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JUNE 17, 2022

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Vital Congregations 

Church welcomes neighbors into its ‘spiritual home’ 

“Welcome Home.” One sees that greeting written down at First UMC in Media and on its website. But now members are also saying it more, as they welcome new and diverse members to join them in worship and ministry. The church’s mission statement invites “all people to join us in our faith journey toward greater love, understanding and mutual respect.” 


More than two dozen new members have recently accepted that invitation to make First UMC their “spiritual home.” And while most are over 60 and White, many others are younger and of other races—African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian and Biracial. Read more.  

Local Pastors Licensing School to begin in August

The Eastern PA Conference’s next Local Pastor Licensing School will begin August 19 and run eight weekends total until Oct. 8. That includes six weekends total of in-class modules, again offered fully online via Zoom video-conferencing. Online registration is open now. Learn more.  .   

More things you should know...

1.  Juneteenth: Hope for the future wrapped in a history lesson 

Juneteenth, historically celebrated on June 19, will be observed as a federal holiday this year on Monday, June 20. It commemorates the delayed emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the U.S. But more than 150 years after the first Juneteenth in 1865, inequity persists. As United Methodists, we must commit to ensure full freedom for all people. Learn more, and watch and download a video by United Methodist Communications.  Also read "Celebrating Juneteenth 2022," including educational and worship resources, on the UM Discipleship Ministries website.


In 2021 Willow Grove UMC hosted that community’s first Juneteenth celebration, an event that filled its parking lot. St. Daniel’s UMC in Chester has celebrated Juneteenth with its community for many years. We would like to know about UM churches that will host or participate in commemorating or celebrating Juneteenth, or Freedom Day, this year. Please tell us what your church is doing; and please send us photos to publish Write to communications@epaumc.org or use our Submit News web page.  

2. Why do United Methodist pastors change churches? 

Many United Methodist congregations in the United States will receive new clergy leadership beginning July 1. Ask The UMC, a ministry of United Methodist Communications, has more about the history of how and why clergy are moved to new appointmentsRead story

3.  Striving for equity in pastor salaries

A study on salary disparities between Black and white UM pastors in North and South Carolina shows that Black pastors make substantially less than their white counterparts. The researchers suggest revenue sharing and moving salary decisions involving pastors out of local churches to annual conferences.  Read story

{Note: EPA’s Commission on Religion & Race did a similar economic inequity study and arrived at similar findings among Black pastors here, leading to the Commitment to Dismantling Racism: A Path Towards Wholeness (Resolution #2022-07) that Annual Conference approved in May.]

4.  June is HIV/AIDS Education Month 

June is HIV/AIDS Education Month, and June 27 is National HIV Testing Day. This year’s theme is “HIV Testing Is Self-Care.” Learn more about HIV testing options and learn how to #StopHIVTogether. “Until there is a cure we cannot forget or become complacent about HIV/AIDS,” says the Rev. Deborah Tanksley-Brown, Deacon and former head of the H.U.B of Hope HIV-prevention ministry. “We have not achieved zero new infections. So, we must do what we can to keep a light shining on HIV/AIDS awareness.” 

5.  Ministry of spiritual direction is subject of online course 

 A two-year, fully online course teaching the ministry of spiritual direction is being offered through a partnership of the Bishop Bruce Ough Innovation Center at UMC-related United Theological Seminary and the Center for Spiritual Formation. The center is a connectional ministry of the UMC’s Susquehanna Conference. Read press release 

6. Online history courses available 

The United Methodist Commission on Archives and History has launched a new online teaching platform, the UM History Hub. The hub currently offers registration for the Local Church Historians' School; an online course that focuses on past splits, separations and reconciliations of the denomination; and another course for young people on Wesleyan heritage. Read press release . Visit UM History Hub   

7.  Worship series concepts sought

United Methodist Discipleship Ministries is in the market for ideas for worship series based on themes or special events. Concepts can be sent to the agency for consideration via a form on its website. Pastors, worship leaders and worship teams are encouraged to send their ideas.  Learn more and submit ideas

8.   Africa University graduates share their gifts

On the eve of Africa University's 2022 graduation ceremonies, the Rev. Joao Sambo highlights how graduates of the United Methodist university are using their education to enrich churches and communities in Africa.  Read story

9.  The Metaverse and Methodism

The metaverse is a topic in digital marketing that is receiving much attention lately. A digital marketing professor and Certified Lay Minister says the church must push its digital boundaries into digital spaces like the metaverse—a potential mission field--if it wants to be relevant in the future. Online worship services are a great start, but it is time to move into Web 3.0.  Read more.

10. UMCom offers social media graphics, training and website building 

While our Local Church Services team has a free library of graphics that you can use anytime to promote upcoming events, we also offer one-on-one coaching sessions to help you be more effective with social media. Need help with things such as additional website training, SEO activation and website security packages? We’ve got that covered, too. And if you happen to need a new website for your church, we can build it for you.  Learn more

Reminders


Look for updates of Appointments, Retirees and Open Churches on Sundays after 1 PM. See the Appointments page on our website for updates. 


Next issue of Jobs Digest June 27 

If you have employment openings to announce please send them to us by June 21 at communications@epaumc.org , to be published in the next issue of Jobs Digest June 27. Thanks! 

  

Pathways to Congregational Fruitfulness & Health 

Pathways offers a menu of intentional processes congregations can use to prepare, assess, learn and grow in their understanding of what it means to be a healthy, fruitful congregation. It is a timely resource, especially now as we prepare for ministry in a post-pandemic future. You can learn all about it to help your church make choices for a future that is visionary, viable and vital. 

Visit the  Pathways to Congregational Fruitfulness & Health  webpage and enroll.  

COSROW to host event on women’s heart health, June 25 

EPA’s Commission on the Status & Role of Women (COSROW) will shed light this month on a topic too long lost in the shadows of medical ignorance: heart illness in women. Deena Weems Thornton of the American Heart Association will speak on “How Heart Problems Affect Women” June 25, at 2 PM, via Zoom. Learn more... Register.


Attend Mission u, July 7-28. Register by July 1

EPA’s United Women in Faith (formerly UM Women) will sponsor another online version of Mission u during but with a new month-long format throughout July. The July 7-28 virtual meeting will include study, classes and worship. The 2022 theme is “Who Can We Be Together? Building Communities of Hope and Joy.” All participants will take the same study. Books available for adult, youth and children will focus on a shared biblical theme (found in Luke 13). The cost is $25 per person. Learn more and register by July 1 (exended deadline).


2022 Laity Academy - Part 1, August 5-6  

Part 1 of the 2022 Laity Academy will happen August 5-6 with in-person classes at Cedarville UMC in Pottstown. Eight classes will cover the Basic, Speaking, Leadership and Caring essential areas of lay ministries. They include classes in Preaching, Disciple-making through small groups, Servant Leadership, “Generating Intense Bible Study Games for Adults,” “Empowering, engaging and nurturing our aging congregations” and “Making Every Prayer Count.” Click here to view the course catalog.   Register    

Good News!

Church to host another, much-needed blood drive 

June 14, was World Blood Donor Day, during a time when our nation is suffering a severe blood shortage. St. John’s UMC in Ivyland is offering a solution to that problem. It will sponsor another Blood Drive July 8, from 2 to 7 PM, following the one it hosted April 8. 



“We partnered with the American Red Cross to help save lives,” wrote Susan Seamans of St. John’s.” Many churches host blood drives, where generous donors can heroically save lives by sharing their precious blood. But more church donation sites and drives are needed, especially since the Covid pandemic has lessened blood supplies, and summer months typically bring in fewer donors. Read more. 

Have Good News to share? 

Email communications@epaumc.org to let us know! Also visit our Local Church Events page and our Churches in Mission page. And please send us your news of church events and church mission efforts.

Calendar

JUNE 25 

Basic Sexual Ethics Workshop. 10 AM – 1 PM via Zoom. Register.

JUNE 25 

COSROW event “How Heart Problems Affect Women” June 25, 2 PM, via Zoom.  Register.

JULY 4

43rd anniversary of the Semana Latina (Latino Week) Summer Camp at Gretna Glen Camp & Retreat Center.  Register

JULY 7-28

EPA United Women in Faith "Mission u" – Virtual event. Register by July 1..

AUGUST 5-6

Laity Academy – Part 1. In-Person at Cedarville UMC. Register View the course catalog.

AUGUST 13

Orientation to Ministry. 10 AM - 12 PM, at Moravian Seminary. Register.

SEPT. 30 – OCT. 1 

Laity Academy – Part 2. Virtual.

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