May 19, 2017
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Bishop  Peggy  Johnson   announces  new appointments and retirements,
effective July 1 unless otherwise stated:

Central District
  • Rev. Dr. Kyung Mo Koo (Elder on-Loan from PenDel Conference) to Lincoln Park: Community UMC (full time).
  • Rev. Dr. SunAe Lee-Koo (Elder on Loan from PenDel Conference) to Lincoln Park: Community UMC (1/4 time).
  • Rev. Dr. Timothy Duchesne (Full Elder) from on-Loan to PenDel Conference to Berwyn UMC.

Arch Street UMC's Sanctuary ministry on
'60 Minutes' May 21

"60 Minutes," CBS Television's top-rated, weekly news magazine program, will feature the Sanctuary ministry at  Arch Street United Methodist Church in Philadelphia on Sunday, May 21 at 7 PM, ET. The historic downtown church, just blocks from City Hall, provides refuge from immigration law enforcement to Javier Flores-García, 40, an undocumented Mexican immigrant and a husband and father of three.

Correspondent Scott Pelley visited the progressive church March 16 to interview Flores and the Rev. Robin Hynicka, lead pastor, before also interviewing a panel of local advocates for immigration justice and reform. He also spoke with Mayor Jim Kenney, an outspoken supporter of Philadelphia's so-called "Sanctuary City" status. CBS staff report that Pelley may preview the segment briefly  tonight, on his evening national news broadcast also at  7 PM, ET. Learn more...
District Conferences to celebrate past and future with hope
When Eastern PA Conference members gather in their six District Conferences on Sunday afternoon, May 21, it may be bittersweet for some. Members will celebrate their past accomplishments and their outlook for the future. But also they will bid farewell to that past and anticipate a future with new district configurations, leadership groups and church relationships, as six districts become four starting July 1.

"Celebrating Our Past as We Look Forward to Our Future" is the theme for the Central District's celebration at Berwyn UMC, following their brief business meeting. Indeed, they will celebrate not only the end of their district, but also the departure of their superintendent, the Rev. Anita Powell, as she ends her six-year tenure on the Cabinet and becomes the conference's Director of Connectional Ministries in July.

The business meeting, as in other districts, will include election of Equalizing Lay Delegates to Annual Conference and reviews of new United Methodist constitutional amendments and Annual Conference resolutions needing to be debated and voted on at the June session. Districts will also recognize churches that fulfilled their connectional giving obligations last year and clergy and churches who are receiving new pastoral appointments.  Learn more...

Dialogue on Religious Freedom Resolution, May 20  

Bishop Peggy Johnson will convene on Saturday, May 20, a one-time dialogue on the Religious Freedom Resolution  ( #2016-18), which was debated but not voted on at the 2016 Eastern PA Annual Conference. The resolution was committed to the bishop with a request for representative dialogue and a report in lieu of legislative action. The dialogue will take place at Asbury UMC in Allentown (1533 Springhouse Road), on Saturday, May 20, from 9 AM to 12 noon.  Learn more ...   
What's else is new on our Website this Week?  
At our 2017 Annual Conference in June, we will focus on the spiritual discipline and gift of prayer, as we benefit from teaching by the Rev. Tom Albin, Dean of the Upper Room Chapel. What prayer ministries are you and your members engaged in, whether innovative or traditional, indoor or outdoor, involving small groups or the entire congregation?

In some of the church newsletters, bulletins and websites we come across, we see announcements of prayer services and vigils, community prayer walks, prayer chains and prayer shawl groups, healing services, Taize worship, and other experiences. Clearly, we have some strong praying churches in this conference, and many of them no doubt have testimonies of answered prayers.

We are looking for examples of how churches pray and how, like Jesus, they teach disciples to pray. We want to learn and share prayer practices of all types and stories of how those practices impact congregations, individuals and communities.   Learn more...
Celebrate our call to mission on Heritage Sunday, May 21
United Methodists will celebrate Heritage Sunday on May 21, just days before our observance of historic Aldersgate Sunday on May 24. Heritage Sunday calls the denomination to honor its heritage by committing itself to the continuing call of God spread initially by John and Charles Wesley, along with others in the early Methodist movement and eventually here in America.

United Methodists celebrate Aldersgate Sunday to mark the day their founder John Wesley experienced and indeed, felt God's life-changing assurance of his salvation. It is an ideal day for members to reflect on our own faith journeys and what it means to be Christian and United Methodist.

On the denomination's website,, UM Communications offers a short, inspirational video about Wesley's experience, along with a responsive reflection that also recalls Wesley's search, titled "Can God really love me?" and links to other useful resources. Learn more...
The May-June issue of Interpreter is online with lots of heart- and mind-opening articles about United Methodist members, ministries and missional concerns. At least one Eastern PA Conference member and several churches are among those featured.

In observance of Heritage Sunday, May 21, the magazine, published by United Methodist Communications (UMCom), spotlights four of our own historical "Sites every United Methodist should see" to celebrate their heritage, as we seek to understand and celebrate our mission today. In addition, a number of readers, including one of our own, open their hearts and minds to share simple but often profound answers to the question: "Why are you a United Methodist?" Learn more...
Do you pray? If so, how and when do you set aside time for private prayer or other spiritual practices? Do your practices invite you to "come away" and rest with God, or do they feel like yet another item on your never-ending task list? This article by spiritual director Whitney Simpson suggests various ways to pray creatively while spending quiet time apart with God. Learn more...
Summer internship helps students explore call to ministry
The Eastern PA Conference Vocational Internship Program offers exciting opportunities for college students to explore first-hand their call to ministry at participating churches. During 10 summer weeks they will be exposed onsite to different aspects of ministry, while assisting the sponsoring church and earning a $3,000 stipend.

For students with at least one year of college this is a great opportunity to get a close-up view with valuable on-the-ground training in ministry. Congregations and pastors who would welcome a helping hand (and an inquiring mind) during the summer could find themselves preparing a next-generation leader for the church. The church pays the $3,000 stipend, but the conference Board of Ordained Ministry reimburses one-half of it at the completion of the 10-week internship.

"The Vocational Internship Program was for me a key factor in discerning a call to the ordained ministry," says the Rev. Bill Lentz, pastor of Lehman UMC in Hatboro. "Thirty-one years later, I look back on those days when local churches of our annual conference gave me the opportunity to spread my wings by giving me room to explore my gifts and calling for service. I have enjoyed making that same experience available to others looking for room to grow in grace as they explore the call."

If you are interested in having an intern serve at your church, or if you know of a student who could benefit from a vocational internship in ministry, please contact the Rev. Gary Knerr, BoOM co-chairman, at or 610-696-2663. Apply now before the end of May.

Also, if you benefited from this program in the past-either as a Vocational Intern or a sponsoring church-and would recommend it to students and churches, please send us a brief statement revealing what you found helpful about that experience. Write to us at
New Lifetree Cafés being planted in Eastern PA
The Eastern PA Conference will soon celebrate the planting of a fourth Lifetree Café, this one by St. John's UMC Ivyland; and the opening night's video and discussion will focus on a timely topic: "The Church and Gays: One Pastor's Dilemma."  The new Café will have its debut on Tuesday, June 6, at 7:30 PM at the Richboro Pub, 1034 2nd St. Pike #5, Richboro, PA, near Warminster. Church members will welcome guests there every Tuesday night at 7:30 for food, fellowship and faith-based discourse.

Lifetree Café is an innovative, Christian, national program that resources a network of church-run Cafés, preferably located in private areas of restaurants and pubs. That resourcing includes providing materials like the well-produced, weekly discussion video that is shown in all locations. St. John's leaders have been planning this new venture, recruiting volunteers, making arrangements and building congregational support. "We know there are lots of people outside our doors who are unchurched; so some of our people are excited about this effort," said Portzline. She admitted, however, that some older members, concerned about the use of a pub for this outreach venture, have asked, "Are you sure about this?"

"Whether it leads to new members at St. John's doesn't matter," she added. "If we can help people develop a new relationship with Jesus Christ then we will have succeeded." Learn more...
Free Workshop on Church Marketing,  June 14
On the heels of our Building Effective Church Websites workshops, May 5-6, UMCom training specialist  Craig Catlett will return to our Annual Conference,  June 14-17, to address the session body and host a UMCom display in our exhibits area.  (Be sure to drop by and meet him.) 

But even better, he will arrive early and teach a  Workshop on Church Marketing on the eve of our Annual Conference,  WednesdayJune 14, from 6 to 8:30 PM, at the Conference Office. It's open to all. So come join us, bring your church marketing team, and gain some useful wisdom on promoting your church's ministry and message to your community and to the world. We'll even feed you. 

You'll learn some basics on: 
  • Understanding and marketing to your target community's needs and interests; 
  • Building and launching a good church marketing plan with goals, strategies and action steps; 
  • How to develop, use and protect your church's brand; and more.  
Please  register for free on our website today, so we can get an accurate count. Attendance may be limited to under 30, due to space considerations. 

Also, you can learn much of what Craig will teach and more in  UMCom's helpful online course "Church Marketing: How to Effectively Reach Your Community." The cost is only $29.99. Register for it at anytime.
Former Conference Lay Leader LeRoy Lightner dies
A. LeRoy Lightner, Jr., 96, a former Eastern PA Conference Lay Leader, died on May 8, 2017 in Durham, N.C. The active layman was also President of the Philadelphia Conference Board of Missions and Church Extension, and Director of the Methodist Development Fund, both in the mid-1960s. He was President of the Northeastern Jurisdiction Board of Laity in 1978-1980.

A lay delegate to three General Conferences, Lightner served in 1980 as National Director of the UMC's groundbreaking, $25 million Television Presence & Ministry Campaign, based at UM Communications in Nashville, Tenn. He preceded and followed that stint as a successful top executive of several advertising firms. Lightner was buried May 12 at Grove UMC's cemetery in West Chester, PA, and memorialized near his home in Durham, N.C. Read his full obituary
State of the Church Report 2017
The annual State of the Church Report is a resource to help evaluate our current realities, to celebrate the momentum of our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, and to identify opportunities and challenges as we move forward in ministry. The report is brought to you by the Connectional Table in collaboration with the Council of Bishops and the General Council on Finance and Administration.  The State of the Church 2017.
Five UMC constitutional amendments head to vote
General Conference delegates had their say last year. Now, it's up to annual conference voters to determine whether five amendments will become part of The United Methodist Church's constitution.

This month and next voters will consider changes that address matters of gender equality, inclusiveness in membership, delegate and bishop elections, as well as bishop accountability. To be ratified, a constitutional amendment first requires at least a two-thirds vote at General Conference, which happened in May 2016. Then, it must win at least a two-thirds majority of the total voters at annual conferences around the world.  Learn more...

NOTE: We will post online a summary of the Annual Conference resolutions coming to the June session. The resolutions can be read in full on our website:
2017 Resolutions  [PDF] (full booklet)

See the full list of 2017 Resolutions (individual files)  

New guide to aid discussions of sexuality, church unity
A new study guide, The Unity of the Church and Human Sexuality: Toward a Faithful United Methodist Witness is available now to help United Methodists facilitate constructive conversations around "a cultural and ecclesial flashpoint": human sexuality. Published by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) and the Association of United Methodist Theological Schools, in support of the Commission on a Way Forward, the study guide is a product of an Academic Theological Colloquy held in March at Candler School of Theology in Atlanta. It can be ordered at and Translations in Korean, Spanish, French and Portuguese will be available on the GBHEM website by the end of May.
Methodism is no stranger to controversy. John Wesley addressed the contentious issues of his day and endeavored to hold the Methodist societies together across many lines of difference. Convened to help the Commission on a Way Forward its theological work around this pressing topic, the Colloquy brought together more than 30 participating scholars from United Methodist seminaries and theology schools around the world to present and discuss theological reflections on human sexuality and Christian doctrine.
The four-week study guide is a tool to help annual conferences and local churches hold vital, constructive conversations around the topic of human sexuality and church unity. The guide's four sections include: The Conversation Matters, Loving God with Our Mind Matters, The United Methodist Church Matters and Finding a Way Forward Matters.  Learn more...
Ending famine: A global invitation to pray
As more people face famine today than any time in modern history, the World Council of Churches, All Africa Conference of Churches and a range of faith-based partners and networks are calling for a Global Day of Prayer to End Famine on Sunday, May 21. Among the partners are the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries and United Methodist Committee on Relief. 

"Food is a divine gift," reads the WCC invitation in response to the worldwide hunger crisis. "Famine has been declared in areas of South Sudan, with Somalia, Nigeria, and Yemen on the brink of famine. More than 20 million people are at risk of starvation in these four countries alone. And globally, millions more suffer from drought and food shortages. But famines are much more than simple lack of food. They are the result of conflict, drought, poverty and global inaction, and in most cases they are preventable. "We believe the churches have a prophetic role in calling to mobilize their members, the wider society and governments, and make a difference during this unprecedented period of suffering."   Learn more...
New Wesleyan music album aims to ignite worship
A new worship album written and performed by Eric Drew, director of worship for  the Greater New Jersey Conference (GNJC), went live May 8.  The project, "Center of It All," hopes to blaze a path for what Methodist worship could be. "We inherit a tradition of song writing greater than anyone else," said Drew, referring to Charles Wesley and famous hymns of Methodism. The new project seeks to inspire Methodists to write and create worship songs that tell the faith journey of their congregations. The album, with a church resource kit, is also a fundraising effort to support GNJC mission endeavors. For more information, resources, and to purchase the 'Center of It All', visit Read story... 
School of Congregational Development offers scholarships

The annual School of Congregational Development (SCD) is "a premier event for equipping United Methodist church leaders, clergy and laity, to lead vital, dynamic, life-changing congregations." Sponsored by Discipleship Ministries, Global Ministries, and Path 1, this year's event, August 17-20 , will happen at Peachtree UMC in Atlanta, Ga. , and be hosted by the North Georgia Conference, Candler School of Theology and Gammon Seminary. The 2017 theme is "At the Lord's Table."  DOWNLOAD the SCD "Quick Look" brochure  [PDF]

Of the three types of scholarships available to participants of SCD 2017, two are relevant to Eastern PA Conference church leaders.  Applicants can only apply for one of these two choices.
  • Racial Ethic Scholarships from Global Ministries 
  • Small-Church Scholarships from Global Ministries for churches with under 150 in average worship attendance.
Click Here for Scholarship Application.  To Register for the Full School go to  REGISTER.
Registration open for Leadership Institute
Registration is open for Leadership Institute  2017 on  Sept. 27-29 at  The UM Church of  the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas. Speakers include  the Revs. Olu Brown and Adam Weber, founding pastors of two of  the fastest-growing United Methodist  churches  in  the United  States. Through  July 13the super early bird rate is $35 for  the pre-institute and $149 for  the Leadership Institute.  Learn more 
Learn to share your church with the world with online courses
UM Communications offers several online training opportunities to help your congregation more effectively share its story outside the church and welcome its community inside. Registration for these two current online courses ends June 11.
  • Communicating Faith in the 21st Century is designed to teach you how to engage with your church and community digitally. You'll learn how to craft powerful, personal faith stories that resonate with your followers and beyond. Cost: $29.99
  • Welcoming Ministry 100 will help you become a more hospitable congregation. Learn how to encourage members to participate in visitor ministry. Cost: $29.99
  • May 20:  Korea Pilgrimage 2017 Tea, 2-4 PM, at First UMC Lancaster, 29 E. Walnut St., Lancaster, led by Youth Minister Kate Beiler Come support our youth and adult members who are planning to attend this unique and amazing service learning opportunity! Invite a friend to this great afternoon event and experience South Korean culture here at First Church! Also a Silent Auction benefit to raise funds for the journey.
  • May 20: "Jazz Jam on the Ridge" at Ridge Avenue UMC, 7811 Ridge Avenue, Roxborough, invites all to attend its "Jazz Jam on the Ridge," a 3-hour jam session featuring local musicians in the church's Fellowship Hall from 2-5 PM.  Read more
  • May 21: "Jazz Vespers" at Willistown UMC. Jazz Vespers is Sunday, May 21 at 7:00 PM followed by an Ice Cream Social! The guest artist is Steve Barbone and his Barbone Street Jazz Band playing a lot of Dixieland favorites. Read more
Please! Send us news of your special church events so we can publicize them and spread the word for you. Use the Submit News page or write to
May 20: Spring Open House   10 AM - 3 PM. Live music, Moon Bounce, games, silent auction, hayrides, canoeing, s'mores, site tours, meet the staff, and much more!  Download the flyer!

Also, May 20, from  3 to 5:30 PM, we will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Innabah's Challenge Camp Program!  Are you an alumni or current participant of the Challenge Camp program? All campers, volunteers, and any others who have been associated with the Challenge Camp program over the past 50 years are welcome to attend. Come join us, after you RSVP, after our Open House on  May 20.

May 20:    SpringFest/Open House,   10 AM - 3 PM. A  day of free fun, food and community-building with family and friends amidst God's beautiful creation. Enjoy Camp Tours, a Hot Dog Roast, Boating & Canoeing, Children's Games, a Climbing Tower, Hayrides, Fishing (Bring your own equipment), Hiking and more.   SpringFest Flyer

Also, June 2-4:  Young Adult Retreat, From  Friday7 PM, to  Sunday, 1 PM. Join young adults for a fun, relaxed weekend of spiritual renewal and a greater grasp of God's love.  Activities include hiking, boating/canoeing, night games, high ropes challenge and campfire. For Young Adults ages 18-30ish. Cost: $85 / person (Discounted price)   Register Online Now
May 20: Open House,   10 AM - 4 PM. Come on out to camp for a day of fun. Bring your friends and family have fun, check out the site and learn about the great programs that Gretna Glen has to offer. Tours will be available upon request.
EPA Annual Conference 2017 to 'Rise Up' in prayer 
Rise Up and Pray! is the elevating main theme of the 2017 Eastern PA Annual Conference, which will return to the spacious Expo Center in Oaks, Pa., from Thursday to Saturday , June 15-17

Preachers, prayers, musicians, liturgists and others will center the gathering in the practice and power of prayer, no doubt invoking the God of eternal grace to "Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, for the facing of this hour." That focus will also receive special attention when special guest the Rev. Tom Albin, Dean of the Upper Room Chapel in Nashville, offers a Friday teaching session on prayer.

Three bishops will preach during this annual conference session including two familiar voices and a new voice on the NEJ College of Bishops. Resident Bishop Peggy Johnson will preach for the Opening Worship and Eucharist Service on Thursday afternoon. New Bishop LaTrelle Easterling, who leads the neighboring Baltimore-Washington Conference, will preach for the Ordination Service ("Rise Up and Lead!") on Friday night.  Bishop Peter Weaver , a retired former leader of our own conference and the Philadelphia Episcopal Area, will preach during the Memorial Service ("Rise Up in Glory!") on Saturday morning. Learn more...  

Register online now! All registrations after May 19th will incur a $50 late fee.
United Methodist Prayer for Families
May is Christian Home Month in the United Methodist calendar. A new reflective, photographic v ideo and prayer at together remind us to pray for those closest to us and those whom we do not know but are still called to love. UM Communications invites you to view this video meditation, share the link with others and download the video for use in worship, Sunday school or other settings. View also on UMCom's YouTube channel: United Methodist Prayer for Families .
Cross-Racial, Cross-Cultural Appointment Workshop, June 3 
This annual workshop, facilitated by representatives of the General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) is for clergy and laity in churches that are engaged in cross-racial, cross-cultural ministry . It will take place June 3, from 9 AM to 3 PM, at Valley Forge: St. Matthew's UMC. Lunch will be Provided.

Who should attend? Leaders of every church are invited. But clergy and laity who currently serve or will soon serve together in cross-racial, cross-cultural appointments are strongly encouraged to attend.  Register today (at:

For resources related to cross racial/cross cultural appoints, visit .  Look for "Filter by Topic" and click on "Cross-racial/Cross-cultural Appointments."
Workshop for Transitioning Pastors, June 10
If you are a pastor changing to a new church appointment, be sure to attend the next Transitioning Pastors workshop on Saturday, June 10, from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM, at West Lawn UMC, 15 Woodside Avenue, Reading. For information, please contact Felicia Anderson at or 484-762-8248.

Meanwhile, the Lewis Center for Church Leadership at Wesley Theological Seminary has published (and republished) its usual, timely slate of brief articles about pastoral transitions. Check out their helpful newsletter-with several articles written this year and others in 2015-that addresses relevant transition concerns. They include: "Challenges in Pastoral Transitions," "Why First Impressions Really Do Matter," "50 Ways to Improve Pastoral Transitions" and "Learn 50 Ways for Your Congregation to Welcome a New Pastor." 
Review your pension projection at Annual Conference
"Knowledge is power." Take control of your financial future. Sign up now for your chance to meet with Robert Christophel of Wespath for a half-hour at Annual Conference to review your pension projection and begin to make informed decisions about your retirement. Time slots are limited and fill up quickly!  Be sure to choose a time slot between June 15 and June 17.  Register Now
Bob Christophel is a benefits educator who provides financial, retirement and other benefits education for clergy and lay employees. He previously worked in benefits communications and participant education in New York and was a licensed investment representative in a corporate retirement services division, where he focused primarily on participant education for national corporate 401(k) plans.
United Methodist Days at Dorney Park, June 23-25
Eastern Pa members can join members of other, neighboring conferences for fun and fellowship at United Methodist Days at Dorney Park, June 23-25. Pick any day you want and come enjoy a full day of rides and shows, sunshine and snacks, laughter and glorious fun. Purchase your tickets now for only $31.50 on any of three days in June: Friday, Saturday or Sunday, June 23, 24 or 25. $3.00 from each purchased ticket will go to support United Methodist Men's and Young People's ministries.

Get your tickets today at  Click on the ticket that reads: "United Methodist Day Members of Eastern PA, Greater New Jersey, and Peninsula-Delaware and Susquehanna Conferences." Please download and share the colorful flyer to help promote UM Day at Dorney Park. 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...
Leadership and Fundraising online course   
UMC Cyber Campus , a unique, convenient online learning experience from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, will offer a course on Leadership and Fundraising  May 23-25 . Taught by Dr. Douglass Lewis, former president of Wesley Theological Seminary, the course will explore the four basic steps to effective fundraising and the role of an organization's leader in fundraising. The four-hour, $100 course offers .4 CEUs.   Watch a video and register. 
Church responds to drug addiction epidemic
What is your church or mission connexion doing to learn about and address the heroin and opioid addiction epidemic that is damaging many lives, families and communities? Please tell us so we can report on your efforts. Quakertown UMC will host Unite Quakertown on June 10, 11 AM to 8 PM, (rain date: July 8) an interfaith public event to foster awareness and action in response to the "growing heroin and opioid addiction epidemic plaguing our communities." The Quakertown gathering will happen at the city's new Park at 4th and will offer worship, music with Christian bands, storytelling, education and efforts to combat this deadly epidemic through an interfaith alliance. For more information contact Patrick McGovern, event coordinator, at or 267-373-8834. Download and share the flyer.
Peace with Justice Sunday, June 11
Peace with Justice Sunday   is coming June 11. This Special Sunday of The United Methodist Church signifies and makes possible ongoing ministries of peace and reconciliation in our conference and beyond. UM Communications offers a helpful toolkit with all you need to lead your congregation to promote peace and justice. Access your Pastor and Leader's Kit now! . One-half of the special offering received churchwide supports exemplary ministries in the U.S. and around the world through grants administered by the General Board of Church and Society. The remainder is used to support ministries in our conference.

The Rev. Jessica Ross, our conference's new Peace with Justice Coordinator, welcomes applications for conference Peace with Justice Grants, administered by the conference Church and Society Work Team in accordance with the United Methodist Social Principles. Learn more about the grants and submit an application if your project is eligible to  
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. 
Now get e-mail notices to follow the Bishop's Blog
Do you enjoy reading Bishop Peggy Johnson's Bishop's Blog? Want to read her timely, thought-provoking, heart-touching essays as soon as they're published? Well, now you can. Right under her "About Me" brief profile in the right column, you'll find the words "Follow By Email." Just fill in your e-mail address, select "Submit," and you should receive an e-mailed notice whenever there's a new essay to read. Enjoy it right away and even respond to if you'd like. And beneath that field you'll find the Blog Archive, where you can find past essays to read again or for the first time. 
Wanted: 'Chaplains for a Day' at four summer camp sites
Calling all pastors who would love to spend a day at camp, but can't spend a full week.  The Camp & Retreat Ministries Board wants to try a new program this summer that invites you and your family to spend a full day,  on Monday through   Thursday, at one of our four camps between  June 25 and August 12.

Pastors could arrive any time after  8 AM and be treated to three great meals of camp food, complete with a sumptuous salad bar. You could lead a staff Bible study or devotions, meet with staff and volunteers or with campers who need spiritual counsel or support, participate in any camp activities going on that day at your discretion, and then return home to sleep in your own comfortable bed. Your children could choose to participate in one of the camp experiences and your spouse could accompany you for the day or just "do their own thing." 

If you're interested, visit our Camp & Retreat Ministry webpage  to contact the camp site you'd prefer, arrange for the best date and finalize the details. 

By the way, Summer Camp registrations are going on now, and staff are visiting local churches to promote and sign up children and youth for this life-changing experience. Check our our new YouTube video featuring two excited camp staff members telling how camp changed their lives and can change yours too:  "Two Testimonies: Summer Camp transforms lives!"
Young adult summer mission adventure returns to Reading
The   Rev. Nick Camacho at West Lawn UMC shares this news about a great-looking young adult outreach ministry returning to Reading, PA, this summer from June 7 to July 31. The QuadW Missional Internship is paid 8-week summer internship with all housing and living expenses taken care of, There are sites all over the country including in Reading. The program's goal is for college-level young people to relationally serve others, build bridges and be transformed, while serving communities in need. West Lawn's Alex Bryan participated in the program in 2015 described it as "an incredible, enriching, and fulfilling experience." Learn more about it in an August 2015 Reading Eagle article, Berks County welcomes QuadW Missional Program interns.

"I am looking for candidates who have solid convictions," writes Nick, "who love to work with children and homeless persons, want to learn and grow as Christian leaders, and want to have a wonderful urban missionary experience." Those who choose Reading will find it a "wonderful, multicultural, poor city that needs a lot of our love!" Interns will lodge in the city in a home provided by Freedom Gate Ministries, a Christian halfway house for men coming out of prison. They will work primarily with children and homeless adults, while forming relationships with each other and those they serve and learning "a lot about our Lord as we together work on our relationship with Him and watch Him at work here in Reading." 

Read the brochure, visit the website and consider applying for this personal growth opportunity.

Changing Racism: Continuing the Conversation   

The Conference Commission on Religious & Race will offer a second opportunity for leaders who have taken the required Changing Racism course to share and extend their learning, as they continue the conversation on race and racism. The optional, informal gathering will happen on Saturday, Jun e 24, from 9 AM to 3 PM, at Grove UMC, 490 West Boot Road, West Chester PA.

Come, d elve more deeply into the history, dynamics and ramifications of racism in the USA. Learn and practice behaviors and strategies for dismantling the damaging effects of racism and seeking equity. Registration is online by June 12, with a fee of $15. Lunch is provided. NOTE: This workshop is open to all who have completed the Changing Racism Workshops or the Healing the Wounds of Racism Workshops at any time. For more information contact the Rev. Susan Worrell at or the Rev. Alicia Julia-Stanley at .     
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.
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