May 8, 2020
NEWS & VIEWS
Bishop Peggy A. Johnson announces the following appointments and assignments– effective July 1, 2020,   unless otherwise noted:
West District
  • Rev. Timothy J. Smith (elder in full) to Lebanon: Covenant, half-time, and Indiantown Gap: Emmanuel, half-time, effective July 1, 2020.
 
North District
  • Wm. Graham Truscott (Certified Candidate) to serve Conyngham UMC three quarter-time. 
  • Debra Forney (CSM) assigned to serve Audenried-Jeansville UMC less than quarter-time. 

East District
  • Rev. John Bhajjan (Retired Elder) to serve Bristol: Harriman UMC as Senior Pastor, one-quarter-time.  
  • Mr. Luke Billman (Part Time Local Pastor) to serve Jenkintown UMC as Senior Pastor, half-time.
  • Rev. William Brawner (Part Time Local Pastor) to serve Philadelphia: Mother African Zoar UMC and Philadelphia: New Vision UMC as Senior Pastor, three-quarter-time.
  • Mr. Terry Bridges (Christ Servant Minister) to serve Philadelphia: Mid-Town Parish UMC as Senior Pastor, half-time.
  • Mr. James LaMontagne (Certified Lay Minister) to serve Philadelphia: Holmesburg UMC as Senior Pastorm one-quarter-time.
  • Ms. Lori Reyes (Certified Lay Minister) to serve Philadelphia: Bridesburg UMC as Senior Pastor, one-quarter-time.
  • Rev. Clarence Washington (Direct Hire) to serve Phila.: Haven Peniel UMC as Senior Pastor half-time.
  • Rev. Ed Van Arsdale (Part-Time Local Pastor) to serve Woxall: Tabor UMC as Senior Pastor, three-quarter-time.

Retirements
  • Correction: Rev. Debra J. Schreiber (Full Elder) from Medical Leave

More churches doing ministry in the midst of coronavirus
Congregations across the Eastern PA Conference are finding new or expanded ways to continue worship and other ministries, in spite of government stay-at-home orders prompted by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. While churches are allowed to operate as “essential services,” they cannot host gatherings above 10 people, and their members are asked to stay at home.

That may change this weekend for some churches in the conference’s less populated northwestern region, like Northumberland County, which may return to limited onsite worship this Sunday. Today Gov. Tom Wolf moved such regions, which have had minimal exposure to the pandemic, from the extreme red phase of almost total closure to the less severe yellow phase.

Meanwhile, churches in ongoing red-phase areas will continue to hold worship, Bible study, prayer sessions, small-group meetings and other activities online—through livestreamed and recorded video, and video-conferencing. Many report growing participation in their online gatherings, including non-members. And some suggest that even when they can gather onsite in their church buildings again, they may continue their expanded online outreach. 

“The church is always at its best when tested by the fires of adversity,” said Bishop Peggy Johnson. “These amazing pastors and their mighty lay people have taken a crisis and turned it into an opportunity to do much good and even greater works than before. Learn more...
Cabinet to explain church reopening guidelines in webinar May 12
Bishop Peggy Johnson and the Eastern PA Conference Cabinet will explain the Reopening Guidelines for Churches in a Zoom webinar next Tuesday, May 12, at 6:30 PM , to help congregations prepare to resume onsite worship and ministry at their churches. 

During the conversational-style webinar district superintendents will explain the red, yellow and green phased reopening guidelines. Conference Chancellor Matt Morley will address legal questions and considerations. Viewers may submit questions and comments for participants to respond to by using the chat feature. 

All conference and church leaders are urged to attend or to view the recorded program later.  Zoom Webinar: Reopening Guidelines for Church Leadership, May 12, 6:30 PM (ET)

Please click on this link below to join the webinar: https://epaumc.zoom.us/j/96987213289?pwd=Ny9kL3NIemFsZ2ZMZnhndWhYVGxQQT09
Password: 516815  
Or Telephone: Dial +1 646 558 8656
Webinar ID: 969 8721 3289
Urban Commission to aid urban churches during pandemic
The Urban Commission voted recently to not offer grants to Urban Alliances and Initiatives this spring but instead to release $30,000 to the Extended Cabinet to use for supporting urban congregations that are struggling during the pandemic. District Superintendents will use funds to address the greatest needs within nine designated urban areas. 

The Urban Commission is also supporting the Connectional Ministries Coronavirus Assistance Program with a grant of $5000 from the Urban Ministry Fund. Learn more...
Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls
By the Rev. Suzanne Wenonah Duchesne

The #MeToo movement has brought attention to the staggering number of women who have experienced sexual harassment in their lifetimes. The pain and emotional toll are unimaginable, not to mention the loss of income due to lifelong challenges and the generational impact on families as women struggle to survive and heal.

Yet, a more sinister picture appears in federal crime statistics that reveal the highest rates of rape and sexual assault for American Indian and Alaska Native women. The Northeast Jurisdiction of the Native American Ministry Committee of The United Methodist Church has taken on the challenge to acknowledge, educate, and advocate for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and their families as part of our work over the next year.

As we seek to honor and to remember our Native sisters I would hope that all United Methodists might join us. I invite all non-Natives to engage in some accountability and take up the challenge. For more information visit our website at www.nejnamc.org . As our friend RagghiRain so eloquently puts it, “Missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls is not an Indigenous issue; it’s a human issue.”  Learn more...
Listen to Your Mother: Susanna Wesley
By Bishop Peggy Johnson

Growing up I would hear these words: “Listen to your mother.” Listen usually meant “obey,” and if things were going to go well for me that was usually the best plan of action. For this Mother’s Day I would say that the “Mother of Methodism,” Susanna Wesley has a few words to say to us during our journey right now. May we listen to that mother as well and follow her good example.

Listen to your mother! The times we are living through now can use a bit of her advice. Offer our trials to God, to be used of God and to strengthen our faith. Learn more...
More about Mother’s Day
More resources (provided by United Methodist Women May issue of E-News):
Everyone Counts
By Bishop Peggy A. Johnson

It is time for the 2020 Census. I hope that by now you have received your Census form and have filled it out and sent it in. It is important for everyone to do this. 

The U.S. Census is not used to discriminate against people based on their ethnicity, finances, living situations or citizenship status. But it does quantify the American people by their demographics and location, and it determines the overall “distribution of political power and money.” The government also uses that information to allocate public funds to healthcare, housing and education programs, in addition to government services.” 

Historically, communities of color are undercounted. But like the Body of Christ, everyone in our country is indispensable. None of us can afford for any of us to be without housing, education, employment, transportation, and a voice in decision-making.  

We are all one family in this country; and when some suffer, everyone ultimately suffers. A valid Census reveals where we can do a better job to help the whole of society. Learn more...
Farewell tribute to Tracy Bass on Zoom, June 20
The East District Superintendency Committee is planning a special farewell online tribute to the Rev. Tracy Bass, District Superintendent, on Saturday, June 20, 3 to 5 PM. While the event was initially planned for Jarrettown UMC, it will now be held virtually--like many events--via Zoom video-conferencing. 

Committee members and others will offer remarks and remembrances about Bass’ 6-year tenure and leadership as DS, and there will be music, souvenir photos and other forms of tribute. Bass leaves the conference to go start a new congregation in the Virginia Conference, an area which is home for him and his wife (and namesake), Tracy Bass. For more information, contact the Rev. Jackie Stewart , committee chair, at jkste635@msn.com
Register for Summer Camp now!
Bethlehem church’s photos say thank you to heroes
Grateful members of Wesley UMC in Bethlehem wanted to say thanks to health care and service personnel working on the risky front lines of the pandemic crisis. So they did it through an online photo collage. Thanks to the Rev. Candy LaBar, pastor, for this fun, inventive idea and for telling us how she did it. Read on:

I compiled the collage myself using Google Draw (free to anyone with a Google account!). It took some patience but not much expertise. I’m a novice.  

I decided on the text of the message. We used Sign-Up Genius to have people sign up for individual words, and then they emailed or texted their pics directly to me. I arranged and edited the photos and then exported them into a PDF document, which was reformatted as a jpeg. Then we sent it to our congregation. 

If other churches want to try something similar, I did learn a few things along the way:
  • It works best if all photos are the same orientation (all portrait or all landscape). 
  • High-contrast signs are best: dark writing on white or light backgrounds, or very bright writing on dark backgrounds. 
  • Lighting matters!
  • It also helps if participants hold the signs close to their faces (for ease of zooming and cropping). 
Hope this helps! 
LEARNING EVENTS
Webinars to focus on COVID-19, social justice
Taking its popular, longtime Seminar Program fully online, the UMC Board of Church and Society will offer a series of free webinars on COVID-19 and social justice issues every Thursday, May 21 to June 18, at 2 PM. The weekly series, titled Pre-existing Disparities Revealed, will feature experts talking about taking action for a long-lasting change post-COVID-19. It explores how the pandemic intersects with topics such as systemic racism, the carcel system, and access to food.

"COVID-19 revealed societal injustices that already existed,” said GBCS staffer Aimee Hong. “This pandemic has magnified familiar societal, political, and economic disparities—now with the added urgency of a public health crisis." Topics include:


All webinars in the series will be archived and available on Church and Society's YouTube channel Learn more about the series and register here .
AROUND THE UMC CONNECTION
Pandemic tests church's justice commitments
Bishops during their first virtual meeting discussed how COVID-19 is exacerbating already existing injustices. They also discussed how the church could help alleviate suffering. Read story   Read Council of Bishops press release
Bishops look at financial sustainability
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the fund that supports bishops' work was at risk of running out of money in four years. During their online meeting, bishops agreed to examine ways to prevent that. Heather Hahn reports. Read story
GNJ Conference plans push for food security
Bishop John Schol addressed more than a thousand United Methodist leaders of Greater New Jersey via Zoom and YouTube to discuss a plan to address the realities of COVID-19. "The plan's first step is to turn the church outward during the pandemic by modifying current spending and raising new funds to allocate $500,000 for food security," Schol said. Two Greater New Jersey clergy and more than 100 laity have died because of COVID-19 and more than 600 clergy and laity have been infected with the virus.
Pandemic leads conferences to lay off, furlough staff
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The financial fallout of the pandemic is affecting United Methodist conferences. The Alabama-West Florida Conference plans to eliminate 14 conference and district positions and cut senior staff salaries. The Virginia Conference has laid off five employees and reduced two positions to part-time. The Greater New Jersey Conference is furloughing executive staff for three-quarters of a month and the rest of staff for half a month. 
Bishops urge attention to GC2021 date request
The Council of Bishops is pushing General Conference organizers to consider a petition from young United Methodists that requests a change in dates for the 2021 gathering. The Commission on General Conference sets the dates. Heather Hahn reports.
Groups press forward amid General Conference delay
With General Conference on hold for at least a year, various United Methodist advocacy groups are pressing ahead with the church future they envision. Mainstream UMC is asking bishops for a moratorium on church trials and a more gracious exit for churches that want to leave. The Wesleyan Covenant Association continues with plans to launch a new traditionalist Methodist Church. UM-Forward released a video of its vision of a Liberation Methodist Church. Reconciling Ministries Network held a virtual worship service.
COVID-19 testing czar gets home church support
Since mid-March, Admiral Brett Giroir has led the federal effort to coordinate and expand testing for the coronavirus. The 59-year-old pediatrician and public health specialist has spoken at White House briefings, given national TV interviews and attended many high-level meetings. Busy as he is, he finds time to read encouraging texts and emails from members of his home church, Dallas' Lovers Lane United Methodist. Sam Hodges reports.
Online communion 'sacramentally impossible'
WASHINGTON — Some United Methodist bishops have given permission for online communion while the coronavirus pandemic continues to keep many churches from meeting in person. But Ryan Danker, who teaches at Wesley Theological Seminary, writes that online communion is "sacramentally impossible from a United Methodist perspective."  Read commentary
10 reasons for online communion
DALLAS — The Rev. Owen Ross recalls how, as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Ecuador, he was desperate to experience communion. He gives his 10 reasons for why, in the current pandemic, online communion should be an option available to United Methodist churches. Ross is director of church development for the North Texas Conference.  Read commentary
RESOURCES
Check out our NEWSpirit Blog for new writings
We have published this week new writings from Eastern PA Conference staff in our NEWSpirit Blog section. In this season of Eastertide , we feature two essays penned in April by the Rev. Gordon Hendrickson, Eastern PA Conference Coordinator of Congregational Development. Fear Not: God Is in Control was written for Palm/Passion Sunday, and Our Life Planning Must Start with God was written for Holy Week and Easter. In addition, we feature A Letter for Holy Saturday ,” authored by the Rev. Dawn Taylor-Storm, South District Superintendent.

All three messages offer profound wisdom and important life lessons of timeless value. They should be read and shared in season and out of season. But equally rich in inspiring and instructive wisdom is “Getting Back to Spiritual Basics.” This helpful devotion was shared with conference staff by the Rev. Lin George, South District Resource Assistant Pastor of Congregational Care and Community Outreach at Grove UMC in West Chester. 

Please read and reflect on these personal reflections, and then share them with others as the generous gifts they are. And then come back for more. Next we’ll publish thought-provoking writings by the Rev. David Piltz, conference Coordinator of Young People’s Ministries. The thoughtful pastor and campus minister offers a series of devotional reflections that focus on living and surviving in these “Uncertain Times,” as we seek “Wisdom,” “Joy” and a “Life with God.”  

We welcome all Eastern PA Conference and District leaders--whether staff or committee members--to share your writings on any faith-related topics for us to publish on our NEWSpirit Blog page. Please email your writings to communications@epaumc.org . We also have another Blog page for writings by church pastors and laity, titled From Pulpit & Pew . We seek and eagerly welcome writings for that page also. 
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. Learn more at: Sheltering in Love: UMCOR COVID-19 Response
REMINDERS
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.
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 .
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… 
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)

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:

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
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!
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