posted please send an email to connellsville.office@wpaumc.org


Lay Ministry School 2021







CONNELLSVILLE DISTRICT LAY MINISTY SCHOOL/ Registration will be announced soon
New Dates: September 19th through October 17th  from 2:00 pm. and end at 5:00 p.m.   
Class Title:                                                                                                                
Basic* -  Karen Sholtis                     
Called to Preach*  - Rev. Roger Howard                                           
Leading Prayer* - Rev. Rick Helsel                              
United Methodist Polity* - Rev. Arnold McFarland                        
Lay Pastoral Care Giving - Rev. Tom Shirer                              
Teach Adults- Barbara Hess
Opening Ourselves to Grace: Basic Christian Practices -Rev. Mark Sholtis


Transforming Evangelism Online Class

We are announcing a wonderful opportunity for the laity of the Western PA Annual Conference!
A grant from the Evangelism Team has provided fully funded seats for the Transforming Evangelism Online Class. Not only will this class grow our laity in evangelism but it also serves as an advanced course in Lay Servant Ministries. Registration is now open. Information and registration for the class are available at the website. Feel free to share this information throughout your contacts and social media outlets. The web link below should have all the info you need but let me know if you have any questions or suggestions....

The Western PA Conference Evangelism Team has funded a limited number of seats for laity in the Western PA Conference to take the “Transforming Evangelism” online two-week class that will fulfill the continuing education requirements for renewal of Certified Lay Servant (one advanced course every 3 years), Certified Lay Speaker (one advanced course every 3 years), or Certified Lay Minister (one advanced course every 2 years). This online course requires the student to commit about one hour per day, Monday through Friday, for two weeks (10 days).

Two course dates to choose from: June 7 -18  or  Sept 20 - Oct 1, 2021

Online Instructors: John and Christine Zimmerman

Information and registration are available at: af180.org/transforming-evangelism

Seats will be filled in the order of registrations received until full. Therefore, please only register if you know you can attend.
The class is fully funded but you will need to purchase a copy of Transforming Evangelism: The Wesleyan Way of Sharing Faith by Henry H. Knight III & F. Douglas Powe, Jr. A link to purchase the book is available on the website.
 


UMCOR Co-Disaster Coordinators for Connellsville District

 All Western Pennsylvania United Methodist Annual Conference, Connellsville District Churches Dear Fellow Servants, This is a letter of introduction of sorts. We (Roy (Barney) Shipley and Greg Crossley) were appointed by the Connellsville District General Conference as UMCOR Co-Disaster Coordinators for the district. Pastor Mark Blair had previously served in that capacity but answered a call to another charge leaving the position vacant. Roy and I wanted to let everyone know who we are and how we might be contacted in the case of a situation where disaster relief might be needed. While it is certainly our prayer that we are not needed we stand ready to answer this call if the need should arise. UMCOR as you may or may not know has a rich history in caring for those affected by disaster in so many ways. We here in Fayette County recently had an opportunity to witness this firsthand. After the devastating flood of late August 2016 in the Connellsville area, UMCOR was immediately on the scene and maintained a presence for two years. The flood recovery center which provided coordination of long-term recovery efforts along with case management was funded through an UMCOR grant. UMCOR work teams along with many other faith based and civic organization partners provided cleanup and restoration assistance to survivors of the flood. These efforts were particularly vital as even as devastating as this event was, it did not rise to a level meriting a federal disaster declaration. This meant all assistance came from volunteers and public donations. It was a true example of what I believe God calls us to do. So, I believe it is time to cut myself off here and get to the purpose of this letter. I am listing our contact information
below.
Roy (Barney) Shipley  724-323-2274 rshipley900@gmail.com
Greg Crossley 724-323-5824 uema@verizon.net or gcrossle@verizon.net

Again, while we pray the need never arises, we are available and will coordinate with our conference coordinator to provide for any needs. We are also always looking for ERT's (early response team). There is rather short class involved after which you will receive credentials. If you are looking for a mission this is certainly a worthwhile one to consider.


 COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Fayette County Homebound Residents:
With guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Fayette County Emergency Management Agency, in cooperation with the our county emergency service providers and WVU Medicine Uniontown Hospital, have created a system of providing vaccinations for homebound residents.
A homebound resident is defined as someone who is unable to leave their house. Those who are homebound, or caregivers of homebound residents, are encouraged to call the Fayette County Vaccine Scheduling Center at 724-430-3900, or register the individual at www.fayettecountypa.org (click COVID-19 and then Individual Registration).
Once the residents' information is collected, a provider will be in contact to set a vaccination appointment time. Moderna vaccine will be used.

God Bless,
Roy Shipley


Connellsville U. M. District Evangelism

 
Covid restrictions are lifting, but I wish to introduce a new virtual opportunity to resource evangelism in the district.  This will be a private Facebook Group, Connellsville U. M. District Evangelism. 
 

The emphasis for the group I draw from the Circuit Riding Preachers that went before us. The period of the Circuit Riders was a time when Methodism was growing exponentially, unlike the present time of decline.  How can an understanding of the Circuit Riders provide inspiration and direction for our evangelism efforts today?  It's interesting how the international youth organization Y. - W. A. M (Youth With A Mission) took inspiration from these early Methodists. They found, in a study of the efforts of the Circuit Riders, a threefold emphasis: Save the Lost, Revive The Saved and Encourage Everyone in Being Disciples for Jesus Christ.  We will be looking for ways to dialogue and share resources in these three areas.
 

This Facebook group will be private, but open by request to any seekers, lay people and clergy within the district.  Ideas, resources, successes and frustrations can be shared.  It would also be available for announcing evangelism related activities at your churches.  The possibilities of ways to network, be informed and share resources is limitless. I'm very excited about this venture and look to involve evangelism committee members in launching it.  We also have great hope that more onsite Evangelism program activities will soon be available as well.

Offering Christ,
Pastor Doug Burns  
 
You can find us on facebook  @ Connellsville U. M. District Evangelism 
You can email Pastor Burns with your evangelism ideas @ umcrockwood@gmail.com


Postponed until 2022-General Conference    more info

Postponed until 2022-General Conference 

Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi today addressed the postponement of the General Conference of the United Methodist Church and what it means for the denomination. The Bishop's remarks came after the Council of Bishops (COB), in response to the Commission on the General Conference's announcement that the postponed 2020 General Conference could not be held until 2022, called a Special Session of the General Conference to be convened online on May 8, 2021.   According to the call letter signed by COB ... read more 

 


Bishop Announces Shared District Leadership Model

As Indiana District Superintendent Jim Pond prepares to retire, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi announced a new experimental district leadership model. Her announcement follows.           The pandemic has reinforced the importance of our connection, teamwork, innovation, and good stewardship of our resources.  It has further affirmed that in Western Pennsylvania we can manage through change because God has been faithful to us in the midst of changing dynamics as we have had to develop new ways of ... read more 


Save the Date








Annual Conference: Bishop: Annual Conference To Be Hybrid​ :Thursday, June 17 - Saturday, June 19, 2021​  will be held at the Bayfront Convention Center. 
SEE DETAILS HERE: https://youtu.be/dkQlDGICg2M

 Uth 4 Missions- July 19-23, 2021 at Jumonville

Canadian Wilderness Canoe Trip: Monday, July 26, 2021 to Wednesday, August 4 July 26-Aug 4, 2021, led by Revs. Scott Hamley, Doug Burns, Craig Lindahl and Paige Townley
For more information, contact: Rev. Scott Hamley, enonvalleyinc@hotmail.com

Jumonville Golf fundraiser: Come join us on Friday, August 27th for a great day of golf, fun, friends and fundraising!
More details regarding costs and prices will be coming soon! For questions, please contact Bob Boyle at rjboyle@consolidated.net or (724) 759-1403

UMW Day Apart: Thursday, September 9, 2021

Lay Ministry School: New dates: September 19th through October 17th at Paradise United Methodist Church.  The classes will begin at 2:00 pm. and end at 5:00 p.m.   


KEEP UP WITH OUR DISTRICT CALENDAR HERE


Prayer Concerns and Joys







PRAYERS 

 
Hello Prayer Warriors. Could you all pray for Debbie Harrold, she is on a ventilator a Pittsburgh Hospital, Also could you all pray for Richard Smith, He has Pancreatic Cancer and  Kelly halldorson , her boyfriend past away Friday. PS we are having a healing service at the Cochran Memorial UMC, Dawson PA, on July 21st, Wednesday at 7 PM, Love Pastor Bruce Anthony
 

New Appointments: https: //www.wpaumc.org/appointments
Samantha Penwell Corbin- To serve South Fayette Co-op Parish
Robert V. Ellson- Appointed Connellsville District Ministry Assistant
Kimberly L. Foose- To Serve South Acme/Barren Run
James T. Golla-To Serve Friedens: Pleasant Hill 
Mark A. Sholtis- To Serve Connellsville Cooperative Parish

Those recovering from surgery.
Caregivers and their families.
Our Country and our leaders.
Schools and universities.
Pastors and congregations dealing with covid
Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi and the WPA Cabinet
2022 General and Jurisdictional Conference     

2021 UMW PRAYER CALENDAR: PRAY AS ONE PEOPLE - the 2021 prayer calendar is available for $14. The prayer calendar includes information about mission projects, prayers written by missionaries, and the birthdays and contact information for missionaries serving around the world. Buy now
 

Please send your Joy's and Prayer concerns to:  connellsville.office@wpaumc.org
 


Birthdays and Anniversaries

 


 
 
Birthday's 

May
 
Leila Brinker-Spouse- 2
Erin Platt- Spouse- 2
Marlene Gotjen—Spouse-5
Cathie Lester—Spouse-15
Pastor Sandra Fitzgibbons-18
Kim  Raygor—Spouse- 25
Ann Watson—Spouse- 31

June

Pastor Joseph Caola-14                                        
Pastor Art Gotjen-10                              
Pastor Mark Sholtis-22                                        
Beverly Lamb-Spouse  -22                          
Tabitha Penrod-Spouse-22                                        
Pastor  Christine Doren-27                                        
Beth Blair-Spouse-30  
Pastor  Doug Burns-30
 
              
 Anniversaries 
May

Richard  & Danielle Pearson-20
Joseph &  Tonia Caola-28
Robert & Lynn Kifer-22
Samuel & Judith McClintock- 31

June

Dave & Patricia  McCall-6                          
Chuck & Cheryl Hildbold-7                          
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
Roger & Beverly Saunders-30
 
 

 
 
                 

                                 

 


Education

New-Foundations for Ministry online course August 31, 2020 – May 16, 2021: This course helps Certified Lay Ministers, first-time pastors, and District Superintendent assigned persons to develop best practices for serving the local church in sermon writing, developing relationships with their congregation, building mission and vision. The course focuses on a different aspect of ministry each month with all work and discussion forums taking place online, including monthly meetings.    www.larcm.org

Continuing Education for United Methodist Clergy

Since 2018, United Methodist clergy and other church leaders have taken one-hour continuing education classes at clergyeducation.com. 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.


Olmstead Manor, Camp News & Retreats

 

Upcoming Events at Olmsted:
 

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:
 
New-Clergy Summer Getaway
50% OFF lodging
for WPAUMC pastors
in July & August

New- Summer Licensing School: The 2021 Summer Residential Licensing School and CLM Training will be held at Olmsted Manor Retreat Center from Sunday evening, July 25 - Wednesday afternoon, May 4.  A completed application with essays and a $100 (non-refundable) deposit must be received by the registrar before July 10, 2021. Priority will be given to Western PA candidates. Download the application at wpaumc.org/forms.
 
Abundant Resources for Ministry:
Fund Development Training II
June 13-15, 2021
Leader: Dr. Amanda Stewart

June 27 – July 1, 2021 This is to let you and yours know that the 2021 Music & Worship Week at Olmsted has been canceled out of an abundance of caution for ongoing COVID-19 concerns. The nature of the event drove leadership to make this decision. We are hopeful for an event in 2022 to serve church music volunteers and professionals.

Church Admin Training
July 18-20, 2021
Leaders: Rev. Donna Doutt,
     Rev. Sharon Schwab, Liz Lennox
 
Youth Ministry Training
September 10-12, 2021
Leader: Dr. Duffy Robbins
Challenge Gift: Olmsted Family has blessed us with another $25,000 Challenge Gift. The goal is to raise at least $50,000 to pay down 10% of the debt on the new water treatment plant to continue offering life giving ministries in this sacred space. If you are able to help by making a gift, you can make a check payable to Olmsted Manor and write “Safe Water Project” in the memo. To give or to set up a recurring gift click here.

 Upcoming Events at Jumonville: 

Grounds & Cross Information
Our grounds and walk to the Cross are now OPEN to the public! All buildings will remain closed, including restrooms.  Any trash also needs to be taken with you when you leave. All guidelines & social distancing must still be followed. 
   

New-  The golf fundraiser is back for 2021!
We have good news!  The golf fundraiser is back for 2021! Come join us on Friday, August 27th for a great day of golf, fun, friends and fundraising!
Mark your calendars and please share with other golfers that you know that may be interested in both enjoying golf and supporting Jumonville at the same time!  If you are unable to attend, there are several sponsorships and opportunities to still donate.  We also have some volunteer opportunities available as well on the day of the event.    
More details regarding costs and prices will be coming soon! For questions, please contact Bob Boyle at rjboyle@consolidated.net or (724) 759-1403
   
 

Special Needs Events that we will be offering this summer.  Our special needs events are staffed with plenty of well trained volunteers.  Activities are adapted based upon the individual campers' needs.  
More information on each event can be found at
www.jumonville.org/schedule  

Sports Camps:  Sports campers will enjoy basic instruction, game time, and healthy competition in a variety of sports.  Fun drills and skill development are based on age appropriate abilities that allow for both basic instruction and plenty of time to play!
More information on each event can be found at
www.jumonville.org/schedule  

Our speciality camps allow for a lot of fun and unique opportunities at Jumonville! More information on each event can be found at 
www.jumonville.org/schedule  

2021 summer camp registration is open and ready for you!  You can register online by clicking here
 
Summer Camp Deans Needed! Jumonville is seeking several volunteers to serve as Deans for various programs for summer 2021.  Openings are  available for:  elementary sports, elementary adventure, dance, and family events.  For more information on a dean's responsibilities and the dates of the events, contact Rebekah by email at rebekah@jumonville.org

Jumonville Chaplains Needed: The following weeks are available for Chaplains: June 13-18, June 20-25, July 18-23, and August 8-11.  The Chaplain’s role includes speaking at all-camp Tuesday night worship, being present at the Sunday opening campfire and closing ceremony Friday evening, leading a brief morning watch Monday-Friday, and being available to help lead Bible studies and answer questions when requested. For more information, email rebekah@jumonville.org
 
Upcoming events at Camp Allegheny:
 

Camp Allegheny Summer 2021 Registrations are OPEN!
We are ready!  We have the experience!  Whatever this summer looks like we are ready to provide a safe week of Fun, Faith and Friends for the children and youth of our conference.   We operated and served over 600 last summer and are preparing for another exciting summer of ministry.  
Summer brochures are in the mail, but you can register now at www.CampAllegheny.org.
Contact Erika at Erika@campallegheny.org or give her a call at 814 754 5122.  Also check out our webpage at; www.campallegheny.org

New- Camp Allegheny Women’s Retreat from August 27-29, 2021: The theme is “Becoming a Vessel for God’s Use” with Cookie White. 2 Corinthians 4:7. This weekend getaway is set at the beautiful camping and retreat center of Camp Allegheny and is designed to let women refresh and renew their walk with the Lord. It is filled with praise, worship, speaker sessions, great meals, and free-time activities. Come enjoy fun and fellowship on the mountaintop with fellow sisters in Christ. Open your heart to a weekend of encouragement, faith building, and God’s love.  Full weekend costs $110.00.
Email cawomensretreat@yahoo.com  for more information. You may also visit www.campallegheny.org  to download the Registration form. (Menu on right - Programs/women’s retreat/registration form).Please mail form and deposit to the registrar’s address listed on form
 


Upcoming events at Wesley Woods: 

  Visit www.wesleywoods.com to see a list of camps we offer in 2021. Work at Camp! 

Wesley Woods is looking to fill some important roles in our ministry. Go
to the link below and create an account to fill out the application and
interviews happen as we receive your application all applicants need to
be 18 or older. We are in NEED of males over 18 especially. Thank you

At The Lake Ministries

New-At The Lake Ministries 2021 Charter DatesAt The Lake Ministries provides boating and fishing charters for those with special needs of all ages in Erie, Pennsylvania. Our goal is to share Lake Erie with those who otherwise wouldn't be able to enjoy the water via boat. We are wheelchair and therapy pet friendly! The cost is $40 per person that comes aboard for a charter experience. Contact us for more information regarding scholarships. (If you would like to reserve a date or schedule a private charter on a separate day, contact us at atthelakeministries@gmail.com.) 

 


Youth News

Upcoming Youth Events: Mark your calendars for these Conference youth events:

Safe Sanctuaries and Online Youth Groups: WPAUMC’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry Coordinator Amanda Gilligan offers things for you to consider, as well as resources to help, as you adapt your church’s Safe Sanctuaries policy to include online gatherings. Read her blog post.

Uth 4 Missions: July 19-23, 2021 at Jumonville

Nominations and Applications Open for 2021 Session of Shenandoah University Youth Theology Institute (July 18-31, 2021)
Is there high schooler in your life who is ready to learn about how their faith in Jesus Christ calls them to live and be in the world in a way that seeks justice, all while earning college credit that they can carry with them wherever they go after high school? Nominate and encourage them to apply for the Shenandoah University Youth Theology Institute (SUYTI). SUYTI is a two-week, credit-bearing program for any young person who is currently in high school (that is, any student who will be a rising sophomore through recent high school graduate this summer). Through a daily rhythm of worship, academic study, experiential and service learning, and (of course) sabbath rest, students will learn to become stronger Christian leaders and return home equipped to be change-agents for the reign of God. The 2021Institute will run from July 18-31, 2021 on Shenandoah University’s main campus in Winchester. Thanks to a grant from the Lilly Endowment, students will have all that SUYTI has to offer (room and board, program expenses, and three college credits) at a cost of only $200 per student. However, 2021 will be our final session, so now is the perfect time to apply! To nominate a student or to apply, visit www.su.edu/youththeology. For more information, contact Ian Urriola, Director of the SUYTI, by calling (540) 665-5453 or emailing iurriola@su.edu.

Youth Leader Retreat from Friday, September 10, 2021 to Sunday, September 12, 2021 at Olmsted Manor, Ludlow, PA 16333. Duffy Robbins will be the keynote speaker. Contact person: Amanda Gilligan

Join the Youth Ministry Team: Let your youth know that there’s still time to apply to be part of the 2020-2021 Conference Youth Ministry Team. Watch video. Fill out the online YMT application 

Youth Information: on the web at https://www.wpaumc.org/youthevents

  • 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 https://www.wpaumc.org/Youth
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.
 
 


Mission/Disaster Response

Mission News: Check out updates on local and global ministries in this week’s issue of the Mission News.

New-Summer Opportunities: To check out some opportunities to engage in mission this summer, learn or keep up with what’s happening, read this week’s Mission News.

One Emergency After Another for UMCOR: In a year when one disaster seems to follow another, the United Methodist Committee on Relief’s longtime investment into the training and support of church members who respond — both in the U.S. and globally — is paying off. See how

New- Eastbrook Mission Barn:

If you would like to come volunteer at the barn – to verify or make up UMCOR kits or build ramp modules – you can anytime!  You can also go out and assist in assembling a ramp in the community.  Just contact us at missionbarn@gmail.com  to register your team.   Thank you to all the churches, individuals, and UMWs for your generous prayers and support of me as your Deaconess and Church and Community Worker and Eastbrook Mission Barn! If you would like someone to share the joy of missions with your church or organization, please contact me at ktpete@gmail.com. My advance covenant salary number is 982942.  Eastbrook Mission Barn’s WPA advance number is ms002009b.  If you donate through the WPA Conference, you can designate your donation this way.      


HELP WANTED

New-Johnstown District-Mount Olive UM Church in Sidman, Pa, is looking for a part-time Ministry Assistant.  Duties would include, but are not limited to, working with youth of the church and community.  Specifically, assisting in Sunday School and small groups, encouraging all to meet spiritual, social and emotional needs, and leading them in spiritual commitments and discipline. The Ministry Assistant would also implement community outings, outreach and mission projects while assisting the Pastor.


Music

Tara & Eric Park Release New CD   

Tara Park, whose music ministry has been a blessing to the Western PA Conference for over 25 years, and her husband Eric, the Butler District Superintendent, have released a new music CD entitled “Feels Like Home!”  It includes eleven original songs along with three of their favorite hymns of faith.  Every dollar raised from the sale of the CDs, which are $10 each, will go directly to support the “Deeply Rooted, Upward Reaching” campaign supporting six Western PA Conference Camping and Retreat Ministries.  The CDs are available through the Connellsville District Office. 724.550.4058.

 

Jerry and Sandi Rectenwald have a new CD!
The title is “For Ever and a Day”, and it contains 15 original, inspiring, Christian songs. Their hope is that the listener will draw closer to the Lord and feel His peace.

 Visit: http://jerryandsandirectenwald.com
for information on purchasing a hard copy, downloading the songs on digital platforms, and to read the song lyrics and backgrounds.
For more information on their music ministry, please don’t hesitate to contact them.

 


Resources

 
Pension Calculation Worksheet:  Please be aware we have updated the 2021 pension calculation worksheet on our webpage.
It can be found by visiting us at :
https://www.wpaumc.org/benefits
 
Drop down to misc files and it can be found there.
Please note, there is a slight increase from 2020 in that the Benefit Reserve is changing from .1% to .5% for 2021.


2021 Benefits Rate Set: The Conference Board of Pensions approved the 2021 blended health care billing rate to the local church for those covered by the Conference Benefits program. Effective Jan. 1, 2021, the rate will be $1453.00 a month, including medical, vision and dental coverage.  This represents an increase of $40 a month. The monthly member cost share remains the same for 2021 at: $20 single / $35 two persons / $70 family. Get details

Digital Church Is Here to Stay: The move to digital worship is here to stay. Putting it back on the shelf in the new normal would ignore the greatest opportunity the church today has to reach people. Read more now.

  Connecting Small Groups Digitally: A section has been added to our eLearning series to help you gain insights on how you might use technology to enhance small groups, no matter the circumstances. Learn more.

 Clergy Facebook Group: Social Media Coordinator Liz Lennox has created a private Facebook group specifically so clergy can provide peer support during the COVID-19 crisis. You can request to join the group at facebook.com/groups/wpaclergy.
 
Facebook Prayer Group: We also have a public group for all our Facebook followers to offer prayer to one another at facebook.com/groups/wpaprayer.

WPAUMC Church Planning Resource List: Visit our Facebook COVID-19 Church Planning Resources here. 

  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


 Tracking Online Worship Attendance: Conference Secretary John Wilson points out that there's a place on the annual statistical report form to report online worship attendance. The denomination added the line a few years ago as an experiment. He explains more about it on his webpage wpaumc.org/conferencestatistician. Learn more about counting virtual attendance from GCFA data services

 Important Links: 


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.
Bishop Announces Shared District Leadership Model (read more )

2/15/2021

As Indiana District Superintendent Jim Pond prepares to retire, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi announced a new experimental district leadership model. Her announcement follows.           The pandemic has reinforced the importance of our connection, teamwork, innovation, and good stewardship of our resources.  It has further affirmed that in Western Pennsylvania we can manage through change because God has been faithful to us in the midst of changing dynamics as we have had to develop new ways of ... read more


WPA COVID-19 Updates (read more )

6/5/2020

Conference Announcements Updated Dec. 11, 2020.  Our Bishop and District Superintendents urge church leaders to follow current state and local health mandates and guidelines to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus and to consider the risk to the most vulnerable in our churches and communities in determining whether to hold in-person worship services. On Dec. 11, 2020, after Gov. Tom Wolf issued a temporary executive order reducing the number of people permitted to gather both indoors and ... read more


Clergy Coaching Sessions Offered (read more )

5/6/2020

To assist clergy as they strive to meet the on-going challenges of ministry in the age of the novel coronavirus, the Western PA Conference is offering Coaching on Demand.  Trained coaches in the Conference are offering their skills at no charge as a ministry to their colleagues. "Right now, we are each navigating personal and professional challenges, new realities, and unexpected ministry opportunities," said the Rev. Amy Wagner, who took a lead role in organizing the Coaching on Demand ... read more


Conference Call to Prayer (read more )

4/13/2020

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?   (Psalm 27:1, NRSV)   As our world has become encased in fear and uncertainty because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Western Pennsylvania Conference calls all laity and clergy to an intentional, daily time of prayer.  In the midst of the chaos, we need to stand in the power of prayer.   On March 24, 2020, Rev. Randall Bain, senior pastor at the Oakland United Methodist ... read more


Bishops Ask to Postpone GC2020 (read more )

3/13/2020

UPDATE:  The Commission on the General Conference, in a March 16 press release said: As concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic continue to escalate, the Commission on the General Conference will meet on March 21 via teleconference to discuss plans for the 2020 General Conference, scheduled for May 5-15, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minn.  According to the United Methodist Book of Discipline, in the absence of a convened General Conference, only the full Commission, as the duly authorized ... read more


Quick Links

Mission Barn

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

Mission Barn & UMCOR Supplies- Due to Annual Conference in June being cancelled and therefore the UMCOR collection, Mission Barn Director Katie Peterson is looking for a church willing to be the collection point for their district for UMCOR supplies, cleaning buckets, and hygiene kits on a one or two time basis this summer.  Preferably they can keep track of what church brought the donations and then store the kits and supplies in a secure location. People can bring the kits and supplies from the collection directly to the barn or the conference center, or she can arrange to send a truck or trailer to pick them up. Contact: Katie Peterson

 

Scholarships and Grants

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