Year End

Message From Our Board President

The new year brings an opportunity to reflect and to dream. Reflecting on the past years, I celebrate the gift of my experiences at Chautauqua. I am grateful for lessons gained through lectures and recommended books, for rest found in the peace of the grounds, and for numerous cultural experiences in the Amphitheater. Some of my most meaningful memories are deep conversation on the porch of the United Methodist House.

Those conversations were not always discussions of agreement. Sometimes, they were spirited debates, but they were always civil, and insightful. Chautauqua helped cultivate an atmosphere that appreciated diversity and respect. The faith-based safe space created on our porch allowed people to be heard and to dig deeper into important topics.

Looking forward, this remains a significant gift we have to offer our community and the world. While we watch the lack of civility roaring around us, we retain the power to be an example of a better way, a way of hospitality, of love, and of respect. Imagine what could happen if the issues of our day were addressed in the atmosphere and attitude of our porch.

In 2023, we commit to doing what we do and doing it well, not just for the Chautauqua experience, but for the sake of one another, and the world.

Happy New Year!

Peace, Rev. Chuck Smith

Happy New Year from the Finance Committee

Another year has come to a close. The United Methodist House is halfway through its financial year, and we are doing well. Normal maintenance of the House is performed with volunteers working with the Property Committee and our regular housekeeping staff. Larger improvements need to be planned in advance to cover those costs. An example is the scheduled upgrade to the elevator control system to help ensure it provides reliable service for our visitors.

The United Methodist House continues to operate from year to year, primarily from room rentals during the summer season and supplemented by off-season retreat rentals. The ability to further the mission of the House is supplemented by your contributions, gifts, and bequests. The Finance Committee asks you to prayerfully consider starting the New Year off with a financial gift to the United Methodist House. These gifts are much needed and are gratefully appreciated.

Mike Paine, Treasurer and Finance Chair

Greetings From Our United Methodist House Host Couple

Dear Friends of UMH,

We are getting more and more excited about next summer with each passing week as we receive information from Debbie Caruso about who has made reservations for the House for next summer:  some folks we met last year, some names we recognize from years past, and some names are new to us! We are also excited because the weather in our home base of Houston, Texas, will be back in the 90’s by the end of May so we will be very happy to pack the car and head north for the summer. 

Our return to Houston this last fall was highlighted by a several days detour from our normal route that was the result of two coincidental events. One was that Ed Glaize, our Chaplin of the Week for Week 2, forgot a couple of shirts when he left for his home church in Boone, North Carolina. Second was the suggestion from Karen Greenwaldt and Russ Harris that we should visit the Lake Junaluska area of North Carolina someday. As Boone and Lake Junaluska both are in the mountains of Western North Carolina, we decided to return Ed’s shirts in person and to stay a couple of days in the area. Wow, are we glad we did! Ed was delighted to get his shirts back and we were delighted to see his home church. We were overwhelmed by the beauty of the Lake Junaluska area and the historic Lambuth Inn where we spent two nights. We viewed some of Russ’ pottery pieces in the gift shop.

Another highlight was Grandfather Mountain! We are sure many of you are familiar with the Lake Junaluska area but if you aren’t, we suggest you add it to your bucket list!

Jan and Mike Yauch


From the Property Committee

We had a great work weekend this fall to get the house ready for the retreat season. My thanks to all  who came to the work weekend. We were able to accomplish a lot. One of the first and most important job is fill the canvas room and move the patio furniture to the porch for the winter.

During the fall work weekend, thanks to a couple of knowledgeable and persistent property committee members, a new grab bar was installed in room 5. It is our hope now that we know what we are doing to install them in three other rooms.

Parts have been order for the upgrade of our elevator control system. We are not sure when the work will be done, but hopefully by the 2023 summer season.

One of the shrubs along Bowman Avenue died and turned brown last year, and needed to be removed this fall. Through the spring and summer we attempted to work with Chautauqua Institution about an acceptable replacement. We plan to move forward and have a srub, bush or tree planted there in the spring.

The spring work weekends will be June 9th & 10th and 16th & Please mark your calendars now and plan to come and lend a hand. There’s always a lot of work to be done, but we enjoy the fellowship with one another as we accomplish the tasks.

Thank you to the Property Committee, the Methodist House Board, and to all of you for your support and help in funding the improvements to the House. Thank you also for allowing me serve on the Property Committee.

Conrad Howard