July 31, 2015
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WHAT'S NEW
2016 Delegate Election Announcement
The voting process for 2016 General Conference delegates at the 2015 Annual Conference ran into problems with wifi connectivity, causing several ballots to be retaken. Subsequent analysis of the voting reports by the conference showed discrepancies with the presentations of ballot results displayed during the voting process. These discrepancies involved the total number of voters listed on the subsequent reports not matching those displayed, and discrepancies in the total number of votes cast in each ballot.  Upon further examination it was discovered that these discrepancies were caused by cross-voting (clergy voting for laity, and laity voting for clergy).  Under voting and over voting were also discovered which should not have been permitted.  There is also a possibility that issues with wifi connectivity may not have allowed all votes cast to be recorded.

Thus, while the delegation that was chosen may represent the intent of the body despite the discrepancies, the election results cannot be certified because of the discrepancies.  Since the Book of Discipline requires that the election of General Conference delegates be “fair and open” (paragraph 13.2), we will need to hold a new election at the 2015 Adjourned Session. Continue reading

Fast-growing Church leaves with property
Faced with no good alternatives, the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference recently negotiated a way for its fastest-growing church to leave the denomination but keep the church property.

Theologically conservative Wesley United Methodist Church of Quarryville, Pennsylvania, is now simply Wesley Church, having in June paid the conference $100,000 for the church buildings and land, along with an additional $58,000 in other conference obligations.

The conference could have claimed the property under the trust clause of the Book of Discipline, the church law book. The clause states that local church properties are held “in trust” for the denomination, even if the church’s name is on the deed.

Bishop Peggy Johnson, who leads the Eastern Pennsylvania and Peninsula-Delaware conferences, said she tried and failed to get Wesley United Methodist Church to reconsider leaving. Continue Reading on UMC.ORG

Campus Ministry Sunday is August 23 
Life-changing. Church-changing. World-changing.That's what can happen when college students and churches encounter one another to learn, share and grow in Christ and in community. Make sure your church celebrates Campus Ministry Sunday on August 23 (or on a more convenient date). Invite and welcome college students to your church for faith-sharing and fellowship. Receive the special Campus Ministry Sunday Offering that will help us renew efforts to promote and support campus ministries conference-wide. Retain half of the offering to support your own local campus ministry efforts, and please let us know what you are doing. Remit the rest, or the entire offering, to the EPA Conference Treasurer (P.O. Box 820, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0820).

"I encourage you to give generously to our campus ministries," says Bishop Peggy Johnson, whose own life was changed as a student at Lebanon Valley College. "Be in touch with the campus ministers and find ways of networking together in mission projects and study groups. Campus ministry needs the local church. The local churches need campus ministry. Our future depends on it."

Visit the Higher Education and Campus Ministry webpage on our new Conference Website, and be sure to download the new Campus Ministry Sunday promotional flyer to share with your church.
Use your UM Day at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom coupons Aug. 1
Due to the rain that hindered many people from coming to celebrate UM Day at Dorney Park Saturday, June 27, you can still use the  "United Methodist Day at Dorney Park"  discount coupons at the Park Saturday Aug. 1.  We regret to announce that the "UM Family and Youth Music Fest" could not be rescheduled for that date.   If you have any questions contact Ross Brightwell at rossbrightwell@verizon.net or 215-643-1269
Laity Academy registration ends July 31 
Register now, before next Friday, for the 32nd Laity Academy , set for August 14-16, at  The Inn at Reading , 1040 North Park Road, Wyomissing, PA. The theme is "Planting Seeds: Rooted in God's Word."  The  online registration  is now live, and you can get plenty of information about this annual education and fellowship event--the largest gathering for laity each year-- on our Website The Basic Christ Servant Ministries class is full. 

For more information contact Aubrey Bates or Anne Taylor. For hotel reservations visit Reservations@InnAtReading.com. Mention "Lay Academy."

MORE HEADLINES
REMINDERS
EPA Conference launches new Website

The Eastern PA Conference's long-awaited new Website is here and available for use at www.epaumc.org. Offering more content, more colorful imagery and more convenience for users, the new site includes: 

  • conference, district and denominational news, views and events; 
  • resources for church leaders; and
  • multiple, informative pages for ministry program areas, communications media and administrative services. 

New features include: an Archives and History page; a Giving opportunities page; a staff directory; a church search module and one for appointed pastors still being developed. Other new features include two blogs--titled "NEWSpirit Blog" and "From Pulpit & Pew"--and three strategic content sections, titled "Inform," "Inspire" and "Involve."  

Please visit our new site today and often. There's much to read, quality photography to appreciate, and new content added weekly. Also, please respond to our short, nine-question feedback survey. Your answers may help us further develop and refine this new communication and engagement tool to better serve you and the needs of our conference. Thanks!
Please reserve your hotel room for AC 2016 now!
We're trying to gain favor at the Lancaster Marriott for our 2016 Annual Conference, and you may be able to help. We really need members who plan to attend Annual Conference to start making room reservations now for the June 16-18 session. As more early reservations are made, we can get more leverage with the hotel staff for our meeting and hospitality needs.

So if you can, please reserve your rooms now at the Lancaster Marriott, Penn Square, 25 South Queen Street, Lancaster, PA 17603 ( 717-239-1600 ). The online  room registrations  rate is $129/day. Discounted parking in the garage is $7/day. Book your hotel room now
MORE REMINDERS
Missed any past issues of NEWSpirit Digest?
You can still read or share informative, colorful back issues of our weekly e-newsletter on the Eastern PA Conference Website at https://www.epaumc.org/news-events/newspirit-digest. Share this link with others who might want to stay informed about our news, events, resources and concerns. And please encourage them to subscribe by e-mailing communications@epaumc.org. Thanks!
SAVE THE DATE
Adjourned Session of Annual Conference
Save the Date! Nov. 14, 2015:  The Adjourned Session will be held at the Macungie campus of Bethany UMC, 3801 Brookside Road, Macungie, PA 18062.
Please Save These Dates! 
Aug. 14-16, 2015: Laity Academy,
The Inn at Reading (PA)  

Sept. 9-12, 2015: Laity Retreat

Oct. 2-4: Northeastern Jurisdiction Lay Leadership Event, Hershey, PA

Oct. 8-28: Bishop's Days on the Districts
  • Oct. 8: Southeast District
  • Oct. 13: Central District
  • Oct. 14: East District
  • Oct. 20: Northeast District
  • Oct. 22: Northwest District
  • Oct. 28: Southwest District
Nov. 14, 2015: Adjourned Session of Annual Conference, Bethany UMC, Macungie, PA

May 10-20, 2016: UMC General Conference, Portland, OR

June 16-18, 2016: Eastern PA Annual Conference, Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square, Lancaster, PA

July 10-16, 2016: EPA Conference to host the 2016 UMC Northeastern  
Jurisdictional Conference Lancaster County Convention Center and the Penn Square Marriott Hotel. Each district will serve as the Hospitality Team for one day.
Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of The United Methodist Church
980 Madison Avenue, Norristown, PA 19403
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