November 13, 2020
NEWS & VIEWS
Today is World Kindness Day – Nov. 13
World Kindness Day is an international holiday that was formed in 1998, to promote kindness throughout the world and is observed annually on November 13 as part of the World Kindness Movement. It is observed in many countries including the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia and the U.A.E. World Kindness Day presents us with the opportunity to reflect upon one of the most important and unifying human principles. On a day devoted to the positive potential of both large and small acts of kindness, try to promote and diffuse this crucial quality that brings people of every kind together. Learn more…  Also World Kindness Day, Fri Nov 13, 
Faith Sharers to explore Evangelism anew Saturday
Evangelism in a Changing Landscape is the theme for the Eastern PA Conference’s 2020 Faith-Sharing Event on Saturday, Nov. 14, offered now as a free 3-hour Zoom video-conference, from 9 AM to 12 noon. Nearly 300 people have registered so far. Register online! 

The Rev. Lisa Greenwood, Vice-President for Leadership Ministry of TMF (the Texas Methodist Foundation), in Dallas, Texas, 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 participate in teams to learn, strategize and prepare to grow together. 0.6 CEUs are available.
“Some folks shy away from the word Evangelism because it raises connotations with coercive doctrine,” says the Rev. Dawn Taylor-Storm, Director of Connectional Ministries, which sponsors the event each year. “Lisa will unpack this word and call us to a new appreciation of what it means to be an evangelist, as we share the Gospel in our church ministries and in our daily lives.” Download and share the flyer. Learn more. Register online! 
CCYM to teach about racism, diversity Saturday
All youth invited to Zoom event

The Northeastern Jurisdiction Council on Youth Ministry, at its Nov. 14 meeting, will feature a special program on Racism and Diversity, presented by the Eastern PA Conference Council on Youth Ministry (CCYM) (left). The presentation will be from 1 to 4 PM using video-conferencing on Zoom. All youth from the NEJ’s 10 conferences are invited to participate.  Pre-registration is required to receive the Zoom invitation and link. 
“We will use a unique approach of presenting scripted vignettes that one of our youth members is preparing,” said the Rev. David Piltz, Conference Coordinator of Young People’s Ministries. The presentation, including interactive discussions, will focus on words and meanings that emerge from Matthew's and Loke's Gospels, which teaches that “what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles us,” said Piltz. “The essential point is that if love is in our heart then nothing bad comes out of the mouth; and racism is not from a place of love but from a place of hate.”
CCYM member Sara Mott (right), of Covenant UMC in Moore Township, wrote the vignettes. She recently directed, produced and acted in a short dramatic film, “Secondhand Smoke” about domestic violence that was shown at a New York film festival for high school students. The program agenda will also include time for fellowship and worship. 
Online Prison Ministry Art Show begins tonight
The 3rd Annual Prison Ministry Art Show, sponsored by Hopewell UMC and Grove UMC, will be held virtually this year Nov. 13-15, beginning Friday at 7 PM.

In addition to over 45 pieces of art from inmates at the Coal Township Correctional Institution, there are several pieces of hand-made jewelry created by inmates from Drakenstein Correctional Center in South Africa (from which Nelson Mandela was released after decades of imprisonment). Calendars and note cards featuring the artwork of the inmates will also be available for purchase.

Half of the proceeds from funds raised will be returned to the inmates to help them purchase additional art supplies and also to support their families. At the request of the artists, the other half will be donated to community organizations, including Good Samaritan Services, Good Works, Safe Harbor, Coatesville Kids to College, and The Well After-School Program, as well as the Hopewell Training Center in Haiti, Mosaic in South Africa and the Restorative Justice Ministry at Drakenstein Correctional Center in South Africa. The art is available for viewing and purchase at https://www.betterunite.com/HopewellUnitedMethodistChurch-prisonministryartshow
UMC Hispanic/Latino caucus meets Friday, 6 PM
MARCHA (Methodist Association Representing the Cause of Hispanic Americans) will hold its 2020 annual gathering as a webinar on Zoom, for three hours on Friday evening, Nov. 13, from 6 to 9 PM, to ensure “the safety of our constituency.” With the theme “Lament in Community: A Way to Hope” (from Lamentations 3:19-22), the event will be offered in Spanish with English translation by conference call. The agenda includes: 
  • Worship with Communion and a memorial service; 
  • Guest keynoter Miguel De La Torre, Professor of Social Ethics and Latinx Studies at Iliff School of Theology in Denver; 
  •  A panel discussion about the state of the church and society; and MARCHA Awards 
Dr. Miguel De La Torre's academic focus is social ethics within contemporary U.S. thought, specifically how religion affects race, class, and gender oppression. Since obtaining his doctorate in 1999, he has authored over 100 articles and published 33 books, five of which won national awards. A Fulbright scholar, he has taught in Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa, and Germany.
Elders to learn about using digital media for ministry
The Eastern PA Conference Order of Elders will hear from an expert on how to use media creatively to reclaim the church’s social influence at a training event on Wednesday, Nov. 18, at 1 PM, via Zoom.

“Obviously our time together in the Order of Elders will be different this year,” says the Rev. Tom Ebersole, the group’s new chairman. Rather than the usual lunch gathering at Innabah Camp & Retreat Center, the 2-hour video-conference will include a talk and Q & A session featuring Phil Cooke, a writer, leading media producer and consultant who critiques American-influenced Christian culture. (Wikipedia)

With a Ph.D in theology, Cooke has “helped some of the largest Christian and nonprofit organizations in the world use the media to tell their story in a changing, disrupted culture.” Ebersole says Cooke’s book The Way Back: How Christians Blew Our Credibility & How We Get it Back “changed how I do ministry. He is dynamic and brings a message we definitely need to hear.”
 
The first 70 elders who sign up for the Nov. 18 training will receive a copy of Cooke’s new book, Maximize Your Influence: How to Make Digital Media Work for Your Church, Your Ministry and You. This event is free for conference elders. Register now.
Deacons explore ‘Role of Anger in Work of Justice and Love’
The Rev. Darryl W. Stephens, new chairman of the Eastern PA Conference Order of Deacons, reports on a video-conference discussion UM Deacons in the Eastern PA and Peninsula-Delaware conferences had Nov. 7 on what to do about anger in the midst of ministry. 

“Are Christians allowed to get angry? Can anger and love work together? What do we do with feelings of anger when we are trying to promote justice in the world?” With these questions, United Methodist deacons gathered on Zoom to help one another in their efforts to oppose racism through their various ministries. It was the first in a series of anti-racism events planned by the Orders of Deacons of both conferences, which often meet together.
This work was inspired during their annual session with Bishop Peggy Johnson, held on Zoom Sept. 19. “We proceeded to discuss what was most pressing on our hearts,” writes Dr. Stephens in his blog. “One of these concerns was, ‘How do we deal with anger in our justice ministries?’” “Anger is a theological issue,” said one member. So is hate, added another, as the group sought ways to being “an anti-racist community”. Learn more from Stephens’ blog, Ethics Considered. 
Deacon, church featured in post-election story
The Rev. David Brown, Lead Pastor and Deacon at Wharton-Wesley UMC in Philadelphia, was featured in a VICE News national TV news story, Nov. 5, about the importance of voices of protest and peace amidst the city’s recent turmoil. That turmoil emanated from a highly contentious Presidential election, on the heels of the controversial police killing of Walter Wallace Jr., a knife-wielding African American resident with mental illness. VICE News talked to Brown at the church and to other leaders and protesters calling for justice in both politics and policing. The 10-minute segment begins at the 19:39 mark of the video.

“People need to know that the Church cares, pastors are active in the community and that the voices of the community are being heard,” the Rev. Evelyn Kent Clark, South District Superintendent, said in reaction to the Vice story. “But as clearly stated, if we don’t vote we don’t have a voice. I concur that the individual has to decide whether he or she matters or not. The system doesn’t have the right or the power to make that decision.”   

As for the city’s outlook and the nation’s, Brown said, “Now the hard work of healing begins in earnest.” 
Plan to attend Transfiguration Day Apart Feb. 10 
Save the date for the Eastern PA Conference’s Transfiguration Day Apart scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, 9:30 to 11:30 AM, on Zoom. All clergy and Certified Lay Ministers (CLMs) serving congregations are invited to attend. The Rev. Deborah Appler, who teaches at Moravian Theological Seminary in Bethlehem, will be the keynoter. Her topic: “The Transfiguration from an Old Testament Perspective." Download and share the flyer
LEARNING EVENTS
Eastern PA-supported missionaries offer virtual visits on Zoom
During the COVID-19 pandemic, UM missionaries are participating in weekly virtual visits, titled #stillinmission, arranged by the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) and held on Thursdays. The Nov. 5th virtual visit included two missionaries supported by churches in Eastern PA: Deirdre Zimmerman, a dietician in Nepal, and Rev. Mutwale Mushidi, who has been starting churches, training pastors and ministering to refugees and immigrants in Tanzania. 

Because mission giving has decreased during the pandemic, it is more important than ever to give what we can during November and December, when GBGM is holding a giving campaign. The theme is “Give: Love, Joy, Hope, Peace.” Learn more…
International forum on internet access and education
Representatives from Africa University and Bennett College will discuss how lack of internet access can hamper education. The online forum is set for 9:30 a.m. U.S. Central time on Nov. 16. Suzanne Walsh, president of Bennett, and Peter Mageto, deputy vice chancellor of Africa University, will participate.  Read press release
AROUND THE UM CONNECTION
New GCAH head to succeed Fred Day in 2021
Ashley Boggan Dreff, a United Methodist from birth and a professor and author, was elected to succeed the Rev. Alfred (Fred) Day III, who retires in December as head of the General Commission on Archives and History (GCAH). 

Dr. Dreff is Assistant Professor of Religion and Director of Women's and Gender Studies at UM-Related High Point University in High Point, NC. She is author of Entangled: A History of American Methodism, Politics, and Sexuality and #Nevertheless: American Methodists and Women's RightsPHOTO

“I welcome Ashley's election with awe at what she's accomplished as a legacy United Methodist and church historian,” said Day, an Eastern PA Conference clergy member. “The gifts she will bring to the position will both carry on and strengthen GCAH's mission to promote and care for the historical interests of The United Methodist Church at every level.”
UMCOR assists flood survivors in Congo
UVIRA, Congo (UM News) — More than 500 families affected by severe flooding in April received much needed food and other assistance from the United Methodist Committee on Relief. The aid comes as many are still homeless and suffering from malaria and malnutrition, said Simon Kombi Ramazani, director of connectional ministries for the church in East Congo. Philippe Kituka Lolonga reports. Read story.
United Methodists devastated by trio of typhoons
MANILA, Philippines (UM News) — Filipino United Methodists are picking up the pieces after three strong typhoons pummeled the Philippines in less than three weeks. Many families are homeless and a mission chapel collapsed. Gladys P. Mangiduyos reports. Read story.
Florida churches come together for justice
LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. — The problems of poverty and injustice in communities across Florida didn't emerge overnight and don't have a one-size-fits-all solution. Joe Henderson writes about how predominantly Black and white churches in Manatee County have come together as one to begin addressing these issues.  Read story.
Legal settlement means Glide leaves UMC
A battle for control of a landmark church in San Francisco has ended with a multimillion dollar financial settlement in which Glide Memorial leaves The United Methodist Church but retains its famed 330 Ellis St. building. The UM California-Nevada Conference will retain control of a $4.5 million trust and receive an extra $1.5 million from the Glide Foundation “in recognition of the long-term and unique relationship between Glide and The United Methodist Church.” Learn more...
RESOURCES
Urban Commission offers fall ministry grants
The Eastern PA Conference’s Urban Commission will once again award grants this fall to assist in funding Urban Alliances or Urban Church Initiatives. The deadline is Nov. 23. Awards will be announced by Jan. 6, 2021. UM churches in the following urban centers, are invited to apply: 

Allentown Lebanon
Bethlehem Norristown
Chester Pottstown
Coatesville Reading
Lancaster Philadelphia and Philadelphia 

The Urban Commission typically offers grants twice a year, in the spring and fall. However, funds for this year’s spring round of grants were reallocated to the conference Cabinet to aid churches responding to community needs during the coronavirus pandemic. Read the grant information on the Urban Ministries webpage, and use the online application to apply.
Progressive views of US elections aftermath
United Methodist Insight ("A Forum for Discerning God’s Will for the United Methodist Church”) offers this week an impressive menu of progressive, thought-provoking post-election commentaries in its special section: US elections aftermath.This Nation Needs Soul Work, Not Poll Work,” writes the Rev. Junius B. Dotson, head of Discipleship Ministries, who will address our Annual Conference in 2021. “Faith leaders across the theological and political spectrum must lead our nation into a “soul reset” that dismantles racial privilege and oppression. Equally insightful and potentially helpful is “Five Challenges for the Church After This Election,” a commentary by Mark Wingfield, executive director and publisher of Baptist News Global.
Church pews need a new home
West Willow UMC is replacing 10-12 pews with individual seating and are looking for a home for them. Most are 14' long.The pews are to be donated and need to be picked up. "We will detach them from floor," said Joyce Mayne. "We would like to get them removed ASAP to allow us to move forward. We don't have space for long term storage." Contact Joyce Mayne  at cats6950@gmail.co 410-430-8673 or 717-687-6392.
Advent resources available
Local churches can order customizable banners, signs, invitation cards and postcards for Advent from United Methodist Communications. The resources are available in a variety of designs and languages. Get resources  
A growing library of free, on-demand Local Church Learning Sessions now includes a session exploring new features of social media platforms and ideas for using them. All of the sessions support your church’s ongoing digital ministry, covering not only social media, but e-giving, text messaging, livestreaming and more. Begin learning.
How to cultivate relationships in online groups   
2020 is the year of virtual…well, everything. Church is no exception. More than ever, members need their pastors and one another, but most are still practicing social distancing to some degree. Online meetings will likely continue as part of church ministry. While the internet, social media and online services such as Zoom, Facebook, WebEx and Google have made virtual meetings possible, church leaders face the challenge of building meaningful relationships in a virtual world. If you’re facing that struggle, here are a few ideas to consider.
How to host small groups and classes during displacement
Small groups and Sunday school classes form one of the most powerful connections and means of support for members. Many people are asking: What happens to these connections during times of social distancing? How can leaders maintain these essential care mechanisms in the lives of members? Here are some tips to help you select the needed tools and assist your transition from in-person to virtual meetings. Learn more...
The People of God campaign is celebrating our ongoing commitment to providing abundant health around the world, from Imagine No Malaria to lifesaving interventions for one million children. Bring the campaign to your church’s communications by downloading digital resources. Download now.
How do you serve?
United Methodist Communications tailors its services to support people in a variety of roles in their congregations. These resources include training, grants and free materials. In order to better serve congregations, the agency is asking that church leaders and volunteers update their job roles online. The information will not be shared or sold to any third party. In return, the agency will provide a complimentary registration for the Digital Media for Ministry online training course.  Update your role
2020 Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference Report
The 2020 Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference Report appears on UM News website with reports from other Annual Conferences. Learn more...
REMINDERS
Church & Society seminar to examine educational equity
Church and Society will host its fifth annual Called Seminar, “Towards Educational Equity: Investing in the Beloved Community” from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3, on Zoom.

Going back to school in the COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges for students, teachers, and parents. These challenges have been compounded by the disproportionate availability and access to resources, highlighting the inequities of our education system. Unfortunately, these inequities are not unique to COVID-19, and like other societal inequities magnified by COVID-19, existed prior to the pandemic.

This four-day series of seminars will feature discussions with experts on what an equitable education system for all can truly look like. The seminar will equip participants with tools and resources to continue the work of advocacy towards educational equity.

All sessions will be held on Zoom. Registration is free and open to all.  Register for each session here. Advance registration is required for all events. Closed captions and ASL interpretation will be available for Nov 30 and Dec 1 webinars. For December 2 and 3 events, it will be available upon request.

Participants will also have an option to hold virtual meetings with their Congressional offices on Dec. 3. Register by Nov. 11. Webinars on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 will be recorded. Register by the date of the webinar to receive the links and additional resources. Contact Aimee Hong for more information. Register Today!
Reopening best practices for churches during COVID
The Eastern PA Conference places the health and welfare of our members and the surrounding community as the first priority in making decisions around occupancy. As COVID-19 numbers continue to rise, we recommend churches monitor their city or county’s infection rates, modify their reopening strategies, and either return to virtual offerings or decrease in room capacity, as necessary. 

Congregations that reopen must be committed to the goal of flattening the virus’s curve by following all state and city guidelines. They should have a reopening plan approved by their church’s administrative council. Please continue to monitor both the PA.gov and CDC.gov websites for up-to-date information. Learn more…
Churches have until Nov. 16 to seek protection from potential liability in a class action lawsuit against Boy Scouts of America over past sexual abuse claims. BSA has filed for bankruptcy. Learn more...
New Local Pastor Licensing School in 2021
The Eastern PA Conference has launched its new Local Pastor Licensing School, to begin in January 2021. Registration is open now for classes that will gather online for just six weeks, from Jan. 15 to Feb. 28. The school’s new design allows for faster completion in classes that meet on Friday evenings and Saturdays. Persons from other conferences are welcome to attend. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all 2021 classes will meet via Zoom video-conferencing.
 
The classes will cover UMC Tradition, Leadership and Administration; Spiritual Direction; Preaching; Public Worship and Liturgy; Educational Ministries; Mission and Evangelism; Pastoral Care; and another class related to a Conference emphasis to be determined.
 
The cost is $1,100, with a $300 non-refundable deposit and the remaining balance due by March 31. The Rev. Dan Lebo is the school’s new Dean. The Rev. Kevin Babcock, who chairs the Board of Ordained Ministry Committee on Local Pastor Licensing, is the registrar. See the brochure for more details, including requirements.
CDT Book Club to explore Rendle’s new book in January 2021
Quietly Courageous, by the Rev. Gil Rendle, is the Congregational Development Team’s (CDT) third book to recommend and discuss in its new weekly Book Club, beginning Jan. 13, 2021. The new clergy and laity study group will gather each Wednesday morning on Zoom, from 11 AM to 12 PM, for six weeks. Learn more...
Women in Professional Ministry/COSROW Event
TextThe Women in Professional Ministry in partnership with our Conference COSROW team will welcome Susan Beaumont on December 8th from 10:00am - 12:00pm via Zoom. We will gather on this Tuesday in Advent with Bishop Peggy Johnson as we traditionally do. This year we've invited Susan Beaumont to join us and share her wisdom around leading through uncertainty.  
 
LEADING IN A LIMINAL SEASON with Susan Beaumont 
How do you lead an organization stuck between an ending and a new beginning— when the old way of doing things no longer works but a way forward is not yet clear? Such in-between times are called liminal seasons—threshold times when the continuity of tradition disintegrates and uncertainty about the future fuels doubt and chaos. In a liminal season it simply is not helpful to pretend we understand what needs to happen next. But leaders can still lead.

Digital Ministry for the Rest of Us, Dec. 5
An interactive presentation on Zoom, provided by the Eastern PA Conference Congregational Development Team. Dec. 5, Saturday, 10-11 AM
 
  • Foundations of Church Technology: Rev. Kevin Rutledge, Covenant UMC
  • Livestream or Recorded? Pros and Cons: Rev. Amy Banka, Senior Pastor, Hopewell UMC
  • DYI Livestreaming & Recording: John Mattox, Technology Volunteer, Linwood UMC

Registration Link:
Video series looks at denomination's future
CHICAGO — The Connectional Table's Emerging Project is launching a video series about the future of The United Methodist Church. In the first video, Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton discusses: "Can General Conference be Virtual?" Bickerton, who leads the New York Conference, is president-elect of the Council of Bishops and represents bishops on the Commission on the General Conference. Watch videoRead press release.
Advent 2020 resource focuses on justice and peace
WASHINGTON — "Seeking Jesus, The Advent of Justice and Peace" is a five-week Advent anti-racism resource available now through the United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race. The resource begins Nov. 29 and continues through Dec. 27. Cost is $20.
Vanco offers help with digital giving
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Vanco, a digital giving platform, has renewed its longtime ministry partnership with the General Council on Finance and Administration, the denomination's finance agency. All United Methodist churches that sign up with Vanco by Nov. 30 will receive personalized one-on-one onboarding with a Vanco eGiving specialist. 

Survival mode isn't working for most congregations, writes the Rev. Rebekah Simon-Peter. Especially during this time of COVID-19 and all its fallout, the church consultant writes that churches should cast a vision.
Apply for Global Mission Fellows, US-2 track
Applications for UM Global Ministries 2021-23 Global Mission Fellows on the US-2 track opened Oct. 12. The fall application deadline is Nov. 30, 2020, and the spring application deadline is Feb. 24, 2021. Placement matches will be assigned throughout the selection process, so early application is encouraged. Read press release. See application information
Celebrating Our Cultures at Christmas, Dec. 13
Plan now to attend the Commission on Religion & Race’s second annual multicultural celebration and the first to happen online. In September 2019 the group hosted a lively, well-attended outdoor picnic at Innabah. This year they will host a virtual but no less festive gathering, Celebrating Our Cultures at Christmas, on Sunday, Dec. 13, at 3 PM, via Zoom. 

It’s a Conference-wide Advent celebration that will share cultural and family traditions of the season from around the world--including Latin American Three Kings Day celebrations, a Native American family’s Christmas story, and traditions from South Korea, India, Germany, Great Britain, Sierra Leone, and even a taste of Kwanzaa. 

Come join the party! Bring a candle and place your computer or mobile device in front of your tree or nativity scene! Send a photo of your nativity or live nativity scene to communications@epaumc.org to be included in the celebration. Register now to participate. Download and share the event flyer. 
PA tax exemption extended further until Dec. 31
The Eastern PA Conference’s Pennsylvania sales tax exemption certificate used by its member churches was due to expire initially March 31 but was extended to Sept. 30. But now it has been extended further until Dec. 31, due continued delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The extension enables churches to continue making tax-exempt purchases while the state processes renewals. A new letter confirming this latest extension may be used by churches to authorize tax-fre purchases, along with their copy of the expired Exemption Certificate (REV-1220). 
Zoom users should update their software
All users of Zoom video-conferencing should ensure their Zoom Client program is the latest version available, The Conference Administration Office advises. Check to make sure you are using Version 3.2.1 If not:

  • Close your programs
  • Download and run CleanZoom.exe   
  • Reboot your computer
  • Visit this link https://zoom.us/support/download.
  • This will automatically download the newest version for you.
  • Install this version once downloaded.
New online course aims at growth in generosity
A new online curriculum designed to help clergy and lay people lead congregations toward growth in generosity is now available from Discipleship Ministries. This six-module leadership series will help clergy and leaders become better equipped to lead their local churches in the area of generosity as a key part of being a disciple of Jesus Christ. Read press release
Building relationships with virtual visitors
Many churches are reporting much higher online worship attendance than they typically see in person. Eric Seiberling offers tips for how email can help sustain these new connections in a time of social distancing. Read tips
Conference offers new booklet of scholarships, ministry funds
Announces new Narberth Legacy Ministry Action Grants
The Eastern PA Conference Connectional Ministries Office has published online a new booklet, titled Conference Funding for Ministry and Leadership Development, to inform churches and members about resources for funding ministry, church needs and educational scholarships. The booklet conveniently gathers in one place information already present on the conference website’s individual Funding For Ministry, Higher Education Scholarships & Grants and Conference Loan Fund pages. (All pages are updated regularly and are accessible from our Conference Finance webpage.)

But other funding sources also appear in the booklet, including the William “Bill” Drendall Endowment Fund of Mount Gretna UMC, available to all churches; BMCR/BUMP College Scholarships for active members of BMCR-member churches; and scholarships and ministry funding from general agencies of the UMC. 

One major funding source featured in the new booklet is the conference’s new Narberth Legacy Ministry Action Grants (2021-2023 Action Grants). The Narberth Legacy Ministry Action Fund is a Permanent Endowment Fund administered by the Mid-Atlantic United Methodist Foundation on behalf of the Eastern PA Conference. It was established from the 2014 discontinuation of Narberth UMC, as a living memorial to past church members, to provide substantial support to new, innovative, justice-seeking ministries that impact the life of communities. 

Beginning July 1, 2021 one grant for up to $45,000, distributed over a three-year period, will be awarded annually to a church. Eligible ministries are those that seek to serve populations that may be multicultural, young or intergenerational, unchurched or de-churched, and challenged by racism, discrimination, poverty and other disadvantages. Such ministries should demonstrate viability and a commitment to foster productive cooperation with church and community partners and stakeholders. 

Funds will be granted only for endeavors that produce action and offer the potential for real change. Learn more on the conference website’s Funding for Ministry page or contact the Office of Connectional Ministries. Deadline: Jan. 31, 2021. Learn more...
Sign-language Bible now available
A 38-year project that included 53 Deaf translators has produced the American Sign Language Bible, available free from Deaf Missions, a nonprofit Christian organization. This new Bible not only better encourages Deaf and hard-of-hearing people to engage in studying Scripture, it reduces misunderstandings and misinterpretations, writes the Rev. Leo Yates Jr. Read commentary 
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
2020
  • November 14: Annual Faith-Sharing Event--Evangelism in a Changing Landscape. Zoom, 9 AM - 12 PM. Register.
  • November 18: Order of Elders, with speaker: Phil Cooke. 1 PM. Zoom webinar. Register.
  • December 5: Digital Ministry for the Rest of Us. 10 AM - 11:30 AM. Zoom online meeting. Register.
  • December 8: Women in Professional Ministry. 10 AM - 12 PM, Zoom online meeting. Register.
  • December 13: "Celebrating our Cultures at Christmas." 3 PM. Zoom online meeting. Register.

2021

  • January 8-9:  Virtual Youth Rally
  • January 13: Start of Book Study “Quietly Courageous” with Gil Rendle (Weekly, for 4 weeks)
  • January 30:  Basic Sexual Ethics. 9:30 AM - 3 PM. Zoom online meeting. Register.
  • February 10: Transfiguration Day Apart. 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM. Zoom Webinar. Download the flyer.
  • March 6: Advanced Sexual Ethic: Ministry with Sex Offenders. 9:30 AM - 3 PM. Aldersgate UMC in Wilmington, DE. Register.
  • March 13: Tools for Ministry. 
  • April 16-18: Dismantling Racism, Level 1, Virtual. Register.
  • May 15: Latino Holy Convocation and Assembly
  • May 15: Clergy Transition Workshop led by Dave Woolverton. 
  • June 5:  CR/CC Transition Workshop –for CR/CC appointments
  • August 6 - 8, 2021: Laity Academy
  • Oct. 23:  Faith Sharing Evangelism Training w/ Olu Brown
  • Oct. 29 - Nov 1: Dismantling Racism, Level 1, Virtual. Register.

Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of The United Methodist Church
980 Madison Avenue, Norristown, PA 19403