April 26, 2019
WHAT'S NEW
Bishop Peggy A. Johnson announces the following 2019 appointments and assignments– effective July 1, 2019,  unless otherwise noted:
South District Appointments:

  • Rev. Whymon Simmons (Local Pastor) from Darby: Mt. Zion, Lead Pastor to Darby: Mt. Zion, Pastor of Community Outreach, 25% time.
  • Rev. Catherine L. Bowers (Elder) from Ambler: Calvary UMC to Evansburg UMC 50% time.
  • Rev. Dr. Deborah Tanksley-Brown (Deacon) from Kennett: United Methodist Church of the Open Door to Retirement.
  • Lay Pastor Christopher Neilson, Lay Assigned to Phila.: Wharton-Wesley UMC, 25% time.
  • Certified Lay Minister Carrie Argro assigned to Chester: St. Daniel's UMC Hope Point Campus, less than 25% time.
  • Rev. Mary Beth Davis (PT Local Pastor) from Booth's Corner: Siloam UMC, to Extension Ministry: Neumann University, Pastoral Clinical Mental Health Counselor, effective January 2, 2019.

West District Appointments:

  • Rev. David Kling to retire, effective June 30, 2019, and continue to serve Churchtown and Terre Hill: St. Paul’s.
  • Rev. Lyle Neal to retire, effective June 30, 2019, and continue to serve Schoeneck: Wiest.

East District Appointments

  • Erin Maurer (Deacon) from Chalfont UMC to St. John’s Ivyland UMC, effective July 1 (secondary appointment).

UMC top court OKs part of Traditional Plan, church exit plan

 The United Methodist Church Judicial Council, meeting April 23-26, ended churchwide suspense as it ruled on controversial legislation passed by the special General Conference 2019.  The top court has found that while some provisions of the newly adopted Traditional Plan remain unconstitutional, the rest of the plan is valid as church law.

That was the denominational Supreme Court’s ruling on a requested review of the Traditional Plan, which was approved during a special denomination-wide legislative session in February to strengthen enforcement of bans on “self-avowed practicing” gay clergy and same-sex weddings. The court has nine international members from U.S. and Central Conferences.

In a separate ruling, legislation to provide a “gracious exit” strategy for local churches wishing to leave the denomination because of theological disagreement meets three minimum requirements and thus is constitutional “when taken together with the consent of the annual conference” as specifically outlined in the Book of Discipline, the court said. Decision 1378 and Decision 1379--both historic decisions--came at the conclusion of the Judicial Council’s April 23-26 meeting . Read reporter Linda Bloom’s UM News Service story to learn more…

“For some, these rulings will be deeply disappointing and a sign of our division and ongoing theological and interpersonal struggles,” Bishop Peggy Johnson wrote in a letter to Philadelphia Episcopal Area leaders and churches. “For others, this is a victory and a sign of hope. Whenever a house is divided it is a call to prayer. Only the Holy Spirit of God can keep unity among us during this journey.

“We live in a pivotal time in the life of this denomination,” she continued. “How will future generations look at us when they reflect on our actions and decisions? Were we loving? Was this necessary? Were we kind to each other? Let us remember the future as we move forward."

The bishop said she is ready “to be in dialogue with any church, organization or district that would like to have constructive conversations with me.” She added, “Clarity and unity often come when we seek to hear the hearts of each other in humble relationship- building.”


The Judicial Council decisions are posted at:
Conference committee leaders to convene Saturday

The Connectional Table, which will meet Saturday, April 27, is where leaders of the Eastern PA Conference’s many, diverse ministry groups--committees, councils, teams, laity organizations etc.--gather to share information, collaborate to enhance their ministries and envision the best future for the conference.

The large group, sometimes numbering over 50 attendees, will meet at St. Matthew’s UMC in Valley Forge, from 9 AM to 12 noon. It meets 3 or 4 times a year in person and by video-conference call. Lenora Thompson serves as chairperson, while the Office of Connectional Ministries, headed by the Rev. Anita Powell, provides leadership and staff support.

Saturday’s gathering will consider initial considerations following the UMC Judicial Council ruling the day before, and each group’s participation in the conference-wide Call to Action initiative to foster racial justice and equity. Also on the agenda will be new reporting procedures for ministry groups’ events and activities and further development of Affinity Groups, which enable leaders of the three dozen ministry groups to form small working groups organized based on similar goals and activities.
Judicial Council ruling: A chat over coffee & cronuts, April 29

South District Superintendent the Rev. Dawn Taylor-Storm invites anyone to gather on Monday morning, April 29 , for “Coffee, Cronuts & Conversation” to discuss the new UM Judicial Council decisions on the constitutionality of General Conference 2019 legislation. She will host the gathering from 9:30 to 11:30 AM at Lima UMC , 209 N. Middletown Road, Lima, PA.

The event is intended for South District clergy and candidates, but it is open to anyone who wants to come. There is no cost, but registration is appreciated for planning purposes. 

Did you know? The Rev. Lin George reports that a cronut is a croissant-doughnut pastry invented by New York City pastry chef Dominique Ansel of Dominique Ansel Bakery. The pastry resembles a doughnut and is made from croissant-like dough which is filled with flavored cream and fried in grapeseed oil. 
“For Such a Time as This: Envisioning the Next Methodism.”

A regional Gathering of the Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA) will be held Saturday, May 11, 2019, 9 AM-3:15 PM, at Washington Crossing UMC (1895 Wrightstown Road, Washington Crossing, PA 18977, website: http://crossingumc.org/ ).

The keynote address will be given by Rev. Keith Boyette, President of the global WCA. Other speakers include Rev. Beth Caulfield of Greater New Jersey, “Recovering a Vision for Wesleyan Holiness;” and Eastern PA Conference laywoman Krystl Johnson, “A Millennial’s Vision of a Global Church.” Workshops will include: Elizabeth Fisher leading “Ministry with the Sexually Broken;” Rev. Keith Buckbee on “Reimagining Wesleyan Discipleship;” and Jack Brooks of the Mid-Atlantic Foundation, “Stewardship for the Next Methodism(s).”

There is no registration for this event; all are welcome. A limited number of lunches will be available for purchase for those who attend. For more information, contact Rev. Joe DiPaolo at jdipaolo@engagegodfirst.org . Download the flyer
Local youth leader promotes summit in New Jersey

New Hanover UMC, in Gilbertsville, is promoting the 2019 Youth Leader Summit at Harvey Cedars Bible Conference in coastal New Jersey, May 22-24. Todd Pearage, Student Pastor at New Hanover, wants youth leaders and ministers to know about what the summit’s sponsors bill as “an incredible three days of teaching, worship & fun. Our goals are simple: encourage, equip and refresh.”

Harvey Cedars Bible Conference, owned by the Presbyterian Church denomination, includes a hotel, dock and sport facilities at 12 Cedars Ave, Harvey Cedars, NJ. Telephone: 609.494.5689. Registration is open. Pearage is one of the hosts of the summit. Speakers will include Josh Griffin, former youth pastor at Saddleback Church and co-founder of DownloadYouth Ministry, who has created numerous youth ministry resources, including the book 99 Thoughts for Small Group Leaders .

“We will also have worship and breakouts for youth pastors, spouses, and volunteers,” said Pearage. Learn more at https://www.hcbcyouthleadersummit.com/ .

In addition, New Hanover UMC (2211 Swamp Pike Gilbertsville) is a simulcast host site for the Download Youth Ministry National Day of Volunteer Training, Sept. 21. The cost is $99 per church for any number of members who want to attend and learn. Learn more and register at https://trainmyvolunteers.com/ .
Preachers Retreat at Camp Innabah, June 26-29

Organizers of a Preachers Retreat June 26-29 at Innabah Camp & Retreat Center, expect attendees to have sermons planned for the next 12-18 months when they leave, and “vacations and major church Sundays identified as well.”

“Along the way you'll pick up ideas for sermons and series topics,” they promise, along with “tools for improving different parts of your preaching, and ample time to bounce ideas off of others. There’s a $50 registration fee. Attendance times are optional and “additional evening times are provided to help bi-vocational pastors and those who cannot participate during the weekdays.”

The Revs. Chris Eden and Johnson Dodla are retreat co-facilitators. They offer names of past retreat attendees who can testify as to its value.  Learn more and spread the word…
UMC NEWS BRIEFS
Speaking opportunity for young people at GC2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — United Methodists ages 12-35 are being sought to deliver their messages to the church at General Conference 2020 in Minneapolis. Chris Wilterdink has details on how to apply to give the Young People’s Address.  Read story
Conference urges apportionment support

PHOENIX (UMNS) — While some United Methodists are planning to withhold church giving, the Desert Southwest Conference has asked its churches not to protest General Conference action at the offering plate. Heather Hahn reports. Read story
Podcasts can be extension of pulpits

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — As podcasts have soared in popularity, Christian leaders embraced them as outlets for reaching people in ways never before possible. In the Arkansas Conference, several pastors use their shows in a variety of ways: to interview people doing positive things in the world, connect believers from different faith traditions and promote ministries throughout the state. Caleb Harrington reports.  Read story
Lewis Center for Church Leadership
Study launched on religious workforce

WASHINGTON — A new study of the makeup of the religious workforce across Christian traditions in the U.S. is being launched by the Lewis Center for Church Leadership at United Methodist Wesley Theological Seminary. Planned for 2022 release, it will provide religious leaders with comprehensive, reliable information to help them better recruit and support clergy and lay employees. Read press release
REMINDERS
Registration for Annual Conference is open!

Annual Conference 2019, June 13-15, at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA.


“Tell to the Coming Generation,” from Psalm 78:4, is the theme Bishop Peggy Johnson has chosen for the 2019 Annual Conference, which returns to the Expo Center in Oaks, Pa, June 13-15 . Learn more about the speakers and programming in our article "2019 Conference to explore ministry of generations."

Clergy, Lay and Equalizing Delegates should register for Annual Conference through the link above or on our website at www.epaumc.org/annual-conference . The registration fee this year is $260, which includes meals for all three days and will help to cover the cost of several improvements to the Annual Conference Sessions. These include better quality chairs in the dining area, the voting machines for delegate nominations, and new Spanish-language interpretation services.

Registrations received after the May 24 deadline will be considered walk-ins and will incur a $50 late fee. Please contact Regina Raiford Babcock at rbabcock@epaumc.org or (484) 762-8222 with any questions about the registration process.

On our Annual Conference information page you will find our video livestream of Annual Conference sessions as they occur in real time, beginning June 13 at the opening session . Be sure to also keep up with the hashtag #EPAUMC19 across all social media platforms to read and respond to key actions, special moments and important comments.
What's Next for The UMC?
Good News CEO to speak at AC2019 breakfast

The Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Evangelical Connection will host a breakfast during Annual Conference, featuring remarks by the Rev. Rob Renfroe, president and publisher of Good News, on Friday, June 14, from 7 to 9 AM. Pre-registration is required by June 7. Download the flyer.
The venue will be the Theatre Room of Arnold’s Family Fun Center (next door to the Oaks Expo Center). Renfroe will speak and answer questions on the topic “Is There a Future for United Methodism?” The cost is $20 for a full buffet breakfast and presentation.  Learn more...
Reflecting on 200 years of mission

ATLANTA — Through a website, video, conference and other activities, the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries marked 200 years of mission this year. The recent bicentennial conference “embodied the heart of the Methodist mission movement, evident in Wesley’s concern for social and personal holiness and a deeply rooted desire that everyone have an opportunity to experience the healing love of Christ.”  Watch bicentennial video.   A time for connection and reflection
Bishops discuss GC2019 outcomes with black caucus

ATLANTA (UMNS) — African American bishops and other members of The United Methodist Church’s black caucus recently joined in the many conversations happening in the wake of the denomination’s recent General Conference. John W. Coleman has the story and Mike DuBose has the photos.  Read story
BMCR explores 'reset' from past to future

ATLANTA (UMNS) — Speakers challenged The United Methodist Church’s African American caucus and church leaders to work to become more relevant to younger members. The comments came during the Black Methodists for Church Renewal annual meeting. Pittsburgh Area Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi urged caucus members to “stay woke,” the popular rallying cry of the Black Lives Matter movement. John W. Coleman has the story and Mike DuBose has photos. Read story
Camphor Memorial to join Korean church in worship April 28
A 31-year partnership

In 1988 Camphor Memorial UMC, a historic African American church in West Philadelphia, began a partnership with the First Korean Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia (FKPCP), then located in Philadelphia’s Olney community. It led to shared fellowship and a scholarship exchange program. FKPCP is now located in Ambler, PA.

On Sunday, April 28, at 4 PM, the two churches will celebrate their 31st joint service, the longest-continuing intercultural church fellowship event in the region. Once again, the churches will award a student from each congregation a $500 scholarship. When that happens, the two churches will have given to their respective students more than $31,000 since the program’s beginning 31 years ago.

For 10 years, the two churches have invited participation from other racial-ethnic congregations throughout the city, including Latino, Filipino, Japanese and Caribbean churches. "We are proud to continue this unique tradition that celebrates the common bond of faith here in our communities," the Rev. Frank Moore, senior pastor of Camphor.. "It has been a wonderful partnership that we look forward to pursuing for years to come."

The multicultural service and fellowship dinner will be held this year at Camphor Memorial UMC, 5620 Wyalusing Avenue, Philadelphia, at 4 PM. The event is free. For more information, call 215-747-2600 or email fellowship@camphormemorial.church.
Focus Group for Spouses of Part-time Pastors

 Artos Retreats will facilitate a focus group discussion on Sunday, April 28 , 6:30 to 8 PM, at Cranaleith Spiritual Center, 13475 Proctor Road, Philadelphia. Eastern PA Conference clergy spouses are invited to come participate in this interesting small group conversation and help shape future clergy spouse programs to include their unique needs. Share your experiences, tips, and suggestions in the following areas:

  • Boundaries
  • Rearing children
  • Balancing more complex demands of living with a bi-vocational spouse

Rest assured; only summarized and anonymous comments will be shared outside of the focus group meeting. Healthy snacks provided. There is no charge for this event; but you must register soon because space is limited.
CONAM gathering to learn about missing, murdered Native women
 
The Eastern PA Conference Committee on Native American Ministries (CONAM) will sponsor its annual Spring worship service , along with a light supper and fellowship, at Camp Innabah on Sunday, April 28, 4 to 6 PM . Innabah is located at 712 Pughtown Road, Spring City PA.  

This could be a great opportunity for anyone to celebrate United Methodist Native American Ministries Sunday (May 5) early by attending this event with fellow church members. CONAM sponsors spring and fall worship, learning and fellowship events, among other ministries, with funds it receives from our conference's participation in the churchwide Native American Ministries Sunday offering.
 
The April 28 program will present a video interview with Annita Lucchesi , creator of the only national database to track abducted and killed Native American women. Viewers will see her illustrated report, titled Native Crisis: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.   Learn more… 
Also, bring a red dress to display in solidarity

During the Spring worship service, CONAM will feature a “ REDress installation” in recognition of missing and murdered indigenous women, similar to the one pictured here displayed at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C. To support this effort, CONAM invites attendees to wear red and please bring a red dress on a hanger to donate to the display.
Basic & Advanced Sexual Ethics 2019 Workshops

Advanced Sexual Ethics April 30th 2019 at Asbury UMC in Allentown led by Rev. Beverly Andrews and Mrs. Elaine Spanger. Cost is $35. Lunch is provided.

Contact Jacqueline Hines for more info at pastorjacquelineumc@gmail.com or 410-963-1721.

 Download the flyer for the full 2019 Sexual Ethics Workshops Schedule . Or visit the schedule on our special Board of Ordained Ministry webpage.

Conference Youth Diversity Retreat, May 3-5

Plan and register now to attend the conference’s second Youth Diversity Retreat, May 3-5, for youth in grades 8–12, at Gretna Glen Camp & Retreat Center.

This weekend is designed to explore the concept and possibilities of diversity in human relationships. Youth will learn to:
  • Define and understand Diversity
  • Identify where Diversity creates inclusion and division in their lives
  • Use social tools to discover the power of Diversity in their lives and relationships.

The retreat begins Friday at 7 PM and ends Sunday at 2 PM. Activities will include worship, diversity games and simulation exercises, a campfire with singing and s’mores, recreation and meals that reflect cultural diversity. Bishop Johnson will join the retreat on Saturday.

Cost is $95 (a $20 discount) with available scholarship help if needed. Register online at www.gretnaglen.org, or call the Gretna Glen office at 717 -273 -6525!Contact Dave Piltz at dpiltz@epaumc.org or Carlen Blackstone at blackstonec@verizon.net for more information.

Download and share the event brochure
Rekindle the Flame: Children’s Ministry Conference, May 4

Saturday, May 4, 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM, at Cedarville UMC
(1092 Laureltown Road, Pottstown, PA)

Plan and register now to attend the conference’s next Children’s Ministry Conference for training, networking and resourcing with church staff and volunteers who work with children.
Mentoring Sessions will focus on:
  • Creating discipleship pathways for children and families with Kathy Pittenger
  • Pursuing racial unity with Melanie Gordon
  • Creating and maintaining inclusive children’s and family ministries with Elizabeth Christie
Resources for Native American Ministries Sunday, May 5

Native American Ministries Sunday will be May 5, or on any other Sunday a church chooses.

Whenever you celebrate it, consider how small groups in your congregation can engage in studies to learn more about the Native Americans, including those who are United Methodist. Request information or Invite guests from the conference’s Committee on Native American Ministries. Contact the Committee at epaconam@gmail.com .

Research and report on the traditions and heritage of Native American United Methodists and explore our denomination’s history with First Americans, including our 2016 Act of Repentance and Reconciliation . Show the presentation that outlines ” Five Reasons We Celebrate Native American Ministries Sunday .”

Download the Leader’s Kit and find valuable resources to engage your congregation fully in this special offering on Native American Ministries Sunday. It contains promotional resources like devotional messages, social media graphics, a poster and bulletin insert.  Get resources .

UM Discipleship Ministries also useful provides resources about Native American ministries . Your support provides Native American seminary scholarships and outreach that honors and celebrates Native American heritage, culture and communities. 
District Conferences to meet May 5

All district conferences will be held on Sunday, May 5, around 3 PM at host churches. Members will hear reports about important district matters and resolutions coming to the Annual Conference in June. They will also elect Equalizing Lay Members to Annual Conference.

Moreover, districts will celebrate milestones in the lives of their clergy--those retiring from ministry; those being commissioned and ordained, and those moving in and out of the district. We will report more plans and information as they become available.

Who should attend?
  • Attendance is mandatory for Appointed Clergy.
  • Lay Members to Annual Conference
  • Equalizing Lay Members to Annual Conference
  • All interested persons are welcome.

North District Conference, 2:30 PM , Bowmanstown: Faith Alive UMC 678 Pine St, Palmerton, PA. This year, we will celebrate the promises made in our baptisms. Bethlehem Korean UMC will provide special praise music . Our offering will support the Helping Hands Ministry, an impressive food ministry that operates all around Lehighton.

South District Conference; 3 PM  Lima UMC, 209 N Middletown Road, Lima, PA. The offering will support the South District Mission Project "Abundant Life Locally & Globally." Since the District Conference falls on Cinco de Mayo, guests will be treated to steak; chicken and veggie burritos and the ministry of music will be provided by El Buen Samaritano. A highlight of the afternoon will be our South District John Wesley Awards celebrating Leadership Development Initiatives and New South District Ministries.

West District Conference, 3 PM: Salem UMC 140 North Penn St., Manheim, PA.

East District 3 PM: Lighthouse Fellowship UMC  137 N Easton Rd, Glenside, PA 
New book looks at church vitality

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Rev. Olu Brown , pastor of Atlanta’s Impact Church, takes a critical and inspirational look at four aspects of 21st-century ministry and church vitality in “4D Impact: Smash Barriers Like a Smart Church.” Impact is one of the fastest growing United Methodist congregations in the U.S. Read press release .
Visionary professor to discuss church and ‘Volcanic Culture’

Church and culture visionary Dr. Leonard Sweet will give a seminar on the 21st Century Church and Volcanic Culture June 10 , 9 AM to 4 PM, at Quakertown UMC, 1875 Freier Rd., Quakertown, PA. He will speak from his upcoming book, Rings of Fire , a sequel to his Soul Tsunami, due out in November. Conference members can earn .6 CEU credits. The cost is $20, including breakfast and lunch. 

Download the registration form!  Please direct questions to Pastor Lori Wagner of Quakertown UMC, at loribethwagner@gmail.com. Also, join Quakertown UMC's in its “Fire Up!” Methodist Revival Tent Meeting on Sunday, June 9 , from 8 AM to 8 PM. Guest Preacher: Leonard Sweet. The agenda will include worship services with altar calls all day, Bible storytelling, prayer meetings, a gospel singalong with a live band.
Annual Conference updates

Krystl Johnson , a member of St. Daniel’s UMC Chester and a lay delegate to the 2016 and 2019 General Conferences, will be the featured speaker at the Laity Session, prior to Annual Conference, on June 13. The session will begin at 1 PM. Johnson serves on the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and on several conference committees. She is vice-coordinator of the Black Methodists for Church Renewal Philadelphia caucus.

The Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Evangelical Connection will host a breakfast during Annual Conference, featuring remarks by the Rev. Rob Renfroe, president and publisher of Good News, on Friday, June 14, from 7 to 9 AM. Pre-registration is required by June 7. Download the flyer.   See related story.
'Churches as First Responders' rescheduled

The recently postponed  Churches as First Responders to the Military and Veteran Population training event for clergy and laity is rescheduled for Nov. 2 , 9 AM to 12 PM, at First UMC Phoenixville, 865 Main St., Phoenixville, PA
Agencies offer support to disability ministries

BALTIMORE — Representatives from general agencies discussed ways to better minister with people with disabilities. The agency executives met with leaders from the United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities and the DisAbility Ministries Committee . The Rev. Leo Yates Jr. reports.  Read story
Denman Evangelism Award nominations sought now
Deadline extended to May 15

It is time again to recognize persons from our Annual Conference—clergy, laity, and youth—who have made an impact by sharing their faith and coming alongside others to encourage a relationship with Jesus. The conference Congregational Development Team (CDT) invites nominations from anyone for the Harry Denman Evangelism Award by May 15. Information and applications can be downloaded by visiting the UMC Foundation for Evangelism website.

Forward entries to the Congregational Development Team (CDT) via email to Suzette James at sjd624@ymail.com or via postal mail to Eastern PA Conference UMC, P.O. Box 820, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0820. ATTN: Gordon Hendrickson or Mike Netznik (CDT Chair). Download the flyer.

The Foundation helps annual conferences honor extraordinary clergy, youth, and adult laypersons with this annual award to promote the importance of sharing with everyone, through a variety of ministries, God’s message of love through Jesus Christ. Please nominate persons to receive the 2019 Denman Evangelism Award, which signifies a remarkable commitment to introducing others to the living gospel in ways and places where “new believers can encounter Christ.”
2 Christ Servant Ministry courses offered May 17-18

Two Christ Servant Ministry courses will be offered May 17 and 18 at Asbury UMC Allentown (1533 Springhouse Rd.).

Judy Ehninger will teach “Introduction to Christ Servant Ministry” for persons who want to learn about how Christ Servant Ministry can help members grow in a life-giving relationship with Jesus Christ. The Rev. Harold Burkett will teach “Speaking 1.” This advanced course is open to members who feel called to witness by effectively telling others how God's Holy Spirit is working in and through their lives.

A $35 registration fee for either class helps pay for class materials and light refreshments. Registration is required. Additional information and /or registration materials, are available from George Hollich by email at hollich@comcast.net or calling 717-838-2812.  

Registration forms:
Register now for your chance to ‘Change the World’
Faith & Politics advocacy event, May 18-20, in Harrisburg, is now free
 
United Methodist Advocacy in Pennsylvania will sponsor  “Change the World,”  a Conference on Faith and Politics,  May 18-20 , in the capital city of Harrisburg, Pa. Organizers hope to draw hundreds of not only United Methodists but others who believe in the key role that an active faith must play in civic life, from local communities to the halls of government.
 
“This is where one can really begin to change our world, by learning to impact the crucial legislative priorities that produce laws,” said UM Advocacy in Pennsylvania coordinator Dai Morgan, “because many of those laws govern our way of life—for better or for worse.”
 
Organizers are so eager to increase registration for this important learning and networking seminar that they have eliminated the $30 registration fee for new registrants and will refund fees already paid. Learn more…
Urban Alliance & Urban Initiative grants
The Urban Commission of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference will award grants to assist in funding Urban Alliances or Urban Church Initiatives. Churches in 10 urban areas can apply for Eastern PA Conference Urban Ministry grants by May 30, 2019 .
New CLM Graduates to be recognized June 2

Conference members are invited to a service of recognition honoring new Certified Lay Minister graduates of the Spring Class of 2019 on Sunday, June 2, at 4 PM , at Lititz UMC (201 Market Street, Lititz). Bishop Peggy Johnson will preach.

Certified Lay Minister Graduates, Spring 2019

East District
  • Mary E. White, Bethel Hill UMC
North District
  • Eileen Bertanzetti, Keokee UMC
  • Ralph J. Chubbuck, Faith UMC
South District
  • Clint Amoss, Elam UMC
  • James N. Coleman, First UMC, Media
  • Cynthia Lyman, Hopewell UMC
West District
  • Frances J. Keller, Ross Street UMC
  • Lynn McCord, Lititz UMC
Help for arriving pastors & churches with clergy spouses

Two Eastern PA Conference workshops for two groups: one to help pastors transition into new appointments; the other to help Staff-Pastor/Parish Relations committees (SPPR) and other church leaders understand and relate well to clergy spouses. Both events--”proactive, dynamic, relational and even, at times, humorous”--will happen June 8 at Holy Cross UMC , 329 N. 5th Street, Reading, PA.

  • Session 1: Transitioning Clergy Workshop, led by the Rev. Dave Woolverton, will be from 9 AM to 12 PM. It will help clergy spouses, clergy and SPPR teams facilitate positive transitions with their new appointments.
  • Session 2: Relating With Clergy Spouses, led by Julie Anderman, longtime UM Clergy Spouse, will be a Lunch & Learn session from 12 to 2 PM. Solid expertise will help church leaders start a healthy relationship with their new pastor’s spouse. (There is a $5 fee to cover sandwiches and salad from Panera Bread.)

Registration Closes on May 24, 2019.
Methodist Night with the Phillies July 27

Join fellow United Methodists and their guests for our annual United Methodist Night with the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday, July 27, at 7:05 PM , at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies will host the Atlanta Braves that night and celebrate their fans, including the many who will attend from United Methodist churches. This annual event is sponsored by, and benefits the ministries of, Eastern PA Conference UM Men. Learn more and get discounted tickets before they run out! ( https://www.mlb.com/phillies/tickets/specials/methodist
Video series can help win disciples

A new teaching series offers instruction in making disciples for Christ by emphasizing relationships and stopping attempts to fix churches. The "See All the People: Discipleship Begins with Relationship" course is free and available through the internet.  Read press release   Enroll
Pocono Plateau events for men and boys

Pocono Plateau Camp & Retreat Center wants men to sign up now for its next annual men's weekend retreat , Friday, September 27, (8 pm) to Sunday, September 29 (1 pm). This year’s theme is "Worthy Competitors." 

Living and surviving in our demanding, competitive world can be exhausting and distracting. How do we stop the cycle and begin to view the world less competitively and more compassionately? Come to this men’s retreat in September to find out, as you learn how to play the “infinite game of faith.” Speaker: the Rev. Eddie Cameron  Learn more.  

Also, coming April 26-28: the annual  Dangerous Retreat for Boys & Dads. For boys in grades 3 - 10 with their dads. Cost: $99 for boys, 89 for Dads. www.poconoplateau.org
What Are You Doing This Summer?

All of our Camp & Retreat Centers are signing up young campers and searching for staff and volunteers for another summer camp extravaganza. Gretna Glen Camp & Retreat Center invites interested, eligible persons to apply for positions there.

“Our mission for the summer staff team is to provide opportunities that will bring out your God-given talents, strengthening you through training and hands on experiences,” says Gretna Glen director Apryl Miller. View their Summer Staff Promo Video,  titled “This Could Be You!” Then come spend your summer spreading Christ's love, being a role model, learning lifelong skills and building lifelong friendships. Learn more.

Also, check out these upcoming events :

  • MAY 3-5: ACTIVELY DISCOVERING HUMAN DIVERSITY Retreat
  • MAY 11: GRETNA GRITTY
  • MAY 18: Open House, 10 AM - 4 PM
2019 EPA Conference Laity Academy

4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch….“Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” –Luke 5:4,10b

Are you prepared to navigate the deep waters? Our lives and ministries are constantly bombarded by the waves that distract us from our commitment to Christ. When you are asked to cast your net and fish for disciples, do you know where to start? Do you know what to say?

Come join us at the 2019 EPA Conference Laity Academy, August 2-4 , on the scenic campus of Eastern University in St. Davids, Pa., for an exciting weekend of classes, fellowship, worship, entertainment, food and service. Learn how you can Gather Disciples and Grow your Ministries. There are many more new classes this year including topics in Ministering to an Aging Congregation, Working With Conflict: Making the Most of Diversity, and more to be announced.

Watch for registration details.  Sign up to be notified when the registration is open!  If you have any questions contact Rick Wrisley, Laity Academy Dean, at rickwrisley@verizon.net.

Following General Conference 2019, many are contemplating what the future of The United Methodist Church will look like. It is easy to forget the shared values and ministry that bring us together. A new campaign, “The Movement Continues,” reminds us of our commonality by illustrating different ways God’s call moves us to action. Local churches can participate in the movement via a small group discussion guide, imagery and more.  Learn more…
Discontinue use of “Mission ConneXion” name

By order of Bishop Peggy Johnson, we are no longer to use the term "Mission ConneXion" or any derivation thereof, in our published media, due to recently revealed copyright infringement. Rights to the term are owned (since 2004 allegedly) by another Christian missions and education organization in Oregon, and their attorney has issued a cease and desist letter to one of our churches.

At this point, it may not be necessary to remove the term from already published online content. But please STOP using "Mission ConneXion" anywhere on church websites, newsletters, Facebook posts, etc.
Let's stay connected. Send us your newsletters
Please add our  Communications Office  to your church newsletter's digital and/or print mailing lists. We find much of our news in church newsletters (when we find time to read them), and we try to report local church news and events as much as possible. (We also love seeing Conference news reported in your newsletters. Thanks!) However, we want to receive only your church newsletters please, not other e-mailed church announcements. Thanks!
Update your Find-A-Church profile
Developed by United Methodist Communications, Find-A-Church helps your church connect with people who may be looking online for a church to provide worship, fellowship, spiritual nurture and other needs. If your church has a Website, having a church page in Find-A-Church doubles your local visibility to reach people searching by city, town or zip code. It is the official online directory of United Methodist churches in the United States and one of the most visited sections of UMC.org, averaging more than 1,000 page views a day. You'll achieve the best results from your Find-A-Church profile when you  update your church's information . For video instructions on how, visit  Video Tutorial: Find-A-Church Overview
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  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 DATES
  • May 4: UMW Conference / Spiritual Life Retreat
  • May 5: District Conferences
  • June 1: Cross-Racial/Cross-Cultural Ministry Workshop
  • June 13-15: 2019 Annual Conference
  • July 19-20: "Mission u" at The Inn at Reading
  • October 19: UMW's 46th Annual Celebration
Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of The United Methodist Church
(800) 828-9093 |  communications@epaumc.org  |  www.epaumc.org
980 Madison Avenue, Norristown, PA 19403