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September 20, 2016
 Peggy  Johnson   announces  new pastoral appointments or assignments

Southwest District
  • Abdias J. Ayala (Lay Supply Pastor) to Lancaster: Fuente de Amor UMC ΒΌ-time. Effective Sept. 11, 2016
Northeast District
  • The Rev. Gary Dimovitz (Part-Time Local Pastor) from Wescosville: Bethany UMC (1/4 time) to Wescosville: Bethany UMC (3/4 time), effective August 1, 2016.
Register by Sept. 30 for the Adjourned Session of Annual Conference. No onsite registration!

Register now, or by Sept. 30, for the Annual Conference Adjourned Session on Oct. 1 at Bethany UMC in Macungie, PA. There will be no support staff on-hand to process walk-in registrations onsite. Members should arrive already pre-registered.
Visit our Adjourned Session information webpage to read key details for the session and to download and print the agenda and the resolutions and budgets to be voted on (now including large-print versions). Members should bring the printed agenda and resolutions with them to the session. Also view Bishop Peggy Johnson's short video update explaining the latest facts regarding the redistricting proposal.
Members should bring snacks. Lunch items will be available for sale by the church, although there will be no formal lunch break. We will collect gently used clergy shirts, stoles and robes to send to fellow clergy in Africa. Donation bins will be available in the registration area.
Correction: Consideration of Resolution 2016-20, the Fair Voting Study was postponed at Annual Conference in June not because of insufficient time, as reported in last week's e-blast notice, but because the resolution's presenter was not available to present it. She asked that it be postponed to the adjourned session.
Two Eastern PA Conference job openings
The Eastern PA Conference Office is accepting applications for two current job openings.
  • Support Associate-Accounting I, part-time at 15 hours per week, to do remittance data entry. The starting date for this position will be based on the desired applicant's availability.  Resumes and cover letters should be sent to by Sept. 23.
  • District Resource Assistant for the Central District, a full-time, non-exempt position with a starting date dependent on the desired applicant's availability after Oct. 1. Resumes and cover letters should be sent to by Sept. 30.
Learn more about these job openings and others on our Classified webpage .
Delayed Annual Budget Letter due Oct. 14
The Conference Treasurer's Office will send the 2016 Annual Budget Letter to senior pastors Oct. 14. The mailing date is delayed several weeks because of the scheduled Oct. 1. Adjourned Session of Annual Conference plus necessary follow-up meetings of the Conference Board of Trustees and Board of Pension and Health Benefits.
Churches that need to develop 2017 financial plans prior to Oct. 14 should use 2016 apportionment figures (for Connectional Ministries, World Service, and General Church funds) and 2016 direct bill figures, plus add 5% for an estimate for 2017. Please note: The actual figures sent to churches in October may be higher or lower than these estimates, based on actions taken at the Adjourned Session and by the Board of Trustees and Board of Pensions and Health Benefits.
The Budget Letter will include a written description of the charges on the monthly remittance form, including who is responsible for which payments and what the payments are for.
Lifetree Cafe Introduction & Training, Part 2 tonight
Does your church want to explore a new place and a new way to draw new people to Christ? Do you want to reach outside your church walls and really meet people where they are? Come to the next Lifetree Cafe Introduction & Training, Part 2, at the Conference Office tonight, Sept. 20, at 6:30 PM. Come even if you missed Part 1. We'll catch you up. This could be the start of something really new. Contact  Gordon Hendrickson  (267-258-9507)  to let him know you're coming, or at least, let him know you're interested.
Seminary's worship to highlight water with CONAM leaders' help
Two members of the Eastern PA Conference Committee on Native American Ministry (CONAM) will help Drew University Theological School spotlight Native American ecological justice concerns and the Act of Repentance during a campus worship service this Thursday, Sept. 22, at noon. Sandi Cianciulli, former CONAM chairperson, will speak about water rights and the current protest against attempts to build an oil pipeline through Standing Rock Sioux tribal land in North Dakota. She will also lead worshipers in a Native American ritual during the "Water is Life" themed service.

In addition, Cianciulli and Suzanne Duchesne will offer opening and closing prayers used in the Act of Repentance service at the Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference in July. The gathering will also witness to other places where water safety is endangered, such as Flint, Mich., and in West Virginia where another pipeline is being constructed. The worship service, led by the Rev. Dr. Heather Murray Elkins , Professor of Worship, Preaching and the Arts, will take place  at 12 pm in Craig Chapel, Seminary Hall. A video recording will be made available sometime after service, possibly on the  Drew Worship Facebook page .
Celebrate National Latino/ Hispanic Heritage Month
La Trinidad UMC in Allentown will celebrate its Hispanic heritage with food, music and more on Saturday, Oct 1, 3-7 PM, at Asbury UMC (1533 Springhouse Rd, Allentown). For information call 973-865-6582 or 717-940-3090. Donations are welcome to support the church's ministries. 

Casa del Pueblo,the Latino Ministry of Lehman UMC in Hatboro, served more than 140 people at its International Dinner on Friday, Sept. 16. A bounty of foods from more than a half-dozen countries-- Guatemala, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, the U. S., Puerto Rico, Spain, Mexico, Nicaragua--filled plates and stomachs, while musicians filled the air with the sounds of music. Those sounds came courtesy of teachers and students of Anawim, Casa del Pueblo's new music school ministry, which begins its second year of classes this Friday, Sept. 23. Learn more about this remarkable new ministry...

Please tell us how your church will celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15) over the next month. Also, please tell us how your church plans to celebrate National Native American Heritage Month in November. 
UMW to celebrate continuing legacy of service Oct. 15
The Eastern PA Conference United Methodist Women will hold its 43rd Annual Celebration on Saturday, Oct. 15, 9 AM to 3 PM, at Quakertown UMC (1875 Freier Road). Their theme is The Legacy: Continuing The Journey of UMW, 1869 to Present.   Ruth Daugherty and Hattie Hamilton will speak as UMW pioneers Isabella Thoburn, an educator, and Clara Swain, a doctor, who were the first missionaries sent to India by the newly formed Methodist Woman's Foreign Missionary Society in 1869. The $15 registration cost includes lunch. Mail registration forms and checks (payable to EPA-UMW) by the Sept. 30 deadline to: Mary Ann Repsher 164 South Ninth St. Bangor, PA 18013  Phone: 610-588-1084. E-mail: .

Also, the UMW's Mission u 2017 has been scheduled for July 21-22 in Reading, Pa., with geographic, issue and spiritual growth study components. See the flyer and save the dates.
UM agency demands U.N. summit action on global migration
The United Nations' High-Level Summit on Refugees and Migrants began in New York yesterday, Sept. 19, and the Rev. Levi Bautista of the General Board of Church and Society staff writes that the "enormity" of the current global movement of peoples, "especially the involuntary and forced movement of peoples," calls for action. He is among United Methodists attending the summit.

" The painful and tragic realities of forced migration and massive displacement,  affecting upwards of 65 million persons or one in every 113, signal a global crisis ," reads the board's statement. " Global migration is an historical and current concern of The United Methodist Church, addressed in the Social Principles and frequently by General Conference action (Book of Resolutions #6028 Global Migration and the Quest for Justice). Our work gives us a glimpse of the upheaval, terror, and destruction these persons and their communities suffer due to armed conflict, natural disasters, climate change, gang violence, religious and ethnic persecution, economic deprivation, political instability, and more. This occasion of a gathering at the highest governmental levels in the UN is a crucial moment that must be seized. 

Celebrate World Communion Sunday Oct. 2
Celebrate World Communion Oct. 2 with other Christians around the globe and receive the churchwide designated offering that supports higher education and ministry training for racial-ethnic students and interns and for international Crusade Scholars.   Helpful, informative Resources are available to support your observance. So is a downloadable, easy-to-use  World Communion Sunday Pastor's Kit  that has everything you need to promote this special Sunday and celebrate with a memorable service. Also c hurch leaders can view a new, free e-book,  " A Dozen Ways to Promote and Celebrate World Communion Sunday.
Note : If your church plans to do something special to celebrate World Communion Sunday, please let us know about it--whether before or afterward--at
October is Pastor Appreciation Month
Tell us what your church will do special to celebrate Pastor Appreciation Month in October? Please send us creative ideas, words of tribute for pastors and celebratory photos. If we get some good stuff, we'll report it in Digest and post it on the conference website in a special Pastor Appreciation Month feature, with updates throughout October.

How about honoring a group of pastors together at one event? The Southwest District will honor its pastors at an annual Pastor Appreciation Breakfast  on Saturday, Oct. 15, from 9 to 10:30 AM, at Grandview UMC in Lancaster. They'll have food, door prizes, juggling entertainment and words of appreciation for "all the work you do-all the preaching, prayer, visitation, counseling, etc.," according to the invitation.  

Prison Ministry Symposium,   Saturday: Oct. 1, 9:30 AM to 4 PM, at Grace UMC, 125 W. 104th St., New York City. All-day symposium on prison ministry and criminal justice advocacy, sponsored by the New York Conference. Free registration through the conference website .   Details
Webinar: "Millennials and Giving": Oct. 4, 7 to 8 p.m. This webinar explores how generational giving patterns affect stewardship ministry. It looks particularly at how Millennials are already generous and how the church can come alongside them to support them in their journey to live grateful, generous lives. Grace Duddy Pomroy, a Lutheran stewardship ministry leader, will lead the webinar for ecumenical group Practical Resources for Churches.  Details
Laity Sunday: Oct. 16 : Churches are invited to celebrate Laity Sunday Oct. 16 with the theme "Living Vital Worship." Resources, including an order of worship, social media graphics, bulletin covers and more, are  available online.
National Observance of Children's Sabbath: Oct. 21-23.  Children's Sabbath, established by our UMC partner, the Children's Defense Fund, offers ways for faith communities to celebrate children as gifts from God and provides opportunities for houses of worship to live out their responsibility to care, protect and advocate for all children.  Christian worship resources from the Children's Defense Fund

Save the Date for a Lay Pastors Conference: April 28-29 , 2017.  Bel Air UMC in nearby Bel Air, Md., will host a two-day Lay Pastors Ministry International Conference, featuring more than 20 workshops. Questions? Contact  Else Roland . Cost and other details are being determined, and an informational brochure is being produced.


Come join UM Men's hunt for ocean fossils Oct. 8
Come join our search for real ocean fossils  Saturday, Oct. 8, at Hawk Mountain (1700 Hawk Mountain Road, Kempton, PA). Plus, watch the migration of eagles and raptors of all sorts. Hawk Mountain is a wildlife sanctuary, scientific research center, eco-tourism and learning facility, a conservation training site and one of the best places in northeastern North America to view the annual autumn hawk migration. We will gather in Drehersville at Salem UMC, on 895 just off of route 61, between  9 and 9:30 AM. (Use 49 Church Lane, Drehersville, PA for your GPS.). This fossil search event is open to all and sponsored by the UM Men. No fee for the hunt, but all participants must sign a release form.

Contact conference Prayer Advocate Dennis Wack at 267-753-5332 or or Dave Botzer at  Fee for Hawk Mountain: $12 for adults, $9 for children. Please post and  share our flyer.
'Sabbath: Break ... or Brick?'   A new retreat for clergy spouses
Eastern PA Conference clergy spouses are invited to attend a creative half-day retreat-either in the morning (8:30 AM till noon) or afternoon (1:30 to 5:00 PM)-on Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Mariawald Renewal Center, Reading, Pa. The new "Sabbath: Break ... or Brick?" retreat is designed by Artos Retreats, a nonprofit organization with a mission to improve the wellbeing of clergy spouses. "We design our retreats to allow clergy spouses to express common issues without revealing church-specific situations and to share experiences and learn coping strategies," says Julie Anderman, retreat designer and facilitator. Register online via the Conference Calendar. Learn more...
Interested in becoming a Certified Lay Minister?
Register now for Orientation/Admission Sessions for the Certified Lay Ministry Class of 2017, which begins in April 2017. All prospective candidates must attend one of eight Orientation/Admission sessions, which are held from September to December at Asbury UMC in Allentown, or at West Lawn UMC in Reading, or at the Eastern PA Conference Office in Norristown. To register see the  Orientation/Admission sessions schedule, and contact Judy Ehninger, CLM Program Coordinator at 610-442-3140  or by e-mail at Learn about Certified Lay Ministers on the Christ Servant Ministries website. 
Register now for Changing Racism class, Oct. 28-30
Register now for the next Changing Racism class, Oct. 28-30, to gain understanding of racism and ways to  change attitudes and behaviors that perpetuate racial bias, discrimination and conflict. Learn to recognize and challenge racial privilege, exclusion and disadvantage, as well as institutional racism, dysfunctional behaviors and internalized oppression. The weekend class, from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, is led by a pair of expert, diverse facilitators-black and white, male and female-from Visions, Inc. Participants often foster cross-racial bonds of communication and compassion through candid conversation and shared experiences.

The Eastern PA Conference-only class, required for all persons engaged in key ministry roles, will convene at a new location:
Daylesford Abbey at 220 South Valley Road, Paoli, PA. Registration-limited to 20 participants -costs $300, and full payment is due at time of registration. (Refunds are issued only for cancellations over 30 days prior to the class.) This is not a commuter event; the registration cost includes a single room and all meals. The class awards two continuing education units (CEUs) and satisfies the requirement for Healing the Wounds of Racism training. RegisterOnline ordownload anduse the 2016 Registration Form .    To learn more about Changing Racism, see the article Race Matters: Seeking to bridge the divide .
PA Council of Churches to host Shalom Conference
The Pennsylvania Council of Churches will sponsor its first ever Shalom Conference Sept. 24-25 at the Hartman Center, a United Church of Christ camp and retreat facility in Milroy, Pa. The council wants to launch a broad, diverse, statewide network of peacemakers that will promote communication and collaboration "to make peacemaking less lonely." 
The conference theme, "Creating a Culture of Peace," will focus on holistic sense of peace that seeks wholeness and wellness for all of creation. Organizations and peacemakers who focus on a wide range of issues-including domestic violence, systemic racism, drone warfare, environmental justice, torture, gun violence and interfaith understanding-are invited to participate.  
The conference will feature discussions, networking activities, and presentations by two engaging speakers, intentional community activist and author Shane Claiborne, speaking on "Another World is Possible," and Conflict Resolution specialist Saadia Ahmad, Learn more and register at . (Information provided by the Rev. Sandra L. Strauss
Director of Advocacy and Ecumenical Outreach, PA Council of Churches.)
Hopewell's Planting Seeds event set for Oct. 22
Planting Seeds for Ministry Growth , presented by Hopewell UMC, Downingtown, PA, is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 22, from 1:30 to 6:30 PM. Onsite registration begins at 12:30 PM. The annual leadership event will close with a worship rally, following refreshments and fellowship.

This year's focus is Kingdom Building, with keynote speaker and workshop presenter Reggie McNeal,  a widely respected author and speaker on the church and its missional future. He will address "Why We Must Give Up Our Obsession with Fixing the Church-and What We Should Do Instead."  McNeal will also teach on "Leading Church-as-Movement." Additional workshops will be taught by: 
  • The Rev. David Woolverton, pastor of St. Paul's UMC Elizabethtown: "Forgive and Remember: Discovering Forgiveness with Conflict", and
  • Dr. Peter Loedel, West Chester University faculty: "Divided Nation." 
Hopewell just announced they will  offer something new this year: two extra workshops at 12 noon: "Spirituality and Labyrinth Walking" and "Financial Peace and Stewardship." Find out more by downloading the new, revised flyer and share it with others.
Register on Hopewell's website at For more information, contact Deb Boyd.  
Come learn about Radical Disciple-Making Oct.  8
Don't miss a dynamic learning event that could become pivotal in transforming your church's discipleship efforts from routine to radical.  Thorndale UMC  (3503 Lincoln Highway, Thorndale, PA. Phone: 610-384-2433) will host a Radical Disciple-Making Seminar  on  Saturday, Oct.  8 , from 8:30 AM to 3:45 PM.
The seminar will be led by the  Effective Church Group, directed by renowned church growth author, coach and discipleship development expert Bill Easum.  It will offer practical strategies and profound insights to teach participants how every church can grow to become a radical disciple-making force for Jesus Christ. Read  Bishop Johnson's letter  and visit the  seminar website  to find out more.You can register online at  Contact the Rev. Mark Moore of Thorndale UMC with questions at
Bishop's Days on the Districts
NW District--Sept. 27; SE District--Oct. 3; SW District--Oct. 4; Central District--Oct. 17; NE District--Oct. 19; and East District--Oct. 20.  
Update your Find-A-Church profile
Developed by United Methodist Communications, Find-A-Church helps your church connect with people who may be looking online for a church to provide worship, fellowship, spiritual nurture and other needs. If your church has a Website, having a church page in Find-A-Church doubles your local visibility to reach people searching by city, town or zip code. It is the official online directory of United Methodist churches in the United States and  one of the most visited sections of, averaging more than 1,000 page views a day. You'll achieve the best results from your Find-A-Church profile when you update your church's information. For video instructions on how, visit Video Tutorial: Find-A-Church Overview
Missed any past issues of NEWSpirit Digest?
You can still read or share informative, colorful back issues of our weekly e-newsletter on the Eastern PA Conference Website at this link with others who might want to stay informed about our news, events, resources and concerns. And please encourage them to subscribe by e-mailing Thanks!
Please Save These Dates! 
Sept. 17: Laity Retreat 

Oct. 1: Adjourned Session of Annual Conference, Bethany UMC Wescosville

Oct. 8: Radical Discipleship Workshop, led by Bill Easum, at Thorndale UMC. Save the date and don't miss it! More info coming.

Oct. 28-30 2016: Changing Racism Training,  at the Daylesford Abbey in Paoli.  Register online . The cost is $300.
Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of The United Methodist Church
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980 Madison Avenue, Norristown, PA 19403
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