February 28, 2020
NEWS & VIEWS
Bishop Peggy A. Johnson announces the following appointments and assignments– effective July 1, 2020,  unless otherwise noted:
East District
  • Rev. Braley Leight (Elder) to serve Ivyland: St. John's UMC as Senior Pastor, full-time.
  • Rev. Gary Dimovitz (Part-Time Local Pastor) to serve Fairless Hills: First UMC as Senior Pastor, three-quarter-time.
  • Mr. Luke Billman (Lay Assigned) to serve Jenkintown UMC.

North District
  • Rev. Karen Paquette (Licensed Local Pastor) to serve Minersville: First UMC, less than quarter-time, effective June 1, 2020, in addition to continuing at Llewellyn UMC.
  • Rev. Sukja Bang (Elder) to continue to serve Ackermanville UMC, three quarter-time, in retirement.
  • Rev. Barbara Welsh (Retired Local Pastor) to serve Millers:Crossroads UMC, half-time.
  • Mr. John Mylecraine to serve Nesquehoning: Meed's Memorial UMC, quarter-time.
  • Rev. Paul Milligan (Licensed Local Pastor) to serve Neola UMC, half-time, effective February 17, 2020.
  • Rev. Debra Hebden (Retired Elder) to serve Nuremberg: Bethany UMC, quarter-time, and Zion Grove: Davis Chapel UMC, quarter-time.

West District
  • Rev. Jose Tirado (part-time local pastor) to Lancaster: New Creation UMC, ¾-time.

Preparation and protection against a coronavirus outbreak
Eastern PA Conference Disaster Response Coordinator Robert Simcox shared with conference leaders this week links to planning information offered by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for protection from the growing coronavirus pandemic.

“I am sending this just for planning purposes,” said Simcox, adding that he would also share the information with District Disaster Coordinators and conference Emergency Response Team leaders. “It is important that we do not panic. This helps us prepare in the event that the virus starts spreading in our community.”   Learn more...

Evangelism in a Changing Landscape
Plan now to attend the Eastern PA Conference’s 2020 Faith-Sharing Event on Saturday, April 25, 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM, at Wesley United Methodist Church (2540 Center Street, Bethlehem PA).

Cost: $10. $50 for groups of 6 or more! Teams are encouraged to attend. 0.6 CEUs are available. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.
Our featured speaker:
The Rev. Lisa Greenwood
Vice-President for Leadership Ministry of TMF
(the Texas Methodist Foundation), Dallas, Texas

This one-day event will stimulate reflections on the changing landscape of our mission field—both its challenges and opportunities—and invite us into conversations about the implications for our church leaders and ministries. Congregations are encouraged to send teams to learn, strategize and prepare to grow together.
 
Ever feel like your church’s models of ministry just aren’t working anymore? Has your landscape changed, but your outlook and methods have not? Has your evangelism become salt that’s lost its flavor?  
 
We are compelled to share Christ’s good news of love and grace, justice and hope. What does that call mean for us as leaders and for the churches we serve?
 
Lisa Greenwood works with church leaders across the UMC connection to help them understand and foster “deep change” by facilitating purposeful conversations of courage, learning, generosity and innovation. She brings wisdom and experience from serving suburban, urban and rural churches as a pastor in the North Texas Annual Conference for 20 years. She also has served on the Board of Ordained Ministry, four General Conference delegations (2004-2019), and as ministry strategist for the Horizons Stewardship Company.
Tools for Ministry (all districts) will be March 7, 2020. See location details, registration costs, and workshop lists. Most district registration deadlines are by February 29! Learn more…
Looking at financial impact of GC2020 plans
With a possible denominational split on the horizon, the task of preparing the UMC’s budget for the next four years comes with far more uncertainty than usual. During a Feb. 21 online meeting, the General Council on Finance and Administration discussed some of the what if’s that could affect the church’s financial future. 

The finance board also raised questions about what the proposed addition of five new bishops in Africa means for the already imperiled funding for the Episcopal Fund that supports the denomination’s bishops.  

The agency is preparing the general church budget proposal that will go before General Conference on May 5-15 in Minneapolis. The denomination’s international lawmaking body will have final say on any possible plan of separation as well as the 2021-2024 budget for denomination-wide ministries.
 
One thing the GCFA board and staff cannot answer at this point is just how many churches and members will leave if a plan of separation passes. Even if no separation plan passes, church leaders expect lean times ahead. Already in 2019, the highly polarized denomination experienced nearly an 8 percent drop in general-church support compared with 2018. Read story
For this pastor, storytelling became a ministry
The three and a half years that the Rev. Frances Helen Foley Guest spent with her Methodist missionary parents in a Japanese prison camp during World War II shaped her ministry for the rest of her life.

Guest — the first recipient of The United Methodist Church’s 75-year-old Crusade Scholars Program (now known as  World Communion Scholars ) — was a lifelong advocate for peace and justice, a tireless campaigner against racism and sexism and a mentor to young women involved in ministry. 

Most significantly, her early experiences made her a storyteller, said her son. Ken Guest was collaborating with his mother on a book about her family’s mission work in Asia when she died Nov. 26 at 94. She was remembered during a Feb. 15 memorial service at her New York City church. Learn more...
AROUND THE UMC CONNECTION
Disability Awareness Day event, March 14
In observance of Disability Awareness Day, the Peninsula Delaware Conference Disability Committee invites Eastern PA Conference members to join in its 2020 “Yes, We Can” Conference on Saturday, March 14 , from 9 AM to 1 PM, at Wyoming UMC, 216 Wyoming Mill Rd, Dover, Del. 

The Rev. Rebecca Holland , a visually impaired writer, will keynote the event. She has authored a new book, The United Methodist Church and Disability: Essays and Practical Tips for Churches, Clergy, and People with Disabilities . The full-time, half-Filipino clergywoman chairs the Disability Ministries Task Force of the UMC’s Susquehanna Conference and has been recognized as an emerging young leader by Path 1 Ministries. She blogs at www.BeckieWrites.com about faith, books, and disability awareness. 
The cost for the conference is $10 now, $20 after March 10. 0.4 credits in CEUs are available. Checks should be written to: Peninsula Delaware Conference. For more information, contact Rev. Dr. Rebecca Kelly Collison, committee chair at pastorbecky@gmail.com or 302.236.3082.

Get more details and a mail-in registration from https://www.pen-del.org/disabilityinformationandresources .

Proposed new Book of Discipline documents reviewable
The UMC’s Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters has launched Generalbod.org —an online resource that makes it easy to review tracked changes to the proposed new General Book of Discipline. The purpose is to promote transparency, and stimulating, informed conversation within the church.

United Methodists are invited to give feedback by emailing StandingCommittee@umcmission.org. Comments will be reviewed by the committee prior to the recommended new General Book being finalized and presented to the 2024 General Conference for approval. Learn more...
Churches call for peace on the Korean Peninsula
The year 2020 marks the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War. The United and Korean Methodist churches will join Christians throughout the world to take action for peace and reconciliation on the Korean peninsula by holding various programs and events. The Rev. Thomas Kim reports.  Read story
Alaska to ask GC2020 to be mission district
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Alaska Conference has voted to petition General Conference 2020 to discontinue its missionary conference status and make it a missionary district conference within the Pacific Northwest Conference. The move also requires the Western Jurisdiction's approval. The Rev. Jim Doepken reports. Read story   Alaska moves to become mission district
JOHANNESBURG (UM News) — The Africa Initiative, a UM advocacy group, has given a qualified endorsement to the Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation — potentially easing its way for passage at General Conference. The group also is urging some amendments to the proposal.
Read story. Also:
The longtime visions of two United Methodist clergywomen — the Rev. J. Kabamba Kiboko and retired Bishop Linda Lee — have helped African clergywomen and black clergywomen in the U.S. build relationships and issue a joint proclamation of sisterhood. A gathering is planned at Africa University in 2022. Read story
LEARNING EVENTS
Basic Sexual Ethics Workshop, March 14
The Eastern PA Conference will sponsor its next, required Basic Sexual Ethics Workshop on Saturday, March 14, 9:30 – 3:00, at Bethel UMC. 952 Bethel Church Road, Spring City.

Register Online. The Rev. David Piltz, Conference, a pastor and Eastern PA Coordinator of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, will lead the training. He is completing graduate studies in Marriage and Family Therapy, has done graduate work in administration, leadership and counseling, and has taught classes in Emotional Intelligence to several Eastern PA groups.
CONAM to present 2 learning events in April
Reflections of Turtle Island Blanket Exercise 
The conference Committee on Native American Ministries (CONAM) will present Reflections of Turtle Island Blanket Exercise exposition (formerly titled “The Loss of Turtle Island”) at The Boyer Gallery of the Hill School Center for the Arts, in Pottstown, 760 Beech Street, April 5, 4 to 7 PM. It is open to the public. In partnership with the Reflections of Turtle Island Native American Group, CONAM has sponsored this visual, interactive narrative of America’s Indigenous History several times in Eastern PA. 

This exercise gives participants a powerful, visual narrative experience that depicts how much has been lost by the original inhabitants of what is now the United States due to their colonization by European powers. The experience begins with the intrusive Doctrine of Discovery that Pope Alexander VI initiated in 1493. It portrays 500 years of conquest and subjugation of indigenous peoples by Euro-American military, political and legal forces.
 
There will be an opportunity for questions and discussion for more insights following the presentation. Light refreshments will be provided. Content appropriate for ages 6 and up. There are steps down to the performance area; but security can provide a golf cart for those who need one. For more information contact Sherry Wack, CONAM co-chair. Email her or call 484-868-2044.
 
A celebration of ‘Outstanding Native Women’
CONAM will present its spring worship and educational program at Innabah Camp & Retreat Center on Sunday, April 19, 4 to 7 PM. Members will present  Indian Country's Hidden Figures: Outstanding Native Women More information to come.
RESOURCES
Available and Needed Items
Grace UMC (Pen Argyl, PA) has about 550 Mortgage Fund Offering envelopes leftover a special collection they were taking to pay off a mortgage on a 2nd parsonage. there is a church out there that could use them, please contact Lori L. Heckman, Office Manager, at 610-863-4811 .

Camphor Memorial UMC in West Philadelphia is seeking a donated cargo van to be used to pick up and bring food to our Tuesday Food Cupboard that feeds the hungry in the community. Please call Trustee Bernard Waties,  215-485-6402 , for further information.
LOCAL CHURCHES & MISSION LINKS
Local Church & Mission Link Events
REMINDERS
Dewees Grants deadline March 1
In accordance with the provision in the Dewees will, the funds are given to the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church “to use in the mission programs of the Church.” Grants will typically not exceed $5,000, and be for the initial funding of a project only.
 
Churches should mail their application form to their District Superintendent
Committees, boards and agencies should mail the application form to the Director of Connectional Ministries, EPA Conference, P.O. Box 820, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0820. 
 
Deadline: March 1 for Spring grants , and September 1 for Fall grants. 
‘Time running out’ to apply for UM Scholarships
Students should apply now for UM Higher Education Foundation (UMHEF) scholarships for the 2020-2021 school year. Applications and supporting documents must be submitted by March 1.


UMHEF SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMS 
  • General Named Endowed Scholarships: This program includes awards of various amounts from named scholarship funds established by various donors. Learn more.
  • United Methodist Dollars for Scholars: This popular program involves matching support from a student's church, UMHEF, participating United Methodist-related schools, and participating UMC conference foundations. Total potential award of up to $4,000. Learn more.
  • Additional scholarships are also available. Learn more.

BASIC ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS 
  • You must be a full member of a United Methodist Church for at least one year.
  • You must be enrolled or planning to enroll full-time at a United Methodist-related college, university, or seminary for the 2020-2021 school year. See a list of the schools here.
  • Additional criteria established by the fund/donor may apply; we will match you to the scholarships for which you qualify. 
  • International students, for which a limited number of scholarship funds are available, may apply using the General Named Endowed Scholarship application.

Questions? Contact UMHEF at 800-811-8110 or umhefscholarships@umhef.org
Ethnic leadership grants available
The United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry has opened applications for Ethnic-in-Service Training grants. The agency awards grants up to $10,000 to programs designed to bolster the recruitment, training and retention of ethnic leaders at every level of the church and its ministry. The deadline to apply is March 5 . Learn more...
We All Wear Purple
Cabrini University , just across from Eastern University, will host We All Wear Purple: Responding to Domestic Abuse , on Thursday, March 5 , a seminar to teach counselors and ordained or lay professionals working in faith communities more about domestic violence. The seminar, from 8 AM to 12:30 PM, will take place at Cabrini’s Grace Hall, 610 King of Prussia Rd, Radnor, PA.

“This seminar could serve as a catalyst, an encouragement, or both, to anyone whose ministry involves navigating this complex issue,” say sponsors. Information about this event was shared with Palmer Seminary alumni. For including the workshop schedule, Click here . Register Here
Advance Special project funding applications due March 12
The 2020-2021 application to request Advance Special funding from local churches is now available on our website. The application deadline is March 12, 2020

Eastern PA Conference pastors and leaders of church and community ministries should apply by the deadline, so that their projects may be vetted, selected and voted on by Annual Conference for approval. Churches are encouraged to support Advance Special projects with their second-mile giving after they have fulfilled their conference apportioned commitments and remittances.

Applications should be returned electronically to Barbara Drake, Deaconess and Conference Secretary of Global Ministries, at bedrake15@aol.com. Download and complete the application.
Domestic Violence Committee wants to help churches
Please respond to the Domestic Violence Committee Information Survey 
The Eastern PA Conference Domestic Violence Committee wants to determine how it can best help leaders and churches address the serious problem of domestic and intimate-partner violence in their communities. "If you or members of your church are involved or want to be involved, please tell us and let us help. Thank you for completing and submitting this survey questionnaire online (preferably) or by mail by March 13, 2020 ." Send the survey or any questions to: Rev. Jacqueline Hines, Committee Chairperson, at pastorjacquelineumc@gmail.com.  Click here to complete the survey online .
ERT & VIM disaster response training, March 21
The Eastern PA Conference Disaster Response ministry team will sponsor combined Early Response Team (ERT) and Volunteers in Mission (VIM) trainings on Saturday, March 21, from 8 AM to 4 PM , at Eastwick UMC, 8321 Lindbergh Blvd., Philadelphia. Please register right away. 

Early Response Teams (ERT) provide skilled support to disaster survivors as soon as communities allow response teams into disaster-impacted areas. Robert Simcox, the conference’s Disaster Response Coordinator, will lead that training. Contact: drc@epaumc.org or 610-427-0470.  
UM Volunteers in Mission (VIM) volunteers can work as carpenters or Vacation Bible School teachers, help with medical clinics and with youth sports and recreation programs, etc. Volunteers have taken weekend journeys. Others have spent a week, and yet others up to a month on a volunteer journey. The Rev. Russell Atkinson is the Conference UMVIM Coordinator. Contact him ratkinson@epaumc.org or 610-675-7187.  Register Online Now!
CCYM plans conference youth rally for March 28
“2020 Vision,” from “We walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7), is the theme for the next Eastern PA Conference Youth Rally, to be held on Saturday, March 28 , from 10 AM to 4 PM, at Quakertown UMC. Registration onsite begins at 9 AM. Register online now!

The Conference Council on Youth Ministry (CCYM) is busy planning the annual event and will focus its “2020 Vision” on the life-changing power of forgiveness, reconciliation and restoration. There will be compelling messages by relevant speakers, inspirational music by contemporary Christian bands, and possibly an upbeat, engaging dance lesson and performance. In addition, the youth will enjoy spiritually uplifting worship with a prayer and altar-call, games, food and plenty of fellowship opportunities. Learn more… 
NEJ Conference set for July 13-17 in Maryland
The UMC’s Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference will be held July 13-17 at the Delta Hotels, 245 Shawan Road, Hunt Valley, MD. Bishops may be elected to succeed the NEJ’s two retiring bishops, but that is not certain. More information to come.
Embracing the Full Household of God
How to know, serve, and love the refugees and immigrants in our communities. Saturday, March 28, 9 AM to 3 PM . At First Presbyterian Church, 3231 Tilghman Street, Allentown.

Embracing the Full Household of God is an all-day event designed to help participants reach out in love to immigrants and refugees in their communities. Learn real-life examples of what people who come into this country experience. Explore what scripture says about offering welcome and how the Church has done so throughout history. Understand the unique needs of immigrants and refugees in our communities and hear from others who have successfully developed meaningful relationships and effective programs.

The event is free, but registration is required. Lunch is included. Please plan to arrive by 8:45am.  Learn more at www.bit.ly/fullhousehold Download the flyer for the event
Fresh Expressions National Gathering 2020
From Apr. 1, 9 AM, to Apr. 3, 12:30 PM . At Heritage Fellowship Church, 2501 Fox Mill Road, Reston, VA. Theme: “The Present Future: Cultivating a Church of Tomorrow Today.” Three days of immersive learning, expert advice and missional inspiration, including:

  • Introductory training for people who are new to Fresh Expressions
  • Advanced, strategic training for those who have already begun to pioneer new expressions of Church
  • Immersive experiences that model what a "fresh expression" can look like
  • Peer-level meetups to learn from others who have similar needs.
Hyacinth: Thoughts about Lent
By Bishop Peggy Johnson

As soon as the “Produce Junction” greenhouse put the hyacinths on their flower table, I had to have one. It is still winter, but seeing the spring bulb plants spoke to me of the coming of Lent. 

Lent is the season of the church year in which we ponder the suffering and death of Jesus, strive to repent of our sinful ways, engage in acts of holiness in spirit and truth, and look forward to the celebration of Easter. Hyacinths are always an object lesson for me….I picked one that had not yet bloomed so I could watch it slowly blossom….

Life is tenacious, as it is the very Spirit of God. Life and love are stronger than death and hate. No matter the present darkness or death around us, ultimately there will be life and it goes on and on forever. Learn more...
A Lenten message from the NEJ College of Bishops
“As we begin this Lenten journey,” writes Bishop Latrelle Easterling on behalf of the NEJ College of Bishops, “we are reminded of the mercy and forgiveness proclaimed in the gospel of Jesus Christ and the need we all have to renew our faith. We invite you, in the name of the Church, to observe a holy Lent: by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s Holy Word.

“Our call to live as a resurrection people is especially important in these uncertain and anxious times. As our beloved United Methodist Church prepares for General Conference 2020, we know these practices of the Lenten journey will prepare our hearts, minds and spirits for whatever future God holds for the people of The United Methodist Church, and there is a future!” Read more…
Bilingual spiritual-formation academy slated
The Upper Room Academy for Spiritual Formation announced it will offer matching grant funds up to $5,000 to United Methodist conferences to help individuals participate in the next bilingual two-year academy, which begins Aug. 10. The academy is for both Spanish and English speakers. Bilingual skills are not required for participation.  Read press release .   To apply .
Camp & Retreat Center News
Camp Innabah to host women’s retreat, race, Easter egg hunt
Innabah Camp & Retreat Center will sponsor three major events in the next two months:

  • a Women’s Retreat, March 13-15, titled “Unveil your Radiance,” for women ages 18-plus. The cost is $165 for the weekend, or only $80 for just Saturday. The program director is Jennifer Wildjust.

This retreat is designed to help women see themselves as God sees them, as a reflection of His radiance. Together, we will explore how God uses fashion and fitness to help grow our faith and continue transforming us into His likeness. (2 Corinthians 3:18)  Click here to register .
 
  • Innabah’s sixth annual Spring 5k Race on Saturday, April 4, at 9 AM. Guests will enjoy a trail romp and hike around the beautiful hills and dales of one of PA’s oldest Summer Camps. REGISTER HERE! 
The course, above beautiful French Creek in scenic Chester County, traverses a variety of gorgeous landscapes and is “pretty awesome,” say organizers. All proceeds benefit Innabah’s summer camp programs and scholarship funds. Back by popular demand, a delightful pancake and bacon breakfast in their dining hall. Walkers will receive race T-Shirts and goodies, but will not be timed or scored.
Fundraising sponsors are needed by March 18. Email registrar@innabah.org for more information on being a sponsor!
 
  • Also, Innabah will hold its popular, annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 4, at 11 AM. Age groups include: 2 & under; 3-5; 6-9; 10-12; 13-17; 18-25; 26-49; 50 & over!
 
And the camp’s annual Homecoming and Community Day will follow on Saturday, May 30, from 10 AM to 3 PM, with live music, food trucks, wagon rides, a bounce house, a hammock village, s’mores and fun fellowship. 
Gretna Glen Spring Retreat
  • Children’s Spring Blast Retreat: April 3-4. From Friday, 7 PM to Saturday, 7 PM. For Grades 1-6. Cost: $40. 24 hours of a camp break from school. Expect music, games, food, and lots of memorable experiences!
Clergy mentor trainings coming up
All ordained elders, deacons and local pastors who have completed the course of study are encouraged (but not required) to attend a mentors training. Mentors are enlisted to support and encourage candidates for ministry throughout the candidacy process, as well as local pastors throughout their course of study.

Trained mentors are selected by the district superintendent, in consultation with the District Committee on Ministry, and also by the Board of Ordained Ministry to serve provisional members. Mentors must be trained to serve, and they must be retrained every four years.

This training meets all requirements, and much of it is offered online. Trainees should bring internet-accessible devices (laptop or tablet) for use with Wi-Fi. The training, which offers .3 CEUs, includes an orientation in UMCARES (UM Candidacy and Record Entry System).

The North District will offer training Feb. 27 at Grace St Paul's UMC in Jim Thorpe. The South District will offer training on Feb. 20 , at the Conference Office in Audubon (Norristown). All training times are from 9 AM till about noon. The East District will offer its training March 12 at Christ UMC Lansdale. Clergy may attend any of the training events, even outside their district. See updates for this schedule on the Board of Ordained Ministry website .
"The Women Who Knew..." FREE video Bible Study for Lent is NOW AVAILABLE

The Babylonian Talmud tells us there were 48 prophets and 7 prophetesses active in Israel in biblical times! This free bible study for lent will feature these women, exploring the primary biblical accounts of their contributions to the Jewish redemption narrative, as well as encounters and conversations Jesus had with women as recorded in the Gospels.

The Bible Study for Lent will be available prior to Ash Wednesday on the North District page of the Eastern PA Conference website . Or, it can be ordered from the North District office on DVD or on a thumb drive. Please contact Sheri Kentner, North District Resource Assistant (DRA) for orders or questions. skentner@epaumc.org.    

Adjourned Annual Conference Session Oct. 24
Bishop Peggy Johnson and the Conference Leadership have scheduled an Adjourned Session of Annual Conference for Saturday, Oct. 24, at 9 AM to present and vote on the 2021 Conference Budget. The location is yet to be determined. Please mark your calendars for this important session.
Resolution info from new Conference Secretary
The Rev. Jacqueline Hines is our new Conference Secretary. Please welcome her and use the following address for all official correspondence:  conferencesecretary@epaumc.org . Information about submitting resolutions is provided on behalf of the new Conference Secretary:

The Rules of Order for the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference state that the deadline for resolutions to be submitted shall "be set by the Conference Secretary and shall be at least thirty days prior to Annual Conference." The Rules of Order also require that resolutions "shall be printed and distributed to the members of Annual Conference at least ten days prior to the Annual Conference session." In recent years we have made the printed resolutions available at the District Conferences, not just 10 days before the Annual Conference session. To make this possible, the deadline for submission of resolutions has to be moved beyond the 30 day window.

For the 2020 session of Annual Conference, resolutions are therefore to be submitted by Friday, March 27, 2020 to the Conference Secretary at: conferencesecretary@epaumc.org.

Your prompt submission of resolutions is requested, preferably before the deadline . Learn more...
2019 Church Statistical Reports due April 10
The deadline for completing and submitting your church’s Statistical Report is  April 10 . Please  call your District Office if you have questions. Both your District Resource Assistant (DRA) and I stand ready to assist you and your church in making this annual process as smooth and as accurate as possible.


Lawrence A. Lee, Comptroller, Conference STAT Report Coordinator
(484) 762-8209 or (610) 666-9090 Ext. 1007  llee@epaumc.org
Basic Sexual Ethics Workshop, March 14
Register now for the next Basic Sexual Ethics Workshop, on Saturday, from 9:30 AM to 3 PM, at Bethel UMC, 952 Bethel Church Road, Spring City, PA. Presenter: Rev. David Piltz, Eastern PA Conference Coordinator of Youth and Young Adult Ministries. He is also a Marriage and Family therapist who is completing graduate studies in that field. 
Dismantling Racism 1, March 20-22
Begins Friday March 20, 5 PM - March 22 @ 3:00 PM Desmond Hotel Malvern, 1 Liberty Blvd, Malvern, PA. Register Online Now!
 
This is not a commuter event. Casual dress code.
 
Registration fee – $300.00
Registration includes a single room and meals.
Full Payment is Due at Time of Registration
The Registration Deadline is March 6, 2020.
 
Note: No refunds will be issued for participant cancellations less than 30 days prior to the start date of the event.
 
DISMANTLING RACISM WORKSHOPS GENERAL INFORMATION
This is a 3 day workshop and participation all 3 days is expected.
 
Participants will learn concrete strategies for:
  • Developing skills for addressing and changing attitudes and behaviors that perpetuate bias, discrimination, and other obstacles to equity
  • Understanding the personal costs to everyone of system of privilege and disadvantage
  • Recognizing institutional racism and other forms of systemic oppression and discrimination that affect members of historically excluded groups
  • Changing dysfunctional intraracial and interracial behavior that undermine effective partnerships
  • Learning to acknowledge and interrupt the subtle (and often unintentional) dynamics that play out between “modern” forms of oppression and “internalized oppression”.
 
This workshop will be led by a cross-racial, cross gender team of two facilitators from Visions, Inc. For more information on Visions, Inc. visit their website: visions-inc.org
 
2 Continuing Education Units are awarded upon completion of the training and this satisfies the requirement for Healing the Wounds.
UMW “Girls on the Go” Retreat, March 21-22
The UM Women’s 18th annual Girls on the Go retreat moves to Innabah Camp & Retreat Center this year, March 21-22. Teenage girls from across the conference, ages 13-18, are invited to come learn together in Bible study, group discussions, and exploring mission and justice concerns important to United Methodists, plus enjoy crafts, worship, meals together, fun activities, recreation and more.
 
This year’s theme is “Bold Actions.” Attendees will learn about: Climate Justice; Just Energy for All; Human Trafficking; and Criminalization of Communities of Color. In addition, they will enjoy a self-defense class and a hands-on mission activity.
 
“UMW believes our girls have the innate ability to make drastic changes in our society,” said Tamara Clark, a young adult UMW member, former Girls on the Go attendee, and now Treasurer of the international UMW organization. “Girls can come learn about these social justice priorities and also be encouraged to share their voices and take action.”
 
The cost is $60 if early-bird registration is received by Feb. 1, or $70 if received by Feb. 15. Questions? Contact Mary Ann Repsher at 610-588-1084 or at rep164@frontier.net . Or contact Susan Dzuik at 215-637-7898 or dzuiks1@verizon.net  

Conference to address traumatic stress from racism

The conference’s Commission on Religion and Race (CORR) will sponsor “Racism, Post-Traumatic Stress, & Transformation” on March 28, at Simpson House , 2101 Belmont Ave, Philadelphia, PA, from 8:30 AM to 3 PM. All people of color, clergy and lay, are encouraged to attend this 6-hour workshop, led by the Rev. R. Dandridge Collins (Ph.D., M.Div), a pastoral psychologist, author, lecturer and Baptist minister.

Collins, a trauma expert, will teach and lead participants in frank discussions to explore emotional distress and trauma caused in part by racist mistreatment, conflict and reactions, past and present. Interested persons should register soon . Space may fill up quickly for what should be a popular event.

The $25 registration fee includes: continental breakfast, lunch and a copy of Collins’ bestselling 2007 book The Trauma Zone: Trusting God for Emotional Healing Learn more. Register today.   Download and share the flyer .
GC2020-related Preview & Review Sessions
2020 General Conference Delegation Listening Sessions:
  • Wednesday, March 25, 2020 – 7 pm to 8:30 pm Church of the Good Shepherd, 1500, Quentin Rd., Lebanon PA
  • Thursday, April 2, 2020 – 7 pm – 8:30 pm Downingtown UMC751 East Lancaster Ave, Downingtown, PA. This event will be streamed and accessible by ZOOM
  • Saturday, April 4, 2020 – 10 am to noon Simpson House, 2101 Belmont Ave., Philadelphia, PA
  • Monday, April 20, 2020 – 7 pm to 8:30 pm Epworth UMC, 3245 Oakland Rd., Bethlehem, PA 18020


Post-General Conference Review Sessions with Bishop Johnson
  • Saturday, May 23, 2020, 10 am – 12 noon, West Lawn UMC, Reading, PA
  • Saturday, May 30, 2020 10 am – 12 noon Aldersgate UMC, Wilmington, DE
CONAM spring program, April 19
The conference Committee on Native American Ministries (CONAM) will hold its spring gathering for worship, learning and fellowship on Sunday, April 19, from 4 to 7 PM , at Camp Innabah. Their program title:  Indian Country's Hidden Figures: Outstanding Native Women.  All are invited, especially all local church CONAM representatives.
NEJ UMW to meet in Baltimore April 24-26
Northeastern Jurisdiction United Methodist Women will meet April 24-26 at Baltimore (MD) Marriott Waterfront.    

Called to Be. Called to See. Called to Live. The quadrennial UMW jurisdictional gathering of a lifetime! The keynoter is the Rev. Jennifer Crumpton, author of Femmevangelical: The Modern Girl’s Guide to the Good News .

Time’s running out and workshops are filling up fast! Registration is now $375. So, register now for the event of a lifetime. Also, book your hotel rooms now. Questions? Contact Mikele Delmore, Registrar at (302) 853-7512 or northeastern@unitedmethodistwomen.org. For more information, visit www.nejumw.org . Learn more…
Education Society Grants provide college aid
The Eastern PA Conference Education Society will offer grants to assist worthy individuals with defraying the cost of higher education for the 2020-2021 school year. Church members who plan to attend school in fall 2020 should be informed now about these grants and their deadline: May 11 . See and complete the application.


If you have questions, contact Education Society Chairperson, Al Adey, at ahadey@verizon.net .
Help for transitioning clergy and church leaders relating with clergy spouses, May 30
Transitioning Clergy Workshop & Relating with Clergy Spouses (Lunch and Learn) May 30 , at 9:30 AM - 2:00 PM at West Lawn UMC, 15 Woodside Ave., Reading, PA.

These dual, same-day training events are for clergy who are moving to new appointments (9:30 AM to 12 PM session, taught by Rev. Dave Woolverton) and Staff-Parish Relations Committee leaders who want to foster healthy, helpful relationships with clergy spouses (12:15 PM to 2 PM session over lunch, led by Julie Anderman). Lunch costs $7 . Registration closes May 15. Download the flyer here .  Learn more and register soon!
Wesley Pilgrimage 2020 openings remain
Registration remains open for the 2020 Wesley Pilgrimage in England. The July 27 - Aug. 6 event includes visits to six cities important to the Wesley family and Methodism’s founding. The Upper Room is a sponsor, along with the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry and the Commission on Archives & History. Read press release
2020 Eastern PA Conference Laity Academy
July 31 – August 2, at Eastern University

After the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a still, small voice.” 1 Kings 19:12
 
Life is NOISY. Life is MESSY. Life is OVERWHELMING.
 
Can you find God in all of this confusion? Are you even looking for God?
 
Elijah was looking. He was even told to stand on the mountain and the Lord would pass by… and he waited. He expected him in the torrential wind, he expected him in the earthquake, and then in the fire. But the Lord spoke after all of the confusion,  in a still small voice, a whisper.
 
We need to declutter our lives, our emotions, and our thoughts. We need to stop talking and start listening. Listen to our partners, our children, our friends, and listen for God.
 
Come join us at the 2020 EPA Laity Academy to learn about our Lord while exploring your personal ministry path. This weekend will be focused on serenity, prayer, and introspection. Come and enjoy the classes, fellowship, worship and entertainment.
 
Watch our website for further details: https://www.epaumc.org/ministry/lay
UMCOR creates John Wesley Fund for U.S. disasters
ATLANTA — An anonymous benefactor has pledged over the next 10 years the income from a $5 million asset to support the training of United Methodist Committee on Relief volunteers and its continued response to U.S. disasters. UMCOR is using the pledge to create The John Wesley Fund for U.S. Disaster Response. Read press release
Study guide offers 'deep dive' into evangelism
A new Foundation for Evangelism group study guide has been released for “The E Word” webinar, which launched in November 2019. Written by the Rev. Heather Lear, the guide provides a way for small groups and congregations to dive deep into what evangelism means and learn how to better tell the Gospel story to their community. Read press release. Download study guide
How to get your church ready for GC2020? Pray. Get trustworthy information. Learn the process. Participate in conversations. Build trust. Maintain a focus on discipleship. Urge congregational giving to continue. Learn more…
Conference Loan Fund open for CD investments
The EPA Conference Loan Fund is open for investment in certificates of deposit again, for the first time in about five years, according to Conference Treasurer James Brown. The effective interest rate is 2.25% per year.
 
Each investor receives a Certificate of Participation from the Loan Fund certifying that the named investor has made an investment of a specific amount in the Loan Fund. The minimum investment is $1,000.00. The Certificates of Participation are offered for cash, and there are no financing terms available. 
 
Interest rates are set by members of the Annual Conference, as recommended by the Loan Fund Board. The Loan Fund is a Pennsylvania non-profit corporation, whose purpose is to make loans to churches and affiliated agencies for building projects.   Learn more…   Also, visit our Conference Loan Fund page to learn more. Click here to download the investor form.  
Protocolo en Español
The new Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation , which will be proposed to General Conference in May for restructuring the church, is available to be read in Spanish at PROTOCOLO DE SEPARACION EN ESPANOL . Find it and other Spanish-Language articles on our new News & Information in Spanish webpage

The Western Jurisdiction Hispanic Latino Ministries Council, in partnership with the National Plan for Hispanic Latino Ministry, translated the Protocol into Spanish and shares it with the entire denomination. We thank the Rev. Luky Cotto for forwarding it to us to publish online.
Visit our Local Church Resources webpage
Do you find yourself wondering where you can obtain a 501(c)3 letter? Clergy W-2s? Various other bits of information that is crucial for churches? Look no further than the Local Church Resources page under the Administration tab on the EPA website and you can answer these questions.
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
  • March 7: Tools for Ministry (all districts)
  • March 14: Basic Sexual Ethics, 9:30 AM - 3 PM, Bethel UMC.
  • March 20-22, 2020: Dismantling Racism 3-day training, Friday 5 PM – Sunday 3 PM, Desmond Hotel
  • March 21: ERT/VIM Training, 8 AM – 4 PM, Eastwick UMC. Register online.
  • March 21-22, 2020: UMW’s Girls on the Go Retreat, Camp Innabah
  • March 20-22, 2020: National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministries (NPHLM) Encuentro 2 (Encounter 2), location TBA (Pen-Del Conference)
  • March 28: Racism, Post-Traumatic Stress, & Transformation, Simpson House
  • March 28: EPA Youth Rally, Quakertown UMC. Register online.
  • April 18: Connectional Table Meeting, 9 AM - 12 PM
  • April 19: CONAM's Spring Program, Indian Country's Hidden Figures: Outstanding Native Women, at Camp Innabah
  • April 25: Faith-Sharing Event: Evangelism in a Changing Landscape, 9 AM - 3 PM, Bethlehem: Wesley UMC
  • April 26-28: FAMLP Retreat, Camp Pecometh
  • May 2: Advanced Sexual Ethics Workshop: Ministry with Registered Sex Offenders, 9:30 AM – 3 PM, Elam UMC. Download the flyer!
  • May 16: UMW’s Spiritual Life Retreat
  • May 16: Urban Summit
  • May 16: Basic Sexual Ethics Workshop, 9:30 AM – 3 PM, Faith UMC
  • May 17, 2020: District Conferences

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