January 4, 2019
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Over 3,500 to attend this weekend's Pen-Del Youth Rally

340 from Eastern PA to journey to Ocean City, MD

By John W. Coleman

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you."   Isaiah 43:2 (NRSV)

While many in our world have been suffering from fire and floods, among other natural and human catastrophes, one existential message of hope remains constant and worthy of reminding: that God is our Protector. Always. Through every turbulent ordeal. "A very present help in times of need."

The 2019 Peninsula-Delaware Youth Rally will proclaim that message, with the theme "Protector," in very personal ways to over 3,500 young people and their adult ministry leaders this weekend, January 4-6, at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center, in Ocean City, Md.

The 32nd Annual Youth Rally will overflow its vast arena, exhibit hall and breakout rooms with worship and praise in speeches, skits and songs, along with fun, faith-forming activities to nurture fellowship and friendships.  The stage has been set for music and messages that will challenge and inspire youth and adults to shout and scream, wonder and witness to the joy and freedom of knowing, relying on and sharing Christ.

A new mini-stage in the exhibit hall will feature a talent show full of surprises and karaoke singing for those who dare. On Sunday morning Bishop Peggy Johnson will lead the gathering in Holy Communion; and participants will give to an offering for mission. They will also celebrate the winner of the "Proclaim the Name" preaching contest (formerly known as "Spittin' the Word").

Learn more and see the full line-up of exciting presenters and performers.

And please pray for the entire assembly to travel safely and have an enjoyable, meaningful adventure, especially the youth and adults coming from Eastern PA. "We will have 22 churches represented," reports David Piltz, Conference Coordinator of Youth & Young Adult Ministry, "with approximately 96 adults and 241 youth attending from our conference, including our Conference Council on Youth Ministry leaders."

CCYM leaders will be wearing black t-shirts inscribed with a mysterious message: "Easier Said than Done - March 16, 2019."  And they will be eager to interpret that message to any who ask. (Hint: It refers to the theme of our own Eastern PA Conference Youth Rally planned for March 16 at Wesley UMC in Bethlehem, PA.)  Also, CCYM leaders will have a gift for each church present at the rally.

Moreover, we will gather for a large-group photo on Saturday just before lunch. Look for that photo and others, as well as comments from participants, on our new  "EPAC Youth at Protector Rally 2019" Facebook group page.

Check it out now and later to see posts, even after the rally ends. W e will also be posting content to the #protector2019epac tag on both Twitter and Instagram. Follow us and post your own comments there using the hashtag #protector2019epac.

Also, read Bishop Peggy Johnson's new blog essay,
"To know beyond the unknown."
Reflecting on our celebrated new discovery of the large celestial rock floating in deep space which NASA has named "Ultima Thule" ("beyond the known world"), she offers her faith perspective on our majestic Creator God who may also seem far away but is very near ("He sits high but looks low," as  Psalm 138:6 is often paraphrased.)  

"When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have set in place," asks Psalm 8:3, "what is man that you are mindful of him and the son of man that you care for him?" Compared to all this vastness of space, we on this tiny planet might seem insignificant. Yet, God does love us and care for us as precious beings in God's creation... Beyond the known world... we know an unknowable God."    Learn more...

Also enjoy reading " Understanding Epiphany and Three Kings  Day"
about  Epiphany, the day Christians celebrate to recall the coming of the Magi to visit Jesus, bringing their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. It occurs on Jan. 6 every year, the 13th day of the Christmas season. The word "epiphany," from the Greek word  epiphania , means appearance or manifestation. This is an even more ancient Christian celebration than Christmas.

The arrival of gift-bearing visitors was a sign that the incarnation of God in Christ had been made known and was recognized by the heavens to the whole world, so that even Gentile wise men from the East came to pay him homage. This is an observance of great majesty, solemnity and awe. Learn more...

Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of The United Methodist Church
(800) 828-9093 |  communications@epaumc.org  |  www.epaumc.org
980 Madison Avenue, Norristown, PA 19403
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