Connellsville District News

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Thank you!

Grace and Peace to You,
            Amy and I wanted to take a moment and say thank you for all the cards, letters and gifts we received from the district this past Christmas Season.  We were really touched by all of your thoughtfulness and your generosity.  Know that you are in our prayers that you might have a prosperous and blessed 2023.  Thanks again!
God Bless,
Bob & Amy Zilhaver

Spark January 27-29, 2023    more info

SPARK Retreat

An event for youth in 6th-12th grades!

Final Day to Submit 2022 Connectional Apportionment

Final Day to Submit 2022 Connectional Apportionment
WHEN :Thursday, January 12, 2023 is the cut-off of 2022 Connectional Apportionment payments. 

Payments need to be received by the Conference Center by close of business that day(1/12/2023)for them to be counted towards the 2022 apportionment.

See the current 2022 Connectional Apportionment Received

Money received that is not clearly marked for 2023 will be applied to your 2022 Connectional Apportionment if it has not been paid in full.

Do not combine 2022 and 2023 money on one check.
2022 Remittance Form

Year-end Statistical Reports Due January 31st:

Year-end Statistical Reports Due January 31st:

The default password (the first time you login) is wpa2022! (all lowercase and note the special character exclamation point at the end). You are asked to change the password the first time you login. I recommend entering the default password again because the change password feature does not work for multiple point charges.
Year-end Statistical Reports (Login Required) January 31 login/fill out statistics email John Wilson

The WPA CBOP (Conference Board of Pensions)

The WPA CBOP (Conference Board of Pensions) approved the 2023 health insurance billing rate to the local church. Effective January 1, 2023, the rate will be $1493.00 a month.  This rate includes medical, vision, and dental coverage.  The new rate represents a $12.00 a month increase from the 2022 rates.  Member cost share remains the same for 2023 at:

$20.00 single / $35.00 two persons / $70.00 family

The information contained in this email is for all active clergy and laity enrolled in our WPA conference-sponsored UPMC Health Plan.

You can view this information on our benefits page at:

UM News

Contributors Wanted: The communications team is looking for contributors to write for our printed publication, In Focus. Topics may include noteworthy ministries or events at your church, human-interest pieces, reflections, devotionals, etc. Articles must be of general interest to United Methodists in Western Pennsylvania. We ask that your submission be approximately 300-350 words. Please submit to by January 9, 2023 to be considered for the next edition.

Orientation to Ministry will be held on Saturday, January 28, 2023, from 9:30 a.m. - noon at First United Methodist Church, 251 Main Street, Leechburg, PA 15656. The Orientation is a requirement for anyone pursuing licensed or ordained ministry. However, this initial gathering is open to anyone who would like to learn more about the various types of set-apart ministry that exist within the United Methodist Church.  Information will be presented about the broad range of opportunities including CLM, professional certification, local pastor, and ordained ministry. Register


Please Pray For: 

Pastor Ed Sutton: Health concerns.

Pastor Christine Doren's husband Steve who is recovering at home.

Trinity Stahlstown Fire- Pastor Christine Doren 

Interior of church a total loss after fire: WPXI interviewed Pastor Christine Doren a week after a fire at Trinity UMC in Stahlstown. “It’s been incredible. I’ve had multiple churches reach out — asking, ‘what can we do?’ and multiple people reaching out saying, ‘what can we do?’” Read story and see how you can help.   

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:

Celebrate January



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


Martin Luther King, Jr. Service

Martin Luther King, Jr. Service
Where: Monroeville United Methodist Church, 219 Center Road, Monroeville, PA 15146
Sunday, January 15, 2023 4:00 PM

The Greensburg District of the WPAUMC invites you to the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Service on January 15, 2023, at 4:00 pm at Monroeville United Methodist Church. The featured speaker is the gifted and dynamic Dr. Cynthia A. Bond Hopson. Dr. Bond Hopson is Chief Equity Officer and Assistant General Secretary of the Black College Fund (BCF) at the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Higher Education and Ministry in Nashville, TN where she lives. See flyer

District Calendar and Save the Date



Save The Dates: 

  • Local Pastor's Lunch: Friday, January 6th   - Brady's Restaurant Acme PA. Contact Mark Sholtis for information:  mtpastormark@gmail
  • SPARK 2023 will be held January 27-29 at the Sheraton Station Square in Pittsburgh
  • Connellsville District Conference Sunday, May 21, 2023     
  • Annual Conference Thursday June 15- Saturday June 17th                              


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

 Olmstead Manor
Prayer Retreat:
Meditate Like Jesus
March 3-5, 2023


Camping Weekend: Camping Weekend is a Special Sunday to be celebrated on January 28-29, 2023 (or another date chosen by the local church) for the purpose of receiving a Camping Weekend Offering; to promote the continued support of the “Deeply  Rooted, Upward Reaching” campaign; and to encourage participation in the 2023 summer camp season. Download resource toolkit

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 
Camp Allegheny is Hiring for Summer 2023    more info 

Camp Alleghney is hiring Senior Staff (college students) as resident counselors, wranglers, lifeguards, food service, office, photographer and more. and high school students (16 and 17 year olds) as Jr. staff who work 4 to 6 weeks of the summer, usually in a counseling role. Staff receive paid training and are trained in a wide variety of areas; communication, leadership, activities, CPR and first aid, Bible study, age level characteristics and so much more.  More information is here.

Wesley Woods


Mission/Disaster Response

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

SPARK: Registration for the annual conference youth event is now open! SPARK 2023 will be held January 27-29 at the Sheraton Station Square in Pittsburgh. Learn more and register groups before November 4th for the early bird price. 

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. 

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.


  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

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.)