October 25, 2019
NEWS & VIEWS
Pastor Appreciation Month: Celebrate and uphold pastors in prayer
In October, churches across the nation are celebrating Pastor Appreciation Month. The Apostle Paul is thought to have first suggested clergy appreciation in 1 Timothy 5:17, when he stated, “The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.” That teaching helped inspire the start of Clergy Appreciation Month in 1992 to recognize pastors and religious workers.

As we show appreciation for our pastors during this month and throughout the year, let us support them by keeping them in our prayers, for they too need that hedge of loving care surrounding them as much as we do. Read the UM Communications ( www.umc.org ) article “ 15 ways to pray for your pastor.” Learn more and see photos of some of our Eastern PA pastors ...
UM Men to continue recent seminar’s focus on domestic violence and men, Oct. 26
The Eastern PA Conference United Methodist Men , at their annual meeting on Saturday, Oct. 26 , will explore an issue that concerns men as well as women in our society. They will continue a recent conference seminar’s focus on the important role that men can and should play in addressing the causes of domestic violence.

When they meet at Evansburg UMC (3871 Germantown Pike, Collegeville), beginning at 2 PM, the UMM members will elect officers, adopt a budget, review their ministries in 2019, and decide on goals for 2020. They will also share information about various local church men’s ministries. Bishop Peggy Johnson will attend the meeting and offer words of welcome to the men.

But the gathering’s climax will be a program that looks at men and domestic violence (DV), also known as intimate-partner violence (IPV). UMM secretary David Marks will offer a PowerPoint presentation, followed by a discussion to enlighten members about this serious topic of widespread concern. Unfortunately, it is not enough of a concern to most men, even though they are not only the main perpetrators of DV but also frequently its victims. Read more…

Also, the date for our next UM Night with the 76ers is set for Jan. 17, 2020 , when our home team will battle the Chicago Bulls at the Wells Fargo Arena. This annual event is sponsored by the UM Men as a fun, family and fellowship gathering for all United Methodists and their guests. But there’s a new feature this time. Attendees can gather and enjoy the experience together in a new Assembly Room with a view of the game below. Tickets are $40 each and the purchase deadline is Dec. 17. Watch this space for more information to come. Or contact the 76ers’ Angie Gasparo at angelinagasparo@76ers.com . Download and share the flyer.
What is the UMC’s view of Halloween?
Did you know that Halloween began as a church holiday, or holy day? Halloween (or All Hallows' Eve) means “the evening of Hallows” or saints. Why “the evening?” Because at one time, the first worship service of a holy day would occur during the evening before. So, Halloween refers to the first worship service for All Saints' Day (Nov. 1 in the Western Christian tradition), which would be held on the evening of Oct. 31.

So how did this observance get connected to jack-o-lanterns, ghosts, and scary things that go bump in the night? Read on to learn more...if you dare .
Bishop’s Blog: All Saints Day
By Bishop Peggy Johnson

The Church calendar includes “ All Saints Day ” on November 1 each year to remember truly faithful Christians who have gone before us and to contemplate and perhaps even emulate their heroic lives. One of the benefits of my time serving on the Roman Catholic-United Methodist dialogue team has been a new appreciation for the saints and martyrs and their many feast days….  

(There are today) saints who yet walk the earth seeking to serve others and to worship only God. Each day we proclaim our faith and devotion to God by our words and our actions. Each day we have the opportunity to give generously and sacrificially to those in need. Read more...
Support for clergy spouses grows, aided by benefits board
Three years ago, the Eastern PA Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits took a chance. They agreed to partner on an outside grant funding project with Artos Retreats, a tiny new organization dedicated to improving the well-being of clergy spouses. That first step of faith has led to sponsoring multiple programs and coaching for clergy spouses in our conference.

“For years, we had searched for effective ways to address the needs of clergy spouses and families,” explains Jo Fielding, Executive Director, Eastern PA Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits. “Many of our board members are clergy; so they fully appreciate how clergy spouse well-being contributes to clergy health and ultimately to congregational vitality. We are pleased to finally sponsor programs of the caliber Artos offers.” Learn more...
Church & Society releases revised UM Social Principles
At its final meeting of the quadrennium, the board of directors of the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) introduced the Revised Social Principles to entire church. The document is now pending approval of the 2020 General Conference.

“Today is the culmination of an eight-year journey that began when the 2012 General Conference first called the General Board of Church and Society to revise the Social Principles to become more globally relevant, theologically sound, and more succinct,” said Bishop Sally Dyck, board president. Learn more
Nov. 9: Mother African Zoar UMC’S 225th Anniversary
Mother African Zoar UMC in Philadelphia will celebrate its 225th anniversary with a grand banquet on Saturday, November 9, from 11:30 AM to 3:30 PM, at the Hilton Hotel at 4200 City Avenue in Philadelphia. West Ohio Area Bishop Gregory V. Palmer, a Philadelphia native, will be the featured speaker.  Learn more... 
Serving God and others: Honoring our United Methodist vow

United Methodists answer John Wesley’s call to live out their faith by “doing good of every possible sort,” to all the people and in all the places that we can. Learn more…
In US, Christianity's decline continues
Christians are still in the majority in the United States, but a shrinking one. Pew Research Center telephone surveys in 2018 and 2019 found 65% of U.S. adults identify as Christian, down from 77% a decade ago. Meanwhile, the percentage of the religiously unaffiliated continues to rise. Read story .
Bishops offer black church response to UMC controversy
The Ebony Bishops are calling for African American clergy and laity to have a voice in The United Methodist Church's future. "Our witness is grounded in our experience of deliverance from enslavement, Jim Crow, the exclusionary practices of the Central Jurisdiction and the ongoing discrimination in our world," said the bishops' statement. Learn more… Read statement .
General Conference organizers unveil GC2020 logo
MINNEAPOLIS — The Commission on the General Conference has unveiled the logo for the 2020 General Conference to accompany the theme "…and know that I am God," based on Psalm 46:10. The denomination's top lawmaking body will meet May 5-15. Read press release and view logo . Biblical comparison shapes GC2020 theme .
LEARNING EVENTS
Four Stations of Holy Spirit training, Nov. 2
The Eastern PA Conference Congregational Development Team (CDT) will offer its next Four Stations of the Holy Spirit training event on Saturday, Nov. 2, 8:30 AM to 12 noon at Long Memorial UMC in Neffsville, near Lancaster. The church will host this event and invites any other churches or individuals who would like to learn about offering enhanced outreach and witness, especially beyond the church, through:

  • Prayer to encourage hope and faith in agreement.;
  • Anointing to consecrate for healing and recovery;
  • Reaffirmation of Baptism to signify a new beginning; and
  • Holy Communion to encourage reconciliation.

To attend or for more information contact Gordon Hendrickson at 267-258-9507 or gordonacts6@gmail.com. The cost will be $15 per person which includes books and materials.
Celebrate Native American Heritage Month with CONAM at Innabah, Nov. 3
The Committee on Native American Ministries (CONAM) invites all to attend its fall Native American worship, learning and fellowship gathering on Sunday, Nov. 3, at 4 PM, at Innabah Camp & Retreat Center, 712 Pughtown Road, Spring City, PA. November is National Native American Heritage Month . CONAM members will report, reflect and share photos from their recent outreach visit to the Rev. Calvin Hill and the Blackfeet UM Parish (BUMP) in Montana. There they attended a three-day Camp Meeting and visited the Bighorn Battlefield and Crazy Horse Monument. In an ongoing friendship, members have made at least four visits and supported mission efforts there since Hill and his wife Sherry visited our conference in 2015. 

The CONAM worship service will include special music and a Thanksgiving litany composed by the Haudenosaunee confederation (People of the Longhouse), whom the   French named Iroquois and the British called the Five Nations.  Light refreshments will be served following the free program . Download and share the flyer!
Share Christmas greetings with inmates by Nov. 4 
Imagine what it would be like to be behind bars this Christmas, with limited contact with family and friends. Receiving a card with an encouraging note from someone “outside” would be such a meaningful gift! 

Last year congregants in Eastern PA were able to share the message of God’s love through Christmas cards to 8400 individuals impacted by the criminal justice system, in 15 facilities. Let’s reach out again this year to remind those who are incarcerated that they are God’s beloved children, just like we are. Just follow the specific directions provided. 

Completed cards need to be returned on or before Monday, Nov. 4 to your district collection point or the conference office. Thank you!   Learn more…  
Training for clergy on ministry with veterans, military families November 6-7
Palmer Theological Seminary, in St. Davids, will partner with the Veterans Affairs Office to sponsor the VA Community Clergy Training Program Nov. 6-7, in the Eagle Great Room. This two-day interactive training on effective outreach to military veterans and families is offered for free to the community. It addresses military culture, spiritual care, mental health services, responding to the wounds of war and moral injury, and building community partnerships. Participants must register in advance, using the link on the flyer.  Download the flyer. Register online. Contact: christopher.antal@va.gov or 215-823-4392. 
Wesleyan Covenant Association Global Gathering
Wesleyan Covenant Association Global Gathering in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday, Nov. 9, 10: AM to 4 PM, will be simulcast locally at Huntingdon Valley UMC. Registration required. The future of the UMC and General Conference 2020 will be discussed. Theme: TRANSFORMED Global Gathering 2019.  See Events page for more...
Churches as First Responders to the Military & Veteran Population, Nov. 13
Attend a training in how to recognize and serve  military or veteran congregation members who face problems on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 9 AM to 12 PM, at First UMC Phoenixville ( 865 Main St.) . Registration cost: $10.

Learn how to understand military culture and its impact on families, and identify pastoral roles in ministering to congregants with Moral Injury (an injury to one’s “moral conscience and values resulting from an act of perceived moral transgression, which produces profound emotional guilt and shame, and in some cases also a sense of betrayal, anger and profound moral disorientation)

This training is sponsored by: the Eastern PA Conference Connectional Ministries Office and the Committee on Disabilities Concerns.  Download the flyer!   Register Online Now!

Emotional Intelligence & Diversity Training, Nov. 16
The Commission on Religion & Race (CORR) will sponsor another Emotional Intelligence and Diversity Training on Saturday, Nov. 16, 9 AM to 4 PM, at Bethel UMC, 952 Bethel Church Road, Spring City, PA . Presenters will be the Rev. Anita Powell and Rev. David Piltz.
0.6 CEUs available. $10 Registration Fee

Register Online Now! Contact David Piltz at 814-883-0118 or dpiltz@epaumc.org with questions.
Order of Elders Day, Nov. 20
The 2019 Order of Elders Day will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 20, from 8:30 AM to 12 noon, at Innabah Camp & Retreat Center, 712 Pughtown Rd,  Spring City. The topic will be “Elders: Courageous Leaders for Such a Time as This.” The presenter will be the Rev. Gil Rendle, author of Quietly Courageous: Leading the Church in a Changing World Bishop Peggy Johnson will also greet the gathering. The registration fee is $10. Please register online and pay the registration at  https://www.eiseverywhere.com/orderofelder2019  

The Order of Elders gathering is open to all ordained elders, full time, part time and retired. For questions, please contact Rev. Evelyn Kent Clark at revekc@hotmail.com or 610-352-2303.
True Justice: Seeking Equal Justice for People and Communities of Color
A Film Showing, Discussion and Action Planning for Change

Feb. 22, 2020 (Snow date: Feb. 29, 2020), 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM , at Cedarville UMC , 1092 Laurelwood Rd, Pottstown, PA. Cost: $10. Lunch included. CEUs certification requested. This event is co-sponsored by the Eastern PA Conference’s Prison Ministries & Restorative Justice Team and Commission on Religion & Race.

Join us in viewing together the compelling HBO documentary film True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality about the lifesaving, life-changing crusade of Bryan Stevenson. Stevenson is a dedicated public defense attorney and the founder and Executive Director of the groundbreaking Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama.

The film examines his personal journey, as he labors to bring justice to wrongfully convicted and disadvantaged prison inmates. The film weaves together his own story, those of his clients, and a history of injustice and complicity in our justice system. As Stevenson reveals a troubling narrative of racial inequality still prevalent in this country, he challenges us to seek the truth, confront it and work towards reconciliation.

After we view this powerful film, we will hear from a panel of leaders seeking ways to foster racial justice in the criminal justice system. And then we will gather in groups to learn more and determine how we can “do justice and love mercy” by joining Stevenson’s fight in a national campaign that seeks true justice for people and communities of color.

Topics for Discussion and Action Planning:
  • The Legal System and Returning Citizens
  • The School to Prison Pipeline
  • Unconscious Bias against People of Color
  • Communities of Color: Causes and Consequences of Mass Incarceration

Please register online by February 1, 2020 . (The registration link will be available soon!) Click here to view and download the flyer!
MISSION OPPORTUNITIES
Amazing Raise for Camp Innabah
90 donations for 90 years is our goal for this year's Amazing Raise... there is still time if you haven't had YOUR chance to make a donation. Any amount, big or small, helps.

Thank you to ALL who have donated so far...we are 2/3 of the way to our goal of 90 donations!!! We are extremely humbled by the generosity we have seen today and feel very blessed each and every one of you care enough about Innabah to continue supporting our Christian camping ministry! DONATE HERE
Come enjoy a beautiful day up on ‘The Plateau!’ Help cut and stack firewood for the camp’s winter firewood needs. Work starts around 9 AM , lunch will be provided (breakfast is available at 8 AM also), and work ends around 4 PM or whenever you need to leave.

Additional wood-cutting tools, from splitters to chainsaws, and helping hands for stacking are all needed! Contact Bob Lohnes, Maintenance Manager, to let us know how many are coming: Camp Office: 570-676-3665. camp@poconoplateau.org . Download the flyer!
NetworX training on engaging in ministry with the poor, Oct. 29

Palmyra First UMC (520 E Birch St., Palmyra, PA) will host an orientation to and panel discussion about NETworX, a creative, transformative new model of engaging in ministry with the poor, on Tuesday, Oct. 29 . All are invited to attend the orientation , from 9 to 11 AM, and the panel discussion , where participants will share their experiences, from 11 AM to noon. A Q & A session over lunch will follow and then a NETworX Immersion Training from 1 to 5 PM for licensed sites only.

The NETworX model combines best practices from many sources to address the complex process of building relationships across socioeconomic class lines. Research-based practices are gleaned from Circles® USA, asset-based community development and strength-based assessments. NETworX takes a unique approach to measurably reducing poverty by approaching the challenge holistically. The strategy is not well-doing for others but rather creating well-being together. 

In NETworX, individuals and communities work together, choosing to build relationships through education and love of neighbor as well as love of self. The NETworX curriculum helps participants change the way they look at and experience poverty.  Learn more...
Drexel campus ministry seeks help, companions for street mission in Kensington
Open Door Christian Community, our conference’s campus ministry at Drexel University, invites anyone to accompany its students and advisors on their next mission outreach to the Kensington community Saturday, Nov. 9, 11 AM to 3 PM . They will show God’s love and compassion to neighbors in this troubled area that suffers from drug trafficking, crime and homelessness. Come join them as they connect with those who are suffering and offer them food, clothing, toiletries, conversation and prayer. Several of the students spoke on stage at Annual Conference in June.  

Open Door asks for donations of: clothing (socks, hats, gloves, scarves, jackets, pants, sweaters, etc.); toiletries; food and supplies. If you want to join them, they will leave at 11 AM from Drexel’s James E. Marks Intercultural Center at 33rd & Arch Street; and they will return there by 3 PM. Contact Pastor David Piltz, Campus Minister, at 814-883-0118 for details.
International Missions Opportunity
Hempfield UMC is planning a missions trip to Kenya during the summer of 2020 to visit Life For Children Ministries (https://www.lifeforchildrenministry.org/) and help with their local needs. Members of other local churches are welcome to join us. Please be in prayer about this opportunity. If you are interested in learning more or are feeling called to go to Kenya, contact Tom Clingan ( tdc621@comcast.net ).
Seeking Global Mission Fellows applicants
The Global Mission Fellows Program is accepting applications through Jan. 7. This two-year program is a way for young adults — ages 20 through 30 — to engage with local communities outside of their home context, connect the church in mission and grow in personal and social holiness. The early access deadline is Dec. 2. To apply   
RESOURCES
NEWSpirit Bulletin: a new resource for sharing good news
NEW! Eastern PA Conference NEWSpirit Communications has created a new resource, NEWSpirit Bulletin , for local churches. It's a brief, inspiring look at ministries around our conference that you can share with your church. 
 
Simply download, print, copy and insert it in your worship bulletin, and/or display it on your church bulletin board, and/or place copies on an information table for members and guests to pick up and read. 
 
NEWSpirit Bulletin is a simple but meaningful way to share a little good news with all who attend or visit your church, and even to share it with your community. You can find it on our Local Church Media Resources webpage, along with other items.
 
Issue 1 features the conference's Four Stations of the Holy Spirit initiative that teaches lay members how they can share their faith with others in profound and helpful ways through prayer, anointing with oil, offering Holy Communion and reaffirming their baptism. Check it out. 
 
We will try to produce a new issue of NEWSpirit Bulletin every two months and then let you know about it in NEWSpirit Digest . Please let us know if and how you use it and any reactions you or others may have. And please share this information with others. Also, send us suggestions of more good news ministry stories we can share. Contact us at communications@epaumc.org . Thanks!
Church auditing help for Discipline compliance
Larry Turnbull, Consultant, has been added as a new resource for all EPA UMC churches to utilize in meeting the Audit requirement of the Book of Discipline. Larry will also be available to assist churches in streamlining and improving their accounting format.

The Audit service will be provided at a reduced cost in order to encourage all churches to utilize this support in order to complete their Audit in a timely manner. An Audit may be completed for as little as $260 or $5 per week over a 52 week year.

Larry has been providing accounting, auditing and cash management consulting support to various, for and non-profit, organizations including churches, for over 40 years. Contact Larry to discuss the help that he can provide your church. An estimate of the cost of the Audit or other service requested will be provided.

Testimonial: “The Audit was performed in a timely manner. The results were detailed and presented in a well-documented report. Larry is a knowledgeable, skilled professional and a pleasure to work with.” Carol Barnes, Treasurer; Rev. Shauna K. Ridge, Pastor; Thorndale United Methodist Church Contact: Larry – Larry@larryturnbull.com – 484-883-6179
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.
LOCAL CHURCHES & MISSION LINKS
On October 26, 2019 at 9 AM, Simpson Fletcher will be having a Unity Day Prayer Breakfast at the church. Tickets are $10.00 and can be purchased by calling Min…. Read more

Please join us indoors for a free TRICK or TREAT TRAIL and a free HOT-DOG LUNCH for all ages! On Saturday, October 26th, from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM, Coventryville… Read more

Jonestown UMC hosted a Halloween walk-through in 2017 and 2018. This year we will host our third event. We have a building on a small-town main street. It is… Read more

Servants of Christ UM Church in Germantown will host another entertaining and inspiring Cafe Joy! experience on Saturday afternoon, November 2, from 2 to 5 PM. We will feature the incomparable Zeffro Gaskin and Joyful Sound. Read more...

Story-telling, Wisdom, and Humor Philip Gulley, Quaker Speaker, Author and Pastor Saturday, November 2, at 7 PM Sunday November 3, at 9:30 AM At Otterbein UMC (20 East Clay St.,… Read more

Nov. 3: Homelessness Panel Discussion at Grove UMC
Homelessness: Why should I be concerned? Grove United Methodist Church will sponsor an Act Against Homelessness Panel Discussion on Sunday, November 3rd, at 1:00pm. Learn from local leaders who are addressing the root causes of homelessness in Chester County, about what is currently being done and what you can do to bring about a brighter future for our less-fortunate neighbors. Read more...

Conversations & Connections, A Speaker Series on Building a Resilient Soul… Read more

Featuring Philadelphia East District Mission Link Choirs Nov. 3, 2019, at 3 PM Mid-Town Parish UMC700-18 W. Norris Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122, Tel: 215-763-0742. Read more

The Health & Welfare Committee at First UMC wants to share this information about a caregiving conference at a non-UM church in Pottsville. Those who are caring in any capacity–hands… Read more

Visit our Local Church & Mission Link Events page to learn about more great events.
REMINDERS
Open Enrollment for 2020: Oct. 30 to Nov. 14
Health insurance coverage Open Enrollment for 2020 begins October 30 for active, appointed clergy (not retired or supply pastors), and it ends Nov. 14.

There are a few minor changes that will be outlined in the packets to be sent by WesPath. But anyone wanting to attend an Open Enrollment meeting to hear about the plans and any changes from last year should register to attend one of four meetings. 

If attendance is low at a specific event, Jo Fielding may make arrangements to offer one-on-one assistance to insured clergy.

North District: Monday, October 28, at 3 PM
Grace St. Paul UMC, 40 Church Street, Jim Thorpe. Register now!

South District: Wednesday, October 30, at 10:30 AM
Downingtown UMC, 751 East Lancaster Avenue, Downingtown.

West District: Wednesday, October 30, at 2:30 PM
Leola UMC, 7 West Main Street, Leola. Register now!

East District: Tuesday, October 29, at 2 PM
Simpson House Senior Residence, 2101 Belmont Avenue Philadelphia PA 19131. Register now!
Pen-Del Youth Rally 2020

Register early for the Peninsula-Delaware Conference’s 2020 Youth Rally, Jan. 10-12 , in Ocean City, Md. Join 3,500-plus young people and their adult leaders for three worship-filled days—celebrating faith, fun, freedom and fellowship—as they converge on Ocean City for this 33rd annual weekend-long Youth Rally.

At Roland E. Powell Convention Center (4001 Coastal Highway, Ocean City, Maryland) the stage will be set for music that will inspire your crew to shout and scream. Inspiring featured speakers will share words of inspiration and challenge.

The 2020 theme is “ Inseparable .”  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord . –Romans 8:38-39 NIV     Learn more…
Conference leadership opportunities for all!
The Conference Leadership Committee asks all clergy and lay members to use this Leadership and Service Interest Form to indicate how and where they are willing to serve. 
Revitup! Oct. 28-30

An energizing event for clergy ages 25-39. October 28-30, Baltimorre, Md. Early bird pricing ending soon! Register by September 27 to receive a discounted rate. 
 
Available scholarships cover registration fee and two nights at the host hotel. Complimentary childcare is also available!  Register Today
 
Wespath's Revitup! for a Lifetime in Ministry is a benefits and financial educational event for clergy ages 25-39. If you are a young clergy member, join us in Baltimore to learn strategies that will energize your ministry and leadership for years to come. For more information, visit www.wespath.org/events/revitup/
Exploration, Nov. 1-3, near Orlando FL
Exploration creates sacred space for young adults, ages 18-26, to be in meaningful fellowship, passionate worship, theological reflection, and practical workshops as they discern whether God’s call on their life is to ordained ministry in The United Methodist Church and what faithful steps they can take in response. The annual event happens Nov. 1-3, at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, 1000 W Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL. Registration costs: For young adults: $300. For other adults: $350. 

Workshops will include: Women in Leadership, Mission and Social Justice, Journaling Through Discernment, What to Expect in Seminary, Diversity in Ministry, and much more. A workshop on Vocational Discernment will help leaders help students to listen, discern, and respond to God’s call to ministry. Learn more ...   REGISTER NOW.
New grants for Urban Alliances, Initiatives. Apply by Nov. 25
The Eastern PA Conference Urban Commission announces a new round of grants to assist in funding Urban Alliances or Urban Church Initiatives. UM churches located in 10 identified urban centers are encouraged to apply. The Urban Commission hopes to offer grants twice a year, in Spring and Fall. The next application deadline is Nov. 25 . Awards will be announced by: Jan. 6, 2020. Learn more...
UMI launches website, revives newsletter
United Methodist Insurance has a new website, and its newsletter has been revived with a new title, "Church Protection Connection." Board members said in a press release that the nonprofit insurance company will have a renewed focus on customer service. Read press release .   Visit website .
GCORR offers free, online Implicit Bias course
For those who know about the General Commission on Religion and Race’s downloadable Implicit Bias Workbook ( What We Don’t Think We Think) , the popular resource is now available as a free on-demand online course designed to be taken at a user’s own pace. By taking an intentional look at implicit bias, learning what it is and the ways it works in our brains and in our actions, we can question perceptions and break down the barriers to reaching full inclusion, diversity, equity, and community. Pastors, teachers and anyone interested in learning and teaching others about implicit bias are invited to take this course.  Enroll today .
GC2020-related Preview & Review Sessions
2020 General Conference Delegation Listening Sessions:
  • Wednesday, March 25, 2020 – 7 pm to 8:30 pm Church of the Good Shepherd, 1500, Quentin Rd., Lebanon PA
  • Thursday, April 2, 2020 – 7 pm – 8:30 pm Downingtown UMC751 East Lancaster Ave, Downingtown, PA. This event will be streamed and accessible by ZOOM
  • Saturday, April 4, 2020 – 10 am to noon Simpson House, 2101 Belmont Ave., Philadelphia, PA
  • Monday, April 20, 2020 – 7 pm to 8:30 pm Epworth UMC, 3245 Oakland Rd., Bethlehem, PA 18020


Post-General Conference Review Sessions with Bishop Johnson
  • Saturday, May 23, 2020, 10 am – 12 noon, West Lawn UMC, Reading, PA
  • Saturday, May 30, 2020 10 am – 12 noon Aldersgate UMC, Wilmington, DE
Calendar of Eastern PA Conference Events: 2019-2020
A convenient, printable list of upcoming Eastern PA Conference events is now available on our website--to share with your churches, and to keep handy for your own reference. Download: Printable Listing of Eastern PA Conference Events: 2019-2020
Interested in becoming a Certified Lay Minister?

Register now for an Orientation/Admission Session for the Certified Lay Ministry Class of 2020, which begins in April 2020. All prospective candidates must attend one of the Orientation/Admission sessions, held from September to December at locations in the four districts of the conference and at the Conference Office in Valley Forge. To register see the Orientation/Admission sessions schedule , and contact Judy Ehninger, CLM Program Coordinator at, 610-442-3140 or by e-mail at  judy.ehninger@gmail.com . Learn more about Certified Lay Ministers on the ChristServantMinistries.net website . See the program dates  and information.
2020 Faith-Sharing Event, April 25
E vangelism in a Changing Landscape
Plan now to attend the Eastern PA Conference’s next Faith-Sharing Event on Saturday, April 25, 2020. The Rev. Lisa Greenwood , of Dallas, Texas, will be our featured presenter. She is Vice-President for Leadership Ministry of TMF (the Texas Methodist Foundation), and she will explore the theme “ Evangelism in a Changing Landscape.”
 
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.
 
At TMF, Greenwood works with leaders in various settings to explore and foster “deep change in the church by facilitating conversations of courage, learning and innovation.” She speaks, consults and facilitates conversations among denominational and congregational leaders for the sake of creating a culture of purpose, generosity and courage in the church.
 
For our Faith-Sharing Event, she asks these questions: 
Ever feel like we have inherited models for ministry that just aren’t working? Has evangelism taken on the qualities of an unwanted virus (thus, to be avoided like the plague!)?

And yet, we know that we are compelled to share Christ’s good news of love and grace, justice and hope. What does that call mean for us as leaders and for the churches we serve?
 
With psychology and Master of Divinity degrees, Lisa was ordained in 1992 and successfully served for 20 years in suburban, urban and rural churches in the North Texas Annual Conference. She served her conference on its Board of Ordained Ministry, Order of Elders and four General Conference delegations (2004-2019). Lisa was also a ministry strategist for the Horizons Stewardship Company. She and her husband have seven children.
Video series can help win disciples

A new teaching series offers instruction in making disciples for Christ by emphasizing relationships and stopping attempts to fix churches. The "See All the People: Discipleship Begins with Relationship" course is free and available through the internet.  Read press release   Enroll
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

Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of The United Methodist Church
(800) 828-9093 |  communications@epaumc.org  |  www.epaumc.org
980 Madison Avenue, Norristown, PA 19403