Connellsville District News

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2022 Fall Lay Servant Ministry School


2022 Fall Lay Servant Ministry School

Dates: September 11th through October 9th from 2:00 pm. and end at 5:00 p.m.   

Class Title:                                                                                                                
Basic* -  Karen Sholtis & Marie Nagy                    
Called to Preach  - Rev. Don Henderson
Leading Prayer - Rev. Kim Foos
Living Our United Methodist Beliefs (United Methodist Heritage) - Rev. Arnold McFarland                        
Lay Pastoral Care Giving - Rev. Tom Shirer                              
Teach Adults- Barbara Hess
Opening Ourselves to Grace: Basic Christian Practices -Rev. Mark Sholtis
LOCATION:  Asbury UM Church
                    20 Dunbar Street
                    Uniontown PA 15401

Registration Here:
Please note: United Methodist Polity is not being offered.

Clergy Benefits Academy Scholarships

Clergy Benefits Academy Scholarships: The WPA Conference Board of Pensions is providing up to ten scholarships for the Clergy Benefits Academy November 14-16, 2022. View the email sent out by the Conference benefits team or read more information about the event. Contact for details on the scholarships.

Clergy Dashboard Updates

Clergy Dashboard Updates: Pastors need to update their clergy dashboards  Contact the District Office if you need help with your Username and Password at: or call 724-550-4098.


Are you beginning to become involved in anti-racism?  Are you a seasoned ally and want to stretch? Then the SUMMIT ON RACE AND FAITH gathering on October 20-22, 2022 is for YOU??!!  The intersection of race and faith will be engaged so that we may become a conference of anti-racist congregations.
This summit organized by the Conference Commission of Religion and Race in collaboration with other groups will feature Bible Study, worship, panel presentations, and table talks.  You will be able to name your next action steps as you depart.   
Sessions will be both in person and virtual. Registration coming soon - Check the event page for up to date information. 
                                                        SAVE THE DATE!!!


Please Pray For: 

Back to School 
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 NIV  
Please continue to keep all children in your prayers as they prepare to return to school. Many churches have backpack ministries and if you are in need of supplies or would like to donate, please let us know and we can share within the conference and community. Contact Sandra Matoushaya at

Ukraine and Russia, Countries helping the Ukrainian refugees
Our world, our Country, and our leaders 
Our military and military families
For new appointments: See Details Here:
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/2021 General and Jurisdictional Conferences

Please send your Prayer concerns to:



Somerset First: 

 Somerset First will once again be hosting 20-24 members of the USS Somerset  during the Flight 93 weekend of 2022. We have arranged tours of the historic Somerset County Court house, community dinner hosted by a local bank as well as a more family oriented meal and program at Somerset First UMC. 

 What a wondrous cross-cultural activity this has been as both our guests and care givers are both greatly blessed by these experiences. Our locals have attempted to share something of our God/country ideals and mores with those whom have dedicated their lives to Defend and Protect. What an honor for our church family!  

We are building a nice relationship with Chaplain Ed Handley of the USS Somerset, whom has already spoken to a men's Bible study during the 2021 visit.  The connections to local and NY 9/1/01 sites as metal from those sites was used in the construction of USS Somerset. 

 It all happens on weekend of Sept 11, our dinner and program is evening of 11th. Most of county stuff is 10th, sailors at Flight 93 site on Sunday 11th.

 Pastor Dave McCall 

Clergy Spouse Retreat                                                              
  Date: October 7-8, 2022
Whitehall Camp and Conference Center 
Emlenton, PA                      
Guest Speaker: Christine Zimmerman  
For more information contact:
Julie Verner: 724-888-0123
Beth Blair: 724-689-2775

Mt. Harmony UMC  Wellersburgh PA 



 Washabaugh Lisa  - Spouse 1                                      
Wyatt Fitzgibbons- Spouse 7                        
Rev. E. Robert Nagy-16                                        
Steve Doren-Spouse  20                                        
Rev. Barry Ritenour -22
Beth Forsythe-Spouse 27

Save the Date



  • Local Pastor's Lunch:   Friday, September 2nd- Brady's Restaurant Acme PA. Contact Mark Sholtis for information:
  • Retired Pastor Luncheon: Wednesday, September 14th  Brady's Restaurant Acme PA
  • Fall Lay Servant Ministry School: September 11th, 18th, 25th thru October 2nd and 9th Location Asbury UMC 20 Dunbar Street, Uniontown PA 15401


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


TIIMSA Training at Olmsted Manor: TIIMSA (Transitional Intentional Interim Ministry Specialists Association) has been offering training and certification in transitional ministry to United Methodist Clergy for over twenty years. TIIMSA trained leaders seek to lower congregational anxiety and promote healthy decision making processes. TIIMSA training is being offered in three phases, with the first phase on September 26-28, 2022 at Olmsted Manor. Learn more and register

Fall Women's Retreat with Dawn Hand  (more info )

Sunday, October 23, 2022 to October 25

You are invited to come away to Olmsted this fall and immerse yourself in rich study and seeking with a cohort of other powerful Christian women. Olmsted's women's retreats offer inspirational speaking, encouraging group discussions, quiet time with God, opportunities to enjoy stillness and nature, and Christian hospitality that will make you feel welcome and cared for. Come and attend to your mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

 The 2022 Olmsted schedule offers several opportunities for pastors to enjoy the retreat center - PLUS earn continuing education credits!


Walk to the Cross

Jumonville is known for the 60' cross that sits atop the hill and overlooks the valley. The sweeping views and majestic heights attract year round visitors.

Visitors are welcome to take a hike up to the cross. Parking is available in the gravel lot across from the pool house along Old Braddock Road. If you have mobility issues and need to drive, you'll have to get a gate key from the office (only open weekdays). Learn More Here-


Camp Allegheny

Wesley Woods


Mission/Disaster Response

Somerset County Mobile Food Bank: 1686 Coxes Creek Road, Somerset PA 15501 2022 Warehouse and Truck Capital Campaign Purpose: To help those struggling with acquiring healthy food.
We also provide a “Home Bound Program, where we have invited churches and organizations to volunteer to deliver boxes of food to folks who are homebound. We strive to provide all families who have food uncertainty a sense of security. Each family can expect to receive approximately 50 pounds of food from each distribution.
Open Letter Here: 
Files: campaignletter8-3-22.pdf  

Mission Volunteers Needed: Over the past month, Western PA has experienced numerous storms and torrential rains. Westmoreland County was heavily affected by the flooding on the August 5 and our disaster response team is in need of volunteers. No experience is needed, just a willingness to work and follow instructions. Work includes, but is not limited to, removing drywall, paneling and debris. To schedule a date and time to volunteer please contact our Disaster Response Coordinator David Kissinger at Additionally, cleaning buckets are needed. View the cleaning bucket recipe.

Helping the People of the Ukraine through UMCOR    more info 

UMCOR is collecting Hygiene Kits to assist Ukrainian refugees.  Consider making kits at your church and taking them to a collection site (call before delivering) - The Conference Center in Cranberry Twp., Trinity Tower UMC in Pittsburgh, or the Mission Barn in New Castle.  
Financial gifts to support the people of Ukraine can be made in the following ways: 
Online at 
By toll-free telephone: 888-252-6174 
By check made out to Global Ministries/UMCOR with “Advance #982450-Ukraine” written on the memo line, either mailed and addressed to Global Ministries/UMCOR, GPO, P.O. Box 9068, New York, NY, 10087-9068 or given at or through any United Methodist church

Can You Assist?

Our Mission Barn is in need of Cleaning Kits (also known as Flood Buckets). We are running low and would like to restock the barn. Consider making kits at your churches and sending them to our Relief Supply Network or giving towards the purchase of needed supplies. Below is the kit recipe and instructions.

UMCOR Cleaning Kit

Enabling those affected by floods, hurricanes and tornadoes to begin the overwhelming job of cleaning up.

Kit Value: $75 per bucket

  • One five-gallon round bucket with re-sealable lid (14.35” h x 12.19” w x 12.19” d)
    • No screw lids
    • May be used, but must be free from all residual product
    • Advertisements on the outside acceptable
  • One 32-64 oz. bottle liquid laundry detergent
  • One 16-40 oz. bottle liquid concentrate household cleaner
    • No spray cleaners
  • One 16-34 oz. bottle dish soap
  • One 4-8 oz. pump spray air freshener
  • One 6-14 oz. pump spray insect repellent (pack of 10-20 wipes also acceptable)
    • Pump spray bottles must have protective covers
  • One scrub brush
    • With or without handle
  • 18 re-useable cleaning wipes
    • No terrycloth, microfiber or paper towels
    • Remove from packaging
  • Five scouring pads
    • No stainless-steel pads with soap in them
    • Remove from packaging
  • 36-50 clothespins
  • One 50-100 ft. clothesline (cotton or plastic line)
  • 24 roll of heavy-duty trash bags (33-45-gallon sizes)
    • Remove from packaging
  • Five N95 particulate respirator dust masks (1-3 mm thickness)
    • No surgical masks
  • Two pairs kitchen gloves
    • Durable for multiple uses
    • Remove from packaging
  • One pair work gloves
    • Cotton with leather palm or all leather

For more information contact our Church and Community Worker at or 724-856-8241.

Other Ways to help:

  • Prayer: Continue to pray for all partners as well as for survivors.
  • Donate and support the work of UMCOR.
  • Volunteer: Set up time to volunteer at the Mission Barn. Groups of no more than 8. For more information please contact Katie Peterson at 


Youth News

Youth 2023: If your youth group is planning to attend Youth 2023 in Daytona, Florida, YMT would like to know! Fill out this form to let them know. 

Back-to-School Resources: The summer is coming to a close and children are starting back to school. Take a look at these back-to-school resources from ResourceUMC. 

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

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.


We have a member at church whose family has an organ to donate to a church. From what was relayed to me, it is an expensive organ but the family has no need for it. They are looking to donate it within two weeks. Is there a congregation within the district or denomination that could use an organ. I can get more specific details, if necessary.
Hopefully there is a congregation looking for a instrument for worship.
Perryopolis UMC
If interested contact:


  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

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.
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

Pastor Creates Study Guide for "Loneliness Epidemic" Book (read more )


Rev. Tom Parkinson Rev. Tom Parkinson, senior pastor of Dutilh United Methodist Church in Cranberry Township, published a book last summer entitled The Loneliness Epidemic: How the Church Can Cure Our Gravest Sickness. Now, just in time for Lent, he's created a study guide for use by small groups. The book, Parkinson's first, has been lauded for its insight, authenticity, and practical guidance. “Parkinson blends pastoral sensitivity and deep intelligence. This is important for a ... read more

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

Quick Links

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