Weekly Update

In this issue:

MISSIONAL  STRATEGY ALERT: Looking ahead...
NEWS: The Way Forward Meetings; Highlights from the DS's Schedule
EVENTS:  Upcoming Events in the District and Conference
ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT:  Charge Conference, Healthcare
CLOSING PRAYER



MISSIONAL STRATEGY ALERT!!!

Dear Missionaries of the Great North District, 

As soon as October 1st rolled around, I noticed in homes all across the North District elaborate, interesting outdoor decorations anticipating the culture's observance of Halloween.  At Home Depot and Lowe's, of course, they've leaped right to Christmas; you've seen it!  

I pray for all of your local church events across these upcoming holiday-laden months, that you'll reach households (young and old) which are ripe for seasonal celebration in Christ-honoring ways.  If you've got special programs scheduled, let me know so I can pray for their effectiveness...and maybe attend!  

Looking ahead...

Plan for a daylight Christmas Eve service this year, in addition to your evening worship.  Christmas Eve is now the largest, single-day opportunity in the whole year to reach the churched and the "un-churched."  Young families which need to travel to out-of-own relatives, as well as older folks who don't want to drive after sunset, love this opportunity to worship at their own church on Christmas Eve...and so do your neighbors whom you don't often see in church.  

Seven or eight years ago, I launched one of these (2:00pm ) at Hopewell; three years later, it had grown so much that we added a second daytime service at Noon -  and together those two worship hours attract more than 400 people.  

It's additional work for you, yes (!)...but pray about the possibility.   And if you decide to attempt a daylight Christmas Eve service for the first time this year, invite me to attend!  God's blessing on your faithful observances of  All Saints Day, Thanksgiving, and even Christmas in these coming days.   

~Steve

NEWS

Bishop Johnson's Way Forward Town-Hall Meetings

BISHOP AND DELEGATES COVET PRAYER IN THE PROCESS LEADING UP TO
 AND INCLUDING THE SPECIAL CALLED SESSION OF 

B
BISHOP JOHNSON PRESENTS PLANS TO BE CONSIDERED AT GENERAL CONFERENCE AND INVITES FAITHFUL METHODISTS OF ALL PERSPECTIVES INTO PRAYER FOR THE IMPORTANT WORK OF THE DELEGATES. 
REV. BOB WILT, REV. JEFF RAFFAUF, AND MS. JUDY EHNINGER REPRESENT THE DELEGATES AS THEY ANSWER QUESTIONS, LISTEN TO, AND LEARN FROM THE PEOPLE ON THE NORTH DISTRICT. 
Highlights from the DS's Schedule:




DS MORTON WELCOMING PEOPLE 
AT THE WAY FORWARD TOWN-HALL MEETING 
IN EFFORT.


~~~~~
  • October 7 -   9:45 am Service of Confirmation and Eucharist on World Communion Sunday at Stroudsburg: Faith UMC; 1:00 pm Pocono Mission ConneXion Charge Conference
  • October 8 - Introduction to Ministry (BOOM event at Moravian Seminary), Northampton Region Connexion charge conference at Green Pond  
  • October 9 and 10 -  Health insurance briefings in Conyngham, Pocono Plateau, and Allentown: Salem
  • October 9 -  Hazleton Area Connexion charge conference
  • October 11 -  Office day in Valley Forge, ZOOM meeting with DS cohort group
  • October 13 -  Slate Belt Connexion charge conference
  • October 14 -  Worship at Faith Alive, Northern Tier Connexion charge conference
EVENTS

NORTH DISTRICT EPAUMC CALENDAR

New and Updated Events are in  BOLD


Oct. 2018 - 
  • Monday, October 8 - Ministry Orientation - Moravian Seminary, 12:30-2:30 (Not to Late - See Below)
  • Tuesday, October 9 - Open Enrollment Meeting - Conyngham UMC, 2-4 (Updated Information Below)
  • Wednesday, October 10 - Open Enrollment Meeting - Pocono Plateau, 10-12 (Updated Information Below)
  • Wednesday, October 10 - Open Enrollment Meeting - Allentown: Emmanuel, 2-4 (Updated Information Below)
  • Sunday, October 21 - Laity Sunday - YOUR CHURCH!
  • Tuesday, October 23 - Cross-Cultural/Racial Ministry Interest Event - Wilmington, DE: Aldersgate, 10-12
  • Saturday, October 27 - Energizing Your Worship Workshop with Ad Lib Music - Cornwall UMC, 8am - 12:30pm (Flyer Below)
  • Wednesday, October 31 - Thursday, November 15 - Open Enrollment, Online

Nov. 2018 - 
  • Monday, November 5 - Youth Worker Training (See Below), 7-8:30pm; East Stroudsburg UMC
  • Saturday, November 10 - Faith Sharing Event - Hopewell UMC (Flyer below)
  • Monday, November 12- Youth Worker Training (See Below), 7-8:30pm; Wescosville: Bethany UMC
  • Saturday, November 17 - Domestic Violence Workshop - West Lawn UMC

2019 Events - 
  • Pen-Del Annual Youth Rally - January 4-6, 2019 (more information).
  • Deacon Day Apart - January 12, 2019 - More information to come.
  • Tools for Ministry 2019 - Saturday, March 2, 2019.
  • EPAUMC Youth Rally - March 16, 2019, 1-5pm; Bethlehem: Wesley UMC.
  • Deacon Gathering with Bishop Johnson - April 13, 2019.
  • Certified Lay Ministries Courses - Begin in April, 2019 (More information about CLM program and dates).
  • Local Pastor, Associate Member, CLM Retreat - May 5-7, 2019  - (Registration Deadline in January
  • Annual Conference 2019 - Thursday, June 13 - Saturday, June 15, 2019
Interested in becoming a Certified Lay Minister?
Are there people in your church who may be called?


Certified Lay Minister (CLM) is a qualified United Methodist layperson called to be a part of a ministry team under the supervision of a clergy person. The CLM candidate is a Christ Servant Minister/Lay Servant in good standing, with a minimum of two years CSM experience, including one  CSM Speaking Course (or a person with equivalent training as defined by the EPC).  Persons who feel the need for more ministry training and responsibility, after consultation with their pastor, approval of the  District Committee  on Ordained Ministry, and District Superintendent are accepted to begin the program.


Certified Lay Ministry Class of 2019 begins in April 2019.

All prospective candidates must attend one of the Orientation/Admission sessions, which are held from September to December at locations in the four  districts of the Eastern PA Conference, see dates and locations by clicking the link above or contacting  Judy Ehninger, CLM Program Coordinator. 
To those who may be exploring Certified or Licensed Ministry in the UMC, 

Do you feel, deep within, that God might be calling you?
Are you trying to discern that call
Trying to figure out if you're called to be a deacon or an elder? 
An elder or a licensed local pastor? 
A licensed local pastor or a certified lay minister?
 Not sure of the differences? 
Not sure where God is calling you?
Not sure how to get there?

This ministry orientation will help you better understand the diverse ways that you can live out your call in The United Methodist Church. For those who are candidates for ministry, this orientation will also satisfy one of the requirements necessary to become a certified candidate.

Please come and explore:

Monday, October 8, 2018
12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
led by Rev. Monica Guepet
Moravian Theological Seminary
60 W. Locust Street
Bethlehem, PA 18018
To register for the Oct. 8th event, please email the District.

~May a sense of God's abundant grace and goodness guide your discernment~

"Shut Down Berks Interfaith Witness" invites you to a

PRAYER VIGIL - OCTOBER 21st @ 3:30 pm

Click HERE for more information 

OCTOBER 27, 2018
Energize Your Worship




Faith Sharing Workshop:

To Register Online: Click Here

To Download Registration Form: Click Here 



ANNUAL YOUTH RALLY

JANUARY 4TH-6TH
OCEAN CITY, MD

Click  here for more information!

ADMINISTRATIVE NOTICES

PLEASE READ FOR IMPORTANT ENROLLMENT INFORMATION:


QUICK FACTS:
  • This change does not apply to retired pastors
  • Those who are waiving healthcare coverage will need to complete a new HealthFlex waiver form this year. 
  • Anyone who does not complete a waiver or open enrollment will automatically be enrolled in our Bronze Plan with no HSA eligibility.
  • OPEN ENROLLMENT IS 10/31-11/15 and will use the ALEX system (which will be introduced at the information sessions) - This is a correction from a previously published date.
  • You may attend any information session in the Conference that you desire, but we request that you register in advance.


THREE INFORMATION SESSION WILL BE HELD ON THE NORTH DISTRICT:

10/09/2018
2:00 pm
Conyngham UMC
411 S Main St
Conyngham PA 18219


10/10/2018
10:00 am
Pocono Plateau
304 Pocono Plateau Rd
Cresco, PA 18326
  Register for Pocono Plateau, October 10


10/10/2018
2:00 pm
Allentown: Emmanuel UMC
2336 S 9th Street, Unit 1
Allentown, PA 18103
  Register for Allentown, October 10

CHARGE CONFERENCE INSTRUCTIONS

THANK YOU for your patience as we get up to speed and develop 
the Charge Conference process for this year. 
We are all learning so much from your patient questions and gentle advice!

Also, the 2 week deadline is not an arbitrary request designed to torment churches and pastors.  It helps us support you best by using our DRA's and DS's time most efficiently. Please let Sheri know if the 2 weeks will be a challenge for you so that we can plan accordingly.



This year, DRA Sheri Kentner will be receiving ALL FORMS. 
Please submit all of the forms at one time.
To submit them, we have 2 options:

OPTION #1 - COMPLETELY ELECTRONIC (this is preferred ):
Step 1: Please gather all forms and send them at one time.
Step 2:  Be sure that all forms are signed appropriately.
Step 3:  At least two weeks before your Charge Conference, scan and email them to: skentner@epaumc.org


OPTION #2 -  PARTIALLY ELECTRONIC:
Step 1:  Please gather all forms and send them at one time.
Step 2:  At least two weeks before your Charge Conference,  e mail electronic,  unsigned copies to Sheri: skentner@epaumc.org
Step 3:  Mail signed forms to Sheri at:
North District Office,
EPAUMC
980 Madison Avenue
Norristown, PA 19403


We recognize that a few churches do not have email capabilities for form submission. To make alternate arrangements, please contact Sheri at 610-666-9090 xt.1025. 
PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE IS A NEW FORM FOR CHARGE CONFERENCE THIS YEAR:


In an effort maximize our time together in worship, prayer, and celebration at Charge Conferences this year, we are expecting each church to come with business items that need a vote pre-approved by their  Church Council/ Ad Board/ Lead Team (or other approved governing body). We are attaching a form that will need to be completed along with the forms available on the Conference website. As we shift to Charge Conferences in Connexions, this procedural change respects the business of each church by giving individual churches the proper time to discern and discuss their decisions instead of rushing through business, and it brings us in line with the practice with other districts in the Conference. This means that WE WILL NOT BE DOING ANY break-out meetings at Charge Conferences unless there is a special need that has been pre-arranged with the District Office. Issues of critical concern that require District-level support will be addressed by the DS and/or Assisting Elder at a separate time.  

Link to Governing Board Approval Form:



Link to other forms (including Clergy Compensation, which is now available):

CHARGE CONFERENCE SCHEDULE:



God, grant me the Serenity
To accept the things I cannot change...
Courage to change the things I can,
And Wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace.

Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it.
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His will.

That I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with Him forever in the next.
Amen.

- Credited to various sources, often Reinhold Neibuhr