May 1, 2020
NEWS & VIEWS
Bishop Peggy A. Johnson announces the following appointments and assignments– effective July 1, 2020,   unless otherwise noted:
North District
  • Rev. Alicia Juliã-Stanley (Elder) from Lebanon: Covenant UMC to serve Shamokin: First UMC, full-time.  
  • Rev. Peter Jamieson (Retiring Elder from another Conference) to serve Richmond UMC, half-time.
  • Ms. Meagan Ackerman to serve Belfast: Wesley UMC, quarter-time.

West District
  • Rev. Daniel Lebo (Elder in Full) to Palmyra: Gravel Hill UMC, full-time.
  • Rev. Douglas Smith (Elder in Full) to continue at Palmyra: Gravel Hill UMC as Pastor Emeritus, ¼ time.

South District

  • Rev. Calvin Collins (Part-Time Local Pastor) from Conyngham UMC to Philadelphia: University City, Calvary UMC, 50% time, effective July 1, 2020.

Retirements

  • Rev. Glenn Brown (Full Elder) from Medical Leave
  • Rev. Janice Butz (Full Deacon) from Bethlehem: Wesley UMC and St. John's Evangelical
  • Rev. Kenneth J. Linfield (Full Elder) from Spalding University
  • Rev. Debra J. Schneider (Full Elder) from Medical Leave
  • Rev. Susan L. Worrell (Full Deacon) from Church of the Open Door

See all appointments and retirements on our website.
Bishop urges churches to follow state, county reopening schedules and mandates
Bishop Peggy Johnson called on Eastern PA Conference churches to follow Governor Tom Wolf’s lead when it comes to reopening for business—that is, for public worship and other gatherings. But she further advised that lay and clergy leaders follow directives of their county governments, which may relate more closely to pandemic recovery conditions in their particular communities.

She reminded conference members that “there are three levels of reopening: Red, Yellow and Green.* Each is specific to the number of people allowed in a gathering, etc. Please read carefully the attachment document, and take note of which level of reopening you are being allowed to follow.
“Most importantly, have conversations with your congregation about these directives,” she wrote in her episcopal letter. “Depending upon your congregation’s circumstances, you may feel it is still wise to remain closed for a longer time. Only you know the circumstances of your congregation and members’ ages and health risks. You need to prayerfully discern what is best for your people at this time.”

The bishop commended churches that have been conducting worship and other ministries through livestream and recorded video and Zoom video-conferencing, especially those that have attracted new participants online. But when they can reopen for sanctuary worship, she urged, “please continue to offer your wonderful online presence to the world that is your parish. We can never go back to the days of in-person, onsite worship only.”


Read the Bishop’s full letter: A Message from Bishop Peggy Johnson about Reopening Churches , May 1 ,  2020 
Bishops told connection key in pandemic fight
United Methodist bishops initially expected to spend this year’s spring meeting preparing for a General Conference that possibly would split the denomination. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has postponed the denomination’s lawmaking assembly and put any plans for separation on hold. 

For the time being, United Methodists are doing ministry together even as quarantine requires they worship apart. That global church connection could be critical in overcoming the hardships brought on by the disease, Bishop Kenneth Carter said during his final address as Council of Bishops president. 

“One of the implications of COVID-19 is that we are indeed together as a connection,” said Carter, who also leads the Florida Conference. “And in a season of trauma we claim our strengths — connection, mission, good news of grace.” He was speaking to United Methodists spread across four continents — bishops meeting by Zoom and the wider church watching a video livestream. Learn more…

Friday’s session ended at about noon, after Bishop Cynthia Ferro Harvey gave her first presidential address, succeeding Bishop Carter in that role. You can watch the recording of the Council of Bishops April 29 session, archived on YouTube: 

Submit Harry Denman Evangelism Award nominations by May 27
The Eastern PA Conference Congregational Development Team (CDT) invites you to submit Harry Denman Evangelism Award nominations for 2020. The annual awards--which go to exemplary clergy, laity and youth--are sponsored by the UM Foundation for Evangelism. The process is open until May 27, 2020. 
 
Send in your nominations of any Clergy, Lay or Youth leader who is an exceptional evangelist among us. If you know someone who faithfully shares with others the Good News of Jesus Christ’s gospel—through sign, word or deed—inside or outside church settings, please let us know now. Thank you!
 
Get the online forms . Send your completed nomination forms b y e -mail to : sjd624@ymail.com . Title your message: EPAC Denman Award Nominations . If you cannot send it by email then please mail it to the Eastern PA Conference, P.O. Box 820, Valley Forge, PA, 19482-0820. C/O Gordon Hendrickson or Suzette James. Learn more on our website.
District to celebrate National Day of Prayer together
The four Eastern PA Conference districts each gather clergy for occasional online Zoom conversations to keep in touch and encourage creativity and support. This is especially helpful for hard-working pastors who are trying to serve congregations exiled from their sanctuaries by the protracted COVID-19 pandemic. 
 
The Rev. Steven Morton, North District Superintendent, greets his clergy in optional online video-conference calls each Friday. But next week, they will go a step further. They will use Zoom to participate together in the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 7, at 12 noon.
 
Participants are asked to have ready a candle and matches, or a small lamp, a Bible, a piece of bread, and a small glass of water to join in a liturgy created by the Order of St. Luke and recommended by Bishop Peggy Johnson. Pastors are free to invite their families and church members. This will be a prayerful, connectional experiment, at a time when prayer, connectionalism and creative experimentation are all much-needed. 
Clergy, pastors, deacons asked to submit photos for directory
The Eastern PA Conference is creating a Clergy Photo Directory to be used by the new appointive Cabinet and to help future transitions in Annual Conference leadership. For convenience, the Cabinet created an online EPAUMC Clergy Photo Portal to allow for easy photo submissions. 
 
Each appointed or assigned pastor (clergy or lay) and deacon is asked to submit one photo. You will be asked for your email address to access the portal. Once you access the portal, you will be asked for your name and a photo to upload.. The portal will only accept image files (.jpg, .png, etc.). The Clergy Photo Portal will guide you through completing these steps. Questions? Contact the Rev. Kevin Babcock, ( above), Coordinator of Church Support Services, at kbabcock@epaumc.org .
UMCOR launches COVID-19 Response Fund
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has launched a giving campaign, "Sheltering in Love," as it continues to support global denominational efforts to assist vulnerable communities during the coronavirus outbreak. Through the COVID-19 Response Fund, UMCOR planned to quickly release grants of up to $20,000 to its partners. Grant applications were made available this week. Read press release. D onate to COVID-19 Response Fund
Celebrating summer camp online, while preparing for the real thing
Pocono Plateau Camp & Retreat Center  is getting ready for Summer Camp season by celebrating camp online. Visitors to the camp’s  Facebook Page  in April enjoyed “Quarantine Camp Song” homemade videos, provided by their “extended Plateau family.” Now, they will celebrate “Theme Days” in May, including “Challenge Mondays,” “Tie-Dye Tuesdays” and “Anything Goes” Wednesdays.  Download the  events poster .    

Innabah Camp & Retreat Center also shared the camping spirit online. It hosted its “Virtual Campfire Sing-alongs” every Tuesday night in April on Instagram Live and Facebook Live. “We continue to plan and prepare for summer camp 2020,” Director Michael Hyde wrote in a recent newsletter. “We are hopeful summer will still happen and our doors will open, and we'll be able to gather in the beauty of God's creation and we can glorify Him for all that He is.”

Meanwhile, all our camps are faithfully registering children and youth for summer camp and accepting applications for staff and volunteers. “Thinking ahead to summer camp right now might be scary for some and hopeful for others,” the Rev. Ron Schane, director of Pocono Plateau admits. “But we are praying and planning to be ready this summer to help campers find comfort and encouragement in Christ surrounded by God's creation… even in these uncertain times, with the guarantee of full refunds for cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”  Learn more… 
Fred Day announces retirement in 2020
The Rev. Alfred “Fred” Day announced plans to retire as head of the UMC’s General Commission on Archives and History (GCAH) before the end of 2020. He has served 45 years in ministry in the Eastern PA Conference general church. The Commission is seeking a new general secretary. 

GCAH is charged with promotion and care for the UMC’s historical interests at every level, as it gathers, preserves, and holds title to library and archival material for the denomination and disseminates interpretive materials on the history of the UMC and its antecedents.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at GCAH," Day said. "Being part of a ministry that exists to help the UMC preserve its past in order to engage the present and authentically envision the future has been extremely fulfilling.” Persons interested in applying for the position have until June 15, 2020 to submit materials. The full job posting and instructions for application can be found here: http://gcah.org/resources/general-secretary-job-posting-2020 .
Churches invited to ring ‘Bells Across PA’ May 3
Churches are invited to participate in the PA State Mayors' Association event titled  "Bells Across Pennsylvania Day" on   Sunday, May 3, at 7 PM.   All houses of worship are encouraged to ring their bells for three minutes to fulfill a threefold purpose:
 
  • To honor first responders, healthcare workers and employees of grocery stores, pharmacies and other life-sustaining businesses who have maintained essential services to the general public while at risk of infection from COVID-19, and deserve to be celebrated as "hometown heroes."
  • To show solidarity with elected officials and residents of municipalities across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, all of whom are fighting COVID-19 on the frontlines together in their communities.
  • To demonstrate a collective resolve that Pennsylvanians will prevail over COVID-19 and work tirelessly to ensure that their businesses and civic life will thrive once again.
 
Mayors and other municipal officials are being encouraged to hold whatever events "sheltering in place" will allow such as encouraging their residents to do something special for someone in their neighborhood who is a "hometown hero" for example, a telephone call, a note of support, delivery of baked goods, etc. Then at 7:00 p.m., all Pennsylvanians and houses of worship will be encouraged to ring bells for three minutes - one minute for each of the above purposes.  Read the letter... 
Remember missing, murdered Native women May 5
Advocates for Native American women and the sanctity of their lives, call for the nation to observe Tuesday, May 5, as the National Day of Awareness to Commemorate Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls (NDA). Despite the recent challenges and loss of life wrought by the global COVID-19 pandemic, there is a crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women that is now becoming better known.

The continuing reports of abductions and murders of Native women and girls represent one of the most horrific aspects of the spectrum of violence committed against Native women. The murder rate of Native women is more than ten times the national average on some reservations. Often, these disappearances or murders are connected to crimes of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and sex trafficking.*

In 2017, the Montana Congressional Delegation led the way for passage of a Senate resolution declaring May 5 as a National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls. May 5th was the birthday of Hanna Harris, a 21-year-old member of the Northern Cheyenne tribe who went missing on July 4, 2013. Each year since 2017, the national movement to end violence against Native women has organized activities in support of the May 5th National Day of Awareness.

Concerned persons are urged to mark this observance either publicly or privately by honoring the lives of our Native sisters and helping to raise public consciousness and response to the tragedies involving many of them. Wear red on May 5, and visit the * National Indigenous Women's Resource Center’s website to learn more about the crisis and what you can.
Reflecting God's Vision
A letter from the Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe, General Secretary of the General Board of Church and Society: 

In this time of social distancing, do you find yourself missing routines? I miss going to the office each morning, seeing colleagues, and weekly rituals like worship and sharing meals with good friends. I am without familiar routines, but what I miss is small compared to what others have lost because of COVID-19: jobs, income, ability to see family, and access to food and healthcare.

The coronavirus pandemic has reminded us that injustice is routine, too – ingrained in the fabric of society. The systems and structures that routinely oppress have continued to disproportionately impact the most marginalized during COVID-19. 

  • Most essential workers are people of color and women
  • Low-wage workers and laborers are the first to lose their jobs
  • Those in prisons and immigrant detention centers, largely people of color, are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19
 
While this virus has upended many of our routines, injustice has only persisted…. Together we can create a world that better reflects God’s vision of health, wholeness, justice and peace.  Learn more…
LEARNING EVENTS
Healthy Transitions for Clergy Spouses goes online
“Artos is moving our Healthy Transitions for Clergy Spouses workshop online this year,” announced Julie Anderman , Executive Director of Artos Retreats and a clergy spouse in her fifth pastoral transition. This popular ministry connects, uplifts and equips clergy spouses to share the joys and concerns of their special ministry and family roles.
 
The one-hour, small-group Zoom session will happen three different times. Registrants may choose a slot that accommodates them: May 20 at 7 PM; May 23 at 9:30 AM; or May 28 at 10 AM .
 
Looking for tips and strategies for a healthy pastoral transition? Searching for spiritual strength for any transition? Wondering how to help your family adjust to a new normal in the wake of COVID-19? Hoping to connect with other clergy spouses? Learn Tip #1 from the workshop in this video.
 
This free program is sponsored by the Eastern PA Board of Pension and Health Benefits, with donations from the Artos Community. Please register now to receive materials in advance and to get the Zoom video conference access information. For more information contact: Julie Anderman at Julie@ArtosRetreats.org or 717-492-4238.   
Working with transitioning clergy & clergy spouses
If you are a pastor or spouse or Staff-Parish Relations Committee leader experiencing a pastoral appointment transition this year, then you should attend the Transitioning Clergy and Relating with Clergy Spouses workshops on Saturday, May 30. Both events will happen online, at 9 AM – 12 PM, via Zoom video-conferencing. The new schedule is as follows: 
Session 1: Clergy & SPRC Transition Workshop — 9:00 – 10:30 AM
Session 2: Relating with Clergy Spouses – 10:30 – 12 noon

The Zoom access information will be included in your confirmation email when you register.  Register now. Download the flyer!  Also read:  “Tips to help pastors and families on the move.”
UMW Annual Celebration
47th Annual Celebration

When: Saturday, October 17, 2020, 9 AM – 3 PM

Where: St. Matthew UMC, 600 Walker Road, Wayne, PA 19087
Guest Speaker: Shannon Priddy, National President, United Methodist Women

Registration Contact: Susan Dziuk, 215-637-7895, dziuks1@verizon.net

Featuring:
Special Deaf Ministry Choir (Christ UMC, Fairless Hills, PA)
Grace-N-Motion (Praise Dance Ministry, Grace UMC, Phila., PA)

AROUND THE UMC CONNECTION
Both green light, red light for online communion
The COVID-19 pandemic, consequential in so many ways, has prompted debate about and experimentation with online communion across The United Methodist Church. Bishops have weighed in differently about the practice. Liturgical scholars have fought to have their cautions heard. 

Pastors have had to decide what is right for themselves and their congregations. The arguments pro and con have been all over websites, blog posts, podcasts and social media.If there’s common ground, it’s in recognizing that communion has come to be practiced more in United Methodist churches in recent decades, and that it matters more to clergy and laity. Learn more...
Pandemic threatening ministry with migrants
BROWNSVILLE, Texas (UM News) — United Methodists are still providing aid to migrants seeking asylum in the U.S., but the COVID-19 pandemic has hampered their efforts by ending face-to-face interaction with those living in camps. Kathy L. Gilbert reports.   
Helping Native communities during COVID-19 crisis
SHIPROCK, N.M. (UM News) — United Methodists around the U.S. are helping Native Americans struggling during the coronavirus pandemic. The support includes funding food ministries and providing protective gear for a hospital serving the hard-hit Navajo Nation, where there have been more than 1,100 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 44 deaths. Ginny Underwood has the story. Read story.  
Church members among dead in Congo flooding
UVIRA, Congo (UM News) — United Methodists are among the thousands affected by devastating flooding that has left at least 40 people dead and hundreds of homes destroyed in the East Congo Episcopal Area. Two church members died and two primary schools run by the church were washed away. Philippe Kituka Lolonga and Chadrack Tambwe Londe report.  Read story
Leadership body unveils new website
CHICAGO — The Connectional Table of The United Methodist Church has launched a new website, www.umcct.org , to provide a clear understanding of its work and resources for ministry throughout the connection. The Connectional Table coordinates the mission, vision and ministries of the denomination.  Read press release   Visit website
Pandemic spurs house churches, solidarity 
KITWE, Zambia — Christ's apostles encountered their own challenges in making worship a communal experience, Bishop Mande Muyombo points out in a commentary. In confronting the coronavirus pandemic, the bishop urges reclaiming the tradition of house churches and staying focused on the common fight against the disease.  Read commentary
RESOURCES
Communicating with the unplugged
COVID-19 has meant online church and virtual communications for United Methodists. But how do churches stay in touch with those who aren't online or smartphone savvy? Eric Seiberling offers suggestions including calling circles, handwritten letters, conference calls, broadcasting text messages to members, and using sidewalk chalk to share colorful good tidings. Read story   
The State of the Church: You’re Not Alone
“The State of Change: You're Not Alone” webinar on Thursday, April 30, was of interest to many of the over 300 participants. The sharing of experiences, lessons learned, and fresh research all provided valuable information about worshiping, staying connected, and offering congregational and pastoral ministry during the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting limitations on movement and public gatherings. Researcher Mark McPeak surveyed over 1,000 church leaders about the impact COVID-19 is having on their ministries and communities. He highlighted some of his findings in the webinar, but there’s much more in his full, published report.

Lisa Yebuah hosted fellow clergy panelists Justin Coleman, Mary Louise McCullough, and DJ del Rosario, as they discussed their challenges, hopes and ideas for thriving through this challenging time and beyond. The event was webcast by Cokesbury’s Amplify, a multi‐media platform that offers content with an emphasis on Wesleyan perspectives. The webinar is now available for viewing on-demand . Also, be sure to download, read and share the research report .

Amplify has more programs upcoming in its “Now & Next: How the Church is Changing for Good” webinar series.  

Digital Church: A Practical How-To Guide , Wednesday, May 6, at 3 PM. Panelists will review platforms and their experiences of an authentic, digital worship experience. They will also discuss how to involve those who are not digitally well connected and how to connect with the new people joining your congregation online. Practical considerations and software examples will be provided. Register Now

Preaching to an Empty Room , Thursday, May 7, at 3 PM. Homiletics teachers, pastors, and other speaking experts will share their experiences of and advice for presenting well digitally while remaining authentic during worship. Register Now
COVID-19 Disability Ministries Resources
The DisAbility Ministries Committee of the UMC has developed resources to help congregations be inclusive of people with disabilities as they switch to meeting online and doing things differently. These were linked in our most recent newsletter.

Deaconess Lynn Swedberg, the committee’s Disability Consultant, recommends the following resources:

Connecting with spiritual seekers
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A new survey of U.S. spiritual "seekers" ages 25-49, conducted by the Barna Group on behalf of United Methodist Communications, found willingness to visit a United Methodist church rose to 42 percent in 2019 among U.S. adults seeking more spirituality in their lives and who are aware of the denomination. That's up from 28 percent in 2017. Read more
Talking about Money During the Coronavirus Crisis
Thursday, May 7, 7:30 PM. 
What do we say about money during the pandemic? How can we help our people respond to the financial challenges that confront our congregations? Ken Sloane , Director of Stewardship & Generosity will host author and pastor Jim Harnish for a presentation grounded in scripture, our Wesleyan tradition, and pastoral experience. Jim and Ken will lead us in exploring some practical and positive ways pastors and lay leaders can turn this crisis into a hopeful opportunity for spiritual growth in financial stewardship. Click Here to Register for this Webinar
Latest Upper Room issue available for free download
Since churches are unable to meet and gather safely in their buildings during the coronavirus pandemic, The Upper Room is offering the May/June 2020 issue, both in English and Spanish, as a free, downloadable PDF. The Upper Room also has created a web page featuring resources to help create and maintain spiritual wellness during anxious times. Download issue. View resources
REMINDERS
New ministry response to coronavirus articles
Check out ResourceUMC’s new “Helping your church respond to the coronavirus” web page with links to helpful articles like “ Pastoral care for kids in a socially distant world ,” and “Using phones to worship remotely. ”  Learn more...
Safe Sanctuaries in virtual ministry during COVID-19
The Eastern PA Conference Safe Sanctuaries Committee affirms that our current policies and procedures are still relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic that requires physical distancing and solely online communication. But members realize that best practices must modified to apply to ministry in virtual environments. “During times of swift change that are unprecedented it can be easy to forget standing policies and procedures when working with children and youth,” says a new resource document. 

“During times like these, it is even more important to be diligent and follow all of the screening policies as they may be overlooked when someone offers help in this time. Unfortunately, those who seek to abuse use times of confusion and change to their advantage. Again, these guidelines are not meant to prevent ministry from happening but to ensure ministry occurs in safe ways. And now we need to ensure ministry occurs in safe ways in the virtual world. Towards this end, Eastern PA Conference of the United Methodist Conference’s Safe Sanctuaries committee is offering the follow resources and guidance in applying safe sanctuaries policies to the virtual world.” Learn more...
Racism, Post-Traumatic Stress, & Transformation workshop Oct. 17
A dynamic workshop, titled Racism, Post-Traumatic Stress, & Transformation: Calling All People of Color--Clergy & Laym will take place, as rescheduled, in October 17, 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM at Simpson House, 2102 Belmont Avenue, Philadelphia. Sponsored by the conference’s Commission on Religion & Race.

Our facilitator, The Rev. R. Dandridge Collins, Ph. D., 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 . The $25 registration fee includes: continental breakfast, lunch and a copy of Collins’ bestselling 2007 book The Trauma Zone: Trusting God for Emotional Healing. Register today.   Download and share the flyer.
Evangelism in a Changing Landscape, Nov. 14
Plan now to attend the Eastern PA Conference’s 2020 Faith-Sharing Event, “Evangelism in a Changing Landscape,” November 14, 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM, at Wesley UMC in 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.

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. Download the flyer!    Register online!
Wellspring , Health & Healing Newsletter

The Conference’s Health and Healing Council has published its Spring 2020 newsletter, Wellspring , now available (with past issues) on their webpage . The issue’s timely theme “Abundant Health in a World Changed by Coronavirus” signifies its focus on the pandemic disease as a backdrop to mental and physical health concerns. Features include the 10,000 Church Challenge, with sections on: Diet & Nutrition (“Lentils are tops!”), Mental Health (“Dealing with Fear, Worry, and Anxiety”), Preventing Burnout and Domestic Violence. Learn more...
Ministry in the Midst of Coronavirus
Be sure to visit our Coronavirsu Ministry Response page periodically (accessible from our home page just under the Resources tab). We add more content there throughout the week, including links to relevant writings by Bishop Peggy Johnson and others, news and views about the pandemic and related concerns, and accounts of churches and ministries that continue to reach, serve and inspire people, while making disciples and transforming lives. Also, feel free to use our new Ministry in the Midst of Coronavirus logo.
Cross-Racial/Cross-Cultural ministry training, June 6  
Ministry in a Cross-Racial/Cross-Cultural Context Annual Workshop

CR/CC Ministries Training & Resourcing Team will conduct the annual workshop.

June 6, 2019 from 8:30 AM - 3 PM. Registration . Location: Covenant UMC, 110 N. Mulberry St., Lancaster, PA 17603. Cost: $10.

Audience:
  • Newly-appointed clergy and leadership team serving in CRCC Ministry
  • Clergy and leadership teams currently in CRCC ministry
  • Other persons interested in CRCC ministry

This training is intentionally designed for clergy and congregations serving in a cross-racial/cross-cultural ministry context. By increasing the level of intercultural competency, deepening the understanding of relationship dynamics, and being equipped with practical communication tools, clergy and congregations will become more intentional and effective in their ministry.
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 .
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.  
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
  • May 30: Clergy Transition Workshop, 9:30 AM – 2 PM, West Lawn UMC
  • June 6: CRCC Training, 8:30 AM – 3 PM, at Covenant UMC in Lancaster, PA. Cost: $10. Download the flyer. Register online.
  • July 25: Connectional Table Meeting, Time and Place TBD.
  • August 21 - 22: "Camping at the Crossroads" Summer Youth Rally
  • September 12: Annual "Celebrating our Cultures" Picnic
  • September 26: Basic Sexual Ethics Workshop
  • October 3: Connectional Ministries Leadership Training Event. Cedarville UMC.
  • October 4: District Conferences (rescheduled)
  • October 10: Domestic Violence Seminar, Time and Place TBD.
  • October 13 - 14: Annual Conference (rescheduled)
  • October 17: ERT/VIM Training, 8 AM – 4 PM, Eastwick UMC
  • October 17: UMW Annual Celebration. Download the flyer!
  • October 17: "Racism, Post-Traumatic Stress, & Transformation"
  • October 23-25: Dismantling Racism Training, Friday 5 PM – Sunday 3 PM, Desmond Hotel
  • October 24: UMW Annual Celebration
  • November 11: Annual Faith-Sharing Event--Evangelism in a Changing Landscape

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