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May 27, 2022


Bishops call for action to stop mass shootings 

“There are no words,” begins Bishop John Schol in his poignant letter of response to the painful spate of mass murders tolling like death knells across our nation’s mournful landscape—from Buffalo, New York, to Southern California to tiny Uvalde, Texas. He makes an appeal to all churches “to pray this weekend and find specific actions your church will take to stand against, and do something about, the hatred and violence in our communities and in our world.” 

United Methodist Council of Bishops President Thomas Bickerton similarly is calling on clergy and laity to “go on the offense” to stop mass shootings. Read more. 

Conference charts new pathways to a future that is Now  


“Now” is a word that implies something “New” is about to happen; and that makes “Now” an apt theme for the 236th Session of the Eastern PA Annual Conference, May 20-21. Staged at West Chester UMC, the conference combined live, onsite and online “holy conferencing," reports and worship, along with recorded events and videos. It also approved two historic resolutions to help churches dismantle racism and discern their best paths forward into a future that is upon us. Read more. 

Morton to manage Leadership Development in EPA 


The Rev. Steve Morton, North District Superintendent, will become the Eastern PA Conference’s new Leadership Development Manager July 1. Morton, who has led the North District since 2018, will  help plan and coordinate a leadership development program to equip clergy and lay members to become transformational leaders. Read more.

More things you should know...


Gifts of the Spirit event may inform and transform   

On Saturday, May 28, 9:30-11:30 AM, on Zoom, the Rev. George Clash (left), of The Crossing UMC in Washington Crossing, Pa., will teach church leaders about the gifts of the Holy Spirit and how to fulfill the call of those God-given gifts. “This workshop not only aims to inform but to transform,” he said. “If you need to be re-invigorated and re-energized for the things that God is calling you to do, this is going to be a great opportunity for you to learn, be equipped, and empowered to walk in the gifts God has given you.” Learn more and register for the event. 


Grieving, praying after attack on school 

United Methodists across the United States are joining in prayer and seeking to help the small Texas town of Uvalde after a brutal shooting at an elementary school. Some are also providing counseling and resources for people dealing with trauma.  Read more.

God, show us how to do more: A prayer in response to violence 

A prayer for families and friends of the shooting victims in Uvalde, Texas. Plus, links to: 

Responding to ViolenceUM stance on gun violence.   Jesus Wept. So should we.   Helping Children Process Mass Shootings.  


Thousands celebrate United Women in Faith at the 2022 Assembly 

More than 3,000 gathered in Orlando, Florida, and online for United Women in Faith’s Assembly 2022, held May 20-22. Two dozen countries were represented at the event, including EPA members, all celebrating the theme “Turn It Up!” Read more.

Ad campaign combats summer slump 

A new UMC advertising campaign reminds people that churches are busy doing ministry in their communities even during summer. The ads, which run through June 19, encourage people to join the UMC and engage with us in a season of togetherness. Read press release

Practical steps to engage the community 

Churches can learn how to join the Good Neighbor Experiment with resources available from the UMC’s Discipleship Ministries. The Kansas-born movement led to the training program that teaches the steps to learn about neighbors and build relationships. Read press release.

Ruling opens door for bishop elections in 2022 

The UMC’s top court says that the Council of Bishops can call jurisdictional conferences in 2022 to elect and assign new U.S. bishops. The next episcopal elections are now scheduled for November. But there’s a problem: the Judicial Council also says church law mandates that newly elected U.S. bishops must officially take office Sept. 1. Read more.


Phila. Religious Leaders to hold gun violence prevention rally June 9 

Heading God’s Call will partner with the Religious Leaders Council of Greater Philadelphia to host a public demonstration June 9, at 2 PM, of the faith community's “wrapping its arms around gun violence and its prevention.”  The march and rally will happen at Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul, 1723 Race Street. Heeding God’s Call is a faith-based, grass roots movement to end gun violence through public gatherings and challenges to gun sellers. Bryan Miller, director, urges all people of faith to attend. 

Good News!

Thorndale UMC UNITED FOR UKRAINE FLYERScreenshot.pdf.png

Church to host United for Ukraine community festival June 11

Thorndale UMC, 3503 Lincoln Highway, Thorndale, PA, is excited to host the United for Ukraine Community Festival June 11, 10 AM to 2 PM. “We will have five food trucks lined up, craft vendors, live music, a Moon bounce, children's activities and more,” reports the Rev. Shauna Ridge, pastor. The food trucks and some vendors will donate a portion of their sales to help the church raise $5,000 “for our brothers and sisters in Ukraine.” 


Look for updates of Appointments, Retirees and Open Churches on Sundays after 1 PM. Clergy should indicate their interest in new pastoral openings to their district superintendents by Monday at 9 AM, so DSs can share that information at Tuesday Cabinet meetings. See the Appointments page on our website for weekly updates.

Still 3 ways to give to 3 Annual Conference offerings. You can still give to the three Annual Conference offerings that provide crucial support to conference youth and young adult ministries and provide scholarships for higher education—both undergraduate and seminary.  Give by cell phone texting, postal mail and online use of the conference website. Offerings will be totaled June 15. Learn more.

Annual Cross-Racial/Cross-Cultural Workshop   

This workshop for pastors and church leaders beginning or already engaged in Cross-Racial/Cross-Cultural (CR/CC) ministry together will happen on Saturday, June 4, 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM via Zoom. Pastors, Administrative Council and Staff-Parish Relations Committee members in CR/CC ministry contexts are especially urged to attend to deepen their intercultural competency and understanding of relationship dynamics, and to be equipped with practical communication tools, Download the flyer. Register.



2022 Cross-Racial/Cross-Cultural Workshop. 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM, via Zoom. Download the flyer. Register.

JUNE 25  

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

JULY 7-28 

EPA UMW’s 2022 "Mission u" virtual event. Learn more and register.


Laity Academy – Part 1. In-Person at Cedarville UMC. Learn more 


Orientation to Ministry, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM. Moravian Seminary


Laity Academy – Part 2, Virtual.

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