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June 9, 2016
Bishop Peggy Johnson announces new pastoral appointments:  

Bishop Peggy A. Johnson announces the following clergy appointments, effective July 1, 2016 unless otherwise noted.

Central District
  • Jean Howe (Certified Lay Minister) to Reading: Grace UMC, 1/4-time.
Southeast District
  • Diana Esposito (Deacon--1st appointment) to Grove UMC (85%-time) as Pastor of Youth and Young Adult Ministries and to the Wesley Student Foundation of Philadelphia (15%-time) as a Campus Minister serving at Drexel University
Southwest District
  • Rev. Elaine Bortman (Elder) from Bethesda UMC to New Holland: Ranck's UMC.

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

We have new articles posted on the conference Website and a newly published issue of NEWSpirit there, too. Download, read and share our new quarterly Spring 2016 issue. It's being printed today and will be mailed this week. While you certainly can enjoy reading it online, to enjoy the full effect you should receive the full-size newspaper in print. If you want to receive NEWSpirit newspaper by mail, why not subscribe today for just $12 a year (payable to Eastern PA Conference, P.O. Box 820, Valley Forge, PA  19482-0820). Subscribe today, and we'll send you the current and future issues to read, share and display in your church for others to enjoy.

New articles on our Website

Sandra Cianciulli, who chairs the Eastern PA Conference's Committee on Native American Ministry (CONAM), is featured in two recent newspaper articles about the Memorial Day pilgrimage she and others make annually to the Army War College cemetery in Carlisle, Pa. That's where they honor the nearly 200 Native American children buried at the site of the former Carlisle Indian Industrial School. "The Carlisle school grounds and cemetery are always going to be sacred to us" Cianciulli told a reporter, "because that's where Indian history changed forever."  Learn more...
Annual Conference Updates

Open Wide Your Hearts with Health Kits!

The Eastern PA Conference Order of Deacons needs everyone's help to prepare UMCOR Health Kits for disaster relief.  All members are urged to collect and bring donated Health Kit items from their churches to Annual Conference on Thursday, June 16. Deacons and other volunteers will assemble the kits on Friday, June 17, at the Annual Conference site. Learn more...

Do you know youth who want to attend or plan to attend Annual Conference?
Our Conference Council on Youth Ministries (CCYM) is looking for any youth who want or plan to attend Annual Conference. CCYM will house any youth whether they attend as members (delegates) to conference or not. CCYM will house them and pay for their meals. However, David Piltz, Young Peoples Ministry Coordinator, needs to know asap the names of these youth, along with the names of their churches and districts.

CCYM is excited to offer this opportunity to all youth and looks forward to creating a meaningful experience for youth at Annual Conference. Each night they will gather and debrief about the day's happenings, discuss important legislation and, of course, enjoy fun and fellowship. Please call, text or e-mail Piltz at 814-883-0118 or with names of youth (and their churches) or for answers to any questions. Use e-mail or text for the quickest response.

No UM Men's Potato Drop at this Annual Conference session
The UM Men will  not receive and distribute free potatoes ("potato drop") at this Annual Conference because the Lancaster Convention Center facilities  cannot adequately  accommodate that operation. However, they do plan to do the potato drop, a recent UM Men's tradition, at the site of the Oct. 1 Adjourned Session of Annual Conference at Bethany UMC in Wescosville. 

Get your new issue of NEWSpirit at Annual Conference 
Free copies of the new spring issue of NEWSpirit newspaper will be distributed at Annual Conference in the registration area.
Share your church's Open-Heart ministry story on camera!
During Annual Conference, we want to hear how churches, districts and Mission ConneXions are opening wide their hearts in enthusiastic, enterprising outreach from around the corner to around the world. During break times in the conference agenda a roving video reporter may be walking around inviting conference members to share brief(!) testimonies about creative, heart-opening ministries of their churches and Mission ConneXions.
How are you reaching, inviting, welcoming and serving others in disciple-making mission? Please tell us on camera. We'll edit and post some brief video comments on the conference website and social media pages for all to see in the weeks following Annual Conference. 

Are you ready to let your light so shine? Then look for the roving reporter, or e-mail us in advance at, and let's look for each other.

Come join the Pre-Conference Prayer Walk
The Eastern PA Renewal Fellowship (EPRF) invites all to join in its traditional  prayer walk just prior to Annual Conference,  starting near the registration desk on  Thursday, June 16, at 8:30 AM.  Learn more...

Visit our Annual Conference 2016 webpage for all updates

Stay informed and in touch during AC2016
Once again, you can see and hear our three-day Annual Conference session, June 16-18, in real-time through  live-video streaming. We'll embed the video link on our Annual Conference 2016 Webpage, accessible under News & Events. 

Stay informed about Annual Conference decisions and highlights through special daily editions of our e-mailed newsletter, NEWSpirit Digest, and on
  our Website  and Facebook page . Post your thoughts, suggestions and questions there.

And join us on Twitter, using the hashtag  #EPAUMC2016 ( beginning June 3)  to tweet your thoughts to conference leaders, members and friends. Share your ideas, insights and reactions, while reading what others are saying about the conference and the church. 
30-day Prayer Guide for 
NE Jurisdictional Conference
Many United Methodists were praying for General Conference in the months leading up to that important global gathering. But daily prayers are still much needed in our ongoing three-act church legislative drama, as we approach Annual Conference and then Jurisdictional Conferences across the U.S. in July.
We will host the Northeastern Jurisdictional (NEJ) Conference in Lancaster July 10-15. Spiritual director Maryanne Ditter (,  a member of the Eastern PA Renewal Fellowship (EPRF, affiliated with Aldersgate Renewal Ministries) has prepared and freely offers a 30-day Prayer Guide for Jurisdictional Conference, available for download from our conference website. Learn more...       

Volunteers still needed for Jurisdictional Conference
Willing volunteers are still urgently needed to help with specific tasks at the NEJ Conference in July, says volunteer coordinator Judy Ehninger.

She needs 6 to 8 strong individuals on Sunday, July 10, at 10 AM to 2 PM, to help load in the sound and light equipment for the event. And then she needs 6 to 8 strong individuals again on Friday, July 15, from 10 AM to 2 PM to load out the sound and light equipment. These are most critical needs we now have and they are very urgent. Plus, we can still use several hospitality volunteers during the week, especially on Friday morning, July 15. If you're interested, please contact Judy at Judy.ehninger or 610-442-3140 
The global United Methodist Church, with representatives of all backgrounds and points of view, gathered in Portland, Oregon, from May 10-20 to set policy for the denomination. This highlight video captures many of the sights, sounds, and significant outcomes of the event. 

Parking at  Annual Conference
Eastern PA Annual Conference attendees can park at a discounted rate of $7 per car, per day for both daily and overnight attendees. Your ticket must be validated at the front desk to receive the discounted rate. If you are an overnight guest staying at the Lancaster Marriott Hotel, the charge will be added to your room bill, once your ticket is validated.

For those who need to park elsewhere, "Chaser tickets" can be obtained from the Annual Conference Registration Table. A Chaser ticket will provide the discounted rate of $7 per day for  Lancaster Parking Authority garages  1 through 6. You will need to have both your original parking garage ticket and the chaser ticket in order to get the $7 discount.   Download a PDF map to see the garages by number:  Parking Garage Map.
Other Upcoming Events of Note
·        June 22: SLI (Spiritual Leadership, Inc.) training for large-membership churches at New Hanover UMC (confirm)
·       June 24-26: Boehm's Chapel 225th Anniversary Celebration
·       July 7-10: NEJ Youth Rally, First UM Lancaster (or Lancaster-Marriott Convention Center--check on which site?)
·       July 11-15: NE Jurisdictional Conference, Lancaster-Marriott Convention Center
·       August 13-14: Academy for Laity, The Inn at Reading
·       August 21: Campus Ministry Sunday
·       Sept. 10: Children's Ministry Training Event, West Lawn UMC
·       Sept. 17 Laity Retreat
·       Oct. 1: Adjourned Session of Annual Conference
·       Oct. 8: Radical Discipleship, by Bill Easum, at Thorndale UMC. 
·       Oct. 16 Laity Sunday
Summer Camp opens: June 12 at Gretna Glen; June 19 at Camp Innabah; June 20 at  Carson-Simpson Farm; June 26 at Pocono Plateau

Bishop's Days on the Districts
NW District--Sept. 27; SE District--Oct. 3; SW District--Oct. 4; Central District--Oct. 17; NE District--Oct. 19; and East District--Oct. 20.  

Historic Boehm's Chapel to celebrate 225 years 
Boehm's UMC (13 West Boehms Road, Willow Street, PA) will host a 225th  anniversary celebration of its historic faith journey on the weekend of June 24-26. The fete begins with a Friday evening fellowship meal at 6 PM, followed by a bonfire and prayer gathering in nearby Boehm's Chapel at 7 PM.  
Descendants of immigrant ancestor Jacob Boehm will gather on Saturday to share family documents and photos, many of which will be digitally scanned for preservation, while kids enjoy games, a musical production and other activities. Sunday will feature a church picnic after worship, people wearing period attire, the opening of 19th and 20th century time capsules, a circuit rider on horseback and members of the Colonial Militia on hand to evoke a feeling of 18th-century life. Bishop Peggy Johnson will keynote the annual Heritage Sunday worship service at 4 PM. And leaders of Lancaster's Mennonite Conference will present a recently passed resolution regarding their founder Martin Boehm that may be of historic importance.  

All events are open to the public, and food will be available for purchase. See the article on our Website  Archives and History page or visit the  Boehm's Church or  Boehm's Chapel Websites for more details about the celebration. Call Dolores Myers, Executive Director, at 717-872-4133 for more information.
LUMINA needs sponsors to send kids to Summer Camp
LUMINA, a cooperative mission project of the Eastern PA Conference serving the Southwest District, is searching for Camper Care Sponsors  to help 32 deserving children and youth attend Gretna Glen's Christian Camp in mid-July. The 32 earned what can be a life-changing opportunity by regularly attending one of LUMINA's two Kids' Nights after-school programs from September to May. LUMINA depends on donations to fund the camperships.  Sponsors names and donations are needed by  June 30 .

LUMINA matches campership recipients in relationship with Camper Care Sponsors, who can often make "a huge difference in a camper's experience at Gretna Glen," said LUMINA executive director Correen Russo. "Children are better prepared for their camping adventure, and they love getting mail and being able to spend their allowance at the camp store. We would like to find sponsors for our 32 campers this year."   You can contact her at LUMINA, 20 E. Clay St., Lancaster, PA 17602 or  or 717-394-8412.

Take me out to the ballgame...

How about a Philadelphia Phillies ballgame  at Citizens Bank Park on Methodist Night?

Join hundreds of Eastern PA folks from across our conference at the ballpark to root for the home team on Saturday, July 16, at 7:05 p.m.  Come see the Philadelphia Phillies play (and yes, beat) the New York Mets.The conference United Methodist Men have once again arranged for us to buy discounted tickets, with $10 of each ticket we buy supporting their men's ministries.

Ticket prices range from $20 to $38. Check out our "Methodist Night" Webpage at To order your tickets, click on the green "T" icon and enter the promotion code METHODIST.  Place your order now! Tickets are subject to availability. j For groups of 25 or more, please contact Jen Leone in the Phillies Group Sales Office at 215-463-5000, extension 5267. All groups of 25 or more will be welcomed on the Phillies side auxiliary message boards at the top of the 5th inning.

Please share this information with families, churches and communities, and bring a group. We hope to see you at Citizens Bank Park on July 16. 
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!
Please Save These Dates! 
June 16-18: Eastern PA Annual Conference , Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square, Lancaster, PA
July 10-16: EPA Conference to host the 2016 UMC Northeastern  
Jurisdictional Conference Lancaster County Convention Center and the Penn Square Marriott Hotel. Each district will serve as the Hospitality Team for one day.

July 22-23: UMW's Mission u at the Inn at Reading

August 17-20: School of Congregational Development 2016 ("Into the Deep") in Evanston, Illinois. The premier event for equipping conference leaders, clergy, and laity to lead vital, dynamic, life-changing congregations. Sponsored by Discipleship Ministries, Global Ministries, and Path 1, this year's event is being hosted by the Northern Illinois Conference and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.  Register here

August 13-14: Academy for Laity, The Inn at Reading


August 21: Campus Ministry Sunday


Sept. 10: Children's Ministry Training Event, West Lawn UMC


Sept. 17 Laity Retreat 


Oct. 1: Adjourned Session of Annual Conference, Bethany UMC Wescosville

Oct. 8: Radical Discipleship Workshop, led by Bill Easum, at Thorndale UMC. Save the date and don't miss it! More info coming.

Oct. 28-30 2016: Changing Racism Training,  at the Daylesford Abbey in Paoli.  Register online . The cost is $300.
Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of The United Methodist Church
(800) 828-9093 |  |
980 Madison Avenue, Norristown, PA 19403
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