January 22, 2021
NEWS & VIEWS
Bishop Peggy A. Johnson announces the following clergy changes effective July 1, 2021, unless otherwise stated:
Retirements
  • Rev. Douglas Hill

Appointments - West District
  • Rev. Jakov DongJin Choi (Elder) from Norwood UMC to Ephrata: First, Full-time
Eastern PA Annual Conference set for May 20-22
The 236th session of the Eastern PA Annual Conference, May 20-22, will take place mostly online for a second consecutive year, after making history with that first-time format in 2020. The conference business session will again be held via a Zoom webinar, with pre-recorded reports and eBallot voting on Friday, May 21. Non-members will again be able to view the session livestreamed on the Conference’s Facebook page.

This year’s session will include resolutions with legislative debate and amendments allowed. But the plan is for recommended amendments and revisions to occur mostly online once resolutions are made public and before the conference meets. The deadline to receive resolutions is March 5. Recommended revisions and amendments will be accepted until April 2. Learn more...
Jan. 24 Cabinet sermon emphasizes timely, courageous leadership 
The Rev. Evelyn Kent-Clark, South District Superintendent, offers a new sermon for churches to use in worship on Sunday, Jan. 24, or another appropriate Sunday. Her sermon, "Called for Such a Time as This," is drawn from Esther 4:14 and Mark 1:14-20. It can be viewed on the Conference YouTube channel, and it is downloadable from the Conference’s Dropbox account.
Jan. 31 Cabinet sermon illuminates Jesus’ ‘New teaching’
The Bumkoo Chung, West District Superintendent, offers a new sermon for churches to use in worship on Sunday, Jan. 31, or another appropriate Sunday. His sermon, “New Teaching,” is taken from Mark 1:21-28. It can be viewed on the Conference YouTube channel and downloaded from the Conference’s Dropbox account.
The federal government’s new PPP2 loans are available first to applicants, including churches, who did not receive a PPP1 loan last year. But eligibility for the aid will expand soon for churches that have already received PPP1 grants and can demonstrate a 25 percent decline in their “gross receipts” in at least one 2020 quarter, compared to the same quarter in 2019. Learn more...
County to update faith leaders on COVID-19 measures Monday, Jan. 25
Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh will meet online with local faith leaders again to update them on county pandemic mitigation efforts on Monday, Jan. 25, at 9 AM. Her update should include vaccination plans. Currently, clergy are in the Phase 1-B group to receive vaccination, while health care workers, senior living facility residents and seniors over age 65, among other vulnerable groups, are in the 1-A group. The last meeting with faith leaders was Jan. 11. Join the meeting on WebEx at https://mcdps.my.webex.com/mcdps.my/j.php?MTID=m5f8055695345fa43859b85f611134537. Join by telephone at 1-408-418-9388. The Access Code is 132 998 4369.
Bishops congratulate Pres. Biden and VP Harris
A Jan. 20 statement from the UMC’s Council of Bishops:

On behalf of the more than 12 million United Methodists throughout the world, the Bishops of The United Methodist Church congratulate former Vice President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States.

We also offer our congratulations to Senator Kamala Harris on her historic swearing in as the first female and first person of color to the office of Vice President of the United States.

We pray that President Biden and Vice President Harris will embrace the core values of their election to serve all people regardless of their political views.

We thank all who faithfully participated in the election process at all levels in order to sustain the democratic process. May God continue to bless all local, national, and world leaders with wisdom and sober judgment as they fulfill the trust and obligations afforded to them by the people of the world.
31 United Methodists serve in 117th Congress
(UM News) — A near-equal number of United Methodists serve on each side of the aisle in the 117th U.S. Congress, which faces the work of responding to a wounded nation and breached Capitol building. The newly started Congress has 31 United Methodists. Albert J. Menendez reports. Read story
Hopewell celebrates MLK Day of Service 
Like many individuals, families and churches, Hopewell UMC in Downingtown celebrated this week’s Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday as a “Day of Service.” Members did prayer walks around the church campus, performed outreach and labors of love to enhance their facilities and other ministry sites, and much more. 
 
"Hi John, Here's a link to our MLK Weekend of Service at Hopewell,” wrote the Rev. Amy Banka, lead pastor, who shared with us a video depicting their efforts. “Just an FYI in case you are interested in how churches are living out Dr. King's beloved community and legacy.” Check it out: MLK Celebration Video.mov
Time for Souper Bowl of Caring Challenge 
Will your church participate in the annual, nationwide Souper Bowl of Caring mission outreach event to tackle hunger while coinciding with Pro Football’s Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 7? Please let us know before or after, and please send us information and photos of your activities to communications@epaumc.org
Wesley UMC in Bethlehem is gearing up for its Souper Bowl of Caring Challenge to support New Bethany Ministries, which operates a food pantry and serves meals to about 150 people. Wesley already collects food pantry donations on first Sundays, as members drop requested items inside a shopping cart in the church’s atrium.
But to coincide with America’s biggest sports championship, the church will collect cans of soup--providing a healthier meal than many fans will consume on that special occasion. And since this will be Super Bowl LV, their goal is 555 cans. Please let us know what your church will do.
Parke Hess, Conference's first foundation director dies
We received word of the death of Mr. Parke H. Hess, who passed on Jan. 15. He was the first Foundation Director for the Eastern PA Conference, from 1989 to 1999. Read his obituary at https://www.jamesterryfuneralhome.com/tributes/Parke-Hess. Hess is survived by his wife, Mrs. Nancy Hess, and his children. Expressions of sympathy may be sent to Mrs. Hess at 451 Far Hill Circle, Exton PA 19341-3102. Services will be held privately with the family. No additional information is available at this time.
Clergy should advocate for vaccination
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Rev. Chase Green calls on fellow United Methodist clergy to be cheerleaders for the COVID-19 vaccines rolling out. His essay notes the keen interest of John Wesley, Methodism's founder, in health and remedies. Read commentary.  
Missionaries Mark, Deirdre Zimmerman: The gift of being present
Dr. Mark and Deirdre Zimmerman are UM Global Ministries missionaries serving in Kathmandu, Nepal, and supported by Eastern PA Conference churches. Mark, a physician, and Deirdre, a nutritionist, care for patients at Patan Hospital and others through community outreach programs. 

In this podcast conversation, they talk about their life as a missionary couple and as parents, and how being fully present to patients, students, colleagues, and to God, helps them in their work of sharing the love of Jesus by caring for the physical needs of others. Learn more...
The content of our character
(UM News) — Martin Luther King Jr. Day prompts the interim top executive of the United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race to call for the church to address its institutional racism. "Ignoring racism, or any sin, does not repair, nor restore," writes M. Garlinda Burton. "It is only when people of character and courage have walked out, shouted down and sat in that institutional racism has been brought to its knees." Read commentary
2020 Statistical Reports due April 30
The Conference Treasurer’s Office e-mailed its Statistical Reports letter to churches this week, Completed reports are due by April 30, using the EZRA Data Management System of the UMC’s General Board of Finance and Administration at http://ezra.gcfa.org. Each church’s online username is its six-digit GCFA ID Number, which can be found on its monthly remittance statement or its 2019 Statistical Report. 
 
There is one username per church; but more than one person can enter data by using the same password. For a password, type in “stat2020” (without quotation marks), using all lowercase and no spaces. Churches should contact their District Office if they need assistance . Learn More
Online prayer scheduled for Christian unity
GENEVA — The World Council of Churches invites the global ecumenical family and friends to join a livestreamed public prayer service at 8 a.m. U.S. Eastern time Jan. 25, the final day of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. This year's theme, from the Gospel of John: "Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit." Read invitation
Upcoming Meetings
State of the Black Church Meeting. A joint meeting for African American members of the Eastern PA and Peninsula-Delaware conferences. March 18, 8 AM to 5 PM, on Zoom.

Eastern PA Conference Urban Summit. A three-part meeting of leaders and others interested in urban ministry, clergy and laity, sponsored by the Urban Commission. Schedule: April 24, 10 AM to 12 noon (for adults); May 1, 10 AM to 12 noon (for adults); and May 1, 12 PM to 2 PM (for youth: Urban Youth Summit)  
LEARNING EVENTS
Jason Moore will teach us creative, transformative strategies for worshiping both online and in-person when churches return to their sanctuaries. Tuesday, Feb. 9, 10 AM-12:30 PM. (The time was recently extended a half-hour.) Moore, who has pioneered creative, collaborative worship design for two decades, will lead us in exploring new possibilities for worshiping both online and onsite at our churches, in a webinar offered for free on Zoom “Both/And: Maximizing Hybrid Worship Experiences for Online and In-Person Audiences” will “delve into strategies for how to create powerful transformative worship where no one feels like they’re an afterthought.”  . Learn more
Deacons to learn about anti-racism, intersectionality
Deacons and Deacon candidates are invited to attend an upcoming gathering on Saturday, January 23, 1 to 2:30 PM, on Zoom, the second in a series of continuing education events on anti-racism. Topic: “Becoming an Anti-racist Community: Intersectionality.” 0.15 CEUs. Register in advance for this meeting.
Dismantling Racism II to explore Latinx experience with racism
The Conference’s next Dismantling Racism—Level 2 training event will explore “The Hispanic/Latino (Latinx) Experience—Racism: the Struggle is Real!” All are invited to participate in what should be a fascinating, three-hour webinar on Zoom, on Saturday, Feb. 27, from 9 AM to noon.
 
Sponsored by the Conference’s Healing the Wounds of Racism Core Team, this timely seminar will feature several experts who will offer diverse cultural, social, historical and personal perspectives on the racial experiences of Latinx people and the intersection with their faith and religion. The last Dismantling Racism—Level 2 webinar, held last September, focused on the Asian American experience with racism.
 
The Rev. Irving Cotto, a pastor and co-chairman of the Conference’s Latino Commission, and the Rev. Alicia Julia-Stanley, a pastor who co-chairs the Conference Commission on Religion and Race, will co-host the webinar. Online registration and more information will be available soon. 
 
Invited speakers are:
AROUND THE UM CONNECTION
UM agency eliminates jobs under new structure
The church agency charged with leadership development has reorganized and will cut 25% of its labor force by the end of January. Budget decreases and falling collections made the cuts necessary, said the Rev. Greg Bergquist, top executive of the UM Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Read press release
Retired pastor starts online 'Doubter's Parish'  
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (UM News) — The Rev. Martin Thielen's retirement project after United Methodist ministry is a new website called Doubter's Parish, where skeptics and what he calls "thinking Christians with questions" can read his writings and get in touch. Thielen, a popular author and former megachurch pastor, is quick to acknowledge his own faith struggles. Read story
Bishops mourn loss of Africa U chancellor
The United Methodist Church has lost a "great visionary" and leader with the death of Professor Munashe Furusa, vice chancellor of Africa University, the Council of Bishops said in a statement. With his death, "a dark cloud has passed over the valley of dreams, our crown jewel of Methodist education in Africa," the statement said. Read statementRead UM News obituar
A less welcoming place for refugees in Europe
BREMEN, Germany (UM News) — The United Methodist Church of the Redeemer has offered a host of services to refugees and migrants in recent years. But the coronavirus pandemic has put a temporary halt to such ministries, and Europe is turning more people away as the migration crisis continues. Read story
Bikes extend evangelism in Kenya during pandemic
RIRUTA, Kenya — Thirty student pastors at Wesleyan United Methodist Training College have new bikes to help them carry out their mission during the COVID-19 pandemic. The bikes were gifted through The United Methodist Church's Bikes and Bibles program. "This will allow me to give more time to ministry, and less time walking," said Pastor Joseph Nanyanga. Read story
RESOURCES
New Bible studies for a new year
The beginning of a new year is a popular time to dive into a new Bible study, as is Lent, which is coming soon. During the pandemic when we may not be meeting in person, many UM churches are offering online group studies. Others are going the independent study route, finding a book and moving through it at their own pace.

Whether you’re with a small group or going it alone, consider these recommendations that UMCom writer Crystal Caviness compiled based on recommendations by staff at The United Methodist Publishing House. You may reach her by email or at 615-742-5138. Learn more...
New Houses of Worship Security Self-Assessment Tool
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) provides this Houses of Worship Security Self-Assessment Tool. Prepared by the DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), it is a security planning resource useful for church facilities. This tool along with other faith-based resources are located on the Faith Based Organization-Houses of Worship (FBO-HOW) resource page,  Learn more…
Conversations about Racism and The UMC
Watch the recording of this important conversation about racism in our churches and religious institutions with the editor (the Rev. Rudy Rasmus) and writers of the new Abingdon Press book I'm Black. I'm Christian. I'm Methodist. In the book, 10 Black women and men explore their lives through the lenses of their compelling, personal accounts. They are leaders whose lives are tangible demonstrations of the power of a divine purpose and evidence of what grace really means in face of hardship, disappointment, and determination. The moderator is GCORR’s M. Garlinda Burton.  WATCH NOW. Buy and learn more about I'm Black. I'm Christian. I'm Methodist.
New Lenten Bible Study: Character Matters
Two new videos available on YouTube promote the new Lenten Bible study being prepared by the Rev. Steve Morton and North District clergy. View the two promo videos, featuring: Bishop Peggy Johnson and Rev. Jennifer Frey, North District Assisting Elder. Learn more about the series: "New Lenten study to feature North District clergy."

The complete study will be available in early February. To access both the videos and Leader's Guide online, please go to https://www.epaumc.org/districts/north/ and click on "Bible Studies." If you would like a flash drive with the study mailed to you, please email Deb Boyd at dboyd@epaumc.org. (If needed, a DVD and paper copies can be mailed if you let Deb Boyd know by 2/1 that you will need that format instead).
Living with faith and doubt
Does being faithful mean being doubtless? The Rev. Brian McLaren talks on the Compass Podcast about his new book "Faith After Doubt." The podcast is a ministry of United Methodist Communications aimed at reaching spiritual seekers. Listen to podcast
Easter outreach resources available for churches
Many people in your community will be searching for a place to find renewal and hope this Easter. United Methodist Communications sells a wide variety of customizable outreach resources to invite people to church, including postcards, banners and digital tools. Use code “UMCEA21” to receive $150 off an order.  To order
Vanco now offers software for child care
Vanco, a digital-giving platform for churches, has acquired Smartcare, a provider of software specifically for child care centers. Vanco is part of the General Council on Finance and Administration's ministry partner program for churches. Read press release
REMINDERS
Conference prayer ministry inspires weekly communal sharing
The Eastern PA Conference’s weekly prayer meetings on Zoom continue on Tuesdays at noon, with participants sharing the honors of leading the half-hour sessions. The Rev. David Piltz, Coordinator of Youth & Young Adults Ministries, started the ministry last April as the COVID-19 pandemic became more daunting, taking a growing toll on many lives through infections, deaths and social distancing.

Each week's sharing of personal joys and concerns, followed by intercessory prayers, seems to offer a communal balm of spiritual healing and hopefulness for some participants. The online gatherings have drawn as many as several dozen attendees.  Learn more...
Young adults, college students invited to new Fireside Chat & Prayer
The Open Door Christian Community, our UM campus ministry at Drexel University in Philadelphia, will partner with the Eastern PA Conference’s Young Adults Ministry to offer a new, weekly Fireside Chat & Prayer ministry on Tuesdays, 7 to 8 PM, via Zoom. The pilot program will begin Jan. 26 and last till March 2.

This will be “one of the first times a conference-wide young adult ministry event is co-sponsored with a campus ministry in a very long time,” said the Rev. David Piltz, who directs the campus ministry and coordinates the Conference’s Youth and Young Adult Ministries. “Our Drexel Campus Ministry is excited. And since our Conference Young Adults ministry is reforming now, this new initiative will help with that effort.”

Two influential speakers who have spoken to the Conference’s Council on Youth Ministry before will conduct the Fireside Chat & Prayer sessions. They will discuss “Healthy Relationships,” especially in the throes of a pandemic, and “Creating Healing in Your Life.” No registration is required. Anyone at least age 18 and of any faith is invited regardless of faith background. Learn more...
Race, Racism, Equity in Higher Education
The UMC’s General Board of Higher Education & Ministry (GBHEM) will host two Black female college presidents to explore how to engage oneself and others effectively in understanding and addressing race, racism and the quest for equity for all, especially in higher education. The Feb. 4 online discussion, from 12 to 1 PM, part of the board’s “Straight Talk” series, will feature Fayneese Miller and Colette Pierce Burnette.  

Dr. Miller is the first African-American and second woman president of Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn. Dr. Burnette is the president of Huston-Tillotson University, a historically Black university in Austin, Texas. Both schools are UM-related institutions. Interested participants may register here. This is a FREE event. Learn more…
Laity invited to take Pen-Del’s Conference's Gospel Discipleship course 
Bishop Peggy Johnson reports that Peninsula- Delaware Conference lay members “fell in love with the Gospel Discipleship book” and the Rev. Dr Michelle Morris, author, will do an online 10-hour training event there to fulfill the needs of many lay people who need their recertification for lay servant status. “They have told me that Eastern PA Conference laity are most welcome to join if they want,” says the bishop. “So spread the word.”

Attend the Gospel Discipleship Weekend Workshop on Zoom, Feb. 12-14, in five 2-hour sessions, sponsored by the Peninsula-Delaware Conference Lay Servant Academy.

The Rev Dr Michelle Morris is passionate about connecting people to Jesus in meaningful ways, and loves to help people gain a deeper understanding of their discipleship An ordained elder in the Arkansas Conference, she has served churches and worked on church revitalization and new church starts, which gave rise to Gospel Discipleship. She helps people understand their discipleship in terms of defining paths spelled out in each of the four Gospels. Register online. Download and share the flyer..
Conference Leadership Opportunities for all!
The Conference Leadership Committee asks all clergy and lay members to use this Leadership and Service Interest Form to indicate how and where they are willing to serve on. Learn more...
Apply for community ministry grant by Jan. 31 
The Eastern PA Conference’s new Narberth Legacy Ministry Action Grants (2021-2023) can provide up to $45,000 in support to new, innovative, justice-seeking ministries that impact the life of communities. The new endowment fund’s first three-year grant period will begin July 1; but the application deadline is Jan. 31. It will be awarded annually to a church.
 
The grants come from a permanent endowment fund administered by the Mid-Atlantic United Methodist Foundation on behalf of the Eastern PA Conference. It was established from the 2014 discontinuation of Narberth UMC, as a living memorial to past church members.
 
Eligible ministries are those that seek to serve populations that may be multicultural, young or intergenerational, unchurched or de-churched, and challenged by racism, discrimination, poverty and other disadvantages. Such ministries should demonstrate viability and a commitment to foster productive cooperation with church and community partners and stakeholders. 
 
Funds will be granted only for endeavors that produce action and offer the potential for real change. Learn more on the conference website’s Funding For Ministry page or contact the Office of Connectional Ministries. The fund is featured in the new Conference Funding for Ministry and Leadership Development Booklet. Narberth Legacy Action Ministry Grant Application
Advance Special application deadline March 5
Now is the time for eligible ministries to submit applications for approval as Eastern PA Conference Advance Specials for 2021-2022. Approved applications must be submitted as a special resolution to the May 2021 Annual Conference for a vote. Please complete the application and return it electronically to Deaconess Barbara Drake at bedrake15@aol.com. The deadline is March 5. Download: 2021 Advance Special Application.  
 
See the roster of 2019-2020 Conference Advance Specials approved by the 2019 Annual Conference. There were no projects approved in 2020. Conference Advance Specials is a missional stewardship program of second-mile giving by generous churches, groups and individuals to support primarily local ministries. Churches that want to give to support Conference Advance Specials should first fulfill their primary connectional stewardship commitments to the conference and general church by remitting apportioned funds and direct bill payments.
Online Tools for Ministry coming March 13
The Eastern PA Conference’s 2021 Tools for MinistryMarch 13from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM, will make history by being totally online for the first time, rather than being held in onsite district locations. Offering virtual classrooms on Zoom for this annual, half-day academy of learning for church leaders is yet another way the Conference is adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic and overcoming required social-distancing restrictions against large gatherings. 

Ironically, that adaptation is bearing fruit in allowing the Conference to offer a cornucopia of 35 diverse, online courses taught by expert faculty, all for a nominal registration fee of only $5. And even more fruit may result from a record-breaking turnout, due to the convenience, affordability and growing acceptance of online, home-based adult learning.

Bishop Peggy Johnson will begin the morning plenary with devotions. An offering, using text-to-give on smartphones, or mailed or electronic funds transfer options, will be received to support the antiracism and justice work of POWER, an interfaith community organization to which some Eastern PA Conference churches belong.

The 35 workshops cover a wide array of interesting and helpful subjects. One is in Spanish and another will be offered bilingually in English and Spanish. The workshops will be offered in two 90-minute sessions—beginning at 9:00 and 10:45 AM, with a break in-between. Visit the online information page and register today. Also, download the flyer and the full brochure with workshop descriptions. Learn more…
ARTOS offers pandemic support to clergy spouses
Artos Retreats and Samaritan Counseling Center will gather clergy spouses and partners online beginning on Thursday, Jan. 28, at 7 PM, for supportive dialogues to help them deal with their role changes and challenges during the current pandemic. The confidential, facilitated, real-life discussions on Zoom are for those of any denomination seeking “shared wisdom and hope” during these difficult times.

Six small-group, monthly gatherings will happen on fourth Thursday evenings. The first two sessions are free, and subsequent sessions will be available for only $30 each. Julie Anderman, Executive Director of Artos Retreats, a clergy spouse for 20 years and a certified professional coach, will facilitate the discussions. Jan. 21 is the deadline for registration. Download and share this flyer.
CDT Book Club to explore Caste for Lent
On the heels of exploring Gil Rendle’s transformational tome Quietly Courageous (Jan. 13 to Feb 3), the Congregational Development Team (CDT) Book Club will next launch into the Lenten season with a study of a new, highly touted, instant classic. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents (2020), by Isabel Wilkerson, examines the unspoken caste system of race that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions.

For five weeks, Feb. 23 to March 23, on Tuesdays at 11 AM to noon, CDT Book Club members will read and discuss this “masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America.” Described as “immersive, deeply researched" with stories about real people, it was recently named by a New York Times critic “an instant American classic and almost certainly the keynote nonfiction book of the American century thus far.”

The Conference’s Commission on Religion & Race (CORR) will co-sponsor the book study and help CDT purchase and give books free to the first 50 members to register. Book purchase scholarships are also available. Anyone can join by registering in advance. Learn more...
‘Could I be a racist Christian?’
NEJ Multi-Ethnic Center to host webinar discussion

The Northeastern Jurisdiction’s Multi-Ethnic Center for Ministry (MECM) will offer an online “courageous sacred conversation” on racism on Sunday, Jan. 17, at 4 PM. The hour-long talk, “Could I Be a Racist Christian ... Is That Possible?” will feature two guest panelists: the Rev. Phil Wingeier-Rayo, Dean and Professor of Missiology and Methodist Studies at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC, and the Rev. Tori Butler, Pastor of Good Hope-Union UMC in Silver Spring,Md.

“It will be a provocative and insightful conversation not to be missed,” writes the Rev. Tony Love, MECM director and Assistant to Bishop Latrelle Easterling of the Baltimore-Washington Conference. Join the webinar on Zoom at https://bwcumc.zoom.us/j/98067837608. Or join by telephone in Eastern PA at +1 646 876 9923. (Or use iPhone one-tap at: +13017158592,,98067837608# or +13126266799,,98067837608#.) The webinar ID number is 980 6783 7608. See and share this flyer.
Higher education scholarships available
The United Methodist Higher Education Foundation is accepting scholarship applications for the 2021-2022 academic year. Through March 1, students are invited to apply for more than $2 million in funds available to help pay for attending colleges, universities or seminaries related to The United Methodist Church. See media resources  To apply 
Webinar series helps prepare for Lent
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Revs. Magrey deVega, Adam Hamilton and Susan Robb will lead a webinar series to help church leaders prepare Bible studies for Lent, which starts Feb. 17 this year. "A Season of Reflection: Lenten Studies to Prepare for Easter's Celebrations" will be at 2 p.m. U.S. Central time Jan. 12-14.  To learn more and register
Church and Society Ethnic Young Adult internship
Apply today for the summer Ethnic Young Adult Internship Program! Do you know a young person who wants to put their faith in action? Apply by March 1. Program runs from June 5-July 31. The Ethnic Young Adult Internship (EYA) program is for young justice seekers willing to unpack their faith and identity while working with an organization engaged in addressing social injustices. 

Interns are placed with advocacy, public policy, nonprofit and grassroots organizations where they work four days a week. They engage in weekly seminars designed to explore a wide variety of social issues, while also learning about the UMC’s history of pursuing social holiness. 
Plan to attend Transfiguration Day Apart Feb. 10 
Save the date for the Eastern PA Conference’s Transfiguration Day Apart scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, 9:30 to 11:30 AM, on Zoom. All clergy and Certified Lay Ministers (CLMs) serving congregations are invited to attend. The Rev. Deborah Appler, who teaches at Moravian Theological Seminary in Bethlehem, will be the keynoter. Her topic: “The Transfiguration from an Old Testament Perspective." Download and share the flyer
Conference offers new booklet of scholarships, ministry funds
Announces new Narberth Legacy Ministry Action Grants
The Eastern PA Conference Connectional Ministries Office has published online a new booklet, titled Conference Funding for Ministry and Leadership Development, to inform churches and members about resources for funding ministry, church needs and educational scholarships. The booklet conveniently gathers in one place information already present on the conference website’s individual Funding For Ministry, Higher Education Scholarships & Grants and Conference Loan Fund pages. (All pages are updated regularly and are accessible from our Conference Finance webpage.)

But other funding sources also appear in the booklet, including the William “Bill” Drendall Endowment Fund of Mount Gretna UMC, available to all churches; BMCR/BUMP College Scholarships for active members of BMCR-member churches; and scholarships and ministry funding from general agencies of the UMC. 

One major funding source featured in the new booklet is the conference’s new Narberth Legacy Ministry Action Grants (2021-2023 Action Grants). The Narberth Legacy Ministry Action Fund is a Permanent Endowment Fund administered by the Mid-Atlantic United Methodist Foundation on behalf of the Eastern PA Conference. It was established from the 2014 discontinuation of Narberth UMC, as a living memorial to past church members, to provide substantial support to new, innovative, justice-seeking ministries that impact the life of communities. 

Beginning July 1, 2021 one grant for up to $45,000, distributed over a three-year period, will be awarded annually to a church. Eligible ministries are those that seek to serve populations that may be multicultural, young or intergenerational, unchurched or de-churched, and challenged by racism, discrimination, poverty and other disadvantages. Such ministries should demonstrate viability and a commitment to foster productive cooperation with church and community partners and stakeholders. 

Funds will be granted only for endeavors that produce action and offer the potential for real change. Learn more on the conference website’s Funding for Ministry page or contact the Office of Connectional Ministries. Deadline: Jan. 31, 2021. Learn more...
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
January

February
  • February 9: Both/And: Maximizing Hybrid Worship Experiences For Online and In-Person Audiences. 10 AM - 12 Noon. Webinar. Register.
  • February 10: Transfiguration Day Apart. 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM. Zoom Webinar. Download the flyer.
  • February 13: Connectional Table Meeting (on Zoom)
  • Feb. 16, 23 & March 2, 9, 16, 23: CDT Book Club Discussions on Caste, Tuesdays 11 AM to noon,
  • February 27: Dismantling Racism Level II. Further details TBA.

March
  • March 5: Deadline for AC2021 Resolutions
  • March 5-6: Advanced Sexual Ethics: Ministry with Sex Offenders. Friday from 6:30 - 8 PM, and Saturday from 9 AM to 12 Noon. Via Zoom. Register.
  • March 9: Bivocational & Small Church Network 2nd Meeting
  • March 13: Tools for Ministry. Download the flyer. Register.
  • March 18: State of the Black Church Meeting (with Pen-Del Conference)

April
  • April 16-18: Dismantling Racism, Level 1, Virtual. Register.
  • April 24 & May 1: Urban Summit. April 24th from 10 AM – 12 noon and May 1st from 10 AM - 12 Noon for Adults. May 1st from 12 Noon - 2 PM for the Urban Youth Summit.

May
  • May 1: "Relating with Clergy Spouses" workshop by Artos. From 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM on Zoom. Download the flyer. Register.
  • May 2: CONAM Spring Learning & Fellowship Event (Zoom)
  • May 15: Latino Holy Convocation and Assembly
  • May 15: Clergy Transition Workshop led by Dave Woolverton.9 AM - 11 AM via Zoom meeting. Download the flyer.  Register.
  • May 20 - 22: 2021 Annual Conference 

June
  • June 5: Cross Cultural Cross Racial Training for New CR/CC Appointments. 9 AM - 12:30 PM, via Zoom Meeting. Register.

August
  • August 6 - 8: Laity Academy

October
  • October 15 & 16: Domestic Violence Workshop. Friday October 15 from 7 PM – 9 PM & Saturday October 16th from 9 AM – 12 PM. Further details TBA.
  • Oct. 23:  Faith Sharing Evangelism Training w/ Olu Brown
  • Oct. 29 - Nov 1: Dismantling Racism, Level 1, Virtual. Register.

Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of The United Methodist Church
980 Madison Avenue, Norristown, PA 19403