Connellsville District News

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Statistical Reports

VIP-2021 Statistical Reports are due to be completed by Monday, January 31. Senior pastors should have received an email from John Wilson, Conference Secretary, on Monday, November 22 with detailed instructions. If you have any questions, please contact him at
There have been some changes to this process 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 will be the pastor’s responsibility to see that the information is gathered from church leadership and entered online by January 31, 2022.

2021 Connectional Apportionments

New-The last day to pay 2021 Connectional Apportionments (and Conference General Advances) is Thursday, January 13, 2022. Please make every effort to reach your 100% goal. To verify your church’s current status, use the Connectional Apportionment Reports page on the Conference website at

Orientation to Ministry

New-Orientation to Ministry:  Tuesday, Feb. 15th from 7-830 PM via Zoom. 
Registration is opening soon, We will post the registration form/online site as soon as we receive the information.

Review and Update Find-A-Church Profile


New-Is Your Find-A-Church Profile Up-to-Date
Update your church using the search function at, then review and add using the update button at the bottom of the page.

Boy Scout Bankruptcy Update:    more info

New-Boy Scout Bankruptcy Update: United Methodist leaders have reached a settlement as part of the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) pending bankruptcy proceedings. It calls for the denomination to pay $30 million over three years into a trust to compensate survivors of Scouting-related sexual abuse and also provides United Methodist churches protection from future abuse-related lawsuits. The settlement, announced Dec. 21 after months of negotiations, is part of a BSA reorganization plan and  must be approved by a U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Learn more

General Conference postponed until August 29 – September 6, 2022    more info

-General Conference postponed until August 29 – September 6, 2022, in Minneapolis, Minn. After two postponements, organizers continue working to hold General Conference next year. The business manager says staff knows how important the coming legislative assembly is as the denomination weighs a potential split. However, the delta variant presents new challenges. Read story

Join in Active Waiting: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi suggests that United Methodists spend the time leading up to the next General Conference engaging in the spiritual exercise of active waiting. Rather than a time of anxiety and stagnation, active waiting for believers is a time to cooperate with what God is doing among us while preparing for new manifestations of God’s promises. Read her blog post

Save the Date



Local Pastor's  Luncheon: Friday, January 7th 
Location: TBD

SPARK : Erie Bayfront Convention Center: April 9-10

District Conference: Sunday, May 15th Somerset Grace UMC

2022 Annual Conference :Thursday, June 2, 2022 to Saturday, June 4, 2022 
Add to my calendar


Prayer Concerns and Joys

Covid patients and caregivers

Our Country, Military and Leaders

Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi and the WPA Cabinet

2022 General and Jurisdictional Conference: General Conference postponed until August 29 – September 6, 2022, in Minneapolis, Minn. After two postponements, organizers continue working to hold General Conference next year. The business manager says staff knows how important the coming legislative assembly is as the denomination weighs a potential split. However, the delta variant presents new challenges. Read story

Please send your Joy's and Prayer concerns to:

Birthdays and Anniversaries



Pastor Diane Olson-9                                         
Pastor Arnold Husk-20                                                   
Pastor Tom Brown-28                          
Pastor Barry & Kim Ritenour-1
Pastor Denton & Cathie Lester-4                                     
Pastor Vann & David Walchock-15                                                            



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.

Olmstead Manor, Camp News & Retreats


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:     

Prayer Retreat @ Olmsted Manor  (more info )
Where: Olmsted Manor Retreat Center - 17 East Main St. - Ludlow, PA 16333
Friday, February 25, 2022 to February 27

Join this weekend retreat as we explore Centering Prayer as a path of waking up to our pre-existing oneness with God. We are not ultimately separate from God, and we’ll explore the significance of opening to this reality through teaching, reflection, and centering prayer practice. Click here for more information.


Jumonville Winter Retreat
Mark your Calendars! The Jumonville Winter Retreat is on its way! We will be gathering from January 22nd through the 24th for a weekend of fun and exciting activities. Youth groups that bring seven or more children ages 12-17 get one adult reservation for free!


Mission/Disaster Response

Volunteer In Mission Team Leader Training Dates

This training is for certification as United Methodist Volunteer in Mission Team Leaderand is designed to equip participants to plan and lead VIM teams locally, nationally, or internationally.  It is designed for those who have previous experience as part of a VIM team or local mission service and for those who have led VIM teams and need to re-certified with the new UMVIM Handbook.

It is also helpful for those who have thought about joining a VIM team and want to know what to expect. In the process you will learn more about UMC missions and Volunteers In Mission opportunities for local churches & individuals. More...

  • February, March and April 2022


Let's get ready, trained and equipped to work!

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

  • Eastbrook Mission Barn: 
    • -Mission Barn Needs Flood Buckets, Hygiene Kits: With flooding in Western PA and the Louisiana Conference and other areas hard-hit by Hurricane Ida, our Eastbrook Mission Barn needs cleaning buckets and hygiene kits. These items can be brought to the Mission Barn or one of its satellites. 
      Get kit assembly instructions

      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  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 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.      


Youth News

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

New-Confirmation Journey: Confirmation classes are invited to attend one of three Friday afternoon events -- March 4, 11 or 18 -- to meet Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi and learn more about connectional ministries. Hosted by the Conference staff at Dutilh United Methodist Church in Cranberry Twp., the sessions will begin at 1 p.m. with an option for lunch with the Bishop at noon. The day will end at 4:30 p.m.  Registration will open January 5, 2022 on the Conference website. 

 Updated- Date for SPARK Reservations! Erie Bayfront Convention Center: April 9-10
Erie Bayfront Convention Center: April 9-10

July 18-22, 2022
A week of outreach, worship, and service!

New-Upcoming Youth Events: Mark your calendars for these Conference youth events:
Youth 2023 - We are excited to announce the tradition continues with YOUTH 2023 headed to Daytona Beach, Florida July 25-28, 2023! Stay connected as we plan the details that make this event so memorable! Learn More

50 Ways to Strengthen Ministry with Youth: The Lewis Center for Church Leadership offers this resource to view or download.  here

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.

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

  • 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.


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 :
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 Prayer Group: We also have a public group for all our Facebook followers to offer prayer to one another at

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 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.
MLK Services, Events Offered in WPA (read more )


Martin Luther King Jr. weekend -- Jan. 15-17, 2022 -- has been a time to celebrate Dr. King’s life and remember how his work in the Civil Rights Movement prepared the foundation for dismantling racism. This year, due to the resurgence of the coronavirus, observances have been moved online or scheduled for later this winter.  In Western Pennsylvania, the Greensburg District Antiracism Team prepared the virtual service virtual service shown above. Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi offered the message. ... read more

Conferences Asked to Contribute to BSA Survivor Trust (read more )


Pending court approval of a settlement agreement in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) bankruptcy case, United Methodists have agreed to contribute $30 million to a $3 billion Survivor Trust Fund that will receive contributions from the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), insurance companies and charter organizations.  Every annual conference in America is asked to contribute toward the $30 million. The Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference has been asked to contribute $ 650,300 to the Survivor Trust ... read more

Bishop Announces Shared District Leadership Model (read more )


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

Connellsville Community Ministries Burglarized (read more )


Someone threw a brick through front door glass at Connellsville Area Community Ministries (CACM) early on the morning of Sunday, Oct. 27 and removed a donation jar and a safe, among other things. CACM is one of the Western Pennsylvania United Methodist Conference's six regional mission agencies. “Please join us in prayer for those who committed the crime. They are obviously in a difficult place and need help,” said a CACM Facebook post on Sunday.  On Monday evening, John Batronis, 54, of ... 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 and at