The Susquehanna Conference took a bold leap to reach new people in the capital city of Harrisburg, PA by proposing ten areas churches with a combined worship attendance of 359 come together in a vital merger into a new faith community. The process, the outcome, and the learnings will be shared with participants.
Kay Kotan currently serves as the Director of Equipping Vital Congregations for the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church. Her responsibilities include congregational revitalization and new church starts.
She is a CoachU and Advanced Coach U Graduate, an accredited coach (Professional Certified Coach – PCC) with the International Coaching Federation, certified Path 1 coach, and once served on the faculty at Coaching4Clergy. As a passionate lay person, she has worked in corporate America and was a business owner for more than 20 years. Kotan has been serving churches, pastors, conferences, and judicatory leaders for the past decade. She is most proud to be the wife of Bob for 26 years and the mother of their 23 year-old son, Cameron.
Kay is the author of multiple books/workbooks including Gear Up: Nine Essential Processes for the Optimized Church, Mission Possible: Structuring Your Church for Missional Effectiveness, Full Schedules, Barren Souls as well as the co-author of the book entitled, IMPACT!: Reclaiming the Call of Lay Ministry, Small Church Check-Up, Insights on Productivity, Strategic Ministry Planning, Renovate or Die – Ten Ways to Focus Your Church on Mission, Ministry 3.0 and Get Their Name, Ten Prescriptions for a Healthy Church and Necessary Nine – Nine Things Effective Pastors Do Differently.
Mrs. Kotan spends her time investing in pastors, laity leaders, churches, and judicatory leaders in teaching, coaching, creating resources, and moving them into greater effectiveness and fruitfulness in their ministries to reach more people for Jesus Christ. She is an enthusiastic and passionate presenter who challenges her workshop participates in both their thinking and their doing.
Barry and Joan (Joni) Robison were married in 1980. Born in Altoona, Barry graduated from Hollidaysburg High School, Robert Morris College (now University) and The Methodist Theological School in Ohio. Since his first appointment in 1982, he has served in the York, Lewisburg, and Williamsport Districts. A Rhode Islander by birth, Joni grew up in the south hills of Pittsburgh and has diplomas from Peters Township High School and Ohio Wesleyan University.
Their oldest son, Benjamin, was born in 1986 with a rare genetic disorder named Menkes Syndrome and died in 1991. They adopted Lindsay at birth in 1987, and she is a surgical technologist at Holy Spirit Hospital. Their second son, Gabriel, was born in 1989, and teaches social studies at The Woodlynde School in Wayne, PA. Gabriel married Emily Knitter in October 2012, and they live in the East Falls section of Philadelphia. Brooklyn Ryann Morrison, born in 2017 to Lindsay and Kevin Morrison is Joni and Barry's first grandchild. Ryley, a very friendly and energetic Westie and Cocker Spaniel mix, rounds out the family.
Joni enjoys playing and teaching piano and works part-time at Weis Markets as well as Discovery Place and the Conference Camping Office. Barry's interests include Star Trek, hunting, golf, softball, volleyball and singing. Barry has sung with the Chi Rho singers since 1984, and Joni and Barry have been part of the Conference's Elementary Music Camp at Greene Hills since its inception in 1985, serving as deans since 1995 and 1992 respectively. Both enjoy watching The Voice and rooting for the Pirates, Steelers, Penguins and Nittany Lions.