By Jeanette Lahm


It’s hard to believe, but summer camp 2016 has already come and gone.  We thank God for our camp leaders including Joy Cotchen, Allegheny Mennonite Conference (AMC)’s Minister of Children and Youth (leading our camp youth’s faith journeys for 17 years thanks to AMC’s continued partnership), and of course the (181) campers and their families! What fun we had with the return of wet & wild elements: ropes course, slip-n-slide, water balloon launch, and the famous Disciples rafting trip. Plan to join us in 2017!

brendaBRENDA JOHNSON, DIRECTOR OF GUEST SERVICES REACHES 20-YEAR MILESTONE! If you have ever booked a trip to Laurelville, likely you know Brenda, the amazing one-woman-hosted-group-show. Known to work into the wee hours on her ‘days off’ to plan for our guests, Brenda is a true blessing to Laurelville and all the groups who visit. You can send her a message of thanks and congrats here:


“Did you change your name?” is a question we have been asked as of late. Absolutely not! Our history is rich, and our name, Laurelville Mennonite Church Center is a proud expression of who we are and where we come from. As we market to outside groups, we face the challenge of educating against misunderstandings such as, “We thought you were only open to Mennonites,” or “Aren’t you (just) a church center?” True to our mission, we offer “Christ-like hospitality with welcome and safety to all.” So whether guests learn of Laurelville by Googling “Christian Pittsburgh Retreat Centers,” looking for “Retreat Center” deals on Laurel Highlands’ Visitor Bureau website, or via local marketing for “Laurelville,” our goal is simply to reach our target audience. Once guests arrive at Laurelville Mennonite Church Center, they understand how Mennonite + Church Center = warm hospitality, and God’s love the Laurelville way.

FALL ASSOCIATION GATHERING—“ROOTS & WINGS: Grounded in Faith, Called to Fly.” This fall, we welcome Julia Kasdorf as our association speaker. She’s not only an award-winning poet, professor of English and women’s studies at Penn State, published author and more… she’s also the daughter of John and Virginia Spicher! We are still looking for an association weekend music & worship leader.  If you feel called to volunteer, please contact Katie Cline, Program Director: Plan to join us: Oct. 21, 22, 23. Additional registration details coming soon.


Jeanette Lahm is the Executive Director at Laurelville

Laurelville is a Christian Retreat Center in the Laurel Highlands in Southwestern Pennsylvania.