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WHAT'S NEW - November 12, 2015
Adjourned Session of Annual Conference for Faithful Stewards  
Clergy and lay members to the Adjourned Session of Annual Conference, Saturday, Nov. 14, from 9:30 AM - 3:30 PM, at the Macungie Campus of Bethany UMC (3801 Brookside Road, Macungie, PA), please be sure you have reviewed voting instructions for participating in the session. Please arrive by 8:30 to register and pick up your voting device. Remember: Lunch will NOT be provided. But snacks and water will be disbursed at registration. You are encouraged to bring your own bag lunch if desired. The agenda includes Prayer Time at 8:30 AM, Worship and Holy Conferencing at 9:30 am., including election of delegates to the 2016 General and Jurisdictional conferences, voting on the proposed budget, and other unfinished business.

There will also be a major offering received to support the conference's Imagine No Malaria campaign.  We hope to have a special surprise guest to assist us in promoting that offering and encouraging all churches to raise awareness and give generously in support of our denomination's campaign to eradicate the deadly disease malaria. Please keep the spirit and stewardship of this important session in your constant prayers.
Adjourned Session of Annual Conference to be Webcast Live
Thanks to Bethany UMC's top-notch media team, the Adjourned Session of Annual Conference at their Macungie Campus will be Webcast by live-stream video on Saturday, Nov. 14, from 9:30 AM - 3:30 PM, of Bethany UMC, beginning with opening worship. Please visit our Website Annual Conference page to view the entire session.
Proposed 2016 EPA Conference Budget
The treasurer's office has posted the proposed 2016 EPA Conference Budget on the conference Website for review prior to the Adjourned Session on Saturday. Members will consider and vote on the budget proposed by Treasurer Jim Cruickshank and the Conference Council on Finance and Administration. 
Register by Nov. 30 for
2016 Pen-Del Youth Rally  

Nov. 30 is the deadline to register for the 2016 Peninsula-Delaware Conference Youth Rally in Ocean City, Md., Jan. 8-10, 2016. Once again, that's Nov. 30. Eastern PA Conference has 440 persons registered so far (326 youth; 113 adults; 1 clergy member). We're on a pace to match last year's total of over 500.

"Please register today. You don’t want to miss this!" says David Piltz, Eastern PA Conference Coordinator of Young People's Ministry. The rally will feature three high-spirited days of worship, witnessing, fellowship and celebration. "WORD" is the theme, based on John 1:1, and the stage will burst forth with lights, music, praise, testimonies, humor and more highlights. Registration is $75.  REGISTER ONLINE NOW!!  Check out the colorful online brochure. Contact David if you have any questions or concerns.
Meet Rachel Ternes. Learn about Global Mission Fellow US2s 

The Central District has a Global Mission Fellow US2, Rachel Ternes, who came on-board this past summer.  She is engaged in various outreach ministries, offering her talents while exploring her passion  and call to ministry. This vital young adult missionary program has been hosting a series of informational webinars for other young adults who might be interested in joining their peers. Global Mission Fellows work with global organizations that address human trafficking, worker’s rights, collegiate ministry, youth and children, women’s rights, and many other issues. Click here to see what other social justice issues are being addressed.  If you have young adults in your church or community (ages 20-30) who might be interested in serving in mission for the next two years please pass along this information in worship bulletins, announcements, social media, etc.  If you want Rachel to come speak to your congregation contact Darlene DiDomineck, Central District Resource Assistant, and she will be happy to make the arrangements. Upcoming Webinar datesNov. 19 and Dec. 10.

November is Native American Heritage Month
If you have not read  A Call to Repentance and Reconciliation  on our Website yet, you should. The Rev. Gary Jacabella, pastor of Berwyn UMC and member of our conference's Committee on Native American Ministries (CONAM) writes about “The Act of Repentance toward Healing Relationships with Indigenous People” and asks us to “recognize the harm inflicted by the Church and celebrate the gifts indigenous people bring to the Church." Also View CONAM’s Acts of Repentance Powerpoint slides presented during Bishop Peggy Johnson’s Days on the Districts report.

Several enlightened churches in our conference--for example, Evansburg and Ridge Avenue UMCs--will celebrate Native American heritage and spirituality in worship this month, featuring guest preachers. What will your church do to join in that celebration and to educate members about the Native American presence in our nation's history and our Christian family? As one writer put it, "When the divine experience of Native Americans is interwoven into the divine experience of other Christians, we become whole -- not divided by culture, but united in faith." Learn more...
District prayer posts to fortify us for General Conference
Tim Kriebel sees trouble ahead in 2016, and he knows concentrated prayer is the answer. "For a few months now," he writes, "I've had the conviction that given all the tensions, divisions, and problems that not only our annual conference but the entire UMC is facing right now, none of us can truly expect any good outcomes from General Conference apart from prayer. So the Lord led me to the idea of having six months worth of prayer meetings spread out over our annual conference, one per district per month. These prayer meetings are not meant to be partisan but humbly surrendered to the movement of the Holy Spirit." Learn more...
For Thanksgiving help your church show the glow of gratitude
It is a spiritual practice of many religions and a hallmark of Christianity: gratitude, giving thanks, showing appreciation for all that we have and the wonderful world God gave us. Gratitude journals and lists are all the rage in popular culture, but how often do we plan thankfulness as an activity of the church? UMCom offers some ideas for bringing people together to creatively express joyful gratitude in various ways. And you can probably think of others using a host of available media. Try Facebook posts, Twitter tweets, post-it notes, thank-you cards, bulletin-board displays, Sunday school art projects, church Websites and newsletters, even fun or inspirational videos. Being grateful is really about being more mindful of the abundance in our lives and how we can share it with others. So all this month, and maybe next month too, why not engage your congregation in showing the glow of gratitude? Who knows? After 30 days, it just might become habit-forming. Thanks be to God! Learn more...
Order resources for Student Day, Nov. 29
United Methodists will celebrate Student Day on Sunday, Nov. 29. The churchwide special offering to be received on that day provides scholarships for United Methodist students attending undergraduate and graduate colleges and universities. Get stories to share at church. Get resources for observing Student Day

Boehm's Chapel to feature chalk talk artist in Advent program
Historic Boehm's Chapel (13 West Boehm's Road, Willow Street) will combine a holiday "chalk talk" presentation by Lancaster County artist Josiah Hurst with its traditional Lessons and Carols Advent candlelight program, Dec. 6, at 3 PM. Hurst, will present a “History of the Carols,” using  prerecorded narration to explain the origins and events surrounding the writing  of  some of the most well-known Christmas carols.  Hurst's presentation will combine, lights, music and chalk to produce an inspired piece of art. Black light and colored lights are used to illuminate the artwork and create a surprising, added dimension.   The multiple elements of the chalk talk interpretation will help these beloved carols become even  more meaningful. The congregation will participate in a capella singing of traditional carols, as the story of Christ's birth is related through Scripture.  The program is open to the public and is suitable for all ages.  A love offering will be received. 
Faith Sharing Event speaker to meet with Phila. Area churches March 18
The Rev. Romal Tune, our guest speaker at the 2016 Faith Sharing Event on Saturday, March 19, (9 AM to 3 PM at New Hanover UMC), will also speak the evening before in Philadelphia, targeting his message particularly to racial-ethnic congregations. Bickley's New Beginning UMC, at 6239 N. 6th St., will host the event, beginning with a meal at 6:30 PM.  Young people especially are encouraged to attend to hear this dynamic, sought-after young speaker who voices his passion, intellect and faith in fresh, challenging ways. Tune authored the book God's Graffiti: Inspiring Stories for Teens  in 2013 and recently completed a companion devotional guide.
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

The 2016 Midwinter Retreat for all clergy (elders, deacons and local pastors) and their spouses is set for Jan. 12, 2016, at the Double Tree Hotel by Hilton, 2400 Willow Street Pike, Lancaster, PA.  Please register by Dec. 7 (due to hotel requirements). Our guest speaker will be Chaplain and Brigadier General Charles R. “Ray” Bailey (retired). Sharing from his many experiences, he will discuss reaching outside our walls to share the Good News. Chaplain Bailey, a UM elder, served churches in Texas before becoming a U.S. Army chaplain in 1982. In 2011 he became the Army's 24th Deputy Chief of Chaplains and has a powerful, personal testimony of the faith and courage of our military heroes.  For questions contact Amy Botti. Please note that there are only 20 openings for commuters at this event.  

The United Methodist Church of West Chester, at 129 S. High Street, West Chester, PA, will host a Pancake Breakfast and Oatmeal Bar on Saturday, Nov. 14, from 8 to 10 AM, to benefit the conference's Imagine No Malaria campaign. Tickets are $6 for adults, $3 for children 12 and under, and $20 for a families (of two adults and up to 5 children). The breakfast is being prepared by West Chester University nutrition students and hosted by the UMC of West Chester's Beat the Bug Team. For tickets or more info call 610-692-5190.

 Orientation sessions for admission to the 2016 class for training Certified Lay Ministers, which begins April 1, 2016 will be held Nov. 7, 28 and 30, from 10 AM to 12 pm, at three locations. Sessions are two hours in length. Attendance at session is required as the first step in the admission process. Pre-registration is required. See the Conference calendar on each date for more information. Contact Judy Ehninger to register. Call 610-965-2290 (Home), 610-442-3140 (cell). Or e-mail her at

The Eastern PA Conference Communications Team will hold an introductory training and networking event for local church communicators on Saturday, Dec. 5, from 9 AM to about 1 PM at the Conference Office. If you produce communications for your church (newsletter, Website, social media, video, etc.) please contact our office at, let us know who you are and how to reach you, and try to attend this event. We will plan future events for 2016. More information and registration to come. 

LUMINA to hold annual celebration, fundraiser
LUMINA, the local mission partnership of Southwest District churches, will hold its Annual Celebration Nov. 20, from 6:30 to 8 PM, at Lititz UMC, 201 East Market Street, Lititz. LUMINA is asking supporters of its Drop-in-the-Bucket Fundraiser to collect change in their yellow LUMINA buckets and bring checks to the celebration. RSVP by Nov. 13. Call LUMINA at 717-394-8412. People who have benefited from LUMINA ministries and programs will enjoy supper as they learn how LUMINA’s governance and operations have changed this past year.  LUMINA will participate in the Extraordinary Give on Nov. 20, Lancaster County’s largest-participation 24 hours of giving. You can donate to aid LUMINA at on Nov. 20 between 12:01 AM and 11:59 PM.  For more info or to RSVP for the Annual Celebration, contact LUMINA at 717- 394-8412 or
Apply for Rethink Church 2016 Easter Digital Advertising Grants
RETHINK CHURCH helps local churches reach "seekers," the 42 percent of adults who aren't currently active in or committed to a church but are searching to give their live deeper meaning. UM Communications is accepting applications for its Rethink Church Digital Advertising Grants for displaying on Websites during the 2016 Easter season (February to March). The grants can help a church raise awareness of its community presence by displaying on various high-traffic Websites UMC-branded ads that are linked to the local church’s Website and geo-targeted to its community. This is not a monetary grant; ads will be purchased and placed for the churches by UMCom.  UMCom will also provide a follow-up report on click-through rates and site visits to each church during the advertising period. Attached is our FAQ that should help answer questions about the digital grant process. Deadline to apply is Jan. 7, 2016. Learn more…

Also, Rethink Church has many UMC-branded resources available to help churches with customizable Advent season  TV spots, worship resources (bulletin covers, graphics, etc.) and outreach resources (low-cost direct-mail postcards and free door hangers and invitation cards). The ordering deadline is December 1.
Clergy Sexual Ethics training on infidelity 
Clergy are invited to attend the workshop Sexual Ethics Among Clergy Members: Understanding Risk Factors and Prevention from an Attachment Framework on Nov. 17, from 9 AM to 3 PM, at West Lawn UMC, 15 Woodside Ave., West Lawn, PA. Fee: $35.  Advanced-Level Electives in Sexual Ethics are designed not only to complete the required quadrennial continuing education expectations, but also to engage persons in ministerial roles in ongoing accountable dialogue on appropriate healthy boundaries in ministerial practice. Workshop facilitator, Dr. Jesse Gill, Psy.D., has been a Christian psychologist working in Lancaster for the past 14 years. Author of Face to Face: Seven Keys to a Secure Marriage, he integrates Scripture with Attachment Theory and applies it to marital therapy. Register now
Time to order your 2015 Annual Conference Journal

A limited number of 2015 Eastern PA Annual Conference Journals will be available in early to mid-November. Order yours today for $25 each. You can pay online or send a check by postal mail to EPA UMC, Attention Ms. Gloria Knoeller, PO Box 820, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0820.

What's in the Journal? Contact information for Conference staff, clergy, Camp and Retreat Centers, Districts, and United Methodist Church boards and agencies. Also clergy appointments, pastoral salaries and service records; and conference board and committee assignments. Plus, all about the 2015 Annual Conference; conference statistics for 2014; historical highlights; and conference policies and procedures for clergy, staff, and others. Questions? Please contact Gloria Knoeller at

Order your copy now:

Associate Members and Local Pastors plan 2016 retreat

The Fellowship of Associate Members and Local Pastors of the Eastern PA and Peninsula-Delaware conferences will retreat together April 24-26, 2016, at Black Rock Retreat Center, 1345 Kirkwood Pike, Quarryville, PA. Associate Members, Local Pastors, Student Pastors and Certified Lay Ministers are all invited to attend and may earn 2.0 CEUs. Online Registration is open now. For more information contact Mark Beiderman at 610-585-0575. Download the brochure, which contains a registration form.

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 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 Thanks!
Adjourned Session of Annual Conference
Save the Date! Nov. 14, 2015:  The Adjourned Session will be held at the Macungie campus of Bethany UMC, 3801 Brookside Road, Macungie, PA 18062. Register online
Please Save These Dates! 
January 12-14, 2016: Midwinter Retreat, DoubleTree Resort, Lancaster, PA. Online registration now open

May 10-20, 2016: UMC General Conference, Portland, OR

June 16-18, 2016: Eastern PA Annual Conference, Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square, Lancaster, PA

July 10-16, 2016: 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.
Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of The United Methodist Church
980 Madison Avenue, Norristown, PA 19403
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