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May 27 , 2016
Bishop Peggy Johnson 
announces  new pastoral appointments:

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

Central District
  • Rev. Kellie Ebo (Provisional Elder) to Phila: Emmanuel UMC (1/2 time).
  • Cherrill Wilson (Part-time Local Pastor) to Phila: Devereux UMC (1/2 time--first appointment). 
Northwest  District
  • Bonnie Alleman (Lay Supply) to Oak Grove UMC (1/4-time); continuing at Shamokin: Emmanuel UMC (┬╝-time).
  • Robert Howard (Lay Supply) to Lebanon: Mountville UMC, (1/4- time).
  • Sean Dougherty (Lay Supply) to serve Schaefferstown: Zion, (1/4-time).
Northeast  District
  • The Rev. Jacqueline Daniszewski (Local Pastor) from Reading: Grace UMC (Central District) to Telford: Grace UMC. 
East District
  • Rolene Derr (Lay Supply) to Philaelphia: Bridesburg (1/4-time).
  • The Rev. Allen G. Jenkins, Jr., (Retired Elder) to Trevose: St. Matthew UMC (1/2-time). 
  • Susan Velez (Certified Lay Minister) to Cornwells Heights: Cornwells UMC (1/2-time).

The Eastern PA Conference Office will be closed Monday, May 30, for Memorial Day
We will also begin observing summer hours by closing our offices on Fridays, from June 4 until after Labor Day in September. We will be officially open from 7 AM to 4 PM each week from Monday to Thursday.

Walking among Heroes: A Memorial Day Meditation
By the Rev. David Glen Ryan,  Local pastor, seminary student and military veteran.  (Republished from 2015)
Every year as Memorial Day approaches, I find myself thinking about the words of Jesus to his disciples, recorded in John 15:13: "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends." Those are haunting words. They are words that some soldiers who have seen combat can deeply appreciate, in a way that we who have been spared that often grisly experience cannot.  Learn more...
Annual Conference 2016 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. 
3 Seminary Alumnae Luncheons
  • Palmer Seminary alumnae will gather in Independence Room A for lunch at 12 noon on Thursday, June 16.
  • Duke Seminary alumnae will gather in Independence Room A for lunch at 12 noon on Friday, June 17.
  • Drew Seminary alumnae will gather in Independence Room B for lunch as 12 noon on Friday, June 17.
3 Annual Conference Offerings
  • Ordination Service (Friday night, June 17): Offering for Board of Ordained Ministry Scholarships
  • Memorial Service (Saturday morning, June 18): Africa University Health & Sports Complex in honor of Bishop Marcus Matthews' retirement and his work on behalf of the university.
  • Following Youth Ministry Report (Saturday afternoon, June 18): Higher Education Scholarships for Laity. 
Note: Please make checks payable to " EPAUMC." On the memo line please indicate designated offering: " BOOM Scholarships"; " Africa University" or " Lay Scholarships."  Checks may also be deposited in an offering box which will be available in the registration area to accommodate members' schedules.  Please ensure the check is properly labeled for the designated offering.

Visit our  Annual Conference 2016 Webpage for more updates and information.
2 new District Resource Assistants to start June 1

The Southwest and Central districts will both have new District Resource Assistants (DRAs) beginning Wednesday, June 1.  Kristin E. Reifsnyder, a member of Lititz UMC, will be the new Southwest District Resource Assistant.
Beth Lishon , a member of Valley Forge UMC, will serve the Central District as a part-time DRA. She will also continue to serve in the Conference Treasurer's Office as a part-time Remittance Specialist. Both women will join their colleagues in helping with Annual Conference operations at the Lancaster Convention Center in June. Please join us in welcoming them to their new district leadership roles.  

Former Central District DRA  Darlene DiDomineck, a Deaconess, worked her last day on Thursday, May 26, and leaves to become Interim-Executive Director of Methodist Federation for Social Action, a 109-year-old, independent Methodist social advocacy organization, which she serves as a board member. The Central District will bid a fond, festive farewell to her on Saturday, June 11, from 4 to 6 PM, at St. Luke UMC (568 Montgomery Avenue, Bryn Mawr). 

"Darlene made significant contributions to the vitality of the Central District office in our efforts to resource and  support clergy and congregations," said the Rev. Anita Powell, District Superintendent. "We are grateful for her ministry among us, and we wish her well as her many gifts are used in other areas of our United Methodist connection."

Former Southwest District DRA  Christiane McLaughlin left her position in late April to work in a Corporate Sales Administration position with Select Security in Lancaster. The Rev. Bumkoo Chung, Superintendent, described her as "a blessing" to the district because of her "knowledge, resources and professionalism." 
June 1 deadline for BMCR/BUMP Scholarship 
For black students in the Eastern PA Conference who will graduate from high school next month and begin college in the fall, the application deadline for the annual BMCR/BUMP (Black Methodists for Church Renewal and Black UM Pastors) Scholarship is June 1. 

The scholarship is available to new African-American grads with at least a 2.5 GPA, belonging to any UM church in our conference for at least two years, who will attend a four-year institution of higher learning in 2016. The application requires an essay, a pastor's letter of recommendation, a list of one's church and extra-curricular activities, an official high school transcript, and an acceptance letter and student ID number from the institution one will attend. For information contact Lorraine Foster, Scholarship Chairwoman, c/o Janes Memorial UMC, 215-844-9564, or at 
Bishops plan next steps after General Conference  
The UMC's Council of Bishops met May 21 after General Conference for worship, prayer and dialogue, as they seek a "Way Forward" to promote the denomination's ongoing unity. They used their already scheduled meeting to discuss ideas for the special commission they proposed to the legislative assembly to resolve the extended crisis over church laws and policies related to human sexuality and ministry.  

The bishops reviewed the many difficult conversations they had struggled through over the previous 10 days, as delegates appealed to them for a solution. They charged their executive committee to design a process for forming the commission, to set a timeline and clarify the purpose and vision for their proposal, and to issue regular progress reports to the council and to the entire church.

"We pledge to take great care in choosing the membership of the commission," said new council president Bishop Bruce Ough. "We will work deliberately, intentionally and in a conscientious and prayerful manner to insure the commission reflects the diverse opinions and commitments of the body."
The Council distributed a report to the church about General Conference this week, which we shared in an e-mail alert.
Korean women's choir shines in tri-lingual worship service 
Lighthouse Korean UMC in Glenside welcomed the multi-talented Trinity Women's Choir of South Korea for an extraordinary worship celebration in three languages--Korean, English and American Sign Language (ASL)--on Sunday, May 1, at Lighthouse Fellowship UMC in Glenside.

The ensemble of nine young women, from one of Korea's largest churches, sang in Korean, "and yet, the Spirit translated wonderfully as all present were blessed and uplifted by the beauty of their worship," reported the Rev. Cynthia Brubaker, pastor of Lighthouse Fellowship. The English- and Korean-language congregations worshiped together in the main sanctuary, which they typically do on Pentecost Sunday each year.  Learn more and see photos...
Renowned Hispanic theologian lectures at seminary's forum

The Rev. Dr. Justo J. Gonzalez, one of the world's foremost Wesleyan theologians, was the guest lecturer at the 2016   Wesley Forum, hosted by Evangelical Theological Seminary April 12 in Myerstown, Pa. Looking backward and forward at the continuing, ever-changing development of the Christian church, Gonzalez' three lectures were titled "Mapping the Future." 

"The series focused on the shifting cultural maps the church has navigated over two millennia," writes the Rev. Christopher Fisher, who facilitates the annual forum, "and our hopes for the future, as history moves toward the goal of the Kingdom of God." Fisher, pastor of Schuylkill Haven First UMC, directs the seminary's United Methodist studies program.

Born in Cuba, Gonz├ílez is a retired professor of historical theology. He taught at the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico and at Emory University's Candler School of Theology before becoming a full-time author and advocate for the advancement of theological education for Hispanic students. Learn more...    
International House Philadelphia showcases Native American Cinema
Want to learn more about Native American culture, history and concerns prior to our Annual Conference's Act of Repentance ceremony? Check out Through Indian Eyes: Native American Cinema , a touring program of 20 independent films directed by Native Americans at International House Philadelphia from May 27 to June 9. Organized by the UCLA Film & Television Archive, this remarkable series celebrates Native American film artists and communities who have "taken command of their representation in cinema after centuries-old legacies of genocide, displacement, force d assimilation and poverty, and decades of stereotyping by Hollywood.

"Native Americans first appeared on film in 1895 but were totally excluded from any meaningful role in the production of their own cinematic images for virtually the entire century to follow. Financed by tribal communities and non-Native sources, these feature films, documentaries and short films represent a cross-section of tribal communities across the U.S. and Canada." They will be screened at International House Philadelphia's Ibrahim Theater, 3701 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. General admission costs $9, but for students and seniors, $7. Read information about the films and purchase tickets at .
Register now for Local Pastor Licensing School

The Eastern PA Conference Local Pastor Licensing School year of courses is underway, but you can still join now if you are interested in becoming a certified Licensed Local Pastor or receiving Growing Church Licensing School training.

Clergy serve as course instructors, and classes, sponsored by the Board of Ordained Ministry, are held at the teaching pastor's church or at the Conference Center. The cost is $1,100 for all five segments toward licensing or $250 per segment (course). There are five major areas of study.

The Church Administration--Leading a Congregation, course,taught bythe Rev. Larry Leister, was held in April at Lititz UMC. The following courses are still available if you register soon:
  • Pastoral Care: Instructor: Rev. Truman Brooks, June 11 & 25, July 9, at West Chester UMC.
  • Congregational Development Series: A one day, three-part seminar, July 30, from 8 AM to 5 PM, at the Eastern PA Conference Center:
    • Growing Church Multiplication: Rev.Paul Nixon (a PATH 1 church planting consultant)
    • Mission & Outreach: Rev.Peter Wernett (of Mission InSite) & Rev.Gordon Hendrickson
    • Wesleyan Ministry: Rev.Charles Yrigoyen (Church Historian)
  • Preaching, Worship & Sacraments: Rev.Tom Haugh, Sept. 24, Oct. 15, 29, at Mt. Hope UMC
  • Christian Education: Rev.Michael Roberts, Dec. 3 and Jan. 7 & 21, 2017, at the Conference Center.
Get more information and the application on our Website:  2016 Information and Application for Licensed Local Pastor School  [PDF].  Also contact Rev. Gordon Hendrickson at or , or call 267-258-9507.
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.  

Read about the early Boehm family history  and how the United Brethren Church was founded.
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."

Camper Care Sponsors do two things:
  • Donate $100 to LUMINA to provide all the camp equipment needed, including sleeping bag, large duffle bag, Bible, towel, toiletries, flashlight, notebook, pen, small shower bag, sunscreen, bug repellent, toothbrush, hairbrush, rain poncho, and spending allowance for the camp store.
  • Send LUMINA cards or letters (5) that the camper can open and read daily. Sponsors will receive an informational sheet on the camper, so they can personalize their notes.
Russo writes:  Please consider sponsoring a child for camp through LUMINA! You will be investing your money, time, and energy in young people for Jesus' sake! And let's pray together that Gretna Glen camp will be a channel of God's grace for them, where seeds of hope can be planted - seeds that will blossom and grow into the mighty oaks of faith, mercy, and good citizenship in their lifetimes. You can contact her at LUMINA, 20 E. Clay St., Lancaster, PA 17602 or or 717-394-8412.
July NEJ Conference features timely theme
Quilted by Connection  will be the timely theme for the UMC's 2016 Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference, July 11-15, which our conference will host at the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square. ( Judy Ehninger  is still recruiting hospitality volunteers.) The connective theme and colorful logo pay homage to the diverse, inter-linked churches across the 10 annual conferences of this jurisdiction, and especially to the host Pennsylvania Dutch Country, well-known for its Amish quilts. 

"Like the iconic quilts, the people of The United Methodist Church are a collection of spiritual and cultural expressions connected to each other to form a tapestry of beauty and functionality," reads the  NEJ Jurisdictional Conference's Webpage. "As such, the colorful quilt becomes a visual image of the diversity that is central to the identity of the churches of the Northeastern Jurisdiction." Visit the Webpage to register and see information for delegates, bishops and episcopal candidates.  Learn more...
Joseph and his Dreamcoat returns to Hopewell UMC's theater in June
Hopewell UMC  is offering low-cost, high-value family entertainment this summer with six dramatic, outdoor performances of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat over two weekends, June 17-19 and June 24-26. It's an encore of the classic Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice musical based on the popular biblical saga of Jacob's favorite son, Joseph. But Hopewell is promising "a fresh and unique comedic telling that will remind audiences of Joseph's trials and triumphs, while conveying the theme of God's faithfulness to his people, making 'all things work together for good for those who love the Lord.'" (Romans 8:28)
Performances are on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 PM, and Sundays at 2 PM. No tickets are needed, and there is no cost. Get more info by visiting
Hopewell's outdoor amphitheater behind the church (at 852 Hopewell Road, Downingtown, PA) seats 900. There will be snacks and beverages for sale inside the church an hour before each show. Hopewell's Drama Ministry, performing since 1963, is a favorite of local audiences for its quality, action-packed, meaningful plays. Don't miss this treat!
Local Church Communicators Workshop coming June 4
Calling all Local Church Communicators in the Eastern PA Conference: We plan to have a  training event for you, to enhance your vital communications ministries  on Saturday  morning,  June 4, 8:30 AM to 12 noon . More information to come next week.
Join Deacons in preparing UMCOR Health Kits

The United Methodist Church's General Conference will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Order of Deacons next week; and the Eastern PA Annual Conference will do likewise in June. But fittingly, deacons in our conference will focus their celebration on serving others when they coordinate the collection and assembly of basic supplies for UMCOR Health Kits to help survivors of disasters.

"Through this service project at Annual Conference we want to help our churches connect with the world in a very tangible and practical way," said Tiffany Manning, who chairs the conference's Order of Deacons. Learn how you can participate.
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.

Take me out to the ballgame...

Want a great place to spend a warm, cozy mid-July night, with just the right mix of laid-back calm and moments of competitive drama and excitement? A fun place to hang with family, friends and fellow church members, where you can all get your cheer on? How about a 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 5: District Conferences
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

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
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