REVISED with Appointment Announcement Corrections 
July 7, 2017
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Bishop Peggy  Johnson  announces new appointments, effective July 1  unless otherwise indicated.  (Includes changes in clergy status.) 

Rev. Coleen Painter at Elverson UMC and  Rev. Jean Howe  at Reading: Grace UMC will both be in the South, not East, District.  

And  Rev. Marilyn Schneider's appointment includes 1/4-time at Grove UMC.   We apologize for the errors.

East District
  • Rev. Debra Neild (new Provisional Deacon) to Lansdale: First UMC, full-time until August 15, then 1/2-time after August 15.
  • Rev. Tawny Bernhardt (new Ordained Elder) from full-time to 1/2-time at Lansdale: Christ UMC.
  • Rev. Eric Carr (new Provisional Elder) from 1/4-time to 1/2-time at Philadelphia: Mid-Town Parish UMC (and continuing 1/2-time at Philadelphia: Wharton-Wesley UMC)
  • Rev. William Brawner from Lay Supply to Licensed Local Pastor at Philadelphia: Haven-Peniel UMC, 1/2-time
South District
  • Rev. Joanne Miles (new Provisional Deacon) to Bryn Mawr: St. Luke UMC, 1/8-time (Coordinator of Social Justice).
  • Rev. Marilyn Schneider (new Provisional Deacon) to Coordinator of Eastern PA Conference Prison Ministry & Restorative Justice Team, 3/4-time and Grove UMC, 1/4-time.
  • Rev. Coleen Painter (Elder) from 3/4-time to full-time at Elverson UMC.
  • Rev. Jean Howe  from Certified Lay Minister to Licensed Local Pastor at Reading: Grace UMC, 1/4-time  
West District
  • Rev. Heather Hammel (Part-time Local Pastor) to Hempfield UMC, 1/2-time.

Email Spoofing Alert. Caution advised
Bishop Peggy Johnson recently learned that she is a victim of e-mail spoofing, a fraudulent practice of impersonating someone by sending e-mail messages with their name falsely placed in the "From" field. She cautions e-mail recipients to always check the e-mail address, not just the name, in the "From" field, and be suspicious of messages that contain misspellings and unusual statements, questions or requests that you are not accustomed to receiving from Bishop Johnson or anyone else with whom you correspond.
Also, never click on strange web links or attachments, especially where there is no accompanying information explaining where the link goes or what the attachment is. If you think it might be legitimate, roll your mouse over the link without clicking on it, and see what URL appears during the rollover action.
Also, here is some more helpful advice:
"10+ best practices for e-mail use to be safe, not sorry"  

Conference Job Opening:
Coordinator of Urban Ministries
The Eastern PA Conference is searching for a part-time Coordinator of Urban Ministries, who will report to the Director of Connectional Ministries. Anyone interested in this position should send a resume and cover letter to by July 24.  Download the job description: Urban Ministry.
Want to view recorded video of Annual Conference?
Now you can!
Recorded video of our June 15-17 Annual Conference is now accessible from our  Annual Conference webpage. Or you can go right to our conference YouTube page to  see the full 2017 Annual Conference sessions playlist.

See, hear and feel it all, from the stirring opening worship and plenary session to our final session of holy conferencing and uplifting reports before adjournment. Be sure to watch Upper Room Chapel Dean Tom Albin lead an insightful, faith-affirming Teaching Session on Prayer. (Also, be sure to download and use his excellent handout materials available on our Annual Conference webpage.)
 three inspiring, thought-provoking  sermons by Bishops Peggy Johnson, Latrelle Easterling ( right) and Peter Weaver. 

Marvel at the first-person historical narratives offered by Methodist forebears Captain Thomas Webb ( left) , Mary Thorne and Harry Hosier. And join in celebrating the ordination and commissioning of new clergy, while also commemorating the dedicated lives of newly retired clergy and recently deceased clergy and clergy spouses.

Take your time--take the rest of summer--to view the 30 dramatic video segments on our playlist, carefully prepared by our Communications staff member Lindsey Cotman. Or "binge-watch" them all at once. It's your choice.

But also, don't forget to download and read the many significant Annual Conference reports and resolutions (with their voting results) that are also accessible....where? You guessed it: our Annual Conference webpage.
Eastern PA Conference report now on 
 A lengthy report about  our Annual Conference , June 15-17, now appears on , the denomination's website (at ). It includes:
  • the overview news story from our website;
  • memorable quotes by speakers/preachers;
  • key 2016 church participation statistics presented to our members; and
  • answers to the question UM News Service posed to all conference communicators: "What did your annual conference do to reinforce the Four Areas of Focus, and what commitments has the conference made for the coming year?"
Also included is a link to our Flickr albums page so that readers from around the UMC connection and beyond can enjoy the vivid array of photos from our annual session. Please read the report and share it with others. 
Why I Dance
"Every year I've attended Annual Conference, there have been a small but faithful group of people who hold vigil right before the ordination service," writes the Rev. Julia Singleton, pastor of Middletown: Christ UMC, who was commissioned a provisional elder at the 2016 ordination service. "Those passing are sometimes confused about why these people are standing outside singing.  For as many people who are there, there are that many reasons why they sing."

In her brief, reflective essay, " Why I Dance," found in our website's INSPIRE feature section (and on our NEWSpirit blog page), Julia, a gifted, sensitive writer, shares some of those reasons. Some, like the songs themselves, are joyful; others are poignant. "Our songs are a prayer," she writes. "We join our voices and lift them to God. We sing for justice, we sing for our church, we sing for those who have been shut out, those who cannot be ordained or commissioned."

During the singing, Julia felt moved to dance, as she often does. And we were fortunate to witness and quickly photograph some of her joyous, energetic, rhythmic movements. H er eyes were closed as though no one was watching. But we were watching. And so was the one to whom she was praying.
Read on ...  
View UM Men's National Gathering online, July 7-8 
The 12th National Gathering of United Methodist Men at St. Luke UMC in Indianapolis happens Friday and Saturday, July 7-8, and you can view the main sessions via live streaming on the General Commission on UM Men's YouTube channel . The Livestream schedule is: Friday, 7 to 9 PM; and Saturday, 8 AM to 12 PM and 7-9 PM. For more information call 615-620-7277. And while you're on their YouTube channel enjoy the UMM Gathering 2017 Promo Video

Also, a useful article on the website offers "10 quick tips to fire up your men's ministry!" An effective men's ministry tells men that your church cares about their interests and needs. It also encourages, promotes and sponsors activities that will attract the men in your congregation. Learn more...
The method of early Methodism: The Oxford Holy Club
Have you visited lately? Every week, the denomination's website offers interesting articles worth reading and sharing, often covering past, present and future topics of concern to the people called Methodist.

" The method of early Methodism: The Oxford Holy Club" is another article by one of UMCom's best writers, Joe Iovino. Part of a series on disciple making yesterday and today, it offers an intimate, revealing look at the college years of John and Charles Wesley, as they started their small discipling group that would evolve into the Methodist movement. Learn more... 
We need affordable Health Care for all in the U.S. 
"We need healthcare when we are sick or injured. We need health insurance because very few people can pay for the cost of a major illness or surgery out of pocket. When circumstances keep people from having insurance, people live sicker and die sooner.

"Unlike many countries, the United States has the resources to provide the assurance that every person, regardless of age, gender, location, poverty, or disability can receive the preventive and curative services they need." (GBCS)

Do the basics of health care in the U.S. seem to get lost in the swirl of news and opinions about recent legislative proposals for alternatives to current health insurance laws? And what do most United Methodists believe, based on positions taken by their General Conference? The General Board of Church and Society, which advocates on our behalf for high quality affordable health care as a "basic human right," offers a basic primer on the topic, including what the Bible and the UMC say and "Three Things You Can Do." Learn more... 
Hopewell's 2017 Planting Seeds event: Pray for the City
Hopewell UMC's is planning its 14th Annual Planting Seeds for Ministry Growthevent, be held on Saturday, Sept. 30.  Keynote speaker for Pray for the City will be the Rev. Scott Chrostek, Pastor of Resurrection Downtown, a Kansas City campus of Church of the Resurrection, where he serves on Adam Hamilton's executive leadership team.  The Rev. W. Wilson Goode Sr. will be this year's worship speaker.  Dr. Goode is the director of Amachi, a national program for children of incarcerated parents.  He served two terms as Mayor of Philadelphia.
Six workshops will be offered during the event, two in the late morning and four in the afternoon.  Workshop descriptions are posted at Registration for the 2017 Planting Seeds for Ministry Growthwill open in early August.  Hopewell UMC is located in Downingtown, PA.  For more information, call the church office at 610-269-1545, or e-mail Deb Boyd at  
Bishops offer funds to advance ecumenical ministry    
The UMC Council of Bishops is offering two funding opportunities to support engagement in ecumenical ministry:

1. Applications for a partial scholarship to attend The Ecumenical Institute at Bossey during the Fall 2018 Graduate Session are now available.  Seminary students who intend to vocationally serve The UMC are encouraged to consider this opportunity to engage in an ecumenical community for this 5-month, graduate-level course.  The application is due no later than September 15, 2017.  For more information about The Ecumenical Institute at Bossey go to  For a copy of the COB scholarship application and guidelines contact Rev. Dr. Jean Hawxhurst at

2. Applications for one of three annual "Local Initiative Grants" are now available.  These grants are for annual conference groups who are doing excellent ecumenical and/or interreligious ministries in their contexts.  Projects receiving grants should be carried out during the first half of 2018.  For more information about the Local Initiative Grants go to   For a copy of the COB grant application with guidelines contact Rev. Dr. Jean Hawxhurst at
Summer hours at the Conference Office have begun. Our hours are 7:00 am to 4:15 pm, Monday - Thursday. The office will be closed on Fridays.
We need News & Views from our readers
Clergy and laity, RSVP.
That means you!
News: If your church, pastor or members are featured in the local news--print, online or television--please, please let us know, so we can report it in  Methodists Make News. Send us a link (URL) to the article or the photo or broadcast segment online. Or just tell us the publication or TV station, and we'll search for it. We are looking for news or feature stories or commentaries that feature any UM church members or ministries (but not mere listings of worship services or events). So, please keep us in mind when you see any stories worth sharing. Thanks!

Views: We're also looking for more informational and inspirational writings by clergy and laity that we can publish (or republish) on the conference website--especially in our " From Pulpit & Pew" blog section. Most of our contributions are republished, with permission, from insightful, well-written pastor's columns in church newsletters. We would like to receive more of those; but we also want other writings from diverse lay and clergy members who have something important, helpful or thoughtful to say that can benefit our readers. If you send us something, please try to e-mail a good photo of yourself as well; and definitely tell us how to contact you if we have any questions or concerns.

The doors of our media-church are open. Come on in!

Bishop to address global missions conference of the Deaf
Bishop Peggy Johnson will speak at the 4th Global Methodist Missions Conference of the Deaf, August 1-4, at Lakeview Camp and Retreat Center, Waxahachie, Texas. Other presenters will include Emmanuel Deaf Ministry of Brazil and the Rev. Caesar Rentie, a former NFL player reared by deaf parents.
The global gathering of UM and Wesleyan-related ministries will convene Deaf, late deafened, hard of hearing and Deaf-blind persons and will include information on Deaf ministries in many countries, including South Korea, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, the U.S. and a Brazilian church that is one of the largest deaf Methodist churches in the world,  A 10-hour course on Deaf Lay Servant certification will be offered. Christians of all churches and denominations are welcome.  Learn more...  
FUMCOG benefit to raise funds for choir's South Africa tour  
First UMC of Germantown's (FUMCOG) choir will join the Swarthmore College Alumni Gospel Choir to tour South Africa for 10 days, Feb. 2-12, 2018. They will perform three concerts in nine days, in Johannesburg and Cape Town, and also participate in several mission projects at Uthando. The tour will mark the 25th anniversary of FUMCOG's initial delegation visit to South Africa in 1993, to support efforts to end apartheid.  
To help some members pay the tour's costs, the choir will host several benefit concerts this year. The choir will host the first of two "coffee house" events in the FUMCOG's Pilling Hall July 9, 12 to about 2 PM, featuring several noted musicians performing American standards, jazz, soul, show music and gospel in a casual 'meet and talk' atmosphere over good coffee and pastries. Tickets are $25 and be reserved by contacting FUMCOG choir director Kevin O'Malia  at   or .  
New UMC Handbook now available 
The new United Methodist Church Handbook for this quadrennium is available, providing a detailed overview of the denomination's beliefs, mission, structure and history. The handbook is a free, go-to resource for anyone in search of information about The United Methodist Church and is helpful for leaders and new members.

"The United Methodist Church Handbook is one of the most appreciated resources generated in the church, and rightly so," said Ken Sloane of Discipleship Ministries. It offers a holistic overview of the church and the ways that all United Methodists are an essential part of the denomination's work around the world. It also explains the church's connectional nature, includes denominational maps and graphics, answers frequently asked questions, provides a glossary of key denominational terms, offers communication and connectional giving information and suggests resources to further mission and ministry. Learn more...  
United Methodist Night at the Phillies, July 29
United Methodist Night at the Phillies will be on Saturday, July 29.Come enjoy a thrilling game of baseball. Please join us with family and friends for fun and fellowship at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday, July 29, at 7:05 PM, when our Philadelphia Phillies host the Atlanta Braves.  For group tickets contact Jen Leone at or 215-218-5267. " Please download and share the color flyer. Learn more...
Academy for Laity, Aug. 4-6: Embrace the Journey
Registration is open now for the  34th Academy for Laity, Aug. 4-6 . They have new dates, a new location and new courses. The new location is
Cedarville UMC , 1092 Laurelwood Road, Pottstown, PA. The theme:
Embrace the Journey: Step Up, Step Out .  

This is an ideal opportunity for everyone who wants to serve the Lord to start or refresh the Christ Servant Ministry journey.  "Whether you are just beginning your journey to learn more about our amazing God and His Son Jesus or you are a seasoned Bible scholar, a Christ Servant Minister, a Certified Lay Minister or a clergy member, this is the year for you to step up and step out to enhance your knowledge. Join with hundreds of fellow Christians who thirst for information as well as fellowship."

Each course was designed to be a unique learning experience with information that you can immediately take and start applying in your ministry. The Academy offers 10 course subjects-from the Basic Course for those who are starting out, to advanced classes in three disciplines: leading ministries and groups; caring for others in your church or community; and speaking to diverse groups or preaching to congregations.

The  registration deadline is  July 15.
HOPE! Talks: Inspiration for Small Congregations, Oct. 21
Save the date! HOPE! Talks: Inspiration for Small Congregations happens Oct. 21, from 9 AM to 3 PM, at Lighthouse Fellowship UMC, 137 North Easton Road, Glenside, PA. Be inspired as speakers from small congregations doing great ministries share how God is moving and imparting hope to and through them.
Gain a new perspective. Ask questions. Connect. Be refreshed. Get hope!  Join us for this live-streamed, TED talks-style event sponsored by Bishop Peggy Johnson and the Cabinet. ASL Interpretation and Handicapped Accessibility will be provided. Registration is $10 in advance and $15 at the door (includes breakfast and lunch). Online registration opens July 15. Want more information? Visit .  
Register now for upcoming Sexual Ethics Workshops:
  • Basic (Level 1) Sexual Ethics Workshop: July 15, 9 AM to 3:30 PM, at Conshohocken UMC. Level 1 training is mandatory for all persons seeking certification as candidates in ministry, candidates for ministerial roles and for all other individuals beginning ministerial roles within the Eastern PA Conference.  Training is available through the Peninsula-Delaware Conference, Lancaster Theological Seminary and Evangelical Seminary. Learn more.
  • Advanced Sexual Ethics-"Click, Connect, and Love: The Impact of Social Media on Clergy, Congregations and Families": July 29, 9:30 AM to 3 PM, at New Life UMC, Drexel Hill.
  • Advanced Sexual Ethics-"Sexual Boundaries" Oct 3, 9.30 AM to 3 PM, at St. Luke's UMC Bryn Mawr. 
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, 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 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 Thanks!
2017 Academy for Laity
Aug. 4-6 (Fri.-Sun.) at Cedarville UMC Pottstown. New dates, new location, new courses. Theme: Embrace the Journey: Step Up, Step Out." More details to come.
Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of The United Methodist Church
(800) 828-9093 |  |
980 Madison Avenue, Norristown, PA 19403
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