Post Season


Message From Our Board President

It has been another amazing summer at Chautauqua Institute and the United Methodist House. During the season, we were blessed by excellent chaplains who provided weekly worship from our Wesleyan tradition, as well as teaching and talks that enhanced the Chautauqua experience. We also celebrated our first year with the Yauchs as our host and hostess. They are a wonderful addition to the United Methodist House, its leadership, and its ministry, providing a gift of hospitality that reached far beyond our guests.

This summer, the Chautauqua community experienced a painful moment when Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie was violently attacked as he was about to speak. As Chautauquans processed this most difficult time, the United Methodist House and the Yauchs created a welcoming, hospitable space for people to talk and be in community. It was a very visible sign of our ministry, one that we pray will continue to bless our community.

During this season, the Trustees will be working on several projects to care for our facilities and our future guests. This will include a significant upgrade to the elevator technology to be sure it continues to work without interruption. As we approach the holidays, I invite you to remember the United Methodist House and its ministry. Pray for us, and for the guests who will join us. Pray for our chaplains and our programs. Pray for the Chautauqua Institute community. If you should feel moved to help support our efforts, please consider an end-of-year donation to our shared work.

Together, we pray that you and your families will be blessed in the closing of this year, and in the year ahead. We look forward to seeing you again soon.


Rev. Chuck Smith

UM House Board President


Greetings from the Finance Committee!

This is a year of transition. During the 2022 Annual Board Meeting, Mike Paine was elected the new treasurer, replacing Mike Corey after his 10 years of dedicated service. The two Mikes worked together to achieve a seamless passing of the torch so that operation of the House and payment of expenses continued without a hitch.

The House was fully rented during this season thanks to the efforts of our Financial Secretary, Debbie Caruso. We are on track to have another successful year and be able to perform some capital improvements before the coming summer assembly season.

The state of the economy has affected everyone this year. Even though our “belts are tightened” a bit, the Finance Committee (on behalf of the Board of Trustees) asks that you consider making a financial gift to help ensure the continued success of the United Methodist House at Chautauqua. Room rentals cover the majority of the operating expenses of the House, but contributions to capital improvement projects, gifts and bequests are also needed to keep the United Methodist House functioning as intended.

Mike Paine, Treasurer and Finance Chair

Greetings From The Communication Committee

Hello! I am Clara Wilder, the chairperson of Communications. I am excited to be a part of the United Methodist House at Chautauqua Institute. I am learning so much about the institute and the people who are there.

We have a new website. However, it has the same address so there will not be any trouble finding it. The website is Please stop by and check it out. It is still a work in progress at this time. I will be uploading more tidbits of information as I receive them.

If you any pictures that you would like uploaded onto the website, please feel free to email me the pictures with a comment or two to me at

Another responsibility of mine is the newsletter. Please send me your articles so I can include them in the newsletter. I am excited and nervous in this new adventure.

Clara E. Wilder, Communication Chairperson

Greetings From Our United Methodist House Host Couple

Dear Friends of the United Methodist House

Our first year as Hosts for the UM House was an exciting and exhausting learning experience. The House was fully booked for the summer, and we enjoyed meeting our many guests.

Each week had at least one unforeseen hiccup (aka “learning experience”) each of which made life interesting. For example, just two days before our first Sunday service was to begin, the old electronic piano with several stuck keys became unplayable!! Our nearby neighbor, the Catholic House, solved this hiccup by giving us a beautiful piano that was successfully transported to our chapel thanks to the Department of Religion. And it was still in tune! Then in week 9, burnt toast caused the fire alarm to sound at 7am one morning. This allowed us to learn how best to quickly evacuate the House in a reasonably orderly fashion—although many of us were not fashionably dressed!! So, the start and end of the 9-week season were both memorable.

We would like to thank all the many guests and Chautauqua residents who gave of their time and talents to serve as ushers, greeters and special music providers at our Sunday worship services in the Chapel. Speaking of our Sunday services, we also send a very well done thank you to Beth Nelson for finding and sending to the House each week chaplains with interesting and thoughtful messages. And a big thank you goes to our cleaning staff who not only had the rooms cleaned and ready each Saturday, but also rearranged their own schedules to accommodate guests who requested longer stays. We also want to thank our Hurlbut friends who helped each week with the Saturday evening welcome and “get acquainted” dinners.

Special thanks also go to the ladies — and some men — who not only provided us with dozens upon dozens of homemade cookies for our Tuesday afternoon social hours, but who also had friendly interactive conversations with the myriads of Chautauquans who visited the porch during the “cookie crawl.” Last, but far from least, a very sincere and heartfelt thank you goes from both of us to Debbie Caruso who is a true miracle worker for all of us.

Your United Methodist House Host Couple

Jan and Mike Yauch

Property Committee

We had two very good work weekends in June to get the house ready for the summer season. It always feels so good to get the porch and porch furniture cleaned and the carpet down on the first day. The front sign was painted. A new room refrigerator was installed along with all the other projects that needed to be accomplished. It does seem like we could spend all our time just doing touch up painting.

We do hope to get some projects done this year that include work on or replacement of two of the porch posts and work on the soffit and facia on the second floor.

A big thank you to all who helped get the House ready for the season. We again had a great turn out for both work weekends.

At our last UMH Board meeting It was decided to replace the control panel on the elevator. If the panel were to fail it could take up to 3 months to order parts and then to get them installed and we could not afford to be without an elevator for that amount of time. The cost for parts alone will be around $16,000.

Contributions are always welcome to help cover the costs of maintaining the United Methodist House.

Plan to attend our work weekend October 28th and 29th. We will start Friday afternoon, get organized and start to fill the canvas room. We welcome you to come and help – you do not have to be on the Property Committee or Board. We get a lot done and enjoy fun and fellowship at the same time. If you would like to stay overnight on Friday and need a room, call Debbie at (716) 357-4045.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions at or 716-269-4564.

Conrad Howard, Property Chair